Lauren Manaker is a Nutrition Advisor at Natalist and Registered Dietitian turned entrepreneur and author. She launched her business after struggling with infertility and becoming a mother. Her personal experiences shed a spotlight on how much anecdotal and unsupported information is out there, and Lauren has made it her mission is to make accurate nutrition advice more accessible. In 2019, she authored the book Fueling Male Fertility: Nutrition and Lifestyle Guidance for Men Trying to Conceive.
Share a little about yourself—the things we wouldn’t learn from simply reading your professional bio.
I am a WHAM and George Michael superfan. When George Michael passed away, I cried for three days. I am also secretly jealous of every tap dancer who performs on Broadway because I wish I could pull off dancing like that.
When did you know you wanted to go into nutrition?
I always loved science, math, and human physiology. Nutrition was a natural choice for me because it marries all three of these subjects! And I knew that part of the classes that I was required to take involved eating!
Tell us about your nutrition training (grad school, internships, etc.) and your experience while in the thick of it.
I earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Florida (Go Gators!) and a Master of Science degree at Rush University in Chicago. I completed my dietetic internship at Rush University Medical Center and completed some of my training at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA. Years later, I earned a Lactation Educator-Counselor certification at the University of California, San Diego.
Are you a parent? If so, what was your journey to parenthood like?
I am a mother to a very strong-willed daughter. We had a five year fertility journey that was filled with needles, doctor’s appointments, and tears. Our last IVF attempt resulted in our little Hannah!
What are the values you strive to instill in your daughter?
Kindness and compassion are values that will never go out of style.
Do you prefer podcasts or books? And of the one that you prefer, what is a show or title that you recommend?
I would love to say that I have time for either! I have not read a book for pleasure in years. The only books I read are nutrition or science-related. I am a science geek!
On the challenging days, what keeps you going? Where do you find inspiration?
What keeps me going is my “why.” Fertility journeys can be hard regardless of whether a couple is trying naturally for two months or are undergoing assisted reproduction for years. I want to make sure couples get the evidence-based support they need to help sort through the “muck” during their path to pregnancy.
What is your ideal way to relax and unwind?
I love to exercise to very loud music. When I am at a barre class or a yoga class, I can’t stop to check my phone or computer. Working out is a forced hour of me-time. Of course, there is nothing like a day at the spa too!
If there was just one thing you could impart on women and/or men as they begin trying to become parents, what would it be?
You will become parents one day. It may not be on the timeline or the path that you always imagined, but it will happen one day.