Kellie Hill is a nutritional therapy practitioner, best-selling author, and television personality. She is the Founder of The Right Plan, LLC, a health and fitness company that offers nutrition counseling. Kellie is also a local Ambassador for the American Heart Association and Mended Hearts Visitor, she continues to devote her life and work to helping others find their healthiest diet too.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I’m the sixth generation from Southern Oregon. I was raised in an average lower, middle-class white family. My parents had skills and were able to buy a house, fix it up and resell until they were able to purchase my mother’s dream home where my mom lived for another decade after his death.
My parents moved from lower middle class to middle class by working hard and building a business. Watching them both work to ensure there was food on the table, clothes on our backs, and a bit of spare money for fun taught me a lot about responsibility and choices. Seeing the sacrifices they made so their children could have more than they had was a deep-seeded lesson and one I hope I am continuing.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
I wish I had realized that it is better to work on your greatest skillset rather than trying to improve your weaknesses. For example, I hate bookkeeping; I’m slow at it and I’m not very proficient but to be what I thought was a well-balanced entrepreneur I kept at it for years. Once I realized it was a better use of time and money to have an expert do my bookkeeping, I was freed up to give additional energy to areas of my business that allowed for me to quickly become more successful. I wish I could get the years back that I spent trying to improve my weaknesses rather than focusing on my strengths!
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
In the world of nutrition, there is a lot of bad advice. For practitioners, probably the worse is both ends of the spectrum about education. Many “nutritionists” take a weekend course and become the experts at a local gym. That may be a great start, especially financially, but there’s no substitute for extensive, quality training. But, at the other end are people who rack up great debt receiving lots of education, and may not be able to find a job. No one path is correct for everyone.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
My medical journey has been the darkest time in my life. At the age of 42, I had my first heart attack. Over the next eight years, I suffered a total of five heart attacks, received three stents, had bypass surgery, and suffered two strokes. Recovery from the second stroke took almost a year and occasionally, especially when I’m tired, there can still be some residual effects.
Although I couldn’t see it at the time, I recognize now that my medical journey was a learning experience of finding compassion, love, and understanding. I learned to focus on health from more than just a physical perspective. I learned to balance the health of the mind, body, and soul. My learning and journey continue and will be a lifelong adventure.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Authenticity. I wasn’t comfortable being forthcoming after my first heart attack. I wanted to hide the experience. I questioned who would want to work with a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner who had a heart attack. But, by not expressing my experience my business struggled because I wasn’t being authentic. As soon as I acknowledged my medical issues, even though it was scary, my business soared. Once I was steeped in my authenticity (again) I was highlighted around the country on television and stages, became a local ambassador for the American Heart Association, and was asked to Washington DC to speak alongside Bob Hunter to a number of Congresspeople.
What is your morning routine?
I still have one child at home so my morning routine has been dependent on a constantly changing school schedule over the last year. That said, the average day has me waking up at 7:11 a.m. to use the bathroom, brush my teeth, and get dressed before ensuring my son is awake by 7:20 a.m. I unload the dishwasher and wash any leftover dishes from the night before. I make us both breakfasts. I then drive him to school. Depending on the day I either go for a walk or head to the park to play tennis. After I spend about 45 mins stretching and listening to a podcast or audiobook. Then I shower. Finally, I spend at least 30 minutes meditating. Usually, by then it’s lunchtime. After lunch, it’s time for work before I have to pick my son up from school.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
Without a doubt adding regular meditation into my schedule has had the greatest impact and improvement on my life. From starting with calming breaths to being able to enjoy walking mediation to sitting for a half-hour in contemplative silence all have enabled me to have a greater capacity for love, understanding, and compassion while decreasing my stress level and improving my health physically, mentally, and spiritually. My success and satisfaction have increased dramatically while any obstacles never seems as troubling.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
My calendar is my most important tool. I schedule time for my workouts and meditation just like I’d schedule any other appointment. I don’t answer the phone or emails during scheduled events considering this time as just as important as if I was at a doctor’s appointment. I also block time for networking so I continue to work on my business as well as in my business. All of this allows me to stay focused on the task at hand. If my focus waivers then I spend five minutes with a guided meditation and return to tasks with renewed efficiency.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
I read an average of seven books per month (yes, I actually track that) so it’s hard to know which has influenced my life the most. Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh is one of the few books I’ve read multiple times. This is one of the first books I ever read expressing the fear of change, finding love to erase change, and recognizing that beauty can only bloom when framed in space. Dr. Martin Luther King’s Why We Can’t Wait is another book I’ve read multiple times. Sadly, it is just as relevant today as it was when first written in 1963. Finally, Eckart Tolle’s Practicing the Power of Now is always on my bedside table as I frequently need to reread a section; it’s not only a good teaching book, it’s a good reference book.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
I’m not sure who said either of these but they are always by my computer:
“Never sacrifice who you are just because someone has a problem with it.”
“Dare to be your own definition of perfection.”