If you’ve seen any of my meals, you’d notice that I add some kind of fermented food to pretty much every one, whether it be sauerkraut, kimchi or even coconut yogurt. Even though I really do love the taste of all these foods, that’s not why I initially started adding plenty of these probiotic-rich foods to my meals. Just recently, I started seeing improvement in my digestion, which I have been struggling with for a couple years. I’m talking I would eat something small at 7am and feel like I had eaten 5 minutes ago when it came time to eat a late lunch around 2pm. Now I’m starting to digest my food better and can eat normal sized meals with no digestive upset. Don’t get me wrong, I changed and added a bunch of other habits and foods to heal my gut along the way, but i am a firm believer that adding these fermented foods so regularly to my diet has played a huge role in getting me where I am today (which is still by no means perfect). Now, I not only eat fermented foods because of their various health benefits, but I crave them daily and feel like a meal is incomplete without them. I’ll explain more about why this might be the case.
Through my studies with the NTA, I am learning the importance of getting down to the root cause of any health issue, and that root cause in many cases is less than optimal gut health. Our gut is our first line of defense from the outside world, so any pathogen or harmful substance that sneaks into our body with food or drink is either blocked by a healthy gut or allowed to slip through the gut lining by an unhealthy, otherwise know as “leaky” gut. When we allow our gut microbiome to get out of whack, our first line of defense is diminished and we end up with leaky gut syndrome, which is becoming more and more common today. These “leaks” that develop between the tight junctions of our gut lining end up allowing pathogens, undigested food particles and other foreign substances enter our bloodstream, causing an upregulation of our immune system. An acute immune response is perfectly normal and actually beneficial for our body from time to time. However, problems begin to arise when this is a daily occurrence because of a compromised barrier in our gut, leading to a chronic state of inflammation in the body. This chronic systematic inflammation that our body can’t seem to fight off ends up resulting in things like GI disorders, autoimmune diseases, neurological conditions and skin disorders.
By now you’re probably starting to realize how important our gut health plays in to our health, but you might be surprised to learn that the bugs living in your gut might be the culprits behind those relentless sugar cravings that you can’t seem to shake (isn’t it nice to know that you might not need to blame it all on lack of willpower?) or the reason you get gassy and bloated right after every meal. The food you eat is feeding the bugs that make up your microbiome, so when you choose a meal packed with refined carbohydrates and sugars, you are sending a direct invitation for the bad bugs to stay and reproduce. After many of these similar diet choices, a dysbiosis, or unfavorable ratio of bad bugs to good bugs, will develop. This overgrown population of bad bugs in the microbiome will keep asking for the foods they love like chips, cookies, pizza and ice cream, leading you into a downward spiral of cravings that you feel like you can’t escape. So, if this is what happens when you’re making poor decisions, imagine how you could reshape your microbiome with some smarter choices in the foods you are eating and reshape your palette in the long run. Adding probiotic rich foods to salads, hot meals or even by the spoonful, straight out the jar, is such a great step to getting your gut back on track.
NOTE: If you’ve tried a probiotic supplement and didn’t see a difference, give these foods a try. They’re much cheaper than a good quality supplement + you’re sure to be getting all the benefits of the live culture without the capsule that may have been sitting on a shelf for a while.
If any of these explain you, you most likely need to add probiotic-rich foods to your diet daily. There are so many different fermented foods you can try and it can be fun to incorporate new flavors to your regular dishes to spice them up a bit!
" From over a decade of acne, doctors, multiple food fears, blaming hormones and over analyzing everything I put in my body...I am finally at a place where I am truly happy with my skin. Its not near perfect, but this is from ONE month of working with Lauren. She has been the biggest blessing and helped me more than anyone on my long road to clear skin. I honestly was to the point where I thought clear skin was not attainable. I was starting to develop unwanted anxiety, negative mindset and stress because of the constant breakouts. I felt like I couldn't get to the next step in my healing journey. Working with someone who can truly help you heal and get to the root of you acne is key! I could cry writing this because you never know how bad acne can truly affect someone until you've experienced it yourself. Healing is possible ❤"
"VSA has truly been a life changing program. I went in with the expectation of achieving clear skin but came out with so much more. The program is so robust and each part of it is essential to achieving clear skin. Not only has my skin cleared up since starting the program, but I’ve also learned a lot about mindset, diet, hormones and more. My mindset has done a complete 180, my periods are less intense, my PMS symptoms have basically disappeared, my energy levels are back up and overall I’m feeling well (which I haven’t felt in a long time!) I also now have a great tool box of resources and information that I can continue using if needed. Finally, this program has been incredibly supportive. Meeting and connecting with women who are struggling with the same skin issues and being able to hear their stories has been powerful. The sense of community and togetherness you feel in this program can’t be recreated elsewhere. If you’re struggling with acne and want out of the birth control/harsh topical rat race, I can’t recommend this program enough."
"After completing the VSA program while working alongside Lauren I am leaving with a hoard of valuable knowledge on how to prevent and treat the root cause of my acne. This program has not only helped to decrease my skin inflammation but transformed how I approach clearing my acne. I have shifted from wanting to clear my skin for physical appearance reasons to learning to love myself at every step of the journey with or without acne. This is huge for me because my mindset is something that has always held me back. Especially when clearing acne you want a stress free mental environment and that is something I was able to achieve while completing the VSA program. I am grateful for Lauren and my group's guidance each week I will remember the advice, protocols and support I received here long after it is over!"
I struggled with acne on and off for 15 years and had tried everything from antibiotics, to working with a homeopath, to working with an esthetician. These things all worked but only temporarily and never fully. I knew that there was something deeper going on but didn’t know how to go about figuring it out. Finding Lauren was a literal blessing. Changing the focus of fixing my skin to fixing the root cause was everything I needed to change not only my acne but my whole life, honestly. This program is so much more than healing your skin. You will get the tools to confidently change your mindset (healing any anxieties, negativity, etc), so much information about products your using that you had no idea we’re toxic or poor cloggers, 1:1 sessions with an amazing esthetician, regular breath work sessions and access to guest speaker calls that will give you a wide array of perspectives on how you can take care of your mind and body. You honestly get so much more than you think when entering this program. If you have struggled with acne, don’t even question this investment. It is so worth it!
Before starting VSA, I had slightly ideas about acne, but once I started, I came to understand I really didn't know anything, and all of those years of second guessing had made me resilient about finding a cure for it, but I always had this idea that a single diet or a single product would definitively heal me completely, but it was all tons of wasted money and I had probably contributed to worsening my acne by doing all the random things that I read here and there. VSA opened my eye to a new perspective in life with the life style changes it required us to make in order to heal. It was very hard at the beginning but it got easier after a month, however, habits DOES take time to form, so I'd advice anybody doing this program to just keep consistency, and get up when you fall, even though sometimes it seems challenging when you still get acne here and there. When I first found out about Lauren's program VSA I knew from the bottom of my heart I had to get in, but it wasn't until a year later that I finally was able to get in and it has been probably the best investment I've made for myself. Lauren and her team were not only helpful, they were kind, they were honest and they were ALWAYS supportive. Be open to this new experience and ask all the questions you have, there's so much to learn!
Before this program, I had been struggling with acne since my early teen years and I'm now I'm in my mid-twenties. I would get some zits on my face, but the worse of it was the cystic acne on my back. I had gone to the dermatologist and had been prescribed all of the usual stuff and none of it worked. In turn, they suggested Accutane, birth control, or both. I chose birth control, but that still did very little for me. I was super self-conscious about my skin when I was younger, but was getting to the point that I was just starting to accept that this was how it was going to be. I was fed up with trying things and spending money, only for them not to work. I happened to run across Lauren's instagram account one day and also joined her Facebook page. After watching her content for a couple of weeks, and realizing she had a program, I immediately was interested and got on the wait list. I had previously worked with holistic/functional medicine practitioners, so I had high hopes for this program and it definitely lived up to my expectations! My three biggest wins from VSA so far have been having more natural energy, clearing up acne on my face, and having minimal acne on my back now. I don't have any cystic zits any longer now either. Because of VSA I feel more confident in knowing how to better nourish my body with food and understanding the importance of blood sugar balance and regulation. I also feel more confident in how to care for my skin topically and on the surface. I felt it was a big advantage to have an esthetician to talk to about any skin care concerns with and receive a personal, simple, routine that I know will work. After VSA, I now feel well equipped to take care of my health and continue to have clear skin for years to come. If anyone is scared to commit or make this investment I would tell them they have to let go of that because they aren't gaining anything by not. This might not be the quick or easy fix, but this will help you start healing from the inside and you will see longer lasting and real results!