Lauren Knowles, NTC
My journey to a real food lifestyle began in 2011 as I was graduating with my Master degree in Social Work from the University of South Florida. I had been enjoying a few too many nights out with friends, with all the drinks & junk food that goes along with that life.
I was uncomfortable with the way I felt in my body. All of my clothes were too tight, even the seat belt felt awkward against my beer belly. I was working out at a local corporate gym 3-4 days per week with no visible results.
As my frustration was coming to a breaking point, my best friend and I decided to try CrossFit. We only knew one person doing it at the time, and were scared to go, but we fell in love with it instantly. CrossFit became a major part of my routine and my life, and I started feeling a lot better.
The only thing missing now was proper nutrition for my new fitness adventure. A friend sent me Robb Wolf’s classic book, The Paleo Solution, and it clicked for me. I needed to eat real food and cut out all the processed, chemical-laden, and sugar filled foods that had been in my diet since I was a child.
I won’t lie and say this was easy, or that I made the change swiftly. I would still occasionally eat pizza and dessert on weekends at first, but after a while of eating clean during the week, it wasn’t appealing to me to undo all of the hard work just because I went out with friends.
I began dating my now husband, Jared, and became a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer at his gym. I started hosting nutrition challenges and making blog posts about a real food lifestyle with helpful tips. I listened to popular paleo podcasts and read books, I couldn’t get enough of it! Now we own a gym together, Primal Empowerment, in which I stress nutrition as being a vital ingredient in a journey to health.
Finally, last year (2016) I decided to sign up for the Nutritional Therapy Consultant program through the NTA. After studying the ins and outs of how the body breaks down and uses the food we eat for infinite processes, I feel confident I can help others learn what to eat as well. I want to take the stress out of the transition to eating real food, and give people the ability to feel good about what decisions they are making.