Our Story: About Dr. Lauryn & Thrive Wellness Clinic
Welcome to the Thrive Wellness Functional Medicine Clinic! We are so happy you are here.
Our mission at the clinic is simple: We help patients who have “done it all” finally work with their body, not against it, so they can reach their optimal potential.
How We Help You
Here at the clinic, we offer a variety of holistic healthcare services and specialize in gut health optimization, restoring immune and hormonal imbalances, detoxification and recovery from environmental and chronic illness, and a non-diet approach to body love and food freedom.
Our approach? Sustainable, prescription-free solutions for healing your root. Lifestyle, nutrition and smart supplementation are our “medicines.”
Our work is inspired by over 30 years of personal and clinical experiences overcoming over chronic conditions that many practitioners and modern healthcare seemingly could not solve including: Gut Disorders, Eating Disorders, Autoimmune Conditions, Mold Illness, Lyme Disease, Hormone & Thyroid Imbalances.
Today, we’ve made it our life’s mission and work to help others (including YOU) do the same.
THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE CLINIC
Hi, it’s me Dr. Lauryn.
I am the founder of Thrive Wellness Clinic. I think that it’s important that you know what Thrive Wellness is REALLY about… what I’m about… what I believe… and why you should ultimately connect with our clinic.
I too started this health journey out of medical necessity.
For most of my young life, I was “sick”. Constipated. Bloated. Repeat strep throats. Ear infections. Sugar and processed food-aholic. Sick, but “normal” according to my pediatrician. Every doctor I saw gave me antibiotics for my immune system and told me to eat more Fiber One cereal and prunes (all of which made me more bloated and constipated).
Then, at age 10, I decided to take my health and my body in my own hands.
I was 10 years old—a pink bow in your frizzy hair that my mom made you wear. All I wanted was to fit in.
The popular girls invited me to join their circle, gossiping about Melanie Sneed’s ugly sweater and Eric Anderson’s cute freckly face. Then the topic of weight came up.
The Queen Bee said, “Oh my gosh you guys, I weighed myself and I am 69 pounds! I am soooo fat!”—immediately looking to each of you.
“What do you weigh?!”
One by one, we reported to our drill sergeant.
At a healthy 80 pounds, I was by no means a fat kid, but when the circle got to me, I gulped and lied. “I don’t know.”
After school, I went home, stood in the pantry…Turning over my favorite Dorito’s snack pack, I began learning a whole new language—fat grams and calories.
At age 10, my life path just took a sharp turn.
From there, I ventured into the crazy roller coaster worlds of both diet culture and conventional healthcare in efforts to try to become the best version of myself.
Fad Diets, Eating Disorder Treatment & “Holistic” Healing
I was a trendsetter for this new diet: the “fasting diet”…Until the day I passed out in the shower. Then I switched to vegetarian, vegan…South Beach…Atkin’s…whatever was popular at the time.
To “get well,” I spent 15 years in hospitals and treatment centers, and my family invested over $1 million to see over 50 different specialists. Their prescription? Pop-tarts, Pizza and Prozac. “Healthy eating” in treatment had me well on the way to chronic disease.
By age 29, although I was over the eating disorder, I joined the 60% of Americans that have a chronic disease: Colitis, Osteoporosis, Hashimoto’s, Lupus, and Diabetes. Both my eating disorder and treatment destroyed my gut.
The solution according to my holistic practitioners? Take tons of supplements and eat a Low FODMAP, low histamine, ketogenic diet! However, did you know that long term restrictive diets are just as bad for your gut as processed foods? I lost 20 pounds in a matter of months, and was limited to only 5 to 10 foods because it’s all my body could tolerate. Sweet potatoes gave me brain fog…Spinach gave me IBS…Nuts made me constipated. I was stuck!
Perhaps like many of you who are stuck too, despite “doing all the things” to be healthy!
Enter: Thrive Wellness Virtual Clinic—the healthcare clinic I always wanted but never had in my 30+ year battle with chronic illness.
Today, Dr. Lauryn and her team of dedicated clinicians is on a mission to help you finally work with your body, not against it.
We’ll help you address the root causes behind your greatest health challenges and teach you how to use nutrition and lifestyle as your first line of “medicine.”
10 PRINCIPLES FOR “HEALING YOUR ROOT”
Do you ever feel like you’re doing all the things to be healthy, but it still seems like NOTHING IS WORKING? You still have symptoms or a general feeling of un-wellness—low energy, hormone imbalances, food sensitivities, bloating, constipation and beyond.
What gives?! Answer: It may be simpler than you think.
If you feel like you’re hitting roadblocks in your health despite doing “all the things”, when in doubt of how you’re feeling, ask yourself if these 10 principles for “healing your root” are in check or not:
- Beauty Sleep
- 80/20 Balance
Let’s briefly discuss each, and ask yourself: Is any one of these missing?
Literally and figuratively. We can go 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water but only a few minutes without breath. Oxygen is super energizing and invigorating for all cellular processes (including brain balance and health and gut health/vaginal health).Here are a few ways to get more “oxygen” into your daily routine:
- Yogi Breathing. In your “off” moments; practicing yogi breathing–10 seconds in through your nose, 10 seconds out through your mouth for 5-6 cycles at least–see how that helps.
- Morning Routine & Evening Routine. I call these “breath” breaks—times to reset, refocus and disconnect from emails, social media, demands, etc. Create a phone free solid morning and evening routine (unless of course you are using it for meditation!).
- Mind Body Practice. Meditation, deep breathing, yoga, space for creativity and flow, restorative movement, qi gong, prayer and quiet time with the Lord. Something you do every day—maybe even during your morning and evening routine. If you are really struggling with “feeling stuck” or like nothing is working, check out DNRS, the Gupta Program, Microcurrent Therapy, Brain Tap or Alpha Stem—guided programs to help you rewire the stress response in your body.
Water is life! In fact, without water, you would NOT exist (you spent 9 months in your mom’s womb in water!).
Without water, bacteria, undigested food particles, toxins and other debris get “stuck” in our lymphatic system and our metabolic processes slooooowwwwwww down. Drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water-preferably clean, filtered water. Plastics leach chemicals into our bodies and brains.
Every time I drink out of plastic bottles for more than a few days, my autoimmunity and my gut issues act up! Invest in a quality filter like the Berkey Water filter, reverse osmosis or spring water. Drink out of a stainless steel or glass water bottle like Hydroflask or Glasstic.
We can be eating food but still starving at a cellular and bacterial level.
If we are not digesting our nutrients or our basic digestive “mechanics” are not working up to speed, then we end up nutrient depleted and with all sorts of gut imbalances.
A handful of basic “digestive mechanics” to start with for boosting your gut absorption include:
- Chew your food really well—until fully liquified
- Swig an apple cider vinegar shot and pop digestive enzymes and digestive bitters with meals
- Take a high quality probiotic to help create a healthier gut ecosystem. (I like to rotate between Seed, Bifido Maximus and Megaspore-use code THRIVE).
For Dr. Lauryn, food is medicine. No amount of supplements that will outperform a bad diet. I am a huge advocate of balanced, whole food, nutrient-dense eating. Simple: if it didn’t grow on the land, swim in the sea or roam the earth, it’s not real food.
A few notes to balance your plate and optimize your nutrients.
- Focus on real foods. I love to shop local and get my produce and meats from the farmer’s market when I can!
- Rotate your foods—try to not eat the same thing every single day, at least for dinner, mix it up! As for breakfast and lunch, pick between 2 to 3 different rotating breakfast and lunch ideas.
- Stick to 1-2 servings of fruit per day to keep blood sugar stable and in balance. Also, if you snack, reach for a protein, healthy fat or veggie based snack for the same reasons.
- No food is “bad” or “good”—food doesn’t have morals. Instead think of food in terms of answering one question: How can I nourish my gut bugs? Carbs, fats or proteins are not the enemy. (No one ever did a study showing that balanced eating was a bad thing!). Ditch diet dogmas and food lists and focus on just eating real food.
- Properly prepare grains, beans and nuts. If you tolerate grains like rice and gluten-free oats, beans or nuts, “properly prepare” them by soaking them in clean filtered water for at least 7+ hours with 2-3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar before cooking and consuming them to help remove any anti-nutrients.
- Use seasonings like Himalayan sea salt, coconut aminos, fresh herbs, bone broths (sautéed veggies) and paleo friendly salad dressings to flavor your meals.
- Eat for your body (no one else’s) with quality fuel. No two bodies are alike! So your personal “food list” will not be found on a keto, carnivore, vegan, paleo, low FODMAP or any other food list website or book.
Need some meal time inspiration?
My Typical 1st Meal is a Delicious Morning Shake and It Looks Like This
- Liquid: 1 cup filtered water OR kefir (coconut milk or water kefir, goat’s milk kefir) OR lite canned coconut milk OR unsweetened almond milk (no additives)
- Fruit: Choose 1: 1/2 cup frozen berries or 1/2 green tipped banana or small green apple or other fruit of choice
- Healthy Fat (choose 1-2): 1⁄2 avocado, 1 tbsp. sunflower seed butter, 2 tbsp. organic ground flaxseed, 1 tbsp. MCT oil, 1 tbsp. coconut butter
- Greens: 2 large handfuls dark leafy greens (kale, lettuce, baby collards, etc.)
- Protein: 1 scoop quality protein powder (collagen, beef isolate, collagen peptides, grass-fed whey protein)
Optional Gut Boosters
- 1/2 cup crushed ice (makes thicker)
- 1-2 probiotic capsules (powder)
- 1 scoop bovine colostrum powder or IgG powder
- 1 in. peeled fresh organic ginger
- 1 tsp manuka honey or organic raw honey
- mint/peppermint leaves
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cacao or carob powder
If I don’t drink a shake, I will have a couple cups of bone broth and maybe some homemade paleo-keto pumpkin bread I make, or leftover protein and veggies in ghee with half an avocado. I am not super strict about ‘timing’ (like I used to be!). Sometimes breakfast is at 8 or 9. Other days it’s at 10 or 11. I go by how I feel and am pretty intuitive.
My Mid-Day Is Typically a “Gut Love Bowl” & It Looks Like This….
I used to be big into raw salads, until I realized I always felt bloated. Now my “salads” are warmed. Pick and choose the ingredients you want in your bowl:
Roasted root veggie (choose one), 1/2-1 cup
- roasted rainbow carrots/carrots
- butternut squash
- sweet potato
- spaghetti squash
Protein of choice, 5-6 oz:
- Grass fed ground beef
- Taco meat (AIP, paleo)
- Sliced turkey
- Organic ground turkey
- No-mato meat sauce
- Beanies chili
- Pastured chicken breast or crispy chicken thighs
- Wild caught salmon or tuna
Dark leafy greens, wilted, 1-2 cups (choose one or mix):
Serve steamed, cooked & cooled or raw
- Kale/baby kale
- Power greens/super greens
- Rainbow chard/chard
- Bok Choy
- Romaine Lettuce wrap (if I don’t cook greens)
Dressing of choice (choose one):
- Creamy Apple Cider Dressing
- Lemon Turmeric Sauce
- Avocado Cream
- Sweet Basil Pesto
- Cesar dressing
- Ranch dressing
- Honey Mustard dressing
- Avocado Mayo
- Smashed avocado or guacamole
- Sea salt, to taste
- Fresh squeezed lemon zest (optional)
My Evening Meal Is Cooked & Is Better Than Any Restaurant Food. It Looks Like This….
- Homemade Bone Broth (use to cook my veggies in or drink on the side)
- Organic Avocado (optional: top with fish eggs or Icelandic cod liver, a few drops of lemon juice and sea salt)
- Grass fed butter, Ghee or Tallow (cook with 1-2 tablespoons)
- Dark leafy greens (sautéed) and sea salt
- Grass fed bison/beef, pasture raised chicken, wild caught fish or organic ground turkey (burger, taco meat, baked, roasted, etc.) (5-6 oz of protein or a mix and match of fish and meat)
We live in a toxic world. There are more than 80,000 unregulated chemicals in our makeup, bodycare, foods and beyond that we use on a daily basis!
In fact, the average woman puts 130 chemicals on her body first thing in the morning without realizing it and there are 287 toxic chemicals found in newborn umbilical cord blood alone.
Daily detox is necessary to cleanse your body of unwanted pathogens and toxins!
My top daily detox practices include:
- Infrared sauna sweat sessions…daily!
- Dry brushing my skin in the morning and night
- And making sure I am pooping…daily!
Oh yes, If you’re not pooping daily, then Houston, we have a problem! Constipation is NO BUENO for a healthy gut ecosystem…if this is you, try:
- Taking digestive bitters, magnesium citrate, “Smooth Move” Tea, high dose buffered Vitamin C and soluble fiber capsules—whatever it take to “go” if you need support
- Coffee enemas
- A Squatty Potty
Whatever it takes!
#6. Beauty Sleep
On the hierarchy of “healing your gut,” sleep trumps everything else. It’s the simple game changer that can affect health more than just about anything—low carb, green things, supplements.
How amazing is your sleep? Exactly what I thought!
A few notable sleep hacks to optimize your “beauty sleep”:
- Cut the Wi-Fi: Turn it off, PLUS put your phone in airplane mode and use “WiFi” protectors on your computer and phone.
- Use blackout curtains or a sleep mask
- Wear UVEX safety goggles at least 2 hours before going to bed… this one is seriously a big deal. They cost $9 and they make a huge difference.
- Sleep cool — at least 68 degrees or below
- Finish your last meal at least 2 to 3 hours before bed
- Breathe through your nose and experiment with mouth taping to help you sleep sounder.
What you do with your body is just as important as what you put into it…
Our ancestors walked around 10,000 steps a day….By comparison, most Americans walk 3000 to 4000.
And our ancestors didn’t stress over “working out every day” or wake up at 5 am every morning after sleeping only 5 to 6 hours to fit their workout in.
Movement was a part of their daily lifestyle, and helped balance their gut microbiome!
So….Move it, move it!
The best bets for body balance incorporate a blend of the following:
- HIIT style workouts
- Walking and hiking
- Strength training
- Yoga, pilates and mobility
- Dance, fun, play and sports
One word on strength training: Contrary to popular belief…you WON’T GET BULKY!
Weight training is actually essential for leaning out…toning up…and shaping the gut microbiome!
Studies show that weight training, combined with a blend of HIIT exercise, walking and yoga, boost the diversity and anti-inflammatory nature of your gut, compared to just doing aerobic exercise (like running or spinning) all the time.
Basically…you have a doctor’s note to cut the chronic cardio!
Humans are nutrients!
Humans were not made to be alone. We need others to be healthier. One landmark study, showed that lack of social connection is 15x worse for our health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure. Our gut bugs are also more diverse when we regularly spend time with people! Make friend time and snuggle time a priority in your life!
Some considerations for building tribe include:
- Joining a community service organization
- Connecting with a fitness community or two—yoga studio, gym, fitness classes
- Bible studies, church, temple or other spiritual communities
- Local meet ups around hobbies that interest you—hiking, cycling, photography, etc.
- Business-related groups and organizations
- Support groups
- Groups around likeminded goals in your life
- Pay it forward: Do something kind for someone else
We are what we eat. And we are what we think.
Eat potato chips, soda and Ben & Jerry’s every day, and chances are you will feel like potato chips, soda and Ben & Jerry’s—low energy, blood sugar imbalances, insatiable cravings.
The same thing goes for what you feed your mind.
YouTube cat videos, Netflix, social media scrolling, negative news feeds, gossip, trashy reality TV shows and negative gossip equal one type of mindset…
Inspirational books, podcasts, conversations, experiences, mantras and devotionals produce another type of mindset.
You have upwards of 50,000 to 80,000 thoughts in a given day. So what is feeding them?
Ultimately, if our brain is stuck in a negative space, what do you think happens to our gut bugs?! Not pretty things!
To boost your mind and gut, cut out one negative or toxic mindset “stressor”…
While you’re at it, add in a Daily Gratitude Practice.
At the end of each day, I love to think about 1 to 3 “cool things” that happened that day or 1 to 3 things that me (and my gut bugs) are thankful for.
#10. 80/20 Balance
Last but not least, my favorite of all…. 80% of the time do the “healthy things”, 20% of the time, let life happen!
When in Rome, eat the pasta…on your birthday, enjoy chocolate chip Mickey Mouse pancakes…don’t stress over going on vacation or missing a workout. Basically, if being “perfect”in certain areas of your health is stressing you out more (ie. Diet, detox, fitness, etc.), then it’s not worth it.
Studies actually show we can change our digestion and metabolism just by our stress levels alone!
In one study, researchers wanted to see what happened to digestion and metabolism when two groups were given a milkshake to drink— one group was told it was an “indulgent” milkshake…the other group was told they were drinking a “sensible healthy” milkshake…the clincher? Both milkshakes had the SAME EXACT number of calories.
The result? The indulgent milkshake people were more satisfied and nourished…no cravings or hunger! The sensible milkshake people were 3x hungrier and dissatisfied.
Purposely do things imperfectly. Break a rule (or two) daily and remind yourself, it’s going to be OK.
Healing your gut is a journey for working with your body (not against it), and, today, you are in process.