Monica: It’s so wonderful to chat with you, McKel! We’d love to know, what inspired the conception of Nutrition Stripped?
McKel: I started Nutrition Stripped as a creative outlet, which grew into a nutrition education company that turns 6 years old in 2019. I had no idea what it meant to own a company and grow a team, but I somehow found myself diving into entrepreneurship. With other career opportunities, I didn’t feel like I would use my unique skill set to make an impact in someone’s life in the way I knew I could — so I dedicated my life to make it happen with NS.
What motivated me to take that leap was a combination of things that occurred in my personal life, from health issues to an insatiable hunger to be a student while teaching others. In graduate school, I used myself as a guinea pig, trying out different lifestyle measures to see what made the most impact to my health so I could empathize while putting into action some tools for future clients.
It’s also been about honoring both sides of who I am as a person. Someone who is artistic and appreciates the science. It’s been about merging the art or the grey areas about what living well means with the sometimes black and white that science shows. I found my home professionally, in functional nutrition, where we truly get to the root problem or issue someone is facing then reverse engineer a way to get back to health. It’s a process that captures the full picture, including nutrition, stress management, support, joy, and sleep. It’s not just focusing on one pillar of health.
Monica: I appreciate how you’re able to blend together creativity and science in a way that makes learning fun and refreshing. What is the best way for others to engage in health and nutrition?
McKel: Healthy eating or learning about health and nutrition can seem overwhelming, but it’s important to just know you can take it step by step! I always recommend listening in to a couple outlets or resources that you align with, that are credentialed or at least have medical reviewers on their content, and that go with your lifestyle and vibe.
As a Registered Dietitian, I’ve dedicated my career with Nutrition Stripped to helping others discover, empower, and educate themselves on the best path for their health. It’s why I’ve built a nutrition and health education company that teaches the science of nutrition and the art of healthy living through online education courses, private coaching practice, and an ever-growing guided resource.
Through NS, I’ve been able to show my audience why health is a beautiful thing. It’s ever-growing, ever-changing, and moves with the ebb and flow of your life no matter what phase you’re in. More importantly, my work is about the human connection.
It’s understanding that we all universally have a goal to live a healthy life.
Granted, that definition of health will look and feel different for everyone, but it’s respecting that we all have unique paths to that. Health is something we all deserve to feel in our own definition, and I’m just one guide of many to help people discover that for themselves.
Monica: It’s so important to recognize health is a process of discovering what works best for each individual. How do you think that perspective can help with our understanding of health and happiness?
McKel: Health and happiness aren’t synonymous, but are deeply-connected touch points. For me, I feel my best and happiest when I know I’m nourishing my body, mind, spirit—but I could be physically “healthy” and still have a bad day emotionally speaking.
Happiness is also a state of perspective for me, making sure I’m viewing the world through gratitude, abundance, and care. Happiness can be quicker to come and go, than physical health. Typically, restoring health and also developing health conditions take time and require long-term actions.
It’s also important to first define these terms for yourself, and one thing that keeps me aware and present to both health and happiness is knowing what actions take me off track, and how I get back on. We’re all human, so health and happiness aren’t meant to be perfect. Rather, it’s a way your body is speaking to you about how you’re living.
Monica: That’s such a beautiful sentiment! How has that shaped your own views on staying healthy and happy, both personally and professionally?
McKel: Mental wellbeing is so important to address nowadays, and it’s deeply ingrained in my professional work and also how we educate as a company. Being an educator in nutrition and health has helped me practice what I preach wholeheartedly. Do I get off track like other people? Of course! But the beauty is I have the tools and strategies to find my way back to center, to feeling like my healthy self.
My personal definition of health and happiness has greatly influenced my work, and our work as a company! Even as a small startup, we make sure we know exactly why we’re doing what we’re doing — we say our vision, our mission, our core values out loud each week and we keep that the focus.
As a team, we also practice what we preach so it naturally runs through to everything we do to engage with our community from customer service, to coaching, to the products we create. But one of the best ways I stay in check and the team, is reading amazing emails from our community sharing their stories, how NS has impacted their lives, and connecting with them. That’s what it’s all about!
Monica: Hearing the impact you’re having on others must feel so meaningful and gratifying! How does that fuel the purpose behind what you do every day?
McKel: Both at the start and at the end of the day I meditate and ask myself how I made an impact. If that’s as small as answering a question from our community via email or as grand as the honor of hearing a client rave about how our coaching relationship has changed her health and life, then I’m doing my work with purpose. Purpose is about using my passions, strengths, and gifts to make an impact in someone else’s life.
Living a meaningful life is also about love and relationships: from spending time with my family, close friends, taking alone time to take care of myself, to giving back to the community or helping others that need it.
Purpose and meaning always come back to relationships and love, it’s that simple.
If I focus on showing up for myself fully in order to serve others with love and intention, then everything else falls into place. I really believe that’s the key: if we see the world through the lens of “how can I serve others?”, we would all have the ability to help each other more. The world would be a more compassionate place!
Monica: I couldn’t agree more, thank you so much for sharing that message! Before we go, what is one thing you’d like others to know that will help them thrive in life?
McKel: Show up fully for yourself first, so that you can show up fully for others. This is a mantra I tell myself each day, share with my team, and it couldn’t be truer. We all need to show ourselves compassion, love, forgiveness, and strength to show up and give that to others who are in need.