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Women's Health

Soul Surfer: Bethany Hamilton on Health, Happiness, and Inspiration

The surfing champ tells WebMD about her healthy lifestyle, her dreams, and what it's like seeing her story portrayed on the big screen.
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You've been able to inspire people -- especially young people -- through your story. What lessons do you try to impart?

We all go through hard times and struggles, and I just try to encourage kids that they can overcome those problems. Look what happened to me, and I still continued my dream of being a professional surfer. 

What health condition would you like to see eradicated in your lifetime?
Obesity. It's an epidemic that's taking over and it leads to a lot of other diseases. I want to encourage the youth of America to eat healthier and exercise. A lot of schools are taking out PE, which is awful because it's like taking away a big part of a child's health. If you're healthy, life can be so much more adventurous and fun and successful. 

What is your best health habit?

I have a lot, but my favorite is surfing. It's a really good place to go where you can be strong and get good exercise and sunshine. 

What's your worse health habit?

I consider myself pretty healthy. Let me see…for me something unhealthy is some dark chocolate. Does that count? 

Barely! You don't ever crave a cheeseburger or French fries?

I'll have a couple fries if they're cooked in good oil. I don't eat hydrogenated oil or fast food at all. I really like chocolate pudding, but I have this recipe that I make: I'll get a packet of unsweetened acai and avocado and chocolate powder and blend that up with a little bit of honey and maybe a dash of mint. It's a really good, chocolate-y pudding that's good for you! 

What are a typical breakfast, lunch and dinner for you?

I love to cook. I start every day with a smoothie of acai, kale, almond milk, maybe some fruit. I make sure I have vegetables in every meal, but I'll eat fish, and eggs here and there. I also like goat cheese, that's kind of a treat for me. For dinner, I like to do a stir-fry, with kale and zucchini and onion and garlic, and maybe some fresh ahi or salmon, whatever's in the fridge. 

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