Author Archives: foodfreaktonya

About foodfreaktonya

My name is Tonya and it's true, Im a freak about food. Ask my family or my friends. I wasn't born this way. Through years of reading and studying and playing with my family's food choices, I've learned a thing a two. I'm not just a food freak at home either. It is also my day job as nutrition and culinary educator. Our food system is so adulterated and tainted that you can't even call most things we eat food. It is my passion and my mission to empower you, educate you and hopefully inspire you to RISE ABOVE whatever challenges that are keeping you from being the BEST version of yourself and living a full, extraordinary life! Joyfully, Tonya

Resolution Solution

Day two of 2015. How many of you have made a resolution or two? What is it this time? Lose the same ten pounds you were determined to lose last year? Quit smoking? Again. Exercise more? I’m betting most of you don’t have Mark Zuckerberg sized challenges. Learning Mandarin? Ok, so his it’s the primary language of his wife’s family. But tell the truth. Many of you have “resolved” to do or not do certain things for an entire year. Let’s face it. This is totally unrealistic. Used as a verb, resolve, according to the dictionary, means to bring an end to or find a solution for something. What this really translates to is taking those monumental things that you want to change, challenge or just plain give up and break them down into manageable, bite-sized pieces. By the way, Mr. Zuckerberg did not learn Mandarin in one year. He’s been studying the language since 2010 but focused his energy in 2014 to become “conversational” which he did. Bravo, considering it’s a very difficult language to learn.

You know what compound interest is, right? It’s interest that is calculated on both the principle and the accrued interest. For instance, would you take a million dollars right now or a penny doubled every day for thirty days? Most would take the quick and easy million, not giving the lowly doubled-every-day-penny a second thought. But because of “compounding” that penny will worth be worth more than five million dollars on day 30!

The same is true for most of you. It’s not a knowing or a doing problem. It’s changing the way you think. It’s what you think and believe that drives your actions. The actions required to keep our resolutions are easy to do but they are just as easy not to do. Eating a McDonald’s cheeseburger and fries won’t make you fat or give you heart disease–today. Running on the treadmill for an hour and having a salad won’t make you fit–today. But think about these same choices, or any actions that will help get you where you’re going and you have the recipe for failure or success. Success in anything is built. Slowly and gradually, day in and day out, based on the choices we make DAILY. It is a process not a destination. We plant, we cultivate, we harvest. The results are not instantaneous. The secret is TIME. We want to plant (say, lose weight) and then harvest right away (I didn’t eat all day and I didn’t lose a pound!), forgetting the most important part-to cultivate (daily disciplines done over time).

Don’t look for shortcuts, there are none. Hang out with like-minded people who support you and inspire you to reach your goals. Read ten pages of of a life-transforming book every day. Refuse to be swayed by attitudes, moods or feelings and get it done…regardless!

May y’all have an adventurous, joy, laughter and love-filled, most prosperous year ever! Happy 2015!

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Stay Vibrant!
Tonya

Gratitude

As we continue into the “Thanks” giving weekend, I realize I’m thankful for so much more than the usual “family and friends”. Appreciation is the ability to recognize and understand the worth, quality or importance of something with full awareness. Don’t get me wrong. My family is my life and my friends are great. However, these days I’m grateful for the peace I have in knowing that every challenge and trial I face brings me closer to the person I am meant to be. I am thankful for knowledge I have and continue to gain by being a perpetual student regarding health and wellness and for the ability to share that through my blog and in my community. I learn so much from the people who share the details of their lives with me, because nutrition is more than food. We need to be fed and nurtured emotionally and spiritually or life is out of balance. The Christmas holiday is right around the corner. Don’t get caught up in the commercial frenzy of the “shop ’til you drop” mindset. Save your hard earned money and what little energy you have and focus on the one thing that will make a difference in the lives of your friends and family: YOU! Your time and attention. Put your wallet away. Turn your phone off. Make a fire and some hot cocoa and play a game with your kids. Put on some soft music and hold your spouse close. Call your mother. We are not guaranteed tomorrow so make the most of 86,400 seconds you have today! I know I will!

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Stay Vibrant,
Tonya

 

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Deny the MIXIFY

Wow. The lengths companies will go through to get their share of your stomach and your wallet. Enter the American Beverage Association who represent the refreshment beverage industry. Namely SODA. The ABA, along with PepsiCo, Dr. Pepper and Coke, are launching a new campaign called: MIXIFY. Have you seen it? They want to show you how soda can play a role in a balanced lifestyle. REALLY?? The soft drink industry brings in billions of dollars of revenue every year and shows no signs of slowing down. Their number one concern is profit. Period. Not your health or the health of your family or children. Now they want to let you know that it’s ok to have soda, just balance it out with what you do. Super active? Go ahead and drink up! Sitting on your butt all day? Better have just a little!

Call me horrified but not surprised. After all, companies like Coca Cola and other big name conglomerates fund classes for hospital dietitians to show them how artificial sweeteners and processed foods can play a part in a patient’s life. Especially if they’re diabetic. Again, REALLY??

But I digress. Let’s take a look at the ingredients in soda, shall we? High fructose corn syrup, phosphoric acid and sodium benzoate are in most soda formulations and depending on the brand may also have caramel coloring, caffeine, brominated vegetable oil. artificial colors and/or sweeteners and don’t forget “natural” and/or artificial flavorings!

High fructose corn syrup is highly processed and leads to tissue damage and disease. Phosphoric acid starts to dissolve tooth enamel in 20 minutes.  If you pour a liter of Coca Cola in your toilet and let it sit overnight it will dissolve all the built up mineral deposits. Imagine what it’s doing to your poor bones! As for the sodium benzoate, it has the ability to deprive the cells of oxygen, break down the immune system and cause cancer. if you’re a fan of Mountain Dew I bet you didn’t know you were downing a bunch of brominated vegetable oil, sourced from either corn or soy and initially used as a flame retardant. It is banned in food in Japan and Europe, yet it’s good enough for us Americans! Ugh!

Do your health and your budget a huge favor and ditch the pop. Replace them with liquids that actually hydrate and nourish the body: water, sparkling, fruit infused or otherwise, herbal teas, even the occasional cup of good ‘ol joe is preferable to soda pop, however sweet and bubbly it may be!

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Stay Vibrant!

Tonya

 

 

Best Worst Experiment Ever!

Best Worst Experiment Ever!.

I’m Baaaaack!

foodfreaktonya

Hello Friends!

It’s been a crazy year and few months for me and life is dramatically different but in a totally good way! I’ve recently entered the unpredictable world of being SELF-EMPLOYED! Lucky for me, it involves EVERYTHING I’m passionate about: food, health and making a difference!

Check out my new pages: How to Find Me! and How to Work with Me!

Stay Tuned and Stay Vibrant!

Tonya

View original post

I’m Baaaaack!

Hello Friends!

It’s been a crazy year and few months for me and life is dramatically different but in a totally good way! I’ve recently entered the unpredictable world of being SELF-EMPLOYED! Lucky for me, it involves EVERYTHING I’m passionate about: food, health and making a difference!

Check out my new pages: How to Find Me! and How to Work with Me!

Stay Tuned and Stay Vibrant!

Tonya

Birthday Blessings

Forty-nine years ago today something special happened. I did not know it at the time. It was the day a certain man was born. He’s had some challenging times in life but his contagious, positive, can-do attitude inspires those around him, especially me. He motivates me, encourages me, supports me, no matter what crazy endeavor or project I’m in to. He is devoted to the loving care of his family. He’s a quick wit, always ready with a joke and a smile. He is determined that the kids should have a smooth, struggle-free life, not understanding that they’re going to do things their way, the hard way. He wants them to feel loved and safe and protected from the ugliness and hardship that is prevalent in today’s world. He works hard to provide the necessities as well as the extras not just for the one teenager (and all his friends) left at home, but for all of them, grown or otherwise. He blesses me everyday with his love, his passion and his loyalty.

I want it all with him. The flaws, stress, smiles, affection, sarcasm. Everything. My life has led me to him. My choices, my heartbreaks, my regrets. It was all worth it. Because if I had done just one thing different, I might never have met him.

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Stay Vibrant!
Tonya