Bill Duke: “If You Don’t Get Sick, You Don’t Have To Get Well”
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Actor and director Bill Duke now has a better understanding of the importance of nutrition and its role in living a happy, healthy life. Since breaking into TV in the early 80s directing episodes of Miami Vice and Hill Street Blues, Duke has continued to balance his time as an actor in front and behind the camera. But, that road to stardom was a painful one due to his health.
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“As a child, I grew up in a poor family. And in my family, we had to eat everything on the plate. We didn’t know what a carbohydrate was, we didn’t know what a protein was. Everything was just ‘food’ to us, so we ate it. We just ate based upon taste. And as a result a lot of my family members died due to obesity and diabetes.”
“Luckily in the 60s and 70s, I learned something about the sacred nature of your body. And I learned that if you don’t get sick, you didn’t have to get well.”
Early on, Bill inherited a digestive problem that both of his parents had. This led him to have to take two laxatives every single day for over two decades until he changed his diet. During that time, Bill also developed a condition called plantar fasciitis, which is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the flat band ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated and many times inflamed. This makes it painful for you to just stand or walk.
Plantar fasciitis is common in middle-aged people. It also occurs in younger people who are on their feet a lot, like athletes or soldiers. It can happen in one foot or both feet. Plantar fasciitis is caused by straining the ligament that supports your arch. Repeated strain can cause tiny tears in the ligament. These can lead to pain and swelling.
Most people with plantar fasciitis have pain when they take their first steps after they get out of bed or sit for a long time. It may hurt the most when you climb stairs or after you stand for a long time. But, if you have foot pain at night, you may have a different problem, such as arthritis, or a nerve problem such as tarsal tunnel syndrome.
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With nearly all of his symptoms subsided, Bill has now been practicing vegetarianism and has learned to love healthy eating and activities.