Feb. 1, 2012
Herbie of the Week: Sara
Last week we met Dale, who went off his medication for diabetes, high blood pressure and gout in 90 days! This week we meet Sara, who was skeptical, but after her best friend convinced her to try a plant-based diet, she lost 96 lbs and lowered her blood pressure.
HH: What was your health like before you adopted a plant-based (vegan) diet?
Before I became vegan I had high blood pressure, was overweight, had little to no energy and just did not feel well. Due to this I was angry and irritable a lot of the time.
HH: How did you learn about a plant-based (vegan) diet?
My very best friends is a vegan. When she first told me about her diet I laughed at her, thinking she really could not eat anything and that it was such a hard lifestyle. But after lots of research and through many emails, texts, etc with my friend, I learned about the health benefits of a plant-based diet and decided it was the right lifestyle for me. It is a decision I will never regret.
HH: So the health benefits were your motivations?
Before I found the vegan diet I wanted to lose weight, simple as that, I tried everything and nothing really worked or it would work for a time then I would put the weight back on, so eventually I decided that being healthy was more important than weight loss.
HH: You said you did a lot of research before going plant-based. What information did you seek out? What did you learn? Were there any surprises?
When I started researching about the vegan diet, I discovered that all my ideas about not being able to eat many foods, or having to drive from place to place to find rare or hard to get food items were all wrong, I first felt bad about laughing at my friend when she first told me she was vegan and then I felt like a little kid in a candy store. Suddenly, I loved grocery shopping, loved discovering new fruits and vegetables I have never bothered trying before.
HH: What benefits have you experienced since going vegan?
Now, my blood pressure is normal, I have lost 96 pounds, I have LOADS of energy and I feel great. I am much happier and I am sure, much easier to be around. My husband and I have really done a 180 with our health and cooking.
HH: Could you elaborate a little more?
When my husband and I ate animal products, even when we were trying to eat healthy, our lives rotated around the animal products, what meat for dinner, what type of cheese would we put on our salad, etc. I really did not love the food we were eating which is probably why we never stayed on any diets. We also did not put a lot of thought into our food. It was just food.
Then we discovered the plant based diet and started really looking at and researching foods, we discovered taste. That sounds so silly but it was like we never really tasted or loved the taste of our food before. Now everything we eat has so much flavor and we truly love eating. My husband says it is the best food he has ever eaten. Knowing that we are eating our way to health makes it that much better.
HH: You've called the happy herbivore cookbooks your bible; can you explain what you mean?
Religious people open their bibles on a daily basis or refer to it verses or scripture on a daily basis. My husband I do the same with the HH books. Seriously, there is not a day that goes by that we do not open up one or both of the cookbooks and scroll through it, make grocery lists from it, or talk about this or that recipe. They are so much a part of our lives that we have coined the phrase that they are our bibles.
HH: Overall, how do you feel now that you've explored a plant-based diet?
I feel great! So great in fact that I feel like screaming it from the roof tops. I have become such an advocate for the plant based diet. I have energy and feel happy and healthy. I am and always have been a big defender of the animal rights movement, so knowing that I am not harming any animals makes be feel like I have a purpose. I feel strong. I love the phrase Plant Strong because that is how I truly feel.
HH: What advice do you have for people who are thinking about switching to this lifestyle?
My advice to those who are not vegan or are not familiar with the diet...Listen, don't laugh or turn your nose up because it is different and let go of all the things you think you know. The vegan diet is not hard, it is not expensive, you don't have to drive all around the world to find certain foods. Just keep an open mind.
Thank you Sara so much for sharing!