Category Archives: self-improvement

Bouncing Back

Will you be ready when your life changes on a dime? Will you have the coping skills to recover from unexpected heartbreak? Will you have the motivation to get the job of your dreams once you’ve been fired? It’s not easy to pack up and move when your spouse gets re-located. Again. Life has a way of deciding for you when you’re too hesitant or scared to choose for yourself. Put some of these tips in your toolbox the next time something unanticipated comes your way.

Attitude is EVERYTHING!

You cannot control the circumstances that surround you but you are in control of one thing, YOU. Attitude IS everything BUT it is ok to appropriately grieve. It’s okay to feel sad and angry when your lover has betrayed you. It’s okay to feel disappointed to be let go of a job. It is okay to regret houses, jobs, pets and friends lost due to moving too many times. Allow yourself time to feel and fully experience these emotions. Expect difficulties. There will be stretches when you’re fine and other periods, not so much. With time, the overwhelming episodes will subside in frequency and intensity.  It is NOT okay, however, to wallow in self-pity and condemnation. This serves no purpose. You have the power to change the story you tell yourself. It is your responsibility to control your inner conversation. The one that tells you you’re not good enough or not worthy or is doomed to fail or be alone. Take a closer look at what you are saying to yourself. Enthusiasm begets enthusiasm. You DO become what you think. A negative event can awaken ambition, motivation, and persistence, which leads to progress and success.

Don’t Place Blame

Looking for someone outside of yourself to blame for your current situation takes the responsibility off you and puts it on someone or something else. This wastes negative energy trying to find fault or justify and defend why you are the victim. The reality is no one cares. Your friends and family will listen for a minute while you rant about the unfairness of downsizing, divorcing, moving or a litany of things gone wrong. You need to think about how to adjust to the new situation and either fix it, improve it, or make the most of it. Sometimes, you just need to find the lesson and move on.

Nourish Your Body and Soul

Times of change, welcome or not, produces great stress. Now more than ever take the time to eat right, drink plenty of water and get some fresh air and sunshine. Rest and relaxation are equally important. Journaling can be a form of mediation and a great way to express any repetitive thought patterns that arise from unexpected transitions. Run it out. Write it out. But let it out and let it go.

New Vision

It is never too late to reinvent your life. Unexpected change is a time for just that. What are you passionate about? Take time to reflect on who you are and what you want your life to look like. Is it time to go back to school? Quit your job and travel? Go into business for yourself? Take an art or dance class? Find what excites you and pursue it. Focus only on the present moment and what you can do right now to create your best life.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on the old but on building the new.” — Socrates

Live in your truth,

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!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/89c/40948941/files/2015/01/img_1069.jpg

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!

IMG_1066.JPG

Stay Vibrant,
Tonya

 

If you live in New York or New Jersey and need health insurance, check out my friends at:

www.hioscar.com

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!

soda

Stay Vibrant!

Tonya

 

 

Best Worst Experiment Ever!

Best Worst Experiment Ever!.

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

I Have Proof!

That’s right. I have proof. I have proof that eating real food on a regular basis supports health. Eliminating the three-scoops-of-rocky-road-ice cream-banana-splits, complete with marshmallow topping, whipped cream and cherries, was the beginning.

Really, the beginning was my husband’s blood work from earlier this year that showed he was on track for diabetes and heart issues. Fasting blood sugar high. Triglycerides, or “bad” cholesterol, were high and “good” or HDL cholesterol were low. Markers for inflammation, in the high risk range. Below normal vitamin D levels. Low “T”, or testosterone which, thankfully, produced no symptoms beyond a bit of fatigue. Wink, wink.

It was time to go food nazi on my man. It’s like the wife whose husband is a house painter or a landscaper and they live in the ugliest house on the block. Here I am, a nutritional health coach, and my own husband is at risk for potential health issues. Not a great testimony.

He was very compliant after my initial excitement over his test results. I asked him to please do things my way for four months and we’ll go from there. He agreed. He quit his after dinner snacking on sweets. He took his lunch that I made instead of eating out every day. He gave up grande, white chocolate mochas. Up until last week, he hasn’t been near ice cream. I fed and continue to feed him LOTS of vegetables, plenty of protein, a bit of fruit, lots of avocados and almonds and very little else. We do eat a bit of rice or potatoes and have tortillas but only once in a while. I cooked chicken and burgers in bacon fat and couldn’t help conventional wisdom whispering in my ear that all that saturated fat was killing my husband.

But guess what. It didn’t. In fact, my husband is close to being in the best shape of his life. He had already lost about 15 pounds before he was forced to be more diligent with his fork. Now, more than four months later, he’s down a total of 60 pounds! Normal blood sugar! Cholesterol ratios much improved! Marker of inflammation from high risk to low! Testosterone up and vitamin D went from below normal to close to optimal! No medicine or prescription drugs! Just real, fresh food and a few carefully selected supplements!

I’m sure, if left to his own devices, my husband would not choose as wisely as often, but that’s what he has me for. He says he wants to do yoga with me now…

20130523-121049.jpg

20130523-121135.jpg

Stay Vibrant!
Tonya

My Apologies

I feel like I owe you, gracious readers, an apology for my last outburst on stupidity. After all, it’s not your fault. You have been duped by your government, your television, your well-meaning doctor, and the manufacturers of your food in to believing that what they say, promote, prescribe or sell to you must be good for you. Since y’all are so busy with jobs and kids and chores you don’t have the time to disseminate the facts from fiction. That’s where I come in. I AM here to help you help yourself. I AM here to educate, inspire, and motivate you into feeling amazing every day. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually. I am NOT here to judge, nag, or berate you for your choices, unless you’re my husband. As grown-up people, you are responsible for your own actions. I’m just here to let you know there is a better way…

20130416-110825.jpg

Stay Vibrant!
Tonya

Are We Really This Stupid?

Happy Friday Everyone! I hope fresh, fabulous food is part of your plan this weekend.

As some of you already know I’m about to embark upon another educational journey. When all is said and done I will have a degree in naturopathy, allowing me to educate and support the health of my fellow-man in a broader sense. My books for the first of my classes arrived yesterday and being a classic Type A-I-Can-Do-It-All-Woman, sat down immediately to read. After getting through the introduction, and two prefaces, the book actually begins on page three. By page four I was seething. My poor husband who had to endure the ensuing ten minute rant about Americans being blind sheep who seem to believe EVERYTHING our blind, ignorant government (FDA, USDA, etc…) tells them. Phew. That feels better. I said it again. Here’s why I’m mad and I quote:

“Deterioration has been forced on our population by the creation of artificial foods lacking in natural vitamins and minerals. Processed food manufacturers have dissipated and distorted nature’s quality control by removing nutrients and adding artificial substances and flavorings-most notably and most detrimentally, sugar. Why is this continuing?”

Why is this continuing? Isn’t that the $20,000 question? The book I quoted from is written by Abram Hoffer, M.D.,Ph.D. and Morton Walker, D.P.M. and is called Putting It All Together: The New Orthomolecular Nutrition. As I got further in the book, I had to keep checking the copyright date, as the information seemed so relevent to today’s degenerative diseases. This book first came out in 1978. The second edition, 1996. Really, people? Even with two-time, Nobel prize-winning, Linus Pauling writing the introduction advocating a better way to health? And no one listened? No wonder we are the fattest and sickest we’ve ever been. Dr. Hoffer mentions…”senility, cardiovascular conditions, arthritis, schizophrenia, learning and behavior disorders, cancer of the colon, peptic ulcer and many other individual problems…”

Hello? Does that sound eerily familiar to anyone? How long will it take? How many children need to be diagnosed with diabetes? How many more people need to go blind, or need dialysis, or need a wheelchair because of neuropathy, or have a heart or a stroke because they can’t give up the one thing that is doing the most damage to their health, sugar. I know it’s hard folks, I’ve been there. But it is so worth the rewards of renewed energy, a bit of weight loss, better sleep, stable moods (although I’m almost Pollyanna-happy anyways).

Don’t be fooled. Sugar is sugar is sugar. Organic, raw, turbinado, cane juice, agave nectar, maple syrup, fruit and their juices, all sugar. Grains,sugar. Most commercial dairy,sugar. Don’t be fooled. I’m human and like the occasional sweet thing. However, I still tend to choose stevia for most things but I do so love raw honey and organic maple butter from time to time too.

The answer to me is so clear. And I will say it again and again to as many people who will listen. EAT REAL FOOD. Preferably organic and non-GMO but those are other blogs.
If it grows, flies, swims, or walks eat it. If it doesn’t, don’t.

"The real villain, the catstrophic deterioration in the quality of our food, is ignored"

“The real villain, the catstrophic deterioration in the quality of our food, is ignored”
-Dr. Abram Hoffer 1917-2009

Stay Vibrant!
Tonya