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Healing Energies with Tonya Papanikolov

In this People We Love series, Graydon interviews Tonya Papanikolov, aka The Well Woman, who is a plant-based chef and holistic nutritionist.


Who is Tonya Papanikolov?
What makes Tonya different?
Microtherapy + Medicinal Mushrooms 
Tonya’s experience with Reiki
Tonya’s experience in Peru

Graydon: Hey, it’s Graydon from Graydon Skincare! Welcome back to People We Love, where I interview awesome badass women, and Tonya - you definitely fall into that category! You are a changemaker and I think the viewers are going to enjoy this interview. Oddly enough, we’ve just met and we’ve already noticed the synchronies in the stuff that’s going on in our lives. So welcome Tonya, The Well Woman, who is a plant-based chef and holistic nutritionist.

Tonya: I'm so happy to be here, thank you for having me! It’s my very first IGTV experience! We filmed a little video before and one of my most favourite things to do is to make elixirs together. We have so much in common. It’s so great to be here.

Tonya drinking from a glass

Graydon: So where do we even start? This could be a very long interview that we are going to try to keep it short and digestible - pun intended! I would like to know what makes you different?

Tonya: That’s an interesting question. Something that I feel sets me apart in general and in everyday life is my curiosity and the fact that I love learning so much. In terms of how I work with clients, it is a whole holistic well-rounded approach. I started practicing from more of a quantum level of healing, which is such a new and interesting area of holistic health in terms of understanding the physics of us being like-bodies. So when I'm working with a client and figuring out what the root causes are, I'm also getting them to understand what their belief system is and if they believe they can heal. It's so multifaceted in terms of us looking at our emotions and food.

Food is such a small piece. Our thoughts are really powerful. So a lot of it is reprogramming the belief system and what people think they're capable of achieving and having, and if they are worthy. It depends on where the person is in terms of prevention or more of a disease state.

Graydon: Like the mushroom elixir we made!

Tonya: This is more of an everyday dose. I consume mushrooms everyday. I have been my own guinea pig, testing these products for sure. You can use medicinal mushrooms on a micro-therapeutic level and also in every day maintenance doses.

Graydon: When you say microtherapy, what do you mean?

Tonya: Essentially, it is the use of medicinal mushrooms in a setting with a doctor or taking over 5g a day in order to treat disease. That's not the intention with everyday mushrooms, which is low amounts on a consistent daily basis so you are answering up your immune system and getting benefits like increased energy and brainpower. I'm so passionate about health, food and vibrant living and longevity, and teaching that. When people resonate with that message, I think that's how we as holistic nutritionists create communities and find clients.

Graydon: You also go into people's homes and cook?

Tonya: Yes! I was doing more of that before I started making supplements. The last six to eight months have been very full on with figuring out how to do supply chain stuff, which I never thought I would do! I really didn't know I was going to be creating a product, it just came through. But yes I was going to people’s homes to do hands-on learning, and I still love to do that stuff.

Graydon: I'm sure you've had some fun experiences. I understand you are also really involved in Reiki, which is something I have been able to experience for myself. I would really like to learn more about that. Can you speak about that a bit?

Tonya: Yeah so, I’ve done my Reiki level I and II and I was never entirely sure how it would integrate or if I would become a Reiki practitioner. Reiki is all about the laying on of the hands and our hands are so powerful. It's both where we can give and receive energy and making food to such a process of creation and connecting to your heart and being so mindful in the process. Sometimes I think about when people tell me my food tastes good and how I consciously put love into it. I also wanted to do it for myself and to do Reiki on myself, friends and family. I do it on some clients who expressed interest, but it's not something I put out there. It's a really beautiful Chinese practice. Everyone has access to Reiki energy. It's lovely and healing and very powerful too! I get a lot of visions when I work on somebody and those are always very interesting conversations to have afterwards.

Graydon: We might have to do some of that sometime! I'd like to talk a little bit more about energy within. That’s fascinating.

Tonya: We are energetic beings, as you know. You start to understand the body with energy-eyes and from the quantum physics perspective of literally being light. I've been going to all these workshops to learn about healing in that realm, which is so deep.

Dr. Masaru Emoto wrote a book called “The Hidden Messages in Water” where he did these tests on water. Remember that we are beings mostly comprised of water, so this can also be applied to ourselves as humans. So basically he took water and exposed it to words that represented love, peace and expansion. He took photos on a molecular level of the water and the crystalline structures were these beautiful snowflakes. Then he exposed another set of water two different words like hate, anger, negative things. The water completely changed its crystalline structure and it was uglier and scarier looking. Through that research he put forth the idea that we are in a constant energy exchange with our environment, and that makes a difference on the overall intention and use of what we are putting into our bodies and how our cells are responding to it.

Graydon: So much to talk about! One thing that I latch onto is the environment and sacred environments. I know we both love Peru. I'm almost speechless, the connection going to Peru was unlike any other experience.

Tonya: There’s such a strong and potent energy there. I started researching the sacred sites around the world. It was so beautiful to learn about Peruvian culture and their reverence for food. There are so many healers and there is such deep knowledge and respect for the mountains. It's hard to put into words.

Graydon: Can you tell us more about Queros in Peru?

Tonya: They are one of the last native tribes related to the Incas and it's so remote. It's a community of people living off land and the only thing they can grow up there are potatoes. There are so many different ways when it comes to storing them, keeping them and eating them. My friend Hannah has a non-profit that does a lot to support their community, such as building schools and health centres and providing them with tools and food when they can.

Graydon: They are self-sustaining! They live off of purple potatoes and alpaca.

Tonya: It’s hard to explain but it's such a stark difference to go there and experience that life.

Graydon: It’s cold up there to!

Tonya: It’s so cold. And they’re all wearing sandals or bare feet. Such a community aspect. The children are so beautiful and adorable.

Graydon: Also the reverence for the animals! They need to eat them to survive, but there is such gratitude, and the use of every single part of the animal. It is the exact opposite of factory farming.

Tonya: Yeah, exactly.

Graydon: Wow okay, we will need to have an interview part to three and four! Where do we find you?

Tonya: You can find me at @tonyapapanikolove  and at @rainbomushrooms. There will be lots of pop-ups when we launch!

Graydon: And in case you're wondering, adaptogens are great for your skin!


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