Yes, You Can! 7 Strategies to Empower, Evolve, and Transform Your Life: Part 5

Yes You Can! Part 5-Transformation: The Evolution of Lifestyle Changes

October 24, 2016   |     West Now Home

By Linda Garza Kalaf

The content herein is that of the author and does not reflect the position or opinion of Western International University (West). This article is shared with the West community through our collaboration with Prospanica (previously known as the National Society of Hispanic MBAs), Phoenix Chapter.

Part 5 - Transformation:
The Evolution of Wellness and Wholeness Equals Lifestyle Changes 

Highlight: This article includes multiple activities, Be Your BEST Goal Setting Template and Action Plans. This transformation will help you connect the dots between mind, body and spirit and become your personal and physical best.

The evolution of health and wellness has truly transformed me and my family. In early 2014, a dear friend of mine, Jackie, asked if I could meet her at Barnes and Noble café. She wanted to catch up and share some ideas. We hadn’t met in a while and I thought it was a great idea.

As Jackie wandered into the café, I shared this information with her about Dr. Perlmutter’s book and the need to get serious about health and wellness. She said, “Fabulous, that’s what my idea is about.” She knew a young naturopathic doctor who was starting her practice and wanted to create some wellness classes for a group of women—and would I like to be a part of this group. Yes, I loved the idea-it’s time for a change! Thus the formation of a Women’s Empowerment and Wellness group was created. The timing was perfect. All of the dots were starting to connect.

We truly made it a family affair. Along with Jackie, my sisters, my niece and I began this wellness journey together by joining the Women’s Empowerment and Wellness group. We were fortunate to have our mom participate in the classes as well. With her health and successful life, Mom could have facilitated the classes! Mom’s secrets to healthy living include lots of vegetables, eating slowly, and enjoying meals, as well as a strong spiritual connection and taking time to pray and meditate.

The Women’s Empowerment and Wellness classes were facilitated by a naturopathic doctor who spoke about different topics that met the needs of the demanding lifestyles of the participants. Workshop topics included:

1. An Introduction: Getting the right motivation for the right results!

2. Mind-Body Medicine

3. Inflammation (derived from a Latin word, ─źnflamm┼Ź, “ignite; set alight”)

4. Stress!

5. Diet and Exercise–What’s REALLY Important?

6. Metabolism

These workshops were enlightening to say the least. I now understand that chronic inflammation causes obesity/weight gain, arthritis, headaches, and many other diseases. I realized it was time to take matters and responsibility for my health and well-being into my own hands. It’s time to get proactive! It’s time for change!

Relationships With Food Do Matter. It’s been said that health usually begins with either a crisis or vanity. It is important to listen to your body and seek help from a health care professional. True transformation has been made possible by making the commitment to lifestyle changes. I had established a series of lifelong eating choices and habits that were no longer serving my body. The foods were not bringing anything to the relationship, and I had to break up with unhealthy lifestyle choices. I began to realize that all good relationships require honesty, listening, nurturing and authentic interest; the same is true with food relationships. I had to get real about the food I was eating. Learning more and more about nutrients, good fats vs. bad fats, and overall healthy eating literally became a new authentic interest for me.

Selecting the best foods to love, nurture and heal my body took on a whole new meaning and became FUN! I was being transformed. Healthy eating incorporated with regular exercise and daily meditation have definitely helped bring the circle of wellness together. Mind, body and spirit--the dots are truly connecting. I recently saw a sign in front of a Whole Foods health store, “Treat your body like it belongs to someone you love.” This rings so true.

Having a support team, whether it is family members, friends, or health care professionals, is important. TEAM is the key word. We build ourselves up with positive people, positive energy, positive thoughts and positive action. I have a support group that is second to none.

What is also key is not only the importance of relationships, but communication. These are lessons that continue to resonate throughout my life. I believe part of this new evolution of medicine is open and honest communication between patients and physicians. Trust is the first step; most importantly, patients must take ownership of their own health and well-being. This too is part of the evolution of medicine, evolution of living, evolution of people and taking responsibility for the choices we make.

The doors have opened widely to the wealth of information that is available to individuals who are seeking health and wellness. With the advances of technology and social media, there are so many resources available nowadays, it is unbelievable!

Congratulations on your journey so far. It’s time to reflect and set your goals and action into place.

Activity:  Be Your BEST Goal Setting Template and Action Plans

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Look for Part 6 — Empowerment: Evolving Through Transition and Leaving Your Legacy — to post soon. Watch our West Facebook page, or visit for our latest posts.

Read more of our 7-part series:


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Linda Garza Kalaf, MAOM, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, GPHR, is a Human Resources professional with over 30-years of experience in the airline and ground transportation industries and is a Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional and Global Professional in Human Resources. She has a steadfast belief in supporting the community and has served on local, state and national boards related to diversity & inclusion, education, leadership and mentoring, including the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) (now known as Prospanica). She was one of the NSHMBA Phoenix Chapter’s founding members and chapter president, and went on to serve as the national vice chair. She was inducted into the NSHMBA Executive Circle in 1998 for continuous service on the local and national levels. Her mission is to help others with their personal and professional development in order to reach their full potential.

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