Mindfully Integrative Show

Mindful Chat with Niki Lawrie Functional Nutrition Specialist

December 10, 2021 Season 1
Mindfully Integrative Show
Mindful Chat with Niki Lawrie Functional Nutrition Specialist
Show Notes Transcript

Hi, my name is Nika Lawrie, and I’m on a personal mission to heal people and the planet!

I’m a Functional Nutrition Specialist, Conscious Living Advocate, and Founder and CEO of Moringa Health + Wellness and Moringa Clean Apothecary.

I’ve watched people needlessly suffer from chronic diseases for far too long, and the planet die off in front of us from climate change and careless acts… so I’ve dedicated my life to helping people heal their bodies through nutritional, behavioral, and conscious living strategies that can also have a profound impact on reducing climate change and improving global sustainability.

Simply put Metabolic Syndrome and Climate Change are front and center in humanity’s fight for survival and are completely intertwined with each other.

You cannot fix your health without fixing your diet and lifestyle. You cannot fix your diet and lifestyle without fixing the type of food and lifestyle products you purchase. You cannot fix your food and lifestyle products without fixing how we treat the planet. You cannot fix how we treat the planet without getting educated on what’s REALLY going on with our food and lifestyle products.

Through different organizations, companies, and digital channels I’m working to bring light to the importance of Living Consciously and the importance of diet and lifestyle modification. By distributing honest health-forward messaging, championing sustainability, and validating trustworthy products I hope to make a lasting impact for my generation, my daughter’s generation, and generations to come.

https://nikalawrie.com/

https://moringahealthandwellness.com/

https://moringacleanapothecary.com/

All social media can be either @nikalawrie or @moringahealthwellness



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Damaris Grossmann:

Hi, how are you? This is Dr. Damaris, Maria Grossman. And this is the mighty show. Thank you so much for joining in. And today we have an awesome mindful chat with Nikki Laurie. She's a functional nutrition specialist and she has an array of knowledge and things to share with you about your health and what you can do to integrate better you. So I want you to meet her and I look forward to you guys learning more about her. Thank you so much. Can I call you Nikki? Is that correct? Yeah, well,

Nika Lawrie:

Nikki is actually my legal name, but I go by Nika. So Nika. Anyway. Yeah, my name forever. So

Damaris Grossmann:

yeah. So um, tell us a little like, fun. I say Fun fact, or something that people may not know about you that they can't just find out right away. Yeah,

Nika Lawrie:

so I think probably the most interesting, weird fact is that I actually grew up off the grid, meaning that my parents lived in a cabin in the mountains outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. And we grew up with rainwater that we collected and filtered. And that was the water we use for living. And then we also had solar panels. Way long before solar panels were kind of this cool, trendy thing. And so growing up off the grid, really kind of having that connection to nature really had a profound impact on me and, and I really rebelled from it. As a young kid, I went and moved to Manhattan and New York and Los Angeles into the big city thing. And

Damaris Grossmann:

then as I've gotten older, I've really gained an appreciation for how my parents chose to live and the positive impact it had on my life. It's so neat, like I am I traveled across I know, like an RV and like in a band. And I'm really like, I think that's by being off grid is kind of cool, because it's like really getting into nature and getting grounded.

Nika Lawrie:

Oh my gosh, yeah, I absolutely agree. And I am jealous. I want I've been wanting to do the fam living for a while now. So it's something on my bucket list

Damaris Grossmann:

a few years back, and it was some, you know, I thought it was worth it. And I really enjoyed it. I I think fam, you know, there's points where I think depends, there's that point of view, do it forever, or you do it for I just did it for a summer. But yeah, I was really enjoyable. I had a great time. But I think it's good to kind of like just sit with yourself a little bit. And yeah, back to the simplicity of things, you know? Absolutely, definitely. Yeah. So um, let's kind of talk about, you know, your story and where you know, how you're on the show and agree to health. And, you know, you overall were kind of came from where you were, you know, you're a functional nutritionist and kind of let's talk about that, and how, what exactly is that, and then also, your story of how it

Nika Lawrie:

Yeah, so as a functional nutrition specialist, really what I do, and I do it a little bit different than then your typical functional nutrition specialists. But what it really is, is that you work with individuals on different health issues or elements that they might be facing. And we really took take a functional medicine approach. So a much more on looking at the root cause looking at what's really going on inside of the body, as opposed to just treating the symptoms of whatever the ailment or issue is that they might be facing. So an example is like the autoimmune issue, a lot of times people will have skin rashes, or, like irritable bowel issues, or stress and anxiety, it's really common, there's all kinds of symptoms that come from an autoimmune disease, but what we really look at in functional medicine is what's actually causing that. So instead of just providing a prescription, or something like that, we actually look at changing our lifestyle and our eating habits to really fix the root cause of what's ever causing that disease. And so make sense. Yeah, you know, why? Why does anybody actually fixed it, you know, it's, it's like having a flat tire and filling it up with air and then just putting a bandaid over the whole of the hose to actually, you know, fixing the hole taking the nail out and putting, you know, a filler in and fixing the hole. So it's really kind of a different approach to how modern Western medicine has been looking at treating people for, you know, 100 years plus. And so, as a functional nutritionist, I really work with people to kind of get to that root cause, but I also take it one step further. So I am a huge proponent for sustainability and living as green as possible and removing toxins from our lives and there's so many toxins that people aren't even aware of that they bring into their homes. So things like food additives like artificial and natural flavorings, things like colors like different dyes. Things that are fragrances that are added to our shampoos and lotions and all these things You know, the the scientists are saying, well, they're generally recognized as safe that they're on the grass list.

Damaris Grossmann:

I, but I'm like, ah,

Nika Lawrie:

but the problem is, is that, you know, that chemical may be safe in a very tiny amount at one time, but it doesn't take into account the layered on effects of all of those chemicals being put into our onto our body, or as breathing them in, like, if they're aerosols, things like that, and the damage that it can cause to our body, not even to get into the fact of the the damage that is actually causing to the planet and the environment and the ecosystem that we are all part of. And so I really help people not only look at their own personal health, and how to make those changes, but looking at a lifestyle of making changes and really removing the things that are causing damage.

Damaris Grossmann:

You know, that makes a lot of sense. I tried to talk about when will we agree? No, I just think that the audience may not know and people that are listening just don't may not have an awareness of this. Would you be able to kind of talk further of what I mean, your family was more of that nature. And you know, from back to the off the grid? Was there something in your life that kind of was at that turning point?

Nika Lawrie:

Yeah, absolutely. So I you know, I have this story of like, rebel against your parents kind of things like my parents were, you know, they, they subcontract and did things with the, with the government, especially with like military, like the Department of Defense. And so they had this very kind of bipolar in a sense, relationship. So they were working, you know, with the government and doing things with Department of Defense, but then they were living off the grid and kind of hippies and really trying to be natural and healthy in the universe I grew up in. And so it really had this kind of, I didn't know which direction really made sense. And I just knew that I didn't have the things that all my friends had, you know, we didn't have the video games, or, you know, the curling iron and stuff as a kid. And I felt so left out or left behind. And so as I grew older, I was like, This is dumb. I'm not doing this. So I, you know, moved to some of the biggest cities in the world, I went and lived in New York and Los Angeles, I worked in film and TV, I worked in the music industry. I did a lot in film with costuming, so a lot with clothing and fast fashion and that kind of stuff. And long, long story short, after working, you know, 20 hours a day, even sometimes in the film industry, I worked nonstop in the music industry, I burnt out, I got really sick and tired, I didn't feel good. And I just wanted to do something different. And so I decided to move back home to New Mexico, I was born and raised, and go back to school. And so I went back to school for psychology. And I also have a degree in communications. But my primary focus was psychology and really starting to understand like, why we think the way we do, why we behave the way we do really try to understand people. And that actually led me to work for the Alzheimer's Association, where I started to work with some of the world's leading experts on Alzheimer's disease. And I worked there for just shy of a decade. And what I learned and worked in my, my dad had Alzheimer's. Oh, I'm so sorry. Yeah, it's such a tough one. It is so devastating. And it's just, it steals the person that you love. It's it's just a heartbreaking disease. The thing I took away from working there and working with all these researchers is that there's likely not going to be a cure for the disease, there may be some treatments. But again, if we go back to functional nutrition, you're treating the symptom, you're not treating the actual root cause of the disease. And so what it really came down to is how do we prevent this disease? How do we prevent people from getting it? And everyone just kept going back to his food and myself, diet and lifestyle, it's how we eat and how we live. And so the three that's what I hear, that's what exactly it really hearing. And that's really it's all for

Damaris Grossmann:

the research that it's just like another form of diabetes? Absolutely.

Nika Lawrie:

I mean, I had a percent believe that it is type three diabetes. And if you really start to look at the, you know, groundbreaking research that's happening right now, all of that leads back to metabolic syndrome. Right, and so totally does. I

Damaris Grossmann:

mean, that's like the main conversations. I feel like I have now with my patients, and it's

Nika Lawrie:

scary because, you know, it's something like 75 to 80% of Americans have some level of metabolic syndrome and aren't even aware that they have it like, yeah, it's, it's profound how big of a deal this really is. And, you know, not to really huge it is I mean, that's pretty much all of us that have some kind of issue and, and the base of metabolic syndrome really is that, that feeds into all of these other chronic diseases that were suffering. So Alzheimer's disease, autoimmune issues, heart disease, cancer, depression, anxiety, all of these things go back to metabolic syndrome. And really the the basis of metabolic syndrome is we're taking in too many sugars and unhealthy toxins, and our gut is breaking down, and our liver is not functioning the way it needs to be, and our pancreas is overloaded, and our insulin levels are off the chart, and it just your body starts to degrade after that, and is a huge issue.

Damaris Grossmann:

It's I could not agree with you more. I, every day, I feel like that's a normal kind of conversation that I have. And I help consult with not just for my own patients, but for other companies and other patients. And that seems to be a very normal conversation of this metabolic syndrome that, you know, people are not willing, but you're hoping that you empower them, right and change their behaviors. Because it's, they have control to at least get it managed or stop, you know, and you're talking to them about the root cause. And I, I, I wish more of us. I mean, there are more of us out there. Now, you know, there are providers and care and you know, nutritionists, like yourself, that are trying to make a difference and change one person at a time. Right. That's how I look at it. Yeah. And making any impact. Would you like to kind of go further in, like, what is inspired you lately? Or have you had a story of someone that you've made? Like that you've seen a significant change?

Nika Lawrie:

Yeah. So I mean, I can even just use myself as an example. So, you know, I, I worked in the music and film industry, which is, you know, so many people dream about working in one or the other, and I was privileged enough to be able to work in both. But what I found was that they were really toxic environments. And health was not a even conversation, like how you take care of your body wasn't even part of the conversation that I just thought time after time, these people degrade and get sick, you see it a lot with, you know, movie, like actors and actresses and famous singers where they break down, right, they get really sick, and they have to take a year off, because they're so unhealthy. And the same kind of thing happened to me, I just got sick, and I was tired. And I didn't know a lot about how the body worked. At that point, I didn't understand where, you know, I didn't understand that. I mean, I knew sodas probably weren't good for me. But you know, you didn't really have that direct link of like, why isn't it good for me? Why isn't it you know, how is it affecting my body? What is it actually doing on the inside? And what kind of damage is that causing? And so once I started deep diving into that, I really learned I have so much control over how I feel on a day to day basis. And and so I really became obsessed with how do I how do I get healthy? And how do I feel better, I just wanted to feel better that was that. And that really kind of grew into starting a new career and figuring out what I wanted to do and wanting to help other people and it comes down to I just want to help people feel better. Because so many of us just feel like crap, excuse my language, but for like a lack of better word. There's so many of us that are just lethargic and tired and exhausted and burnt out and stressed out and emotionally rundown And so much of that people don't realize feeds back to is what we're eating, and it's how we're living. You know, whether that's sedentary or being stressed out or not having personal connections, those kind of things, all of that feeds into our overall health. So feeling sick is really what led me to where I'm at now. And I can personally say that making those changes and it hasn't been overnight. It's been years of figuring it out and working at it and putting an effort has brought me to where I'm at now which is a completely different person and it's totally been worth it.

Damaris Grossmann:

I love I come pletely agree with you. I think that it it's the kind of that empowerment and the change in the behavior and in the overall thinking of like you knew that things needed to change but you weren't sure at first but then you took the time and studied and and then you made a change. And then now you take that effort and bring it to your patients to your clients or patients. What have you Um, I hope that you know, someone listening understands and here's, here's your, you know what you're saying. So that they can say, Hey, we, I can change some of this stuff like, I'm not gonna always be tired. And I'm completely in agreement with you in the sense of like, for me, right? I'm an I'm a fairly new mom. And yeah, I'm tired a lot. But I still have the empowered change to say, What can I do to make my days better? Right? Well, that effort. So some of it comes down to these, how do we, in this time and age, I find for myself that challenge sometimes to empower patients that are lazy, you know, that may not want to be motivated. But do you give them any, like small steps to kind of get them at least get going? Yeah.

Nika Lawrie:

So I think I think there's a couple things that I love what you're saying there's a couple things that kind of sparked, or had, you know, things I wanted to share while you're talking about it. But the first thing is, I think, especially looking at moms, there's I feel like this misnomer for moms is that, you know, I'm a mother of a six year old, and she has lots of energy and takes a lot of focus. And yes, it can be exhausting and overwhelming. And you know, sometimes you drop them off at school, and you secretly cheer because you get like a five minute break, right, and you still love them. And the second they're gone, right? But I feel like there's this misnomer that moms are supposed to be tired all the time, because kids are so much work. And yes, they take energy. But there's also a really profound issue that moms are struggling with, especially in this country, we're not eating well, we're running off of sugar and caffeine, we're not sleeping enough, we're not prioritizing our own personal health, we're stressed out. And you know, stress is one of the most damaging things to your body, our our microbiota inside our body that make all the energies inside ourselves, are functioning at like half of what they're supposed to be functioning because of all the other things that are playing, you know, factors playing in our life. And so I one of my biggest things is helping moms understand that you don't have to be tired and exhausted and, and broken down all the time, there are things you can do to make yourself feel better. And if you aren't going to do that for yourself, understand that taking care of yourself is going to have a huge impact on your child not only on their development and who they become as an adult, but your daily interaction with them. You know, no mom wants to yell at their kid, no one wants to be stressed out and screaming at third kid to get ready in the morning or get out the door. And sometimes those things happen, but they can happen a lot less when you're healthy, and you're feeling good, and you have that energy. And so I really want to stress for moms that we can take care of our bodies, and be better moms and feel better and feel happier, we don't have to be the stressed out exhausted moms all the time. So that's my first one. The second one I want to add that I think is really important is is people need to take a little bit time to redesign their life. And what I mean by that is we've had this image in our head, you know, we do a lot as teens, like we think about who we're going to be as adults, if we're going to have this career, and then we're going to get married at this time. And we're going to have 2.5 kids, we're going to live in this house and drive this. We spend all this time. But then we become adults. And we stop designing our lives, we stop really focusing on who we want to become instead, we just kind of fret and complain about how our lives aren't what we thought it was going to be. And so if we spend a little time thinking about who we want to be, you know, two years from now, five years from now, 10 years from now, that gives us a roadmap of what we should start doing now, these little baby steps that we can do now, to help us become that person. And that works not just for building a career or, you know, buying your dream home or whatever it works for our health. It works for what kind of body we want to live in, what kind of, you know, foods we want to eat, what kind of activities we want to do. And so we have to be conscious about how we design that and then use that as a roadmap to break that out into smaller pieces to start today.

Damaris Grossmann:

I love that I roadmap direction, little mindful, you know these mindful steps as I call them, and I feel that you're you have been doing this for yourself for quite a while and for your colleagues and your patients. Do you find because you're saying be a mom, do you feel like you're a better mom now?

Nika Lawrie:

I am. Yeah, I mean, I think It's a daily thing, you know, you don't

Damaris Grossmann:

learn every day. Oh, no. Right by any means, because we are always asking. No, I mean, yeah, you know what I mean? Like you're able to be more present, or you're absolutely, even if it's good or bad moments, present in the best way and give the best of yourself forward.

Nika Lawrie:

Absolutely, you know, and the thing that I've started to realize, too, is that I've become a better role model for my daughter in the sense of, she looks at food, and she's like, this is a healthy food, that's a bad fruit. Like, she just she'll say it, she's like, Mom, I eat really healthy food today, or Mom, I didn't eat the bad food, you know, shouldn't like, I didn't eat the, you know, the candy the teacher gave me or something, and, and I don't want to have this full relationship of good or bad food. But understanding these things are going to help my body feel better. And these things are going to make me not feel as great. And so, you know, having that relationship of being able to spark that in my daughter has been probably one of the most gratifying things, but the whole journey is just, you know, positive, positively impacting the next generation. And hopefully, she can share those things with her children.

Damaris Grossmann:

So they, I think it's so important to have it instilled early. Because to see, like, we talked about the adult obesity, but there's childhood obesity coming, oh, and then off this further conversation, and we can talk about that and another podcast in itself. But you know, diabetes, obesity, and then childhood obesity. I, ah, it's that's a whole other conversation that I'm like, Oh, my goodness. So if the parents are in parenting themselves, and then they're not parents, oh, that could that's just such a detriment. And starting that off so early. So the fact that you've already helped your child identify good and bad things and keep a really healthy relationship with their body is so important. My little guy, he's still little, but um, you know, I just had a funny, like, random, that really off topic, but someone said to me, Oh, um, you know, I think I was getting a dessert for us for the week. You know, I keep a treat. And I don't do it all the time. Yeah. And I'm mindful that when I tried to put in my body, and they were like, Oh, you don't do that every day? I'm like, No, I don't do dessert every day. And then they said, Oh, does your is your toddler loves like sweets, whatever you want to give him and I'm like, I don't really give him sweets. I give him fruit. Yeah. What do you mean? And I'm like, he doesn't like, you know, they don't know, some chocolate. They were saying, and I was like, No, not really. And they go, Why? And I'm like, Well, you know, if you don't start that behavior, that you know that oh, you know, I don't I just tell people, you know, if you don't you teach them learn or teach them early. You know, it's, it's, it starts early, it

Nika Lawrie:

starts with Absolutely.

Damaris Grossmann:

It's not all bad. Yeah, have that good, positive conversation, you know? And I think, go ahead. No, no, no,

Nika Lawrie:

I think I heard something really fascinating. The other day, I can't remember where I heard it. But I think it was a podcast or something I was listening to, and they were talking about child development, and how you are essentially who you are going to be as an adult, by age 12. So all of your input, all of your, you know, behaviors, and your mannerisms, and your thought processes are pretty much ingrained in you by the time you're 12 years old. And so if you've been ingrained to eat, you know, highly processed sugar, you know, high carb, and when I say carb, I'm not talking about the vegetables I'm talking about right now high processed

Damaris Grossmann:

kind of nutrient I'm not we're talking about nutrient dense versus

Nika Lawrie:

Nanda. Right. Exactly, yeah. And so you know, you know, bleached flour, carb foods, highly processed foods, if that's been ingrained in you of like, this is how you eat by age 12, it is very hard for people to change that as they get older. Most people have to have some type of major moment in their life to make that decision. So that's a diagnosis with a chronic disease. That's a life and death situation. That's a, you know, you hear it sometimes with people who lose weight, who maybe they were like two or 300 pounds and they lose a lot of weight. It's usually a public embarrassment or something. It's something that triggers that profound, I'm not doing this anymore, I'm going to make a change. But the good news is that we can actually teach kids coming up, you don't have to eat that way you can change you can eat really healthy and really enjoy food, like isolate sugar, you know, I just do it limited. I even

Damaris Grossmann:

I still eat things. I'm just more mindful about everything that I do. It's a commerce you know, and and having a good relationship with the with the food conversation, and with a You know your body? And yeah, I think that's it's such a it's another whole other topic. But yeah, I think it's important. Um,

Nika Lawrie:

I know that your time is precious. But I do want you to, you know if you could add in anything because I know that you have an array of things that you do for your clients, what have you are doing recently? Or and how can people reach you? Or if you'd like to talk anything further? Yeah, so you can find me at Nika Laurie on pretty much everything. So that's ni, K, a la W, AR, E, so I'm most active on Instagram, but you can find me wherever you can go to my website, Nika. Laurie calm, which links to my business, I have a couple businesses too. But that links, all of that. So you can find me there all my information, your businesses are different areas, you want to talk about that. So I have I have two main businesses. So I actually have three, but two main ones I really focus on. So I have brand new health wellness, which is my functional nutrition practice. And so we do it a little bit differently. So we do the normal kind of coaching and kind of working through with people looking at health issues, and how to change diet and lifestyle to really support those chronic diseases to help mitigate them or even reverse them in some cases. But what we also do is we do a house kind of cleanup or detox. And so we either if you're in the New Mexico area, we can do it one on one in person, if you're out of state, I do it through zoom, or FaceTime. And so we really just go through room by room, and we look at what you have in your house. Things that have toxic chemicals, artificial fragrances, artificial food additives, like colors, and dyes and flavorings and things like that. chemicals that cause potential, you know, that are carcinogens caused cancer or things like they're linked to causing cancer. And so we really do a deep dive in your house to help you really clean it out, kind of have a fresh restart. And then we can walk you through the process of how to replace those items that you have, that you may have in love with less toxic options. So we can go to the store and look through like you love this specific brand. But let's find the exact same thing in a different brand that has, you know, that doesn't have those chemicals and stuff. And so really looking at how do we clean up your house. And so that's the thing we kind of do through the practice. And then I also have a clean living product line. That's called Miranda clean, or Miranda, clean apothecary. And so we have clean beauty products like rose hip oil, Rose waters and clay face masks and notes. And

Damaris Grossmann:

oh, wait, you have to make sure you will put them in the show notes so people can reach out.

Nika Lawrie:

Yeah, absolutely. So it's really cool. And we're going to go over any favorite product. I

Damaris Grossmann:

mean, I know that you know, but anything that you love, that's one of your favorites.

Nika Lawrie:

My favorite, my favorite two are maringa clay mask. It's it uses actual Miranda, which is it's a superfood, it's considered the tree of life. But we mix that into our clay mask. And it is my favorite clay mask on the planet. And I know a bias but it really like I've tried them all and it really is my favorite. And then I love rose hip oil because it is the most hydrating oil you can find that is just really good for your skin. So those are my two favorites.

Damaris Grossmann:

Love it. Do you have Did you initially start making that on your own? And now you you do that throughout? Cool.

Nika Lawrie:

Yeah, yeah. So I started and the big thing was, it was the gap day. So I you know, even going to like Whole Foods, I was having a hard time finding just simple, pure products that just didn't have, you know, some additive or some dye or something like it's hard to find. And so I was just like, I'm just gonna make it myself and then share it that way. So

Damaris Grossmann:

that's amazing. Well, I'll definitely put that in the show notes. I look forward and thank you, audience looking out and I really enjoyed having you on. Is there another like kind of go away message that you'd like to share? more inspiring quote, or something that you'd like to share before we go?

Nika Lawrie:

Yeah, absolutely. Well, first, thank you so much for having me on. I'm super grateful for them. Yeah, and I

Damaris Grossmann:

have so much to share with the audience. We only just touched the surface.

Nika Lawrie:

I know I know. I could share forever. I love all this. But yeah, so thank you very much for the opportunity and I hope to be able to connect with the audience too. I'm here is a free resource that people needed to saris, feel free to reach out. The biggest thing I would share is just the tip is just start with one thing today, like don't get yourself overwhelmed, getting healthy, changing your life. It feels really overwhelming. It doesn't have to be when I first decided to get on my health journey. I literally just stood up off the couch and I didn't know what to do. So I started doing jumping jacks, and then those jumping jacks led me to the next thing and then that led me to the next thing. So just start with one little bit like this. Do some jumping jacks today. Like that's it. Just start with one little thing. And then tomorrow, try something different and grow from there. Don't let yourself get overwhelmed because that's what's gonna hold you back. I love

Damaris Grossmann:

it. Yeah, I don't let your your self talk and that overwhelm this get get to you absolutely started one day cuz I like I end the show um First I want to say thank you for having you on. It's been awesome. And I end my show saying you know how to find a mindful way each and every day. And you're you know, you're putting that out there for those in the audience and they get it, you know, everybody do a little jumping jacks or a little bit of movement, whatever that is for you. So thanks again, and I appreciate you being on and those in the mindfully integrative show. Thanks again for coming on. And as I end you, make sure you have a mindful way each and every day.