Tag 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!

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Stay Vibrant!
Tonya

Best Worst Experiment Ever!

Best Worst Experiment Ever!.

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

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