Tag Archives: Nutrition

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!

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…

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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…

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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