Hi and welcome to my website, winner of the #2 spot on the Best 10 UK Organic Food Blogs 2018!
I’m Lauren Vaknine, wellbeing, parenting and features writer, nutritionist, holistic wellness coach, blogger, aspiring novelist and, perhaps my most important role to date; mama. Having been previously wheelchair-bound until implementing my new lifestyle, I am also a self-professed holistic living junkie!
I used to run two websites – one for my writing, public speaking and campaigning, and one for my recipes, but in 2017 I decided to merge the two, and by 2019 things have grown even more! My focus right now really is on sharing my message about holistic health, intentional living and informed choice, so here you will find all my natural health- and natural parenting-related tips and articles, feature articles, information about my book, ‘My Enemy, My Friend’ (currently undergoing some exciting changes and therefore off the shelves until its re-release in early 2020), my recipes, and news of other stuff I might be up to, including campaigning and public speaking.
My photography skills have improved somewhat over the past few years since starting to share my recipes so I do apologise about the quality of pictures on some of the older recipes. I’m still learning so no judgement please!
I have been following a ‘cleaner’ way of life for many years now, and falling pregnant and having my son in 2015, only strengthened my reasons for following this ideology that we can only be truly healthy when we live as naturally as possible, and here you can see how I’ve implemented this into my every-day life from food, cosmetics and lifestyle, to the way I parent. You can read more about exactly what is involved in my lifestyle over at Philosophy.
So how did it all begin?
I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of two, and Uveitis in my right eye the year following that. My poor parents didn’t know what to do; in 1986 there weren’t many options. They researched as much as they could and decided that the steroids the doctors wanted to prescribe were too strong for a two-year-old so instead we tried everything from homeopathy to spiritual healing. The homeopathy helped to keep my immune system strong and helped keep my joints from being damaged by the disease, which was a major achievement, but it was always like there was a piece missing from the puzzle because I was never free of the disease completely and I would have dreadful yearly flare-ups that would result in time off school and a watered-down version of childhood.
When I was seventeen, after starting performing arts school, I suddenly had a huge flare up that wouldn’t go away. I ended up being put on a chemo-based drug that changed my life forever – and not in a good way. It damaged my liver, caused me to lose my hair and left me wheelchair-bound. I left college and never got to go to uni, or go travelling with my friends; I really lost out on those late teenage years but what I did instead was find a way to get healthy again; I found the missing piece.
I researched relentlessly, teaching myself everything there was to know about food, nutrition and the human body. I found a homeopath who practiced not only homeopathy but also craniosacral therapy, reiki and kinesiology – a complete integrative approach. I researched gene mutations and other contributing factors, and educated myself on the intricacies of genetics and epigenetics, and gave myself a complete lifestyle overhaul. I began meditating, practicing yoga, and understanding that the mind had more power than I ever gave it credit for, that what I put out into the quantum field would come back to me, so I decided to put out HEALTH! And lo and behold, I got healthy…
I qualified as an interior designer in 2003, and after working for a wonderful company in the City, I ran my own company for seven years. In a lightbulb moment, I decided to write a book about my life with arthritis, the journey it took me on, and how I overcame it with a holistic lifestyle (currently in progress to be re-released with a new publishing company in a few months – not available until then). After that I was invited to become a trustee of the British Homeopathic Association and spokesperson for the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine.
I eventually gave up interior design to focus full-time on my ultimate passions: writing and teaching people how to get healthy. I qualified as a nutritionist (specialising in childhood nutrition), and I have since become Parliamentary ambassador for Juvenile Arthritis and I now spend my time writing wellbeing-, health- and conscious parenting-related articles for publications such as Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Natural Health, Health & Homeopathy, What Doctors Don’t Tell You, The Green Parent, The Natural Parent and more. I have recently begun writing more mainstream features, too. Sometimes I also speak about natural living at events – when motherhood allows for it! – and I am in the process of writing my first novel. I also spend as much time as I can campaigning for the awareness and accessibility of natural health options and informed choice for parents alongside wonderful organisations such as the Arnica Network.
Though of course allopathic medicine has its place in many instances, many years have now passed since I stopped all forms of conventional medication – including pain-killers – and I have been in remission since 2013, with the exception of postpartum flare-ups following the births of both my children, which was an important learning curve as each one reminded me that this autoimmune disease lives dormant within me and any number of things can trigger it and it’s up to ME to tackle that – not the doctor, not my parents, not my husband, and not the pharmaceutical industry… I take my healthcare into my own hands. Postpartum hormones were not something I had control over but the need to up my game to get back into remission each time spurred me on to really practice what I preach. I believe that in order to cure, we must heal from the root cause, and after that, we must focus our energies on preventing more disease.
I live in London with my husband, Daniel, and our 2 children. The picture below includes our precious dog, Milo, even though he is no longer with us, because I can’t bring myself to take it down!
I hope you enjoy my blog! <3
Love & health,
Read this blog – The Pursuit of Happiness – Writing My First Novel – to hear more about the novel I’m writing and how remission from arthritis led me to writing fiction.