Working with health coach Kelly LeVeque is like having a super-smart BFF on speed dial—only, she happens to be ridiculously brainy about all things holistic nutrition. It’s why celebs like Jessica Alba, Chelsea Handler, and Kate Walsh turn to the wellness guru when they want to fine-tune their diets. LeVeque’s super-positive philosophy (she’s all about creating healthy, sustainable eating habits for life) is the foundation for her new book, Body Love: Live in Balance, Weigh What You Want, and Free Yourself from Food Drama Forever.
Here, in a new series for Well+Good, the certified nutritionist and Be Well founder is opening up about the wellness trials and tribulations of some of her most famous clients. (Stars: They really are just like us.)
First up? Emmy Rossum. LeVeque began coaching the 30-year-old actress in 2016 to help her prepare for a few big roles: her eighth season as the fiery Fiona Gallagher on Shameless, an upcoming part in the action-thriller Hard Powder—oh, and her wedding this past May. Here’s the all-star intel.
I encourage my clients to do what they love, above all else. For me, the most important thing is consistency because it builds a lifestyle. Emmy is passion. It was so apparent after our first meeting. Life makes her happy, her work brings her joy, and her peeps fill her heart. Our personalities clicked right away.
Her goal when we started working together was more sustained energy, and to look and feel her best—especially [for] her walk down the aisle. She also wanted a holistic approach to managing her PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), which affects about one in four women I coach. With those things in mind, I formed a plan to help Emmy zero in on the healthy habits that are right for her and her body.
Here’s the nutrition prescription that left the star feeling as supercharged as the firecracker characters she plays on screen.
Cool-girl client: As a client, Emmy makes my job easy: She’s diligent, meticulous, and committed. For example, she already had a great workout routine of dance cardio and high intensity interval training when I started coaching her, so I didn’t need to make any modifications in terms of exercise.
Why she came to me for coaching: She’s constantly on the go, traveling between New York and Los Angeles and pulling 18-hour days while filming—which is enough to make any woman feel exhausted. Because of her busy schedule, she wanted a clean, sustainable eating plan that she could execute at home, on both coasts, and while on-location.
My nutrition prescription: I tailored an “everywhere” Fab Four meal plan to help Emmy get more protein, fat, fiber, and greens—no matter where she was eating. One big recommendation was to increase her intake of healthy fats and fiber, which kept her energy up all day long on set and sped up muscle recovery after her workouts. It helped balance her blood sugar, reduce cravings, and prevent energy crashes. Like most of my clients, a little “light structure” went a long way. Emmy’s a great student—once I educated her on the metabolism of blood sugar (both glucose and fructose), she naturally pulled back on foods that weren’t serving her, like dried fruit. (High-sugar diets cause excess insulin production, which can exacerbate PCOS.)
Because of her busy schedule, she wanted a clean, sustainable eating plan that she could execute at home, on both coasts, and while on-location.
The game-changing meal for her plan: For breakfast I had her start drinking a Fab Four Smoothie (1 serving of protein, 1–2 Tbsp fat, 1–2 Tbsp fiber, a handful of greens, and 1–2 cups of almond milk). Another go-to for her is a Fab Four Bowl of eggs with avocado and spinach. These are the cornerstones of her entire day because the protein, fat, and fiber help elongate her blood-sugar curve—so she’s not starving an hour after eating. She takes the same approach with lunch and dinner, enjoying various combinations of lean proteins, like chicken and salmon, with market veggies and high-quality fats like avocado, olive oil, and coconut oil.
The real-girl hurdle she had to clear along the way: I remember when she went on her bachelorette party and I received a text that said, “Multiple Cheetos were consumed.” Her messages like this make me laugh out loud, and I love how she isn’t afraid to keep it real. The best was that she didn’t beat herself up. She just got back in the gym and on her Fab Four plan. Emmy never lets “food guilt” negatively affect her, which allows her to make the decision to enjoy a “choice meal”—not a “cheat meal”—without overdoing it. She’s a great example of ditching that drama and auto-stabilizing.
What happened when she brought it all into balance: As women, we’ve been so conditioned on restrictive, all-or-nothing diets. I’d like to think I helped Emmy zero in on the lifestyle that’s right for her and her body—[in her case], she added more fiber and healthy fats to her meals. She’s a phenomenal example for girls and women around the world, and I’m lucky to call her a client and friend.