Friday, June 13, 2014

INSPIRE.ME! - Lauren Glucina (Ascension Kitchen) + Smoothie recipe "Aura - for Beauty"

I am excited to present you the first interview of my new series: Inspire. Me! My very first guest is Lauren Glucina, the mastermind behind the outstanding website Ascension Kitchen. I feel very honored to have her here today since she is one of the people who inspired me to start my raw vegan journey. I am deeply impressed of how she juggles her blog, a full time study and her holistic health coaching program while living a healthy, raw life and being such a beautiful and shining soul! Thank you Lauren for doing this interview with me!

Lauren Glucina, the mastermind behind the website Ascension Kitchen

First, Lauren please tell us a bit about yourself and your personal experience regarding the impact of food and emotions on your wellbeing and behaviour.

Thank you for having me Fee. I am a Holistic Health Coach and trained Raw Chef, and run a website called Ascension Kitchen, where I share a lot of my plant based, raw and herbal recipes and remedies with my readers and clients. I worked for many years in the corporate world and was under a lot of stress and pressure. I eventually got pretty burnt out and had some nasty autoimmune things going on. No matter what alternative therapy I tired (and I tried everything – including a 17 day water fast!), I found no relief. 

"My biggest learning is that food directly influences your body"

Things changed when I left my job and simply had a much needed rest. I started re-training and healing, which has bought me where I am today. I’m currently working my way through studies in Western Herbal Medicine and Nutrition to further expand my knowledge. My biggest learning is that food directly influences your body, and that even beyond that, emotions contribute greatly to your wellbeing. Health to me, is a simple, organic, whole foods, plant based diet, combined with a stress free and positive outlook on life. They go hand in hand. I have found stress and anxiety to be incredibly damaging, for example, can you remember a time when you were perhaps so upset, heart broken, over tired or anxious that your tummy had butterflies and you didn’t feel like eating? These kind of feelings are not healthy in the slightest! They lead to acidic conditions in the body and prevent you from digesting and absorbing your food optimally. 

Orange Vanilla White Nectarine Cake (Ascension Kitchen)

My favorite quote from your website is: "food is information". Can you briefly explain what this concept means to you and how you work with it on your blog and holistic coaching program?

Yes – food is indeed information. I like this analogy as it seems far more accurate than ‘food is fuel’. Everything we eat, and drink, has an influence in our body. The body interprets this information in a myriad of ways – if we ingest chemicals, additives, carcinogens, the body gets busy sorting, clearing, storing or eliminating. If we ingest quality fats, our body knows to pull them apart and dispatch them for use in our cell membranes and hormones, if we ingest lots of lovely antioxidant rich fruits, we can run off and fight some bad ass free radicals. 

"Food is information"

Food signals us to start rallying up white blood cells, create inflammation, clear out waste, release hormones, make energy, build muscle…food can even change the expression of your genes! With this in mind, it is easy to see how the choices you make directly influence your health and wellbeing. My coaching programme is all about educating people on how to make smarter choices. What we eat, and how we think, has such a profound effect on our health.

Green bean cucumber and mint salad (recipe here)

You're also the author of the two books "Green Smoothies by Ascension Kitchen" and "Raw and Sexy Sweets" and the creator of the "Green Smoothies App". Would you recommend these resources to someone new to raw foods?

Yes absolutely – especially the Green Smoothies App. I’ve made a point of making all the ingredients in there accessible and affordable to all, so it is a great place to start. I’ve purposefully left out all superfoods, and stripped it down to basics, because quite often, they can be very expensive and hard to source. It would not be very economical for a family to be having these foods on a daily basis. 

"Good health doesn't depend on superfoods"

The good thing is, good health doesn’t depend on them, so I hope that the app can inspire people with some interesting and healthy new flavour combinations. It is also a learning experience, I have written a short paragraph on the nutritional ‘superpowers’ of each and every ingredient used in the app, so you can understand better why these foods are good for you. 

What do you think are 3 easy tricks to start a healthier living?

Three tips to start out on a healthy path:

1. Start your day with a simple green smoothie, if you start your day on a good note like this, it often sets the theme for the day.
2. Take care of your digestive system, if you have a healthy gut, you will have a healthy body! This means including some lovely probiotic rich foods in your diet in the form of fermented vegetables, coconut kefir and kombucha.
3. Slowly crowd out the stuff that doesn’t serve you with simple, organic whole foods, there’ll be no looking back.

Raw chocolate log (recipe here)

If you were new to raw foods again, what would you do differently?

If I were new to raw foods again, I would incorporate more probiotic rich and mineral rich foods into my diet. Minerals are particularly important for healthy adrenals. Wild weeds and sea vegetables can provide this for you. 

"Quality healthy fats [...] are really important for us girls"

I like to make an infusion of nettle or oatstraw, let it steep overnight then drink it in the mornings. I would also not be afraid to have more quality healthy fats, which are really important for us girls – especially for healthy hormones!

I am a big fan of simple, affordable but novel and fancy raw dishes like your fig, vanilla and date grawnola (find the recipe here). What do you always have at home to prepare a quick and easy raw dish?

Yes me too! I’m lucky to have a big beautiful organic vege garden so my go-to meal is always freshly picked. I make a big salad of parsley, watercress, coriander, mint, radicchio, rosemary, chickweed and a little cos. I dress it with homemade hummus, a wild herb pesto, and homemade sauerkraut. I sprinkle some karengo fronds over the top (a type of seaweed from New Zealand), a little gomashio, apple cider vinegar, avocado and some activated pumpkin seeds. It is seriously divine.

It sounds divine! 

Fav raw dish? My raw peppermint slice.
Green or sweet smothie? Green – my favourite is basil, strawberry, mint, beet greens and coconut water.
Running or yoga? Both depending on my mood and the weather.
Raw product you couldn't live without? If we’re talking gadget, my dehydrator, if we’re talking food, coconut butter.

Thank you so much Lauren for taking your time! It was wonderful to have you here at Raw, Fit and Happy!
If your mouth is watering as mine and you're interested in Lauren's coaching program, books or app, you can find her at:


Aura – for Beauty

8 large basil leaves
4 large beet leaves
1 ½ cups strawberries
5 ice cubes
¾ cup water or coconut water

Blend and enjoy.

If you like this post and want to receive more free raw sweet and savory recipes and follow my interview series Inspire.Me! like Raw, Fit & Happy on facebook or follow my blog by submitting your email here

Love and hugs,

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