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Zonya Foco, RD, CSP



"Our third time having you present in Macon and we are SO PLEASED!! The women absolutely LOVED YOU! Personally, I did four things differently that very night at dinner - a testament that your presentation hit home!" - Robin Parker, V.P. of Marketing, Coliseum Health System, Macon, GA

High Energy, Interactive, America's Nutrition Leader

As America’s Nutrition Leader, Zonya is a master of inspiration, motivation and visual humor, providing high energy presentations crossed with low maintenance solutions that help everyday people improve health, create balance and maximize energy.

If you’re expecting a lecture-style presentation from this “energizer health bunny” – don’t! Zonya pulls out all the stops in her live presentations, video seminars and TV show – delivering equal parts entertainment and education all the way. Zonya helps people laugh at their bad habits and break down the barriers that turn knowing into doing.

In fact, she has identified eight core habits that create the acronym DIET FREE, published in her co-authored DIET FREE novel, Water with Lemon. In 2010, Zonya launched her DIET FREE video seminar lifestyle program for individuals and worksite wellness programs, and produced the two-hour DIET FREE with Zonya Foco, RD TV program aired on national public television. Zonya has also hosted a weekly television series, Zonya’s Health Bites, on national public television.

She has collaborated with Health Alliance Plan (HAP) of Michigan to develop and present its distinguished Weight Wise member programs based on her DIET FREE habits. Zonya has also worked with Bob Greene as a guest presenter for “Oprah & Bob’s Best Life Challenge,” providing entertaining and educational cooking presentations.

Zonya received her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1987 and then worked as a clinical nutritionist for the Michigan Heart and Vascular Institute at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor. It is from these clients that she discovered the need for a “countertop coach” cookbook and in 1998 wrote Lickety-Split Meals for Health Conscious People on the Go, filled with easy recipes and healthy tips for everyday families. In 2008, Zonya reworked the recipes and tips and created Lickety-Split Diabetic Meals (published by American Diabetes Association) to help those with diabetes in their quest for a healthier, happier life.

In addition to spreading the word through her speaking platform, books, TV show and wellness program, Zonya has appeared on local newscasts across the country, nationally syndicated daytime talk shows and QVC. She has been published in the popular magazines Prevention, Today’s Dietitian, Total Health, and Fast and Healthy Cooking.

Most recently, Zonya has partnered to bring to individuals and worksites as inspiration to “replace processed food with wholesome” by featuring recipes, tutorials and coaching, all focused on real food ingredients.

Most Popular Topics:

Staying Healthy in a Culture that’s ANYTHING BUT!

Addictive foods, bucket-sized portions, physical movement limited to keystrokes and remotes. It’s hard to stay healthy in a culture that’s anything but! By citing research, reviewing health trends and examining the power of advertising, Zonya explains how our culture is very much the enemy – zapping our energy, health and productivity. Is America doomed as a result of our society of convenience, or can we fight back? Conviction is key! From simple strategies to re-wire the brain for healthier food preferences to capturing the power of “community” for lasting lifestyle changes, Zonya delivers a compelling plan for embracing a healthy lifestyle “paradigm shift” to conviction over convenience.

The Power of One Good Habit

How can we ditch the diet mentality, yet still eat healthfully to combat obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer? Let America’s Nutrition Leader show you how the tiniest, painless habits, when done daily, can add up to a huge change in the way you look and feel. Make a different choice here, add a little movement there. Without dieting or deprivation, you can rev up your metabolism, drop your blood pressure, lose 50 pounds or take 50 points off your cholesterol in just one year!

The math is really quite simple. It’s you and the complete adoption of one good habit after another that adds up to success, and which results in a lower number on the scale and a much healthier you!

Surefire Solutions to De-stress and Balance Life!

Stress focus  –  NEW

Don’t let the effects of excess stress hormones age you anymore! If you’re too busy, too tired and too stressed, it’s time you learned how to become your own ‘cortisol blocker.’ It all begins by taking a deep breath as you embrace Zonya’s three-point plan for de-stressing and rebalancing your life! From learning the restorative power of saying the word ‘no’ to life-sapping drudgery, to declaring ‘yes!’ to energy-promoting exercise, you’ll learn how to dial down your stress hormones. (Yes, you really can sneak exercise into your daily routine, including stress-relieving stretches you can do at your desk.)

Zonya will also present nutrition know-how for super busy people, by providing a clean-eating, energy-promoting menu that anyone can shop for and prepare. Additionally, you’ll learn surefire solutions for getting the restorative sleep you need, plus how to use music, laughter, positive thoughts and clear communications to truly de-stress and balance your life!

5-Hour Energy? Bottle Your Own!

Is the answer to energy really in a bottle that costs $3 a day? Have you ever wondered why you’re so tired in the first place? The truth is, how you 1) eat, 2) sleep and 3) exercise directly affect your energy, stamina, productivity, and resistance to disease. A demanding career and hectic family life don’t have to derail you! Discover how to get the most restorative sleep of your life, sneak energizing exercise in and leverage fuel (through what you eat, drink AND the supplements you take) to increase your energy, focus, and disease-fighting ability. Uncover 10 delicious super-foods (and super supplements) that will soar your energy and whittle your waist, while fighting cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Even discover how to use caffeine to your benefit, not your detriment. Be the best you can be on the job and at home. There’s no time like right now!

Cutting through the Clutter of Popular Diets

Fats, Carbs, Sugar, Gluten; will the real culprit please stand up? Our bookshelves are bulging with Dr. Atkins, The South Beach Diet, The Zone Diet, The Paleo Diet, The Wheat Belly Diet, The Raw Foods Diet… and on and on and on! Should we eat mostly vegetarian, or eat like a caveman? Should we be juicing, and if so, what and how often? Is wheat what’s making us fat, or is it sugar? Or is it fat? With so much opposing expert advice, can someone please clear up the confusion?

Zonya cuts through the clutter with her whirl-wind “book review tour” culling the “take-away truths” found in each of the top-selling diet books. You’ll walk away with a realistic, sensible, and doable 8 habit plan for everyone in your family, ending BOTH the diet roller coaster, AND your battle with the bulge. Yes, it’s time to cut your way through the diet clutter and eat your way to the DIET FREE body you crave!

Diet Smack-Down: Vegan vs. Paleo

Customized for lay public or health professionals — NEW

Are you tired of giving up all sugar, all grains, all cheese, all meat, (whatever’s the latest – and it’s always changing!) in order to lose weight and be “on top” of current nutrition trends? Join Zonya as she reports from her personal experience putting herself right smack in the middle of the diet debate! Frustrated with the contradictory claims coming across her professional realm, Zonya decided to “see for herself” by taking on the challenge of eating vegan for 30 days, followed by eating Paleo for 30 days. Learn about the changes in her weight, body fat percent, blood cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides following each diet. Which one came out ahead? Did she achieve all the necessary nutrients on each? And most importantly, how might the best of both promote a robust and sensible eating style the whole family can enjoy? Come ready to learn, laugh and be inspired like never before!

Excelling at Your Career Without Undermining Your Health

How you eat directly affects your energy, stamina, productivity and resistance to disease. And a demanding career and hectic family life can crowd out the opportunity to exercise regularly and eat right on the run. So it’s Zonya to the rescue with simple things you can do to sneak in exercise and consume foods that work like high-octane fuel to increase your energy and thinking ability.

You’ll get the competitive edge with Zonya’s nine-point eating plan for optimal energy and health while you climb the career ladder. Discover desk-drawer delights and briefcase bites that will help trim your waistline while dropping your risk for the big killers like heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. You can be your best possible self at work and at home. Right now is a great time to start!

Eating RIGHT On the Run!

Join Zonya as she blasts through the “no time to eat right” roadblock. From the fast food window, to desk drawer delights and even healthy brief case bites, you’ll learn about the best speed-feed to keep you energized and focused. Zonya also shares her unique strategy for keeping your kitchen stocked with her top 15 must-haves and her virtually work-free solution for weekly menu planning. Discover “one minute mini-meals” and family dinners you can have on the table just 15 minutes from the time you walk in the door.

Too Fickle to be Fit? Find the Fitness in You!

Exercise focus — NEW

Exercise. You know you should, and sometimes, you actually do! The real question is, what does it take to become truly and “happily” consistent, day after day, year after year? And not just cardio, but strength and flexibility training twice weekly too, in order to really get the results you want? Zonya will share all her best barrier-removing solutions, including how to:

Break the “too tired to work out” cycle
Develop an unshakable conviction for exercise
Achieve the minimum you need for maximum results

Before you know it, you’ll no longer be dreaming of staying in bed to miss your workout. Hard to fathom? Not after this session with Zonya!

Three Simple Words: Eat Real Food!

NEW topic

Diet soda, Go-Gurt, Gatorade, light salad dressing, 97% fat free lunch meat, and light pancake syrup: these foods are good choices, right? After all, they help us limit the bad guys, sugar and fat, and (in theory) reduce our calorie intake. Yet numerous studies demonstrate that the secret does not lie in modified “diet foods” but rather, in replacing our voracious intake of processed food with wholesome REAL food.

With labels in hand, Zonya will present a closer look, challenging whether manufactured diet foods are truly “health foods” and how, in our “processed food at every turn” world, we can make the switch. It’s time to stop the confusion, kick processed foods to the curb and live happily ever after while eating succulently prepared REAL food!

Ask how this can include a live cooking demonstration including delicious samples! Talk about raising the bar on your event!

Hot Topics in Nutrition  — NEW

In rapid-fire fashion, you’ll hear the pros, cons and the bottom-line on everything hot in nutrition like:

What are the benefits of eating gluten free?
What are GMO’s?
Should I be buying organic?
Is coconut oil really good after all?
Should I avoid everything with high fructose corn syrup?
Are color additives bad for my kids?
Is sitting really the new smoking?
What is BPA and how can I avoid it?
What is the best type of pans to buy?
What is a “raw food diet” and what are its benefits?
Are energy drinks good, bad or dangerous?
What does “plant based” mean and should I be doing it?

Finally, you will kick confusion to the curb and leave this session feeling confidently ready to feed yourself and your family the best fuel for life.

Igniting your Worksite & Community Wellness

Worksite Wellness focus — NEW

Zonya explains her diet-free approach to igniting healthy lifestyle changes in your employees and your community. Her ten-week video seminar program, Diet Free: The Eight Habits That Will Change Your Life, is being utilized by hospitals and health centers across the country and has brought hope, joy, and life-saving success into the lives of its participants. This robust nutrition and fitness program relies on her ability to deliver equal parts entertainment and education while inspiring her participants to change their lives forever. In fact, many have said that adopting a healthier lifestyle has never been easier or more fun! Come learn more about the power behind Zonya’s eight habits – and about the freedom of living diet free!

Be Good to Your Sweet Heart

Heart-health focus

Your heart — it beats for you constantly, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, year by year. Is what you’re eating the best it can be for your heart and cardiovascular system? From anti-inflammatory foods to those high in antioxidants, there’s so much more to heart health than low-fat and low-cholesterol food. Get the inside scoop on fish, flax, fiber, coconut oil, chia seed, garlic, and of course, exercise. Sound intimidating? It doesn’t have to be. Learn how to integrate these heart-healthy habits into a lifestyle the whole family will enjoy. Be good to your sweet heart – after all, it’s good to you!

Fight Cancer with Your Fork

Cancer focus

What does it take to put your diet 100% on the winning side for fighting cancer? Is it five fruits and vegetables each day or does it take eleven?
Will eating lean meat provide enough armor or do you have go completely vegetarian? What about organic; is it your only choice? Do you have to eat soy foods, fish and flax seed every day? If so, how tasty will your meals actually be? And will you really live longer, or will it just seem like it?! Join “America’s Nutrition Leader” as Zonya walks you through a realistic and tasty approach for “fighting cancer with your fork” you can enjoy living with.

Learn the DIET FREE Secret to Managing Diabetes

Diabetes focus

Some people with diabetes count carbohydrates and others follow exchanges. Some exercise and some don’t. Regardless of what you are currently doing, your health can soar with Zonya’s refreshing, high-energy DIET FREE approach to managing diabetes. Make a different choice here, add a little movement there. Without strict dieting or deprivation, you can slash soaring blood sugars, lipid levels and unwanted pounds. Plus Zonya answers your questions about sweet cravings, the glycemic index and artificial sweeteners. As the author of the DIET FREE Lifestyle program and Lickety-Split Diabetic Meals (American Diabetes Association 2008), Zonya has the message and tools to make your conference a complete success!

See another topic you’d love to customize for diabetes management? No problem. Zonya can customize any theme to meet your audience and focus.

Full Day or Half Day Seminars:

DIET FREE – The Eight Habits that Will Change Your Life

“Don’t go on a diet, just change your lifestyle.” While most people agree this is true, you must admit, it’s much easier said than done! What exactly IS a healthy lifestyle? How can we ditch the diet mentality yet still be in control of our calorie intake? Can cumbersome number counting be replaced by a few simple habits we can rely on for the rest of our life?

Come and learn Zonya’s surprisingly simple yet powerful approach to gaining health and losing weight with DIET FREE—The Eight Habits That Will Change Your Life! Whether your goal is to master your weight, cholesterol, blood sugar, energy or to simply have optimum health, Zonya promises that these eight habits will indeed change your life.


STREZZ FREE – Frazzle-Free Surefire Solutions for De-stressing and Balancing Your Life!

Stress: it can make you look decades older and shorten your life. Inconveniently, during times of stress it’s even more important to eat right and exercise, yet this is precisely when we eat and exercise the worst. And while you’ve been told to “take a deep breath” and “think positively,” you still need to get groceries, make dinner, do the laundry, and exercise! Armed with a practical plan, you can most definitely take a deep breath and think positive thoughts! In other words, what you need is Zonya’s frazzle-free secrets to de-stressing and balancing your life!

With STREZZ as our guiding acronym, you will learn “Supermarket Smarts”, with a shortcut to stocking your pantry with the healthiest products in each section, “Time for Dinner” with two weeks of easy-to-fix meals that basically prepare themselves, “Restaurant Survival” which points you to the best choices for each type of cuisine, “Exercise Stability” which gets you mentally and physically stable with daily stress-easing exercise, “Zest for Life”, creating opportunities for laughter, breathing, music and positive thoughts, followed by the all-important, “getting the ZZZZ”s you need. Welcome to frazzle-free STREZZ FREE living at last!

For Health Professionals:

The Top Nutrition Problems Facing Our Kids Today

Obesity and diabetes are two words that shouldn’t be associated with our kids. Yet their presence in our nation’s children is skyrocketing out of control. Zonya looks beyond the food pyramid guide and examines the top four nutrition problems at the center of obesity in our kids. From the flood of sugars, fats, food colorings, additives and preservatives to the “Super Size” and “Clean Plate Club” mentality, it’s no wonder we have a health emergency on our hands.

Find out how these problems (amplified by insufficient exercise) promote childhood obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, allergies, and behavior problems like ADD/ADHD. Learn how you, as a health professional, can be part of the solution when you’re prepared with practical strategies that will make a positive difference in today’s children.

How to Make Nutrition Exciting, Fun and Inspirational!

Want to learn how to not just “teach” nutrition, but truly motivate and inspire? Want to learn new eye-popping visuals? And what about unique ways to inspire fitness? Professional speakers know that an effective presentation is one-third information, one-third entertainment and one-third motivation. How do your classes, one-on-one sessions and presentations rank? Join 22-year veteran registered dietitian/TV host and professional speaker, Zonya Foco as she shares her passion for combining the art of a great presentation with expert nutrition knowledge and awesome, simple, low-cost ideas you can put in place immediately.

Who Says you Don’t Know “FIT” From “Shinola”? How to Make Smart Nutrition as Enticing as the Latest Fad Diet! — NEW

Tired of losing business to the gym “fitness guru” who has everyone losing weight with coconut oil and green tea? Join Zonya as she uncovers the tactics that fad diet promoters use to make top-selling diets so highly enticing. Next, identify key words that you can safely use to properly “sensationalize” your evidence-based teachings, so your “sensible approach” does not leave you sounding ho-hum, but instead, ABSOLUTELY ALLURING! After this brief session, you will have both the approach and communication techniques you need for everyone to agree that you definitely “know your FIT from Shinola!”

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