Every body is beautiful, and for far too long, the definition of beauty has been painfully narrow. Green Pea Salon’s YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL campaign aims to expand the definition of beauty through storytelling from real women and men who may be clients, friends, or just everyday Nashvillians we admire.
McKel Hill MS, RDN, LDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and founder of Nutrition Stripped, a healthy living website dedicated to helping women feel amazing through nourishing multiple pillars of health — and also feel good about the information they were getting about nutrition and wellness.
McKel's GPS stylist: Katya Kooienga
What do you find most beautiful in other human beings?
Compassion and emotional intelligence. I think these are two of many beautiful traits we express as humans and I'm a believer that in order to give the world compassion and empathy, you have to start with yourself first making sure you're loving yourself, taking care of yourself, speaking your needs, and truth. If you have that base covered, then you're able to really give back to other people from a place of abundance and kindness.
Self-care is vital to beauty. What’s your favorite outlet?
I'm a proud self-care junkie — from lighting palo santo, making hot tea, face masks, doing my nails, reading a book, making healthy (and delicious) foods and meals from Nutrition Stripped, having enough alone time to reset my energy, and morning routines are key!
Life is full of beautiful moments that keep us aware and grateful.
Do you have one you’d like to share?
One of the "quickest" ways that I'm reminded of the present moment and of gratitude is animals, especially our pup Luna. Animals are incredibly loving and always living in the present moment, so for me, they have a beautiful way of reminding me there are much bigger things in life than the million items on my to-do list, stressors, etc.
Insecurity affects us all. Have you discovered any tricks or tools to overcome it?
I've added a lot of tools over the years to overcome insecurities, but am constantly reminded it's a daily practice! One of the most important practices I do revolves around self-care. If I'm taking care of myself first, then I'm able to make clear decisions, focus, and of course, give back to others with the best energy and intention I possibly can. When I find myself not practicing self-care and putting myself low on the priority list, it's very easy for insecurities to start creeping in and taking over so having those firm routines keep me in check. Another tool I lean heavily into is support from family, friends, and this amazing community — it's human connection 101 and sharing how you feel and communicating about it is so important for our mental and emotional well-being.
What’s the one item from Green Pea Salon you can’t live without?
Whatever Katya chooses! She's a queen when it comes to taking care of my long blonde locks and one product she got me hooked on is the Olaplex line. It keeps hair really strong and healthy, especially with long hair I make sure I use minimal hot tools, air dry, and weekly hair masks!