Bio: Tara is a certified Holistic Health Coach (HHC) specializing in emotional eating & “spiritual” food, lifestyle entrepreneur, motivational speaker, author, TV personality, and philanthropist.
Tara is a sassy, ambitious, self-care maven from the Hudson Valley, N.Y. Tara is the founder of Divine Lifestyles and taramagalski.com. Divine Lifestyles is a multi-media healthy lifestyle brand that provides tools to feed your spirit, mind & body by creating content that educates, inspires and transforms.
As the creator of Divine Lifestyles, a weekly podcast and Healing is Hot TV, Tara’s mission is to create a platform to share her experiences with others who seek to live a happy, healthier, and purpose driven life. Whether struggling with a lack of energy, anxiety, major life change, addiction or weight loss, she has got it covered. Tara has developed a program for addicts in recovery using nutrition and wellness as a recovery tool and method of relapse prevention. She believes that nutrition should be at the core of all addiction and destructive lifestyle recovery.
Tara discovered that “health” is more than just eating kale, juicing, and working out. Her philosophy is that EVERYTHING IS FOOD. True “health” means looking at the whole picture, including all aspects of our lives: having a career we’re passionate about, engaging in fulfilling relationships, establishing a spiritual foundation, indulging in regular self-care, eating right, exercising, and most importantly giving back. When these primary foods are balanced, what you eat becomes secondary.
Tara has been featured on FOX 5 LIVE, as a health expert, & CNBC.
Zephan: Hello, everyone, this is Zephan Blaxberg with another episode of the year of Purpose podcast. And today, I have my friend Tara Magalski, and Tara is a certified holistic health coach specializing in emotional eating and spiritual food. Lifestyle entrepreneur, motivational speaker, author, TV personality, and philanthropist, she is a sassy, ambitious self-care maven from the Hudson Valley, New York, and she is the founder of Divine Lifestyles and taramagalski.com. Divine Lifestyles is a multimedia healthy lifestyle brand that provides tools to feed your spirit, mind, and body by creating content that educated, inspires, and transforms, and she’s been featured on Fox 5 Live as a health expert and CNBC and today she is joining us.
Tara, how’s it going today?
Tara: Hello, hello! Thank you so much for having me!
Zephan: No problem. So it’s—we’ve been kind of catching up every now and then and it’s really good to speak with you today and see how things are going. So tell me this, what is new in the life of Tara and the life of Divine Lifestyles?
Tara: Okay, alright, where should we start? What’s new? I’ve got a lot of cool projects in the works, and as you know, being a fellow entrepreneur, you’re always creating something new and exciting, and I am in the process of writing my very first book called Let Your Mess Be Your Message, and it is how we take our experiences and let them shape our voice. So I just started writing this, so as you know, things will change as I go down the line here, but hopefully that will be available next year.
And I’m creating some really cool digital products. A cleanse, something that I’ve worked with my clients for a couple years. I’m gonna take that online and do a video series with that. And I’m also creating an eight week program, Nutrition for Addiction. I’m playing around with the name, but it’s basically another signature program that I’ve used with clients and I’m gonna turn that into a digital product.
Zephan: Very cool! So tell me kinda where your idea for this book started? Because I’m really interested in that topic. That sounds really unique.
Tara: Yeah, uh—well, I’ve been writing a lot and blogging. And I’ve had some great feedback and you know that I also have a podcast and I just love sharing stories. So I love to highlight people on my podcast that have stories of healing and transformation. So it got me into wanting to write. So I just started writing and scribbling and my coaches and my boyfriends were really pushing me. They said “Just write a book. You need to just put everything in one place.” so I started that, and I hope people will want to read it!
Zephan: I’m sure they absolutely will! I mean, it sounds like it’s something where you’re both discovering your own voice and helping other’s discover theirs too, is that right?
Tara: Yeah, absolutely. It’s about—so it’ll be a lot about my journey and my story and transitioning into the entire journey up until the moment the pen stops writing on the paper. But it’s more of a self-help and has tips and tools, nutrition tips, lifestyle tips. How we allow our own experiences shape who we are and really stepping into that authenticity.
Zephan: That’s awesome. And so you had a unique experience that has kind of shaped where your life has gone in the past couple of years, and it’s been interesting just to see your journey and where things are going. But I love to share with the Year of Purpose tribe and everybody listening in just a little bit about how you got to this point. Because right now, obviously, you are self-employed, you’ve got some amazing new freedoms, and these things obviously don’t happen overnight. But often in most cases, it takes a relatively major event in your life, right, to kind of have you hit that reset button and say it’s time to make a change. So I’m curious to hear from you a little bit about your experience and what was it for you where you really said “Alright, I’m not really doing the things that I should be doing,” and how you found out what you really should do?
Tara: Yeah, yeah. I mean, that’s a good question. That is the question right, what is that catalyst moment? For me, it was—I’m not gonna say it was a series of moments, but it definitely had a lot to do with both of my parents having struggles. My mother had passed away when I was twenty-seven. That was about seven and a half years ago now, and I was on a completely different trajectory for my life. I was acting and modeling fulltime. And I was super excited to move to LA, and I was planning to move to LA in September of 2008 and I was just doing movies and my life was very different. I just was not at all in this self-help healing space. I was very much in entertainment.
And then when my mother did pass away, through a combination of pills, that was very sudden. I—you know, the rug was definitely pulled from out underneath my feat. And I’ll also share that my father was also using drugs and we had already known he’d been on drugs and he’d been in and out of rehab up until the point that my mother passed away for about five years. So I was already struggling a little bit with, you know “Okay, this I my reality with my father,” because it was like a later in life onset of drug use. It wasn’t when I was growing up. So it was as if everything I had lived up until that point wasn’t really real, you know what I mean?
After my mother passed and I realized there was definitely negligence on her part, she was definitely popping pills, but it was a combination of prescription pills that actually was the deadly factor. And I always like to share this because I think people need to know. She was taking Chantix, which is a non-smoking drug, and any type of Vicodin or generic form of Vicodin, Wellbutrin, and Xanax can be deadly. And I know three people, personally, who have died from that combination. They go to sleep and they do not wake up because the brain is completely suppressed that you actually forget—your brain forgets to tell your lungs to breathe, and you suffocate in your sleep.
So I always like to share that tidbit because I feel like people really need to know, anybody who’s listening needs to know if they have a family member, to please tell them to stop taking it or do some more research.
But yeah, that was when I shifted. That’s when my shift took place. And so it was a culmination, like I said, of seeing my father struggle and then losing my mother where I had a big wakeup call. And I realized, suffering with depression for about two years, my health really suffered a lot. I always knew how to eat, I always knew how to work out. I was a dancer and I was in the health industry, per se—I worked out and stuff, I was a dancer—so I kinda knew what to do. I wasn’t doing it and I really suffered with my health. And I was very underweight and I was very depressed. So that was a wakeup call for me to go back to school and to learn about how to heal your body naturally and how to heal yourself with whole foods.
And that completely turned my life around, and that’s how Divine Lifestyles was birthed!
Zephan: That’s awesome. And so—really quick, just jumping back, I just want to say that it always saddens me to hear that someone has to go through a huge life change to like want to make that change in yourself. It’s a shame that it comes at the cost of seeing someone else’s pain, right. And so I’m curious to hear from you, do you have just any advice for anyone who perhaps has not gone through an extreme lifestyle shift, but understands that they could be taking care of their body better, they could be taking care of their mind or their spirit better. What if you were to go back before those things happened and give advice to your younger self? What could we say to people who, while they may not have had this huge event go on in their life, but they still want a desire to change—what could you tell them?
Tara: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So interesting when we look back, right, we see everything so clearly. I would say your health is the most important thing and your health needs to be your top priority. And a lot of times, we just don’t think of our health, right, because we’re young and we go, we go, we go. We think that we’re never going to get sick. And our lifestyle choices, we need to really think clearly about our lifestyle choices.
Before, what I would tell my younger self is I was living a really fast paced lifestyle. Late nights, early mornings, lots of drinking, lots of eating out dinners, and really not staying grounded and being grounded in anything. I was kind of moving really fast. I was kind of addicted to the fast paced lifestyle, where you play hard, you work hard. So I would tell anyone who’s listening, start asking yourself those questions. Do you fall into those categories? Because I find a lot of times with the clients I work with now, everybody has something that is a little bit out of alignment or out of balance, whether they’re working too much—they’re addicted to working. Whether it’s going out and partying, whether it’s having lots of girlfriends, whether it’s emotionally eating.
So we all can have these imbalances in our lives and we just have to ask ourselves those simple questions. Am I living the best life that I can live? How do I feel after I eat certain foods? Do I have a daily self-care practice? Do I have a spiritual foundation? Do I have healthy relationships in my life that are serving me?
That was a really big one for me, because I had to really cut out certain people in my life that were not serving me. That was really huge because I got stuck in a lot of destructive behavioral patterns, and I couldn’t break them until I broke the friendships.
So I would say just start asking yourself those questions. And of course, a lot of people, by the time they come to me, they already have been suffering, so they’re either seeing a physical manifestation of their emotional state—whatever it is, they’re either underweight, they’re gaining lots of weight and they can’t get the weight off—or they’re suffering with some sort of depression and kind of mediocracy, like lackluster—they don’t have that spark for life anymore. So they end up coming to you after the damage is already kind of been done, where if you start asking yourself those basic questions, you can avoid it.
It’s interesting, because Tony Robins says this, and I like to say this: “Change usually comes from inspiration or desperation.” And I always say let’s try and have those life altering moments come from inspiration rather than having those painful situations. If we can start—I would say self-improvement, right—start working on your self-improvement in all the areas of your life. Start asking yourself those questions, start asking the deeper questions in life. You know, what am I here for? What is my passion and purpose? Am I living in alignment with my core values? Am I living in alignment with my truth? Or am I just taking the job, paying the bills, drinking the Kool-Aid and am I really fulfilled, you know?
Zephan: Yeah! Well, it’s like are you continuing to live the fast life and distracting yourself form your real life? And I think that you brought up a really good point that a lot of things going on externally really do take a toll on your body internally. So if you’re having stomach issues, if you’re having headaches, pain—even if your mind is just kinda foggy or clouded, that all can be a direct result of the things going on in your life.
I was just curious, real quick, to hear what were some of the characteristics of the people that you decided were not good to keep around you?
Tara: Negative. Negative, limiting beliefs. People who were in habits of drinking, socially, many times during the week. That was something for me that I had to cut out. I had—all week drinking had to go. I had to give myself some really, really strong boundaries. Because—another thing I would say is people who are energy suckers. People who come into your life and really take and they’re not really filling you back up. You know, the friends that really need a lot of your energy that don’t always serve you or want to—you know, we all have them.
Tara: So it’s just getting really clear on the people that you want to be around. Because we really are the sum of the five people that we hang out with the most. So who do you want to be like? Are you hanging out with people that you admire? That you want to strive to be? And are they nourishing you?
Zephan: [cut in] I love this episode so far, and I want to take a brief moment to talk about improving yourself each day. I know you’re a huge fan of living life on your own terms, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my journey, we need to constantly grow and look to others who have been in our shoes, which is why I’ve partnered up with Audible to give you one free download of your choice from over a hundred and eighty thousand books. Start your free thirty days trial but visiting yearofpurpose.com/audible. Now back to the show.
Zephan: That’s a pretty fair question. I can definitely relate. I did have to make these changes in my own life when I first started to do things and you really have to stop and look around at who you’re spending time with and who you’re spending your time on. Because I think that I had found that some people around me were asking for my time, but weren’t exactly—there wasn’t really a friendship. We all have those people who just continually ask us for favors. And sometimes we have to cut them out because we don’t get to do enough favors for ourselves. And so there is that factor of taking care of yourself and it’s very tough, because obviously as human beings, we’re non-confrontational, we don’t want to cut people out of our lives, we love to interact with people. But it’s something that you do have to do, so thank you, so much, for sharing that.
Tell me about food and how this heals. Because I know personally, I’ve been a huge fan of if I get sick, the first place I go is to the supermarket and I pick out certain food items. So I’m always the first one to go to food instead of medicine and I’d love to hear just a little bit of your perspective on what types of things are you eating maybe throughout the week? What are you doing if you kind of feel a cold coming on to try and prevent one, or if you get one you know how to kick it? We’d love to hear that from you.
Tara: Yeah. Food—let thy food be thy medicine, right. That is—I always have gone to that first. If you’re not feeling well, a lot of things that we have, any problems in our stomach, digestive system, gas, bloating—all of our gut health is usually the root of most sicknesses. And you can really heal that through having certain types of foods. Anti-inflammatory foods. And I always bring my clients through a series of a whole food based cleanse when we start working together, just so I could see—for each person it’s a little bit different, but just to give you like a broad sweep, of course I have clients remove dairy or fine sugars, processed foods and some animal proteins, depending on what their symptoms are. Because that’s a really good way to gauge “Okay, what is happening?” where is the inflammation coming from? Is it an allergy to something? Obviously, gluten free. And really just amping up a plant based diet. Those are just like broad strokes, but they’re great for everybody. You really can’t do wrong with that to start there and then you tweak depending on someone’s—their independent case.
But plant-based diet, I do that. I try and do 805 of that every day. I juice, I try and get those greens in. I cold press, and also I do smoothies. I supplement. Supplement is really, really key for me because I’ve been trying to go vegan. I’m not 100% there. Everyone always says “Oh, you’re vegan!” I say “I try.” Sometimes my body says—I need to have red meat probably every couple months. And I also need to have fish as well, but I go through phases where I go on my vegan cleanses. I do that usually for maybe thirty days to three months, and then I see how my body is feeling and reacting.
But it’s really about getting in tuned with what your body needs, because your body’s gonna tell you. So I help my clients just fine tune that and connect the dots. “Okay, so, this is how you felt when you were eating these foods. Now how do you feel? Do you have more energy?” and then connecting the dots so that everyone can be their own food detective, really.
Zephan: You brought up something important there that I think—maybe I forgot to bring up before, but inflammation is a huge deal. And inflammation actually—I’ve been reading more and more research in the last month that inflammation can have a huge correlation to depression, to anxiety, to panic attacks, to a lot of things that I went through in my teenage years. And I know that my diet was terrible back then. Very high in gluten, which I do have a bit of a sensitivity to right now. Very high in dairy products, in fast food, in things that are just not good for your body. And so I’m really glad that you brought up inflammation. So, just for everybody listening in, food does really affect the inflammation inside of our bodies, and inflammation really does affect the things going on in our brains and in our mind.
Tara: Yeah, and on that point, I work with—I have a partner right now, and we work with Silver Living Facilities, and we really look at how to use nutrition as recovery—like relapse and recovery—recovery and relapse prevention. So basically, how to we take nutrition and show them that it’s so important? It’s just a huge impact on how you’re gonna feel. So if you’re already depressed and you’re on pills and you’re numbing ourself, how are these foods really going to affect you? I mean, you can have chemical imbalances just from certain foods that you’re eating. You can get depressed if you have processed foods that have red dyes, you get more agitated. If you have too much sugar and you’re spiking and then you’re crashing, you’re gonna feel low, a lull in your body.
So food is so important. And so we’re looking at creating some programs now for addicts. So it’s really exciting. It’s kind of like the final piece that I feel that people really need when they’re recovering. And also with young women who have eating disorders as well.
Zephan: That’s awesome. You’re really sharing something special with people. And I think that we don’t put as high of a value on food as we really should.
So moving on just a little bit—I know that food is probably a huge part of living a, quote unquote, divine lifestyle for you. What is—what are all the aspects of a divine lifestyle? I saw you just posted a video on Facebook, I think a few hours ago, like dancing in New York with this old guy in the middle of the street just having a blast and a good time. So like, I think people see that type of a lifestyle and they’re like “Man, I really wish I could be there,” and you and I both know that it’s really not all that complicated. We just tend to make it complicated. So just want to hear from you, what is a divine lifestyle to you and what does that mean and how do we get there?
Tara: Yeah. Well, it all started really for me when I was struggling to really find my purpose and to find my passion and to find my calling. Like I said, after my mother passed, I really was not living in alignment with my core truth. I thought I was, and then after having a deeper understanding of who I was and getting more in tune and connected with God and spirituality, I realized “Wow, I really am not living the life that I feel like I’m called to live. So that’s where Divine Lifestyles came from. It came from deep mediation and prayer on who am I, why am I here, what am I called to bring forth. I know that I’m here to do something special and I’m not sure what that is. So I was asking those questions. And for me, it was about really stepping into a balanced, harmonious, healthy life. Spirit, mind, and body. And connecting those dots.
Because, like I said, it’s one thing to feel good, it’s another thing to just look good. You want to feel beautiful and wonderful and fit from the inside, and that doesn’t just come by restricting yourself on calories. You’ve gotta go in, you’ve gotta dive deep, and you have to do the work.
So for me, that’s’ what Divine Lifestyles is. It encapsulates all those parts of one’s self. Having a spiritual practice or foundation, having healthy relationships, have a career that you’re passionate about. Giving back. Such a big part of who I am is my philanthropic efforts where I’m able to create a life of freedom now where I can give back. That’s such a part of who I am, expressing who I am. Living in alignment with your core values. Speaking your truth without—with no apologies. I always say unapologetic truth telling and creating sacred spaces for truth telling. That’s, to me, part of a divine lifestyle.
Because I see a lot of people, especially online, and they want to create these images of how things look and how they want it to look. Smoke and mirrors. Which I get it. I get it. Put it out there so I can manifest it. But I really feel like I’m called to speak truth. Speak truth into people’s lives, have them be able to be in a space where they can reveal and speak their truths. And that’s really where—it’s all stemmed from that. And then I’ve been able to—I’ve been fortunate enough to have live events, teaching under the gamut of life skills to nutrition to working with people on different behavioral issues, like psychology of eating and behavioral issues. Addiction. So it’s kind of evolved. It’s definitely evolved into something much deeper.
I started out in coaching practice five years ago working with busy professionals who wanted to lose weight. And just by staying true to the core values of what I believe I wanted to represent, it’s evolved into something really, really special. So I create the podcast and everything else just to keep sharing and sharing and sharing and…to be honest, I’m continually discovering. Continuing to discover who I am and what I want to bring forth.
Zephan: And that is huge in staying true to yourself. Because—in just a quick, I guess, reveal of things I don’t tell too many people quite often, I used to be a competitive bowler. I used to do ten pin bowling and travel the country in tournaments, and I think that one of the most important things that my coach ever taught me was, when I got upset or angry over a bad game or a bad competition, she would come up to me and say “Go back to basics.”
And I think that’s so true. Go back to the basics of what do you know to be true right now in this moment? What do you know that you enjoy doing right now? What do you know that you dislike doing right now? And start with that. Because if you don’t have that foundation set up, you really have nothing to go off of. And at the end of the day, I think that whatever that foundation is, it’s built into you in a way where when you start to follow that path, things just kind of fall into place. Like most of the time. Or at least way better than it does when you’re like “Eh, I’ll just try this.” And so that was something that I’ve noticed personally and I’m sure you felt it too, just with things kind of clicking when you start to do the stuff that really aligns with the person you want to be.
So that’s just a little tidbit there most people don’t know. I don’t tell them that I did bowling, because I used to be very overweight, so I was like the only sport that I could actually do because it didn’t require running. You took about six or seven steps and the action was done. So it’s not like football, having to run around on a field or anything.
But yeah, I think that there is quite too often a time where we will be the first ones to jump onto Facebook and to publish something just to make people think that our life is all smoke and mirror sand perfect. And it’s time to start being truthful and being vulnerable and being open. I just had a talk with someone the other day who was saying “When we were in high school, that wasn’t the cool thing to do,” like being vulnerable and open about your feelings and like a guy telling another guy what’s going on with him. It just didn’t happen. And I think that’s what sets so many people up for having this problem, don’t you?
Tara: You know, I went through it. I get it. I went through it, I drank the Kool-Aid, I listened to all the societal ideals. “This is what you should do. This is the way you look. This is the way you act.” I get it. I came from a small town and most people from where I’m from, that’s what they do. They get married young, they have kids, and they follow that course. I was lucky enough to have a bit of an awakening and really pave, I think, a bit of my own path. And it’s not easy. It’s definitely not easy. And you know, when you set out and you are yourself, and you step into your power and you just put yourself out there, people can not be as responsive as you would prefer.
Some people have a lot to say, and that’s fine to. You have to realize that just—I love Marianne Williamson, what she says, “Who are you not to shine as bright as you can? You give others permission to be the light when you can’t step into your own.” Something along those lines. But it’s so true, and that’s what we have to do. We have to support each other. Because you live once, and live is short. And I know that I had to fight a lot for my happiness. It didn’t come to me easily. I was not taught that people were happy. I saw a lot of pain, I saw a lot of struggle, and a lot of heartache. And that was what I saw for most of my life. And I fought to get on the other side of that. And I’m not gonna give that up for anything else. It’s not for anyone.
Zephan: That’s awesome. So tell me, what is the name of your podcast? Where can people find it? What should they be looking for on your website? Things like that.
Tara: Yeah, yeah! So the podcast is Divine Lifestyles with Tara Magalski, Transforming Your Life with Purpose. And I interview people from addicts, family members who have addicts in their family to people who have amazing transformational stories of losing weight. Out of body experiences, near death experiences. And the whole purpose is to share powerful stories of healing and transformation, give really cool tips of how you can—if someone is struggling, so daily care tips. Self-care, daily practices to different coaching tips, depending on who I’m interviewing. Because I think it’s really interesting because everybody has their own story and everyone has their own struggles. And some people are going to resonate with your story, my story—so I just really wanted to create a space where people can have an unapologetic truth telling, create a sacred space of sharing and really become a resource whenever people who are struggling or need motivation.
You can check out my website, taramagalski.com. That’s—you’ll put it up there for people to see. On my site, I have my YouTube videos, I have my podcasts, and I also share a bit about emotional eating. So if you sign up there, guys, you will get a free emotional eating—10 Simple Steps to Overcome Emotional Eating. And also I just ask that anyone who’s listening that enjoys—that checks me out and is kind of feeling my mission and into what I’m up to to definitely reach out and definitely rate and review the podcast, because that’s huge, as you know, to really stay relevant in this online world. We need people to engage a bit. So I just ask that if anybody check it out, if you dig it, just subscribe, and let me know that you’re there! Because I love connecting with people online.
Zephan: Yeah, awesome. And thanks so much for spending some time with us today. It’s—I just want to add to that that far too many people listen to the podcast and don’t realize that we’re just real people like you too and so it’s always amazing to—you know, I woke up this morning and had an email from somebody who I’ve never met before and found the podcast. So definitely reach out to Tara if you’ve heard this episode or checked out her podcast or website, and say hi and tell her where you’re at in life and what your dreams are.
And with that, I think we’ll say thanks so much for being here and we’ll definitely talk to you again soon.
Tara: Thank you. Thank you for having me, dear.