BOOK REVIEW: BODY LOVE by Kelly Leveque
Kelly Leveque began her career working for Fortune 500 medical field companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Stryker, focusing on tumor gene mapping and molecular sub typing to oncologists. Yeah, the girl doesn’t play. I don’t even know what that job description means. But from reading her book, I get that Kelly knows science and uses science to understand both wellness & disease. With an increased desire to turn her passion into a service for others outside of her personal life, she pursued training in integrative & clinical nutrition becoming a certified holistic nutritionist & wellness expert.
And that is how she began Be Well by Kelly!
A big pro to the Instagram world is we get to learn about individuals and companies we otherwise may never run across on our own. That’s how I heart about Kelly maybe two years ago. Someone posted one of her smoothie recipes, & while there are a million bajillion smoothie recipes out there, this one intrigued me. There was science behind the combining of these specific four food groups:
Fat + Fiber + Greens + Fat
That’s her Fab4 philosophy. So I started paying attention.
I’m a sucker for falling down the rabbit hole reading different health techniques and strategies. I’ve learned there isn’t a secret quick fix that is also long lasting & that a lot of diets are basically the same with different wrapping. But Kelly’s philosophy is different. First up, it’s not a diet. I guess it is technically a diet because a diet is just the consistent way you feed yourself. You can technically have a diet of queso & Dr. Pepper. But this isn’t your negative connotation diet. You never hear low-fat, low-calorie come out of her mouth or see it printed in her book. Instead, you see science explained in an approachable way that backs up why certain foods affect our bodies in specific ways.
A major point that kept my attention was her focus on maintaining optimal blood sugar balance. When I was in college & trying to learn for the first time in an independent setting what it looked like to eat healthy, I was buying Fiber One Pop-Tarts (1,000% sure those are discontinued. for good reason.), frozen boxes of veggies you could pop in the microwave, & oatmeal. I ate zero protein. It’s no wonder I wasn’t able to donate blood because my iron registered as too low, & it’s no wonder I would frequently suffer from a low blood sugar episode. I’m talking being in the middle of a class & start sweating & feeling dizzy. It didn’t stop until I shoved enough sugar in my mouth. I had no idea why this was happening because in my mind, I was being healthy. I ate low-fat & thought I was eating relatively low-calorie because I avoided meat. Oy with the poodles already! (Name that TV show.)
So when I started reading what Kelly had to say about combining her Fab4 philosophy to eating in order to stabilize blood sugar, the dots started connecting. I started making one of her smoothies every morning & I felt satisfied– never shaky or looking for a cookie an hour later.
One thing Kelly said that made me sad. I’m not supposed to depend on snacks. But Kelly!! How am I supposed to eat my favorite foods without snacking?? I’m cool with eating the salmon if I can have the yogurt with granola two hours later! But that’s part of maintaining healthy blood sugar– fueling your body with meals so it doesn’t rely on constant snacking to keep you afloat until dinner. Now, she’s not about going hungry. If you’re hungry, eat. But don’t go for the Cheez-Its just because you got an A+ at lunch. (And I mean, unless you’re a robot, it goes without saying that this still happens sometimes, & THAT’S OKAY!). Kelly gives tangible guidelines & ways to adjust troubleshooting areas so you can feel your best and feed your body like he or she deserves.
Bonus! I love a book with recipes & a week in the life section. And this book has both! You get over 40 smoothie recipes and over 30 recipes to whip up in your kitchen. I think my favorite are the meatballs because they’re so versatile & freeze well. Her day in the life section reads like a journal where Kelly walks through one week & explains what she eats & how she likes to exercise to feel her best.
If you are looking to boost your health journey, or maybe you’re looking for the starting line like so many– this book will not disappoint you! And her second book is on pre-order right now so get ready!
And as a little sneak peek into her Fab4 philosophy, here is the smoothie recipe I make nearly every day (because while there are a ton of options in her book, it’s way easier to stick to one for me. I always know I have the ingredients on hand & can throw it together blind folded while holding a small human.)
My Fab4 Smoothie*— this one isn’t in her book but Jennifer Garner posted this recipe once (she is one of Kelly’s clients), & I’ve copied it ever since!
Large handful of spinach (I freeze my spinach so it stays fresh & doesn’t take up so much room in my fridge– plus it makes your smoothies colder without needing to add ice!) (GREENS)
Small handful frozen blueberries
2 T chia seeds (or you could use ground flax seeds) (FIBER)
1 T MCT Oil * (I also have a cup of coffee with 1T coconut oil so I’m getting 2T of fat– healthy fat keeps you full!) (FAT)
2 scoops Primal Kitchen Chocolate Coconut Collagen Protein (I’ve started adding a 3rd scoop for a PROTEIN boost)
1 serving chlorophyll drops
1 3/4 cup water (or you could use almond milk if you want a creamier vibe)
Blend & sip!
*I purchase this product through Thrive Market so I use a different brand.