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Join The First-Ever Lauren’s Hope Health Challenge!


Earlier this week, I made a big commitment. I decided to adopt a strict Paleo eating plan for one month to try it out, starting on February 1. I decided to share this decision with all of you here on the Lauren’s Hope blog and invite you to join me in making one health-related change for the month of February. It would be fun, I figured, and it would certainly help me stay accountable. So I went about my business, typing up a fun article, putting together some interesting facts and art, and proofreading my work. I had the whole thing all ready to go. And then I scrapped it. I deleted the whole thing.

paleo cheat sheetWhy would I do that? I did it because something truly remarkable just happened here at Lauren’s Hope. When I mentioned the idea for today’s blog article to our CEO, LeAnn Carlson, she got pretty excited about it and said she was debating going sugar- and gluten-free for a month herself to give it a try. So we decided to team up and do this together. The next thing I knew, six of us were talking about various versions of Paleo, Gluten-Free, Ketogenic, Clean Eating food plans, and we decided to band together and commit to supporting one another in a month of positive health changes. It’s not about pounds or inches or scales. It’s about living healthier and how much easier that is when you have support.

We already had a staff lunch planned for today, so while we were all together, I shared the idea with our whole team and invited everyone to join us if they’d like. After lunch, our Creative Director, Brittany McNeal, who has recently been blogging here about living gluten-free after her Celiac’s Disease diagnosis, held an impromptu photo shoot to get “before” photos of everyone who signed up.

At 9:00 this morning, this was just me. Me going Paleo and seeing if any of you wanted to join me or if you were even interested in reading about that.

At 1:00 this afternoon, seventeen Lauren’s Hope team members had committed to what we’re calling the 2014 Lauren’s Hope Health Challenge. That’s amazing.

So there it is. We're going to keep each other accountable, and we're also making ourselves accountable to all of you in a few ways:

  1. tags for medical id braceletsWe're sharing a list (below) of the team members who are participating and what their goals are.
  2. We're posting "before" pictures below.
  3. We'll post "after" (or “progress”) photos on Wednesday, March 5. 
  4. We're committing to keeping you updated as the month progresses and sharing our newfound and/or favorite recipes, thoughts on this experience, and results.

2014 Lauren’s Hope Health Challenge Participants & Goals

  1. Tara: Go Paleo
  2. Tracy: Continue Paleo
  3. Quinn: Improve digestion, increase hydration
  4. Grace: Improve digestion, increase hydration, go gluten-free
  5. Christy: Go Paleo
  6. Sari: Go gluten-free and go to yoga twice a week
  7. Megan: Go gluten-free, sugar-free, and work out twice a week
  8. Alaina: Limit sugar intake and work out three times a week
  9. Lauri: Go Paleo
  10. Ashley: Work out twice a week
  11. Caitlin: Work out once a week
  12. LeAnn: Go gluten-free and sugar-free
  13. Emily: No beef, work out four times a week
  14. Katy: Work toward a half marathon in 6 months, a full marathon in 1 year
  15. Cherish: Go gluten-free and sugar-free
  16. Brittany: Continue gluten-free and ketogenic eating
  17. Jenna: Continue Paleo

The Before Photos...

Group 1: Caitlin, Lauri, and Ashley

describe the image


Group 2: LeAnn, Tracy, and Alaina

LeAnn Tracey Alaina


Group 3: Brittany, Katy, Grace, and Tara

Brittany, Katy, Grace, Tara


Group 4: Sari, Megan, and Christy

Sari Megan Christy 1

Group 5: Quinn, Emily, and Cherish

IMG 9996

So…we’re doing it! And we want to hear from you. Do you want to join in the very first LAUREN'S HOPE HEALTH CHALLENGE? All you have to do is commit to making ONE health-related change for the month of February. Do you have books, websites, resources, or ideas to share? Are you a blogger who would like to team up with us? Comment here, or email me at tara@laurenshope.com. We're excited to hear what you think!


*As always, before making any changes to your diet or exercise regimen, you may want to consult your healthcare provider. 


Today was a good day at LH. Many of us committed to taking better control of our health and we all committed to supporting each other in the process. What can stop us if we’re pushing each other to succeed? Not much. 
I’m going gluten and sugar free starting today until the end of February. I’m not too worried about cutting out gluten but I heard a rumor that there’s sugar in chocolate. Oh dear. Anyone who knows me knows that taking my chocolate away can be dangerous. But I hereby declare that I will NOT have any sugar today – even if I have to go to bed in the next 8 minutes to stop myself. 
I’m curious to know if anyone else out there is interested in doing what we’re doing. I hope so. We speak to people every day with health concerns and we understand that small changes can make big differences. We want the very best for you! 
I’m out the door to walk my dog now and in light of my new commitment I think we’ll make a couple of extra turns around the block. YOLO. Ya feel me girl? 
Posted @ Wednesday, January 29, 2014 6:58 PM by LeAnn
I'm in! Some bloggers and I have been going a weight loss thingy and although I don't have a scale, my clothes are starting to feel bigger. I've been working towards Paleo/keto myself so I will join you all. That's more accountability for me!
Posted @ Wednesday, January 29, 2014 7:59 PM by Monique
Thanks, Monique! We're excited to have you on board! Congrats on your recent achievements! I think it's fabulous that you don't have a scale and are going by how you feel. Scales have their purpose, but truly, how you FEEL and how your body is functioning will tell you so much more than a number on a screen. Thanks for joining us!
Posted @ Thursday, January 30, 2014 9:24 AM by Tara Cohen
You have confused me ... my doctors insist that going gluten-free is a no-no unless you actually have a gluten problem. And yet, someone here is going to 'try' gluten free. Does she actually need gluten free, or is she following one of the latest food fads?
Posted @ Thursday, January 30, 2014 10:19 AM by Joan in VA
Hi Joan!  
Super question. First, of course we're not doctors, so we would not presume to offer medical advice, and if your doctor has told you not to remove gluten from your diet, we would never imply that you should do otherwise.  
We have several team members who are trying a gluten-free diet because they feel that they may have a gluten sensitivity. One of the best ways to find out whether you're gluten-sensitive is to simply remove it from your diet and see how you feel. Actual Celiac's Disease, Gluten allergies, and Wheat allergies, things like that all require medical testing. But just seeing if you're gluten-sensitive or intolerant is easy to accomplish by rsimply removing it from the diet for a solid month or so and seeing how you feel. 
Thanks for the great question! 
Posted @ Thursday, January 30, 2014 10:51 AM by Tara Cohen
I am excited about the goals we have set for the month! The only way I will cut my beloved breads and pastas forever is if I feel absolutely amazing without them...but I think a few weeks of gluten free eating will get me in the habit of filling up on fruits and veggies instead of my usual bagels and muffins!
Posted @ Thursday, January 30, 2014 9:42 PM by Sari
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