Laura Paul

Where are you from and how long have your been in Hong Kong?  I am originally from the Midwest in the United States.  And after university I had an inner drive to go somewhere outside of my home country. I ended up moving to London where I remained for some time. After meeting my husband in the UK and a small stint back in the US, we moved to Hong Kong five years ago. Immediately, I fell in love with the spirit and uniqueness of the city. Now I cannot imagine living anywhere else in the world. I find the entrepreneurial spirit of Hong Kong’s women especially energizing. There are so many interesting, talented and driven individuals.

Where in Hong Kong do you live? On the Island backing up to the most beautiful green hiking trails of the city.

You are very entrepreneurial yourself!  Tell us about the organizations you’ve founded — Healthy Living in HK, Healthy Living Asia and Gifted Alliance.  I am passionate about authentic and long-lasting health, education and inspiring the community towards positive change. I create original content, events and share information with the goal of motivating, energizing and informing individuals and families to make better choices.

Healthy Living in HK is primarily a discussion-based group for those interested in all aspects of natural health, and we also have bimonthly coffee mornings and occasional special events. I believe it’s important to meet in person the people you communicate with (sometimes daily) online. I owe a great deal to Jacqueline Renee Cohen, (a.k.a. Lantaumama) whom you featured before me, for her help in moderating the group.

Healthy Living Asia was born out of an 11-year education in food allergies and what is being added to fresh and processed foods. Our first child was born with a dairy allergy when there was much less awareness, and it took over three months to finally find a doctor that made the diagnosis. That was the start to learning that ‘dairy’ had over 30 different names, such as ‘casein’,on food labels and finding out that common products such as sausages often included milk powder. We were all consuming foods and we didn’t know what was in them. From there, it was an exponential growth in awareness of what food could do to our bodies and what symptoms and lifelong consequences people were living with that could be prevented through diet modifications. In 2014, I published the first bilingual, natural health and wellness magazine collating all the amazing knowledge from research and utilizing the professionals around Hong Kong. From there, I keep an ongoing updated the website with original content, create special events and also give talks about food allergy testing and the practical guide to gluten-free living.

Lastly, with a friend we formed the Gifted Alliance in 2013 to help parents of high-ability learners. High-ability is very misunderstood, and we aim to assist parents by offering a year-round support group for parents, workshops, seminars, professional talks, family events and special classes for children. Our goal is to increase awareness that high-ability is actually a learning difference and advocate for greater opportunities for children to meet their learning needs within local and international schools.

What time of day do you check Hong Kong Moms? At different times throughout the day depending on my schedule or if I have a question of my own. It was an incredible resource when I moved here, and at that point the group was still small and young. It’s been excited to see it mushroom into this amazing community and all the other groups it inspired including Healthy Living in HK.

What posts do you comment on and why? Posts where I have the information or to direct individuals towards information related to natural health and wellness. I read a lot, so often I can share relevant articles, as well.

What is the best thing you have learned from Hong Kong Moms? I don’t think there is one single “best thing” but an overall accumulation of knowledge. I also really appreciate that it’s a continuous way to contribute back to the community.

What is your biggest Hong Kong fave? And frustration?  I love hiking in Hong Kong. The trails have so much to offer in terms of escaping the city, exercise, beauty and connection. Even better, it’s easily accessible from almost any part of the city from the Island to the New Territories. The only frustration I have about Hong Kong is the inability to take advantage of everything going on. I would love to attend every interesting event, art opening, concert, hike, etc. There is just too much to enjoy!

Which Hong Kong Mom would you like you to see featured next?  There are so many amazing Hong Kong Moms that have been an inspiration both personally and professionally. It’s hard to pin down just one!  But Benita Perch literally changed my life when she introduced a completely new facet and awareness of the power of natural health to me back in 2011.

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