Saturday, January 29, 2011

Have You Ever Seen a Healthy Vegan? #15

Linda Howard

Linda Howard, owner of Alturnative Fitness and chief blogger of the Alturnative Fitness blog, is a former practicing attorney and healthcare compliance officer that turned “holistic fitness guru." She is an exercise, nutrition, tonic herb and holistic life enthusiast. She openly shares her journey to wellness and has embarked on a mission to help others find a holistic and natural path to fitness, well-being and vitality. This is her story:

As a teenager I made healthy lifestyle decisions, but still had health issues. I am now 48 and healthy. I feel like I am in my twenties; my energy is off the chain! In fact, I am reversing the aging process with thoughtful living. My vegan diet is a key ingredient in a winning formula for radiant health, optimal physical fitness and vitality.

As a child I got sick a great deal. I never liked taking medication. I would like to think it was some innate wisdom of holistic living, but the reality is I had trouble swallowing pills. My fear of swallowing pills made me challenge doctors whenever the prescription pad came out. My anxiety around swallowing pills and my frequent illness fueled my quest for information on medicinal herbs and nutrition. At 15 I was fasting; when I was 17, I stopped eating meat, poultry and shellfish and started juicing.

My health improved but my menstrual cycle was never normal. I was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries and was told that there was no cure. At times my cycle was painful and sometimes it lasted so long that it became debilitating. I tried acupuncture and homeopathic remedies. I got some relief, but my problems did not go away. When I was stressed, it got worse. I was a prime candidate for a hysterectomy. The same time that the word hysterectomy was being tossed around I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel. Then I fell and seriously injured my hip and shoulder. I put on excessive weight, was living a very stressful life and I saw myself aging rapidly.

Drugs and operations were totally out of the question for me. My survival instincts kicked into full gear and I believed that I could turn my health condition around. (1) I slowed myself down to listen to my body and follow my instincts. (2) I tapped into what I know about nutrition and herbs. Anti-inflammatory foods were increased and pro-inflammatory foods were eliminated! I also started a regiment of tonic herbs and dusted off my juicer. (3) I tapped into who I knew that had a good understanding of natural healing. I became their student. (4) I put my research skills to work (as a NYC lawyer, I learn how to tirelessly research any issue). I found some research that stated that animal protein contributed to the growth of cysts. That’s when I became a vegan. I immediately stopped eating all animal products and never went back. That was nine years ago.

About five years ago, it dawned on me that I had no more health issues. I had no pains or occasional headaches, my energy was high, and I could not remember the last time I had a cold or the flu. I had been on my job at the time for four years and realized that I had never taken a sick day. My menstrual cycle was normal for the first time in my life; I had no signs of carpal tunnel, no occasional problems from my prior hip and shoulder injury and I managed stress like a pro. I started hitting the gym regularly and outperformed people half my age. For the first time in my life I was feeling athletic. This was major for me, because growing up I was so bad in sports that I was the last one to be picked for teams in gym class.

My creativity and my productivity are higher than it has even been. I am more patient and feel happier. I just have this indescribable feeling of well-being and vitality. I can't say why all of my health problems disappeared and why I feel so good- - - I don’t know if it was one particular thing or all things. All I know is that whatever it is, it is working for me and I am a healthy vegan full of vitality.

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Thanks for your beautiful story!
Althea ◦

1 comment:

ChocolateOrchid said...

Love this interview! Very inspirational.


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