Friday, October 29, 2010

Have You Ever Seen a Healthy Vegan? #12

Gloria Huerta

In the late 80's, I decided to go vegetarian once a week.  I was a young mother, and I wanted my children to eat "healthy".  I remember my first health fair, being 25 years old, and my cholesterol level was at 269.  I always attributed it to stress, as I worked in the legal field.  Twenty years later, my cholesterol levels were still high, and I was still blaming it on stress.  However, a health retreat in California really convinced me to completely switch to a vegetarian diet, and not just a once a week vegetarian.  I recognized that I was not honoring God with my eating habits. Nonetheless, I was an "uneducated" vegetarian -- and I'd say "uneducated" because of being lazy.  In 2008, Lifestyles Matters at Work came to our media center, and it was an incredible journey of accountability.  That is what had been lacking -- accountability.

I realized and accepted that I was really a JUNK FOOD vegetarian.  A chips vegetarian.  A French Fries vegetarian.  A pizza vegetarian.  That was me.  However, I learned how genetics and DNA works with regard to cancer cells, and I realized that I was a carrier of cancer genes. 

My mother had died of pancreatic cancer in the most painful, and agonizing manner.  Her brother before her had also died of cancer.  My father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  His brothers after him -- the same.  Wake up call.  I had to do something about my lifestyle, and it would not only be changing my eating habits, it needed to include following the 8 principles of health. 

Right after Lifestyles Matters at Work ended, I participated in The Cancer Project's Food for Life Classes held in Pasadena, and my decision was confirmed as I was introduced to the Vegan lifestyle.  I had already participated in the 21-day Vegan Kickstart program, and I did not want to stray off the path.  I have been following a vegan lifestyle since January 1, 2010, and my health has been amazing!  For the first time ever, my cholesterol levels dropped below 200 !!  

My blood chemistry panel and all other laboratory worked confirmed that I was as healthy as I had  ever been.  I showed no deficiency in any area of my health (iron, calcium, phosphorus, niacin, etc., etc., etc.)  The doctor himself was in shock (I had been on cholesterol lowering meds and borderline high blood pressure meds).  He asked me:  What have you done differently other than the meds? "   I replied:  "I stopped the meds and went VEGAN!"  He could not believe it.  His reply was: "Well, keep doing what you're doing".  I've learned that everything I need for health as far as nutrition is concerned comes from plants -- the original diet given to the first humans.

I no longer suffer from insomnia. Since following the Vegan lifestyle, I also added a weekly exercise program (2-3 hours a week), I cut back on fats . . . NO MORE FRENCH FRIES! I have included much more grains and legumes to my diet. It has been such a fantastic journey. I am eating vegetables I always would say I didn't like, before I went Vegan. I am learning ways to make them so that I like them.

I began teaching Vegan lifestyle cooking classes in Spanish. I began teaching Vegan cooking to children. It has opened up so many possibilities for me. I decided to create a blog for Spanish speaking people who want to learn more about Vegan health and cooking, and I will now be a Food for Life Cancer demonstrator for The Cancer Project.

I have lost more inches than pounds, and dropped 3 dress sizes and 3 pant sizes. I love the way I feel and the way I look. People don't believe I'm almost 50 years old!

Gloria's blog is:
Thank you!!!

1 comment:

bitt said...

I love this story. And how Gloria is teaching vegan classes in Spanish--so needed!


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