The Divine Masculine (+ Poem)

Years ago I accomplished major feats by barreling through and developing a tough part of myself that in hindsight felt Masculine but was really just fear disguised as power.

Yet compared to the complacent, docile person I was before I was Tested, this seemed like a much better option.

I reacted way more than I responded.

I let my anger fuel me unnecessarily.

I closed myself off to a lot of people.

Being fake Masculine ultimately got me what I wanted and it also dragged situations out and didn't feel good. And I always had adrenaline surging through me.

The thing for me was to realize how I had been using the Masculine from a place of weakness.

The Masculine that I now know is Divine. Assured in It's power.

Now I'm more Divine Feminine than Masculine and I know that I need both. I want both. I am both.

The Divine Masculine is True power from a place of self-love, acceptance and self-reliance.

It's power, but it's not superficial outwards signs of it; it's to-the-core strength and integrity, confidence, courage, direction and purpose. It's magic.
 

 

The Divine Masculine

It feels heady
This unknown Masculine

Raw, untapped power
Coursing through my body
Felt as a jagged energy
Looking for an outlet
Quickly realizing I should look to the core instead
Where it all starts

Not fixating on what's outside
Paying slow, steady attention to my inside

Pulsing power
Strong yet tender
Aware of everything
Focusing on my mission
Shutting out all distractions
Calmly creating a picture of what I want
And holding it there with my Will
Using the power flowing through me to create it in the outside world

  ~~Lauren Malloy

Pink Sparkly Energy

I always knew there was something more
I could feel it as a child
Way more than what I could see in the physical world
It was an energy that ran through me
It was sparkly pink in color

It was what I felt that was the key
Yet I was conditioned not to feel

Mercifully the feelings persistently bubbled to the surface

This energy, which is an inner knowing that Sprit gave me, has influenced everything as I surrendered to it:

~The joy and freedom found in proclaiming love for someone and not needing the declaration to be reciprocated

~Loving someone who is different from me in many ways, and actually loving him more because he is so different

~Being so connected to the miraculous universe that's inside me that I experience sex on a completely different level

~The freedom to feel desire for more than one person and being honest about it

~Feeling absolute rapture when doing something that gives pleasure to someone else

~Learning to love myself and then pouring that love out into the world

~The capacity to sit with someone and hold space for them as they undergo deep Transformation

~Cultivating my creative sexual energy and using it to call in what I want in my life

I experienced these things as I opened to my purpose. And it's my purpose to share it with you.

xo,
Lauren

Be Different (+ Poem)

I spent years trying to be like everyone else.

Until I realized being different is all that I can be.

How fun being me can really be.

I used to pour over magazines for hours trying to look and dress just like the models. Now I dress however I want, as flirtatiously as I want. And I do it for me more than for anyone else. It makes me feel alive.

I used to be obsessed with what to eat to keep my body in shape. Now I use what I've learned and enjoy what I eat. I feast.

I used to be more surface when talking to people. Now I connect my energy to theirs, listen with my Spirit and respond with love.

I used to have a job that allowed me to keep creating a life that wasn't what I wanted. Now I use my Whole self to create what I want and coach others to do the same, in a way that is unique and uniquely me.

I used to be disengaged during sex. Now I pay attention to every detail, I savor each point of contact. I'm fully in my body and it's engaged and turned on. And I'm grateful for each second. 

I used to think it was difficult to enjoy life. Now even the slightest breeze causes my vibration to rise and joy to surge through my body.

DIFFERENT

All those hours spent in contemplation
Of something that could never be me

The makeup, the magazines
The idle fantasizing
About things that weren't really True

They weren't me

What if I clear the screen of my imagination
And paint what I want there

And listen to the voice deep inside me
Which never steered me wrong

More and more I step into what I always knew
But pushed aside in favor of ready-made visions
That robbed me of my essence

The voice reminds me that I didn't come here to fit in
Being Different is the way
Being Me is the gift that I have to offer

            ~~Lauren Malloy

Just Feel (+ Poem)

For many years I felt intimidated by the way our culture showcased sex.

It appeared too theatrical. Too over the top.

Adding in one more thing, to the point where there's numbness to what's actually going on.

It felt very calculated, disconnected, unconscious.

It didn't seem Real.

As I woke up more and more to my Spiritual nature and saw my life path unfolding, I saw the distortion in these demonstrations of sex.

As I remembered what my Spirit always knew, I soon found ecstasy in such simple actions—merely feeling my lover's strong hand squeeze my shoulder.

Feeling his energy and desire surge through me so that all I could do was gasp in pleasure and relief at the delicious, sharp sensations.

That one touch did more to me than any contorted position or toy ever could.

With everything stripped away, I could finally drop from my head into my body.

The place that had been unexplored for so long.

The place where everything resides.

I learned how to experience Enlightened Sex.

FEEL

It begins the moment that you look at me
And continues as I let your gaze sear at my core
Causing a sudden sweat to emerge on my skin

I try to divert my attention to something much more mild
Yet I'm powerless as I Feel my energy hook into yours

Once that lock is set
I feebly try to break the spell again by engaging others in the same way
To no avail

When I return to you
You simply lay your beautiful hands on my hips and gently pull me closer
And everything else melts away

The lightest pressure on my skin
Causes monumental eruptions of sensation in my body
Almost overwhelming and yet it's pure bliss

Every movement is so simple and yet so unique

Time slows down and I'm living inside my body
No longer my head

This is where I've always longed to be
The place where I Feel and love everything

     ~~Lauren Malloy

Surrender (+ Poem)

For a long time I thought my divorce had left me broken.

That somehow I had relationships all figured out before the breakup and now I had lost my groove.

A sharp realization sometime afterwards let me know that it didn't matter how many relationships I had been in or even that I had been married, I simply did not know how to be in a relationship, let alone one that my partner and I could thrive in.


When I met my ex husband, I was feeling the most magnetic I'd felt up until then.

His magnetism, however, blew mine out of the water and I could do nothing but blindly surrender to him.

That was the thing though—I surrendered blindly. Without consciousness.

And with it went what I needed most—my boundaries, my hidden desires, my passion, my sense of self.

And these things that I needed so badly were nowhere near coming close to being developed in any way.

And they would never get to be developed with him.

And that is all on me.

What I had taken on as my truth over the years through my interactions with men and what I interpreted through what I heard in the media and society is that a woman should be low maintenance.

That she shouldn't speak the truth to her man if he acted inappropriately. (Most of the time it didn't even register in me what the truth was, that's how unconscious I had become).

That she shouldn't talk too much—just let him be.

That she shouldn't demand too much attention, just play it cool.

That she shouldn't be clear on what her deep desires are.

So I pushed down all my needs and desires until a deep resentment formed where neither of us were ever going to get what we wanted.

And then I wondered why this man who felt his needs weren't being met either, looked elsewhere.
 

I know that relationship was a gift and one that was offered to me for my highest Growth and to serve my Purpose.

And the words below are what I now know to be true of a Real relationship.

What my Soul always knew was True.

Surrendered Love

Ohhh this feels so different
As I pivot my body to meet your gaze directly
And hold it steadily

Anchored in my body
Buzzing with electricity
Seeing the holiness in you
Acknowledging the divinity in me

Feeling your desire for me
As if it were something tangible

Profoundly aware of my hunger for you

I spiral down into the core of myself
Feeling inside for what I know to be True

Telling you what I see, with compassion
And what I need, with care
And challenging you to do the same

Receiving it All with Love

With these simple, powerful, heartfelt acts
I can feel and see energetic tendrils
Branch out from each of us
And begin to merge

Our physical forms take over
As extensions of our energy

I let go in Feminine ecstasy
Into the beautiful, strong form that your Masculine is holding

Both of us alive in acknowledgement and awe
Of the fiery, Surrendered Love that we've created

            ~Lauren Malloy

My Purpose (+ Poem)

I revealed my Soul recently.

My connection to it became reachable because I am fully living my Purpose,
the reason I came here.

Every memory, hurt, challenge, joy;
Was predetermined to lead me to my Purpose.

No tear, scream, laugh, fright, Triumph, struggle was wasted in it's Creation:

~Having my heart ripped out and smashed by a life partner (aided and abetted by me);

Sacred fertilizer for my Purpose

~Witnessing my best friend gorgeously and anciently giving birth to her Daughter;

More fertilizer

~Standing beside my beloved mom in the last hour of her life, gently caressing her forehead as I birthed her into another dimension;

Still more fertilizer

~Feeling and knowing that my sexual energy was Right even when the church or society said otherwise

~Knowing the sex I could have on a Soul level

~Experiencing True, Heart-Pulsating Connection and Communication

More, more, more fertilizer

And so my Purpose was revealed to me

I'm a Spiritual Teacher of Love + Sex
And an Excavator of Desires

I hold my bright Light and direct it to guide others to Deep Intimacy, Blissful Love and Transcendent Sex

Everything that happened before sparked my Desire to be a beacon of light moving forward

To serve others through a coaching union with me:

~Transmuting heart hurt to an unlimited capacity to love
~Revealing True Desires
~Creating fertile land for love (inner and outer)
~Calling in or rediscovering partners
~Living with full consciousness
~Being all of who you are in relationship and Purpose

This is what I do on Soul level.

 

Creation

Only one thing is needed to Live your Purpose, said Spirit

~Be all of who you are~
it whispered with love and magic

My heart ratcheted open in response
And I saw the beauty in myself
And the beauty in men
And the beauty in women

I resuscitated my lifeless connection to myself and the world

Transmuting my pain into Soul gold
Fuel for my life and Purpose

And I went out into the world

Holding the Higher Truth
Illuminating the Masculine and Feminine
Seeing the Souls of all I commune with
Spreading my flavor of Love and Teaching and Ability to the world

Endowed with a heart that loves no matter what

                        ~Lauren Malloy

 

 

 

 

Stripping Down (+ Poem)

Never would I have thought that stripping down to nothing and being photographed could be Spiritual.

But I wasn't just stripping off my clothes, I was stripping down to my Soul.

Who I am underneath my ego, my wounds, my Masculine toughness and self-protectiveness, my excessive (sometimes irrational) calmness, my play-acting.

Naked in front of a camera, there's nowhere to hide.

And so my True nature was revealed.

My beauty, my limitless heart, my sexiness, my aliveness, my unabashedly radiant Feminine energy.

That day I fully discarded the masks that I rarely even realize I'm wearing.

I felt the Truth of who I am as I looked into the lens of a camera, operated a beautiful Soul, the two of us effortlessly coaxing out the True me.

I take that priceless gift with me out into the world, with the Desire to ignite it.
 

Revealing

Uncovered
Discovered
I begin to reveal the beauty that existed since my inception
That always existed
But was covered up by hundreds of fine, gossamer layers
Each layer appearing through the years
as I accepted and absorbed the hurt
And the wrong teachings
And the lower thoughts

Now I carefully and lovingly peel those layers back
Each one painful in it's own way as it's gently lifted
I'm rewarded by the openness and Light that I experience as each is released and floats away
Freeing me
Further revealing the Gem that I am

 

Living From Desire (+ Poem)

I was raised Catholic and desire is something I was not taught to think about. Ever!

But just like amazing sex, desires can heal.

As I think of my desires, I feel a warm, open, fluttery sensation in my heart center.

I distinctly feel my heartbeat speed up and the fog that stubbornly resides in my head clears.

I'm expanded and open to possibilities.

When I feel into and pursue my desires, I'm living as my True self who fiercely wants me to be the person I came here to be. And my desires fuel that.

I didn't come here to suffer needlessly or stay small. Neither did you.

My inner catholic school girl is squirming but I'm going to do it anyway:

What am I desiring in this moment?

~a day to go hiking with my aunt
~laughing deeply with fellow travelers on my path
~another night out at that restaurant with my ladies where we had the most delicious food ever
~that sexy black dress (and those shoes!) that I saw online
~to feel sexy, happy, turned-on, glowy and mischievous
~a date with that masculine man who causes me to think about him long after he's out of sight
~kissing that man as I pay perfect attention to every sensation that arises in my body

Much better.
 

Excavating My Desires

Long overdue, I silence my ego mind.
The part of myself that shuts down every True impulse and Desire.
No easy task, but I am not easily dissuaded.
Especially now.
I've been tunneling toward my Desires for years.
Detours abound. But Desire is determined.
It's the fuel of my life now. A lifeline.
Can I really let myself have everything that I want?
How could I not. God knows I've tried everything else.
Now I feel into my body—the very thing I've avoided for so long.
With proper attention, it lights up like a spark,
pointing me in the direction that I need to go.
       ~Lauren Malloy

How I Used To Be (+ Poem)

One of my life lessons is that I get lost in intimate relationships.

In the past this led me to make decisions that I've quietly regretted, harboring resentment towards the other person (and myself) that came across as coldness or lack of attention.

What would have helped me greatly is the question: "What do I want?"

But I didn't know I could ask that. Growing up I did what was expected of me… be a good daughter, go to college and get good grades (completing it in the acceptable timeframe), get a good, steady job that provided benefits. Get married, buy a house and plan for kids.

It turns out I didn't want most of those things—except being the good daughter of course ;). So I ended up un-doing most of those decisions in order to be free.

Which leads me to ask the all important question:

What do I want?

I want it all. I want to be free in an intimate relationship….where my partner and I are both fully living as our True selves and are connected to each other and the world.

What do YOU want?

With Love,
Lauren
 

Letting Go

What if I could relax my rigidness,
and let go of all those unhelpful rules that my mind has collected over the years.
And slipped instead into how I really feel,
and what I really want—at my True core.
And give you the space to do the same.
How would that feel?
What could we create together...by being our True selves.

                                ~Lauren Malloy

The Only Constant Is Change (+ Poem)

I've been quiet lately because I've been fully stepping into my purpose as a Sex + Relationship Coach and a Spiritual Teacher of Love. 

Health coaching was a natural precursor to this work.

Think about it—would you regularly fill up and numb out on fries or ice cream or cocktails if everything was going well in your relationship and you felt filled with love's bliss? 

So why don't I just take one of my passions and make that my life's work? 

I've learned that it would never be enough. Each passion is icing on the cake of my life's purpose, but could never be my purpose. 

What I need in order to grow throughout my life and be fully self-expressed is communion with people. Which is also communion with love and life. 

Years ago a mentor had me imagine what my regrets would be on my deathbed. Those thoughts have never left my mind. 

That same mentor also taught me: the only constant is change. 

And so I continue on this beautiful, light-filled path. 

Now I teach conscious couples, who's strong passion for each other has dimmed, how to have deep intimacy, blissful love and transcendent sex. 

May you find a taste of that in this poem that I offer you:
 

His Touch Alone

He ever so lightly touched the back of my neck,
and every inch of my body responded.
He more than touched me physically;
he felt into me with his consciousness.
He was grounded, present. He was with me  body, mind and spirit.
His touch alone could have kept me alive for days or weeks or months.
But he kept going…

                                                  ~Lauren Malloy

 

With Love,
Lauren

The Cave + The Treasure (+ Recipe + Video)

During my years of self development, quotes have always helped solidify what I was feeling inside but couldn't articulate.

The best quotes rocked me to the core and gave me necessary clarity.

There was one recently that helped me make sense of something that I've been drawn to like a moth to a flame but couldn't fully embrace:

"The cave you are most afraid to enter is the one that holds the treasure you seek"  - Joseph Campbell

This is why I find myself going toward things that scare the crap out of me!

And why it's so worth it to continue to press through the fear....

~I want the treasure
~I want to never sleepwalk through my life again (that's the main reason I was depressed years ago)
~I want to keep remembering that life begins at the edge of my comfort zone, even if it's super-hard to get there

What's hard for you?

What's something you think might make you feel just a little more alive, but you just don't have the courage to go there yet?

-Having a difficult conversation with someone close to you in order to bring a breath of fresh air to the relationship?
-Thinking about steps you'd need to take to leave a horrible, stressful job?
-Is it fermenting veggies, like in my last post?

That might sound silly, but it's totally valid.

When I was in cooking school, many assignments gave me anxiety, until I eased into them and felt the resulting happiness, relief that it wasn't as hard as I'd feared and a sense of accomplishment.

A lot of clients have told me they feel intimidated at the thought of making milk kefir (yes, I'm still on a whole food probiotic kick ;D )

Milk kefir is a fermented beverage that contains beneficial probiotics.

-It's high in vitamin B12 which helps with the assimilation of vitamin A, which is required for looking younger naturally.
-It also contains vitamin K2, which prevents wrinkling and premature skin aging.
-It also helps reduce food cravings because the body feels more nourished.

I add it to my smoothie for creaminess and flavor (and for a jolt of probiotic goodness).

Here's a video that shows how I do it :)

Enjoy, and keep dancing at your comfort zone's edge.

<3
Lauren
 

Milk Kefir

Ingredients
-4 cups whole milk, pasture-raised (also called grass-fed) or raw
-1 packet kefir starter (I use Body Ecology)
-1 scoop prebiotic, to feed the starter (I use EcoBloom by Body Ecology) 

 Optional Equipment
-1/2 gallon mason jar
-canning funnel

Directions
1. Add packet of kefir starter and prebiotic to the jar
2. Heat the milk to 90 degrees
3. Pour milk into the jar and whisk so that it combines with the starter/prebiotic
4. Let ferment on your counter for 12 to 24 hours 

Making transfers

-Instead of using another packet when going to make a new batch of kefir, you can use 6 tbsp of the existing batch to create a new one; so that would be 4 cups of whole milk + 6 tbsp of existing kefir
-You can do this 6 times before you need to use a new kefir packet

Spring Clean Your Gut (+ Recipe + Video!!)

Ok. You're probably sick of hearing about your gut, but just stick with me.

Spring cleaning your gut is all about having good gut bacteria.

We hit on this back in the summer when I zoodled my pinkie nail right off (!) and countered the course of antibiotics I was put on with whole food probiotics.

What are some reasons why you'd want more good gut bacteria than bad?

To get glowing skin
To feel more satisfied after meals
To reduce sugar cravings
To increase digestion

And the #1 reason you want good gut bacteria….to lose weight.

Overweight people have more of a type of gut bacteria that causes them to extract more calories from food, making them gain weight.*

And now I’m gonna just go there and get a little graphic…

There was a ground-breaking study done in 2013 of twins where the gut bacteria from the obese twin was transferred into a thin mouse and the mouse grew fat.

And when the bacteria from the thin twin was put into a thin mouse, the mouse stayed thin as long as it ate a healthy diet.*

Pretty cool, huh?  (Nothin' like a little talk about fecal transplants to whet your appetite! ;D )

Anyway :)....one of the most awesome ways to boost good gut bacteria and get thin is by eating fermented (cultured) veggies.

Guess what I’m going to write next…

Yup, ferment your own veggies :)

It's not that hard (!), just give it shot. Below you'll find a recipe for Fresh + Light Cultured Veggies.

And to show you that fermenting is not that difficult once you wrap your head around the mechanics, I've made a quick video.

Enjoy and have fun with it!

Xoxo,
Lauren

* Info credit: Brain Maker, David Perlmutter, MD

 

Fresh + Light Cultured Veggies

Ingredients
-2 medium heads of tightly packed cabbage, shredded in a food processor (NOTE: keep the outer cabbage leaves, these will be used later)
-4 carrots, shredded in a food processor
-5 to 6 scallions, thinly sliced
-2 to 4 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
-1 to 2 tbsp red pepper flakes
-1 orange, juiced and zested
-1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced (optional but it adds good flavor)
-2 tbsp honey or 1-3 scoops of EcoBloom (a prebiotic, I use Body Ecology **)
-1 packet of a culture starter (I use Body Ecology **)
-some type of veggie for the brine (I used broccoli stalks), or you could use some of the shredded cabbage

Equipment 
-food processor
-very large bowl **
-high powered blender
-4 or 5 quart size mason jars (I bought a 6 pack)
-canning funnel **
-dowel (optional)

Directions
1. Take a packet of the culture starter and the prebiotic (honey or EcoBloom) and add it to a bowl with 1 1/2 cups of warm water (90 degrees); let it sit for at least 20 minutes.

2. After they are shredded and cut, put the cabbage, carrots, scallions, ginger, red pepper flakes, orange zest and garlic into a very large bowl.

3. While you are waiting for the culture starter to be ready, put the orange juice, the broccoli stalks, other greens or a handful or two of the shredded cabbage and add it to a blender with water filled about 3/4 of the way up the container (this depends on how big your cabbage heads are); blend well.

4. When the culture starter/prebiotic mixture is ready, add it to the brine.

5. Add the culture starter/brine mixture to the bowl of veggies and combine well, even squeezing the veggies with your hands a bit to create a bit more liquid.

6. Begin filling each of the mason jars, packing down the veggies very tightly with a dowel or the back of a thick wooden spoon; leave about 2 inches at the top for the veggies to expand and pour the rest of the brine on top of them, making sure they are covered in liquid.

7. Roll up a cabbage leaf and insert it at the top of each jar, still making sure the veggies are below the liquid; put the lids on.

8. Let the jars sit out at least 3 days, preferably a week and then refrigerate.
 

Creates many servings; if you have 1/2 cup a day with lunch or dinner it could last you about a month

**I'm an affiliate of Body Ecology and Amazon, so I get a small commission if you purchase through the links above 

 

 

 

Eat The Yolks (+ Recipe)

No recommendation has created more unsatisfied, grazing-all-day people than advice back in the day to reduce dietary fat.

Because that's when we started eating more carbs and sugar to make up for it.

I once ate a WHOLE box of Snackwell chocolate fudge cookies in one sitting. Not kidding. This was shortly after being "good" and loading up on carbs for dinner.

But back to the title of this post.

The food that strikes fear in the hearts of so many is the whole egg.

Fear of cholesterol and fat ushered in the era of the dreaded and tasteless egg white omelet. I've never had one that (fully) satisfied my taste buds or me for more than an hour.

And no one ever looks truly happy eating an egg white omelet.

But you should see the look of ecstasy on the face of a person who's just pierced the yolk of an egg over-easy.

When you eat the whites but not yolks you're eating a fragmented food, which will cause your body to crave the rest.+

Which means you're going to give into something else….like carbs or sugar.

You're probably going to say "But what about cholesterol Lauren??"

Cholesterol in foods has virtually no impact on the cholesterol level of your blood.+

The problem is when the cholesterol becomes damaged (oxidized), which causes inflammation and then narrowing of the arteries.*

To keep cholesterol from oxidizing, give your body good fats and cut back on carbs.*

You're also going to say "But eating fat will make me fat!!"

Nope.

Healthy fat does not make you fat. Carbs and sugar do.

Healthy fat gets burned for steady energy, while carbs and sugar (if you eat too much) will get stored as fat.

And if you're eating a lot of carbs, sugar, even fruit or a fragmented food like egg whites, you're going to constantly look for the next meal.

Am I right? (I've been there too, so I know).

And if you're always hungry, you're gonna keep on eating.

So let's do this right and do this deliciously. The recipe below was inspired by a trip to an awesome country bar in Hoboken, NJ—yes, I was pleasantly surprised to discover there's one there—two actually!

Enjoy, my fellow whole egg lovers <3

Xoxo,
Lauren

Info credits:  +Dr. Frank Lipman, *Dr. David Permlutter

 

Creamy Deviled Eggs

Ingredients

6 eggs, pasture-raised
4 oz cream cheese, softened (pasture-raised, if possible) 
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp half + half
Capers and parsley for garnish, optional

Directions

1. Get a bowl of ice water ready as you bring a pot of water (enough to cover the eggs) to a boil;  Once boiling, carefully lower the eggs straight from the fridge into the water.  Cook for 12 minutes; keep an eye on the situation as you'll need to keep the heat high in order to get back to a boil, then reduce it to a slow simmer.

2. Once done cooking, gently remove the eggs and place them in the ice bath for at least 15 minutes. (You can even do this step the day before and keep the eggs in the ice water in the fridge until ready to use).

3. Peel the eggs, blot dry, cut in half lengthwise and remove the yolks; place the whites aside.

4. In a food processor, add the egg yolks, cream cheese, salt, garlic powder, cayenne powder and half + half. Pulse until just combined and fluffy.

5. Fill the whites with the yolk mixture using a pastry bag, small cookie scoop or spoon; top with capers and parsley.

 

Why So S.A.D.? (+ Recipe)

I've always gotten the winter blues, but one year it was the worst ever. Like, really bad.

This was during my training to become a certified health coach and we were encouraged to experiment with different kinds of diets.

Unfortunately, I chose January to go vegan.

Not the smartest timing.

Not only did I learn that depriving yourself of warming animal products during a time when you should be nutritionally taking care of yourself even more than usual feels pretty miserable (and cold!), I decided (because I do things like I mean it) to also stop taking my fish oil pills for the month.

Because I’m vegan now, right?

The results weren't pretty.

When I finally went back to eating normally (praise the Lord!) and taking fish oil again, I felt like a new woman.

What happened?

Ok, I've always been susceptible to Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), but for years I'd also been taking fish oil pills, so I was always able to make it through winter relatively unscathed.

A few tropical vacations also helped ;)

S.A.D. has been linked to a biochemical imbalance in the brain, stimulated by shorter daylight hours and a lack of sunlight in winter. 

S.A.D. is also linked to carb cravings and weight gain.

But back to the fish oil…

Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which promote proper brain and nerve function. Recent studies also suggest that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may be helpful in maintaining a healthy emotional balance.

There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids: AHA (alpha-linoleic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).

AHA is plant-based (think flaxseed, chia and hemp), while DHA and EPA are marine-based. For the most effective type of omega-3, choose marine-based.

To go a step further, Dr. Perlmutter (a neurologist and author of the books Grain Brain and Brain Maker), recommends 1,000 mg a day of DHA.

It may also be necessary to up your intake of vitamin D in the winter. Serotonin, the brain hormone associated with mood elevation, rises with exposure to bright light and falls with decreased sun exposure.

Makes sense right? Since you aren't sunning your buns in the winter, your body isn't going to be making vitamin D on it's own. I go from 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 in warmer weather to 4,000 IU in colder.

You might be wondering why I didn't supplement with a vegan source of omega-3. Well, I did the next year (while continuing to eat delicious animal products) and I started to careen down the same S.A.D. path once again, until I went back on the fish oil.

But a more fun way to get omega-3 is through food! (You knew I was gonna say that, right?)

One of the highest sources of omega-3, aside from wild salmon, is sablefish (also called black cod or butterfish).

It's rich and buttery. In the recipe below I gilded that omega-3 lily by coating the fish in sprouted flax meal and I perfumed it with luscious, nostalgic nutmeg.

Savor it and smile :)

Xoxo,
Lauren

Info credit: Andrew Weil, Dr. Mercola and Psychology Today

 

Flax-Meal Crusted Sablefish + Quick Arugula Salad

Ingredients for the crusted sablefish
-2 tbsp flax meal
-1 tbsp ground nutmeg
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 or 2 tbsp ghee (or grass-fed butter)
-2 sablefish filets (I get mine from Vitalchoice.com)*

Ingredients for the salad
-1 tbsp apple cider vinegar with "the mother"
-1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
-pinch of salt
-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
-1/2 of a 5 oz package of pre-washed arugula

Directions for the sablefish

1. Combine the flax meal, ground nutmeg and salt in a dish and press the tops of the sablefish filets into the mixture.

2. Heat a pan over medium heat, add the ghee and then place the filets into the pan crusted-side down; cook for 3 minutes, flip, cover the pan and cook for another 3 minutes; turn the heat off and remove the pan from the hot burner; allow the fish to rest in the pan with the lid on for another 3 minutes and serve.

Directions for the salad

1. Add the vinegar, blackstrap molasses, nutmeg and salt to a salad bowl and combine with a whisk; once combined, slowly whisk in the olive oil.

2. Add the arugula to the bowl and toss to combine.

Serves 2.


*Just a heads up. I'm a proud Vital Choice affiliate. I've loved their products for a couple of years now, so it recently made sense to start working with them. If you purchase the sablefish through the link above, I'll earn a small commission. And just so you know, I don't endorse anything as an affiliate unless I use it myself. 

Confessions of a Soup Lover (+ Recipe)

I’m getting a bit of a reputation for my love of soup, so let's just go with it ;)

Let's start with what I'm NOT looking for in a soup:

-Wimpy consommé
-Strange fluorescent yellow liquid with green flecks floating in it
-Canned soup with grey, lifeless veggies and preservatives
-Mounds of ramen noodles with liquid, that won't satisfy me for very long
-Envelopes of powder/particles that get reconstituted with water….blech!

Soup that I AM interested in:

-Filling (almost too filling!) and chock full of whole veggies
-Full of vibrant flavor
-Not much liquid—it's almost an after-thought
-Pureed, super-thick and satisfying

WHY I use soup as a weight management and beauty-boosting tool:

-It's gorgeously delicious to eat for a few days in a row (batch-cook-it baby)
-As mentioned before (it bears repeating!)…. it's filling
-It'll warm you in the winter and cool you off in the summer
-You can pack it up if you have to eat on the go
-You can get most of your veggies in for the day this way
-You can squeeze a lot of nutrition into it, like I do with my morning smoothie. As Hippocrates (often credited as the father of modern medicine) said:

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food".

You can create a soup to:

-Stay younger looking by using sulfur-rich cruciferous veggies like cauliflower and kale
-Boost digestion by using beets and fennel
-Or feed that sweet craving by using sweet potatoes and butternut squash

Soup isn't the only thing I eat when I sit down to feast.

I also get to eat healthy fats and proteins, along with cultured veggies and a salad or another veggie…or maybe another soup!

The batch soup below contains beets (think good digestion…and you can use the greens in a salad!) and cauliflower (glowing skin).

Bon appetite :)

Xoxo,
Lauren
 

Bodacious Beet Soup

Ingredients
-4 tbsp grass-fed butter (use cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil if you're vegan)
-2 large onions, diced
-salt
-1 clove garlic, minced
-Bunch of beets (ex: 2 large, 3 medium), peeled and diced
-1 head of cauliflower, cut into chunks
-2 large carrots, chopped
-4 cups water
-2 tbsp prepared horseradish
-Ricotta salata, sliced thin (you can do this with a veggie peeler) (omit if you're vegan) 
-Pistachios, shelled and chopped

Directions
1. Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat; add in onions and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until translucent (about 5 mins) and then add in the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 2 mins).
2. Add the beets, cauliflower, carrots, another 1/2 tsp of salt and water and bring to a boil; cook until the veggies are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.
3. Turn off the heat, puree the soup with an immersion blender and stir in the horseradish; top each bowl with the pistachios and ricotta salata.

Makes about 6 servings.

Love Yourself Up (+ Recipe)

It's super-obvious to try staying connected to and loving those around you.

But what about staying connected to and loving yourself?

You weren't really taught that, were you?

Instead you can ignore or beat yourself into submission for any number of things: the way you look, how well you're aging, how much you weigh, how much you've accomplished today. Is it ever enough?

And when you do accomplish what you've set out to do, do you really celebrate?

Or do you joylessly start chipping away at the next thing on the list?

Instead of comparing yourself to someone else, can you really look at yourself and see that you're beautiful and different (as we all are!) even though there are areas you're still working on?

This is the most important relationship of your life, so you must cultivate it.

And no, it's not selfish or corny to think this, it's vital.

There's so much that has happened to you along the way that's covered up just how beautiful and ok you really are, which is why loving and caring for yourself is essential.

Taking care of yourself is also the only way to genuinely take care of others.

I tell clients that self-care is like the instructions you get on a plane: in case of an emergency, secure your oxygen mask before helping others with theirs.

It's the only way.

If you aren't taken care of first, you cannot truly help others (your kids, husband/wife, parents, friends, pets. Whoever).

So how can you show love to and appreciate yourself?

By doing even the smallest thing … winking at yourself in the mirror ;), eating your meal on a gorgeous plate, strutting a little while you walk like John Travolta in "Staying Alive", wearing those bold shoes you've been too nervous to wear.

One idea on my list (in addition to the strutting of course, ha!) is indulging in some luscious, healthy, raw vegan chocolate truffles (recipe below), also just in time for v-day ;)

Because as you know, it's not necessary to eat "bad" foods to indulge and reward yourself. The more nutrient-dense foods usually taste way-better anyway!

Check out the ingredients:

-Raw cacao contains more than 300 different chemical compounds and more antioxidants than blueberries, acai, pomegranates and goji berries combined and protects cells from damage and keeps immunity strong.

-Coconut oil is a healthy fat that fuels the brain and body, helps you feel satisfied and makes your skin look younger.

-Unsulphured blackstrap molasses is the 3rd boiling of cane sugar syrup and is high in magnesium, calcium and potassium; it also contains a good amount of copper, which is why it's been linked to the reversal of white hair.

-Cashews contain copper (good for getting rid of grey hairs), magnesium (controls stress hormones) and vitamin K (prevents wrinkling and premature aging).


Love yourself up.

Xoxo,
Lauren

 

Raw Vegan Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients
-1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or 30 minutes in hot water
-2 tbsp water
-1 cup raw cacao powder + 3 tbsp for rolling the truffles
-1/2 cup cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil, melted
-1/3 cup organic unsulphured blackstrap molasses
-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Optional equipment
Small cookie scooper, 1 tbsp size

Directions
1. Blend the soaked cashews in a food processor with 2 tbsp of water until they are nicely chopped.
2. Add the cacao powder (1 cup), coconut oil, molasses and vanilla and blend until well combined, scraping down the sides at least once.
3. Pour the mixture into a bowl, cover and freeze for 45 minutes, or until firm enough to roll into balls.
4. Once the mixture is firm, spread the remaining 3 tbsp of cacao powder out on a large plate; scoop out equal amounts of the mixture with the cookie scoop, roll into a balls with your hands and lightly coat each truffle in the cacao powder.

Makes about 25 to 30 truffles.

Hard Bodies Are Built In Winter (+ Recipe)

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That's one of the most motivational workout quotes I've ever seen. It's the perfect nudge needed to get out of bed for that 5:45am exercise class, when it's 10 degrees out and way-dark.

It beats waiting until the birds start their early morning chirping near the beginning of spring to get motivated (or freaked out enough) to get that butt into gear.

Because if you're already pumped and primed in the dead of winter, you'll be all set when bikini season rolls around. One more reason to rejoice that spring and summer are back :D

I also move my body because it feels goooood!

Ok, maybe it doesn't always feel good while I’m doing it (!), but afterwards my skin glows and my brain feels buzzy (it doesn’t get better than that).

Which makes sense… it's been found that exercise makes us smarter too (woohoo!...check out Grain Brain for more on this).

You don't even need to hit the gym… even brisk walking for at least 20 minutes, 5 days a week exercises your brain. (I always knew I was taking the dog for a walk more for me than her ;)…)

So what's a good way to treat yourself for all that hard work?

Healthy food, of course :)

And, as always, I advocate making it delicious. What better way to ensure that you'll eat this way for the rest of your life? :)

Let's go a little further and get a little funky too.

How about a jacked up dish that tastes decadent but is actually made up of functional foods (which means food that delivers more than just nutrition)??

This recipe might seem intimidating, but it's EASY, especially if you're already used to making super-simple milk kefir.

You're frying up dulse (a seaweed that's chock full of minerals—10 to 20 times more than land plants—and is used by women to help their skin stay wrinkle-free and their hair keep it's color) just until it's crispy and crunches like a chip (yum) and smearing it with kefir cheese (a whole food probiotic that helps increase good gut bacteria and lets your face glow).

Add a crack of sea salt to the top (maybe even some applewood smoked sea salt).

The more your taste buds are engaged and loving what they're experiencing, the less likely you'll want to eat something that'll throw that hard body off track ;)

So sit back and savor :)

Xoxo,
Lauren
 

Fried Dulse "Chips" With Kefir Cheese

Ingredients
-1/4 cup dulse, separated into cracker-sized pieces
-1 to 2 tbsp grass-fed butter
-1 batch of kefir cheese (recipe below)
-Sea salt (I use Celtic sea salt)

Directions
1. Heat a pan over medium heat and add the butter.
2. Add the pieces of dulse to the pan and coat them in the butter and then take a spatula and press the pieces into the pan to flatten them.
3. Flip each piece once the dulse starts to change color. It should take about 3 minutes for the pieces to cook.
4. Remove from the pan, plate and spread some kefir cheese on each piece. Sprinkle with sea salt.
 

Milk Kefir

Ingredients
-4 cups whole milk, pasture-raised (also called grass-fed) or raw
-1 packet kefir starter (I use Body Ecology)
-1 scoop prebiotic, to feed the kefir starter (I use EcoBloom by Body Ecology)

Optional Equipment
-1/2 gallon mason jar
-Canning funnel

Directions
1. Add the starter packet and prebiotic to the mason jar.
2. Heat the milk in a pan until it reaches 90 degrees.
3. Pour milk into the jar and whisk so that it combines with the starter + prebiotic.
4. Cover and let ferment for 12 to 24 hours (depending on how warm the room is).
5. It will be thick and smell like yogurt when it's ready.

 

Kefir Cheese

Directions
1. Once the milk is fermented (see above), place a large fine mesh strainer (or colander) over a large glass bowl.
2. Put a nut milk bag (you could also use cheesecloth or larger coffee filter) in the strainer and pour the kefir into the nut milk bag; the glass bowl will catch the liquid (whey) and the solids will remain in the nut milk bag.
3. Cover and let the bowl sit overnight in the fridge. The next day you'll have a soft cheese in the bag—place it in a different bowl for storage. You can keep the whey to use as liquid in smoothies or as a culture starter for other fermented food recipes. 

 

An Effective Cleanse (+ Recipe)

I get it. Cleanses are convenient + trendy. You spend good money to get a few days worth of cold-pressed juice.

But what does that get you?

Feeling awesome because you're being "good"? Happy because you might have lost a few pounds in a few days?

Big question… does it last?

Or are you just going to keep eating and drinking all the other stuff that's making you feel like you need a cleanse in the first place?

What's the point if nothing else changes?

Why not have practices in place to make sure you'll always feel cleansed and at an awesome weight (which is the desire behind doing a cleanse, right)?

Feeling cleansed also includes your mind...because you know that if you're not in a good place mentally you're more likely to make poor food choices (hello sugar and processed carbs), which causes more weight gain, mental fogginess and low energy (which probably means you won't be hitting the gym or the pavement anytime soon).

I'm not against juicing. I think it can be used as a tool from time to time, but remember that the fiber (what makes you full and keeps your blood sugar from rising too quickly) is stripped out. 

If you're doing it occasionally along with eating whole veggies, healthy fats and proteins, and no sugar and processed carbs, totally cool. And if it's a straight up green juice without any added sugar (boat-loads of fruit, I’m talking to you), even better.

It always seems like simple things are over-looked for the trendy. I have found simple to be the key.

The other key? Do it consistently. Even if it's the holidays. Even if you're going to be traveling.

I want to look and feel my absolute best. So simple tools are a part of my life. No excuses. No quick fixes. Even though I’m busy.  

Unless you want to hire a personal chef or assistant to provide you with awesome meals, the real truth is you have to do it yourself and this requires making space in your life for it to happen. That's it :)

The best ways to make good, lasting food choices?
            -Eat delicious, real food (veggies, healthy fats, high quality protein, fermented foods).
            -Have delicious, simple recipes on rotation.
            -Batch cook.
            -Make sure you always feel nourished and full.

If you're having trouble making space in your life to eat in a way that will help you reach and maintain your ideal weight, hire a coach to assist in clearing out space to make the changes happen (and hold you accountable). It'll probably cost about the same as that juice cleanse and last much longer.

Click here to set up a free session to see if coaching is right for you.

Here's a salad that I'd eat for lunch or dinner with high quality fat and protein and fermented veggies. It's also cleansing ;)

Xoxo,
Lauren
 

Napa Cabbage Salad with Scallions and Onion-Soy Vinaigrette

Ingredients

-1 tbsp white onion, finely diced
-1 tbsp apple cider vinegar with the "mother"
-4 scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 or 2 tbsp tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
-1 medium sized head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced

Directions

1. Marinate the onion and scallion whites in the apple cider vinegar in a large serving bowl for at least 20 minutes.
2. Once the onion and scallions are marinated, add the salt and tamari to the bowl and whisk and then slowly whisk in the oil.
3. Add the scallion greens and cabbage and toss to combine; let sit at least 15 minutes before serving.

I had a similar salad on my recent trip and I was inspired to re-create it :)

 

 

 

How I Heal (+ Recipe)

I was in a car accident recently and was blessed to walk away with only a gash on my forehead and horrendously sore right ribs from where the side airbag punched me.

It was pretty dicey getting around for a while, but I did as much physical activity as possible.

Was it the best idea to start walking the dog again two days after the accident?

Maybe not, but my body needs to mooooove…and my head needs those feel-good endorphins pumpin'. So for me, it was post-accident self-care.

Aside from the walks, I allowed myself to rest—this is not easy for me! I didn't go to barre class. I even got an extra hour of sleep a night.

But the number one thing I did to heal was to continue eating in a way that shows self-care + love.

Because the more I nurture my brain, body and gut with awesome food, the better I think, feel, move and look.

You've probably heard this: what you eat is more important than what type of exercise you're doing and how much you're doing it.

Because you could be hitting the gym every day and totally killing it, but if you're eating (for example) a typical low-fat, "good" diet (which usually means you are eating convenient Frankenfoods made up of refined carbs and sugar/fructose) the weight isn't going to come off (and if you're eating a lot of fructose, you'll actually gain weight).

And you'll constantly be hungry….double crappy.

Because I continued to eat healthy, deliiiicious :) and filling meals, I didn't gain weight when my activity level was scaled back.

The physical part is still super-important though, so I went back to barre class when I felt that I could do most of the moves and I didn’t beat myself up because I couldn't do everything.

Little by little I've been able to do more and more. Just being there helps—and moving and stretching my body makes me less sore. :)

Below you'll find a tool that I use every day to feel + look good—my morning smoothie.

It's filled with filled with brain + body loving fats, fermented milk (aka kefir, a whole food probiotic), organic zucchini and a bunch of superfoods.

Try it out, tweak it to your taste and let it take care of you.

Xoxo,
Lauren

P.S. What do you do to heal? Leave a comment below.
 

Lauren's Smoothie

Ingredients
-1 cup water
-1 medium organic zucchini or yellow squash, chopped
-20 drops stevia (Body Ecology)
-1 tbsp unrefined, cold-pressed coconut oil
-1 tsp grass-fed ghee
-1 tbsp protein powder, I currently use Moon Juice's Blue Adaptogen Protein
-2 tbsp cacao nibs
-1 tbsp sprouted ground flax
-2 tbsp cacao powder
-1 tsp gelatinized maca, optional
-1 cup homemade kefir, made from pasture-raised whole milk (or pasture-raised raw milk or grassmilkif you can find them)

Directions
1. Put all ingredients in Vitamix blender except for the kefir and blend, starting on low and working up to high, until well blended
2. Add kefir and quickly blend on the lowest setting
3. Pour into glasses

How I Travel (+ Recipe)

I recently travelled to spend time with a bestie and I took as much time planning which foods I'd bring as clothing—yes, I'm intense but I also like to feel awesome when I travel, so I put time into food planning/packing ;)
 

Travel Day Tips

 
1. Make your morning smoothie, even if you're taking an early flight.

Why am I so pro-smoothie? Because you can pack lots of nutritionally jacked-up foods into a couple glasses and it tastes delicious (like a treat).

And when you're traveling you want to start off with as much nutrition as possible, because you don't know what kinds of meals you'll be having.  You'll also be so full that you won't want to eat crap at the airport.

Be sure to jack that smoothie up with stuff like homemade milk kefir, extra-virgin unrefined coconut oil, grass-fed ghee, cacao nibs, cacao powder and zucchini.


2.
Get two bottles of water (32 oz each) at one of those magazine stores right after you pass through airport security and start drinking. I do this before and during the flight.

Finish the first bottle before you land. The second bottle you can drink en route to your destination and even at night—this way you won’t have to worry about looking for more until the next day (especially if you aren't staying with someone you know).

The water'll help you stay hydrated, less hungry and less constipated—yes, I went there :)
 

3. Carry a travel size jar of petroleum jelly.

Sure, you can use it as a moisturizer, but you're also going to stick some up each nostril before takeoff.

Yep. You read that correctly ;)

It's dry and germy up in the skies and the petroleum jelly seals up the sensitive skin inside your nose. I never get sick when I do this, and I always did before adding this tool into my flight plan.
 

4. Pack a meal for the plane.

Bring the last of your weekly batch soup in a throwaway container and a high quality fat/protein (pasture-raised eggs are my go-to). If you need to, include a healthy dessert.

 

When You Get There (Optional)

If you're staying with someone like I did and have access to a kitchen, stop at a food store and get ingredients to make at least one healthy meal. I also made daily smoothies for us, but like I said, I’m intense :D

One night we made the wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon from my quick and easy recipe ebook along with the soup below.

It's a riff on the Fiery Cleansing Soup from my last post.

We were stuffed and had enough for lunch the next two days. It's also a great way to take care of your beautiful hostess :) <3

Bon voyage and bon appetite :)

Xoxo,

Lauren

 

Cabbage + Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

-4 tbsp grass-fed butter (I use Kerrygold)
-4 medium or 2 large onions, cut in half and then sliced thinly
-1/2 to 1 tsp chipotle powder, depending on how spicy you want it
-1 small head of cabbage, cut in half and sliced thin
-1 1/2 to 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and diced
-4 cups water

Directions:
1. Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat and add the onions, chipotle powder and 1/2 tsp salt, and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5-10 minutes.

2. Add the cabbage and 1 tsp of salt and sauté for a minute or two until it wilts slightly; then add the butternut squash and water; bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the butternut squash is tender.

3. Let the soup sit for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to deepen.