Kendall Roche Of Paradise Plates: “Be Open Minded”

Be Open Minded: The health and wellness industry is forever changing. There is always a new diet trend, workout, or product on the market. As a leader in the Health and Wellness industry, you need to be open to always learning new things and educating yourself in order to provide clients with the most up to date information.

The global health and wellness market is worth more than 1.5 trillion dollars. So many people are looking to improve their physical, mental, and emotional wellness. At the same time, so many people are needed to help provide these services. What does it take to create a highly successful career in the health and wellness industry?

In this interview series called “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The Health and Wellness Industry” we are talking to health and wellness professionals who can share insights and stories from their experiences.

In this particular interview, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Kendall Roche.

Kendall is a certified Nutrition and Wellness Coach and the owner of Paradise Plates, an online based business focused on coaching clients with meal planning, while spreading body positivity through her own health journey. Kendall has been an athlete her whole life and is motivated by helping others feel the best they can. She studied biology at Florida Southern College, where she earned her Bachelors of Science degree. She is currently in the process of applying to Physical Therapy Assistant school which she hopes can give her the tools to develop a sport specific training program for injured athletes in the future, combining both her Nutrition background and PTA degree.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you grew up?

I’m from a small town of Freehold, NJ and I was always extremely active. My parents encouraged my siblings and I to try different sports. Each of us were three seasoned athletes for school, in addition to skiing and snowboarding in the winter and surfing consistently in the summers. A lot of my childhood memories involve trips that I have gone on with my family. I’m thankful that my parents were travelers because it is something they have passed down to me. I want to see the world and everything it has to offer because there is so much out there to explore and more that I can learn. This love of traveling has only intensified my love of nutrition and wellness because being at my best is what allows me to travel to all of these new places.

Was there a particular person or event that inspired you to live a wellness-focused lifestyle? Can you tell us about your main motivation to go all in?

Growing up being active, my life was centered around sport: the thrill of catching the perfect wave, running with the soccer ball towards net, turning the last curve on a 400m sprint, snowboarding at sunset with perfect conditions is was drove me. I was injured in high school and my life turned upside down. I couldn’t play the sports I loved and I had to learn how to adapt to a life without sports. I remember not being able to climb the peak of a mountain in Spain in fear I would take one fall and re-injure myself. Long story short, I got really fed up with saying no and sitting on the side lines. I was tired of not having all the things that made me who I am. I started increasing my workouts, eating better. I was already pursuing a career in physical therapy and becoming a Nutrition and Wellness Coach seemed to compliment my future career. The motivation for me is to never have to say “no” again due to body limitations.

Most people with a wellbeing centered lifestyle have a “go-to” activity, exercise, beverage, or food that is part of their routine. What is yours and can you tell us how it helps you?

Surprisingly enough, running! There is something about putting on good music and hitting the ground. I get a thrill out of seeing how far and fast my legs can take me. When I am running short on time for a workout during a busy day, I know hitting the streets for a run will help me to keep moving and also relieve stress. I always feel a thousand times better after a run!

To live a wellness-focused life is one thing, but how did it become your career? How did it all start?

It started with tearing my ACL and meniscus in in high school while snowboarding. I had an infection, which resulted in eight total surgeries, IV pic lines, a lot of medicine, and basically living in physical therapy. As if eight surgeries wasn’t enough, I had to play a pick up game of soccer and tear my other ACL and meniscus! It was through this experience I decided to pursue a career in physical therapy, which I am currently getting ready to apply to physical therapy assistant school. I was surrounded by health and wellness daily and was inspired by my colleagues. I wanted to not just help my future patients heal after an injury, but I wanted to be able to give them more help in their overall health. I’m motivated by being able to give people the necessary tools they need in order to fell their best both physically and mentally.

Can you share a story about the biggest challenges you faced when you were first starting? How did you resolve that? What are the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

When you start a career in the health and wellness industry, people automatically assume you should fit some sort of cookie cutter image they already prepared in their head. To me, that was nothing new to me. I grew up looking like I wasn’t fast on the soccer field or could easily surf the line up. When you become a person that represents “health” and “wellness”, negative comments can follow when you don’t look like someone’s version of health and wellness. One challenge I never thought I had to face was negative social media comments. It took a lot for me to ignore it all. Through this, I learned that the most important opinion about your own body is yourself. It’s not always as easy as ignoring it. It takes time and patience and a lot of self love. This whole experience has given me a greater form of self love I never knew existed.

Can you share with us how the work you are doing is helping to make a bigger impact in the world? Can you share a story that illustrates that?

I think what I am doing is just a small part of the bigger picture. What I strive to do everyday is to empower people to be a better version of themselves, love themselves, love their bodies, spread mental health awareness, and motivate others to stay active. Being a leader, you sometimes don’t realize who’s watching until someone reaches out to tell their story, about how you inspire them to keep going and be healthier. If I could just touch one person, then I did my job. Success isn’t measured by numbers. If you can change one persons life, that’s a success within itself.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I am currently focusing on writing guides for my clients and followers. I have combined some of the things I love with wellness, including guides for how to stay active and healthy while traveling. Other guides will be focused on how to meal prep, which I know can be so challenging for beginners. There is a plethora of information out there but I believe that having more specific guides centered around one topic will help people improve in areas they want to focus on.

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

I strive to be a positive person. I strive to find the good in every situation and outcome. I have learned that when you focus on the negative things in life, you miss out on all of the good that surrounds you. Take the negative social media comments I received. Once I stopped focusing on the negative ones, I was able to see how many more positive ones their were of people telling me how motivated my work makes them. I also think my open mindedness has helped me to become successful. I was able to welcome new ideas that has helped me grow not only as a small company, but as a person too. Lastly, my motivation for help others has pushed me to keep adapting and improving to help my clients in more ways than one. I want to be the best for them so I can help them reach their goals.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Let’s begin with a basic definition of terms so that all of us are on the same page. Wellness is an incredibly broad topic. How would you define the term “Wellness”? Can you explain what you mean?

Wellness has evolved over the years, which is something I am so proud to see and experience! I think wellness used to be centered around women getting tiny waists and men getting bigger muscles. It has shifted focus on being inclusive to everyone, such as representation of plus size men and women in the fitness world. In the end, wellness isn’t just about looking a certain way. It’s about learning how to love yourself enough to give your body everything it needs to remain happy and healthy through life, no matter what stage you’re at. This doesn’t involved just working out; it involves doing things that make you happy for your mental health, eating well to prevent disease, and living a happy life.

As an expert, this might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to expressly articulate this. Can you please share a few reasons with our readers about why focusing on our wellness should be a priority in our lives?

Wellness today is about overall health: skin care, mental health, body positivity, staying active, making sure you are eating good. A lot of people think about being in shape when they hear “wellness”. It’s so much more. It’s about thinking to the future and how your decisions now will affect you later on in life. It is hard for a lot of people to prevent issues instead of resolving them, but some problems later in life cannot be fixed. The solution is to focus on our wellness consistently through our lives.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increasingly growing understanding of the necessity for companies to be mindful of the wellness of their employees. For the sake of inspiring others, can you share steps or initiatives that companies have taken to help improve or optimize their employees’ mental and physical wellness?

I have noticed many companies that have taken more interest in their employee’s mental health and physical wellness by realizing that conventional 8 hour works days are not a necessity in order to be productive and efficient. Many companies have taken initiative to allow employees to be efficient and productive in their work day and end early, giving workers more free time to focus on their family and other tasks they may not of had time for before. This has allowed many people to gain new experiences and try new hobbies, something that is essential in being a more fulfilled, happier and healthier person.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career In The Health and Wellness Industry”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Positivity: The health and wellness industry is based largely off of how a person feels about themselves and their bodies. As a leader, remaining positive not only motivates your client, but it lifts them to want to continue in their journey. Not only do you have to be positive for your clients, but you also have to be positive in your own self.
  2. Passion: This industry requires two parties: wellness leader and client. Unlike many other jobs, this industry focuses largely on patient care. Having a passion and love for what you do helps to extend further and make a deeper connection with patients and clients.
  3. Strength: No, I am not talking about physical strength, but mental strength. Being a health and wellness leader, you tend to take on many other’s problems. You realize how others vent to you about the harder things in life because you are an open ear. It’s important to be able to have the strength to separate yourself from your clients hardships and your own mental health.
  4. Be Open Minded: The health and wellness industry is forever changing. There is always a new diet trend, workout, or product on the market. As a leader in the Health and Wellness industry, you need to be open to always learning new things and educating yourself in order to provide clients with the most up to date information.
  5. Compassion: Working in this industry requires a lot of compassion and understanding. Clients don’t want you to just listen, they need you to try to understand their experience.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would promote the most wellness to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I have always been in the love with the idea of combining my two favorite things: fitness and travel. I am the happiest when I travel. There’s a certain thrill about exploring a new place that excites me like nothing else. I think there is power behind traveling to new places and going on adventures, such as surf trips to the most renowned locations or snowboarding and skiing in other backdrops. I would love to incorporate a food aspect since there are numerous places abroad that use more natural practices for cultivating food and thinking about what goes into each meal. For example, Costa Rica is the perfect location for both a surf trip as well as learning how to cultivate food from the earth in a more environmentally friendly way.

We are blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

There are so many women in fitness that I admire but someone who I have enjoyed following is Katie Sonier. She is a fitness trainer that I feel is changing the game by breaking down gender barriers and spreading more body positivity in the gym. As a woman, lifting in the gym can be an intimidating experience but she slashes through norms and helps others find their inner beast and become more comfortable training in gyms, just as we should be!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

If you want to learn more about me and Paradise Plates, they can check out my website at or follow me on instagram @_paradiseplates.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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