You are currently viewing Word of Mouth: Nashville Conversations— McKel Hill, Nutrition Stripped

“Fine-tuning my message and being consistent with it has been the real key to my success.”

Full disclosure: I just sat through an hour’s worth of Nutrition Stripped Youtube videos and am feeling slightly envious. It’s the crumbs allover my counter compared to dietician nutritionist McKel Hill’s spick and span kitchen. I look wistfully at her Vitamix and glare at my own $30 Target blender. (First world frets, I know!) Instead of mimicking her avocado and kale meals I’ve had too many Tito’s on the rocks for dinner. Would she shake her head if she knew I had slammed an entire jar of peanut butter for dinner last night? (It was organic at least!)

Nah. Even if I hadn’t met McKel, I’d assume this Midwestern babe with the California cool vibe would get that we all fall short at times. Presenting a healthy lifestyle in laymen’s terms is why she has legions of followers after all.

The founder of globally-recognized healthy living website Nutrition Stripped, and the recently launched meal planning and wellness membership website the NS society, breaks the complicated junk into simple, small bites. While Hill takes her platform seriously, it is her kitchen dances and straightforward speak that have earned her an international fan club. She is transparent about her own struggles and will go to any length to make her viewers laugh. (My favorite photos on her beautiful Instagram account are when she shows off mad skills like balancing pineapples on her head.) If short, sweet and sassy are what her fans crave then she will spoon feed them green smoothies damnit—after all, it is the Stripped Society that keeps her shebang in business.

Whether it is her daily meditation practice or the rooibos tea she was sipping, Hill’s calmness during our conversation was infectious. She has the ability to steer a ship even when a million curveballs are coming her way. It is because the natural-born entrepreneur knows herself inside and out. Through self-reflection she was able to create something from scratch, and see it through to a full-blown empire.

In a hyper-competitive, cookie cutter market her spot-on brand blows the roof off the house.

How did you streamline the way in which you presented the Nutrition Stripped message?

MH: Nutrition school instructed us to develop programs in a very rote way, which made no sense because everyone’s bodies are so incredibly different. That’s when I stepped outside of the box to study integrative and holistic medicine. Rather than socialize, I’d stay at home and research. After soaking everything in, I decided that an open-minded approach to the health world was for me.

How do you balance your personal consultation work with creating original blog content, a cookbook, and ever-evolving business model?

I’ve learned when my prime time is to coach, write, design and market my brand. Since I do so much I’ve had to compartmentalize greatly over the last couple of years in order to stay in a specific frame of mind. I try to block out the first three days of every month to hammer out my editorial calendar, which keeps me in the writing zone. Then I’ll take two days to shoot my recipes and use the rest to design blog posts. Being protective of my time keeps me sane, focused and creative.

Can you help me get my shit together?

{Laughs} Being artistic and, at the same time, methodical is definitely not easy. Self-employment can sometimes feel like a lifetime of nonstop to-do lists, which wipes out your energy at times. Meditation helps me chill out.

Have you always been so disciplined?

I think it’s a combination of DNA and environment. I am independent and work best when there is a fire underneath me, which definitely breeds discipline.

How did you know this was your calling? A lot of people hear the phone ring and don’t answer.

Honestly, it came from investigating my innermost self. There, I found my happy place, which told me what to do. This started as a passion project, which I worked multiple jobs, clocking in 60+ hours a week, to make work. It was insane but I always had an end goal in mind. Once I realized that this path fulfilled me energetically and spiritually, I was fully onboard. Being in tune allows me to know what will be fruitful versus energy draining.

Someone said to me recently, “People don’t care about taking care of themselves.”

I disagree 100%.

Let’s have a debate!

{Laughs} I think universally, we all want to feel healthy, happy and grounded. Unfortunately, we’re all so busy and always reaching for more. We zap our own energy. My mentality is “do something about the bad habits rather than complain.” A lot of people don’t know how to create change and therefore, stay in the same boat. To do my life’s work I have to eat right, move, and meditate for mental freedom. Living optimally changes everything.

What has been the most rewarding thing about your business so far?

Reading through comments on my blog or hearing clients say, “you’ve made my life so much better” is amazing. Creating my forthcoming cookbook over a wild, two weeks in San Francisco was also a game changer. I overwrote the text by about 50,000 words. My editor had to tell me “stop!” because I could have kept going.

Was there a point, as a perfectionist, you just had to say “good enough?”

Absolutely, which goes back to my next level mentality: accomplish a goal and aim to do it better the next time.

My ethos is always “prove them wrong.” Is that healthy?

{Laughs} I always want to “prove myself right.” Still, at the end of the day, Nutrition Stripped will always strive to be relatable. I want to bring health and wellness back to basics, which means it’s easy to understand.

What’s your personal secret to success?

Showing up. Watching my dad run his business growing certainly instilled an entrepreneurial mindset in me however, building something from the ground up allowed me to gain my own perspective. Knowing I’ll never be a master at my game is actually comforting. The digital world is constantly in motion so I have to be as well.

Learn more about Nutrition Stripped here. 

Photography by Kelsey Cherry


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