{FOF Woman of The Week} Staness Jonekos

I’ve known Staness Jonekos for four years and I’ve never met a woman quite like her.

She’s (really) smart. (Really) beautiful. (Really) real. Giving. Honest. Forthright. Determined. And she has a generous spirit. Since most of you won’t have the privilege to meet her in person, meet her here. Her new book, Eat Like A Woman (and never diet again), is as smart as she is.

Staness wants every single girl and woman to benefit from the scientific knowledge she’s amassed over the years about nutrition, health and fitness. She’s a true women’s health advocate and her biggest reward is our happiness and well being.

When did you get married?

I got married, for the first time, at 47, to my Prince Charming. It took 47 years to become the person I wanted to be, so I could attract a man who was a partner, not someone to fill the voids in my life. It was his kind heart and generous nature that won me over—plus he is so sexy! We’ve been married nine years.

What does your husband do?

He’s a composer and photographer. The song he wrote for the movie “Crash” was nominated for an Oscar. We had a blast attending the ceremony and talking to Meryl Streep, James Franco, Sandra Bullock, Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, and many other celebrities.

Where did you grow up?

My father was an Air Force pilot, so we moved eight times before I graduated high school. We lived in Morocco, Germany, and many states.

Schooling?

After winning Junior Miss/Sumter South Carolina, I won a scholarship for college. I spent my first two years at Napa Junior College so I could save all my winnings to attend UCLA, where I majored in theater. That led to a 25-year career in television.

What are your favorite physical activities?

I was born with too much energy, and physical activities actually help calm me. I love ballet, horseback riding, jogging, daily yoga and hiking, but I now suffer from a number of joint injuries which prevent me from participating in these activities. Fortunately, l love swimming and spinning, and have an elliptical when I can’t get to a class. I also sail and enjoy walking the dogs, both fun activities that also burn calories.

Define your personal style.

Anyone who knows me will be holding their breath as I answer this question. I don’t own a blow dryer, never use an iron or a dry cleaner, hate shopping and getting my hair done. My style is revealed daily by what outfit is closest to the closet door, which is usually a pair of jeans, t-shirt, and Clarks sandals (good for my ankle injury). However, a friend, who is a professional stylist, dragged me to the mall the other day and I now own a few stylish, simple outfits. I feel good in them and hope they remain closest to my closet door.

What are a favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner?

My favorite special-treat breakfast is French toast on Challah bread with maple syrup, turkey sausages and Nespresso coffee.

I usually eat dinner leftovers for lunch, so my all-time favorite lunch/dinner is a Lithuanian dish called Klasky’s, which my grandmother made on special occasions. It’s a dumpling stuffed with ground spam (my grandparents came from poor families), boiled then lightly fried in butter and served with sour cream. To this day, anything with sour cream makes me think of Klasky’s. Not naturally a big eater, I have to force myself to take time to eat, except for Klasky’s.

Do you take vitamins and supplements?

I’m not a pill person, and prefer to get my nutrients from food. I do give attention to getting Omega-3 from salmon, calcium from yogurt or cottage cheese, vitamin D from sunshine, to support bone and joint health.

Do you ever splurge on foods that may not be great for you?

YES! If I go shopping hungry, you will find cookies or anything with frosting in the cart. If I’m feeling blue I will grab anything with chocolate. I enjoy a sweet treat every day after dinner, so it never becomes an object of desire. It’s a small portion. This is eating like a woman!

Tell us one woman you most admire and why?

I admire Betty Friedan, the author of The Feminine Mystique, who said it’s not OK to observe when you can participate for something that you believe is right. I will forever be grateful for her courage to take a stand for women’s rights, despite criticism from both men and women. Her fearlessness to create change has given women today opportunities that didn’t exist 50 years ago.

What is your favorite place to travel and why?

I don’t have a favorite place, because I love adventure and that only exists when exploring new areas. Third world locations are usually top of my list. My spirit is stimulated when I’m learning a new language, exploring new cultures and foods, navigating in a world without roads, signs or cell signals. My dad taught me the most important thing in life is to connect with people, that engaging is at the heart of the human experience, and I agree.

[Read: Start eating like a woman]

[Read: {FOF Woman of the Week} Grieving Mother of MH370 Passenger]

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