Healing from Within
Karley Kochenour, an integrative nutritionist and the founder of The Healthy You Wellness, LLC, offers actionable lifestyle solutions to help clients achieve greater wellness.
by Leigh Stuart

Countless people suffer from chronic fatigue, sugar cravings, mood swings, poor sleep, digestive distress, and weight-management issues. Although overcoming these ailments can seem like an insurmountable challenge, Karley Kochenour believes the path to improved health is well within reach without having to drastically change your lifestyle or stop eating the foods you love.

Karley knows from firsthand experience. For years, she experienced chronic inflammation and a variety of digestive issues, none of which anyone seemed able to explain.
“I’d been to so many different doctors who would just prescribe a certain medication, and would shake off my concerns like they were nothing,” says Karley, a Penn State University alumna. “Everything just felt like a Band-Aid approach instead of a long-term solution. That’s how I got into nutrition, and healing from within.”
This initial spark led Karley to pursue and earn credentials from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, including a gut-health specialization and certification as an integrative nutritionist. Through education, she was able to make lifestyle changes that healed her body and spirit. She has since gone on to help many others with a range of health issues—bloating discomfort, chronic fatigue, sugar cravings, and more—through the company she founded, The Healthy You Wellness, LLC.
“Through my one-on-one coaching sessions, I work with my clients to get to the root cause of their health issues and then develop a personalized nutrition and lifestyle protocol to help them achieve their goals and create sustainable change,” she adds. “I meet my clients where they are in their health journey by addressing their unique concerns and helping them heal through blood-sugar balancing and gut-healing techniques. The world is now saturated with so much nutrition and weight-loss information that it is hard to know what choices are best for your unique goals and needs. Having a coach is so beneficial because it can help you sift through the information overload.”
Her studies also helped her discover the truth about sugar and its impact on the body. Balanced blood sugar goes hand in hand with gut health, and finding that balance can “really heal us from the inside out,” she says.
What sets Karley apart from others in similar fields is her commitment to holistic wellness. She looks at “the whole person,” not just one aspect of a client’s life. She also believes in the client-coach relationship. “It is extremely important to me to make sure my clients feel heard and supported,” she emphasizes.
“I’m not just looking at the food someone is eating but how they’re eating, their stress levels, and their sleep quality and quantity, along with numerous other factors that could be contributing to their discomfort,” she says. “There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Anyone can say that you need these [macronutrients], or to eat this certain way, but what works for one person is not going to work for everyone. That’s the beauty of having a personalized coach, someone who completely individualizes your program so it works for you.”
She already had a background as a personal trainer, but adding nutrition to her skillset about three years ago “changed everything in the best possible way.”
“When I first dove into the fitness industry, it was saturated with counting macros and calories and following very restrictive, rigid diets,” she says. “I tried that. When I did, I felt inflamed and bloated all the time, not to mention how much stress it created when a particular diet didn’t end up working for me.
“I was adding sugar alcohols into my diet to cut calories,” she continues. “When I dove deep into understanding nutrition, I discovered that counting calories and restrictive diets head us in the wrong direction and can start a downward spiral of an unhealthy relationship with food.”
With her coaching, Karley helps clients understand the science behind fats and sugars and the ways in which they affect our bodies. Many people have an ingrained fear of fat, but Karley emphasizes that fat is actually a “slow-burning fuel,” and a necessary part of a healthy diet. “It’s actually the blood-sugar spikes that create insulin resistance that then force the body to store fat,” she says.
She references the “hangry” (hungry and angry) feeling that people often experience in the mid-afternoon, ravenous for a snack.
“In reality,” she says, “if you add a tablespoon of nut butter to your apple as a snack instead of eating the apple on its own, you will lower your glucose curve and provide your body with long-lasting energy instead of feeling tired or hungry an hour or two later.
“It’s important to understand that every food we eat contains a different amount of glucose,” she continues, “so when we eat carbohydrates such as apples without a protein or a fat, we are inadvertently spiking our blood sugar. This will lead to a drop in glucose levels a few hours later. This is what we call a blood-sugar roller coaster.”
Not only does sugar prompt weight gain, but it may also contribute to premature aging. A process known as glycation involves excess glucose attaching to proteins in the skin, thereby damaging collagen and elastin fibers. “The more sugar we eat, the more glycation happens in our bodies,” Karley says. “Once collagen has been glycated, that’s when skin loses elasticity. You can’t reverse it, but you can prevent it by balancing your blood sugar.”
Popular diet foods, including diet soft drinks, are the equivalent of wolves in sheep’s clothing. These products are marketed as being healthy because they have zero calories, but Karley suggests that some of these artificial sweeteners can “spike blood sugar and leave us wanting more sweet foods.”
“I always say I want my clients to thrive, not just survive,” she says. “I felt I was just surviving in the fitness industry with all the calorie counting and restrictions. Now, I feel I’m thriving because I’m focused more on balancing my plate, and understanding nutrients and how the body benefits from them, versus just looking at a number of calories, fat content, or sugar content in a certain food.”
When it comes down to it, a “balanced plate” can make an astounding impact on a journey to better health. A good rule of thumb: Every meal should include a protein, a fat, and a carbohydrate. Interestingly enough, the order in which you eat your food can help reduce your glucose curve and therefore aid in weight loss, increase energy, and decrease cravings—all without having to actually change anything about your current diet. These nuggets of advice are just the tip of the iceberg. In her one-on-one sessions, Karley offers a completely customized wellness plan for each individual, including weekly meetings to help with meal planning and education on a variety of topics.
“My goal is to leave clients feeling confident that they can achieve their wellness goals on their own,” she says. “I am always there with 100 percent support, but by providing actionable steps, clients can gain the confidence that they can make the right decisions for themselves going forward.
“This is not a quick fix, or an overnight 10-pound weight loss,” she continues. “This is a lifestyle change. I want to educate as many people as I can, so they go on to educate their loved ones and the people around them, spreading the awareness of the benefits of good health.”
The Healthy You Wellness, LLC
Facebook: @karley.nicole.18
Instagram: @healthywithkarley
Karley is currently accepting new clients. Contact her by email to book a free, no-obligation information session.
Photo by Alison Dunlap
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, January 2023.