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In this Q&A with Dr. Caroline Hartridge, she shares her healthy eating tips, favorite recipe and the importance of the VINA Vegan & Vegetarian community!

Have you considered changing up your diet in the new year? Well, Dr. Caroline Hartridge, an osteopathy doctor trained in whole foods plant-based medicine, knows a thing or two about alternative evidence-based approaches for a healthier lifestyle. Whether it’s a diet based on plants and veggies, or treating conditions through organic solutions, she guides VINAZINE readers through all-things natural in this exclusive interview. Read on! 🌱🥗

Q: For someone who’s never heard of a plant-based diet, what are some easy ways to incorporate it into their daily routine?
A: It’s quite easy to do and doesn’t take much effort. Put some lemons in your hot water in the a.m. When you’re building your smoothie in the morning, try dropping in some fresh produce in there for more nutrition. Warm grains are also perfect for an easy breakfast and give you quite a boost of energy. The basic thought should be: Think about whole, identifiable foods from the earth – like a baked potato instead of french fries. Also, switch to plant-based dairy options!

Q: Can you explain osteopathy for those who aren’t familiar with it?
A: There are two types of fully licensed physicians in the U.S.: Medical Doctors (MD) and Doctors of Osteopathy (DO). The DO’s physician study is guided in the thought that the human body is a unit of the body, mind, and energy, soul or spirit. The body is constantly striving toward healing, and structure and function are interrelated. The way osteopathist doctors work is that they take these previous statements into consideration for rational treatment. In addition to thinking about disease differently, osteopaths spend extra time in school learning about the diagnosis and treatment of all tissues using touch.

Q: What is the biggest health or diet mistake you see happening right now?
A: That would be the myth surrounding protein — the gorilla isn’t worried about protein and neither should you. If you eat your plants, the nourishment is already present in perfect proportions. So just keep on eating them and be happy!

Q: If you could give one piece of health advice, what would it be and why?
A: My advice would center around dairy for bone health; dairy is actually acidic and removes calcium and magnesium from your bones. If you want to build your bone health for sustainability, reproduction and beyond, give your body some plants! Period.

Q: What is your favorite easy go-to recipe?
A: Kale salad – raw and finely chopped – with warm quinoa, any veggies I have in the fridge, tahini, lemon and garlic, as well as a dash of pink salt and lots of black pepper. In the amount of time my quinoa cooks (pro tip: I like to toast it in the dry, hot pan before adding the water for another layer of flavor), I can chop and assemble the salad. This is my go-to and happy place.

Dr. Caroline Hartridge

Q: We have a Vegan and Vegetarian community on Hey! VINA, as well as a Foodies community. How is it helpful to connect with other vegans when you are adapting to a lifestyle/diet change?
A: I think it is essential to have easy access to a positive community. Finding like-minded foodies can be a challenge and good food is a good quality of life. We are all on our own journey to wellness and plant-based living. The Hey! VINA community provides space to share our perceived barriers and successes!

Q: What is the benefit of joining a healthy community in your opinion?
A: Manifest the life you want. What you put in your body, on your body and around your body matters significantly! You are awake. Take responsibility. Surround yourself with energy that is consistent with your greatest good. When we take time to reflect on these points, the benefit of joining a healthy community like the one on Hey! VINA is a kind, compassionate loving choice for yourself and others.

Q: Why should more people explore alternative medicine to cure certain illnesses? What evidence-based examples can you provide of women you’ve helped?
A: I love my practice and patients! They inspire me to learn. I can think of several patients who have used plant-based medicine, osteopathy, talk therapy and medical cannabis to develop a whole new level of health and quality of life. One in particular, a young woman in her 30s, was using a walker and in severe pain from a work injury in polypharmacy, or the simultaneous use of multiple drugs by a single patient for one or more conditions. After over a year of working together, she is off all medications, doing yoga and pursuing a new education and career. Holding space for these types of sustainable changes is an absolute privilege. If you’d like more info about what I do, you can head over to

Q: How can other people work with you?
A: I offer personal, family and corporate wellness experiences catered to each individual or group. One of them is in Playa Chiquita, Costa Rica or there’s a Dealer’s Choice – I work with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in the destination of your choosing to create a relaxing, wellness-centered vacation. Spots are still open for 2019 – all trips include accommodation, food, one-on-one’s with myself, cooking lessons and access to an array of on-site services.

Sticking to a healthy lifestyle is easier when you have a vina by your side! Download the Hey! VINA app to meet other nutrition-centric vinas in the Vegans and Vegetarians community. Then, go grab a green smoothie together!


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