Have you tried numerous medication and prescriptions in the fight to improve or cure an underlying health problem with no success?
Well in this weeks edition of her of the week we are joined with the beautiful Lauren from @Laus_healthy_life who explains after being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) how she ditched the medication, swapped to a holistic health approach and drastically improved her disorder symptoms and overall health through the incredible healing power of food. She gives us an insight into her daily health rituals, health tips and resources as well as other amazing women's health advice!
Tell us a bit about her behind @Laus_healthy_life?
My name is Lauren and I'm the ‘Lau’ behind @Laus_healthy_life! Currently, I'm studying naturopathic medicine in Toronto. I've always had a huge passion for all things health and wellness and I truly believe in the phrase “food as thy medicine”. I believe the food we consume on a daily basis has incredible power in improving our overall health, but this power is often greatly underestimated. My goal is to show people that healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring! It can be fun, delicious and an excellent creative outlet.
I love to educate others as much as I can and I don’t believe there's a “one diet, fits all”. I think we all need to find out what works for us, as individuals. I love to share my journey and how I'm educating myself, what podcasts I’m listening to and the books I’m reading! I love being my own little test dummy and trying out new approaches to health to see what makes me feel my best and sharing this through @laus_healthy_life! I hope to inspire others by doing this and make living a healthy lifestyle seem a lot less intimidating!
What sparked your passion for naturopathic medicine?
After being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in my late teens, unable to get relief from the western medical system I turned to naturopathic medicine as a last resort. While I have so much respect and appreciation for allopathic medicine, I also grew to appreciate the incredible value naturopathic medicine has to offer as well. Once addressing my health issues from a holistic perspective I was able to see significant improvement in my symptoms and overall health. I was hooked. How was this type of medicine not more mainstream I wondered? I had planned to apply to either dental or medical school and had bought the books to prep for the MCAT when I made the decision to apply to naturopathic medical school instead. This was a difficult decision for me as naturopathic medicine is not yet regulated in the little province where I am from in PEI, Canada. I knew this career path would be the road less travelled but I had to take the risk. Instead of letting fear prevent me from doing what aligns completely with my beliefs and passions, I changed my perspective and got excited about the awareness and attention I could potentially bring to the profession.
The effectiveness of naturopathic medicine speaks for itself, especially with regards to chronic diseases, naturopathic medicine can offer significant improvements and long-term results, compared to a western medical approach that uses prescription medication. Prescriptions are definitely sometimes necessary or at least highly recommended. The research and rapid growth of prescription medications has come such a long way in recent years, however, with many of them we still don’t know the potential long term effects they may present, plus they are often accompanied with their own long list of side effects. Not to mention prescriptions often don’t address these issues long-term, because they aren’t addressing the root cause. Getting to the root cause of why specific symptoms are presenting themselves is at the heart of naturopathic medicine. Symptoms can only be covered up for so long before they present themselves in another form. Addressing the root cause of disease is one of the #1 aspects of naturopathic medicine that drew me to the profession originally. Overall, I don’t think anything sparked my interest in the profession more than the results I achieved for myself. I was able to turn my life around by making simple lifestyle and dietary changes. It is truly amazing how powerful the food we consume on a daily basis really is.
Who are your biggest influencers? Who or what inspired you to create @laus_healthy_life and your YouTube channel?
To be honest, @laus_healthy_life started as a private Instagram account that only I knew about and it was actually called @kitchenreinvention originally! I loved making healthy recipes and food but I didn’t want to post that stuff on my personal account so I needed another outlet. I never talked about it or shared it with anyone for years. When I was accepted into naturopathic medical school I shared it at the end of the summer before I left for school and I was incredibly nervous about how people would judge me for it. However it actually ended up being a success and the love and support I got from others was amazing. For the first several months of making the account public I never showed my face or talked on it but then once I finally started sharing more about myself and my life, people really took to it. They loved seeing the face behind the account!
I definitely have several influencers in the health and wellness space now that I love listening to and inspire me. A lot of my main influencers are big on the science of things. I have a huge science mind so that type of content really resonates with me. Max Lugavere, the author of ‘Genius Foods’ and host of the ‘The Genius Life” podcast has been a huge inspiration for me in the health and wellness space. I really like his approach to health and the way he delivers information to the public. He breaks it down in a super easy to digest way that keeps his audience interested at the same time. I also love Kelly LeVeque, Dave Asprey, Sarah Wilson, Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. David Perlmutter. There’s so many more that inspire me daily but these are some who have really impacted me.
What’s your favourite health and wellness books and/or podcasts at the moment?
I love The Genius Life, hosted Max Lugavere like I mentioned earlier and his book Genius Foods. I also love the Bulletproof podcast, Wellness Realness hosted by Christina Rice, and The Him & Her Podcast hosted by Lauryn & Michael. I am obsessed with podcasts at the moment so could recommend so many haha! A book I'm loving lately is Stealing Fire, it's literally changing my life. It's super fascinating to me and I seriously can’t put it down!
What’s your favourite way to keep active?
I love doing weighted circuits! I crave that type of movement. I also recently purchased some resistance bands which I've been incorporating into my workouts and I'm absolutely loving them! I also walk all the time and try to do fun/different activities as much as possible to keep things interesting! I also love water-skiing in PEI during the summer!
How do you structure your days and do you have a daily health ritual/s?
It depends if I’m in school or out! During the months of Sept-May when I am studying I like to try wake up super early, around 5:30—6:30am. I get my best studying done in the morning and at my most productive so I try and give myself time to listen to a podcast, wake up slowly and then get into my books nice and early. I usually aim to drink 1L of water before doing anything else, this seriously gives me so much natural energy and just wakes up my digestion. Then I love starting my day with a decaf or sometimes half-caf coffee! I've recently been adding 1-2 tbs of gelatin (similar to collagen), ½ tbs coconut oil, ½ tbs MCT or brain octane oil and Lion’s Mane (adaptogenic mushroom that is excellent for brain health). Seriously, this little drink will light up your brain like no other!! But generally something I always incorporate into my routine is to-do lists! Either when I wake up or the night before I make a list of all the things I need to get done that next day, I find this really helps keeps me productive and is definitely the main thing I use to structure my days!
Do you have any tips for eating healthy on a budget?
Yes! Always be on the lookout for sales. I like to use Amazon and websites like iHerb to my advantage, they usually offer items/products at reasonable prices. I also recommend buying frozen fruit and vegetables unless you have the opportunity to go to a Farmer’s market or you catch them on sale fresh in the supermarkets! Fruit and vegetables are usually frozen at their peak and all the nutrients are preserved! Definitely a cheaper option to shopping healthy!
What are your top 3 favourite products/items at the moment?
1. Vital Proteins Gelatin - I replaced my collagen with this for a change and my body is responding really well to it!
2. Coconut Butter - this has been one of my favourites for a long time now! Try melting it and then drizzling it over dark chocolate. You can thank me later 😉
3. Lion's Mane Powder- I'm trying to really amp up my brain power before I start my 2nd year of med school and there is research suggesting a relationship between Lion’s Mane and neurogenesis! Amazing!!
As you know, nourishing our bodies and living a healthy lifestyle is more than just the food we eat. Do you have any practices related to gratitude, mindfulness or self-love and if so what are they?
Yes! I love practicing gratitude as much as I can. I make sure every single day to be thankful for what I have and those in my life. It is so easy to let your life pass by without truly realizing how beautiful it really is, so I think becoming present and more aware that you are blessed in this very moment, can be incredibly powerful.
What’s next for Lau’s Healthy life?
Well I'm starting my 2nd year of naturopathic medical school in September and I'm also releasing an ebook: A Practical Guide to Going Sugar-Free hopefully before then! I definitely want to keep sharing healthy recipes over at @laus_healthy_life and creating educational videos on YouTube as well as some Vlog-style videos too! I have also been working on getting an official blog created as well, so that's very exciting!
Takeaway #1: There is no "one diet fits all' play around and find what works for you and your body!
Takeaway #2: Medication is not always the answer, if your not seeing the desired improvements or results, try a more holistic, natural approach and see if this works for you!
Takeaway #3: Looking for a brain power booster?! Try out Laus's morning elixir coffee recipe for added focus and energy!
Thank you Lauren for taking the time to share all this amazingly valuable information and advice! For more health inspiration, holistic health coaching and delicious, healthy recipes follow Lauren on Instagram @Laus_healthy_life or subscribe to her YouTube channel Laus Healthy Life