Meet our SoL Sisters!
Every month, we’ll bring you profiles of women across America whose commitment to health includes their mind, body, spirit, and community. These inspiring women share stories of how they’ve reinvented their lives and careers, embarked on exciting new life journeys, and found ways for themselves and their families to achieve optimal health.
Today’s SoL Sister is Lauren Hoover-West from Santa Cruz, CA.
Busy Lauren Hoover-West is a pastry chef, cookbook author, blogger, cooking instructor, and founder of Lauren’s Kitchen Biscotti, a delicious line of gluten-free, dairy-free, low glycemic index biscotti. Lauren, who suffers from allergies to gluten, dairy, and certain sugars, was frustrated by the lack of options for a sweet treat that she and others with similar food allergies could safely enjoy. Her yummy creations – available in Double Chocolate Chip, Zesty Lemon, and Cardamom flavors – are available by mail on her blog or in select locations in the San Francisco and South Bay/Santa Cruz areas and Palm Springs. Her blog and cookbook by the same name,No Wheat, No Dairy, No Problem, offers a host of exciting recipes and ideas for eating and living healthy.
What’s your favorite good health habit?
I know that balance is the key to well-being. I try to achieve that by taking care of my body (eating well, natural medicine, yoga), mind (prayer, meditation/guided imagery, tapping) and spirit (prayer, spending time in nature, laughing and most importantly loving my beloved husband).
What motivated you to become an entrepreneur?
I find that I thrive when I work for myself and I have a lot less stress and a lot more joy and fun than working for someone else, and nobody can fire me! In looking at my resume, I noticed that the longest I stayed at a “job” was when I had my own business for almost 10 years. I also realized that is when I was happiest.
The idea for Lauren’s Kitchen Biscotti came about because of my frustration with a lack of sweet gluten free options for my friends and I to eat without suffering when we visited our local coffee house. I saw a need and wanted to meet it in a healthful and delicious way so, I created my organic, high protein and fiber, low glycemic index biscotti and began selling them. They taste so delicious that people don’t even know they’re an alternative to those made with regular wheat flour and white sugar! Many customers have told me that my biscotti are so good that one is all they need to feel satisfied.
What tips do you offer to moms of kids with food allergies when it comes to dealing with food allergy minefields like birthday parties?
The reason I wrote my cookbook, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem, is so that none of us who have food sensitivities or allergies would have to do without again or suffer if we cheated. I took seven years to develop recipes that taste as delicious as traditional ones with healthier ingredients than most gluten free alternatives. I have cake, cupcake & frosting recipes that I recommend to parents for birthday parties. If a child with a food sensitivity or allergy is going to a birthday party, I suggest that they take their own cupcake that they know is safe. I make a batch of cupcakes with frosting and put them in an airtight container so they are ready to grab and enjoy whenever we desire.
How did you discover SoL?
I was in my local Staff of Life Market in Santa Cruz when I saw someone giving out samples of SoL. I thought, “What a great beverage to dunk my biscotti into!” I loved the taste and the creaminess, and of course immediately started thinking about ways to use it in recipes and in the classes I teach. I’m developing some kid friendly recipes and desserts with it now – and I can’t wait to share them with you once they are perfected and have the kids’ rave reviews of approval!