Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday with Friends of Tassels: #2

What Tina Tassels Taught Me About Health

I can still remember that fourth grade day when Tina and I were sat next to each other on the first day of school, thanks to my last name starting with a C and her’s a D. She commented on my Reeboks, “Those are nice shoes.” It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that my heart kinda soared.

I have always been deeply self conscious, like most of us, I suppose. My Reeboks were plain, white Reeboks. I’m not sure why Tina Tassels liked them so much, but the fact that anyone liked something I was wearing was very exciting to me.

Tina and I have always joked that we are opposites. I’m dark haired and she’s a blonde, I have dark eyes and she has “dolphin blue” eyes. She’s shorter, I’m taller. All physical traits, yes, but on a deeper level we are very different, too.

When I think of Tina I think of someone animated, full of life, funny, and excited about pretty much everything. Tina jumps into things and experiences them fully. She doesn’t let much scare her, or at least she doesn’t let it seem that way and she doesn’t let it hold her back. She’s never been someone who was flaky or phony, and she is always really good at calling out when other people are being flaky or phony.

While saying that I haven’t jumped into certain experiences fully, or that I can’t be animated, or excited about life isn’t entirely true, it doesn’t seem to be the way I approach things most of the time. I’ve always let my self doubts hinder my expression and steal my excitement.

Because of this I would say that life has always felt difficult to me. Tina has thought of me as being negative at times. I used to lack energy, and until I really understood health, food, and how energy works, I didn’t understand why. I always wondered why I didn’t have the gusto for life that Tina does.

Looking back, I realize that my lack of energy was not just an issue of poor physical health but also in large part to a lack of expression and creativity.

I have been working as a nutritionist for years, holding people’s hands on their way to a healthy diet and lifestyle only to see in myself and those that I work with that when people cannot express themselves authentically or be creative nothing else matters.

The greatest nutrition in the world can’t save a stifled spirit. I have routinely found myself back in similar situations in my life because shutting down creatively is a tendency that I have. I never see it coming until I’m in too deep. I’m not sure why, but it’s just the rut that I seem to fall into.

When I notice that I’m wearing the same stupid yoga pants every day, eating the same thing for dinner night after night, and only look forward to my husband coming home from work that day, I’m in a rut.

When I find myself in such a rut, I think of Tina, and how disappointed she would be in me. I mean this in the best way possible, because I admire Tina’s authentic self expression and creativity. I always have.

I’ve realized over the years that the more expressive I am with my writing, with my work, in my relationships, the happier I am. The lighter I feel. My life is more colorful and feels more like a dance rather than dragging my feet from one obligation to another.

Creative expression repressed is a dead end. It will bring you ill health, unhappiness, and torn relationships, even if you eat the healthiest diet on the planet, meditate, and work out everyday. A thriving creative life is evidence of a strong mind, heart, and body flowing with life force and full of power.

Creativity feeds and fuels the soul. It brings the kind of health that makes life rich, sweet, exciting, and beautiful. It is the joy of participating in life to the fullest. I’m lucky to have a good friend who has been such a great example of authentic creative expression to me.


I know what you're thinking "Tina, this is all about you of course you would share it," but that's not all it is. Of course I cried reading it for the first time while sitting in a pizzerria but I got over the compliments quickly and fell in love with the message. I found it so important especially due to the times we are living in. We are sadly consumed with making money (because lets face it, the times are tough) that we are sacrificing so much of what is important to us just to get our bills paid. It is a difficult time for artistic expression and money making to exist simultaneaously. Most of us are working jobs that aren't wowing us, ones that we don't even want to wake up for. I for one am not LOVING either of my bill paying jobs but I'm grateful to not dread going to them and I am thankful to even have them after almost a year of unemployment. I make sure to allow myself nights of performing, seeing shows (not as often as I should though), and even signing up for random dance classes here and there to keep me somewhat sane. I know years from now I'll remember my struggling days in NYC fondly, but living them right now is no easy feat!

I hope you enjoyed today's guest post. It was brought to you by one of my gorgeous NJ besties:

Marlena Torres is a certified clinical nutritionist who helps people around the world develop a healthy, nourishing, and indulgent lifestyle. Plant based nutrition, vegetable juicing, and holistic lifestyle practices are the cornerstone of her personal approach. Marlena is located in Lancaster, PA, and works with clients both locally and remotely. You can learn more about Marlena and her nutritional practice at marlenatorres.com


  1. This was great...last night I was timelinEd on Facebook..it made me see a post on my wall from you, Tina, telling me to stop so much and enjoy life..it was then I started.to reread all my posts...all consumed with work and negativity..now after some life changes I realize how much sooner I should have taken you're advice...I no longer slow work to run my life...I'm experiencing new amazing things daily and couldn't.be happier about my life... I think we get so caught up in the daily routine we forget to stop and embrace life

    1. Thanks for sharing Mr/Ms Anonymous :)
      I'm glad you're enjoying the little things...they usually make the biggest impact! <3