Interview with Dina Vieira

Your diet journey started with a health issue known as Candida. What is it and what are the symptoms?
Candida albicans is a type of yeast that we all have on our bodies and in our gut. When this pathogen increases, our good bacteria decreases and immune response becomes depressed. Unknowingly, we are feeding Candida when we eat foods made with flour, yeast and especially sugar! My symptoms included lethargy, severe PMS and menstrual cramps, and depression. Symptoms can also include chronic diarrhea, bladder infections, migraines, yeast infection or athletes foot. Candida does not discriminate. Both women and men have it.
Your book goes into depth about your own food sensitivities. Were you shocked to learn you had developed these later in life?
Yes, absolutely! I had no idea that the feelings of lethargy and depression were being fuelled by food sensitivities. I had to remove wheat, gluten, sugar, yeast, sulphites, vinegars, coffee and oats. It was shocking because I was eating on the go, and many prepared foods contain at least one of these ingredients, if not all of them! Interestingly enough, many of us seem to develop food sensitivities later in life, and wheat tends to be very problematic for a lot of people. It's important to get tested for food sensitivities if you feel excessively tired or bloated to remove offending foods. Once I cleaned up my diet, I lost 40 pounds effortlessly!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I am a bookworm and I have them all in either physical or app form! Kindle, Kobo, and iBooks are my faves though.
Describe your desk
An organized mess! It may look messy to others, but I know what each pile contains. Research journals in one pile, scratch pads with blog entries in another and so forth. I jot everything down by hand to help strategize and form bigger ideas.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Toronto, and later in Mississauga and Portugal. I now travel quite a bit for business, so I consider myself a global citizen. However, travelling certainly does open my mind to new ideas and inspires writing. It is not uncommon to see me in an airport writing out a chapter or blog entry in Notes on my iPhone!
When did you first start writing?
As a Marketing and PR professional. I have had to get my head around some complex and even sometimes, technical jargon, and make it more relatable for the average person. I think that constantly writing stories about others to pitch to the media, and making it relevant, certainly helped me become the writer I am today.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I am also a certified yoga instructor who struggled with inexplicable weight gain in my 30’s. Despite rigorous workouts and healthy eating, I continued to put on weight and attributed it to “age creep” – weight gain associated with getting older. My e-book Fit & Fab Over 40, is my story detailing how I lost 40 pounds right before turning 40, and how I have kept it off for years! I was on the Dr. Oz show to share my belly fat busting tip, when all these women in the green room kept asking me how I did it. I realized we all struggle with weight gain as we get older, and that I could actually help someone by sharing my tumultuous journey (it was not easy), and by writing about what I went through would hopefully make the weight loss journey easier for someone else.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Journalling. I get out every emotion out of me so I can see the bigger picture about what is really happening in my life. I have journalized personally since my late 20's.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Outside of my daily goals, not knowing what to expect! "Be ready for anything" has always been my motto, especially in business.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Ha..working out! Transforming recipes to make them healthier, and then blogging about it at
What advice do you have for those struggling with weight loss?
You really truly have to love yourself first. No matter what size you are. I detail in my book Fit & Fab Over 40 some really neat creative visualizations that can help you get to a better place emotionally, physically and mentally in regards to self-love and weight loss success.
Published 2014-03-12.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.