Baby Boomer Woman: Tina Turbin

by Anne Holmes on June 24, 2010

Meet NABBW member, Tina Turbin, children’s author (Danny the Dragon), writer, and major activist to increase awareness of Celiac Disease.

  • Using one paragraph, tell us a bit about yourself? I am a mother of three incredible children, a children’s author (Danny the Dragon), writer, humanitarian as well as a major activist towards the cause to increase awareness of Celiac Disease, as I am celiac.
  • Tell us about your family; married, divorced, children, grands, boomerangs or parents living with you, etc. I have been married for 29 years to the same man and father of all three of our children. It’s been work to make it what it is today.

  • What is your favorite childhood memory that is reminiscent of growing up in the 50s, 60s or 70s? My single father was a hippie in the 60’s. I was 7 years old sitting on the back of his “chopper” holding on for dear life, winding through Topanga Canyon on our way to meet Carol Connors (songwriter for the then to-be movie theme song ROCKY, and the Rescuers).

I felt on top of the world wearing my new flashy bell-bottoms, woven leather belt and tie-dyed shirt. He surprised me and took me to the live show, HAIR. Pretty wild for a 7 year old these days but very 60’s for that time.

  • What qualities do you have that speak of our generation of women? The drive and determination to make a decision, want it and go for it. The desire to have my own “game” and accomplish something of my own and call it my own. I meet so many women with dreams of their own.  I love it! For any woman who does not, I encourage this quality wholeheartedly.
  • What inspires you? Life all around me inspires me constantly.
  • What brings you the most pleasure in midlife? Accomplishing the things I set out to do. Accomplishing them despite any small or larger obstacles.
  • Do you have any interesting hobbies? Being that I am a children’s author, I am forever examining the world and getting ideas. I love to draw and paint and take painting lessons when I can squeeze them in. I love to hike, swim, and be in the outdoors — and Pilates.
  • Do you have a favorite book or movie? If so, tell us why it’s your favorite. I loved the book and movie both, Papillion. As a child it touched my heart in reading about this amazing man overcoming immense obstacles, one after the other-learning all the while. I still love to read about people making things go terrifically “right” in their lives.
  • Do you travel and if so, who are your favorite travel partners and where do you like to go? I do travel, but not enough. I love to travel with my family.  My 3 kids are older now and being with them is just alive, exciting and a constant pleasure or full of laughs. I used to travel even more when they were little. Boy that was a circus. Fun, but a real circus.

Currently I travel mostly with my husband. He LOVES to go anywhere and is an easy travel partner. I on the other hand, do not do as well with a constant change of time zones. I wish I did, but I do not. Being that I have Celiac Disease, I can not eat at just any restaurant down the street, so that is a bit of a juggle or more precisely, a hassle.

  • Do you practice preventive medicine? Please elaborate. I have a vitamin cabinet that could put any health-food store to shame. No, just kidding, but just about.

My husband and I are both into anti-aging, which essentially to me means doing the actions, and taking the supplements and addressing my life in ways to ensure I will have a high quality and long life. It is a bit of work, and it does not come natural to most women to take care of themselves, and I am one of them. With anti-aging YOU are important and you learn to adjust a few minor and major things in life, and learn that YOU are important.

I have learned to devote a bit of time to myself, my exercise, and be sure to purchase things I need and like too. We work with well educated anti-aging doctors, who read our labs every 6 months. At first it was every 3 months.

It really has helped tremendously, and I do think it is a very smart way to address life. Suzanne Somer’s book, Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones has many references to good doctors in the back of the book, as a side note.

  • What do you stress about? If I stress at all, it usually is about trying to fit it all in one day. I have to constantly remind myself, “There is a tomorrow Tina.” I used to stress about my kids, their happiness, their schools, and the people they’d befriend. They are all three very grounded now and I am thrilled with the direction they have taken with their lives . I guess all that mom-stress paid off.
  • Is it important for you to retain your youthful looks, and if so, to what degree are you willing to go? To be honest, it is. I do not want to look old, or older than I am, if I do not have to. I get a facial now and then, read up on nutrition and products to help my skin- and I really try and stay out of the sun. As a child, I lived in Hawaii, Puerto Rice and Malibu. I was a competitive swimmer all of my life, so out in the sun daily. The sun is damaging and it has long term effects- I am my worst witness.

Had I known what I do now, I’d have been more careful. I am afraid of and do not like the idea of medicines nor being put to sleep (anesthesia), so a face lift is not at all in my “bag of goodies,” for my future.

  • Have you re-invented yourself, and if so, how? Sort of, and not really. How’s that for contradiction! I am the same person I have been, have the same drive, interest in life and others- and children, of course. The change was knowing that when my kids were older it would be my time to go back to my dreams as an Artist/Author. That is exactly what I did. The only part of this dream I have not envisioned was the incredible support I have now from my kids, close friends and husband. They are my greatest fans.
  • Do you plan to retire? Never. I see people who retire wither away in relationships, health and purpose in living. My view is that they wake in the morning to nothing when they do not have a “game”. I love what I do too much. I awake excited to work, write and all else I do. The game can be anything- but “have a game” is my motto.
  • Are you doing anything to GO Green? I dehydrate foods (RAW food methods) and I do what I can to recycle clothing, appliances etc. I wish I had time to do more but I am so head-strong into a few other causes. Time limits me from doing more, unfortunately.
  • Do you engage in any faith based practices? I do. I feel that I am a spirit and I am blessed to be here now with all these people, races, animals, nature etc. I respect other’s beliefs, as long as it does not harm others. I feel respecting another’s beliefs and religion is important, and can take one very far in understanding as well as broadening ones horizon.
  • Can you pinpoint major turning points in your life that led to your life’s work/play at midlife? It was always a decision to do this when they kids were older and my time was freed up. I made this exact decision when my first was born. I looked at my newborn and knew I had a responsibility that I hadn’t anticipated, a love stronger than I dreamed and not only this, but I SO loved being a mom. It became my passion for near 28 years, and two more children.
  • Do you still have unfulfilled dreams, and are you doing anything to accomplish them? I really want to be able to draw and paint what I can imagine. I can visualize the most incredible pictures and scenes. I want to be able to paint these concepts of mine and have it convey the feelings and emotions I desire to share on the canvas. I have a way to go and this is unfinished business of mine.
  • How do you make a difference in the lives of others, your community, and your world? This is a terrific question and I am honored to share this. I have Celiac Disease( gluten intolerance) and it took  7 years to finally get diagnosed properly, after years of probing, mis-diagnosing and troubles physically and hormonally AKA: mentally. Now 7 years is on the low side for most to get diagnosed as the average time in the United States is 11 years!

When I finally sorted this out I dove into the area, started working in the area, and eventually created a terrific website to help others with issues with gluten or with Celiac Disease which is quite popular and active. I work hours each day on this, with gluten-free companies, gluten –free cook book authors, doctors chefs and public. I am on the lines to help raise awareness to the fact this situation is growing and not being diagnosed soon enough in the USA (and other countries).

Coupled with this I write for publications, other group newsletters, interview doctors, nutritionists and share cutting edge research and advice on this site and on numerous radio interviews. I hope to see people off of unnecessary drugs, out of the doctor’s office’s being told incorrect advice- and I want to see people getting properly diagnosed by “properly educated” doctors within a week of any issues one may be having.

As a children’s author and mother I love doing this, and being that I have Celiac Disease, I am passionate about this subject.

  • Who has had the biggest influence on your life and why? Many artists, writers, humanitarians, philosophers, men and women of the past and present. I would do myself a disservice to list even a few. Truly there are far too many that have made their mark or are doing so currently.
  • If you were to have a personal mission statement, what would it be? Feel free to be as serious or fun as you choose. Being a woman is fun! I think we are pretty darn special. These days there is nothing to hold one back, but yourself. Enjoy every minute of life and remember, if you have something that really sparks your interest to get involved in, Just Do It!

To learn more about Tina, visit her website and also check out her helpful site on Celiac Disease.

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