If you follow even a small handful of influencers and celebrities on Instagram, then you’ve no doubt seen a #Fab4Smoothie somewhere in your feed. Creamy and green enough so you know it’s healthy, a Fab 4 Smoothie was the breakfast brainchild of celebrity holistic nutritionist and health coach Kelly LeVeque, who counts Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner and Emmy Rossum as loyal devotees to her @BeWellByKelly methods. And those methods are rooted in the idea that nutrition should be radically simple.
A Fab 4 Smoothie, after all, only requires four things: a protein source, a healthy fat, something with fibre, and something green. “Those are what I consider essential for vibrant health,” says LeVeque. “Not only do they balance your blood sugar but they’re great at regulating hunger hormones and giving your body and microbiome what it needs.”
LeVeque wrote about her straightforward approach to nutrition in her first book, Body Love. Thanks to its best-selling status, the questions started pouring in. What’s the best protein source if I’m vegan? How can I make sure a smoothie actually keeps me full? How do I stay away from the siren call of McDonald’s when I am at the airport? “I feel like a lot of people I work with fell under four or five main categories, and so I built archetypes to answer the questions that were coming back to me after the first book,” she says. Her just-released second book, Body Love Every Day, answers everything you could ever want to know about building sustainable healthy habits tailored to your lifestyle.
The first part of the book goes over the Fab 4 philosophy, as well as how to properly get back on track after a whirlwind of indulgent food choices (hint: never, ever do a cleanse). The rest of the book is broken into four parts: Girl On The Go, Domestic Goddess, Plant Based Devotee, and Red Carpet Ready.
The first chapter gives quick, 30-minute meal ideas for one or two people as well as LeVeque’s best tips for packing snacks for the airport and using intermittent fasting to your advantage. “Domestic Goddess is for women or moms who really make everything from scratch,” she explains. “They can get caught up in sugary or carby things like muffins or homemade pot pie.” The meal ideas in that section take about an hour to make (think fresh coconut yoghurt) and are all about centred around moderating your sugar intake. The plant-based chapter covers the basics of getting adequate nutrition on a diet free of animal products, as well as tips on how to manage common issues like bloating. Finally, there’s the Red Carpet Ready plan. “It’s more detailed, like what time you should eat and specific types of meals to make on a Sunday versus Monday and what type of training you should be doing,” she adds. It’s the exact plan she gave Rossum before her wedding and Garner before her latest film roles.
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It’s important to note that LeVeque doesn’t use the word diet to describe her tips, tricks, and meal ideas. That’s because she considers herself firmly against diet culture. To her, health and wellbeing is above weight, aesthetics, or food labels like keto, paleo, and vegan. “I personally hate diets. What I see happen is they go to try a diet and it lasts 24 hours, 48 hours, two weeks,” she says. “The problem becomes when they feel like they failed and it’s woven into who they think they are and their confidence suffers because of it. That’s a problem, because we have so many other bigger problems in the world.”
That’s precisely why the final chapter of the book focuses on the idea of letting go of perfectionism. Life can get in the way of your best food intentions. You won’t always be able to make a smoothie in the morning, grab a salad for lunch, or ignore the office donuts. “Don’t let perfectionist thoughts cause you to have a binge—good is always better than perfect,” she says. The light structure she offers and her actionable tips will be a breath of fresh air to anyone who feels like diet trends are muddying their ability to listen to their own body.
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It’s LeVeque’s inclusive approach that’s truly unique in the age of nutrition zealots. She has clients that range from raw vegan to beef-loving keto, meaning she has a full understanding of all lifestyles. The one thing she wants to see change in 2020? “I don’t think we should berate people for how they eat and their food choices,” she says, noting the increasing presence of judgemental comments on Instagram food posts and recipes. “Our industrial food production—whether it’s a cow or corn—it’s a huge problem. It’s not just one side. Both sides need to go, ‘what needs to change?’ Both sides need to come together for the health of the planet.”
Body Love Every Day (out now on Amazon) is exactly what the nutrition world needs as we head into a new decade. (Quick-fix diets and cleanses are so 2010s). Also coming next year is the Be Well By Kelly debut podcast, featuring a cast of LeVeque’s closest friends, scientists, and farmers as well as quick key takeaways at the end of each episode. “If you feel good about nourishing your body, your more likely to do it again,” she says.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s Bazaar UK.