International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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Congress Logo 33rd World Vegetarian Congress
Chiang Mai, Thailand, January 4 - 10, 1999
'Vegetarianism is the Way'
an unforgettable visual, cultural and gastronomic experience

Hi, All,

Been having fun reading all the traffic about the conference and looking forward to meeting everybody, especially after reading all the introductions. I just returned from a series of trips (Seattle, Vancouver, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia) and still catching up on email, so here's my introduction.

I've now been on a low-fat vegan diet for 16 years, having changed from the SAD (Standard American Diet) as a result of a breast cancer diagnosis (1982). Having already been a runner since 1968, I decided to pull out the stops and start training for the Ironman Triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile marathon). The heavy-duty exercise plus the diet had such positive results that I started competing in more and more races each year, up to the most at 63 races last year. The rewards were increasing energy, strength, apparent reversing of the aging process, no recurrence of the cancer, a cholesterol that went from 236 to 129, blood pressure of 80/50, a bone density that increased from age 50 to 60 (at a time when the experts tell you it WILL go down), and over 700 trophies from races all over the world. I also hold the world age-group fitness record at the prestigious Cooper Clinic in Dallas, TX. I started speaking to groups in 1984, wrote "A Race For Life" and a cookbook, made a couple of videos (same subjects, of course), helped found the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii and was its president for 3 years, and have hosted a two-hour, weekly radio talk show, "Nutrition & You" for over 10 years now. I'd been working on a Ph.D. in Psychology and realized that was the wrong field and switched to majors in nutrition and exercise physiology, achieving my doctorate in 1992.

All was going well until, while on my bike training for my next triathlon, a truck turned right into me, shattering my left leg and right hip. This was seven months ago today. Now with a rod in the tibia, I'm able to swim, bike, and water-run which I do for about two hours daily. So, in addition to speaking and writing about nutrition, exercise, cancer, and competitive racing, I now speak on recovering from trauma. I will be speaking at Chiang Mai on Vegan Athletes and invite you all to come.

Ruth E. Heidrich, Ph. D.