Profile of Hope: Tony Hillery offers suggestions for to improve their health (part 8 of 8)

Editor October 29th

Tony Hillery is the founder of Harlem Grown, an independent, non-profit organization that transforms abandoned community gardens and lots into vibrant urban farms in partnership with local public schools and the community. While he has spent the past two years teaching children about healthy lifestyles through Harlem Grown, in the summer of 2012 Tony realized that his own health was not very good as he found out he had high blood pressure and high cholesterol.   Here he shares his opinions on eating healthy. He feels strongly that people can get healthy by changing their lifestyle not just by taking medicine.

Q: What are some of the things you’d like to tell someone who currently has high blood pressure?

A: You are what you eat. It’s as simple as that. But look at our diets! Three fried chicken restaurants are located on one Harlem block near PS 175 where the Harlem Grown garden and greenhouse are located. Can you imagine that? You can go to three fast food restaurants on this one block! If you’re putting crap in your body you’re going to feel like crap.

Q: What changes should someone with high blood pressure make first?

A: I think that the most important thing is being aware that you are probably leading an unhealthy lifestyle. That is most important. You wouldn’t have high blood pressure if you were living healthy. Getting healthy has to start with your diet! All the medicine in the world won’t change it. If you’re eating badly, well what good is the medicine? You won’t make any long-term changes in your health.

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