5 common questions answered by our resident nutritionist, Kelly LeVeque

Ever since we first enlisted the help of our favorite holistic nutritionist, Kelly LeVeque, our everyday eating habits have never been the same. She’s taught us so much about living healthfully and treating our bodies well from the inside out. From revolutionizing our morning smoothies to teaching us how to read a food label and saving us during that time of the month with natural remedies for PMS, there isn’t much that Kelly can’t do. Because we took the lead last time and asked Kelly six of our own burning nutrition questions, we asked our readers to send in their own questions that they’d love to have Kelly answer this time around. Our readers definitely took the reins and asked some amazing questions that warranted informative responses. Keep scrolling to see what Kelly had to say about your biggest nutrition inquiries…

1. What are some healthy dessert options for someone with a serious sweet tooth?

I love a high-quality chocolate, preferably my sugar-free freezer fudge. It is a fat, fiber and protein dessert that will do just the trick when you’re looking for something sweet to snack on.

2. What’s the best thing for someone to eat first thing in the morning?

That’s easy! I always start my day with one of my #Fab4Smoothie​ recipes! I created this formula for my clients to learn how to build a low-sugar meal replacement smoothie. The Fab Four Smoothie is a formula to help you develop a blood sugar balancing meal in any flavor with enough protein, fat and fiber to keep you full for 4-6 hours, feed your microbiome, turn off hunger hormones and nourish your body with amino acids, fatty acids and phytonutrients. This is very different from the many juice shops, grocery smoothie bars and smoothie recipes online, which can be loaded with sugar, specifically fructose sugar from excess fruit, agave, dates and juice. The Fab Four Smoothie limits fruit to ¼ – ½ cup depending on your body composition goals and some are totally fruit-free. A killer go-to is my Spa Smoothie loaded with greens, cucumber, avocado, lemon and mint!

3. What are some natural sources of energy instead of drinking coffee, espresso, etc.?

Go for matcha—it is a special tea that delivers caffeinated energy without the buzz. Matcha is a powdered, whole leaf green tea that can be mixed into puddings, baked goods or made into a latte. It’s unique in that it supports relaxation (without drowsiness) and the production of happy hormones dopamine and serotonin thanks to the amino acid L-Theanine. I am also really excited by Guayusa, which is an Amazonian super-leaf naturally packed with caffeine and polyphenols. It is also a focused energy without a shaky buzz. This leaf has a mellow flavor because it is low in tannins, which can cause the astringent or bitter taste in green and black teas. A clean and sustainable source of guayusa is available through a company called Runa.

4. What are some foods that promote healthy skin?

Healthy skin requires hydrating omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins for collagen, and elastin production and trace minerals for repair, protection and cell regeneration. Helping my clients maintain red carpet ready skin is a science that requires them to incorporate wild seafood, leafy greens and lots of healthy fats into their diets. My favorites include; sardines, oysters and wild salmon. Salmon is one of the best food sources for omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, vitamin D and selenium, a mineral that protects the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Sardines are a great source of B12 for cell regeneration along with calcium, niacin, copper, vitamin B2, and choline, which is also a member of the B vitamin family useful in the fatty portions of cell membranes production and essential for healthy skin. When it comes to oysters, recent studies suggest omega-3 deficiency contributes to chronic acne and one serving (8 oysters) will deliver your daily need of 1000mg. The beauty bonus, zinc also keeps your nails, hair, and eyes healthy. Spinach is also a good source of omega-3s, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamins B, C, and E. Kale is an anti-inflammatory veggie and is chock full of antioxidants, along with vitamins A and C, fiber and calcium. Not to mention, the sulfur based sugar in these leafy greens feeds your healthy gut bacteria and a flourishing microbiome equals healthy skin.

5. Do you need to eat before working out?

I am a fan of a fasted workout, especially a morning HIIT or cardio burst. Going into a morning workout fasted can increase HGH (human growth hormone) that will help preserve muscle tissue and cause lipolysis (fat breakdown). Pair natural fasting through the night with HIIT and get the biggest changes in body composition.

We knew that Kelly would be the perfect person to ask these questions, don’t you think? We’re already reworking our everyday diet and workout routines thanks to her answers in this post. A big thank you to Kelly for yet again providing us with the best information to keep our bodies happy and healthy! Be sure to check out her website for even more recipes and tips to keep your body in tip top shape inside and out and don’t forget to pre-order her book Body Love.

Do you have any other nutrition questions that you’d like to see answered?

Be sure to leave them in the comments below!

XO Team LC

Photos: Be Well By Kelly/The Chalkboard Magazine