Name: Lauren Glucina
Occupation: Health Coach, Raw Chef, E book author and app developer, Student of Herbal Medicine
For the people who arent' familiar with you (or just want to know more), tell us a bit about yourself?
I left my stressful corporate career after ten years of late nights and pressure. I went on a healing journey to repair from all the damages this stress did to my body (Crohns disease, adrenal fatigue). I retrained as a Health Coach and Raw Chef and set up my site, Ascension Kitchen, to share healthy recipes and wellness tips. And now I am expanding my knowledge and offerings further by studying Herbal Medicine and Nutrition. Behind the scenes I am working on bringing some exciting product to the market. I'm a passionate advocate of a wholefoods, organic, plant-based diet and lifestyle, I deeply value my spiritual practice, and am a lover of design, colour, crystals and goddess baths.
What made you choose the path of leading a healthy life and was there a particular turning point?
I have always been drawn to natural and alternative therapies, but I would say the catalyst that set me out on a new path was my illness. It really made me look deeper at my life â€“ how did I get like this? What were the stressors that led me here? Part of the answers I discovered, were rooted deep in the hectic, whirlwind career that I had at the time. My soul longed to break free, and follow a more peaceful path, one that would be able to support me in healing, sustain me financially, and enable me to give back. I still have a bit of study to go but I've already made a lot of headway and it is exciting, definitely no turning back!
What does your usual daily routine look like?
Wake early, write in my journal, or read something soul-shaking. Green smoothie filled with goodies (raw sprouted protein, maca, spirulina, barley grass, quality probiotics, vitamin C, aloe vera juice), berries with Manuka honey. Some days are study days, other days are work days, which are pretty fun filled and creative and lots of recipe experimentation, writing, styling, photographing, and general mess making. Walks around the ocean in the evenings. Raid the veggie patch for dinner. Licorice tea. Hot baths with oils and Epsom salts. Starfish out in bed!
Let's take a peek in your bathroom cupboard, what are your must have products?
I dont buy much in the way of beauty products, but mum just gave me a bottle of Vision face and eye cream, and I actually really love it. It is a New Zealand range, it is cruelty free, and is made with rose water, sweet almond oil, shea butter, gotu kola and even a bit of colloidal silver.
What do you always have in your kitchen (both fridge and supplements)?
My gut is my weak point so I have the following for daily support: a good quality, dairy free probiotic, home made fermented vegetables, aloe vera juice, manuka honey, turmeric (to fight inflammation it gets thrown in all kinds of dishes even smoothies), licorice/peppermint/fennel/camomile tea, barley grass powder for added minerals, Udos oil for essential fatty acids.
I am always making raw treats, so I also have a stash of cacao powder & cacao butter, dates, activated nuts, buckwheat, coconut nectar, coconut oil, goji berries, chia, flax, various salts and spices, flower essences, dried fruits, lacuma, mesquite all the fun stuff. (And I confess I have a cacao addiction aka Pana Chocolate, fig and orange, holy wow).
Raw & Sexy Sweets here and Green Smoothies ebook here
How important is clean, nutrient rich food in your diet?
Very but its not the whole picture. Ive learnt that no matter how well I eat, if Im stressed, its like I may as well be eating junk! I follow a plant-based diet, I try to eat organic as much as humanely possible, and am passionate about raw foods, so I get a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables down the hatch each day too.
How do you like to move and keep fit? Is exercise an important part of your life?
I love walking and daydreaming. Im going to explore yoga some more this year. Previously Ive always done really physical stuff I have a black belt in karate, and used to dance Salsa and Reggaeton. Walking is my therapy, its very important to me â€“ I work really hard, and need that time to myself to clear my head, and soak up some nature.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your health journey? These days were influenced by so many different sources from friends, family, blogs, magazines and now even Instagram!!
My Naturopath in Kaukapakapa, Auckland. She helped my dad recover from advanced bowel cancer, and helped me hugely in my own healing. She is so qualified, and has so much wisdom. She is trained in Rife Therapy, a vibrational therapy that works by using frequencies to shatter and eliminate viruses (like cancer) in the body. She keeps a very low profile as Im sure conventional medicine would be quick to scoff. She is hugely dedicated, compassionate, gentle, kind, and a true healer. She has inspired me to work as hard as I can to help others to heal themselves in the most gentle and non-invasive way possible.
Book: A Return to Love, by Marianna Williamson (an interpretation on the principals of A Course in Miracles)
My study buddies: Rocky the rock salt lamp, and Einstein, my ceramic owl oil burner
My sleep remedy: magnesium + valerian = lights out!
As your parting gift to us what is your favourite recipe?
Raw Fig, Cherry, Lavender and Honey Cake
Fills an 8 inch cake pan
2 cups macadamia nuts (or cashews)
1 cup desiccated coconut
¼ cup date paste
2 pinches fine Himalayan rock salt
½ teaspoon vanilla paste (or ½ vanilla bean, scrapped)
1. Process the nuts very, very quickly, just to break them down a little
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and process till a nice dough forms
3. Press the mixture firmly into the base of an 8 inch cake tin lined with baking paper, use the back of a spoon to flatten the surface. Set aside.
1½ cups cashews, soaked overnight
1½ cups young coconut meat (this will be about two coconuts worth)
¾ cup nut milk
½ cup raw, mild honey (or ½ cup maple syrup)
½ cup coconut oil
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon organic dried lavender
1 tablespoon vanilla paste (or 3 vanilla beans, scrapped)
2 pinches Himalayan rock salt
2 tablespoons psyllium husk (or 2 tablespoons soy lecithin)
Additional water to assist the blending if needed (perhaps a few tablespoons)
1 cup red cherries, pitted
3 large plump, fresh figs
1. Blend the cashews, coconut meat, milk, honey, coconut oil, lemon juice, lavender, salt and vanilla paste till smooth. You may like to do this in two batches, for ease of blending
2. Now add the psyllium husk and blend again. Transfer to a large mixing bowl
3. In a food processor, quickly blitz the cherries and figs, then fold this through the rest of the filling
4. Pour the filling over the base of the cake and set in the freezer (up to three hours)
5. Transfer to the fridge to soften a little before serving.