Fit Feature: Cindy Dryer Sweeley

Cindy Dryer Sweeley, 53, of Haslett, is a research administrator at Michigan State University and also a strong believer in taking charge of your own health.

“If you become a sedentary being and do not take care of your body, it cannot take care of you,” she said. “If you treat your body with respect, with both diet and exercise, it will respect you back. I’m no spring chicken but most of the time I feel like one and know that, without exercise and proper nutrition, I wouldn’t feel as great as I do at 53. It is a lifestyle that I will never deny myself.” 

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She said she likes a variety of workouts that can range from yoga to strength training.

“I like variety. I also love to hike and enjoy nature,” she said. “Staying active is important and I don’t feel that it’s necessary to push hard with every workout. It’s all about movement.”

Sweeley was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2008 and made several changes to her diet to help combat the affliction. She is so dedicated to her diet that she became certified in plant-based nutrition and launched her own business, Vegan Cravin.

“I am a firm believer that food is medicine and that true health and healing begins on the inside,” she said. “Food is my medicine. I now teach others in the area through speaking engagements and cooking demonstrations. I want an all-around healthy body and I know it starts with what I put in my mouth. Eating plant-based doesn’t mean a diet of dirt, bark, and grass only, I can assure you, and I never feel deprived.”

She said cheating on a diet is a natural urge, although it is important to make sure that it doesn’t become a bad habit.

“I think anyone would be fooling themselves to say they don’t ever feel the urge to cheat when trying to keep on a healthy track,” she said. “I do know that too much of a good thing isn’t always good either so I try to de-stress with a long walk or some meditation.” She said if you’re looking for a healthier lifestyle, embrace health. “Age is just a number,” she said.  “Enjoy the process and grow old gracefully. I am!”

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