Nov. 28. 2016
Written By:
McKel (Hill) Kooienga
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped® and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

Happy Monday guys! Today I’m continuing the NS Lifestyle series by sharing the fifth pillar of health according to NS – love. I don’t mean ooey-gooey romantic love (though that’s not a bad thing!), but more how to manifest love in your life in different ways to help feel your best and stay balanced. Love can be included in your lifestyle in so many different ways and in my opinion is so important that it’s one of the 6 foundational pillars of health in the NS lifestyle. Keep reading to learn how to include love in your life to feel amazing and live whole.

To catch you up to speed in case you missed it, the NS lifestyle is based on 10 areas of wellness that I think are vital to a balanced wellbeing. The first 6 are foundational and vital to feeling balanced and living whole, and the other four are supportive pillars that enhance your health once the first 6 are on lock. They are:

♦ 01. SQUAD ♦ 02. STRESS ♦ 03. BODY ♦ 04. NOURISHMENT ♦ 05. LOVE ♦ 06. SLEEP ♦ 07. EXPLORE ♦ 08. CENTER ♦ 09. MANIFEST ♦ 10. NATURE

I’ve already shared about building a supportive squad, managing stress, moving your bod, and nourishing your body through a whole foods lifestyle. The 5th pillar is love, and it can be manifested in many different ways. Romantic love (if you’ve got that going on) can be a huge source of energy and support in a healthy lifestyle. But it’s not the only way to give and receive love (and shouldn’t be the only way!). Love between you and your family, friends, yourself, and community is just as important and powerful in helping you feel amazing.

No 01

Love your people. Make time to spend with those you care about the most. And I don’t mean sitting beside each other on the couch scrolling through the internet or watching TV! I mean purposeful, intentional time to just be together, catch up, and build love. Giving support and intentional time is just as important as receiving. There’s no better feeling than knowing your presence and effort is genuinely appreciated and cared for! Try this: have friends over for a healthy dinner or casual hangs with healthy snacks like popcorn, energy balls, or these brownies. Carve out time to spend with your family like taking a walk or just a quick chat to catch up and share some love. If you have a special someone, try to make time for date nights and put the phone away, turn off the TV, and really talk and engage with each other.

No 02

Love your community. This is a huge way to spread some love and so important to living whole. Sharing your time, energy, or resources with those in your local or even global community is so important for staying grounded and spreading the love you have. With Giving Tuesday coming up tomorrow there are SO many ways you can love your community. Try this: Volunteer some of your time with a local organization, put aside a bit of your income to give back, or use the purchases you already make in a purposeful way. I’ve teamed up with my pals at

I’ve teamed up with my pals at Haiti Design Co. to share one way to do that last suggestion! Haiti Design Co’s workshop is the home of Haitian seamstresses, jewelry makers, and leather craftsmen. They work to provide jobs for local Haitian artisans and also work to connect these talented makers with access to healthcare, continuing education, skill training, and nutrition. They’ve recently started the Banana Leaf Initiative that’s aimed to support sustainable living, health and nutrition, and community building. BLI recently turned their roof into a garden that grows fresh fruit and vegetables for their community which you know I geeked out about. Check out the photos of their awesome fruits and vegetables thriving on the roof!

You can get involved and spread the love, too! Haiti Design Co has designed and produced mala style bracelets and necklaces with the cutest banana charms made by their talented artisans. The coolest part is that all of the proceeds from the sale will go towards supporting the Banana Leaf Initiative and will help to spread health and nutrition in Haiti. You can be reminded every day of spreading love and that reminder radiate into your wellbeing. I’m so honored to be a small part of the work they’re doing! Shop for yourself or for gifts this holiday season and feel good knowing that your purchase is directly supporting the livelihoods of the Port au Prince community. Shop BLI jewelry HERE.

No 03

Love yourself. I almost sound like a broken record, but I’m more convinced than ever of the power of self care to stay balanced after the busy season that was the release of the NS Cookbook. Prioritizing just a few minutes for yourself every day to do something you enjoy, meditate, journal, or move your body is incredibly powerful to your health and well-being. You can read up on the basics of self care and self love here and check out my favorite ways to get in your daily dose of lovin’ yourself in this post.

Spread the love.

What are your favorite ways to love and be loved? Share them in the comments, I’m always looking for new perspectives and LOVE hearing what you guys think! Let’s get the convo going, so share how you spread love in the comments!

xx McKel