Happy Herbivore Blog

Herbie of the Week: Deb B (She's Lost 42lbs!)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Herbies

Meet our Herbie of the Week: Deb B!

Back in March I asked Herbies on Facebook to share all the positive things about a plant-based diet. Deb commented:

As soon as I read Deb's comment, I immediately asked if she'd be interested in sharing her story for the Herbie of the Week series -- and I'm so glad she did!

Not only has she lost nearly 50lbs by going plant-based (and using the 7-Day meal plans), Deb no longer needs her pain management medication and reduced her acid reflux meds.

Read on for Deb's inspirational journey!

For 6+ years, I had suffered from nausea and vomiting, especially after the removal of my gall bladder. My doctors were stumped. My symptoms seemed to indicate that I was not able to properly digest the food I was eating and every few weeks, I would suffer from 24-hour bouts of vomiting. I introduced probiotics and had test after test. Medically speaking, there was no explanation. The testing showed that my digestive system was healthy and working the way it should. Yet, I continued to get sick.

Then in May of 2013, a friend told me to watch Forks Over Knives. It left me very curious. If eliminating animal products and processed foods could reverse heart disease and cancer, I thought it might be the key to solving my digestive problems and I figured it would also help me lose weight, and be able to stop taking the daily meds I needed for Acid Reflux/chronic heartburn, high blood pressure and chronic pain (fibromyalgia).

April 2013

I have been on diet after diet and have never been able to maintain any sort of weight loss for an extended period of time. I had always assumed that it would be too hard to give up meat and dairy and I hated to cook so I had been surviving on mostly processed foods. I started to have more energy within a week or two of eating a plant-based whole-food diet. I also noticed that I no longer had any food cravings and I lost 20 pounds. I am now down a total of 42 pounds and another 3.1 pounds will bring me to my first goal of being less than 200 pounds for the first time in 13 years. I’d probably be further along if I hadn’t lost focus on the “low-fat” and unprocessed side of things for a few months (which means being Vegan is not the same), but I am happy with the loss I have achieved and more importantly, I have kept the weight off for almost a year now.

Since I began this journey, I have been able to completely stop taking my pain management meds and have reduced the meds for acid reflux by 50%. I have had two bouts of vomiting since I started and both times I had decided to eat meat to see how it would affect me. I have also had dairy now and then and noticed each time that I was exhausted for days afterward. These experiments have shown me that including animal products in my diet is not worth the way it makes me feel.

March 2014

The health rewards and increased energy levels make it a very easy decision and my grocery bills are at least $200 less per month. The meal plans have helped me even more since I started using those this year. The plans have further reduced my grocery costs, and helped me lose 7 of the 42 pounds after a lull in weight-loss of about 5 months. Plus I only cook once a week now!

I am looking forward to ending the remaining medication soon and am actually looking forward to our beach vacation this summer and a cruise in October. I know, without a doubt, that I will be at least 1-2 sizes smaller by then. Like Lindsay says, “Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels” and to be honest, none of that other “crap” I ate before holds any appeal and REAL foods tastes pretty darn good to me now that my taste buds are awake again!

Way to go, Deb! Thanks for sharing your story with us!

Sweet & Sour Stuffed Bell Peppers, Ratatouille Sandwich, Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie & More!

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: MealPlan

If you're tired of eating the same old thing, this week's meal plan will have you jumping for joy!

Sip on the Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie (NEW!) for breakfast, take a bite out of the Ratatouille Sandwich (NEW!) for lunch, and chow down on the Sweet & Sour Stuffed Bell Peppers (NEW!) for dinner!

And when you're not going to town on the new eats, you'll enjoy popular meal plan recipes like the "Tuna" Salad (both plans), Veggie Pot Pie (family), and Lasagna Rolls (family)!

Sweet & Sour Stuffed Bell Peppers

Individual Highlights

  • Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie (NEW!)
  • "Tuna" Salad
  • Beet & Walnut Salad (NEW!)
  • Peaches 'n Cream Oatmeal
  • Sweet & Sour Stuffed Bell Peppers (NEW!)
  • Shiitake & Bok Choy Noodles (NEW!)
  • Queso Bowl
  • Ratatouille Sandwich (NEW!)
  • Quick Burgers
  • Pineapple Crisp

Get this meal plan now.

Ratatouille Sandwich

Family Highlights

  • Ratatouille Sandwich (NEW!)
  • Veggie Pot Pie
  • Sweet & Sour Stuffed Bell Peppers (NEW!)
  • Lasagna Rolls
  • Shiitake & Bok Choy Noodles (NEW!)
  • "Tuna" Salad Sandwich
  • Beet & Walnut Salad (NEW!)
  • SoCal Tacos
  • Fantastic Fruit Salad
  • Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie (NEW!)

Get this meal plan now.

Shiitake & Bok Choy Noodles

Testimonials

"We've only been using the meal plans for a few weeks and we already can't remember how we survived without them. When my husband got home tonight the first thing he said was 'Did you print our new meal plan?'" Nicole M

"I’ve been vegan for years, and I am finally losing weight - about 2lbs a week - thanks to the meal plans! You have turned my food life upside down and I’m never bored now!" - Nicci E

Get the current meal plan now.

Teaching Tuesday: How to Pick the Best Produce (Fruits & Vegetables)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Cooking101

Not too long ago I asked Herbies on the HH Facebook page what topics they'd like to see covered for Teaching Tuesday.

Someone suggested how to pick the best produce, and I thought it was a brilliant idea!

I've put together a cheat sheet of the most common fruits and veggies featured in HH recipes (and the 7-Day meal plans), and what you should look for when browsing the produce section or farmer's market.

Apples: Pick apples that are heavy for their size, firm, naturally shiny and deep in color.

Avocados: A ripe avocado should be slightly soft with a dark green skin. If it's bright green and hard, it won't be ready for a couple of days (you can always speed up the process by putting it in a brown paper bag).

Bananas: Look for ones with a couple brown spots; that means they're at their best. Like an avocado, if their skin is green, it will be a couple days until they're ready to eat.

Broccoli: The crowns should be dark green and firm to the touch.

Carrots: Pick carrots that are firm and smooth without little rootlets.

Citrus: Look for a fruit that's firm and bright in color.

Corn: Look for corn with a thick, bright green husk. Don't buy ones that have dry ends. Another good tip: the heavier the ear, the more moisture it's retained, which means it's healthy.

Cucumbers: They should be dark green and firm.

Eggplant: Eggplants should be dark purple in color. If you gently press on the skin, it should give slightly and bounce back. Avoid eggplants with soft spots and/or wrinkled skin.

Kale: If you gently squeeze the leaves, healthy kale will make a squeaky sound and bounce back immediately. It will also be rich in color.

Lettuce/Greens: Look for lettuce or greens that are crisp and healthy.

Mangos: Choose mangos that are slightly soft to the touch and fragrant.

Melons: If you can close your eyes and identify the melon by its smell, you have a winner.

Onions: Avoid onions with sprouts or soft spots.

Pears: Select pears that are starting to get soft below the stem. They should also be free of bruises.

Peppers: They should be firm, naturally shiny and heavy.

Potatoes: Spuds should be smooth, oval in shape and firm. They shouldn't have wrinkled skin or spots.

Strawberries: Look for strawberries that are fragrant, red (not yellow or green), and shiny. Don't forget to check the bottom of the basket/container for bad or moldy strawberries. Mold spreads fast!

Summer Squash/Zucchini: The skin should be bright and consistent, rubbery and have a nice sheen.

Tomatoes: Find a tomato that has a nice red color and is soft enough to squeeze, but doesn't break the skin.

Watermelon: Avoid watermelons that have a strange shape (i.e. asymmetrical). The heavier ones have more water and will be juicier.

Winter Squash: Choose a squash that's heavy. Avoid ones that are soft and have dark spots.

One final note... When in doubt, you can always ask an employee or just go with your instinct. Chances are if the produce doesn't look good, you probably won't want to eat it.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4