Ester Galindo climbs back to health with the Maffetone Method.
Ester Galindo has climbed some of the tallest mountains in the world, but her journey to the pinnacle of health might be her most lofty achievement.
The 43-year-old resident of Altafulla, Spain, is active in many types of endurance sports. She enjoys running, cycling, mountain biking, swimming, orienteering, backpacking and mountaineering. She also can fluently speak four different languages, and is transitioning to her new career as a health coach, after 18 years working as a translator.
In Europe she’s climbed the highest peak in continental Spain — Mulhacén at 3478 meters. She’s also summited most of peaks over 3,000 meters in the Pyrenees, including Aneto the highest at 3404, as well as many peaks in the Alps, including the highest, Mont Blanc at 4810 meters.
But those were nothing compared to the high peaks she has climbed in South America, including Aconcagua, at 6960 meters in the Andes the highest peak in both the Western and Southern Hemispheres, as well as Illimani, 6462 meters, and Huayna Potosí, 6088 meters, both in the Cordillera Real.
Ester has backpacked throughout the Pyrenees and the Alps, and has hiked from Chamonix to Zermatt in the Alps.
She once pedaled from Salamanca in Northern Spain to Sevilla in Southern Spain on her mountain bike, following an ancient Roman path called the Ruta Via de la Plata. She also cycled 800 kilometers across Northern Spain following an ancient pilgrimage route called Camino de Santiago.
Active since a teenager, Ester began to notice some symptoms of health problems in her 20s and into her early 30s. She had thought she was eating and training healthfully so was confused. Although she was extremely active she felt like she was not as lean as she should be with all the exercise she was doing. She felt bloated, and her hands were often stiff and swollen. When mountain-climbing her hands had become so painful that she actually gave up the sport. Among other symptoms were allergies, sleepiness after meals, reflux, morning fatigue and extremely painful menstrual periods.
“And when you are an active woman it’s even worse,” she says of the menstrual pain. “Some people just go to bed and stay there for three days. I wanted to go on with my life and be 6,000 meters high with my climbing.”
She wondered what had happened to her health.
“When I look back on my life, as a kid I was very, very skinny and very active and healthy and full of energy,” Ester recalls. “My mother always said I never wanted any sweets.”
But things changed as she became a young adult.
“I went into this vegetarian diet,” she says. “I started obviously to eat more carbs. I thought they were healthy. I would say since I was 16 to 17 I started eating worse and these symptoms were piling up all these years.”
When she was 33, Ester discovered Dr. Phil Maffetone’s books. She began to read and to understand that she was carbohydrate-intolerant, and that she had been training too intensely.
She began to make the suggested changes, and noticed almost immediate relief.
“The first thing that went away was my allergies,” she says.
Then one by one the other symptoms began to disappear as well. Suddenly she could even climb mountains again without her hands swelling painfully.
“Nowadays I feel even better than years ago when I was much younger,” she says.
Ester was so amazed by the results that she began to wonder why Dr. Maffetone’s works were not available in Spanish. As a translator, she reached out to him with her success story and proposed to translate his materials for the Spanish audience. To date, she has translated many of his articles for the Spanish triathlon magazine Triatlón.
In addition, Ester is organizing a series of Maffetone Method seminars for those wishing to learn more this November in Barcelona, Spain. Dr. Maffetone will be leading the discussions. The first series is for triathletes and endurance athletes Nov. 6-8, and the second is for health and sports professionals Nov. 13-15.