Hi, I am Lauren. I live in NYC, I am a major yogi who loves a good pair of crazy yoga pants, and I am extremely passionate about nutrition and all things health and wellness. I was an art director at Fitness magazine for the past ten years, and now I am on a new adventure, heating things up in the kitchen, spreading the pure food love, one blog post at a time. All of my recipes and quick tips are great for people who are just starting to revamp their diet, or for people who need a little inspiration, like I so often do. I cook using only non-processed, whole foods that keep your body and immune system strong. I also have some food allergies and sensitivities so I avoid dairy, gluten and all nuts. I know, that last part stinks, but what can you do.
My vision for this blog is to make clean eating easy and uncomplicated. I know, it can be seriously overwhelming and intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Over the past few years I’ve been experimenting with on the go breakfasts, easy lunches, quick dinners for when you get home from work, or ones you make in advance, snacks the whole family will love, and many simple little things you can do that will instantly make you feel good. All made with ingredients that are 100% good for you that are still delicious and exciting. I swear, it’s true. You also don’t have to take anything to the extreme; any small change will positively impact your health. So really, there’s nothing to be scared of! Are you ready? Let’s do this!
I started on my clean eating journey a little over three years ago when I suddenly became very ill. I went from training for a half marathon to a hospital bed in the matter of a week. It hit me hard. I had very sudden and strange neurological symptoms. Some of which included a very intense migraine, numbness and tingling in many places, extreme light and sound sensitivities, the most horrible nerve pain on the bottom of my feet, felt very flulike and had joint, bone, and muscle pain throughout my body. In the hospital they did tons of tests, but no one could figure out what was wrong. Over the next few weeks, I had to take a leave from work and saw doctor after doctor. I couldn’t eat, sleep, walk or do pretty much of anything. It was a horrible and scary time.
During that time friends and family visited me to lift my spirits. On three separate occasions someone told me to look into Lyme disease, that they knew someone who had it and it seemed awfully similar to what I was going through. I knew I had a negative Lyme test they took while I was in the hospital. What I didn’t know, is that Lyme disease blood tests have a 50% false negative rate. Crazy, right? I used to have a lot more faith in modern medicine. Anyway, after the third person mentioned Lyme to me, I started to take matters into my own hands. I did a lot of research, and through a recommendation from the Tick Borne Disease Alliance (check them out, they are great) I found a wonderful doctor in NYC. It turned out they were right. I got diagnosed with Lyme Disease and many co-infections in March 2012.
Lyme disease treatment for me has been a roller coaster. I have improved so incredibly much over the last three years from a combination of antibiotics, natural supplements, exercise and totally overhauling my diet. I am still on a heavy treatment plan, hoping to kick this thing in the butt. I have become quite the Lyme warrior since this whole thing started, and I am not going to stop fighting till it’s over, that’s for sure. I am hoping my story helps bring more Lyme disease awareness. Any bit helps! If it wasn’t for the people in my life who brought this to my attention, then I would be very sick right now. I need to pay that forward and help as many people as I can. Something good HAS to come out of this.
Since my diet overhaul, I have noticed so many positive changes. First off, just so you know, I was a sugar addict, and I am not using that term lightly. I ate a bag of gummy bears a day, popped lifesavers and jolly ranchers like they were going out of style, and spent way to much of my paycheck at CVS to keep up my office supply of candy. I literally needed it to get me through the day. That doesn’t even include the 3 packets of sugar I put into my coffee twice a day. When I first got diagnosed with Lyme, my Doctor told me to cut out sugar. I was so desperate at the time; I would have cut off an arm if he told me to. So I cut out sugar, just like that, and never turned back. Slowly I took it even further, i cut out other types of processed foods, then gluten, then dairy because it made me feel sick. I noticed how much better I was feeling from all of these changes, so I kept going. I became such a believer and so passionate about nutrition that I want to help others feel as good as they can too. Because of my pure foods diet, I am keeping my body and immune system strong with all of the amazing nutritious food I am feeding it, which is allowing me to keep up the good fight. I have had no problems (knock on wood!) with taking antibiotics on and off for 3 plus years, no candida, and as long as I am careful, my stomach is actually pretty ok. Candida, or yeast overgrowth, feeds off of sugars and refined carbs, so by eliminating these foods from your diet, you are basically starving the yeast so it can’t continue to grow. Eating pure and whole foods also reduces the amount of inflammation in your body. Our bodies aren’t meant to digest the kind of processed foods that exist today, so by removing them, your immune system calms down a bit which reduces any kind of inflammation. Everyone deals with some type of inflammation; whether it’s seasonal allergies, skin rashes, joint pain, or any kind of chronic illness. Growing up I had really bad childhood asthma and horrible allergies. Because of my diet changes, my allergies and asthma are basically gone, and I hardly ever take my inhaler anymore. Up until I made these changes, I was taking the max amount of asthma medication. Its so amazing what bodies are capable of if you give them the right fuel to do their job.
Thanks for coming by and I hope you enjoy all of my recipes and tips! We are on this journey together, so please keep in touch and let me know how everything is going!