Ask Alexandra – August 2003
Thank you for providing the world with an inspiration of a well-rounded, genuinely good person. I have admired your acting work for years, but to be honest, what impresses me is your ability to train for marathons, volunteer, be a strong activist and maintain strong relationships with your family and friends. In short, I trust your instincts and would like your opinion on something; I am 23 years old and currently working at a law firm. I have been aiming towards law school, but I do not handle stress well – I get sick often – and my passions, like yours, are healthy eating and exercise. I want to get a Masters in Natural Health from Clayton College of Natural Health (www.ccnh.edu) but my parents severely look down on this. Also, I am afraid of how to earn a living in this field. Where does one work? Any advice you have would be appreciated.
| Dear Stephanie,
I am sure your parents only have good intentions for you when they steer you towards being a lawyer, but ultimately it is your life, and you must make the decision. I believe that the mate you choose and the career you choose are the most important factors in the quality of life you will have, and if you believe, after working at this law firm, that being a lawyer is not for you, then you must follow your gut here. Having a career helping people be healthy is a beautiful thing!
When I decided to become an actress, my mother was not happy, mostly because she was worried about the ups and downs of show business. But for 21 years now I have been an incredibly happy person, even with those ups and downs!!!! If I had picked a more mainstream career because of what my parents wanted – something more “secure”, “steady”- I wouldnt be as happy as I am now, that is for sure.
I have a low threshold for stress too, so I understand what you are talking about. Most of the stress in our life, however, is controllable, is we are willing to make changes. Look at what you consider important in life, what makes you happy. Does that coincide with a law career or a career in natural health and healing? If you are passionate about what you do, you will make it a success. Certainly here in California there is a market for it. Alot of people make a good living off healing, not as much as being a lawyer, but certainly they are happy! Ian’s massage therapist, Ted, used to be a lawyer and quit to do massage and he says he is much happier.
Good luck to you. I hope you follow your heart.
Hi Alexandra (or if you prefer) Alex ! As this is the 1st time on your site I’ve now found out that you are a veggie! I am a competitive bodybuilder who has eaten meat 5 times a day for years and think that it is impossible to build muscle on a low protein diet. I know a veggie who just started weight training and I think this was the reason why he didn’t make any gains. Apart from drinking protein shakes how did you (or would any other vegetarian athlete) develop the necessary muscle? I’m not likely to convert but hopefully this will help some other athletes! Thanks. From Troon in Scotland!
| Dear Paul,
I am not a bodybuilder, but I know that when I trained for the Ironman I ate alot of eggwhites. As I am a vegetarian, and not a vegan (vegans dont eat or wear or use anything that comes from a living creature. I dont wear leather, wool or silk, but I do still eat eggs and some milk), I could eat eggwhites, and drink protein shakes with whey (a milk byproduct) in them. I am not surprised that your friend couldnt gain alot of muscle on a vegetarian diet unless he/she were really pounding the eggwhites. Eggwhites have the highest biological value protein of any food.
There are many incredible athletes who are vegan, however (Carl Lewis, for one), and I believe that most people, with a bit of effort, can get enough protein from a vegan diet. Weightlifting and bodybuilding might be the exception to that, but I dont know for sure. A search on the internet will probably provide you with some examples of vegan bodybuilders.
Thank you for writing. Good luck with your weightlifting. Oh and by the way, I prefer “Alexandra”!
I admire your passion, commitment, and integrity to the anti-war effort. But North Korea is on the verge of creating at least 5 or 6 nuclear weapons. And they’ve warned they’ll sell these to whomever they please. Would you still be against the war effort if Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist network detonates a nuclear weapon in Los Angeles? Remember, there is no possible way for us to entirely stop terrorists. They could deliver a weapon by a yacht, a pleasure boat, a delivery truck or from a multitude of ways. And we know they hate us already. Also, happy birthday to you and your sister!
Sincerely, Bill Marley
Osama Bin Laden does not have nuclear weapons, and the best way to ensure that he never gets them is to negotiate with North Korea, not alienate them, as President Bush did last year by calling North Korea an axis of evil. What good does name calling do? North Korea’s dictator is one of the cruelest leaders on earth (that whole country is starving), but he is weak ( I dont care how many bombs he has) because North Koreans are poor, starving, ill-educated, unhappy. He needs the United States because he cannot maintain a stranglehold on his dictatorship for long. So starting a fight with him is just stupid (and Bush started it by calling them names. It put North Korea on the defensive). We can win over North Korea through diplomacy because North Korea needs alot of what other countries have (food, most urgently).
Unfortunately, because Bush believes that “security” means troops, guns and bombs, countries are
I look at the long term view, and I KNOW that America is less safe today than on September 12, 2001, and I think that is because Bush responded with hatred and violence and bullheadedness and disrespect. I believe that if he had not decided to be a cowboy and start two wars (that didnt even accomplish their initial intentions, to catch Osama and Saddam), leaving 2 countries in disarray and dozens very angry at us for not working with the international community, we could have held on to some of the goodwill we got from the world when we were attacked on 9/11. If he had decided to rebuild those countries instead of decimate them with tons and tons of (cancer-causing) weapons, we could have had the Arab world on our side.
Thank you for writing. I enjoyed your thought-provoking letter.