Eating for Health
Local nutrition expert Molly Kimball shares her wisdom.
Molly Kimball is a well-known figure in the health and wellness industry. Not only is she an established nutrition consultant; a registered dietitian; and board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics, but she’s also a nutrition columnist for NOLA.com|The Times Picayune; a nutrition and fitness expert for WGNO News with a weekly segment called Get the Skinny with Molly; and the founder of Ochsner’s Eat Fit NOLA. “I love that there are many different pieces of my career, yet each of these vastly different roles have the same end-goal and mission,” she says. “I love being able to connect with people and have a positive impact on their lives. It’s incredibly rewarding when a client, a reader or a fan of Eat Fit NOLA tells me that some area of their life has been improved because of something we’ve done.”
Kimball was born and raised in Baton Rouge, and she moved to New Orleans in 1998 for her dietetics internship after graduating from LSU (with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition & Dietetics and a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science & Technology). “My dad was a strong influencer in my career,” she says. “He was passionate about living a healthful lifestyle well before it was as mainstream as it is today. He was a runner for decades and always strived to learn as much as possible about nutrition and wellness. I finished my post-college dietetic internship and became a Registered Dietician in 1999. That’s when I started the Nutrition program at Ochsner Fitness Center (formerly Elmwood Fitness Center).”
Her goal is to make things as simple as possible so that a healthy lifestyle is well within reach. She does this by filtering out the stuff that can overwhelm and complicate things unnecessarily; streamlining complex information down to what matters most; and taking the guesswork out of it.
“The different aspects of each of my jobs allow me to connect and communicate with our community in unique ways,” Kimball says. “From Eat Fit NOLA to one-on-one nutrition consults to corporate wellness workshops to my weekly column in NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune to my weekly TV segments on WGNO — each of these layers of outreach are incredible opportunities to provide solid nutrition information, to inspire, educate and motivate the people of our community and beyond.”
ON STAYING MOTIVATED
“I notice a huge difference in how my nutrition and exercise patterns impact my energy levels, my brainpower and my overall sense of wellbeing,” Kimball says. “I feel really great — strong, balanced and energetic — the vast majority of the time. So if I have something different, say more carbs and less protein at breakfast, I really notice a drastic difference. And whatever that food is — waffle, pancake, cereal, you name it — just really isn’t that worth it to not feel good.”
“If I love it, I’ll have it,” Kimball says. “There’s nothing that I view as off limits if I really want it. But for the most part, my diet is centered on lean proteins — lots of omega 3-rich fish — and vegetables relatively low in starchy carbs (though I love good bread and butter, or bread dipped in olive oil, when I’m out to dinner). Some of my usual foods include grilled salmon; sashimi or sushi rolls without rice; a filet of beef; roasted yellow, orange and red bell peppers; protein bars; protein powders; and vegetable juice.”
“I’ve been working with many of my clients for 15+ years … over their time working with me, there are many that come to mind that have made significant changes in their lives and are now inspiring others to live their strongest healthiest lives possible,” Kimball says. “Because so much of what we eat has to do with what’s in our minds and our hearts, my work with clients (and my articles) include a strong focus on stress management, de-cluttering our lives, clearing or improving toxic relationships and environments — and, as a result, I’ve been honored to be a part of the transformation, both inside and out, with many of my clients and readers.”
“Take a close, honest look at your diet and lifestyle, and see where you have the biggest room for improvement,” Kimball says. “Don’t waste too much time focusing on things that won’t really have much impact. And don’t be so hard on yourself if things aren’t perfect! If you’re improving areas of your life, small bits at a time, give yourself that recognition, that little celebration, those words of encouragement that you’d give to one of your close friends. And if you’re really serious about it, reach out and set a consultation with one of our registered dietitians at Ochsner Fitness Center — you can meet our nutritionists Alexis Weilbaecher and Rebecca Miller (and the rest of our Ochsner Eat Fit nutrition team) at ochsnerfitness.com.”