Lakewood resident Nancy Addison is the picture of health. Everything about her — from her radiant skin and long, silky hair to her bright, engaging smile —screams health, wellness and positive energy. You would never know that Addison once struggled with health issues including acute anemia, carpal tunnel syndrome, severe headaches and being overweight after the birth of her two children. She also has a family history of heart disease and cancer. But now, she’s a certified health expert who is highly regarded by health professionals and has written a new book, “How to Be a Healthy Vegetarian.” Her book is, essentially, a compilation of everything she’s learned — through trial and error — since she became a devout vegetarian 27 years ago. “I did not know anything when I first started,” she explains. “I just knew that if I continued down the same path as my family, I would probably end up with blood disease and/or cancer.” Addison’s decision to give up meat for greener eating happened after she stumbled across an article in Life magazine that detailed the new wave of corporate farming and the condition of the animals. She was horrified, she says. And that was that; she was a vegetarian. Of course, it wasn’t that easy. Being born and raised in the South made it difficult to write off meat-eating initially. Her friends and family were concerned it would diminish her already wavering health, and what about her children? She began researching how to be a healthy vegetarian. Soon she began feeling better, and her doctors watched in amazement as her health problems slowly faded into nonexistence. Addison insists she’s healthier today in her 50s than she was in college. Lucky for us, she’s not stingy with her findings; she passes them along in her book. “It’s a really great guide to health,” she says. “A lot of people who buy it are not vegetarian, and they use it as a reference book.”
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