Wellness and Me

I struggle with weight, food, and body image. Living a healthy lifestyle has always been a challenge. Follow my journey to health, wellness, and self-love.

SoulCycle: A Year Later

If I’m being completely honest, I probably look about the same – the same height, the same weight (give or take a few pounds), and definitely the same eating habits (a constant work in progress). But I’m not the same.

Three hundred and sixty five days ago, I left my...Read More »

Review: OrangeTheory Fitness, Carle Place

Date of Visit: March 29, 2017
Instructor: Debbie
Time: 9:30am

I’d heard about Orangetheory from a few people at SoulCycle and decided to give it a try.  According to their website:

I remember being immediately intrigued because I was looking for a total-body workout to really help me...Read More »

Eat Clean Bro

Image credit: Eat Clean Bro

Living a healthier lifestyle is about so much more than exercise – it’s about fueling your body. This is where I’ve struggled the most. Sure, I can go to SoulCycle four times a week, but that means nothing if I’m stuffing...Read More »

New Clothes

I am in desperate need of some new clothes.  I could use a ton of leggings, maybe two pairs of jeans, some sweaters, and, of course, quirky tops that cover the huge mass between my boobs and my, well, you know.

I need clothes for work. I need clothes for school....Read More »

Meal Plan: 9/19 - 9/23

This post was updated with pricing information on 9/19/16.

It’s been a tough week, guys…like, a really tough week.  But before we get to that, I just want to say thank you to everyone who messaged, commented, and reached out to me after SOUL squad was published. Your kindness, support,...Read More »

SOUL Squad

Ten years ago, this past August, I found myself standing on the streets of Pennsylvania in the rain with no shirt and no shoes.  My boyfriend of two years had beaten me, raped me, and left me on the side of the road.

As I walked six miles to the train...Read More »

Meal Plan: 9/5 - 9/9

This post was updated with price information on 9/6/16.

So, last week was a weird week.  I wasn’t able to stay on plan the whole week, but I did have three days where I went really strong and stuck to it.  The last two, I went rogue and took myself out...Read More »

Meal Plan: 8/29 - 9/2

Guys, I have to be honest with you – as happy as I am to get back to school, I am really not looking forward to this week.  It’s not because of the food or anything, it’s just going to be a rough one!  Here’s next week’s lineup:

Once upon a time, I had an amazing trainer named Dean.  Dean is one of those people who is truly in the business of helping others.  We high-fived during times of success, and he taught me how to convert my setbacks into strength.  My goals were his goals.  And throughout...Read More »

Meal Plan: 8/22 - 8/26

This post was updated on 8/22/16.

Hey, everyone!  This week’s meal plan is a lot different from last week’s.  All right, let’s go through it:


So, I was worried I was eating too heavily post-SOUL (since I usually take the 6:15pm class and don’t eat until 7:30pm).  I...Read More »

Meal Plan: 8/15 - 8/19

This post was updated on 8/15/16.

Hello, dedicated readers!  I hope you’re having an awesome week so far, and that this post finds you well.  Once again, I’ve put this week’s meal plan up a little early in case you want to follow along with me.  I’ll also be cooking and...Read More »

Friday Find: Ninja Blender

Whether or not you’re a smoothie fan, a good blender is a kitchen staple for most.  I have a Ninja Professional Blender (BL 660) and I couldn’t be happier.  Mine cost $109.99 but it was well worth the money.

I make smoothies, pesto sauce, and purees for yogurt.  It...Read More »

Meal Plan: 8/8 - 8/12

This post was changed on 8/5/16.

I decided to post this week’s meal plan a little early in case some of you want to follow along and use the weekend to prep (as I often do!).  Here’s what we’re looking at:

A couple of things to know about this week’s meal...Read More »

SoulCycle: Take Your Journey

Change your body.  Take your journey.  Find your soul.  This is the mantra of SoulCycle.  It echoes through each class and is plastered around the studio in neon lights.

Yesterday was my third time at SoulCycle.  It hasn’t gotten easier, but it’s gotten better.  I’m still not 100% with the...Read More »

Meal Plan: 8/1 - 8/5

I’m the type of person who uses Google Calendar to make plans with friends.  My time is always accounted for because, honestly, I have too little of it.  Often, this has been my excuse for eating poorly.  I’d say things like, “I need to eat McDonald’s because I don’t have...Read More »

Friday Find: Sahale Snacks

There are two things you need to know about me when it comes to food: 1) I love to snack and 2) I love food that requires minimal effort.  The latter is definitely a vice, but I’m a firm believer that knowing your weaknesses is what allows you to turn...Read More »


I’ve never been what you’d consider to be an athletic person.  I was on swim team in high school, but only because we practiced at the all-boys school by my house.  

Fitness is so much easier to incorporate into your life during high school because someone is literally forcing you...Read More »

On Size

I haven’t been thin since high school.  This is due to the fact that once I graduated, I became responsible for my own health and wellness, and had no idea what that really meant.  In fact, there are days where I still don’t know what that means.

Loving myself is a...Read More »

Friday Finds: Scales and Stuff

Friday Finds is a section of my blog where I share products I’ve found to be useful.  I am not compensated by, or endorsed by, any of these companies to provide a positive review.

When I first started rethinking the way I ate, one thing took me by surprise:...Read More »

Tuesday Tip: Breakfast

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Not sure who “they” are, but I can tell you that my trainer, dietitian, and mother all agree.

I never put stock in breakfast because I’m usually running back to the apartment to grab my phone, hoping I don’t get...Read More »

Peeves, Problems, and Positive Solutions

Whether you’re trying to get healthy, or are supporting someone who is, there are certain things you need, and others you can definitely live without.  In this post, we’ll go over right and wrong ways to be supportive, how to make positive changes without going insane, and look at some...Read More »

The Path to Wellness

Like most life-altering issues, my problem with health and wellness started off small – I’d be a little out of breath going up the stairs, needed to recline my car seat back a little further…went up a size.  Nothing too drastic, which is why I was shocked to look down...Read More »

Nutrition Disclaimer

I am not a certified nutritionist and make no claims to the contrary. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. Information is provided to the best of my ability. YOU are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health.

The fine print:

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. Statements within this site have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Content should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.

The reader assumes full responsibility for consulting a qualified health professional regarding health conditions or concerns, and before starting a new diet or health program. The writer(s) and publisher(s) of this site are not responsible for adverse reactions, effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any recipes or suggestions herein or procedures undertaken hereafter.

This website, ljsharks.com, occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is a product of online calculators such as MyFitnessPal.com. Although ljsharks.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will ljsarks.com or Lauren J Sharkey be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete and useful.

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