what octogenarians & nonagenarians know about anti-aging…


Sometimes, it isn’t the food at all…
As a certified health coach for the past 7 years, I’ve been sharing my information about how the food we eat literally becomes the body. I believe this to be true and I feel that we, by our choices, create pretty much all the good, and all the bad that the body experiences. It was the sadness of watching family members struggle with obesity, diabetes, depression and high blood pressure that led me on this path.
One day, a few years back, I was watching an interview with anti-inflammatory specialist, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, in which he explained that aging and disease are 40% genetic and 60% lifestyle. This informed everything I did, knowing that I was more in control than I had originally thought.
 Every bite was bringing me closer to optimum health or nearer to the grave.
This Monday, however, I was reminded of something that supports the opposite view and it made me chuckle.
Lets preface this by saying that I have a deep affinity for the elderly.  Growing up, I spent a great deal of time with my Nana and her brother and sister.  My Nana lived to 85, her brother to 87 and my Aunt Bea to a ripe 95.  They were all healthy and vibrant with boundless energy, especially Aunt Bea. I recall their diet was pretty simple.  Aunt Bea and Uncle Charlie would file into the kitchen for a breakfast of fried Hebrew national bologna and eggs. Toward the end of their lives there wasn’t much disease.  Uncle Charlie actually died in his sleep, peacefully. Yes, they all grew up on a farm and spent the majority of their lives eating real food/ whole food. They were lucky, since chemicals didn’t make it into the food supply until the late 1960’s. They were all breast-fed because that is just what they did back then. So you could say that they were “set up” for a healthy life. Still, I remember us all gathering in the kitchen for ice cream sundaes on a regular basis.  The health coach in me balks at this steady use of nitrates and hard sugar, but it worked for them.
Their lives were rich with friends, culture and laughter.
This Monday I was in Fairway shopping for a client when a woman in her 90’s shuffled by muttering to herself, loud enough for me to hear… “I could walk around here all day and not find a damn thing!” She was adorable with her kerchief on her head, slightly hunched over her wagon.
“What do you need?” I asked. She replied very loudly articulating every moment of each word
“McCormick Baco-Bits!” we found them in aisle 2 all the way on the top shelf. As I reached for them she barked,
“Grab me two of them!”
“What do you do with them?” I questioned.  She shook her head with a sigh as she tilted her chin up to me
“I nibble on them all day long… I know its no good for me but I can’t help it” We both laughed.
While you won’t find me exploring the pleasures of McCormick Baco-Bit nibbling, I have been known to indulge in a pig-in-a-blanket every now and again at a party and that’s OK. 

what octogenarians & nonagenarians know about anti-aging…




Sometimes, it isn’t the food at all…


As a certified health coach for the past 7 years, I’ve been sharing my information about how the food we eat literally becomes the body. I believe this to be true and I feel that we, by our choices, create pretty much all the good, and all the bad that the body experiences. It was the sadness of watching family members struggle with obesity, diabetes, depression and high blood pressure that led me on this path.

One day, a few years back, I was watching an interview with anti-inflammatory specialist, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, in which he explained that aging and disease are 40% genetic and 60% lifestyle. This informed everything I did, knowing that I was more in control than I had originally thought.

 Every bite was bringing me closer to optimum health or nearer to the grave.

This Monday, however, I was reminded of something that supports the opposite view and it made me chuckle.

Lets preface this by saying that I have a deep affinity for the elderly.  Growing up, I spent a great deal of time with my Nana and her brother and sister.  My Nana lived to 85, her brother to 87 and my Aunt Bea to a ripe 95.  They were all healthy and vibrant with boundless energy, especially Aunt Bea. I recall their diet was pretty simple.  Aunt Bea and Uncle Charlie would file into the kitchen for a breakfast of fried Hebrew national bologna and eggs. Toward the end of their lives there wasn’t much disease.  Uncle Charlie actually died in his sleep, peacefully. Yes, they all grew up on a farm and spent the majority of their lives eating real food/ whole food. They were lucky, since chemicals didn’t make it into the food supply until the late 1960’s. They were all breast-fed because that is just what they did back then. So you could say that they were “set up” for a healthy life. Still, I remember us all gathering in the kitchen for ice cream sundaes on a regular basis.  The health coach in me balks at this steady use of nitrates and hard sugar, but it worked for them.

Their lives were rich with friends, culture and laughter.

This Monday I was in Fairway shopping for a client when a woman in her 90’s shuffled by muttering to herself, loud enough for me to hear… “I could walk around here all day and not find a damn thing!” She was adorable with her kerchief on her head, slightly hunched over her wagon.
“What do you need?” I asked. She replied very loudly articulating every moment of each word
“McCormick Baco-Bits!” we found them in aisle 2 all the way on the top shelf. As I reached for them she barked,
“Grab me two of them!”
“What do you do with them?” I questioned.  She shook her head with a sigh as she tilted her chin up to me
“I nibble on them all day long… I know its no good for me but I can’t help it” We both laughed.


While you won’t find me exploring the pleasures of McCormick Baco-Bit nibbling, I have been known to indulge in a pig-in-a-blanket every now and again at a party and that’s OK. 

Get a Sneak Peak of Vh1's Tough Love New Orleans Episode 1!

back to REALITY!!!


well folks,

after 7 weeks in New Orleans filming VH1’s Tough Love AND 3 weeks up at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, I am finally home.
phew!
you will be able to watch my transformative stint as reality show star on Tough Love starting April 15th Sunday night on VH1 at 9pm. Also, you can find out the inside scoop and some show gossip/ cast photos by checking out my VH1’s Tough Love -Donna Sonkin fan page on Facebook.
you can see all of my new techniques and fun recipes by checking out my Donna Sonkin Holistic Health Coach and Chef on my Facebook page or visit my website DonnaSonkin.com
as for my time in both places…
keeping to my simple daily yoga practice and meditation kinda saved me. Nothing too intense just about 5-30 minutes of yoga and a simple meditation that at times was only for 5 minutes- sometimes 20 minutes. It’s stressful having cameras in your face 24 hours a day. Just as stressful living in close quarters with new people. I made some wonderful friends (please follow me on Twitter @donnasonkin for cast mate tweets) I LOVED these gals.
I also followed a pretty strict food plan of what I wouldn’t eat – except of course on dates… you have to bend a little:)… there were times where I had literally nothing else to eat but pizza because that was the ONLY thing available. In those cases I ate the pizza.
Up at school it was even more of a challenge because I HAD to taste EVERYTHING ! I mean, I was at one of the top culinary schools in the world. I needed and wanted to learn through my taste buds and I did. Every cream sauce, all types of braised meats, anything fried, also there were many healthy items so I tried my best to fill my plate up with vegetables and just have bites of everything else. It was a wonderful experience.
here was my basic protocol for avoiding packing on the pounds when schedule and stress collide to create what could be the perfect storm of diet disasters:
I got these basic ideas from an amazing book that I read by Canadian N.D. Dr. John Matsen – the book is called “Eating Alive Prevention Thru Good Digestion” he talks about avoiding non-food items
  • coffee
  • tea
  • white sugar
  • chocolate
  • alcohol
  • artificial sweeteners
  • preservatives
  • iodized salt (good quality table salt OK)
  • tobacco
  • gluten and processed grain products (quinoa, brown rice OK)
these items tax adrenals and stress the body out. if you are going through stress you want to make it easy for the body!
I made sure that I slept as best I could, donning a sleep mask, using ear plugs and anointing myself with lavender oil. occasionally I would take Bach’s sleep remedy spray or melatonan.
of course the easiest thing to do is drink a glass of water and take a deep breath.
having certain foods on hand will set you up for success as well:
  • sardines
  • kale
  • some fruits
  • sweet potatoes
  • good quality animal protein
  • naturally raised eggs
  • all vegetables
  • good quality spring water – in glass bottles when available (my favorite is Mountain Valley Spring water)
now that you have the basics… there is no excuse for letting stress get the better of you. If I could get through this mania anyone can:)
much love,
xoxo-Donna

three little words…

Water- Sleep – Greens.

while “I love you” are three little words that we all adore hearing they will not help your body run with vibrancy and efficiently. Water, Sleep and Greens , however will not only make you feel loved they are the kind of unconditional love that we all deserve. please read on for information on how these “three little words” can change your life…

SLEEP:

I have heard people brag that they can get by on less than 8 hours of sleep – I find this so silly. When we sleep the body regenerates and gets ready for the big day ahead. When you get less sleep than you need it is like charging your cell phone half way and we all know how much it sucks when your cell phone battery dies in the middle of a busy day.

What to do before bed?

Shut the TV off!

Read only nourishing pleasant things.

Journal, take a lavender bath

Use lavender creams

Sip some chamomile tea (not too close to bedtime!)

Stay off the phone and tell your friends not to phone late (or shut the ringer off)

Lay off the emails (you can do it tomorrow).

Stop eating by 8 p.m.

Stop drinking by 9 p.m. (you can take sips but no full glasses)

Get horizontal by 12 a.m.

Be gentle with yourself.

WATER:

Everyone always thinks that they are drinking enough. We have all heard the “eight glasses a day” rule, but, really, do you think that someone who is 330lbs., Shaquille O’Neal for example needs the same amount of water as Madonna (98lbs.)? Of course not! Here is a great formula for figuring out your body’s needs. Half your weight in ounces, so, 120lb. woman needs 60 ounces of water a day. I read in a yoga journal nearly 14 years about the powers of “Morning water” it literally pushes the toxicity out of the body through the first urine of the day. Simply drink 2 glasses of room temperature water upon rising. Make sure that it is room temperature because the body is at a cozy 98 degrees and first thing in the morning ice cold water can be too shocking to the delicate digestive tract. Also it is important to drink high quality spring water or filtered water- not tap crap! Drinking water before meals (10 minutes) and NOT during will assure you a nice strong digestion. Drinking with meals actually dilutes stomach acid and slows down digestion. You might notice times when you need more water like if it is particularly hot outside or if you are engaging in more physical activity. It is essential that you listen to your body and give it what it needs.

EAT MORE GREENS:

I mean more DARK greens like collards and kale, they contain powerhouse immune building vitamins and minerals including – calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and Vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll (a natural deodorizer –think fresher breath here) and many other micronutrients and phyto-chemicals. Learning to cook and eat greens is essential to creating health. When you nourish yourself with greens they naturally crowd out the less healthy foods. Greens help to strengthen the blood and respiratory systems as well as promote emotional stability and creativity.

Simple greens:

1 bunch organic dinosaur / Lacenato kale or collards – washed, separate spine from leaf chop both.

2 teaspoons organic tamari

2 teaspoons organic toasted sesame oil

Place stems of kale in steaming basket with an inch of filtered water – bring to a boil, cover for about 1 minute or until stems become a vibrant green color, lower flame to medium, toss in leaves and cover for another couple of minutes or until done, check for doneness. Using tongs transfer greens into a large bowl, add tamari first then sesame oil.

ENJOY!!!

With these tools you are well on your way to being the best version of you and definitely “Thin for the Camera!” for more great tips visit www.getthinforthecamera.com

Or email Donna at donna@getthinforthecamera.com / 917- 941-5045

why I love kale…

I love kale for so many reasons –

here are my top ten reasons why I love kale…

  1. it is green HELLO… who doesn’t love green things? (Kermit the frog, green M&M’s, grass, grass hoppers, my favorite rain boots)
  2. my skin looks better when I eat it
  3. it gets stuck in my teeth and I can make my friends laugh by pretending I have no clue it is in there
  4. it gives me more energy to check out how nutritionally superior it is visit www.whfoods.com and type “kale” into the search space scroll down for “nutritional profile” and get ready to be amazed.
  5. it makes me smell great ( it has chlorophyll so it naturally deodorizes my breath and skin)
  6. it makes me less grumpy
  7. it makes my blood nice and clean ( yes, kale will actually push the toxins out of your blood)
  8. my cat Max poops more easily when I puree it and add it to his food
  9. I can use the recipes from my website to make it in under 5 minutes (www.getthinforthecamera.com)
  10. it makes sex better ( YES it does read my article about it… go to the article marked “green vegetables for better sex” http://www.getthinforthecamera.com/press.html )

xoxo-Donna

Dairy –What the heck is wrong with it anyways???

Dairy –What the heck is wrong with it anyways???

1. Dairy as baby food – dairy is a highly concentrated food, it helps a calf grow to a cow from 50 – 1500 lbs- in about 6 months.
2. The Enzymes- toddlers 3 years of age and under (babies) have an enzyme that aids in the digestion of dairy, around the time that they turn 3 years old that enzyme goes away and dairy is much more difficult to digest.
3. Pasteurization –when dairy comes out of the cow it actually has an enzyme that helps you to digest it (when dairy is raw) when we pasteurize that dairy that enzyme gets killed by the high temperature making it difficult to digest, many people who label themselves as “lactose- intolerant” are really just having a reaction to the lack of the raw dairy enzyme.
4. Absorption of vitamins / minerals – when dairy is made low fat or skim The body can’t handle it, fat is what helps the body to absorb vitamins and minerals, when the fat is removed there are far too many nutrients and not enough fat to assimilate those nutrients so the body “throws out” the excess in the form of – bunions, calcium deposits, skin tags, raised moles, etc.
5. bovine growth hormone – a normal grass fed cow makes enough milk for its own babies or the equivalent of about a family of 5 – when dairy is factory farmed – farmers add bovine growth hormone to stimulate the cows mammary gland so that cow produces enough dairy for 30 people ! the result is horrific – as we ingest what ever that cow ingests the result can be children developing breasts at a very young age or what I call “ man boobs” in men who drink too much dairy- an over all “baby fat” body is to be expected when there is too much dairy in the diet.
6. antibiotics – as a result of the hormones, the cow udders get engorged with milk (7 times the amount that they are meant to hold) the udders drop down to the ground and rub against the floor of the pen – often the pen floor in a factory farm is a mettle grate and this scrapes the udders – the udders then become inflamed and infected – in order for the farmers to continue to make their money they pump the milk cows with strong antibiotics to make the infection go away , again if the cow ingests it – so will you, result of antibiotics in humans – weakened digestion and Candida among many other problems.

7. Treatment of dairy cows… no sunshine, life in a tiny pen with no room and no fresh air – think prison here. Normal cows live 15-20 years cows on hormones/ antibiotics in a factory farm pen- sometimes only 3 years… so sad.
8. Feed of factory farmed cows- cows are meant to be out in the sunshine, they are meant to consume grass NOT grains or feed – in a factory farm the feed often consists of stale bakery waste – that’s right, old nasty fried donuts! Not very healthy for them, the cows often develop huge gastrointestinal problems and many other health problems including acid reflux and arthritis.

What can you do?

· Only buy grass fed, organic, no hormone/ no antibiotic, non homogenized, free range dairy.

· Look for fermented dairy – yogurts and kefir and always opt for full fat versions.
· Look at dairy as more of a fun food that enjoy on occasion
· Find calcium where cows find it in dark greens, other calcium rich, non- dairy foods include: sesame seeds (1160mg. per 3.5 oz), sardines (371 mg per serving) collard greens (250mg per serving) and almonds (234 mg. per serving)

-Donna Sonkin H.H.C., A.A.D.P.
917-941-5045
www.getthinforthecamera.com

Spring cleaning day 3

woke up at around 6 am and cooked like a fiend! more wild salmon salad , some blueberry sorbet , more vegetables for nori rolls KALE! lemon- ginger tahini sauce, and sweet potato.

feeling very good , a bit sluggish and my attempt at a run in the park turned into a long leisurely walk with push ups, crunches, lunges and stretches, I decided NOT to use my IPOD , I wanted to listen to the birds , cleansing yes…

took a long relaxing sit near the sail boat pond and have to say that I felt as if I was in a Fellini movie – many of those cute Korean couples tying the knot – many with punked out multi colored hair ( the men) and the brides all aglow with red and pink bouquets, there was some weird dude gyrating to trance music and people were actually putting money in his bucket, there was a couple clearly in love and learning the tango , holding each other so close that not a bit of light shone through their silhouette… and of course the children who giddily watched the two Transylvania Folk violinists play feverishly in unison.

I was very happy that I did not bring my IPOD – I would have missed the entire Filliniesque show for sure and what a pity that would have been…

as for my cleansing activity- went to the little nail salon by my house and got a manicure/ pedicure , I interviewed the owner as she painted my toes… she started her business at a very young age and then left it to go back to be a mommy , then once the kids grew she went back to work and the business has continued to thrive ever since.

had a friend over for dinner. now I will clean up the dishes and head to sleep.

Oh, NO TV through meals again! YEAY! very difficult indeed. NO black tea, Dolphin chocolate or black licorice either!

I feel pretty clean , light , refreshed .

a cleanse is ( as Martha says, ) is ” A good thing”

tomorrow I do a tele-conference with all of the spring cleansers ( there are 11 of them ) looking forward to hearing all of their news.

xoxo!
-Donna

Spring cleaning day 2

Hello healthy people !

well yesterday went well… did not have any chocolate , black tea or black licorice, instead I opted for some organic apple sauce which did the trick.

I took a 30 minute run in the park – which was beautiful, then did some stretching , crunches and push ups… the weather made it easy as did the fun music in my ipod.

I did not watch T.V. while eating even once – which was a challenge- I just stared at my cat and he looked away occasionally looking at me as if to say ” what the hell are you looking at? “

I finished most of the food that I made accept the brown rice, I have a sweet potato in the oven as I write this and am about to steam carrots and make Dikon radish salad for nori rolls, some more kale and of course that YUMMY lemon -ginger tahini dressing.

my cleansing activity yesterday was to go over some old paperwork, today I will do laundry and donate old and unused items to the housing works thrift shop.

I went to whole foods last night after a delicious dinner last night at Souen ( nori roll, maze rice with nori, grilled black bass and some kale, steamed carrots , dikon radish and squash) to pick up some more apple sauce (glass jar) kale, carrots, sweet potato and dikon.

going to hit the park again today, maybe a yoga class …

many hugs!
xo-Donna

retreat and recharge

we all get sick sometimes. it can be too annoying, you have plans, you are looking forward to things and then bam! your body ‘fails you’

or does it?
here I am at a GORGEOUS retreat at The Good Common in Plymouth Vermont – birth place of the 30th president of the U.S. Calvin Coolidge. in my fevered delirium I think to myself ‘I wonder if he is related to Rita Coolidge’
see, just before I rode up on the ‘Good Bus’ I felt a little under the weather. what’s a girl to do? NOT GO?
I never get sick so I figured ‘ I have my Young Living Oils Thieves oil and ginger oil, I even brought my Source Naturals Wellness Formula – that makes me nearly gag when I take it… I’ll be fine!’
about halfway through our 7 hour bus ride the chills came on hard. we stopped at a rest stop where the only place open was McDonald’s so I got the only thing that a holistic health coach can get from McDonald’s, hot water, not just hot water, blistering hot sue that damn McDonald’s hot water and put the drops in but still chills.
so here I am surrounded by lovely nature and wonderful people and all I have seen is my bed.
and that’s ok.
if I were home i’d be watching showtime on demand , back episodes of La La land. but here I am not escaping , not numbing out just sitting with myself and my thoughts.
when I get sick I turn in to an 80 year old grandmother shivering , breathing heavy and saying under my breath but clear and audibly ‘ oh my god,oh my god’ there I was muttering when Stefani Zeiv, America’s Life Coach and Erika Shannon the fitness expert on the retreat stood by taking me in. Erika said – with a deadpan expression “at least your not a drama queen” and that was it , we all laughed our asses off. I think I turned a corner at that moment. yes I still feel like a crap sandwich but I am on the mend.
now the others are coming back from their 4 hour hike (the thing that I was looking forward to the most) all glowing and refreshed , after all it is a ‘recharge retreat’ I suppose this is my way of recharging.
getting some work done and sleeping a lot, 5 hours already today.
I am looking forward to coming back here when I can really enjoy.
for now I will complain and mutter to myself. or maybe not … Tim Becker the re-connective healer on the trip has cautioned me to ‘use my words to create wellness’
so, here goes… ‘my body now restores itself to its natural state of perfect health’
and so it shall be.
much love,
please leave comments , I am bored up here!
-Donna Sonkin
HHC,AADP.
www.GetThinForTheCamera.com