I a.EverI grew up in a family bursting with medical professionals. Nurses, doctors, pharmacists, dentists, and surgeons—you name the job, and I can probably name a relative with that profession.
In our family, health was one of, if not the, first petition to God. And yet, so many relatives of mine have suffered strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, arthritis, cancers of various kinds, high blood pressure, and so on. Even one of my uncles (a physician!!) suffered from a heart attack a couple years ago. Surely if even a doctor could get a heart attack, none of us were safe from harm.
I thought those ailments were just a part of life that happen to everyone. My family taught me that if there’s something wrong with your body, you go to the doctor; they write on a paper for you to buy a pill, you swallow the pill, wake up and feel better.
It seemed like I could only attain health either by the miraculous intervention of God, or by having the money to purchase those magical pills that make the pain go away. If you had wealth, you had health.
I started to break down my sheltered perspective on health when I started to learn about a plant-based diet. In my adolescent years, I learned from magazines and television that “healthy eating” is only important if you want a particular figure.
And while eating healthily can bring those things, I didn’t connect “healthy eating” with actual health until I stumbled across the findings of various doctors promoting this thing called a “plant-based diet.” I couldn’t believe how many of the ailments I mentioned earlier I could have alleviated or even prevented with diet. I was in awe of how many more years my relatives could have lived if they knew this!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I started to realize how sustainable, ethical, and healthy a lifestyle with more plants and less junk could be. I read up on countless studies, articles, and testimonials on the healing power of real food. For example, Dr. Dean Ornish, M.D.’s book Reversing Heart Disease promoted a plant-based diet for reversing America’s number one killer, heart disease.
Cancer patient Ruth Heidrich turned her life around with a plant-based diet when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 47. She now competes in triathlons powered by a whole-foods plant based diet at the age of 84!
After months of learning about people who had taken a complete 180º turn in their lives just by simply changing what they eat, I realized that I had a responsibility to share this information. In a world where nutrition is put on the back burner, I felt that if I could teach people how to “sow good seed in [their] field” with nutrition, they would be able to “reap” the benefits of a happy and healthy lifetime, and possibly influence the future generations. I no longer saw health as something for the wealthy or the lucky. Everyone can attain health if they have the knowledge, tools, and support they need. Health IS wealth.
Learning all of this before I had even become a professional was a bit frustrating because I had a message to share with the world. I needed to create a platform for myself to speak from. I attended University to learn more about health as one of the many tools to build this platform. My social media platforms also allow me to speak about health and wellness so others may heal themselves.
I learned about nutrition from a (mostly) non-vegan standpoint and finished with my degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. Then I started working in the hospital as a registered dietitian. Today my motive is still the same and still as strong. My dream is big, and that I’m going to have a lot of opposition, naysayers, and resistance.
But I also know there are plenty more people like me with the same mission. Knowing that all of us can make an impact means that my dream is turning into a reality. I’m hopeful, excited, and eager to see where we take this health thing. Thank you for being part of my dream.