Interview from Super Food Super Life, by Alexa Gray.
Q: Lauren, what inspired you to be a health coach?
A: I was inspired by combination of two things: My own health journey and healing my body through food combined with my ex-fiancé inspiring me to follow my passion for health, wellness and cooking.
My health journey wasn’t easy. I was born a colicky baby, battled ear infections as a child and at the age of 6, I was diagnosed with ADHD/ADD. When I was 8 years old, the doctor told me that I had high cholesterol. I was overweight as a teen, had acne and eczema. Then I battled an eating disorder from 16 years old throughout college.
For all of my life, I had horrible digestive issues that the doctor thought was IBS. I later made the connection that the IBS, acne and eczema was all caused by an allergy to dairy and soy, plus a gluten intolerance. In my 20's, I had issues around my cycle that were caused by PCOS, low progesterone and uterine polyps.
Over the years, I have taken the alternative route to heal my holistic body, which is now what I teach others to do, emphasizing nutrition and wellness.
Q: Lauren, what kind of clients do you work with and what do you specialize in?
A: I work with some many types of people! My oldest client is 87 and my youngest is 9 years old! I work with private clients and businesses, insurance companies, universities and schools. My private clients are busy female professionals, teenagers, college students, parents and athletes. Many of the parents I work with hire me to do nutrition and life coaching with. their teens and college aged kids.
My clients come to me because they have a specific health issue/issues that they need help with and have realized that prescription pills are not the answer. I teach them how eat, cook and live the right lifestyle to finally feel good and have optimal energy levels.
The corporate clients, insurance companies, universities and schools hire me to speak on different health topics like "What is Healthy Eating" and "Super Foods for Super People" and to do one-on-one corporate health coaching with the individual employees. If the employees are healthy, the office productivity rates go up, so it is a win-win for both the businesses and employees to have me in their offices.
Q: Where do you like to shop for your food?
A: I LOVE to shop at the Farmer's Markets but my schedule is so busy that I rarely do! I live a “Holistic but Realistic” life and going to the Farmer’s Markets isn’t realistic with my schedule, so I have to have my groceries delivered to my house from Whole Foods and Erewhone via Instacart.
Instacart has saved me so many times when I look in my fridge, there is nothing to eat and a client is on their way to my office. I hop on their website, order what I need and it arrives like magic. I open my door and there are bags of grocery gifts! It’s Insta-Gift!
Having said that, when I can go to the market, I truly enjoy picking out what I am going to eat and when I do get to go the Farmer’s Market, I am just in heaven! Some how, going to the grocery store has become a sacred moment for me!
Q: Lauren, what do you do if a client does not comply with your recommendations?
A: I pride myself on honesty, compassion and a little tough love. When I have that client who doesn't want to listen, I tell them very frankly that, "I can only do so much to help you and if you do not want my help, then you are wasting your time. You have one body to take care of and if you don't do it now, you can't go return it to the nearest department store for a new one. When you are ready to take care of yourself, my door is always open to help you."
Usually that conversation lights a fire under their feet and they start listening. If they don't, we go our separate ways. I’ve learned that I cannot save everyone that comes into my office, unless they want to change and are open to my guidance. I have also learned that I cannot save people! Change happens from within.
Q: What do you get most excited about when working with a new client?
A When clients want me to teach them how to cook! I love teaching my clients how to make my recipes! Sharing my personal culinary art with a client is the BEST feeling in the world. I also get excited when clients walk in and they FINALLY FEEL GREAT!
Q: What is your Haas Holistic philosophy that you live by and teach?
A: My philosophy is "Holistic but Realistic." It is hard to be 100% perfect with everything you do, so I give myself 20% wiggle room!
For example, I wish I could have chickens for fresh eggs in my back yard, but it is not realistic to have a chicken coop on my balcony in Los Angeles. Therefore, I make sure to buy vegetarian fed, soy free, organic eggs.
My philosophy also stems from the rigid lifestyle I used to live. For years, I was a perfect eater, and I was the miserable! Now, when I want a piece of chocolate, I make sure to buy the highest quality chocolate that is good for me! If I want dessert, I make it and if I want that glass of full bodied cabernet sauvignon, I will have a glass, never the whole bottle.
Q: Who are some of your favorite authors, chefs, gurus, etc. that inspire you?
A: My mom, Dahlia Haas, because she is a goddess in life and the kitchen. She is a chef and taught me how to cook, throw the BEST dinner parties, take care of myself and that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!
My Grandmother, Nina, because she makes the BEST Middle Eastern Food in the WORLD. She also feeds everyone that walks in her house and will make sure that you leave full. Both she and my mom taught me that when you have 4 people over for dinner, you make enough for 8!
The lovely Ina Gartner and her perfect roasted chicken recipe that always inspires me to make beautiful food that is full of love.
Ann Gentry of Real Food Daily. I have been blessed to spend time with her and she is a force to reckon with! She started the vegetarian restaurant movement in Los Angeles and her food is just really good. Whenever I eat at her restaurant, I leave feeling full of life. Her food is comforting, colorful and makes me smile.
Kathryn Budig because she was one of my first yoga teachers that became a dear friend. When she lived in LA, we were always cooking yummy recipes together and she inspired me to follow my path, do the work and with time, my dreams would become a reality. I have watched her morph into an amazing women and public figure. She inspires me on multiple levels!
Akasha Richmond's restaurant, Akasha because she gives me faith that there are chefs who can still cook consciously with animal proteins. She sources her meat and fish from only the best which she has inspired me to do daily and educate my clients on how and why this is important not just for their health but for the animals and environment.
Kris Carr because she is wild, fun and loving which she beautifully expresses through her plant-based lifestyle and diet. She is also a survivor and gives so many people hope.
I am also heavily inspired Middle Eastern, Indian and Asian cuisines which you can taste in my food. My spice cabinet is always stocked with different spices from different cultures that I like to mix and match to surprise everyone’s taste buds. I like to say that my food is an ethnic party in your mouth.
Q: How do you find your zen?
A: I find my zen when I wake up in the morning ay 6:30, see my dog, Lucy’s, tiny face and have my cup of tea with almond milk before I start the day.
I find my zen in the kitchen creating new recipes while listening to really sexy R&B music.
I find my zen on my yoga mat, hiking, standup paddle boarding and breathing the fresh air on the North Shore of Kauai when I visit my home. Kauai is where my heart and soul lives.
I find my zen when I am meditating and when I have a night to myself. Sometimes I like to be alone because that is when I can listen to my intuition.
I find my zen in the shower because it is quiet.
I find my zen when I am in love and when I am sharing my love through my food with others.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
A: Success takes hard work but never work so hard that you forget to live your life or find true love.
Q: What is your favorite recipe at the moment?
A: My Hazelnut Pesto Zoodles Recipe with Coriander Turkey Meatballs. IT IS SOOOOO GOOD!
Q: What is your dream for Haas Holistic?
A: My dream… I don’t believe in dreams, I believe in manifesting ideas and turning them into a reality. My goal is to write a whole bunch of cookbooks that become a best sellers.
I would eventually like to have a cooking show based on wellness with GOOD recipes that are fast and easy to make!
I want to share with the world how to live a “Holistic but Realistic” life, full of good food and optimum health!