Celebrating Heroes in the Animal Rights Movement

Grace On Fire!

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide with over 1.7 million people diagnosed each year in the United States alone. Needless to say there is a critical need for education in both the public sector as well as in the medical industry itself.

The American Medical Association seems to work in tandem with insurance companies, Big Pharma and even the practitioners themselves maintaining a hold on diagnosis, treatments and prognosis. This renders the general public ill-equipped to navigate through a web of confusion that offers few to no choices.

We’ve all been led to believe that allopathic medicine, the current modality most people have access to through major health insurance, is a more traditional and reliable healthcare system, whereas “alternative” or “homeopathic medicine” is just that: An alternative to what we believe should be our main resource.

Enter functional medicine. Functional medicine is a systems biology-based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. This is especially important when one is combating a chronic disease diagnosis. 

Unlike traditional medical practitioners, the belief system of holistic, homeopathic and functional medicine doctors is that if you compartmentalize and treat only the symptoms, you are merely putting a bandaid on the problem. 

It is only when you uncover the original wound or root cause, healing the dis-ease (lack of ease) in the body, that your symptoms will systematically heal. This is at its core, in opposition to allopathic medicine.

In 2016 at the age of 42 when Ana Quiroga was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune thyroid condition, she visited many traditional doctors. Not only were they not interested in her eating habits or stress levels, most of them offered no more than prescriptions and walking papers.

After months of frustrating and infuriating appointments, Ana vowed to change her approach. This is when she decided to study and research her own condition in an attempt to put herself into remission. 

Ana didn’t realize it at the time, but this would be the start of her incredible journey leading her to eventually become a certified vegan nutritionist and functional medicine practitioner. 

“Today I believe that food is medicine, and I use my knowledge to heal from the mind and from the gut.”

As a young girl, Ana lived a very cultured life. Even though she was exposed to world travel and international cuisine, her family sought out and served traditional Mexican and Argentinian meals, heavy in dairy and meats. It never dawned on Ana that her family’s eating habits could be the cause of poor health. 

Before starting university to study hospitality management, Ana took a gap year to study French and travel abroad. Upon returning home she moved back in with her family, landing her in Peru and Bolivia before they later returned to Mexico. 

While in Mexico she and her high school sweetheart, Victor, reconnected, and they were married soon after her graduation from university.

In 2007, Victor took a position at a luxury resort in Scottsdale, AZ. Between the programs offered at the resort, the resort’s management team, and a few trips to Sedona, an internationally known destination for its energetic and spiritual healing powers, Ana entered the world of fitness and wellness.

It was a slow process. As a young adult, Ana paid little attention to dietary requirements in general, but while in London she met many people for the first time who had a variety of dietary restrictions. This opened her mind to the connection between what we eat and our health and well-being.

At 38 while living in Singapore, Ana began to study yoga, meditation, reiki, and Ayurveda. Ana was forging a deep understanding of the mind-body-spirit connection and its relationship to the power of energy and intention, all necessary for healing. Her new-found affinity for all things wellness inspired a vegetarian diet.

While taking her final yoga exam, Ana’s yoga teacher mentioned, “you should continue on this journey and focus on healing…that is your space.” Months later the family moved to Florida where Ana opened her own holistic practice. 

“The objective,” says Ana, “is to help my patients find a solution to their problems from the root cause, using nutrition and natural supplementation as the starting point.”

While living in China, Ana joined The Octave Institute and Sangha Wellness Retreat, an understated and extensive luxurious complex for the mind and the body, dedicated to anything and everything wellness. 

During her time there as program director, she became the author and curator of a series of holistic programs covering nutrition, learning, spa, and clinic for both individuals and groups. 

Ana was responsible for every stage of each program: from creation to continuous improvement. This also required her to perfect her skills as a moderator and speaker.

While Ana’s programs proved successful, the retreat was always eager to try new things. This gave her the freedom to explore new and improved programs that built upon the knowledge she had already implemented. 

Ana’s most notable contributions were the immune boost, holistic detox, gut health, chakra workshop, stress management, couple’s connection, longevity series lecture, and the rotational dietary pattern menus.

Although the retreat’s target clientele was primarily foreigners, Covid made it exceptionally difficult for foreigners to travel to China, so her job there catered to local affluent customers seeking wellness programs that combined Eastern and Western practices.

At 46, just before the pandemic, Ana’s two daughters, Alesia and Leire, were inspired to become vegan after watching the documentary Gamechangers. They challenged Ana to try it for a month. Ana has been vegan ever since. Now the entire family cooks vegan food together – a great way to connect and ensure wholesomeness. 

As a practitioner, Ana’s understanding of the health benefits of a plant-based diet is impressive. The nutritional values needed to reach her clients’ daily nutritional requirements are a key focus. One of the tools/resources she uses and highly recommends is a vertical aeroponic tower to grow fruits and vegetables. This is not only a way for people to learn about what they eat, but it has tremendous resonance with vegans.

Recently, Ana has developed individual and group detox programs that allow people to experience and acquire life-changing habits without the need for a retreat or lifestyle interruption. “This is important,” says Ana, “especially when I am working with corporate teams and groups who have demanding schedules.” 

“Creating these programs is an ongoing journey,” said Ana. “I tried (and keep trying) different alternatives myself. I listen to my clients and use their feedback in my progress. My goal is to continue to improve the programs while keeping them practical and affordable.

“I know the programs are effective because I see and listen to my clients before and after they complete them. It is amazing and most rewarding when I connect with them after a few months and they tell me the things they learned during the detox are now part of their daily lives… and they feel better and many times greater.

“If the entire world defines ‘eating well’ as eating meat and fish at least once a day, there are not enough cows, chickens, or fish to feed the entire world. Therefore, humans have found alternatives to reproduce animals in ways that negatively impact the animals, the environment, and the people that eat the meat. Veganism provides a healthy and more sustainable way of feeding the world without damaging it.”

Now more than ever the world is a very global place. Ana’s work is very personal and credits the pandemic for making people more open to remote connection. She is now able to help others effectively both in person or by using platforms such as Zoom, regardless of anyone’s location. 

Ana’s greatest motivation is seeing people complete her wellness program healthier and more vibrant. She also takes pride in knowing that her clients are beacons of inspiration for their family and friends as well. 

“There is so much to learn and to share,” says Ana. “The wellness space is endless. The needs vary depending on each person or group. I never get bored,” adds Ana.

According to Ana, being plant-based isn’t enough. We need to make sure we consider labels, properly pair our food, and monitor sufficient nutritional intake. Believe it or not, Ana says, even the order in which our food is consumed is important to disease prevention, optimal health, and wellbeing. 

To her credit, Ana realizes that each person has different levels of health concerns. Some people need immediate attention while others are just trying to be a little more conscious of their choices. In either case or anywhere in between, Ana can be of great assistance in moving your health in the right direction. 

Her Detox programs eliminate inflammation, manage sugar cravings, promote healthy weight loss and increase your quality of energy and sleep, all while reducing stress levels. 

Ana is now accepting new clients. Her “challenge” style health programs are being applauded by corporations and groups for team building, collaborative initiatives, and company loyalty campaigns.

Some of the chronic conditions that can be reversed with her programs include diabetes, insulin resistance, food sensitivities, and allergies, as well as fatty liver. In addition to these reversals, she is also able to put into remission a variety of autoimmune conditions. 

As a speaker, Ana has presented at several prestigious events – Conferences in the U.S. and Mexico, The Longevity Series in China, The Annual Art2Be Human Conference, The Extreme Positive Radio Series on Thyroid Health in Florida, University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Conference in Shanghai on autoimmune diseases, nutrition and natural supplementation, The Panamerican Elite swimmers annual conference on nutrition for athletes, just to name a few.

Staying positive is paramount to our health. Even a seasoned practitioner needs someone to inspire and coach them to keep going. Ana turns to yoga groups, and she surrounds herself with positive people, which includes, of course, her two lovely daughters and husband. 

Follow Ana on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Ana’s personal Instagram

To check availability and get more information visit her site HERE

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Celebrating Heroes in the Animal Rights Movement (CHARM) is a micro-program of Farm Animal Rights Movement FARM.
Do you know an ethical vegan who practices an abolitionist approach to animal exploitation, still active in the movement, has an interesting story to tell and is an unsung hero to animals and their vegan community?  We would like to hear about them.
 Suggest a candidate for a future CHARM feature below.

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