Vegan Mom, Healthy & Strong

My blog talks about my extreme weight loss by switching to a vegan diet. I share humorous stories about my transition to a healthy lifestyle, recipes, and tips on improving your workout regimen. My goal is to reach women who were just like me!

Tonya is a winner of Top 25 Health & Wellness Moms - 2012

What's one tip you'd give to moms struggling to make time for physical activity?

Physical activity can be cumulative - which means doing a little through out the day allows you to get your time in. Start by carving out 15 minutes for YOU! Then, once you get used to doing that, carve out another 15 minutes at a different time during the day. Use that time to walk briskly, do a quick exercise routine, skip (yes, skipping burns a TON of calories), or whatever you want. Make sure you do something that is fun and will rejuvenate you. You will look forward to those 15 minutes every day!

What's your best advice for moms trying to get healthy?

To me, diet is the key to being healthy. Exercise is essential as well, but how many of you have heard of runners who died of a heart attack. They could have had other issues, but I firmly believe they probably didn't have a great diet. We really are what we eat. Even though I'm vegan, I don't think that's the ONLY way to be healthy, but I definitely think we should all be aware of what is in our food. I always check the ingredients - if I can't pronounce it or grow it, chances are I won't eat it! My advice - eat whole foods, avoid prepackaged items. If you can't grow it, don't eat it.

What motivates you to stay active while raising a family?

I don't know how you can not be active and have a family. I want my kids to be active and experience life. I want to be around for my kids when they are older. I want to know my grandchildren. I want to LIVE and not just exist. Those things motivate me to stay active. Making physical activity fun is the key to making it a part of your life forever.

What's the most awkward or funny thing that has ever happened at one of your family's holiday gatherings?

Tonya Sitko

My grandfather had remarried only 6 weeks after my grandmother had passed away. My parents and I were having dinner with him and his new wife. We had a boxer bulldog who loved to beg for table scraps. She would start by sitting next to you, staring at you, and then proceed to tapping you on the leg with her paw until you gave in. My grandfather's wife had apparently never been around animals, so she asked, "What's wrong with the dog?". My dad - with a straight face - said, "Well, I wasn't going to say anything, but she's probably mad because you're eating out of her bowl." Her spoon dropped, and her mouth flew open. We all laughed, but I'm not so sure she thought it was a joke :)
View All Answers

What's your family's favorite way to eat cranberries? Please share a link to your recipe!

Tonya Sitko

Forget that nasty stuff in the can. Make your own cranberry sauce! Simmer 1 cup of orange juice in a sauce pan (make sure it's large enough - this mixture will foam up). Add 1 package of cranberries (about 12 oz). Simmer until the cranberries start to pop open (about 10 minutes). Garnish with orange slices. This sauce will thicken as it cools. Yum!
View All Answers