Hi! I’m Lauren Vaknine, welcome to my blog Organic Spoon. I had never planned on starting a food blog but every so often I’d post pictures of my recipes on Facebook and people kept saying I should ‘do a cookbook’ – like it’s that easy! So eventually I decided to write all my recipes down somewhere and the best way of doing that seemed to be to start a blog, and it goes hand-in-hand with my ‘real’ work – writing! At the moment I write health articles, promote my book, ‘My Enemy, My Friend’ – a story of my life with arthritis and how I overcame it – and take part in the odd speaking engagement, talking about natural health – when motherhood allows for it! My photography skills have improved somewhat over the past year and a half since starting this blog so I do apologise for the quality of pictures on some of the older recipes. I’m still learning so no judgement please!
Since having my son, I have also starting writing parenting related articles, instead of just food and health related articles. This is a new venture for me but I’m really enjoying getting all my feelings about parenthood down on paper (or screen) and I hope you enjoy reading them and can relate to them.
I originally started this blog with my dear friend, Raine, and we called it Two Kitchens One Lifestyle but Raine has now gone off to fulfill her dream of opening a yoga and pilates studio and doesn’t have the time to devote to recipe making anymore so just in case you’re wondering why some of the recipes still have her name attached, that’s why! I’m hoping that we’ll collaborate again one day.
With regards to food, I don’t follow one particular regime when it comes to cooking, I simply follow an ideology that is based on creating food using only organic, real, unprocessed and fresh ingredients. (Read on to see why.) Most of my dishes are plant-based (although very few of them do contain high quality meat, eggs or dairy – very rarely dairy) and most are free of wheat, gluten, refined sugar, dairy, and all are free of additives and chemicals. I like to keep it fresh! I believe that if you nourish your body with what it really needs, not what is convenient or easy, you will see huge changes in your mental and physical well-being. So how did I get into this way of eating?
I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of two. 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.
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 taught myself everything about food and nutrition, found a homeopath who practiced not only homeopathy but also craniosacral therapy, reiki and kinesiology – a complete integrative approach – and my lifestyle changed drastically. I began meditating, practicing yoga, and the healthier I became the more I was able to exercise.
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 between, I wrote a book about my life with arthritis and how I overcame it with a holistic lifestyle. After that I got asked to be 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 have since become Parliamentary ambassador for Juvenile Arthritis and I now spend my time creating new recipes, writing health articles, doing public speaking engagements and I am in the process of writing my first novel.
Many years have passed since I stopped all forms of conventional medication – including pain-killers – and I have been in remission for three years. 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. You can see more about my work and my book here.
I live in London with my husband, Daniel, our baby boy, Braxton, and our lovely dog, Milo.
I hope you enjoy my recipes! ❤
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.