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

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…

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Stay Vibrant!
Tonya

Run, Forrest, Run

It’s a somber day at best as we wrestle with the type of person who places bombs at the end of one of the most prestigious running events in the world. As a runner, I can only imagine how quickly joy and exhilaration turned to terror and dismay, and I am brought to my knees. As a human being, seeing the bloody photographs and knowing, amongst others, that a little 8 year old boy is dead, I am brought to tears. Prayers and blessings to all those affected and to our nation.

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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

Nutrition or Corruption?

Good day to you gracious readers. After reading the latest newsletter by Dr. Mercola, my stomach is churning and I once again feel the need to comment about genetically modified or engineered food. Sorry to be redundant for those of you that are in the know but for those of you who aren’t, this is for you.

Genetic modification enhances specific desired traits such as “improved nutritional content” and “increased resistance to herbicides.” Genetic engineering creates plants with exact desired traits, think Bt corn. Genetically modified foods are supposed to increase crop production, decrease pesticide use and is allegedly safe for human consumption and harmless to the environment. “Current GE crops that enter our food supply are essentially free of the engineered DNA and are identical to ingredients made from non-GMO”s”, according to Greg Jaffe in a recent on-line article for The Atlantic.

Tell that to the people in the village of Malvinas Argentinas, which is surrounded by GE soy crops, where the rate of miscarriage is 100 times the national average. Cancer, birth defects and sterility are also on the rise, with Roundup’s glyphosate being blamed for the the dramatic increase. So much for decreased herbicide use.

A recent 2012 nutritional analysis between GMO and non-GMO corn, shows a significant difference in the amounts of calcium (437 times more), magnesium (56 times more), and manganese (7 times more). So much for improved nutritional content.

I’m not an alarmist. I’m not a scientist. I’m not affiliated with any particular political party. Like you, I simply work hard, play hard and try my best to eat clean and love my neighbor. Easy, right? It is if you realize the only one looking after you is YOU! Not the government, not your doctor, and certainly not most of your food producers!

There are NO lifetime feeding studies on animals or humans regarding the potential health effects of consuming GMO foods. In the meantime, while you are waiting for your favorite food companies to label their GMO laden Frankenfoods, eat organic. It’s the only way to know for sure.

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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

Detoxification vs. Cleansing: What’s the Difference?

Renewal, growth and hope are abundant with the coming of spring. It’s a time of thorough cleaning, ridding your house and yard of the grime, dirt and old junk that has been collecting through the winter. Well, just like your house, your body is exposed to a barrage of dirt and grime in the form of pesticides, synthetic additives, environmental pollution, processed food, vaccines, chlorinated-fluoridated-and-who-knows-what-else water, heavy metals and so much more. Don’t you owe it to yourself to rid your body of these health depleting toxins?

Let’s first talk about the differences between “detoxing” and “cleansing”. Detoxification is something the body does naturally, neutralizing and eliminating toxins from the body. The heart of detoxification are the six channels of elimination. Namely, the liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, lymph and skin. Detoxification occurs in two phases. Phase I modifies a toxin directly and sends it to Phase II, where chemical groups are added, transforming them into harmless substances that can be easily excreted. Picture it like this. Say you have a bunch of garbage piling up in the kitchen (phase I). You then bag it all up and take it to the curb for the garbage collector to haul away (phase II). Seems easy enough, right? It is if your liver is in good health. The liver, when working properly, clears 99% of the bacteria and other toxic substances from the bloodstream before allowing it to circulate back through the body.

Cleansing, on the other hand, refers to the numerous tools and therapies available that help clear out stored waste and restore balance to the gastrointestinal tract as well as the rest of the body. The goal in cleansing is to release the poison stored in your cells in a manner that your organs can safely keep up. Releasing too many stored toxins at once may put a strain on an overworked system resulting in what is referred to as a “healing crisis”. Symptoms can include but are not limited to headaches, gas, skin breakouts, etc. Cleansing can make sick people sicker so it is imperative that you choose a program that’s best for you. Check with your health care practitioner before embarking on any program, as cleansing may not be appropriate for people with certain health conditions.

Detoxifying the body is a nutrient driven process and water fasting is generally not advised. The greater the toxic load, the higher the need for macro and micro nutrients. The documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, has recently made juicing the most popular way to purge the gunk as well as increase energy and lose weight. Although juicing supports the body with live enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients, keep in mind that strictly juicing lacks protein, essential fatty acids and fiber. For most people, a raw foods or whole foods cleanse is the perfect place to start. Simply reducing your exposure to hormone-laden dairy, factory-farmed meats, pesticide-laced produce as well as sugar, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods can give the body the chance it needs to eliminate years of toxic buildup.

Since the average person has at least 116 synthetic compounds in their body, reducing the toxic burden is so much more than just the food you eat. Toxins disguise themselves in air fresheners, cleaning and body care products, furniture, perfumes and 1,000’s of other places. Simply put, if you can’t eat it, don’t put in on your skin or clean your house with it. Remember too, as you’re purging the impurities from your body, take some time to address emotional and spiritual cleansing techniques as well. Yoga, meditation, infrared sauna, massage, reflexology, acupuncture and other forms of healing are highly recommended. This is vital to restoring the connection between body, mind and spirit.

Whatever path or program you choose to preserve and improve your health, a more natural, less toxic life will benefit you AND the planet!

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Stay Vibrant!
Tonya

Spring Cleaning: Ridding Yourself of Toxic People

Seven days. Just seven more days until we claim ALL of our house back. You may have noticed that my weekly blog hasn’t been so weekly. In fact, it hasn’t even been monthly. Back in January, my husband and I moved from our tiny, cozy apartment into a gigantic 3,000 square foot house situated on almost three acres. Along with Trent, who’s 15 and already lives with us, we invited our almost 20 year old daughter and her on-again-off-again “boyfriend” to move in as well. My husband and I thought this was a great idea as they would have their own space, be able to save some money, and if they “broke up” at least she would be home and he would have to go.

Well. Here we are two months later and we are counting down the days until they move back out. I love her to death, him not so much. I was willing to put how I felt about him aside and come from a place of understanding and compassion because it seemed the right thing to do. That lasted five minutes. I won’t bore you with the myriad of reasons why I can’t even tolerate being in the same room with this kid. But I do know this. Having tension and negative energy permeating my home has taken its toll on ALL of the occupants, even my pets! I am not a hater and I refuse to let the immature actions of someone I don’t care to know make me into one.

Negative energy, people, relationships can all have an effect on your health just as much as crappy food and sitting around the house watching television. Today’s moral? Rid yourself of anyone in your life who does not encourage, support or add anything positive to your life. The sooner the better. For us? Just seven more days…

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Stay Vibrant!
Tonya

Margarine Benched, Butter Up!

“Parkay.”
“Butter.”
“Parkay.”
“Butter.”
“No, it says Parkay right on the label.”
“Butter.”
“Mmmmm… smooth,creamy. Butter.”
“Parkay”

Any baby boomer will remember the classic talking tub of margarine pretending to be real butter. Many of you may have even had this in your own refrigerator growing up. Even now you may have some sort of vegetable oil concoction disguising itself as butter. After all, most of your parents believed all the media and government hype about the ramifications of cholesterol and saturated fat.

Let’s take a look at the ingredient lists on two supermarket brands of margarine:
marg2

marg3

The first, Promise Fat Free, promises to give you no fat of course, in assition to some sodium and synthetic vitamin A, a yummy chemical laden spread. Nothing resembling food at all. The second, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light, is nothing more than GM hydrogenated soybean oil, artificially flavored and preservative filled. Look at the label closely. Don’t be fooled. No trans fat? Anything made with hydrogenated oil is going to contain trans fat! It’s a loophole manufacturers use. If a serving contains less than 0.5g they can declare “No Trans Fat” on the label. Here’s what’s wrong with that. The trans fat in the hydrogenated oils, contribute to a host of diseases along with the very heart disease it’s supposed to protect you from! Trans fat is made when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil. It increases shelf life and stability of not just oils but many processed foods including crackers, cookies, baked goods, and fried foods. These butter imposters contain a host other non-nutritive substances that create free radicals and increase the body’s toxic load.

Let’s take a look at butter’s ingredient list:

butter

What? Only three ingredients? And they’re all real food? What’s that you say? All that saturated fat? Well, let me set things straight about that. The vilification of saturated fat began with Dr. Ancel Keys in 1963. His flawed findings that saturated fat causes heart disease caught on quickly and has continued ever since. Here are some real, science-based facts about saturated fat:

1. It protects the heart and contributes to higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
2. Saturated fat transports calcium to our bones, preventing bone loss.
3. There are important, specialized saturated fatty acids such as lauric and caprylic, which are naturally antifungal and antiviral.
4. It feeds your brain, which is mostly fat. It needs saturated fat more than any other kind.

Besides being a source of healthy fat, butter also contains the fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K. It contains CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), an important muscle builder. It is rich in the minerals selenium, iodine and lecithin for a healthy cell membranes. Of course, raw organic butter is best because pasteurization destroys enzymes and nutrients.

For sources of raw butter, visit www.realmilk.com. You can also try your hand at making cultured butter at home. Body Ecology Culture Starter is a good brand to try. Simply add to organic cream, let sit for 24 hours at room temperature, chill, beat and you have some delicious, probiotic-rich butter.

Whatever butter you choose to use, it is clearly the hands down winner against margarine any day! Butter up!

Be Vibrant!

Tonya