Who the Heck + What the Heck?!

Who the heck am I?!

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  • Beloved daughter of the Highest King
  • Jesus lover first
  • Doting dog mom to sweet baby Josie
  • Pilates junkie
  • #worshipmusicobsessed
  • Recovering perfectionist (who occasionally relapses)
  • Matcha latte mornings
  • Rainbow chaser
  • Devotionals on the balcony are my early morning jam
  • Peace seeker
  • Getting caught in a rain storm exhilarates me 
  • I eat lunch/dinner for breakfast
  • Overcomer
  • Leap of faith jumper (I've learned that I'm more of a risk taker than I ever knew...)
  • Fave quote - "Feel the fear and do it anyway" (Susan Jeffers)
  • Proverbs 31 woman - "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come" (vs 25)
  • Lover of all things love...I doodle hearts...
  • Spirit led, spontaneous writing is my favorite
  • The hardest moments of my life have been the most profound
  • Believer that miracles are everywhere, all the time
  • Fascinated by the healing process
  • Food is thy medicine and medicine is thy food
  • Striver of simplistic living
  • Co-author of book From Pain to Purpose

Credentials:

B.A., Psychology/Communication from Duquesne University

M.S.Ed., Marriage + Family Therapy from Duquesne University

INHC, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition

Cellular Expansion + Healing Practitioner from The Vanati Center for Energy Medicine

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What the heck is Mind. Body. Jesus.?!

I worked as a therapist and researcher in the mental health field.  I saw a real need when I noticed that the majority of my clients being seen for mental health also struggled with some form of a chronic illness or health condition.  I could equip clients with a toolbox of skills, but if they ate like crap, I knew they would continue to feel like crap.  If they didn't move their bodies and get exercise, they wouldn't feel strong and confident to fight the battles they faced.  If they didn't have Jesus, would they ever be set free from past regrets, know how incredibly loved they are, experience peace and joy even in the storms of life, and find meaning in the ups + downs?

Mind. Body. Jesus. is the embodiment of the human experience.  The mind considers our mental and emotional well-being.  The body is our physical health and how we care for it through food and movement.  Jesus satisfies our spiritual need to find forgiveness, love, wisdom, freedom, strength, peace, and purpose through all things.  Each facet is absolutely necessary to attain "whole health" and healing.  No part can be ignored if we want to achieve true health and wellness.  

I work with my clients to bring balance to imbalance. To bring alignment to what is misaligned.  To find direction when lost.  To find wholeness from brokenness.  To bring restoration to that which needs repaired.  To walk with confidence and no longer insecurity.  To love, not hate.  To bring healing to injury.  To find peace in unrest.  To stand as victor, not victim.  To stand with faith, not fear.  To be unshakeable instead of shaken.  To stand with strength not stumble from weakness.  And to find joy in the midst of pain.  

When life is a dichotomy of good + bad, we remain whole. 

And that, my friends, is who and what the heck!  

In mind, body, + Jesus,

Lauren 

xx

Why I Toss Protocol in the Trash

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I got beef.  With the wellness industry.  With diets.  With fads.  With super foods.  With protocol. Call me crazy.  And maybe you will (and that's okay).  But here's why.

If you know my story, you know I wasn't physically well.  I struggled with various health challenges since I was 16 years old. I had severe digestive issues that spiraled out of control which led to anxiety and depression.  I had irregular menstrual cycles, prolonged bleeding (sometimes lasting 45 days), hormonal imbalances.  Nausea.  Skin rashes and breakouts.  Weight gain and rapid weight loss.  Difficulty putting sentences together.  Worsening food allergies.  Bone and joint pain.  Excessive fatigue.  When I was married, I was told my body was unable to sustain a healthy pregnancy.  And at my worst, trembling in my hands.  I was terrified.  I didn't know what was happening to me.  Nobody did.  Not even the doctors that were supposed to have all of the answers.  

Years of questioning and frustration led me on a path to become my own healthcare advocate.  Instead of wallowing.  Instead of being paralyzed by fear.  Instead of giving up.  I took matters into my own hands.  I researched.  I talked to wellness experts.  I enrolled in an integrative nutrition program.  And I set out on a journey to make changes in my life.  Healthy changes.  I was paving my own way towards healing.  

Gluten free.  Grain free.  Soy free.  Egg free.  Dairy Free.  Hemp.  Turmeric.  Lots and lots of kale.  Raw juices.  Detox programs.  Wheatgrass shots.  Supplements.  Fermented foods.  You name it.  

Yeah, I lost weight.  Rapidly.  But I got worse.  My symptoms intensified.  How?  Why?  I was doing everything right!  I was living a healthy lifestyle!  I fell to my knees, crying out to God for help.   

What I learned is that I had a genetic mutation that was working against me.  My body wasn't able to eliminate toxins like a "normal" person without the mutation.  Our fat cells store toxins.  And as I would lose weight, those toxins were released into my body, circulating throughout my bloodstream without an exit strategy.  What resulted was underlying inflammation which led to some pretty serious health challenges.  As I got an understanding for my body, I was able to make appropriate changes that were safe for me and my body's needs.  But those changes did not include fad foods or specific trending protocols.  It included an intuitiveness and the knowing of my own body with the help of a humble practitioner I found who did things the old school way (no receptionist, no computer, not even an answering machine - say whaaat?!).  He wasn't in it for the money, for the fame, for the sale of his product.  He was in it to peel back the layers of the one + only me.  And guess who was in the driver's seat?  God + me.  

Here's a dose of truth.  Dr. So and So's general protocol wasn't going to help me.  They didn't know my body like me.  They didn't know my underlying genetics.  And the fact is, our bodies are living and dynamic, ever changing.  What I need today may not be what I need tomorrow.  And so forth.  Two people can be diagnosed with the same exact condition, but they may require two very different forms of treatment based on their unique body's needs.  It's called Bioindividuality.  And we need to keep it in mind on the healing journey.  

Here's what else I want to tell you.  Sometimes when our health spirals out of control and we are looking for answers, [x] diagnosis becomes something we identify with.  And on our quest for answers, our practitioners or certain products and/or supplements easily become our lifeline, our God.  The end all be all.  The source of our healing.  The answer we seek.  

Now, please know that I am not bashing practitioners.  They have been blessed with a set of gifts in order to diagnose and bring treatment options to the table for those suffering with health conditions.  But I don't want us to get lost and lose our focus on two important facts.  

1.  You are not your diagnosis.  

2.  God is ultimate Healer.

Be firm in who God says you are.  I have seen far too many chronic illness "online chatrooms" that only confuse, overwhelm, and scare its members.  Many, many members then allow fear to consume them and rule their lives, filling them with lies of who they are.  They live labeled by their diagnosis.  Not all, but I do believe many practitioners prey on these fears.  I fell for it too.  And that's why I do things differently in my practice.   

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Your Creator never called you by your diagnosis.  He called you, Beloved.   And He wants you to experience an abundant life, regardless of your circumstances.  Receive it!  Sometimes this abundance takes form of healing miracles.  Sometimes spiritual growth.  Sometimes beauty in the midst of chaos.  Sometimes bringing hope and inspiration to others facing similar trials.  But you were saved by blood shed so that you could experience abundance.  Live it.  Feel it.  Believe it.

So, I'm here to say, rise above protocol.  Get to know your body.  Take a stand for it.  Love it + nourish it with God's Truth and the food and movement that only your body knows it needs.  Open yourself to healing and grace.  Turn to the only One.  Let go of labels.  And allow Him to lead you on your path towards wellness.  

Peace, Love, + Healing!

xx

[If interested in learning more, head on over to "Contact" and send me over a quick message!  I'd love to hear from you!]

 

Beat the Bloat with Proper Food Combining

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When we think of good 'ol American food, we might salivate over the thought of a good juicy cheeseburger, barbecue sandwich, or hotdog...but ever notice that bloated, heavy, fatigued feeling afterwards?  This feeling is not normal!  Instead, we should be feeling strong and energized after a meal!  So, today I'm going to burst your bubble with a few food combining recommendations to create an environment that promotes better digestion and absorption of minerals.  

More than ever, our bodies are overstressed and undernourished due to processed foods, pasteurization, antibiotics and the like.  And it has affected our inner ecosystem, including our digestive tracts.  It's important to note that how we eat is just as important as what we eat.  Digestion requires a lot of energy, so we want to make the process as efficient as possible!  While the below guidelines can be pretty complex, I'm going to break it down as simple as possible.  If you are struggling with bloating + digestive issues, I encourage you to incorporate the below and see how your symptoms might improve; you might even lose a few lbs in the process!

1.  Eat Protein with Non-Starchy/Ocean Vegetables

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Animal protein is broken down in an acidic environment.  Our stomachs produce hydrochloric acid and the enzyme pepsin when we eat protein.  On the other hand, grains/carbs require an alkaline environment.  Our stomach produces an enzyme call ptyalin to break down carbs.  When protein and carbs are eaten together, the enzymes neutralize each other and inhibit/slow down the digestive process.  As a result, food can putrefy and become toxic, circulating in our bloodstream.  This acidity in our bodies can lead to inflammation and an environment that cultivates disease. 

Therefore, with proper food combining, it is best to eat protein with non-starchy/ocean vegetables.  I know, this means avoiding the burgers and sandwiches!  Eek!  But try it out; see how you feel!

Examples:  Salmon salad with leafy greens. Chicken with broccoli and cauliflower.  

2.  Eat Grains/Starchy Vegetables with Non-Starchy/Ocean Vegetables

Examples:  Grain soups with a mixture of potatoes and veggies.  Rice stir-fry with carrots, mushrooms, snow peas, lime, cumin.  

3.  Eat fruit alone.  

Fruits are simple sugars that break down very quickly in our bodies.  It is best to eat fruit alone and on an empty stomach.  I prefer to eat fruit as a mid-morning snack.  Also, avoid mixing fruits (goodbye fruit salad!).  

Quick tidbits:  

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-Start your morning with a warm mug or room temperature glass of lemon water.  Lemon contains ascorbic acid which stimulates digestion.

-To make it easy, pick one category at each meal:  fruit, starch, animal protein, nuts/seeds.

-Besides fruit, once you pick a food category, fill the rest of your plate with cooked or raw non-starchy veggies.

-Wait 3-4 hours before switching food categories after each meal.  

-Avoid cold or iced drinks as they distinguish your digestive fire.  Stick with room temperature or warm water and herbal teas.  Drink lemon water 20 minutes prior to each meal to further prep digestion.  

-Avoid sugar as it suppresses the immune system and does not combine well with the other food categories.  

-You may want to consider incorporating digestive enzymes to help aid digestion.  

I know it's not what you want to hear; these aren't the most fun guidelines to follow, but next time try that beefy burger on a lettuce wrap and pair it with a nice leafy greens salad.  You might just notice yourself feeling stronger, healthier, more flat-bellied, and energized to take on the rest of your day.  And who doesn't want that!?

To learn more, schedule a complimentary session with me!  I want nothing more than for you to feel healthy, confident, and radiant!  

xx.

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Wellness + What to Expect!

The weekend is coming to a close, but I wanted to share with you a little about what to expect from me moving forward.  In the next week I'll be posting a VLOG explaining exactly what Mind. Body. Jesus. is all about.  I'll be sharing more about our mission and you will be hearing much, much more from me in the coming days.

Below is our weekly schedule of daily social media posts, so make sure you like/follow my Facebook and Instagram pages to keep up-to-date!  Here is a little background about why each day of the week is important for your overall health and well-being:

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#MusicMonday:  Bottom line, music heals.  And we'll be talking more about how in the coming days.  A few years ago I was certified in an energy practice called Cellular Expansion + Healing.  The basis for this practice is that every single cell, all matter, holds a vibrational frequency.  Those vibrational frequencies can be affected by our environment, our words, trauma, fear, negativity, and the like.  Yet, we have the opportunity to also introduce healing frequencies through words and music.  Consider church on Sunday.  We worship through music.  I stand there singing, focusing on how Great our God is, and a blanket of peace, love, and joy covers me.  I feel a great healing overtake me.  It doesn't matter the chaos going on in my life in that moment because it all fades away into the background and I'm focused on the very Presence that surrounds me.  On #MusicModay I will be posting a song for you to take a few moments to close your eyes, let the lyrics sink into your heart, the healing vibrations enveloping your body, and your mind in total self-reflection.  More on music and frequency therapy to come.

#TuesdaysTip:  I will post a weekly health tip centered around mindfulness, nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, etc.  It's all about promoting a healthy, balanced lifestyle.  I promote "whole" healing in mind, body, and spirit.  Without one, we can't have the others.  It's all about small, simple changes to lay the groundwork for your health!

#WellnessWednesday:  Wednesdays are about education!  With knowledge comes power.  I can't urge enough the importance to become your own health advocate.  Nobody other than the God that created you knows your mind, body, and the state of your soul more than you.  You hold the keys.  You are in the driver's seat.  It's time to get empowered and initiate the changes necessary to meet and exceed your goals.  Never forget that you have the power of God within you!  With Him, all things are possible!

#ThoughtfulThursday:  Ever notice that natural high that follows a good deed from the purity of your heart?  "A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed" (Proverbs 11:23).  #ThoughtfulThursday is all about loving others as you love yourself.  If we love others generously, help someone in need, give with the resources God has abundantly provided us with, it takes the focus off of the struggles that we face.  It's no longer about "me"!  And with that, comes refreshment.  While #ThoughtfulThursday is not about boasting about our good deeds, let's share the fullness of God's goodness in return.

#FitnessFriday:  I can't stress enough the importance of moving and using the bodies that we have been blessed with.  Whether stretching, strengthening, or conditioning - all of it has great impact.  It's about making a decision to take action.  Let's release those healthy, happy, "feel good" endorphins.  Let's strengthen your body so you feel confident to go out there and slay the day ahead.  #FitnessFriday will promote exercise and bring you fitness tips, research, and inspiration.

#SelfCareSaturday:  I'm a firm believer that we can't take care of others unless we first take care of ourselves.  Boundaries - both physical and emotional - are essential to our health.  Self-care is not about selfishness, it's about taking a critical time-out, scheduling a date with God, nourishing your mind, body, and soul, and loving yourself the way God loves you.  Self-care is about restoration, grounding, and alignment.  CRITICAL for your whole health. 

#SoulSunday:  "If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it" (Matthew 10:39).  I can't tell you how liberating it is once you accept this principle into your life.  When we realize that our lives are not about us, but about God, a huge burden is lifted.  Once we surrender that our lives are in His control, the more ease the flow of our lives.  We realize that He is the Author of our stories.  He holds the beginning and the end.  And all of it...every single moment...is to be used for His purposes.  This fact also helped me to walk more confidently knowing that His power is within me.  And He does all things for our ultimate good.  #SoulSunday is all about worshiping Him -- His is love, His freedom, His grace, His healing, His wisdom, His goodness, His peace.  It is He who is everything we need.  May we honor our minds, bodies, and spirits knowing it is all a gift from the Artist that brought them to life.

May each day bring you new life, inspire you, motivate you, and bring you a great healing.  A great new chapter awaits!

xx

 

Running: A Metaphor

I had a Facebook memory pop up in my feed yesterday that reminded me that it was 4 years ago that I had my 2nd knee surgery in a period of 4 months.  It was a long road to recovery,  so I celebrated my working legs by intentionally leaving work a little earlier to go on a prayer run.

I'm not a strong runner yet; I have about 3 straight miles in me for now, but I will get better. And those 3 miles are invaluable to me.  They are my outlet. They clear my head. They push me and challenge me - physically, mentally, and spiritually. They are painful and they hurt. Sometimes I gasp for more air in my lungs. They beg for me to slow down and give up. And in those moments when I don't think I can do any more, I keep calling out to Jesus for help.  I pray for Him to provide me the endurance and the strength for one more step, one more step, one more step... and He does, if I just focus on that one step right ahead of me. And then, I notice a shift, and the pain begins to melt away as I get into a rhythm. The run that was fatiguing me starts to energize me. I start to feel strong and my body tight. I have a natural high.  I feel accomplished.  Peace and joy overtake me. All that begins to matter is this time that I have, just me and God, being completely reliant upon him.

Last night I realized why I have grown to love running; it's a metaphor for life.   It takes me through a series of feelings, both in body and in mind.  I get to a point where I have to make a decision, to give up or push through.  And so I push through, one small step at a time.   If I focus on what more I have ahead, I get overwhelmed.  But if I just focus on what's right in front of me, God gives me strength.  And I realized how blessed I am.  How much I love to feel.  How little I am and how big God is.  How much I need Him in every moment of every day.  How He supplies for my every need.  How He is with me always, never leaving my side.  And all the chaos that surrounds me, it begins to lose its significance as I focus on The Great One. 

Blessed.  Blessed I am.  Blessed we are.

God's Hand is at work in our intricate lives; His love runs deep.  He is molding and refining us.  No matter what we are up against, He loves us and He Has already fought the battle for us.  And He won.

So today, like the full range of emotions experienced on my prayer run, let's embrace life to its fullest.  The joys, the heartbreaks, the unknowns.

God is with us.  He loves us.  He sustains us.  He provides for us.  He fights for us.  He stills waters for us. 

One small step at a time.

xx

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul. (Psalm 23:1-3)

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul. (Psalm 23:1-3)