Following Your Gut to Live a Life You Love with Lauren Cunningham

Not everyone has the willpower to trust their gut instincts. When faced with something significant or something we have never dealt with before, we prefer to trust someone’s word over our own instincts. In this episode of Decide It’s Your Turn™, Lauren Cunningham joins Christina to discuss why following your gut is crucial to live a life you love. Lauren demonstrates example after example of deciding it’s her turn, taking action and never giving up in her life endeavors. Stay tuned and be inspired!

In this Decide It’s Your Turn episode, you will learn:

  • Lauren’s story that launched her into her own health journey
  • What is crohn’s disease
  • How Lauren started incorporating holistic methods
  • The power behind mindset and visualization method
  • How Lauren began to heal herself

Lauren’s Battle vs. Ailments

[04:33]

Lauren had several health difficulties and wondered why autoimmune illnesses weren’t more widespread ten years earlier. She suffered many health issues throughout high school and had no idea why. Lauren’s senior year was plagued by fevers and stomach aches, leading them to suspect mono disease. Their expectations of Crohn’s symptoms were not satisfied. Finally, a scope revealed that she had Crohn’s disease, a significant issue at that time.

[09:54]

Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune condition that can affect any part of the digestive system. Ulcerative colitis is similar in that it mainly affects the colon, but it is essentially just stomach irritation.

[11:14]

Lauren started working on a biologic called Remicade, a typical treatment for autoimmune diseases. It’s essentially a steroid version of Tylenol for lowering inflammation in the body. It is, as a result, an infusion. Lauren tried to ignore what had happened since hitting rock bottom at 18. It was a bizarre sensation for her. She was well aware that no one her age could understand what she was talking about.

[15:24]

Lauren experienced flare-ups during her sophomore, junior, and senior years. She had only been in surgical remission for about a year when she began having flare-ups all over again. As a result, she would wake up throughout the night with severe stomach pains. In retrospect, she attributes it entirely to stress because being a college student can be difficult.

[17:02]

We’re often compelled to wait until we’re sick, or feel like we’ve hit rock bottom, or until something in our lives drives us to try something new. Taking a more holistic approach alters your mind, energy, and mentality. You might be able to heal yourself using a variety of techniques.

[18:42]

When you try something new, you will almost always encounter opposition. Lauren consulted with the GI doctor’s wife the entire time she was preparing for the second surgery. The doctor’s wife suggested Lauren try Guided Imagery, which means seeing things in her mind immediately before the second operation.

Institute of Integrative Nutrition

[25:45]

Lauren graduated college in May 2019 with a degree in Accounting, but she really couldn’t see herself in that role long term. She stared her MBA immediately after graduation and was working part time in a public accounting firm, but didn’t like it. Lauren started experiencing flare ups again, so she began researching alternative medicine when she stumbled across the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. The more she learned, the more convinced she became that this was precisely what she needed right now and it could be a perfect career. 

[26:20]

When the pandemic hit and everyone went into lockdown in 2020, Lauren was advised to stay home due to her medications suppressing her immune system. She couldn’t really do her accounting work from home, so she told them she needed to take a little time off from work. At that same time, she also had her first day of class with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

[28:04}

Lauren began implementing what she was learning in school and within 3 months her doctors couldn’t find any signs of active Crohn’s disease. She realized at this point that maybe this nutrition stuff was really working and she was excited about how she could use this information to help others. She created a website and began posting recipes.

[28:55]

Upon graduating from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Lauren was stuck making a decision about whether she wanted to become a full time health coach or do something else. She actually ended up receiving an email from someone that was developing a fitness app and they wanted her help writing recipes. She said “yes” and that gig has actually led to numerous others. Lauren decided it was her turn and she began following her gut to live a healthy life she loves.

[30:35] 

Events will occur in our lives that will affect all of us. There will always be events, but how we react to them is critical. What matters is how we respond to such events and how we use our mindset to take action.

[32:32]

Lauren gets her guts from her dad. He’s always been a visionary and will always be scheming and thinking. Going against the grain can be an annoying quality to have, but Lauren’s parents have always told her to follow her gut and are always her biggest cheerleaders.

[34:36]

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition is primarily concerned with mental health and the power of “primary food,” which they define as “anything that contributes to your overall health that’s not on your plate.” Starting at the Institute for Integrative Health at the beginning of the pandemic was incredibly helpful for Lauren because she was stressed about how the coronavirus would affect her as an immunocompromised individual, but her schooling taught her many ways to mitigate that stress.

Processed Meals

[38:08]

Sugar and other processed meals are exceedingly dangerous to humans, especially if they have a chronic illness. As a result, several of these, such as sugar and gluten, and related compounds have emerged. These foods are frequently the source of inflammation. We don’t need to spend all of this money on an excellent school to figure out what we need to do. We already know what to do, but we simply require positive reinforcement from someone.

[40:43]

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition encourages you to start a business. You can finish the course independently, and you don’t have to create a company to get the expertise. They provide you with a year-free website to show how much they care about supporting you and doing whatever they can to help you start a business.

[43:36]

Due to the significant frequency of doctor’s appointments, fusions, scopes, and other operations, working in public accounting is inappropriate for someone with an autoimmune disorder. Lauren has always found working for oneself enjoyable because she has complete control over her schedule. One of the main reasons she wanted to establish her own business was because she thought it would be less stressful, but it isn’t.

Cook Book

[46:35]

Lauren was inspired to write a book since she eats and craves seasonal meals. The book includes 45 recipes (15 breakfast, 15 lunch, and 15 dinner dishes) consisting of seasonal foods such as vegetables and fruits. She finished it and sold it for $9.99. However, this was a flop because she only tried to promote it for two months.

Lauren’s Advice

[48:05]

Sometimes, all you have to do is try new things and keep going. If you fail, it will still lead you to something else if you don’t give up. All you have to do now is keep going, decide and act. It’ll all work out in the end.

[49:34]

Despite your appearance, all you need is one YES. It’s just a matter of finding the right people. They’re out there, and all you have to do is look for them.

[51:45]
Never assume there is only one way to follow. Remember that there is no one way to skin a cat; there is no way other than trusting your instincts and understanding what brings you joy and how to live a life that brings you joy.

About Lauren Cunningham:

Lauren is a certified integrative nutrition health coach and recipe developer. After dealing with a few health issues of her own, she enrolled in classes at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to study holistic nutrition. The goal of her business is to prove that eating healthy and cooking at home is not just another expensive fad, but is something that is affordable and attainable for the everyday person.

Lauren believes that overall wellness is more than just the foods that we consume. It includes a balance of what we eat, what we think, and what we do. She is passionate about helping everyone, but especially the autoimmune disease community, find their balance. You can find more about Lauren on her website,  and on Instagram.

Show notes for Following Your Gut to Live a Life You Love:

  • Have you heard about Decide It’s Your Turn™: The Network? It’s a network for women who want to start living their most purposeful and profitable life.
  • Are you ready to hire a confidence coach? Christina offers limited 1-on-1 coaching. See if it’s the right fit for you

Resources and Links:

If you enjoyed this episode, make sure and give us a five star rating on iTunes and leave us a comment about what you’d like us to talk about that will help you realize that at any moment, any day, you too can decide, it’s your turn!

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