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A TakeTEN Success: Julie Alvarez

Spirit, Inspiring Stories

If you’re new to Adventist Health, you may not be familiar with the TakeTEN program. As a lifestylemedicine curriculum located in Saint Helena, California (near the Napa Valley), TakeTEN utilizes a holistic and personal approach to various health ailments, striving to not only treat symptoms, but eradicate problems.

Participants of TakeTEN participate in the program for 10 days, working with on-site physicians, psychologists, chefs and trainers to discover natural, organic and holistic methods to physical and emotional healing. The program teaches that food is medicine and specializes in the treatment of diabetes, heart health, weight loss, addictions and undiagnosed illnesses.

As her 40th birthday approached, Julie Alvarez was 50 pounds overweight, on the verge of diabetes and had cholesterol readings that were reaching dangerous levels. She knew that she was at a crossroads. If she didn’t do something drastic, she would likely develop serious medical conditions that could shorten her life.

“I didn’t recognize myself when I looked in the mirror,” admitted Julie. “I lost my spark. I wanted to have energy so that I could play with my kids.”

Julie made the decision to enroll in the TakeTEN program, spending 10 days concentrating on her health with professionals trained to empower and reframe habits for a healthier future. Rather than emphasizingdeprivation, the program focuses on what individuals can add to their lives to enrich daily experiences. 

Six months out from her stay at TakeTEN, Julie has lost 50 pounds, her blood pressure and resting heart rate have decreased and her hemoglobin A1C went from 5.9 to 5.3 percent.

“I couldn’t have done it on my own,” said Julie. “This program is just 10 days. But for me, it was 10 days that completely changed my life.”