Monday, June 24, 2024

Celebrity Nutritionist Kelly LeVeque The Fab Four Meal Plan

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Kelly LeVeque, CCN, is a bestselling author, clinical nutritionist, and holistic health coach to A-list celebrities like Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner, both of whom she recently helped prepare for acting roles. LeVeque is known for her Fab Four philosophy, which is a healthy method of eating that achieves balanced blood sugar levels and satiety, while allowing for food freedom. In other words, it’s not a diet. The formula teaches you to prioritize protein, fat, fiber, and greens — all of which, until I met LeVeque at a Now Foods-hosted wellness retreat — I was majorly lacking.

LeVeque and I sat down for a chat to analyze my meals and figure out why, on a mostly pescatarian/plant-based diet, I was experiencing a crash-and-crave cycle and felt unable to glean the full benefits of my daily workout. The most obvious reason was that I was only getting half the amount of protein that my body needs, which according to LeVeque is one gram per pound of body mass. In other words, a 130-pound person needs 130 grams of protein minimum.

“A lot of people are hitting 50 or 60 grams of protein per day,” LeVeque explained. “When I was working with Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry for their movies recently, they were both under-eating protein and fasting into an afternoon meal that had protein in it, plus a dinner meal. But I added either a smoothie or six ounces of salmon or steak to their breakfast.”

Not only did I stay full throughout the day, leading me to nix my usual distraction snacks, I had consistent energy and even started drinking less coffee.

Worth noting: the amounts LeVeque recommends are higher than the standard dietary recommendations of how much protein you should eat, which start at about 0.8 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight and can go up to 1.6 g per kg of bodyweight for very active people. There’s not necessarily research showing that eating more than that has any benefits, but every person is different, and some people may feel they do better on higher-protein diets.

My biggest question: could I get the right amount of protein while maintaining a plant-based diet? “It’s been 12 years for me and I’ve had these conversations with many a celebrity actually, where they’re like, ‘No, plant-based is better for you, meat is bad for you,'” LeVeque told me. “The reality is, plant-based proteins are not as bioavailable. So, if I give you 10 grams of protein in a complete animal source, you’re probably going to absorb the majority of that. But if I give you 10 grams of protein in a plant-based source, it could be six grams that you absorb.”

LeVeque is right that plant-based foods are often not complete sources of protein (meaning they don’t contain the nine essential amino acids your body needs). But that doesn’t mean you have to eat meat in order to increase your protein consumption. Combining different plant-based protein sources (like quinoa and beans or broccoli and tofu) can create a complete protein.

LeVeque elaborated that bioavailable sources of protein are used to heal, rebuild, and strengthen muscles, which informs your body’s metabolism. Of course, bio-individuality plays a part, but under-eating protein is what perpetuates a blood sugar spike — and that’s exactly what I had been experiencing on a daily basis. Like Garner and Berry, I was also fasting into a lunch where I then failed to fuel myself properly (celebrities, they’re just like us!).

I decided to try LeVeque’s recommendations for the following few weeks just to see how I felt, and the results were significant. Not only did I stay full throughout the day, leading me to nix my usual distraction snacks, but I also had consistent energy and even started drinking less coffee. I found that I could concentrate far later into the evening, which meant I got more work done and welcomed a weekly morale boost. While I certainly plan to mix up the dishes that you’ll see ahead, sampling this lifestyle has certainly made my body feel better.

Ahead, see what swaps LeVeque made to my meals to instill her Fab Four plan into my routine and what suggestions ended up working for me.

Experts Featured in This Article

Kelly LeVeque, CCN, is a clinical nutritionist and celebrity holistic health coach; the creator of the Fab Four fundamentals; author of “Body Love” and “Body Love Every Day”; host of the Be Well podcast; and founder of Be Well protein powder. She has partnered with Now Foods on an informative Smoothie Builder that incorporates her renowned Fab Four formula.

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