Tag Archives: relationships

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

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

No Comfort In Food Today

What’s one of the first things you do when someone you know dies? You mourn. You take food to the family. Or people bring food to you. As the parents, siblings, spouses and friends of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy how do you ever eat again?

Now, more than ever is a time to gather your loved ones around you and treasure every minute. If you’re miles apart, pick up the phone and tell them you how you feel. Time is short. Don’t waste precious energy on petty family squabbles or your hard earned-money on giving and gathering stuff. Hug everyone. Especially the children in your life.

No amount of food; comfort, organic or otherwise will dull the devastation right now.

Rest in peace Charlotte, Daniel, Olivia, Josephine, Ana, Dylan, Madeleine, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, James, Grace, Emilie, Jack, Noah, Caroline, Jessica, Avielle, Benjamin, Allison, Mary, Victoria, Anne, Lauren, Dawn, and Rachel.

You’re all angels now.

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Love and Peace,
Tonya

Yes, I’m Human!

This past Thanksgiving my family and friends were surprised to find that I too, on occasion, eat foods that have more to do with comforting my soul than nourishing my body. Thursday’s list included all the traditional favorites: delicious homemade stuffing, classic green bean casserole, (a healthy version of course!), fluffy mashed potatoes, oh-so-sweet, sweet potato pie, Pammie’s creamy, side-dish-of-goodness made of all things corn, honey-glazed ham for the turkey haters, and of course, the bird with its golden, crispy crust and moist, tender meat.(Thanks to brining!) Being as I rarely indulge in grains and sweets, this meal was a treat! Since I was in charge of all things cooking, I could’ve made cauli-tatoes, baked my own grain-free bread to make the stuffing, skipped the corn casserole, etc…but…I didn’t. And it was soooo goood!

You see, I don’t have the issues that keep some people from being able to eat from the more common food groups. I mostly, (that’s right, mostly) avoid grains, beans and dairy because I believe there are better food choices that encourage and promote health. It doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy an occasional burger WITH the bun or, and I know this is crazy, a scoop of rocky road ice cream complete with cone! This is shocking to those I work with who’ve come to know me as the “food police” and to the students who fill my classes with their eagerness to learn how food can impact them in a positive way. I encourage them to live by the 80/20 rule. If 80% of the time you’re doing what you know you should: eating “right”, moving your body, drinking plenty of clean water, than the effects of the “other” 20% won’t be as bad.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE FOOD!. I’m all about fresh, organic-as-much-as-possible, sustainable food. But I live more by the 95/5 rule which makes me a freak. I practice what I preach. I walk the talk. But yes, Virginia, I AM human.

Be Vibrant!

Tonya

Celebrate Your Life!

Have you ever noticed that most of your ordinary days, your triumphs and your defeats, even life and death, revolve around food and drink? What do you do to help the new mom next door with a new baby, two other kids under four and a husband who works a 60 hour week?? Bring food. What do you do after the funeral of your great Uncle Martin? Eat and reminisce. What about holidays spent with family you see once a year? Eat and reminisce. Your husband’s promotion at work? Out to dinner of course! Meeting up with a girlfriend or two? Will it be coffee or cocktails? I’m sure you feel me by now.

Sometimes uncomfortable news is easier to give over a beer at your favorite bar because you know your soon-to-be-ex-husband refuses to cry in public. Or at the table of your local mexican restaurant because you know your mother won’t make a scene.  I know because I’ve been at both tables. The first one years ago and bless you Donnie for not making it more difficult than it already was. The other table, however, was a few short days ago. The mother of my husband’s children, I hate calling them my “stepkids” because they mean more to me than that, came to visit from California with her husband. What’s the first thing we did? We all met for dinner. Along with the young man Courtney has been spending time with.  And the “uncomfortable” news? I’m sure, smart readers, you’ve guessed it.  C ( we call her “C” sometimes), had to tell her mom she’s pregnant. At 19. Seven months after moving out on her own. Oops. Reactions ranged from tears to rage all in the span of few moments. Tears because although we are excited to have another grandchild, (we have precious Owen, who is three and half, back home in California with my oldest son Billy), we know the road she is travelling won’t be easy. Doable, of course. Just not easy. The young man took the verbal licking from all the adults at the table for the rest of the meal, while we encouraged and consoled and considered the new momma and the future of this instant little addition to the family. Over food. And drinks. Lots of them. Just kidding.

 

Bringing Back the Family Dinner

For the first time in a long while, we sat down as a family and ate dinner. We invited our now-grown and-on-her-own daughter and her roommate, and made our active 15-year-old son cut short his social activities. Of course, he brought Tommy with him. We love Tommy. We think of him as a son. In fact, today is his 17th birthday. His home life is a challenge and yet you will not meet a nicer, more respectful, hardworking young man. Always ready with his quick wit and charming smile. A testimony to not letting the struggles in life get you down. And one of the reasons we’ve decided to make Sunday night dinner a priority. Along with, of course, spending time with our own children. Something we don’t take advantage of often enough. It makes me think of the three kids I gave birth to.  Grown and finding their own way into adulthood, more than a thousand miles away, without the benefit of eating around their mother’s table. It reminds me of how much I miss their physical presence in our life.

My husband and I eat dinner together most nights but Trent (the 15-year-old) usually comes in later having already eaten or looking for a quick snack before bed. We do “Taco Tuesday Nights”, which is a family favorite but not often enough. Last night was great. We chatted and laughed and enjoyed each others company without the television blaring or phones ringing. Considering there were four teenagers at the table that says a lot. Dinner was actually short and sweet.The boys left to go meet up with a pro-bike team that was in town and Courtney and Caleb left to finish up their errands and chores before starting another work week, Much like what responsible, adults-in-the-making do. Good for them.  The only thing left to do was to enjoy the homemade vanilla ice cream I had made for dessert! Creamy goodness with sliced almonds toasted in a bit of coconut oil! Boy, did they miss out!

I called Courtney a short while later and asked her what she thought about setting Sunday nights aside for dinner. She was all for it. Especially since Caleb’s mom and dad just moved across the state line, more than five hours away. No weekly family dinners for him. Until now. So Caleb, this is for you too. Another place to call home.

How about you, dear readers? Does your family eat a traditional, sit-down-every-night-together meal? Or are you more of a hit-and-miss mess? How about those of you that live alone? Wouldn’t it be nice to serve a home cooked meal to others that might enjoy some human companionship and conversation?  Food brings people together. Invite your neighbor, or your co-worker or that family member that lives right around the corner and you never see. Food brings people together. Sometimes family is more than sharing blood. It’s sharing your heart and your table. And for this girl, nothing brings me more joy than feeding fresh, wholesome food to anyone who graces my table. Especially Tommy. Happy birthday son!

Be Vibrant!

Tonya