We’re excited to introduce you to the fabulous Lauren Glucina today. Lauren is a health coach, raw food chef and the creator of Ascension Kitchen. This gorgeous blog is dedicated to providing inspiration and information on plant-based raw foods. Lauren is currently based in Auckland New Zealand and took time out from her studies to answer a few questions for us, and share an utterly delicious raw dessert. See below for more….
Q. Can you please tell us a little about yourself? Why did you become interested in health and nutrition?
I am a Health Coach and Raw Chef and share healthy recipes and wellness tips on my site, Ascension Kitchen. I’m also proud creator of the popular app, Green Smoothies by Ascension Kitchen. I am currently expanding my offerings further by studying Herbal Medicine and Nutrition. Part of the attraction to raw foods was initially due to the profound effect it has on raising our vibrations. As I get further into my studies I am finding I am drawn more and more to vibrational medicine, through plants, flower essences and energy healing. This is my second career incarnation if you like, I was working for a long time in advertising, but the daily stressors, poor health, and the niggling feeling that I wasn’t following ‘my path’ led me to take a bit of a leap and start something new.
Q. Can you please tell us about your food philosophy?
I am a passionate advocate for an organic, whole, plant based diet with lots of vibrant raw foods. What we eat has a direct impact on our bodies – food is like information, bathing and washing over our cells, sending them messages and influencing their behaviour. However, I also believe that nutrition is only part of a bigger picture. The way we think also has a profound effect on our health. Emotions such as stress, fear, anxiety, and on the opposite end of the spectrum – love, acceptance, peace, can all influence our cells, tissues, and organs. Consider for a moment, that the bowels are the seat of all emotions – and how upset things feel when we are anxious, stressed or heart broken. Where the mind goes, the body follows…
Q. What does a day in your plate look like?
Well, I won’t share’s yesterday’s day as it was a day of fruit toast and honey pretty much! Nothing healthy or interesting there! On a good day, I start with a simple tonic, room temperature filtered water, the juice of half a lemon, a couple of tablespoons of aloe vera juice, and a small blob of wild Manuka honey. This is a liver and digestive cleanser. I can’t remember a day gone past without a smoothie of some sorts. Sometimes with greens – but not always. Today, coconut water, berries, bee pollen, protein powder. Popped amaranth with a bit of almond milk and a drizzle of coconut nectar. Lunch is usually a fruit bowl or a salad with some kind of protein in there. Dinner is mostly vegetables, raw or steamed, from the garden. Perhaps some tempeh or beans – some healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil, tahini) - and often – mushrooms – one of the top cancer protective foods you can eat. Dandelion tea and some raw dark chocolate for a treat. The occasional coffee even though I should know better. But hey, I’m only human! Overall, a very simple diet.
Q. What are your top tips to improve your health and vitality through what you eat?
Firstly, manage stress. Stress tends to keep your body running sub-optimally. Learn to let go, relax, and take time for yourself. Stay happy and positive. Cultivate a strong meditation or spiritual practice. Learn to b-r-e-a-t-h-e. Get quality sleep. Secondly, eat real foods. Don’t compromise on that part. Eat organic where possible, and simply eat real, whole, unprocessed and unadulterated foods. Eat more raw. Raw foods offer so much goodness. Drink real, clean water. Use herbs or superfoods when you need extra support. And have gratitude for the goodness that Mother Earth provides.
Q. If you had to pick, what are your favourite superfoods?
Maca – for healthy hormones
Goji – pure beauty food
Reishi mushroom – for immunity
Q. What is the biggest misconception people have about a healthy, plant-based diet?
I often get asked whether eating this way requires a lot of hard work and planning. I would argue that once you get into the swing of doing things a new way, that it is far less time consuming. Besides – if you look at the bigger picture – a little time invested in preparing foods in a natural way far outweighs any lost time you may experience due to poor health later down the track.
Lauren has created this utterly delicious Yogi Cake, which we’re delighted to share today. The name for this recipe was inspired by her love for Yoga. The recipe incorporates lots of beneficial spices like Ginger, Cinnamon and Cardamom, alongside some Lucuma for delicious sweetness. Find the recipe here.