The Role Model In You – Cyndia Monahan, Copywriter For Spinning®

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The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Cyndia Monahan

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Cyndia Monahan, Age 28, Copywriter for Spinning®.

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

My mom has always been a health nut. While all the other kids at lunch were trading their PB&Js on white bread for mayo-drenched tuna salad sandwiches, I was happily noshing on grilled chicken lettuce wraps and carrot sticks with hummus. I’ll have to admit, I went on a bit of a junk food bender in college, but now in my 20’s, when I have a maturing stomach to answer to, I appreciate my mother teaching me how to cook and eat healthfully.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

Snacks in my home were only raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts – a habit I carried with me all the way into adulthood. Just recently, I decided to switch to a primarily raw food diet, partly because of health and fitness reasons, and mostly because it just didn’t seem like that much of a change to what i was already doing. I attribute a lot of my decision to adopt a raw diet to my mom’s holistic eating style.

4. How did their lesson change your life?

Leading a raw diet has given me incredible energy. Working for Spinning® requires both mental clarity (to be able to write and edit engaging content all day) and physical stamina (because we all go to Spinning® Class after work, of course). I don’t think I’d be able to keep up with my career and fitness goals with processed foods and packaged junk in my stomach.

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

I don’t currently have kids, but when I do, I will encourage them to pursue a primarily natural-foods diet. Of course, while they’re growing, I’ll meet their nutritional needs with grass fed meat, organic dairy, free range eggs, and cooked foods (which I don’t currently eat), but I’ll do my best to keep them away from the kind of packaged and processed foods most kids are eating (and school cafeterias are providing).

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

Above all else, I think it is important that children learn to eat and enjoy fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are filled with the healthiest stuff for our bodies, and getting used to them at a young age will translate into a long life of good health. Of course, this is very much the responsibility of the parent as well. Children are not going to enjoy boiled frozen vegetables. Teach them to love vegetables by roasting, grilling, and sautéing fresh veggies to their fullest, most delicious flavors. And be sure to get them started young!

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

Spinning®®

The Role Model In You – Roxanne Lee, Entrepreneur

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The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Roxanne Lee

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Roxanne Lee, Entrepreneur, 32.

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

I do not remember her name, but she was a counselor at my elementary school who took an interest in my eating habits. I was nine or ten years old and she offered to share some of her food while waiting for my mother to pick me up, but I took a look at her tupperware filled with elbow noodles and chopped vegetables and made a face. I was a very finicky eater because I was accustomed to eating fast food like McDonalds and KFC, so her homemade pasta salad with vegetables was not appealing. In retrospect she was trying to look out for me, but I did not realize it at the time.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

After I declined her kind offer, she gave me the usual speech about starving children in third world countries, but I brushed her off because I knew that my mother would arrive soon with McDonalds, or a slice of pizza, etc. I grew up eating cheap takeout because it was convenient, and I did not complain because I loved eating junk food. It was not until I was around thirteen or fourteen when I realized that my counselor tried to do an intervention, and honestly I felt embarrassed for having turned down her kind offer those many years earlier. I began taking matters into my own hands by buying grocery and making my own meals, which seemed counterproductive at first because cooking healthy meals is more expensive than cheap takeout, as well as time consuming, but I instantly started feeling more energetic, happier, healthier, slept better at night, and started doing better in school. It was at that point that I actually understood what it meant to eat healthily.

4. How did their lesson change your life?

Absolutely, her words have stuck with me throughout the years. I wish there was some way I could contact her and let her know that even though I did not appreciate her intervention at the time, she set into motion a life changing experience.

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

I occasionally interact with kids at catered events through work who exhibit the same finicky behavior that I did, especially when it comes to vegetables. I think that kids are used to being coerced into eating things that they dislike, so I take another approach by trying to compromise. For example, a kid recently bypassed the glazed carrots that were available to guests, so I ran to the kitchen and asked the Chef for some raw baby carrots, which the kid snapped up right away. Also I volunteer with the local food bank mobile market to redistribute fresh fruits and vegetables to under-served communities, and the kids who attend these mobile markets with their parents are usually wide eyed and curious. I remember one specific mobile market where we had acorn squash available, and many of the kids had never seen acorn squash before, so I felt like we were playing a game of 20 questions because they wanted to know where it came from, what it tastes like, how to cook it, etc. I think that kids have a natural curiosity for healthy food, but bad experiences dictate their reluctance to eat right and try new things. A good example is Brussels sprouts, which can be amazing if done right.

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

Try to create an interactive experience with your food, and perhaps take the matter of food preparation into your own hands. It could be a fun time to experiment and play with your food while spending quality time with friends and family. If you have a backyard, grow some veggies and herbs. If you don’t have a backyard, research into local community gardens and cooperatives. Once kids become more involved in the kitchen, they will inadvertently learn about science, history, and culture, all while exercising math skills, which could be a great gateway into open communication in the household and connecting to local communities. Also I would advise kids to exercise regularly, join a sports team, hike, ride a bike, whatever gets them out of the house.

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

http://Table103.com

Arla Caraboolad – If I Knew Then What I Know Now

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Life Lessons From Adults To Children
Today’s Guest – Arla Caraboolad

1. Your message to kids today that you wish you knew back then what you currently know now. Be specific.

I wish I had known how important it is to be open and vulnerable. Being real is so important, and so little is done to teach it.

2. How did you learn your lesson or what was your lesson? Did you get hurt, did you upset someone, did you get scared?

Life and God have taught me through divorce and as I’ve listened to thousands of stories from my therapy clients. My daughter was hurt to be sure and has repeated my pattern. (We usually do repeat our parents mistakes and patterns.) And that has hurt her children.

3. What you would have done differently back then if you could turn back time.

Try more things to see what you are good at (definitely not drugs). Stay away from drugs, especially weed, it robs you of ambition and caring.

4. Do you convey this message to children in your life today?

Absolutely! If you don’t have parents you can talk to find an adult you admire to mentor you. If you have terrible, out-of-control parents ask to go to therapy–especially if you’ve been abused. Don’t blame yourself for other people’s problems, but take every chance to know yourself, and if you are wrong admit it.

I am so grateful that my parents were responsible even though not very open or enlightened. And I am so very grateful that I started looking for a relationship with God early in life. That has made all the difference. I’m so glad I went to college instead of getting married.

Arla Caraboolad, Marriage and Family Systems Therapist

The Role Model In You – Jennifer Shakeel, Content Creation, Marketing And Coaching

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The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Jennifer Shakeel

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Jennifer Shakeel, CPS, 39. I help people achieve their goals through content creation, marketing and coaching. My favorite part being the health/fitness coaching that I do.

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

It was my dad. He was a very competitive man and he did not tolerate being overweight or inactive. He and I would bike long distances and get up early and run every morning before he went to work and I went to school.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

My dad didn’t encourage me to get fit in a positive way. He frequently told my sister and I that no man would ever want a fat girl, and despite that fact that we were both thin and athletic he was very critical of everything we ate and all activity that we did. The more physical the better. I remember when I started puberty, and I gained weight like all girls do, he wouldn’t talk to me until I lost the weight.

4. How did their lesson change your life?

For years it caused me to look in the mirror and see a “fat girl” regardless of how small the number on my jeans. I passed out twice that I remember once falling into the stereo in my room and the second time getting out of the shower thanks to a combination of track competitions and not eating. This unhealthy way of staying thin followed me well into adulthood. Once I had kids I took it as my excuse to eat, I had to eat for the baby. I ballooned all the way up to 250 pounds by the time I had my second child. It wasn’t until giving birth to my third child that I decided it was time to get healthy… and forget worrying about being skinny. There is 12 years inbetween my second and third child and two years between my third and fourth child. At almost 40 I am in the best shape of my life and I am healthy.

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

I am honest with my children about my dad, while I don’t agree with his sentiments or the ways my sister and I used to make sure we stayed thin… I do encourage the competitiveness, the athleticism and I have incorporated healthy eating. It isn’t enough to tell your kids to eat right and be active if all you do is eat chips and sit in front of the TV or computer.

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

To be active. Get out and play. Exercise doesn’t have to be training for a marathon. Exercise is any physical activity that they enjoy including getting up and dancing all over their bedroom or house like a crazy person. Break a sweat, laugh and have fun while you are doing it. That way they stick with it.

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

forceofnaturefitness.wordpress.com

Kathryn Williams – If I Knew Then What I Know Now

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Life Lessons From Adults To Children
Today’s Guest – Kathryn Williams

Had I realized the power of filling one’s passion I would have pursued a career in the creative world of art instead of all of the years I spent in business. I am happy I learned this ultimately and I am sure my business experience helps me navigate the waters of my own business but physically, I believe I would be further in my pursuit today if I knew this earlier.

If you are wondering what you want to do in your career, think about what makes you happy today. What do you do in your spare time that gifts joy? For me, I spend hours writing and drawing but I didn’t pursue this because I didn’t think I could support a comfortable lifestyle as an artist. After reaching a $100,000 plus annual salary, I realized if you do not love what you are doing, life is harsh and your career is just a job without any real fulfillment. Money is helpful in life but it doesn’t buy true joy. This is manifested through inner fulfillment.

My lesson manifested through health problems tied to on the job stress. My job was 24/7 with business crisis hours on the weekend and evening. I put in long days and traveled a lot too. It was difficult to achieve happiness while feeling unhealthy and exhausted. I was afraid to transition into a career after many years in business but in 2008, I lost my job shortly after losing my father and, during this time, I decided I needed to put my energy into making a positive change in the world. Today I use my art as a path to healing I offer to my community.

My area of expertise offers testimony to the therapeutic powers of the creative spirit. Creative endeavors align the mind, body and spirit. This is a life tool that many do not realize and it is my mission to surface this holistic path to those in need of it. I have a healthy living column on Examiner.com, I am an artist and published author and I am a graduate student currently in a Mental Health Counseling program. I have overcome many life hardships, an upbringing touched by poor economics, domestic violence and alcoholism, divorce and job loss as an adult, bereavement and much more. I am healthy today because of my creative spirit.

– Kathryn Williams, Artist/author, Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC

The Role Model In You – Virginia Koenig, Director, Employee Benefits

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The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Virginia Koenig

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Virginia Koenig, Director, Employee Benefits, 55

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

Actually, my health role model came into my life at age 42. Little did I know that I needed him at the time, but the teacher shows up when the student is ready to accept the teaching.
I met him at work, we became friends and then two years later – more than friends.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

He was an Australian swimming champion who had done extensive research into nutrition in order to enhance athletic performance. I was always active during my life and was interested in enhancing my athletic performance. He took me back to eating the way our grandparents and great – grandparents used to eat, back to the basics of fresh fruits and vegetables. All meals created from scratch, no packaged or microwaved foods. He helped me kick the addiction to sweet carbohydrates so that I no longer experienced the sugar rush followed by the insulin crash, repeated all day long. He also introduced me to flax oil.

4. How did their lesson change your life?

If I had not kicked my addiction to sweet carbos I would be a Type 2 diabetic right now. Back then, little did I know that that was the path I was walking. I am sooo happy I took his advice and stopped cold-turkey sweet carbohydrates. The first month was such a struggle. I now know what addicts go through when they stop taking their drug. Sugar was a drug for me.

Taking flax oil everyday helped me to drop 20 pounds in 6 months, and they never came back.

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

I try to share this with my nieces and nephews, but they’re kids and fortunately they burn up the sugar. As they get older, I will keep an eye on them and look for the opportunity to introduce this knowledge to them. Fortunately, one of my nieces has become a vegetarian, so she is very aware of her nutritional needs and eats lots of vegetable and fruits.

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

Be active! Get out and run around! That is so important in order for you to stay healthy and live a long life. I have no doubts that I will live to be 125 years old because I remain quite active.

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

Not one that is geared towards nutrition.

Dr. Erica Whitlock – If I Knew Then What I Know Now

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Life Lessons From Adults To Children
Today’s Guest – Dr. Erica Whitlock

Dr. Erica Whitlock writes: Looking back, I remember phrases such as “Eat your green beans. They make you strong!”€ or “€œAn apple a day keeps the doctor away.” How many times does a child hear this and actually understand the absolute importance of “€œeating your vegetables?” From birth to the late teen years, immense changes are occurring within the body from brain development to bone growth and it is so important to capture this time of development and help advance it in the best way possible. On a biological level, eating fruits and vegetables can decrease inflammation, boost the immune system and improve brain function and these are just a fraction of the benefits! With the knowledge and experience I have now, I would have eaten more fruits and vegetables.

Through post-graduate nutrition courses and similar seminars, my eyes began to slowly open and realize the life-changing importance of healthy eating. Reaching for processed foods on the shelves of supermarkets was no longer appealing, as I realized I was only robbing my body of sustaining minerals and nutrients. With this, I decided to make a drastic change. I decided to implement a purification program that consisted of consuming only fruits and vegetables for 21 days. Which, in essence, means no ranch dressing, no bread, and no pasta, etc. etc. This program is not about being a vegetarian, it’€™s more than that. It’€™s about removing any food that may be causing stress or toxicity in your body. The first 3-4 days of the program was both challenging and difficult, as I was constantly tempted to reach for a bag of chips or a slice of bread. But, without cheating, I prevailed, and by day 21, I was feeling more energetic, rejuvenated, and healthier than I had ever before.

saladheartsmallThe results to me, spoke louder than any nutrition course I could have ever taken. After the program, I knew I needed to make a more permanent change, but I wanted more than just fruits and vegetables. So currently, my meals consist mainly of fruits and vegetables, and then I add other foods to my plate. In return, I have gained a healthy balance and am grateful for the education and experience that directed me along the healthier path. My husband and I do not have any children of our own yet, but we are very active in the lives of our 2 nieces. When we spend time with them, we only make healthy options available. So, instead of the question “Would you like fruit or crackers?; “we instead ask “Would you like an apple or an orange?”€ This tactic has been very effective, and as they continue to grow, I look forward to teaching them more about the benefits of healthy choices. I wish I had understood them better as a child!

– Dr. Whitlock is the director of physical therapy at SpineCARE Therapy, a division of Minimally Invasive SpineCARE. Dr. Whitlock specializes in the evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation of the neck, back and extremities, with a particular expertise in prenatal and pediatric chiropractics.

The Role Model In You – Kathy Gruver, PhD, Health And Wellness Expert

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The Role Model In You
Today’s Guest – Kathy Gruver

1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?

Kathy Gruver, PhD, 43. I am a health and wellness expert, practitioner, author, speaker and TV host.

2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?

I had a different type of inspiration when I was a kid, in that, everyone around me was UNhealthy. My mom was a horrible cook and basically assembled boxed meals for us. Both she and my dad were overweight and growing up in Pittsburgh, many adults around me were overweight, smokers with horrible diets. I grew up dancing so weight and body image was always stressed in my dance school. I believe between those experiences, it made me more conscious of eating as I got older. I had to go through much fatigue, headaches, constipation and digestion issues before I made the change to healthy food and lifestyle. And now I live it to the fullest, teaching others to make those changes too.

3. What did they do to inspire you?

I learned from them through bad examples, unfortunately. And I had to discover on my own, what healthy eating was. I grew up with vegetables out of a can and iceberg lettuce salads. Lots of boxed foods and processed items. It was quite the shock when I saw my first clove of garlic or my first avocado. I didn’t have that sort of stuff growing up.

4. How did their lesson change your life?

I think seeing all the disease and obesity made me realize on a very deep level that I didn’t want that as I grew up. Especially being involved in dance and fitness, I had to stay healthy. From their very bad examples of poor aging, smoking, bad diets, and inability to run around with their kids, I learned that health is the better way to go.

5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?

Yes, I work with a lot of kids and parents on healthy eating, exercise and lifestyle habits. Not only by example, but also by going into the community and educating kids around me. I’m going to be going into a grade school next year to work with the students on nutrition and stress reduction. Very excited to reach the kids. That’s the age we need to be educating!

6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?

Eat the best food you can, avoid fake, processed foods as it leads to obesity, type-2 diabetes and heart disease. Fake food is nutrient-void so we’re getting all the calories and no good vitamins and minerals. Exercise. We’ve become so lazy and the daily things that used to be part of our exercise, we don’t even have to do anymore. Everything is automated and physically unchallenging. We need to return
to time outside, off the computer to run around, burn calories, reduce stress and breath deeply!

7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?

www.thealternativemedicinecabinet.com

Anett Hrubiak – If I Knew Then What I Know Now

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Life Lessons From Adults To Children
Today’s Guest – Anett Hrubiak

1. Your message to kids today that you wish you knew back then what you currently know now. Be specific.

I wish I had more commonsense and not been driven by my feelings so much. Each time I made a change in my life, I followed my emotions only and I did not care about future consequences. For example I left a job just because my boss had been fired, however the board would have kept me with the new boss. I felt such compassion towards my boss, that I risked my own carrier and reputation.

2. How did you learn your lesson or what was your lesson? Did you get hurt, did you upset someone, did you get scared?

My lesson was here to balance my emotions and not to take immediate reactions, by thinking before acting. I got hurt by the new boss, she was shouting at me twice for no reason, but with my decision I definetely upset the board members of the chamber who insisted on my staying. In a way they were cheated by me.

3. What you would have done differently back then if you could turn back time.

I would stand up for myself and communicate my bad feelings with the new boss and try to build a bridge of understanding towards each other’s reactions. I would sit down and negotiate, giving it a chance, not running away, supposing that in another life situation I do not have to experience and face my lack of self-esteem and self-confidence.

4. Do you convey this message to children in your life today?

Yes, I would strongly emphasize one thing: always give a achance to situations arising in your life no matter what. Fight your battle, face your “enemy”, say what you think is right at that moment, talk from your heart and see the bigger picture, by stepping out of the situation for a moment and putting your emotions aside.

– Anett Hrubiak, traner of self development Female wholeness, Balassagyarmat, Pest Hungary

Marta Rode – If I Knew Then What I Know Now

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Life Lessons From Adults To Children
Today’s Guest – Marta Rode

1. Your message to kids today that you wish you knew back then what you currently know now. Be specific.

I wish I knew more about autoimmune disease. I wish I knew how hard life is with so many of them and that if any of my family had one of the 100+ diseases I was at higher risk of getting one myself. I wish that I knew that if you had one, even a minor one like eczema that this opens the door to some potentially deadly ones and being aware of what goes into my body can be the difference between a healthy productive life or a life with chronic illness and way too much time spent in doctor’s offices or hospitals. I wish I knew that 1 out of 5 Americans (and by association Canadians) are dealing with an autoimmune disease or disorder and out of that 20% of our population 70% are females. I wish I would have known that autoimmune disease is one of the top ten causes of death for female children and women under 65 years old.

2. How did you learn your lesson or what was your lesson? Did you get hurt, did you upset someone, did you get scared?

I learned my lesson the hard way by acquiring one of those diseases. There are about 140 some of which are rare, some are very rare and some are not rare at all like MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Ciliac, Crohn’s, Type 1 Diabetes, and on and on. I have one of the rarer ones, Wegener’€™s Granulomatosis, but when you look past the part of the human anatomy being affected, it’€™s no different from all the others on the list. All of us have an immune system that has stopped recognizing the difference between self and non self and is attacking its own vessel. My lesson was that there is a gaping hole in the information about this disease group as a whole that can help people make more educated and conscious decisions in their life that could eliminate contact with a possible trigger if you happen to be predisposed. I got motivated. Motivated into action to do everything in my power to change this and unite all of those with autoimmune diseases to stand together and raise that needed awareness that can save lives.

3. What you would have done differently back then if you could turn back time?

Had I known this info before I got sick I would have done greater research into foods that can help prevent and deal with minor inflammatory responses, I would have stayed away from having contact with anything that would increase the normal immune response to higher than normal levels. I would also have gone in the right direction at the onset of symptoms (currently getting diagnosed with an autoimmune disease is a long, difficult process rife with insinuations of hypochondria and melodrama from society and the medical profession – through no fault of their own, it’s a lack of knowledge and education in this field) and possibly could have had the possibility to reverse the process rather than being stuck with a lifelong incurable disease.

4. Do you convey this message to children in your life today?

Yes, I convey this message to my daughter, to my friends, my community and anyone willing to listen. I wish everyone knows now what I wish I knew then. I started Pajama Day to raise awareness and we have now had two with it growing exponentially. We now have interest from large corporate sponsors and I will make sure this piece of info snowballs forward and reaches maximum velocity to a point where we will find the common thread to all these diseases and autoimmune will no longer be a problem.

5. Anything else you`d like to add?

Here’s a page on my blog that will give you a rundown of our last two PJ Day events in Jasper. We managed to get a TV Breakfast Show to come up and shoot their entire 3.5 hour show live from our town where the Second Annual PJ Day was taking place. You will find links to those live shots, as well as photo links and viedos of our evening show.

– Marta Rode