Welcome to TVB, LDB!

Welcome to TVB, LDB!

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Guys! (drum roll please) We are super excited to officially announce to you our newest addition to The Vibrant Beet team: the lovely, inspiring and talented Lauren Dutton-Breen! (applause) This gluten free babe shines in and out of the kitchen. We guarantee her contributions will teach you a thing or two about creating and living a healthier, more balanced lifestyle, and will also give you some good laughs in along the way. Read on to learn a little bit about what makes Lauren so vibrant...and why we simply adore her and feel so lucky to have her on board.IMG_1071The Vibrant Beet: Tell us a little about who Lauren Dutton-Breen is.Lauren Dutton-Breen: Lauren Dutton-Breen is a person who really struggles with interview questions… apparently. I’ve been staring at this question for an hour.

That said, I’ve worked in PR/Marketing for the last 10 years. It’s not my passion, but it helps pay the bills while I build my passion, which is in the nutritional psychology world. I am currently studying to be certified and hope to help future clients achieve a happier lifestyle by way of food and movement. I’ve also been writing for examiner.com for about a year, sharing gluten-free recipes, reviewing products, restaurants, and events!

TVB: How has food and movement plays effected your mental states and physical states? LDB: Our physical state directly feeds our mental state. Physical activity is one of the only three ways our body can produce serotonin. Serotonin makes you happy! It's a no-brainier. Speaking personally, I struggled with depression in college. While plenty of things contributed to that (including late night eating, cafeteria food and snacking more then usual), I think the biggest was that I wasn't nearly as physical as I had been in high school. I went from being an athlete that played sports almost all year round to basically nothing. The lack of movement and physical activity really put a dark cloud over my head. After figuring out how to bring physical activity into my life on a regular basis without the structure of high school sports, I felt that dark cloud lift almost immediately. Plus, to be totally vain, I lost some pounds and felt damn good. Looking good does make you feel good! Even now, if I'm lazy for a few days I start to feel very blah. One good sweat later and I'm back to me.IMG_2211TVB: Why did you want to become a permanent contributor The Vibrant Beet? LDB: I really like how TVB a holistic and realistic approach to mindful, healthy living...it really is all connected. I’ve been a loyal reader over the years and have always been so honored to be a sometimes-contributor. How could I resist a more permanent spot!?

TVB: Have you always been a health minded person? LDB: Yes and no. My parents raised me to eat very healthy. Maybe almost too healthy though because as soon as I got a little freedom, my sister and I would do things like bicycle to a corner store, buy a whole cheesecake, and sneak off to eat it in woods so my parents wouldn’t know.

That’s why I’m a big advocate for balance. A healthy diet is incredibly important, but if you place too many restrictions on yourself you may just find yourself eating a cheesecake in the woods.

TVB: What is your “diet” like? LDB: I have a gluten-free, pescatarian diet. I try to eat as much protein in every meal as possible, limit my carbs to one or two pieces of bread per day, and I’m also a big fan of healthy fats like coconut, avocados, olive oil, etc. Eating 3 meals a day is also an important one for me. My body seems to function best physically and mentally under those circumstances.

That said, I think life is all about balance, and I don’t feel remotely guilty about the 3 lobster rolls I just ate over the course of 4 days.

TVB: How has going gluten free changed your life? LDB: I no longer have explosive diarrhea on a daily basis.IMG_6116TVB: What inspires you? LDB: So many things! My parents! My sister! My friends! My dog! Nature! Art! Music! Sports! Food! Movies! There’s a whole lot of amazing things going on out there if you look.

TVB: I know you love to cook for friends and family (because I have been graced with your delicious cooking). How do you come up with menu ideas and keep everyone happy? LDB: It usually comes about by considering things like group size, season, weather, food allergies, general likes/dislikes, and what’s already available in my fridge or pantry. Once you have all those answers it’s as easy as fitting the puzzle pieces together!

TVB: Why do you love cooking? What sparked that interest? LDB: It makes me happy to make other people happy and food is usually a pretty direct route.IMG_7010

I also come from a family that loves to cook almost as much as we love eating. As a kid, my mom wouldn’t really let us buy things like cookies or cakes. If we wanted those things, we would have to make it from scratch. Talk about motivation. It taught me that if you want something, all you have to do is figure out how to make it, and it can be yours!

TVB: When in Brooklyn, where do you get your produce? LDB: I live pretty deep in Brooklyn where there are no close grocery stores so I use a company called Fresh Direct. You shop online and they deliver groceries directly to your front door! Initially I was not happy about this because I actually love grocery shopping, but I came to love the ease and variety in their service. They have a beautiful produce section with an abundance of local, organic, seasonal produce.IMG_5546TVB:Having lived in Boston, Los Angeles, Cape Cod & New York, do you find any similarities in the health & wellness cultures? LDB: My initial reaction was to say, “No!” that both NYC and LA are more advanced when it comes to health and wellness culture. And as far as food goes I do think that is true. But all four locations are actually relatively big on movement. LA makes it easy to engage in outdoor activities because the weather is perfect 365 days-a-year. But if you live in NYC or Boston, chances are you don’t have a car and you walk or bike everywhere. During the Spring, Summer, and Fall, Cape Cod is also a really active place. The Rail Trail is one of the most lovely bike trails I’ve ever been on for biking, walking and running. With tons of ponds, lakes and the beautiful ocean at your side ~ you swim, kayak, surf and paddle board your heart out! The winters are a little tough there, but that’s why they have gyms!

TVB: What do you to keep active? LDB: I used to belong to the gym when I lived in Manhattan, but when we moved to Brooklyn, it meant taking the subway to get to the gym. Knowing myself, I knew I would just not go to the gym if I had to get on the subway. So we bought an exercise bike for the apartment and that thing kicks my ass! I watch trashy television shows while I work out and before I know it, and hour’s gone by. I also like to throw in squats, sit-ups, and occasional yoga in the mix.

TVB: What is your favorite restaurant in Brooklyn? Boston? NYC? Cape Cod? LA? Paris? Anywhere! LDB: There are so many to choose... Brooklyn: I love Maison Premiere for oysters and absinthe. Manhattan: The Fat Radish for farm-to-table. Boston: O-Ya for super fresh sushi. Cape Cod: The Brewster Fish House for the freshest seafood in town! LA: Mmmm...gimme some Izakaya for crispy rice with spicy tuna. Paris: I adore Spring for their no-menu chef’s tasting.

TVB: What are some of your favorite places and things to do in Brooklyn/NYC? LDB: I love the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It makes you feel like you’re miles outside of BK or Manhattan. I also love Little Branch for live jazz and a snappy cocktail.

TVB: You are a woman on the go this Summer! What will you do to stay feeling your best and on your A game while doing some heavy traveling? LDB: With my exercise bike in storage, I have taken up running, which I absolutely hate but it is just so easy to run anywhere you are and a great way to see a new place. I feel good afterwards so I just switch into robot mode and go go go! Also, because it’s summer, there are plenty of outdoor activities that I can usually get into. I tried paddle boarding the other day, and my abs are thanking me!IMG_2150TVB: Can you let us in on anything that we have to look forward to with you on board TVB?! LDB: More gluten free recipes, tips, tricks, and recommendations. And a series that follows every day vibrant people across America!

TVB: Last one. I promise. What does living a vibrant lifestyle mean to you? LDB: Just making your best effort every day to be kind to yourself and those around you.IMG_0399TVB: Thank you Lauren! So grateful to have you on board TVB team! Folks ~ stay tuned for lots of vibrant goodness from our newest addition, Lauren Dutton-Breen! xx Cat-signature5

Shrimp Salad with Mango, Avocado, and Kiwi

Shrimp Salad with Mango, Avocado, and Kiwi

Summer Chopped Salad

Summer Chopped Salad