Lauren Kelly on

Gut health and holistic nutrition after a cancer diagnosis

How is your gut health?

Lauren Kelly on gut health

Inflammation is a main driver of disease, and it all starts in the gut.

Lauren Kelly, nutrition therapy master, knows this all too well. She used to live in Hollywood where everyone is obsessed with being beautiful. She was wrapped up in that world until at the age of 29, she learned she had cancer. “I had a weird pain in my left arm,” she begins her story. She had it checked out, thinking it probably was nothing, but thank goodness to her great doctors who conducted a full body scan and biopsy, she learned the “nothing” was a malignant melanoma. She was caught in traffic when the call came from her dermatologist: “you have melanoma. It’s severely close to entering your blood stream and spreading to your lymph nodes. You need emergency surgery immediately,” he said firmly.

“It flipped my life upside down,” she asserts. “My Hollywood-style world came to a screeching halt!”

Lauren looked long and hard at her life. It was toxic, stressful and unfulfilling. She was completely focused on what Hollywood expected of her – getting skinnier, improving her looks and denying her feelings of being unwanted, untalented and underserving. Her sense of self-worth was lost, and now, so was her health.

Fortunately, she found the inspiration and strength to dig herself out of the unhealthy life she had built for herself and restart her life in a whole new direction. That’s when she went back to school and learned as much as she could about nutrition, detoxification, digestion, weight management, healthy aging and so much more. The results of her efforts yielded The Clean Body Project and an entirely new career path.

Today, the nutrition therapist master and holistic health coach specializes in helping people improve their gut health, cultivate a positive relationship with food and alleviate their chronic health conditions.

Inflammation is the main driver of disease, and it all starts in the gut, she shares. Approximately 80 percent of chronic diseases are caused by what you eat and how you live, she finds. The food you eat, the stress in your life, how often you exercise, what toxins you are exposed to, and your self-image all are connected to chronic inflammation, poor gut health and your overall health.

We don’t think about our gut, but it is as complex as the brain, she explains.

She describes the gut like a fishing net. You need a tight net to catch fish. When we eat bad food, the net gets loose allowing bacteria, viruses and fungi to leak out, compromising the immune system. We need a strong immune system to fight off cancer and other diseases, she notes.

Symptoms of poor gut health can include IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), Type 2 diabetes, arthritis, depression, brain fog, chronic fatigue, and even acne and eczema.

So, how do you repair the “fish net” – the leaking gut? Lauren reports that everyone has a leaking gut depending on the foods we eat, but we can reduce the “leak” and prevent it from getting worse. Adding turmeric and black pepper to your diet are two easy ways to start. Reducing or eliminating fried foods and adding grass-fed foods also will help. So will plenty of uninterrupted sleep.

In today’s society, antibiotics are prescribed and taken like candy. Ask yourself, “do I really need this medication, and why am I taking it? What can I do instead so I won’t have to take the drugs?”

Always start with the food you eat, she advises. You can reduce your risk of poor gut health … and chronic disease if you examine your eating habits and start making some changes – little by little.

Read the labels of foods you buy. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, you probably shouldn’t be consuming it.

When you start making healthier food choices, you will realize how much better you will feel, and how bad you were feeling and didn’t even know it, she reports.

“The body is capable of healing itself, but we need to give it the tools to heal. Unfortunately, most people won’t make changes until they are faced with a trauma in their life, such as cancer,” Lauren points out.

She recommends starting with a food diary. Start writing down what you eat, how much and when. You may be surprised by the results, and you will learn where you can begin to make small changes. “You do not have to accept a life sentence of illness,” she asserts.

To hear more about improving your gut health and feeling so much better, listen to The Breast of Everything podcast featuring Lauren Kelly  –