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Meet our Herbie of the Week: Christina!
At a young age, Christina was diagnosed with asthma. When her health started to decline at age 25, it was determined Christina had Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD).
After discovering she ALSO had a malabsorption issue, Christina knew something had to change, and as an animal rights advocate the choice was clear: switch to a plant-based diet.
Since making that change 2 years ago, Christina's lost 47lbs effortlessly, is no longer borderline diabetic, and has a lot more energy!
Here's Christina's story in her own words.
I've struggled with my weight for most of my life. As a child I was diagnosed with asthma. In many patients, asthma tends to get better as they get older. The opposite happened with me. Mine progressively got worse, limiting my physical activity. That coupled with the inhaled and oral steroids I was given caused my weight to go up a lot. At my heaviest I was 205 lbs at 5'1" tall.
The immense amount of steroids started causing my bones, specifically my spine, to get thin and weak. My health began to decline further as years went on. At age 25, I was told that my chronic asthma, bronchitis and frequent pneumonia was determined to be Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder.
Shortly after I had learned I also have a malabsorption issue where nutrients from foods and supplements weren't being absorbed causing my levels to drop drastically low. At one point my iron was so low that I could have gone into a coma. From the cocktail of pharmaceuticals I was being pumped full of my sugar increase making me borderline diabetic. Something had to change.
I've always been an advocate for animal rights and one day it just clicked. The choice was clear and I wish I would have chosen this soon. Maybe I wasn't absorbing what I needed from the meat-based diet but maybe I could from a plant-based one. I've always worried about my carbon footprint and wanting to leave a world full of hope and goodness to our future generations. So for myself, for my son, for the lives of those without a voice, for my planet, I became vegan.
As of today I have successfully lost 47 lbs. I have gained a level of energy I didn't know I could have. My A1C has dropped so I'm not borderline diabetic at this point. Although my lungs will never be perfect and I'll struggle with my breathing for the rest of my life, I have been able to incorporate yoga into my daily routine. My son enjoys learning the poses with me.
The only struggles I've faced so far are ones when not eating at home. Not many eateries offer vegan options. I am lucky enough to have an amazing cafe near me called eden a vegan cafe where I can go on date nights with my husband or for a quick lunch. Otherwise, you can always find me with some almonds or craisins in my bag! My family still remains herbivores, but they are very supportive and understanding of my dietary choices. My husband will even eat vegan with me on occasion and my son adores vegan pizza!
I'm 34 years young, I'm a mom, I'm a wife, I'm an animal rights advocate, I finally feel good about my health and I'm vegan.
Compassion fueled my decision and the benefits solidified it as the right choice for me. <3
Thank you so much Christina for sharing your story with us!