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Speak Well Being

Serving hospitals, healthcare and women's groups

Grab Your Favorite Things!

Grab Your Favorite Things!

Feb. 19, 2015, Vol. 13, Issue 3

Do you ever start a new project or a adopt a new lifestyle goal and immediately overwhelm yourself because it’s all just “too much.” I know I have, so when someone suggests how doing just a few things a little differently can make a big difference, I’m all ears. In this case, it’s my long-time friend and speaker, Zonya Foco, RD, CSP,  who offered some great little ideas to her heart health audiences this month. Today’s report comes from Coliseum Health, a long-time client in Macon, GA, where they also incorporated “Favorite Things” along with Zonya’s little things, into the program.


A Healthier You —

Our Favorite Thing

Coliseum Health’s annual Women’s Symposium was titled, “A Healthier You — Our Favorite Thing” this year. Saturday, Feb. 7, was Zonya’s third time speaking there; Coliseum was one of our very first clients back in 2000. Robin Parker, the event planner we originally worked with and who has been promoted to Vice President of Marketing, was thrilled to have Zonya back.

“Our third time having you present in Macon and we are so pleased!” Robin commented in her event summary note to Zonya. “The women absolutely loved you! Personally, I did four things differently that very night at dinner–a testament that your presentation hit home!”

Zonya does have a way of making a lasting impression. If the event director herself is making changes from hearing her, you know Zonya moves her audiences.

“My kids,” reported Robin, “who were little when they first heard Zonya’s nuggets, still quote her saying, ‘The whiter the bread, the quicker you’re dead!’”

As always, Zonya’s presentation was both spirited and educational, AudienceAction_ZonyaCenterStageand included audience participation, lots of laughs, and plenty of take-home messages to help women adopt heart healthy habits. Here are six of the “Little Things,” the memorable take-home suggestions Zonya shared with the ladies:

1) Include a handful, (not handfuls) of nuts daily 😉

2) Include fish at 5 of your 14 lunch and dinners each week

3) Place a veggie tray out before every dinner for snacking

4) Enjoy truly dark chocolate (60% or higher, made without cocoa that’s been                    processed by alkali or Dutch processed)

5) Make beans your new croutons!

6) Get started reversing two decades of muscle loss by doing 10 or more chair                    squats everyday, and don’t forget to SQUEEZE!

To encourage exercise that doesn’t have to involve a gym membership, she led simple movements to lively music to get the ladies up and moving, and as always with Zonya, fun was the name of the game.

Robin said that they try to do something new and unique at each annual women’s’ symposium. This year they tuned into a “Favorite Things” theme inspired by Oprah’s Favorite Things. (They did put a $25 limit on the value, however). They asked women leaders from various departments at the hospital to bring a favorite thing each to share and give away. Some of the items were a Misto brushed aluminum olive oil sprayer, Burt’s Bees lip balm with mango butter, Ghirardelli dark chocolate, Cork Pops wine bottle opener, and colorful readers’ sunglasses.

Robin&ZonyaDuring the event, all of the Favorite Things were displayed on a large table. Then, at the end, each leader shared a little story about her favorite thing, and it was raffled off to a winner.

Robin is adamant about charging for this event. “We do lots of free events throughout the year,” she said, “and we’ve found it’s important to charge for this one. It’s a nominal fee of $10 that doesn’t even cover the lunch cost. What it does, however, is create a commitment. If they’ve paid in advance, chances are they’ll be there. Otherwise, nice weather or any other excuse could mean empty chairs.”

Thanks to Wayne Thompson Photography for the great photos that captured the energy of this event, and to get an even better feel for it, check out this short video.


Bring Zonya’s energy and enthusiasm to your event? Give me a call at 503-699-5031 or email me at


Favorite Things . . .

As I wrote this I had to think about choosing my own Favorite Things . . . wow, that would be hard, I have so many. One of the first things that comes to mind, though, is cookie decorating, and I know my love for this has spread a lot of joy. ValentineCookies2014Some of it was shared with the friends and grandchildren I’ve included in baking and decorating holiday cookies, and some of it emerged in the ooh’s, ah’s and yum’s of those who have consumed my creations. So for my Favorite Thing contribution, I would create a container filled with cookie cutters, colorful sprinkles, and a few tubes of frosting. And I would throw in my favorite sugar cookie recipe.

At this time of year, my cookie cutters for Easter eggs, baskets and bunny faces are calling to me. I even have a Red Dress cookie cutter for February from a Heart Association event, so there you go. My slogan is: If the holiday fits, make cookies!

Until next time, take care of yourself for your well being and those you love.

Yours truly,


For Your Well Being is published bi-weekly. We bring you insider speaker reports, exclusive stories about special events around the country, meeting planner tips, and fun stuff from the worlds of health and well being. Be well and be in the know!

The Speak Well Being Group is a specialized speakers bureau, focusing on speakers for hospital-sponsored community events, healthcare organizations, nurses, conferences and women’s groups. Our speakers are hand-selected. They are not only experts in their fields, they connect with their audiences while bringing them life-changing information, smiles of recognition and ultimately a sense of well being and hope.

Finding the perfect keynote speaker for your special event or conference is my personal passion, not just once, but year after year. It brings me great joy to know that your audience was delighted and moved by the speaker we selected together. I’m committed to making the process easy, pleasant and fun.


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