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Women's Health

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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.


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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