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I think my crowning achievement on this blog has been the Herbies of the Week series, which I look forward to every Thursday!
This series started two years ago (back in 2011) and I'm always in awe, inspired, and touched, when I think about all the different people and their amazing stories, that have been shared here every week.
I've decided to start reaching out to our past Herbies of the Week to see where they are today, a year later.
What's new? Are they still rockin' and rollin'?
I hate to spoil the surprise, but the short answer: YES.
Former Herbie of the Week: Carolyn (Nov. 2012)
After finding out she had high cholesterol (she was only 22!), Carolyn decided to turn her health around with a plant-based diet! Carolyn lost an incredible 47 lbs., her cholesterol dropped from 230 to 147! *and* she was able to go off all her meds for depression and anxiety! "I was taking the highest dose of anti-depressants you can be on and popping Ativan like it was candy." (Read Carolyn's full story.)
Update: "A year already?! Wow! I'm still plant-strong and plant-proud. My health is better than it's ever been. I'm still surprised by the amount of energy I have! Still working on my boyfriend... He'll come around eventually!!!" - Carolyn
Former Herbie of the Week: Dana (Nov. 2012)
As Dana's 50th Birthday approached, she decided to get into shape. Dana hired a personal trainer, lost 25lbs, and thought she was in the best shape of her life until her blood work came back. After a shocking discovery (Dana was pre-diabetic!) she went plant-based and changed her life! A year later Dana's fasting glucose was 87 (down from 113!) and she had amazing cholesterol numbers. Best test results of her life! (Read Dana's full story.)
UPDATE: "It has now been over 2 years since I have been eating a plant-based diet. Since being featured as Herbie of the week a year ago, I have received my Plant Based Nutrition Certificate through T. Collin Campbell’s program at eCornell, passed my ACE personal trainer certification exam and am now working as a personal trainer at Total Woman Gym and Spa helping women reach their own fitness goals. This May, I ran my first 5K at the age of 52 and hope to do more in the future. I have been able to keep the weight I lost off and my blood work continues to be good! The Happy Herbivore cookbooks are still my favorites! My teenage daughters even enjoy cooking the recipes! THANKS Lindsay!" - Dana
"Here is the photo from when we met!"
(Editorial note: I met Dana at a Happy Herbivore Meetup in Berkeley, California in January 2013)
Former Herbie of the Week: Jim (November 2011)
Before tying the knot, Jim decided it was time to lose some weight (and get healthy for his new wedded life!). "I wanted to look good, and feel healthy for myself and for my would-be wife :) What kind of husband would I be if I continued to pack on the pounds, be overweight with health problems, with possibly dying at a young age to leave my wife as a widow? Not a very good husband." After years of eating what most of us would describe as the Standard American Diet, Jim upgraded to a healthy, plant-based diet. The result? He lost 45lbs in time for his "I do" and kept it off effortlessly. (Read Jim's full story)
UPDATE: "Not much to update. I've kept the weight off and people actually come to me for food advice and ask me how I lost the weight. I first tell them about the diet change and quickly follow up about the importance of exercise and to keep at it. It's not easy starting off, but once you start eating right and feeling good, you'll want to feel good all the time. So eating good becomes a habit and routine, not something you do once in a while and you no longer rely on junk food or meat.
It's been a great two years, playing sports, feeling good, eating healthy, meeting new people and traveling with my wife. Can't ask for much more. I've seen your new books and will be purchasing Light & Lean. Our kitchen is filled with plant-based cook-books, including yours :)." - Jim
Former Herbie of the Week: Cindy (December 2011)
Despite having undergone two spine surgeries previously, Cindy lost 50lbs in honor of her 50th birthday thanks to a special exercise regimen and her plant-based diet! "I feel more vibrant, more healthy, and YOUNGER than I have felt in a long, long time!" Cindy's new diet and outlook on life also sent her down a new career path! (Read Cindy's full story)
UPDATE: "I am doing fabulously! My health has never been better and I feel amazing! I am proud to say that since I was the HOW, I completed my first 5K (see photo)! For someone with two major spinal surgeries, this should not have been possible! But a whole foods, plant-based diet and dedication to fitness have allowed me to lead an active life!
Currently my husband and I are living in Brazil for nine months and I am enjoying the discovery of many fruits and vegetables that are new to me! And I love the fresh juices and the abundance of papaya, pineapple, and mango... staples in the diet every day! Yum! I just found out there is an organic produce home delivery service I can sign up for! I cannot wait to start receiving a box of fresh organic produce every week!
I have one more semester to finish my degree at the Nutrition Therapy Institute and then I look forward to starting my own business as a Holistic Nutrition Therapist. I want to share my knowledge and my own experience by helping others reverse and prevent health problems through a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle!" - Cindy
Former Herbie of the Week: Robin (December 2012)
Robin lost an incredible (and unforgettable!) 200lbs! "I used to weigh 333lbs. and now I weight 132lbs." After years of struggling with her weight, and her relationship with food, Robin made a huge change -- to a plant-based diet! Little by little, everything fell into place and Robin is now happier and healthier than ever! (Read Robin's full story)
UPDATE: "I can't believe it has been a year since I was herbie of the week. ;) Crazy how time flies! I am still continuing down the same path. Still eating a low fat, whole food, plant based diet. Throughout the year a tried to add some fat back in the form of nuts and avocado but I realized all it did was bring back craving for more fat. So I decided I did better just following my original way of eating. I try to keep it simple and life is simpler as well. ;) I still am very much committed to this way of eating and I still show that everyday in my lifestyle choices and my t-shirt line, Nothing With a Mother or a Face. I included some more current pictures of my daughter and I from a recent trip this year." - Robin
Big hugs and thanks to all of our Herbies of the Week! We are so happy to see you're still chopping carrots and taking names a year (or two!) later!
Your lives are a testament to the power of plants and an inspiration to us all!