Kristin Olenik, model, cleanse practitioner and founder of Kristin Olenik Wellness, didn’t eat the healthiest foods growing up. But despite that, she always intuitively knew diet was the key to her overall health. And she was right. The Hicksville, NY, native and LA resident is now helping clients discover the same thing through her company and @cleansewithkristin.
Despite research and attempts at healthier living early in her life, she still suffered from digestive issues and acne in her teens and early twenties. These problems repeatedly interfered with her dreams of becoming a model. After trying every cream and dermatologist possible, Olenik finally focused on her diet, and her career blossomed; she landed a spot with with Ford Models in NYC.
Later in her career, seeing the long-lasting results of supporting her body through thoughtful nutrition, she decided to become a health coach to help others who experienced similar challenges to her own. She earned her certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2014, and she has built her business right alongside her modeling career ever since. Below, she shares her personal experiences with cleansing, along with tips for those new to cleanses and how to understand individualized nutrition.
SBS: How did cleanses become your main focus?
Kristin Olenik: One area that really piqued my interest at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition was detoxing and cleansing. I studied various modalities of cleansing, from Ayurveda to juice cleanses and beyond.
Juice cleanses were particularly challenging for me, and I felt there had to be a way to initiate the cleansing process in the body by following a different path. Throughout my research, I discovered various different ways to cleanse the body while still being able to eat whole, plant-based foods. I created my signature, three-day Kickstart Cleanse by trying all of the cleanses out there (and I mean all of them!), deciphering which aspects worked for me and which didn’t .
My coaching practice, Kristin Olenik Wellness, was born out of my desire to help people feel and get well by cultivating a diet that would turn into a manageable lifestyle they could sustain for a lifetime. No fad diets here…just real food and no garbage, like nature intended.
My focus and go-to formula for clients wanting to overhaul their diets starts with my three day Kickstart Cleanse. It morphs into a program that allows them to take the principles of my cleanse and incorporate them into their everyday lives. I have found the benefits of cleansing to be far reaching, and so that’s always the starting point when I’m working one-on-one with clients.
SBS: How is your time split between this work and modeling? How do you manage multiple paths?
KO: It was always easy to maintain my modeling career while simultaneously coaching clients. The two seemed to go hand in hand because obviously modeling is very much about how you look. But what I was even more interested in was how I felt.
I work with my clients to create uniquely tailored monthly plans that allow their bodies to function at an optimal level, and this looks different for everyone. I really focus on each individual I’m working with and respect the fact that what works for one client may not be the strategy for the next. We are all so different. Our bodies require such vastly different approaches and nutrients. I focus on those nuances with each client, from things like blood type to activity level to lifestyle. That allows me to tailor my plans to fit each person’s unique needs.
SBS: What was the most surprisingly fun thing about becoming a Certified Health Coach? What was the hardest?
KO: I really enjoy working with people of all walks of life and finding the key to each person’s success in not only following my program but also in incorporating it into the way they live their lives. I’d say that’s the most exciting part and also the most challenging part. There is no one-size-fits-all diet, and one person’s poison might be another person’s medicine.
SBS: What’s your aim with your social media presence?
KO: My aim in 2022 is to really showcase what it is that I do and to allow people to see the benefit of living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. For many years, modeling was my main focus. I’m now transitioning to a place where my health coaching practice is taking center stage, and I couldn’t be more excited to help as many people as possible!
Follow me on @cleansewithkristin for my daily health routine. And, sneak peek: It usually involves green juices, lots of plant based goodness, and doggy/kitty love! My fur babies Winston (shepherd/husky mix) and Greylin (feline friend) always brighten up my day. I hope they’ll do the same for you!
SBS: What are the main mistakes you see in regards to overall wellness?
KO: The top mistakes I see people make with wellness is following what others are doing. I cannot stress enough that diet is a completely individualized thing, and the more you focus on what’s working for you personally and not what’s trending, the better results you will experience.
Another mistake is not getting enough hydration. It seems so simple but just that one aspect of how you care for yourself alone can really make a huge difference.
A couple other often overlooked areas include not getting enough sleep and not focusing enough on mental health. We cannot overlook caring for our mental well-being, especially in today’s climate of uncertainty amidst a global pandemic. Nourishing your mind equals nourishing your body. There is not one without the other. Overall health is not just about diet. It’s about the ‘food’ you give your brain, as well. That means positive thinking, therapy, meditation, yoga and whatever other hobbies or activities that light your fire! These all contribute to overall wellness.
SBS: What are your top tips for optimizing wellness?
KO: First, drink warm lemon water and take probiotics in the morning. Then, practice regular cleansing, of course (I recommend three or four times per year), and daily meditation to get your mind right!
SBS: What are the most common misconceptions about cleanses?
KO: The misconceptions about cleanses are that they are awful! They don’t have to be. You don’t have to suffer and starve yourself. That’s what differentiates my cleanse from others. You are incorporating whole, plant-based foods into a cleansing routine that includes not only juices but also smoothies, soups and a plant-based meal per day, as well as supplements that assist the body in the cleansing process and allow for elimination of toxins.That particular aspect is very lacking in most cleanses I’ve tried.
SBS: What are your tips for someone doing a cleanse for the first time?
KO: A first time cleanser should really make sure they prepare their body pre-cleanse in order to have a positive experience. I help my clients prep in advance by eliminating certain foods in the days leading up to the cleanse. You can’t just eat a burger or drink a bottle of wine and then start a cleanse the next day. Anybody who has done that has certainly not had a positive cleanse experience. It’s about being gentle and kind to your body.
SBS: How has your life changed during Covid?
KO: During Covid, my life has changed drastically. It’s been very difficult feeling less connected to family, loved ones and friends. That’s why it’s more important than ever to maintain a mental health routine that keeps your vibe high and your head in the right place. I’ve really had to dedicate myself to maintaining my meditation practice, often falling off and coming back to it again. It always centers me and brings me relief. I can’t help others feel their best unless I’m feeling my best.
Approaching each day with a grateful heart despite our experience seeming somehow ‘less’ than what we are used to allows us to maintain a positive attitude in even the most challenging times…and we are certainly in the midst of the challenges right now.
Compassion for others is one of those things that there can never be enough of, so I try to be mindful of that when I’m moving through my day. Recognizing that these are tough times and having an empathetic pulse for the experiences and feelings of others is the perfect recipe for today’s climate.
One positive change that I’ve experienced since the pandemic is having more time to focus on coaching my clients. I’m aiming to help more people than ever in 2022!
The best, zaniest part of being Kristin: I think the zaniest part about me is I have a sixth sense. I’m very intuitive, and I always have been. I’m tapping more into that as I learn and grow to trust my instincts. The best part about that, though, is that we all possess that internal knowing, and we can all tap into it if we quiet all of the chatter around us. You can expect more spiritually driven content and mindfulness-based programs from me in 2022!
Also, I’m obsessed with grocery shopping and checking out all new products. I love going into specialty grocery stores like Erewhon and seeing all they have to offer! And, their hot food bar is my go-to for a healthy meal in LA!
Kristin’s SBS Mantra: Be Calm is definitely resonating with me right now. I think we can all benefit from following that lead these days!
Kristin’s LA Faves:
Healthy Restaurant: Sweetgreen; Honey Hi in Echo Park because the breakfast bowl is the truth!
Splurge Restaurant: Felix Trattoria in Venice. I’m part Italian, and pizza and pasta are the way to my heart. Everything in moderation right?!
Nightlife Spot: My couch and Netflix are perfect.
Yoga Studios: Modo Yoga on La Brea, Sweat Yoga in Santa Monica and CorePower
Fitness Studio: Pilates Platinum in Venice
Fun Activity: Cooking
Calming Activity: Meditation and reading
Online Resources: MindBodyGreen, Well&Good, https://www.4yourtype.com/
Books: The Four Agreements and The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz, Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav, The Untethered Soul by Michael Alan Singer