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Behind the Handle: See why @WholeLivingLauren’s 35k followers love her

Kelsey Lawrence

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Welcome to Behind the Handle where we catch up with one of Columbus’ many busy Instagram influencers—be they fitness, fashion, food, or fun—to see just how they balance work, life, and play. And, of course, we get to the bottom of how they have so many followers!

Lauren Blake, RD, LDN, CHWC has been featured on Dr. Oz, Today.com, Fitness Magazine, The Huffington Post, Health.com, and many more for her expertise in dietetics. On Instagram, more than 35k people have smashed the follow button to keep up with @wholelifelauren on her journey through food, health, parenthood, and life!

614NOW: How did you get started with your account? Did it start off as a personal account?

Lauren: “I started using Instagram strictly for personal use. I think when the app first came out, people used it for purely personal reasons. I started posting pictures of food because I’ve always been interested in health and nutrition and that was just something i was really passionate about and something I was doing all the time: cooking and experimenting with different things. So I started posting photos of food and other people were doing that too but it was certainly what it is today in terms of the food community.”

“So, from there I just started connecting with people very organically and the account started  growing and people started to say ‘hey, you should start a blog,’ so I did and that’s when i changed my Instagram handle, around 2014.

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“At that point, it was purely a hobby, it wasn’t my job at that point. It was just, I kind of identified with the brand that I wanted to create, which was really just naming something I was already doing. @wholelivinglauren is my business account, but I post a lot of personal things on there. I post about travel, I post pictures of my family, pictures of my home.”

“I want people to be able to navigate seamlessly between the blog and my social media accounts. I’m definitely more active on social media than my blog, but I make sure to post pretty regularly to my blog as well.”

“It’s not so much a blog as a business website. The blog is just one piece of it that lives on my website. So my website serves a great purpose for me because it’s a landing page for my business. It showcase the different services i offer with individual clients, with business consulting, it highlights different projects I’ve done, different national and international media outlets that i’ve been featured in.”

“I’ve gotten a lot of opportunities because of my online presence. I’ve worked really hard but i will say that having the visibility of that is certainly a benefit of what I do.”

614NOW: When did you feel like you were successful?

Lauren: “I feel like it’s hard to define a moment when you’re success because there’s always new goals (you’re never done), which is great but it’s also hard. The hustle is real, you’ve always gotta keep up with things. There’s always bigger better more etc. it’s easy to get caught up in that, and I try really hard not to. Of course, the number of followers is important, But I really try not to get caught up with that. What I care most about is really engaging with the people I connect with. That’s really important to me.”

“The power of social media is incredible. To be able to meet friends through social media and Instagram is incredible. I had the opportunity to be on the Dr. OZ show in 2015 because one of the producers had been following me for years and she wanted me to come on and be part of a segment. That’s an opportunity I wouldn’t have had if it weren’t for Instagram.”

614NOW: Do you find yourself getting stressed about having to keep up with your business, website, and social media accounts? How do you unplug?

Lauren: “It’s something that’s incredibly important. I know for me and for everyone too, it’s a weird world that we live in because everything is instant and 24/7 and it can be so easy to get in that scrolling trap and comparison trap. I think that’s how people get down and out: mindlessly scrolling all the time, they’re spending so much time on social media that it’s impossible not to compare and not to feel like you’re not good enough. All those things exist and that’s the hard thing about social media and I am very aware of those things personally.”

“What i try to do is time block. When I’m planning out my day, I time block time for Instagram. From 9-9:30 for example, responding to comments, etc and then I put it down. I have to display a lot of self control with that and sometimes I do a better job than others, but that’s really the goal.”

“When my husband gets home from work, we really try not to be on our phones. It’s a really important time for us to connect, to not be distracted by social media and everything on our phone. Another thing too, is we have an 18-month-old son and I have become acutely aware of the fact that I don’t want him to see me on my phone all the time. I have to set those boundaries for myself.”

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Lifestyle

Organize Your Life: Bullet Journaling

Julian Foglietti

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After three months of isolation, and the general productivity lull it created, I began searching for a way to bring some structure back into my life. After a week of stumbling through various self-help forums, I came across the world of Bullet Journaling.  Originally developed by Ryder Carroll, a NYC Product Designer.

Bullet Journaling works by allowing the rapid listing of thoughts, tasks, and events. In its simplest form, it allows you to organize the quick, fleeting ideas we have and go back through, organizing them at the end of the day. As the name suggests, Bullet Journaling relies on bullet points as the main method of organizing information. Each point acts as a reference to a thought. However, unlike other task management methods, one of the biggest aspects of Bullet Journaling is reflecting on what was written over the course of the day, and transferring what's essential to the next day. It’s this aspect of reflection that has proven to be so effective for me.

As a journalist I often find myself juggling multiple stories at different stages of progress. Bullet Journaling has allowed me to prioritize each of these stories and their deadlines. Where I once had pages of random scribbles, I now have a system to easily find and reflect upon all the information I’m constantly intaking.

How to make your own Bullet Journal:

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Health & Fitness

Former OSU Linebacker partners with local CBD Company

Julian Foglietti

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Former Ohio State University All-American linebacker, and NFL Fox analyst, Chris Spielman has announced a partnership with CBD Health Collection. Speilman was first introduced to the company while looking for solutions to his “nagging pain”, the result of injuries sustained throughout his football career. CBD Health Collection was founded in 2017 by Rick Bauer in conjunction with his son and daughter who run production and marketing respectively.

In conjunction with the new partnership, CBD Health Collection will be launching a Spielman branded line of CBD products targeted at former athletes and weekend warriors experiencing residual pain from sports. The new products will initially be available online as the company finalizes their retail distribution plans. 

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Health & Fitness

It’s no longer necessary to do squats outside of your gym, for now

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Gym rats rejoice! Those who’ve been missing the arduousness of wiping down salty equipment after each use or hoping that they come across some top-secret CIA information on the lockerroom floor are in luck.

Since the closing of all non-essential business on March 24, gyms have been void of protein shakes and Affliction t-shirts. Following a court order on Tuesday, workout facilities are now allowed to open their doors earlier than the previous May 26 ruling. Those who were adamant about getting leg day in while also exercising their first amendment rights will no longer have to do so outside of gym complexes.

Lake County Common Pleas Judge Eugene Lucci ruled on Tuesday that state and county health officials, including Ohio Director of Public Health Dr. Amy Acton and the Lake County General Health District, won’t be able to take any action against fitness facilities violating the original reopening date. This comes following a complaint filed by The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law on behalf of 35 Ohio gyms, including Columbus’ Ohio Strength.

The general public would be harmed if an injunction was not granted. There would be a diminishment of public morale and a feeling that one unelected individual could exercise such unfettered power to force everyone to obey," Lucci wrote in the injunction

"The public would be left with feelings that their government is not accountable to them. Prolonged lockdowns have deleterious effects upon the public psyche."

When Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced several opening days this past Thursday, guidelines that gyms would have to follow to remain open were also outlined. Gyms, fitness centers, and dance studios must keep employees and clients six feet apart, which also includes equipment. Upon entering these facilities, everyone will be asked to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer. 

Fitness facilities will not be asked to close if they follow these guidelines.

This doesn’t mark the end of the lawsuit, though. Restrictions placed on fitness centers are being temporality lifted while the case makes its way through the court system. A successful lawsuit, however, could mean that gyms could sue the state for lost income.

“The ruling by Judge Eugene Lucci of the Lake County Court of Common Pleas explains that private property rights are fundamental rights in Ohio, and that the Ohio Department of Health has both violated those rights and exceeded its own authority,” according to a statement from Cincinnati-based Finney Law Firm.

Photo by: WKYC Channel 3
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