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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

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…

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Stay Vibrant!
Tonya

Just One Day

Good Day to you precious readers. I’m grateful for those of you who read this blog and take these words to heart.

Anyone who knows me knows I am quite passionate when it comes to the quality of our food (hence the freak part). This is especially true when it comes to genetically modified foods. Informing people about the dangers of genetically modified food is the reason I first started this blog. I have recently joined a couple of online anti-GMO organizations. I have also signed up as a team leader, so to speak, for a national 4th of July event through Moms Across America. There is almost 100 events across the nation that will take part in educating people about the inclusion of GMO’s in their food, the dangers of such foods and what they, as consumers, can do about it. Knowledge is power. Put the right knowledge in front of the right people and change is inevitable.

But I propose something more radical and I can’t get it out of my head. What if we start a nationwide campaign and call it JUST ONE DAY. What if, for just one day, we didn’t buy the Frankenfoods that are lining supermarket shelves everywhere. This doesn’t single out the stores that sell the goods but targets instead the companies who make them. This includes not buying from the organic companies owned by the big conglomerates; Muir Glen, Cascadian Farms, Lara Bars and countless others. What if, for just one day, we spent our hard-earned dollar on foods that matter: quality protein sources and plenty of vegetables and fruits. Not soda or cereal or snack foods but real food that support and encourage health and sends a message to fake food producers that we just won’t eat it anymore!!

Since a majority of people, from no one state, aren’t willing to stand up and demand labeling on foods made with GMO ingredients, (which, by the way, makes up more than 70% of packaged food on YOUR grocery aisle shelf), it makes more sense to me to hit them where it hurts: their bottom line. And the bottom line is this: if people stop buying it, manufacturers will be forced to either stop making them (ideal) label them (informed decision), or use non-gmo ingredients (acceptable).

jod

Comment below or email me: foodfreaktonya@aol.com and tell me what you think. I’ve included some websites for you to check things out for yourself.

Stay Vibrant!
Tonya

www.responsibletechnology.org (check out TPN on this site as well)
www.nongmoproject.org
www.saynotogmo.org
www.nongmoshoppingguide.com
www.momsacrossamerica.com

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

Fat Is Where It’s At!

You know how to win hearts, break hearts and steal hearts but what do you really know about protecting the health of your heart? One in every three deaths is from heart disease or stroke. That’s 2,200 people dying each and every day from a combination of poor dietary habits and misinformation. Addressing one will fix the other.

First, let me introduce you to the man responsible for the disastrous nutritional course our country has been on for the last sixty years or so, Mr. Ancel Keys. He was a research scientist convinced there was a connection between saturated fat and cholesterol intake and heart disease. He came to a conclusion that we all have taken for granted and to which there is NO scientific evidence and that is a low-fat diet protected against heart disease while a diet high in animal fat led to heart disease. Not so folks!

The real truth is saturated fat provides the building blocks for a variety of hormones, provides a concentrated source of energy, cushions the organs and keeps skin healthy. Saturated fat helps to maintain the stiffness and integrity of cell membranes. Fat is the carrier for the fat soluble vitamins A,E, D, and K as well as other nutrients. Fat protects the liver and enhances the immune system. Our heart prefers saturated fat and the lion’s share of saturated fatty acids are in the brain, which is largely made up of fat and cholesterol.

Speaking of cholesterol, it is a precursor to stress hormones, vital corticosteroids, sex hormones and vitamin D. Cholesterol is needed to protect the body. You read that right. I said protect. As an antioxidant, cholesterol protects your body from free radical damage and tends to be high if thyroid function is low, a protective measure that provides the needed materials to heal tissue and fight infection. Cholesterol and saturated fat have distinct health benefits and support a variety of metabolic processes. Let’s take a look at the real transgressors.

First up is free radical damage. You’ve heard of free radicals. No, not the latest punk rock band or group of extremists. Free radicals are “cellular trash”, unstable and highly reactive oxygen molecules. They “attack” and “steal” from other electrons in order to gain stability, which, if left unchecked, start a dangerous chain reaction of oxidative damage. You’re more familiar with oxidative damage than you think. A freshly cut apple that turns brown or an old car rusting in the junkyard are common examples of oxidation. Free radical sources are both internal and external and include chemicals, tobacco, drugs (recreational and medicinal), stress and of course the pollutants in the air, food and water. Oxidative stress damages culler proteins, DNA and can lead to the second biggest transgressor: inflammation.

What is inflammation? It is the body’s attempt at self-protection from irritation, toxins and foreign invaders and a natural by-product of normal cellular processes.For instance, if you are catching a cold, your immune system switches into gear and triggers a pro-inflammatory response to clear the infection. This is matched by equally anti-inflammatory compounds that move in to start the healing process. It is your body’s natural defense. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body and would not accumulate in blood vessel walls.
Short term inflammation = healing
Long term inflammation = disease

And the biggest contributor to inflammation? SUGAR and S.A.D. That’s right sugar in ALL it’s forms, yes, even organic. As little as two teaspoons can upset your body chemistry. The Standard American Diet with its heavy emphasis on refined grains and processed foods weaken your body tissues and white blood cells. Elevated blood sugar and insulin levels intensifies the production of free radicals that promote and sustain inflammation.

So what can YOU do? Start by ELIMINATING sugar in all its forms as well as all vegetable oils, refined grains and processed foods. EAT a colorful variety of fresh vegetables, cold water fish, especially salmon, lean meat, preferably from grass fed animals and healthy fats-butter, coconut, olive, flax and hemp oils. Snack on fruit, nuts, seeds and olives and limit dairy, which is a common allergen. As far as EXERCISE, author and blog writer Mark Sisson says it best,”Lift heavy things, move frequently at a slow pace and run really fast once in a while”. Like Nike says, whatever form of exercise you choose, JUST DO IT!

Smoking, stress and genetic predispositions are also associated with heart disease and must be addressed but there is a vast array of antioxidants, blood sugar balancing nutrients, herbs, vitamins and minerals that can be used along with quality nutrition to transform the health of your heart.

Make it simple. Eat real food. Get regular exercise. Supplement as needed and don’t smoke. Remember, it’s up to you to do your part to love your heart!

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Stay Vibrant!
Tonya

They Call Me Dr. Tonya

Or at least they will in the future. I took a big step today, dear readers, and enrolled in a Doctor of Naturopathy program. Can I even describe how excited I am? As a perpetual student, this is an idea I’ve been tinkering with for quite a while. My immediate family has fondly referred to me as “Dr. Quinn” for years. (Remember the old television series, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman?) In fact, whenever my mom or sister calls and prefaces the conversation with “Dr. Quinn?”, I know they have a health related issue.

For those of you who don’t know, a naturopathic doctor works by identifying and removing obstacles that impede optimal health. ND’s do this using a variety methods, facilitating the body’s inherent ability to heal. This includes but is not limited to: dietary recommendations, supplemental nutrients, exercise, herbal preparations, homeopathic remedies and other “unconventional” tools. Currently, as a Nutritional Health Coach, I can only educate people on how food and supplements support the health of the body. As a naturopathic doctor, I will be able to do so much more. Since mainstream medical treatment is the third leading cause of death, the focus in naturopathy is on proactive prevention rather than disease management. The naturopath takes the whole person- physically, emotionally, spiritually, into account and tries to get to the root of illness, not just manage symptoms. I’m especially excited because with “Obamacare” looming around the corner, more and more people will be looking for a better alternative. Soon enough, that alternative will be me!

Wish me luck, I’m diving in!

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Stay Vibrant!
Tonya