Why you should know this naturopath trailblazer!
Known as the “Dietitian of the Stars,” Dr. Alvenia Fulton was a naturopath, entrepreneur, journalist, and radio talk show host. Her guide on fasting released in the 1970s led to her becoming a well-known figure in the health and wellness industry. She has and continues to inspire thousands of people to improve their lifestyle habits.
Dr. Alvenia Fulton was born in Pulaski, Tennessee in 1907. Fulton started her professional career as a seminary graduate and pastor before exploring naturopathy and veganism.
Fulton would not discover naturopathy until she developed bleeding duodenal ulcers in 1954. Wanting to take a different approach to treat her ulcers rather than using traditional medicine, Fulton began researching holistic methods. One of her physicians advised her to consume raw cabbage juice to treat her ulcers. The juice seemed to work, as Fulton fully recovered from her ulcers after only 13 days. It was then that Fulton developed her passion for educating others on using nontraditional, holistic methods to treat illnesses.
Years later, Fulton left the south to pursue degrees in nutrition, eventually receiving a doctorate degree in naturopathy. During her studies, she moved to Chicago and began practicing vegetarianism. It was in Chicago that she founded and operated the Better Living Health Club, where she advised members on ways to lose weight and detox from inside her home.
As her club grew, she ultimately decided that her house was not large enough to handle the day-to-day operations and opened Fultonia’s Health Food Center on the southside of Chicago. With a loan, Fulton renovated the building so that the center could function as a food mart and consulting space. Once the center officially opened, visitors could get vegetarian meals, access the juice bar, buy healthcare products, and get health advice from Fulton herself.
Fulton’s nutritional efforts in Chicago spread around by word-of-mouth, leading many celebrities to the center to gain Fulton’s knowledge on holistic health methods. Some of the famous visitors include Ruby Dee, Bill Walton, Mahalia Jackson, Michael Caine, Dick Gregory and Redd Foxx.
Fulton gained a close friendship with civil rights activist, Dick Gregory. Her friendship led Fulton to co-author the book “Vegetarianism: Fact or Myth” with Gregory. She also wrote, “The Fasting Primer: The Book That Tells You What You Always Wanted to Know,” “Vegetarian: Fact or Myth: Eating to Live,” and several other books. Aside from her writing, she also hosted the radio talk show, “The Joy of Living,” in which she discussed her holistic healthcare remedies to listeners.
Despite her successes, Fulton had many critics who dispelled her holistic practices. However, she never allowed them to affect her business or beliefs. For example, Fulton said the following during a 1990 interview:
“They all criticized me,” she said. “They’re not now. Either they’re in a wheelchair or in a nursing home, or walking with a walker. They’re not like I am anymore.”
In 1992, Fulton was honored with a 9-block section of West 63rd Street in Chicago, which was named “Dr. Alvenia Fulton Drive.”
At the age of 92, Dr. Alvenia Fulton passed away on March 5, 1999 from natural causes.
Her works are available at the Schomburg Center in Harlem, NYC. Her work has inspired me to continue the legacy to help our communities through clean eating practices. Let’s say her name.