- Words by Angela Cowan Photography by Shawn Talbot
Mere moments into a conversation with personal trainer and private chef Elle Jolie and it’s abundantly clear that she is in the right profession. Energetic and passionate, she’s devoted her professional life to building up women—physically, mentally and emotionally.
“I had been working with women in the kitchen already in terms of health and nutrition,” says Elle, who moved to Kelowna just over a year ago and worked as a private chef for years. An avid trainer in her personal life, she started to put together training programs for friends when her life changed dramatically.
In the summer of 2018, she was T-boned on her bicycle by another rider, and ended up in emergency with life-threatening injuries. Her painful recovery took almost three years, during which she developed her own training and mindful meditation program to bring down inflammation and manage the stress of chronic pain.
Inspired by her own incredible results, Elle began working on accreditation from the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and developed the integrated training program she now uses with her female clientele.
This past fall, she opened the doors to Elle Jolie Wellness, a women’s health and wellness coaching program, and she is elated with the women who have joined the program.
“Women supporting women in business here in Kelowna is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I definitely chose the right city to start this business,” she says.
“I train clients in resistance training. I teach them to make incredible culinary dishes, and we do a mindful meditation practice in the gym as well,” she says, adding that a lot of what she focuses on is empowering the relationship women have to their bodies, their food and their minds.
Women tend to gravitate towards cardio and can find resistance training quite intimidating, she says, but “muscle is everything.”
“If you want to offset the effects of aging, building muscle with a proper macro nutrient diet with healthy carbohydrates, protein and fat is where it’s at.”
Elle draws on her years of experience as a private chef to rejuvenate her clients’ relationship with food, reigniting a love affair with what’s on the plate. And the mindful meditation practices are based on confidence, inner peace and surrender, helping to create balance in what’s been an extraordinarily stressful time for everyone.
“It’s a very holistic, life-encompassing program.”
The 7 Sins
Whose shoes would you like to walk in?
Betty White. This woman thrills me on so many levels. She’s the grand dame of comedy, class and grit who has endured the Hollywood industry for more than 70 years! She was one of the first females of her generation who referred to herself as sexy, and was unapologetically herself. And she started the first female-owned production company in Hollywood, giving herself and other women more control over the film options available. This glorious gal has gumption in spades, a dirty mind that resonates without crossing too many boundaries, and a kind heart.
What is the food you could eat over and over again?
I did my culinary training in Italy, so I would say my fresh pasta Bolognese, and a slice of my chocolate cake with maple-whiskey-soaked strawberries. I’d drizzle my Caesar dressing over the whole meal because it’s literally good on everything! And I’d wash it all down with a huge glass of Oak & Priest Petite Sirah.
You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?
That’s easy. I would train at Cordon Bleu in Paris for a year. I would purchase a plethora of candles and burn them with wild abandon, and buy yummy-smelling fragrances. I would buy an armoire and fill it with my favourite jewellery from Rubaiyat and Tiffany & Co. That would be a year to remember.
Rude drivers, malls and price tags that stick to your purchases.
Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?
This is the hardest question of all for me. I take very little joy in just doing nothing. I suppose a boutique-style resort for a few minutes might be lovely. But working with my female clientele to properly nourish, strengthen and heal themselves from the inside out brings me the most peace and fulfillment.
What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of?
Becoming a strength and conditioning coach in my 50s! It’s badass!
What makes your heart beat faster?
When I witness a woman who, at the beginning of working together, expressed only doubt, was exhausted, lacked vitality and purpose, to then watch this client transform and lean into her strength, emanate confidence and walk proudly…I’ll tell you, it doesn’t just make my heart beat faster. These hard-earned transformations make my heart completely melt.