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 Emmy Rossum, Jessica Alba, and Chelsea Handler 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.)
This week? Molly Sims. The model, actress, and mother of three was already a master multitasker when she and LeVeque met. At the time, Sims was pregnant with her youngest child and proactively looking for a healthy plan for getting back into shape after she gave birth. Here’s the all-star intel.
Molly Sims, 44, is a supermom, supermodel, successful actress (Las Vegas), and New York Times best-selling author—her new book’s called Everyday Chic: My Secrets for Entertaining, Organizing, and Decorating at Home, and it’s full of amazingness.
We started working together during her third trimester and developed a postpartum program aimed at helping her lose the baby weight—part of which included building lean strength and muscle to boost her metabolism. When Molly was cleared to exercise, she got up daily to move at 6 a.m. (With 3 kiddos under 5 years old, if she didn’t do it then, it just wouldn’t happen.) She worked with Lo Roxburgh to foam roll her body into alignment and help her hips come back together. She also worked out with Simone De La Rue of Body By Simone (and a few master trainers from the studio when Simone wasn’t in town).
Molly has amazing attention to detail, which means I was able to give her enough structure to feel empowered, but then her diligence did the rest. Once we had a plan, all she had to do was execute.
Here’s the nutrition protocol I prescribed Molly to help her lose her baby weight the healthy way.
Cool-girl client: Molly makes stuff happen! When she puts her mind to something, it’s just a matter of time.
Why she came to me for coaching: She wanted to keep her milk production high and then focus on shedding her baby weight by eating clean and concentrating on her nutrition—not by depriving herself. After 25 years of modeling, deprivation was Molly’s default mode. This is so common for many women—it’s a product of the diet-and-calorie-counting mentality a lot of us grew up with.
My nutrition prescription: For Molly, it was really about education and [establishing a healthy mindset]. I explained the science behind blood sugar, insulin, and cravings. Doing so helped her stop counting calories and instead enjoy foods that were better for her—even if that meant they were calorically more dense. Then, it was about developing a livable regimen, or “light structure” as I like to call it. I recommended she eat three meals per day (comprised of the Fab Four: protein, fat, fiber, and greens), told her not to skip a meal, and advised her to add a bridge snack in the afternoon if she needed it. Molly is busy, busy, busy, so we made sure she was prepared. Her fridge was dialed-in with the Fab Four—you can take a tour of it here.
It isn’t about restrictive lists or making your life miserable—it’s all about the upgrade.
The game-changing meal for her plan: Molly likes flexibility. For breakfast, she enjoys eggs (which I like because of the protein), and if she’s on the go, she grounds herself with a Fab Four Smoothie. We also cleaned up her coffee drinks, because there was a lot of sugar in what she was having. Molly ditched chemical sweeteners—they’re highly addictive, can feed bad bacteria in the gut, like yeast and candida, and are known for gastrointestinal distress, including bloating, gas, and diarrhea. If you must have your coffee “sweetened,” opt for organic stevia drops, monk fruit or Yacon syrup—they’re all low- or no-calorie sweeteners made from whole food ingredients.
For lunch, all her prep work paid off: She was able to build Fab Four meals so easily. (If you like to prep, I recommend thinking in three-day increments max—it gives you flexibility.) She used bridge snacks like Primal Kitchen bars and hard-boiled eggs when needed. Molly also stopped eating her kids’ food and followed my carbohydrate suggestions to fuel without storing fat.
Another dish Molly loves? Soups! She makes one every week, and I’m all for it if she needs a healthy option in between lunch and dinner. The reason I approve is because she makes them with things like bone broth, coconut or avocado oil, and non-starchy vegetables like zucchini or broccoli. All together, these ingredients pack a clean, Fab-Four punch.
I also support soup because it’s something that helps her avoid grazing at her kids’ early-evening dinner hour. Molly and her husband attend a lot of dinners and social functions every week. So many of my clients face these “restaurant and party wars,” too—but I teach them to ditch the drama by making healthy choices beforehand. One technique that really resonated with Molly was what I call a “roadie.” It’s basically just a smaller, on-the-go Fab Four Smoothie, and it helped her arrive to events feeling balanced. My suggestion is to have 15 grams of protein, so you don’t feel ravenous and grab the first appetizer without thinking. Protein and fat help to balance blood sugar and make us feel satiated! Simply grab a packet of clean protein powder, unsweetened almond milk (or water), and a BlenderBottle, and shake it up.
The real-girl hurdle she had to clear along the way: The first time we met, Molly and I were going through her fridge talking about swapping her food for healthier options, when she suddenly clutched her beloved Kraft Parmesan cheese. (She loves it on top of her soup and jokingly begged for it to stay!) I laughed, and it stayed—but what I did do was empower her to make cleaner choices. I recommended a few organic options and also raw sheep and goat versions. It isn’t about restrictive lists or making your life miserable—it’s all about the upgrade.