Posted on June 21st, 2011
Question: What favourite foods give you energy?Health heroine Peggy Kotsopoulos is a fan of plant-based whole foods. Peggy is part of Vega’s health team and the principal of beVibrant wellness consulting, a registered holistic nutritionist, health educator, and culinary consultant focused on teaching real health through easy and delicious lifestyle and dietary choices. Her latest book, Must Have Been Something I Ate: The Simple Connection Between What you Eat and How you Look and Feel aspires to educate about how we can use plant-based foods to live a healthier, happier and a more vibrant life.MYO: You decided to leave your investment career and follow your passion while attending a health conference. What was the final deciding factor?PK: On my way to the conference, I met this man from Los Angeles, who was in his 60’s and also on his way to the conference. As we chatted, I asked what brought him down to the conference and he told me his story. A year prior, he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. He had undergone multiple rounds of chemo and radiation therapy, but there was nothing left for western medicine to do. His cancer continued to grow, his immune system suppressed and he was told to get his house in order, as he only had 4 weeks to live—at best. That’s when he decided to fight this on his own. He changed his lifestyle radically, cleaned up his diet and underwent alternative, natural treatment. A year later (when I met him), his cancer was nearly gone. Once I got to the conference, I met around 250 more people who reversed cancer, diabetes, heart disease, all through diet and lifestyle changes! I heard from several experts and practitioners who had answers. There was a Q&A session at the end of the conference, and so I got up and asked how I could take all this knowledge and make it mainstream. As well as how I could make it preventative, so people don't have to get to the point of illness. They told me to sign up for a health educator course that started a week later, in West Palm Beach. Needless to say, I signed up and am now doing what I intended!MYO: You’re focused on teaching ‘real’ health. Can you define this?PK: Real health comes from within and affects our entire being. It's about nourishing your mind, body and spirit with whole food goodness. Many times people focus just on physical goals like weight loss and might take short-cuts to cut calories such as eating artificial sweeteners, which cause further detriment to their health. Or they focus only on one aspect of health, yet stay in a job they hate, and surround themselves with people that are negative and don't contribute to their greater purpose. Real health affects our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual state. And it's about fuelling it by adding only 'goodness' to your life. MYO: What’s the biggest challenge when creating your wellness programs for large corporate clients?PK: Reinforcing the connection between taking care of oneself and job performance. So many are inundated with work stress, which impedes job performance, employee health and satisfaction. Due to budget constraints, some companies cannot 'afford' to invest in corporate wellness activities, such as onsite yoga, healthy lunch programs, seminars or personal/mental health days; yet they really can't afford NOT due, and it does really improve employee well-being and saves them money in the long run.MYO: What’s the greatest reward when developing school wellness programs?PK: Seeing change happen. When parents call me asking what I've done to their child because they are asking for veggies and quinoa! Children are very smart and intuitive and like food that tastes great! When students are educated on food, where it comes from, and how it effects everything from their energy levels, academic performance, athletic performance, and you get them involved in the process by creating delish new recipes they totally get it and love it! MYO: You’re the resident nutritionist on CBC’s Steven and Chris show. What’s the most interesting teaching you’ve shared on this show?PK: Probably that you don't have to overhaul your diet completely and make huge, sacrificing changes. There are viewers all across North America and many in remote places without access to speciality/health food stores. By educating them on the benefits of how simple, whole food can affect the way you look and feel—such as specific foods to combat depression or boost energy levels—we can provide a whole new way to look at and approach foods. MYO: If you had less than two minutes to share healthy living tips with the world, what would they be?PK:
• Immerse yourself in things you love and let go of things you don't
• Eat real food
• Think happy thoughts
• Drink pure water
• Have at least one green juice/smoothie per day
• Sleep soundly
• Laugh oftenVega is giving one (1) lucky My Yoga Online member a complete Vega gift basket featuring Peggy Kotsopoulos’ new book Must Have Been Something I Ate, 3 SaviSeed 1oz serving packs, and 4 Whole Food Health Optimizer single serving packs.How to Enter: Just add your answer to the following question to the comments section below: What favourite foods give you energy?With apologies to our international friends, this prize giveaway is only available within North America (USA and Canada). Contest runs until the end of Tuesday, June 21, 2011 11:59 PST.Enter on Facebook, too! Join your My Yoga Online community on Facebook and enter to win there, too.
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The fine print: Click here to read the official contest rules. By submitting a comment on this blog or commenting on or ‘liking’ the Facebook post, you agree to the official contest rules.
Tags: Eating for Energy, Tuesday Giveaway, tuesday yoga giveaway, vega, vegan diet, benefits of being vegan, Peggy Kotsopolous, Must Have Been Something I Ate
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