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Super-Sizing To Go (Away!)

March 11, 2004, Vol. II Issue 6

Dear Friends,

It’s National Nutrition Month, and just in time to celebrate, McDonald’s is phasing out super-sizing! Do you think they planned it that way or is it just luck? The Today Show made the super size connection with Katie Couric interviewing Morgan Spurlock, who made the award-winning documentary, “Super Size Me,” that we alerted you to a couple of issues ago. MacDonald’s, in a statement, denied there was any connection…

Speaking of fast food, Zonya Foco, RD, was here in the Northwest week before last with her new Fast Food Picks guide. It was so fun to be in the audience and feel the energy and response to her program, “The Power of Positive Eating.” We were all laughing together as Zonya exposed our nutrition “faux paux,” while inspiring us to make better choices.

This last couple of months has been full of visitors to the Northwest. Two favorite speakers and friends, Holly Stiel and Bonnie Dean were here in January for the NSA Winter Workshop. We had a super-sized gab fest to catch up with all of our latest adventures. Then last week, Laura Derocher, speaker and recording artist of motivational music, and recently re-located from Chicago to Ashland, OR, was in town for a seminar and even did a sound healing workshop at my house. More about Laura in the next issue.

Yours truly,

The Zonya Zone

In celebration of National Nutrition Month, I’m going to take this opportunity to give you a little inside scoop on my favorite RD, speaker and author, Zonya Foco.

Zonya and I first met about 10 years ago when I was living in Michigan, where she is based. I met her at a NSA Michigan meeting, and with our common interest in healthy lifestyles, we connected immediately. In fact I still have the original prototype of her book, Lickety-Split Meals, which I literally test marketed many recipes in my own kitchen, and then sold the first copies (by the case or single copies) of the first printing out of my trunk! Since then, Zonya and I have shared many a big salad (our favorite) and many a recipe.

What’s always made sense to me about Zonya’s programs, is that she gives people the information, and allows them to make their own decisions. This knack of hers stems from her days as a clinical nutritionist at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and the Michigan Heart & Vascular Institute, in Ann Arbor, MI, where one of her most infamous cases involved converting a thirty-nine-year-old dairy farmer recovering from bypass surgery, from whole milk to 1/2 percent. The cardiac unit nurses said it couldn’t be done but with Zonya’s unique way of making her point (with cow fat globules), this patient learned to make a wiser choice.

Whether she’s giving a tablespoon by tablespoon accounting of fat and sugar with her eye-opening Crisco demonstration, or surprising audiences with a 24-foot human GI tract from her traveling cooler, Zonya brings in a little bit “tell,” a lot of “show” and lots more audience participation. As a result, people get it. They go home with knowledge they can remember and they’re motivated to make those changes.

This all came home to me last week at her presentation for Franciscan Health System in Tacoma, WA (next issue, we’ll have an article about their Healthy Lifestyles series). As the Low-Carb battle rages, Zonya takes a stance. “There is an ounce of truth in this,” she said. “Americans eat too many carbohydrates, especially the ‘bad’ ones. I suggest we embrace the attention being generated and learn from it.” A champion label-reader, she proceeded to compare low-carb products with regular items, with some surprising results. The audible gasps from the audience were proof positive that show, tell and participation works!

She also got their attention when she admitted, “I eat fast food, too!” That’s the premise for her handy new guide to fast food picks at six of the most popular national franchises. “Busy families end up at the drive-up window, and that includes me,” she said, “so I decided to help people make wiser choices.” The guide, which offers calorie reference goals for every member of the family, includes Zonya’s favorite choices, based on calories, fat, carbohydrates, fiber and sodium, and is even designed to stash under the visor in your car.

“Keep the frequency of your fast food dining moderate,” Zonya says, “and when you do eat fast food, choosing from this guide will make your choices 100% healthier and portion controlled.” If you currently eat typical fast food meals 3 times a week, and switch to her picks, she says you can lose 27 pounds in one year.

As she talked about it, the energy building in the room was palpable. I felt like little cartoon bubbles were forming over everyone’s heads, saying, “How do I get one of those? I want that!” Zonya had good news for them. Franciscan had purchased them for every attendee to receive as they left the room.

If you’re feeling that way, too, and would like a complimentary copy of “Zonya’s Fast Food Picks,” simply send an email with your snail mailing address to and write FAST FOOD in the subject line, and we’ll send you one. Show and tell, that’s Zonya!

If you’d like to see Zonya in action, check out the video clips on our website.

In the Headlines:

Update on Obesity/Super-Sizing Headlines

When I wrote, “Obesity Tops Headlines,” in my Dec. 18, 2003, issue, my intention was as a flashback of the year. When I picked up my newspaper yesterday, I felt like prophecy was being fulfilled. The front page banner headline read, “Obesity Deaths Rival Smoking’s” according to a new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The study concludes that inactive Americans are eating themselves to death at an alarming rate, with their unhealthy habits fast approaching tobacco as the top underlying preventable cause of death. The reasons remain the same as they have for years: inactive lifestyles combined with overeating. Our jobs in education and motivation are secure, particularly continuing to motivate people on an ongoing basis, simply because new behaviors can be hard to adopt and stick with over time.

While the elimination of MacDonald’s super size mentality is a step in the right direction, it’s going to take a lot more than that to bring change to our culture of big is better. On the cover of the arts & entertainment section of my newspaper a few weeks ago, there was an actual size photo of a cinnamon roll that dominated the tabloid size cover under the headline, Supersized Oregon. Out of curiosity, I measured it and it was 8 inches by 6 inches, and looked about two inches thick! The article inside proceeded to profile super-sized food and where to get it. The operative word, here is entertainment. Food as entertainment, super-sized. I wonder what would happen if we super-sized exercise? Now, there’s an idea that would burn some calories!

Weight Loss Tip: Halve It and You can Have It

Zonya and I have a favorite saying. “Halve it and you can have it.” Isn’t that cool? It really works, especially when eating out, since portions are usually over-sized to begin with. Simply split a meal with a companion, or immediately put half of it in a take-home box before you even start eating. You’ll notice she’s used this philosophy in her Fast Food Picks as well, recommending half of an Arby’s Market Fresh Sandwich or half of a small order of fries, for example. Some other on-the-go tips: Keep a 6-pack of water in the back seat of your car and always remember, you can spell waste/waist two ways.

Until next time, be good to yourself, for your well being and those you love.


My vision for The Speak Well Being Group is to be a connector for selected speakers I know, love and believe in, with the audiences who will be inspired, motivated, and possibly, transformed by their perspectives, knowledge, empathy, compassion, information and, most importantly, capacity to enjoy the process, laughing at themselves and with you.

You’ll find many of our speakers on our website.

Or please call anytime and let us assist you: 503-699-5031


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