Ever wonder how celebrities maintain their physiques year-round? Usually it's not just because they "eat whatever, in moderation." More often, celebrities are just like us: They splurge on an extra scoop of ice cream, hate working out, and sometimes need a little help getting into amazing shape, too.
Kelly LeVeque knows all about it. The L.A.-based health coach and holistic nutritionist has helped dozens of stars like Jessica Alba and Evan Peters get healthier and happier by cleaning up their diets. But she's not your typical green-juice-vegan-low-fat celebrity nutritionist—LeVeque is all about protein, greens, and healthy fats, and her clients love the results they see from working with her.
We peeked inside LeVeque's pantry to see where the magic happens, and we were surprised (and stoked!) by some of her essentials. Here are the favorites she always keeps on hand.
You read that right. LeVeque likes to replace beef with bison when making burgers and chili or grilling up steaks. A little leaner than the typical cut of beef, this healthy source of protein is typically grass-fed, which means there are more nutrients like B vitamins and folate.
"Sardines are an easy, affordable wild protein to keep on hand. This superfood is one of the most concentrated sources of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA and provides three times your need for B12," says LeVeque. Their nutrient content alone is enough to grin and bear it if you're not already a fan of the pungent little fish. Eager to try them but don't know where to start? This gluten-free pasta recipe with sardines and artichokes makes for an inspired, Paleo-friendly dinner.
Himalayan Pink Salt
"Ditch your table salt!" says LeVeque, who recommends Himalayan pink salt because it contains over 84 trace minerals and elements that can help the body function more efficiently. Compared to refined table salt, which is stripped of its minerals during heavy processing before it makes it to your table, Himalayan salt increases your electrolyte intake naturally when used to season proteins and veggies.
Okay, maybe not so surprising that a nutritionist has chia seeds, but LeVeque doesn't consider a smoothie finished unless she's added a tablespoon of these high-fiber, high-omega-3 fatty acids seeds into the blender.
The subtle, cooling garden veggie isn't just a vehicle for getting hummus into your mouth. Hydrating and nourishing, noshing on cucumber is awesome for maintaining healthy, glowing skin and improving digestion. LeVeque always has a few on her counter: "Blend a cucumber in your green smoothie, add a few slices to water to fight inflammation, or use cucumber slices as a quick water-packed replacement for crackers."
"Potato starch is a prebiotic, or a resistant starch that feeds your gut microbiome. Potato starch is linked to improved insulin sensitivity and decreased post-meal blood glucose levels," explains LeVeque. Commonly kept in the kitchen as a thickener—add it to gravy this Thanksgiving to keep things gluten-free—this form of resistant starch is excellent for digestion. Mix into water and chug, or throw some into your morning smoothie to stabilize blood sugar throughout the day.
Photo credit: Alicia Cho