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For Your Well Being: Health Novel Debuts

September 21, 2006, Vol. IV Issue 18

Dear Friends,

One of my favorite things about being in this business is working with people who dare to believe in their dreams and follow their hearts – to do something different.

Zonya Foco, RD, and I first got together in the mid-nineties in Michigan at a Michigan Speakers Association meeting. I was representing the speakers bureau I worked for at the time and she was just moving from the slow lane of employed dietitian educator to the fast lane of professional speaker on her own.

I was impressed with her vitality and her lifestyle-friendly, simplified but true approach to healthy eating. Being personally interested in the topic, I was excited when one Saturday she sent me home with a spiral bound prototype for her cookbook, Lickety-Split Meals for Health Conscious People on the Go. I headed straight for the kitchen, cooked and enjoyed and I still make favorites I discovered back then.

First published in 1998, it is now in its 10TH printing, 3rd edition and has consistently sold 115,000 copies.

So, I’ve VERY excited, in this issue to introduce you to her newest offering, Water With Lemon, a health novel. What’s that, you ask? Be one of the first to find out — in this issue.

Also, in this issue a women’s health job opportunity in Portland, a fabulous fall recipe, and a free book offer.


So, what’s a health novel? It’s a new genre that is the result of a dynamic partnership between Zonya Foco, RD, America’s Nutrition Leader and Stephen Moss, America’s Health Novelist.

For years, various people have urged Zonya to write a diet book. She was always resistant. “What could I do that hasn’t already been done?” she asked. Now it’s important to note that her cookbook, Lickety Split Meals, is not just a cookbook, it’s a countertop coach that includes motivational, educational tips opposite every recipe, so the seeds have always been there. In fact, her career choice, to become a dietitian, was inspired by her own yo-yo dieting experiences as a teenager. There was only one problem, she graduated from college at her highest weight ever. She discovered early that knowing and doing are two different things. That has fueled her mission to master weight in a healthy and permanent way.

I remember one time when Zonya was here for a speaking engagement and we went to Powell’s — the huge, famous independent bookstore in Portland. We went to check out the diet book section for the talk she was working on at the time, “Selling Sound Nutrition to a Country That Loves Fad Diets.” Now, Powell’s sells new and used books, so not only did the gargantuan size of their collection tell a story, but the volumes and volumes of used book inventory stacked on the top shelves spoke louder. It was testimony to the legions of disappointed dieters who have turned in their dreams for cash.

The section was vast — and I mean wide, wide, wide and up, up, to the trusses of the ceiling! I do remember finding such delights as The Wedding Dress Diet and The Beer Drinker’s Diet. Interestingly, The Wedding Dress Diet turned out to be a legitimate, workable plan.

But back to the fad diet topic . . . In the process of her research, Zonya discovered that there was usually a grain of truth, something that worked, buried beneath the diet hype and false hope. “That’s when I began my quest to extract the truth, delete the hype and focus on a common-sense message that leaves the diet mentality behind,” she said.

And that’s how her Eight Healthy Eating Habits for Life were born. She started teaching them from the platform and sharing them on her TV show, “Zonya’s Health Bites.” She started working with clients like Health Alliance Plan of Michigan (HAP). Their members started losing weight and keeping it off. The results were in.

“The counter advice to fad diets,” Zonya says, is, “Don’t go on a diet. Just change your lifestyle.” She realized in talking with people, that we needed to define a healthy lifestyle. “And, more importantly, how do we turn knowing into doing?” she adds. These eight habits worked and they worked permanently. Now it was time to put these life-changing habits into a book.

“That’s when I met Stephen Moss,” Zonya said, “who has this talent for emotionally charged storytelling. His characters are realistic, vulnerable. Putting the eight habits into a story illustrates how life gets in the way of our good intentions. The characters encounter obstacles, they stumble and then they are victorious. People can relate to their challenges and be inspired by their victories.

“We are so excited about launching this new way to convey the message of good health. This style – a story – gives us a whole new way to get the message out there.

Here’s a taste of the story line: “Sixty pounds overweight. An unhappy marriage. Food for comfort. Karen’s life is falling apart. Then she meets Fowler, an unlikely neighbor whose self-styled eating habits allow him to maintain a 150-pound weight loss. Fowler and his daughter Janice inspire Karen to discover how simple choices can shape the life she has into the life she wants.”

Learning from Fowler and living through Karen, people walk away with the knowledge and inspiration to conquer their weight struggles in a way no previous book has ever delivered. Unlike preachy diet books filled with structured plans, this book models the emotional challenge of turning knowing into doing. It’s good common sense, not new fad nonsense. As you may have guessed by now, drinking water with lemon, is one of the habits!

“It’s non-diet and guilt-free. That’s a lifestyle people can live with. When these eight habits become who you are, they become you,” Zonya said. “You crawl into bed at night having eaten the right amount of calories and you can normalize your weight.”

“The most important thing I’ve learned in the process, is that it’s not just teaching the habits, it is knowing them and then turning knowing into doing.”

Learn more about the habits (get the list), meet the characters and download the recipes.

Don’t look for Water With Lemon in bookstores until January. However, if you are a meeting planner who can’t wait to check this out, you are eligible, as a For Your Well Being subscriber, to receive a free advance copy now. Just reply to this email and write WWL in the Subject. Please include your mailing address in the body of the email.

I especially love this quote from the book: “When we adopt one seemingly insignificant change into our everyday lives, the result, over time, can surpass all expectations.” Perhaps that will make a difference for the thousands of people who have tried to swallow the elephant one fad diet at a time.

Learn more about Zonya and her programs or to inquire about her availability, please visit our website.


Recipe Clippings
Fabulous Fall Dessert

I have a confession to make. I’m a clipper. A recipe clipper. I have drawers of recipe clippings that beg to be organized. Some I’ve tried. Most caught my fancy at one time, and well, then, something else came along, like dinner. But when I do try one and like it, I make it over and over again.

With beautiful red pears begging to go home with me from the farmers market, I recently hunted for and luckily relocated, this yummy pear dessert in my clippings stash. Topped with oatmeal, it’s healthy enough for a sweet treat breakfast, too. (That is if you only have two for dessert and behave yourselves, so there are two servings leftover!)

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

Yours truly,

From Health Magazine:
Easy Pear Crisp
Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 20 minutes

½ cup uncooked regular oats
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold butter
3 medium Anjou pears sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl, and cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Combine pear and juice, toss well. Spoon pear mixture into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle oat mixture over pear mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup).

Calories 230 (24% from fat); Fat 7 g (sat 4g, mono 2g, poly 1g); Protein 3 g; Carbohydrate 43 g; Sugars 26 g; Fiber 5g; Cholesterol 15 mg; Iron 1 mg Sodium 778 mg; Calcium 33 mg

Feeling decadent?  Add a small scoop of nonfat or lowfat vanilla frozen yogurt while it’s warm. Yummmmmmm.

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