My name is Lauren Cook, and I serve those who love food and love their faith.
I feel that we often treat our food and eating habits as a completely separate entity that is tied up in convenience, price, and body image rather than a symbol of God’s love for us and a gift of nourishment. Through LillianDora, I will share healthy recipes, ways to pursue your faith, and ways that we can connect food and faith.
Who am I?
My name is Lauren Cook, and I am a pursuing an MS in Nutritional Sciences and completing my Dietetic Internship. One day, I will be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. After this, I want to get my Ph.D. and become a college professor.
I love Parks and Recreation, coffee (creamer with a little coffee), and a touch of pink.
Okay, You’re Lauren, So Who is LillianDora?
The name, LillianDora, originated from my two grandmothers: Lillian from my father’s side and Dora from my mother’s. Both of my grandmothers inspire me to live a life of integrity and strive for my dreams, just like they did. They taught me invaluable lessons that I live by today.
Lillian, an English teacher, made me complete English lessons during the summer (YES DURING THE SUMMER) so that I could stay abreast on my grammar and vocabulary for the next year. She taught me the importance of education and how it enables you to reach for your dreams. She also taught me that we must always strive to improve ourselves, even during downtime; a lesson that I firmly believe.
Dora taught me always to pray and look to God to lead me in my life, another invaluable skill that I implement in my life today. Her courage and faith are inspirational and motivate me to become a virtuous woman like herself. These women continue to drive me and, hence, the name LillianDora was born.
Okay, now get to the good part
I didn’t always think that food and faith were so innately connected. I’m embarrassed to say it, but I became interested in nutrition because of the Kardashians. I know I know, but before you click off this page hear me out, I was young and easily influenced.
When I was in high school, I would devotedly watch the Kardashians. They were so glamorous and beautiful, and I wanted to be that, but naturally. I started to look up what foods were best for your hair, nails, and skin and incorporated them into my diet. It sparked my interest in nutrition, which led me to choose it as my major in college.
That’s where my interest in nutrition changed from the superficial side to the preventative and using-food-as-fuel side. Through everything that I learned in my classes, I realized just how much food impacts us physically and mentally.
Okay food impacts our bodies and our minds, but how does it affect our faith?
Food is connected to God, yes, because it comes from him, but also because it is a reminder of his sacrificial love for us. It may sound a little morbid, but for us to eat, other things must die. Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore, plants and animals have to die for us to live. This sacrifice, on an infinitely smaller scale, mimics Jesus’ sacrifice for us, and because Jesus’ sacrifice is the ultimate expression of God’s love, the sacrifice that is food is an infinitely smaller expression of His love.
Food not only connects us to God but also brings us to each other through cooking and sharing meals together. Eating is one of the few things that every human on earth has in common. We all have to eat.
Food also brings us into communion with the earth through agriculture. Whether we plant vegetables in our gardens or by them from the store, we are tied to agriculture, and eating binds us to the earth.
All in all, I want to challenge the way we think about food. I want to shift our focus from it being a commodity, to our connection to God, others, and the earth.
Here at LillianDora, we connect food and faith one bite at a time.