Interview with McKel from Nutrition Stripped

nutrition-stripped
18 May 2016

Since starting my Instagram account I’ve come across some absolutely amazing people that inspire me in so many ways. One person that I have been following for ages is McKel, the founder of Nutrition Stripped. I was immediately drawn to her profile because of the beautiful food photos that she posts which then led to me becoming a dedicated fan of her website, where she shares countless information on nutrition, recipes, being vegan/plant based and how to make food into an incredibly decadent art. McKel’s philosophy is to make nutrition simple by sharing easy recipes that involve plant based foods, all of which will heal the body, give you more energy and satisfy your tastebuds. I was very honored that McKel was willing to do an interview with myself, so please read below for her answers to some questions I think you’ll find very interesting.

Nikki: I find it’s always interesting to know how you got into the health world and if you were always healthy. Did you grow up already interested in eating well or did it come to you a bit later?

McKel: I’ve always been a foodie (I say that laughingly) as I’ve loved eating all kinds of foods from a very young age- my parents were great at having a balance of healthy foods and “normal” flexible foods like pizza etc. We had a garden growing up and I have vivid memories of the connection between our food and the nourishment it provided our bodies. In college and towards the end of high school I become really into fitness/sports/weight lifting and that was the initial kick start into nutrition. I also suffered from migraines as a teen and was able to treat my migraines with changing my diet completely to focus on whole foods that were right for me (i.e. dairy/gluten free). My health has improved immensely since living a predominantly plant-based lifestyle with no dairy/gluten(again this is for my needs). I generally have energy all day long to carry out my work and be present with my clients, engage in workouts, and feel great. I continue to practice a plant-based (mostly vegan), gluten free diet and of course that’s only half of the equation- I love to workout lifting weights, boxing, doing hot yoga, practicing meditation, art, being with friends, family and most of all living out my passion.

N: What inspires you when you are creating a new recipe?

M: I get inspired by different cultures, flavor combinations, textures, what’s in season, what I may be personally really into that day; and of course challenging myself to make healthy food into something delicious and a pleasurable experience versus what many people may think is just “boring”.

N: What is your favorite type of food to make? You are so well known for your green smoothies and they all look amazing, but do you prefer creating more sweet or savory dishes?

M: As much as I do love my Stripped Green Smoothies, I LOVE savory foods with loads of flavors, different combinations of textures, and especially meals that incorporate spice/heat. I really enjoy foods that have bitter, spicy, and bold components more so than sweet. Don’t get me wrong…I do love my chocolate!

N: There is so much conflicting nutrition advice out there of what is best to eat and when, how to lose weight, if vegan is better than eating meat, etc. What are some common misconceptions that you always hear and anything you would like to clear up?

M:

  • Carbs make you fat- this simply is not true, too much of any one macronutrient can aid in weight gain. It’s all about being strategic about carbohydrate intake, knowing when and what to have to meet your goals. I coach my clients on this all the time and I’m amazed at the results!
  • Don’t eat carbs past 3pm (or some other silly time)- see above explanation, ha!
  • Everyone should be vegan, raw, gluten free- this is totally dependent on the individual and nothing else. There is NO right way of eating other than eating whole foods! Gluten free doesn’t work for everyone nor is needed for everyone’s lifestyle, same with any other “diet” out there. We all have to find out what works for ourselves and forget about what “so and so” is doing to make their health optimal.
  • You have to do 2 hours of cardio and eat very low calorie diets to get results- simply not true. You have to optimize your metabolism, incorporate weight training for most of us, and be smart about your diet! Getting a solid plan and being consistent is so crucial when it comes to changing body composition.

N: If you could give one piece of nutritional advice what would it be?

M: Eat more plants! Whole foods should be the foundation and root of all of our diets.

nikki-sharp-inspiring-interviews-nutrition-stripped

{Click here to visit Nutrition Stripped recipe index for all the recipes featured above}

N: When you get a sweet tooth craving what sorts of foods do you have?

M: My go to is high quality dark chocolate or my Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse. It’s full of healthy fats, fiber, and that rich chocolate taste, love it!

N: I know that you are dairy free/gluten free. How long have you been eating this way and do you ever stray away from these if you’re at someone’s house for dinner?

M: I’ve been eating dairy-free and gluten-free for 6 years or so. 99% of the time I’m gluten free and dairy free besides the 1% as you mentioned, when let’s say I’m home for the holidays or there’s a meal prepared for me that contains something with dairy or gluten. I know how it’ll make me feel the next day, but I also recognize the need for flexibility in life. It’s not going to harm me long term because I get right back on track! If anything, I come from a household of amazing cooks and they typically use ingredients I don’t often use and I still enjoy their meals.

N: You have accomplished so much and there is such a touch of elegance and love in everything you do. What advice do you have to people going into the health world or wanting to become a dietician?

M: First, thank you so much for that! And second, this is such a great question and probably the number one question I get emailed (besides how to lose weight!), I wrote an entire blog post to answer some questions about that here. In general we live in such an instant gratification society where we all want it now or else we don’t want it at all. This is the biggest mental road block that will keep anyone from succeeding in the health and fitness field- it takes a lot of hard work, long hours, making sacrifices, strong will, determination, and of course passion for what you do! Business success especially when you’re working from the ground up solo, takes tremendous amounts of patience and hard work- you’ll get there if you’re determined, follow your passion, and have your own unique voice!

N: Are there any other accounts on Instagram that you enjoy browsing? Anyone we would be surprised to find out about?

M: I LOVE fashion/design accounts- as much as I’m a foodie and fitness fanatic, I do this for a living and the majority of my day is spent talking, writing, photography all about food- I need a break from it! I love @songofstyle, @aninebing, @madewell, @rag_bone, @apartmenttherapy etc.

N: Tell the audience something interesting that no one would guess about you.

M: My first career choice was art (this was also in high school that I decided that), then in college my first major was psychology, then marine biology, then I found my true calling nutrition! To this day, I still have a passion for art and animal life- much of which I’ve been able to integrate into my current lifestyle.

I hope you all enjoyed this interview with the absolutely lovely McKel! Check out her website and Instagram account for more inspiration and amazing recipes.

xoxo,

Nikki

@nikkisharp
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