Monday’s Maven

April 19th, 2010 in Monday's Maven

Monday’s Maven

Full Name: Stephanie Quilao aka @noshtopia and @skinnyjeans


Location: Phoenix, AZ

One Word that Describes You: Authentic

What makes you smile? When I feel gratitude for all the wonderful people and things I’m blessed with.

What is one of your dreams you hope to accomplish soon? Land a book deal. It’s been a dream of mine since college to be a published author.

One of Your favorite moments with your mother? Being there the moment my mom found out that she was going to be a grandmother to triplet girls. I’ve never heard her scream with so much joy in my life. My nieces are 4-1/2 years old now, and to see the girls with my parents with all that love always warms my heart.

What is your guilty pleasure? Well done In-n-Out fries :)

What do you love most about you? That I can see the beauty and good in people, places, and things, and help bring that good out.

Favorite time of year? My favorite time of year is Spring because it is when life blooms once again in the warmth after the cold winter. In Spring, I can do more of my favorite things like go on picnics, exercise outside, eat at outdoor cafes, enjoy flowers and gardens, and wear shorts and flip flops.

Who is your hero? If I could lump them as one, I’d say my parents. I feel like I won the parent lottery with those two. They both immigrated here to the US in their early 20’s and built a good life for themselves, my brothers and I, and now my nieces. My father survived colon cancer and has been cancer-free 16 years with zero relapses. He’s my health role model. My parents have truly taught me what unconditional love is and I honestly have no idea where I would be without their love and support.

tell us more about your “i tried something new” project and how we can become involved: For almost 3 years now starting with my now retired blog Back in Skinny Jeans, I’ve talked about this concept I call eating wellness which is creating vibrant health through better food choices for your body. I emphasize the “for your body” part because “healthy” foods can be different for everyone. For example, milk does not do my body good because I have a cow milk allergy.

When I saw Jamie Oliver speak at the TED conference, I was absolutely blown away at this one fact he pointed out, “Americans spend $150 billion in health care related to obesity alone.” Obesity is not even the #1 killer in our country which is heart disease. There is no reason we should be spending $150 BILLION on something that is totally preventable. Watching Jamie’s talk and watching his show Food Revolution has gotten me fired up and passionate about bringing that $150 billion number down. BUT, as much as Jamie is doing a fabulous thing, real change is only going to happen if each one of us start making those healthy changes in our daily lives and in our communities.

So, to help spark some fun and adventure in eating healthier, inspired by episode #2 of Food Revolution, I created, “I tried something new” which basically encourages people to take a tiny action and try something new like a new food, recipe, attitude, or habit. I also created free web badges and encourage my fellow bloggers, tweeters, and facebookers to post new things they have tried in an effort to eat healthier. Every Tuesday and Friday on Noshtopia, I share what new things I’m trying myself because I like to walk my talk. Here’s some of the new things I’ve tried so far.

More importantly, no one should die or be ill because of a diet related disease. Again, it’s totally preventable! Eating wellness became such an important part of my life because I had so many of my own health issues, and learning what worked and didn’t work for my body has helped me beyond words. I blog to share my experiences to help others discover what works for them.

Your advice to other women wanting to live a healthier life, how do you make those first steps? any suggestions?: One of my favorite sayings is, “Just pull the ship out of the harbor and get sailing. You can course correct later.” If you’re like me, I used to do all kinds of planning and make all kinds of declarations like, “I’m starting on Monday.” Then, several Mondays would come and go, and then I’d be like, “Okay, really this is it! I’m creating a plan and Monday I start!”

There is no magic day to start and you don’t need complex plans, just start now even with tiny actions like just walk for 10 minutes or drink one less soda a day. Pull your ship out of the harbor because you won’t reach your goal or any goal for that matter if you are sitting at the dock. I used to get caught up with having to have a “plan” before I started as I was worried I’d make mistakes. As I mentioned above, I’m a big fan of tiny actions as a way to make big changes long term, and starting with just tiny adjustments and can work wonders to get the momentum started and to help build confidence that you are making some successes albeit small…it’s better than doing zero.

Our culture has trained us that bigger, faster, and instant is the best way to success and really if it was, more of us would be healthier and happier. Learning patience and self-kindness is a way to make changes without pain and suffering and help make those changes stick long term. It’s also way more enjoyable as life should be a bowl of cherries instead of endless baby carrots.


Happy Birthday Stephanie!!


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