It’s been a while since the last installment of my Be Honestly Fit series and I am so excited to introduce you to my friend and fellow healthy living blogger, Lauren Lives Healthy (a.k.a Lauren Shaber)! She is one of my favorite healthy living bloggers because she tells it like it is – no fluff, no trying to pretend everything is perfect. She is authentic and real, which is a rarity in the blogging-sphere these days.
Be Honestly Fit – Meet Lauren Shaber!
Hi Lauren, introduce yourself!
Hi! I’m Lauren! I’m a CA girl on a journey to choose healthy. In the summer of 2013, I decided I wanted to make a change and literally started making healthy choices overnight. I started following the Tone It Up plan which helped me clean up my diet, started training for my first triathlon, and created an Instagram account (@laurenliveshealthy) to start tracking my meals and workouts.
I’ve since lost about 30 lbs and countless inches… and I haven’t looked back since! When I’m not working out or cooking up healthy meals, you can find me at work during the day (high-tech marketing), at a local coffee shop or farmers market on the weekends, or watching the Food Network at night.
What got you started on your health journey?
I was standing in front of the mirror and just really didn’t like what I saw. I knew I could look better, feel better and just be healthier. Plus, I had just travelled on some amazing trips and was really disappointed with how I looked in the photos. I was smiling, but it didn’t really look genuine at all. I wanted that to change!
How can someone who is new to healthy eating get started?
Make simple swaps – order sweet potato fries instead of regular, use almond milk instead of regular in your morning coffee, and get a salad every once and a while. Little changes will add up to big results!
What does the day in the life of Lauren look like?
I try to eat 5 meals a day that are somewhere between the size of a snack and a regular meal. I never count calories, but I always try to focus on the nutrients I’m eating. That said, I always start my day with a healthy breakfast! Protein waffles are a main part of my diet, but I’ll also rotate through smoothies, juices, oatmeal and toast.
For morning snack, I’ll usually have fruit &/or an almond milk chai or cappuccino if I didn’t have one for breakfast. Lunch tends to be leftovers from the night before or somewhere on-the-go when I’m at work. I’m not usually a huge fan of salads, but I’ve been living off the broccoli kale salad from Trader Joe’s for lunch lately.
Afternoon snack is usually a LaraBar while I’m working, then dinner is something “lean, clean & green,” Tone It Up’s lingo for lots of lean protein and veggies. At home, I don’t cook with meat too much, but I have been really into box deliveries lately where they send you ingredients for the meals. It’s so easy and convenient! I’ll usually end the night with some fruit for dessert. The only supplement I use is a protein powder from Tone It Up called Perfect Fit. The vanilla is my favourite!
Did you always love fitness? If not, how did you start working out?
I grew up as a competitive swimmer, so fitness is in my blood it seems! I lost the urge to workout when I went to college, though, and had to re-find a love for fitness. When I moved to the Bay, I just tried a bunch of different workouts and kept doing the ones I loved and stopped doing the ones that felt like a chore. I want fitness to be fun!
What does your week of workouts look like?
Oh it changes every single week. I tend to workout 6 days a week, sometimes 2x per day. I try to do some sort of cardio in the morning (I love HIIT or a sunrise walk) then toning right after or later in the day.
For toning, I follow Tone It Up’s weekly workout schedule. I’ve also been into yoga recently, so I’m trying to fit in a long, easy yoga/stretching session a couple times a week before bed.
You’ve been a big fan of the TIU girls – for those who don’t know much about them, can you tell us a bit about them?
Sure! Tone It Up is an online health and fitness community for women started by two gorgeous trainers, Karena & Katrina (they go by K&K). They publish a weekly workout schedule to help keep your fitness on track and have an amazing nutrition program that spells out when and why to eat which foods.
They also have a line of nutrition products called Perfect Fit, which has protein powder, tea, vitamins and other things to help your healthy lifestyle, in addition to DVDs, an apparel line, and a beauty line.
My favourite part of Tone It Up is the community, though. Girls will check in on Instagram using #TIUteam and you can connect with thousands of other women doing the same program as you – it’s really quite amazing!
Exercise move you can’t live without?
Oh there are so many. I’d say anything using a kettlebell – it works your whole body in such a short time… and I’m sore for days after!
What’s your morning ritual?
Morning time is always “me time.” I wake up before anyone else, usually around 5:30 to take my time getting going in the morning. I fit in a workout and shower, then make a nice breakfast with a cappuccino or tea latte. I’ll usually catch up on my favorite blogs, check-in on Instagram and snuggle with my pup before logging on to work at 8am. I’m lucky that I’m able to work from home, so it makes it a bit easier to transition from this to working all day.
How do you juggle healthy eating while travelling?
It’s so hard, but I really do my best to order healthy and bring snacks with me. I always have a Larabar in my bag and I carry my own stevia packets so I’m not tempted by real sugar. I’m also not afraid to make substitutions when ordering, so I usually get dressing on the side and little adjustments like that. Oh and I always avoid soda and usually fried food!
What is your favorite indulgence?
Mac ‘n’ cheese… it’s my favorite meal ever. Or grilled cheese. Or fries. So basically any American comfort dish!
Is there anyone you look up to for inspiration?
The Tone It Up girls, for sure! They used fitness to change their life and are such positive women. It doesn’t hurt that they also know how to run a super successful business. I also look up to women like Lauren Conrad and Taylor Swift, who seem to always be classy, yet stand up for their beliefs while in the public eye. Also – they both have amazing style and stay in shape even with the whole world watching them!
What advice do you have for Honestly Fitness readers that want to get fit and healthy for life?
A few things:
1) don’t think of it as an overnight change, think of it as a lifestyle. It’s the whole “duck test” thing: If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck… live a healthy lifestyle and it’ll be just that: a lifestyle.
2) Make baby steps – change one small thing every day, and it’ll add up to major changes.
3) Lastly, track your progress somehow. Whether that’s counting calories, points, measurements, whatever – just find a way to measure success. I personally use Instagram (@laurenliveshealthy), where I share my meals, workouts and progress photos so I can go back later to see how far I’ve come.
How can we stay connected with you?
I’m always on Instagram (@laurenliveshealthy), so follow there for daily meals, recipes, workouts and inspiration! I also update my blog (www.laurenliveshealthy.com) regularly with tips for success. I’m also on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. Can’t wait to connect with you!