About Dr. Carla Hightower


I work with adults like you who are in the prime of life, but the only problem is your state of health is not what it ought to be. You have no energy and you long for a sense of well being.

Every time you go to the doctor, you’re worried there’s going to be a new medication added on that your body may not tolerate, resulting in a handful of nasty side effects.

You’re not sure how to begin creating healthier lifestyle habits–but you know you’re not interested in one more quick fix that doesn’t last.

I’m Dr. Carla Hightower, a physician, certified integrative health coach, wellness expert, and founder of Living Health Works. I help men and women, like you to create a healthy lifestyle with plant-based nutrition so that you may heal yourself, have more energy, and lead a productive life.  A healthy lifestyle helps you take control of your health and thrive.

It’s absolutely possible to go from worrying about your future to reaching your full potential and doing more of the things you enjoy. As a health coach, I give you educational information and support that simplifies your journey to wellness.

Plant-based eating habits and lifestyle choices may significantly increase your feeling of wellbeing, peace of mind, and freedom to enjoy life fully.

Research studies show that plant-based nutrition and lifestyle habits help…

  • Address the root cause of disease
  • Promote healthy weight loss
  • Maintain healthy blood sugar levels
  • Decrease insulin resistance
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Maintain normal blood pressure
  • Improve circulation
  • Maintain normal cholesterol

What makes me unique is my extensive medical education and training, so all of the information and educational resources in my courses are evidence-based, up to date, and easy to understand.

My educational credentials include:

  • Doctor of Medicine degree from Northwestern University
  • Anesthesiology residency, Northwestern University
  • Certification in Integrative Health Coaching from Duke
  • Certificate in Plant-based Nutrition from Cornell
  • MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
  • Advanced Certificate in Medical Writing University of Chicago Graham School

My professional credentials include:

  • Over 20 years of experience as an anesthesiologist managing diabetic and cardiac patients in the operating room
  • I am an experienced and engaging public speaker on the topic of plant-based food and healthy lifestyle habits. I have appeared on CBS 2 News and Chicago area radio shows WGN, WVON, and AM 560 as well as speaking before professional audiences. My professional accomplishments were showcased on the AARP website. I was a panelist at the Forward Food Leadership Summit sponsored by The Humane Society and Northwestern University.

In 2007, my problem was that my own health was out of control. I went from one doctor to the next trying to get help with all of my symptoms including acid reflux, abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, joint pain, and sinusitis. I was taking more medications than ever in my life, but nothing helped.  My abdominal pain worsened, and I developed a horrible case of pneumonia that was resistant to the usual antibiotics. That’s when I discovered I had prediabetes.

I was frustrated, discouraged, and exhausted. I felt like I was on a hamster wheel, constantly taking medications and tests that did not fix the problems. The pneumonia was very hard to treat and I worried about what would happen to my 11 year old daughter if I died.

I finally had to admit that conventional medicine was failing me. It was just masking my symptoms not improving my health.

I also realized my eating habits were directly connected to how I felt. That was when I decided to switch to whole food plant-based nutrition.

  • By making the same shifts that I teach in my course, I reversed my own prediabetes, and resolved all my other symptoms! I gained energy and began sleeping better, waking up refreshed.
  • I came off all the pills and supplements I had been taking for inflammation, joint pain, back pain, acid reflux, abdominal pain, sinusitis, and constipation.
  • I’ve been symptom free and off medicine for 10 years now.

My mother inspired me to learn about plant-based nutrition and how the body can heal itself.  Forty years ago, she adopted a healthy lifestyle and reversed her diabetes in spite of our strong family history for this disease. At the time, I was just a teenager, so I didn’t pay as much attention. But over the years her focus on healthy eating and exercising was obviously making a difference, enabling her to age more gracefully. She is a wonderful role model for living a healthy lifestyle and she always inspires me to be better.

Of course, conventional health care has its place and helps people survive in a crisis, but it does not always help us THRIVE. Conventional approaches are life-saving in urgent situations, but they don’t address the root cause of the most common chronic diseases. Many people complain that they…

  • Can’t control their blood sugar and blood pressure even with medications
  • Spend thousands on diets to lose weight but can’t keep it off
  • Feel exhausted and drained which keeps them from performing at their best
  • Fear the possibility of experiencing complications and losing their independence

It’s very clear, we need to shift from masking symptoms to understanding the root cause of the problem, namely our eating habits and lifestyle choices. Nutrition and lifestyle are the keys to maintaining good health

  • I believe you can live an amazing life
  • I believe you are capable of healing yourself
  • I believe it’s possible for you to succeed in reaching your goals

This is why it warms my heart to teach you how you can use whole food plant-based nutrition and lifestyle habits to help yourself. You have the power to get back in control of your health.

Let’s help you begin your journey to a healthier lifestyle!

Take Another Look Video:


[1] Hyman MA, Ornish D, Roizen M. Lifestyle medicine: treating the causes of disease. Altern Ther Health Med. 2009 Nov-Dec;15(6):12-4.
[2] Egger GJ, Binns AF, Rossner SR. The emergence of “lifestyle medicine” as a structured approach for management of chronic disease. Med J Aust. 2009 Feb 2;190(3):143-5.