Veganism Saved My Life: Judy Temkin
In this special series, we share inspiring stories of people who have witnessed extraordinary health overhauls thanks to a plant-based diet.
Name: Judy Temkin
Diagnosis: Osteopenia (lower-than-normal bone-mineral density)
Prognosis: Progressively worse until full blown osteoporosis
Year Diagnosed: 2009
What was your life like before your diagnosis?
I am tall and rather on the thin side (5’7” about 129 pounds). A bit of history: my mother was an avid milk drinker and consumer of all things dairy. She genuinely believed that by drinking these massive quantities of milk, she was doing her body, mainly her bones, good. She suffered a broken hip in 2009, another broken hip in 2011, and passed away eight months after the second broken hip very frail and sad. I had suffered a severely sprained ankle, but no broken bones.
How did you find out about your diagnosis?
After seeing what my mother went through, and after I had my first bone-density test that showed osteopenia, I vowed I would never go through what mom did.
What was your treatment plan laid out by your doctor?
She really didn’t lay one out. She did not to put me on a biphosphonate drug due to some potential side effects of the drugs. I don’t think she had much confidence in them.
How did you find out about a vegan diet?
I researched healthy bones and ways to avoid osteoporosis. What kept coming up was the alkaline-acid balance in the diet: how an overly acidic diet, which is the way most Americans eat, actually leaches calcium out of the bones to reach the balance necessary in our blood. A way to avoid this is to eat a more alkaline diet, and the best alkaline diet is a healthful vegan diet.
When did you decide to give it a try?
I switched to a full-fledged vegan diet in the summer of 2010 when I realized it was best for bone health—and really overall health.
What was it like to transition to a vegan diet?
It was easier for me than I thought. It required a complete shift in the way I think about food, but once I knew I was doing the right thing, no way did I want to turn back.
What was a normal day of eating like before you started eating vegan?
A normal day of eating would have been cold breakfast cereal with dairy milk and coffee with milk. Lunch would be a turkey or tuna sandwich, and dinner would of course would have been chicken, fish, or occasionally beef as the centerpiece with a starch and a vegetable. Ice cream was a usual treat.
What is a day of eating like now?
Steel-cut oatmeal or quinoa with cinnamon, chia seeds, hemp seeds, wild blueberries, and banana is my favorite breakfast—with my one small cup of coffee and coconut milk creamer. Lunch could be a hummus wrap, snacks could be fresh fruits such as apples or pears and nuts such as almonds or pistachios, and dinner could be greens and beans, a sweet potato, a hearty lentil soup, or a big salad.
When did you start to see results? What did your doctor think?
My last bone-density test was several months ago. My doc was amazed. She said that she had never seen a bone-density score improve as much as mine had in all of her years of practice. She actually brought me into her office to ask me what I was doing.
How are you doing today?
I continue to eat this way, and I will never turn back. I dedicate this story to my mother in the hopes that other women can learn that a plant-based diet can save their bones, and thus their lives!
5 Woman-Owned Vegan Businesses You Should Be Obsessed With
What's even better than a vegan business? A vegan business owned by a woman.
Read More »
6 Valentine's Day Gifts for that Vegan Curmudgeon in Your Life
Buy me D3 gummies, fancy moisturizer, and a ticket to see the Misfits, and Ill be your Valentine.
Read More »
6 Red-Hot Vegan Lipsticks To Drive Your Valentine Crazy
Make your Valentines Day even hotter with these all-vegan sexy shades for your lips.
Read More »
How a Vegan Canadian Figure Skater Prepared to Win Gold at the Winter Olympics
Meagan Duhamels intense fitness regimen and plant-based diet led her to that international Olympic podium.
Read More »
How to Be a Vegan Teen Valentine
Wear cool clothing, give amazing gifts, and watch Okja, and you can be my Valentine.
Read More »
- Vegan Valentine's Day Tips From No. 1 Best-Selling Author Kathy Freston
- 5 Vegan Turmeric Recipes for Those Who Are Slightly Intimidated by It
- How A Vegan Diet is Making ''Everything'' Easier for One Punk Singer
- Your Meat-Eating Friends Want One of These 10 Vegan Books
- 7 Ways to Veganize Your Bed, Just in Time for Valentine's Day
- 5 Steps to the Perfect Vegan Valentine's Day
- 8 Love-Infused Vegan Events to Celebrate Valentine's Day
- Thanks to These 7 Vegan Pies, We Have Declared National Pizza Day a Holiday
- No Valentine This Year? Try Vegan Speed Dating
- 6 Ways to Queer Your Vegan Valentine's Day
- Bought Too Many Vegan Girl Scout Cookies? Here are 10 Desserts You Should Make With Them
- Glow Up With These 18 Vegan Beauty Brands in 2018
- How One Chef is Getting NFL Players to Go Vegan
- From Struggling for Breath to Running Marathons: Veganism Saved His Life
- 6 Badass Vegan Women Who Don't Take Any Sh*t
- 10 Vegan Chip and Dip Match-Ups Fit For A Super Bowl Smackdown
- 20 Vegan Women You Need to Follow On Instagram Today
- A Rare Heart Disease Led this 60 Year-Old to Veganism: Veganism Saved Her Life
- How One Woman is Introducing Vegan Mexican Sweets to a Rural Southern California Desert
- 34 Reasons Why Vegans Are in the Cool Kids Club