I think my crowning achievement on this blog has been the Herbies of the Week series, which I look forward to every Monday!
This series started three 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 (or two) 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: Andrea W (Nov. 2012)
After discovering her husband-to-be's right coronary artery was 80% blocked and a second on a vessel was 100% blocked (which resulted in 2 stents), Andrea knew something had to change. Once they switched to a plant-based diet, she lost 20lbs, lowered her cholesterol and blood pressure, while her husband lost 15lbs and now feels great living his life. "I can pass up all the drive-throughs knowing I am going to have something much better, both health-wise and taste-wise ,when I get home." (Read Andrea's full story)
Update: "In June, my husband and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary of being plant-based. That also marked Cary’s (my husband) two year anniversary since he had an angioplasty and two stents. While we aren’t always perfect in terms of no oil when eating out, we typically cook at home and have not gone back to eating animal products. We are both happy, healthy, still slim and Cary has had no further heart issues! Honestly, I don’t believe we could have maintained this lifestyle change without Lindsay’s books. We probably use a recipe from one of her books daily. My husband and I recommend them to everybody who asks us how we changed to and have maintained our WFPB life." - Andrea W
Former Herbie of the Week: Margret (Feb. 2013)
Margret was one of the first Herbies of the Week to share her plant-based pregnancy experience! The mama-to-be made the switch (along with the rest of her family) during her first trimester and it didn't take long for her to see the difference: her weight remained balanced, stretch marks were non-existent, and she was able to experience true sleep. "You CAN be pregnant, healthy, and plant-based and raise beautiful, smart, healthy kids!" (Read Margret's full story)
Update: "We have been eating a plant-based diet for nearly three years now. Everyone is doing amazing. Our kitchen & pantry have never been more streamlined and easy to maintain – we’ve minimalized our lives in so many ways, but I do believe starting with where our meals were created was the catalyst for a more minimalist lifestyle everywhere else. The kiddos are doing so well, they’re strong and thriving! Our oldest Audrey (7 years old), has gained tremendous height, and is gaining solid weight appropriate for her age, her pediatric check-ups are always 100% wonderful. The little one Darby (2 years old), unlike anyone else in our little family, was born plant-based and vegan. Her nickname is (and has been for quite some time) “Bruiser” and truly defines this fierce tank of a child! She is so adventurous, fearless, daring, and strong! Momma’s doing well too. I’ve completed more half marathons and full marathons. Biggest difference I’ve noticed is that I don’t have to be training all of the time to keep my waistline in check. My jean size doesn’t seem to change if I’m not purposely burning thousands of extra calories a week. I have 2 kiddos so I stay active that’s for sure. But it’s what’s on my plate that keeps my weight balanced, I’m not trying to “erase” things I’ve eaten. If you eat the right things, you don’t need to erase anything :)" - Margret
Former Herbie of the Week: Kelsey (Feb. 2013)
When Kelsey found out she had high cholesterol at the age of 23, she dove head first into a plant-based lifestyle. In only 8 months, she dropped 27lbs., her total cholesterol dropped nearly 80 points and her ALT Liver function was normal once again. "I'm now much happier mentally, emotionally, and physically and although the transition to this lifestyle was challenging, it has been rewarding." (Read Kelsey's full story)
Update: "It's been nearly 2.5 years since I've gone plant-based, and there's been many changes in our lives since then. In January of this year, we moved from Austin to the Houston area. While there are some great options for plant-based foods here in Houston, I do miss some of my favorite meals from the heart of Texas. My health is great, and my husband and I recently learned that we're expecting our first little herbivore due in late February 2015! We're beyond ecstatic and I'm enjoying the first trimester of my vegan pregnancy with the tremendous support of friends and family." - Kelsey
Former Herbie of the Week: Ami (Feb. 2013)
Ami was a former low-carber turned dairy-loving vegetarian before she and her husband ditched dairy cold turkey. As a result, Ami lost over 40lbs and her cholesterol dropped 90 points while her husband lost more than 70lbs! She even went on to be certified in Plant-Based Nutrition through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies! (Read Ami's full story)
Update: "Since becoming plant-strong, my husband and I have continued to share our passion for healthy food with young athletes in the USA Boxing program. This spring, we opened our own nonprofit youth boxing program in St Louis, MO where we learn about fitness, boxing and plant-based nutrition. We also provide healthy snacks to the kids each day. Teaching the kids to seek out better choices for snacks and meals is the foundation to a healthy and strong body. We also have plans for a series of budget minded plant-based cooking classes so the kids can learn how easy it is to make plant-based meals at home on a budget. This is our team of athletes, coaches and volunteers (Bill and I are on the left near the back)." - Ami
Former Herbie of the Week: Ruth H (Mar. 2013)
Refusing to be dependent on medication, Ruth was determined to live a healthier life after visiting her doctor in 2009. Once she hit a weight-loss plateau (after losing 85lbs!), a friend told her about Forks Over Knives and she immediately adopted a plant-based diet. In less than a year, Ruth lost an additional 70 pounds and reversed and eliminated all medical issues including Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. "I’m truly blessed to have the opportunity to live a healthier lifestyle and will maintain a low-fat, whole-food plant-based diet the rest of my life." (Read Ruth H's full story)
Update: "I am proud to say that not only have I continued to keep the weight off (first time in my life that I’ve been successful long term), but I still feel absolutely fantastic. I am amazed at the high levels of energy I continue to have (such a fantastic bonus to weight loss and regular exercise). I also just celebrated my two year herbieversary last month! I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and researching a lot of different career paths since completing my Master’s Degree and really feel compelled to pursue a career in the health and fitness industry. And after much exploration I am moving forward towards funding and obtaining my Personal Trainer and Health Coach Certification and will be specializing in Fitness Nutrition and Weight Management. I will also be completing the online plant based nutrition certificate program offered by eCornell/T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies as well. My journey has led to so much self-discovery along the way and it really is an honor to be able to share my story and my passion for living a whole-food plant-based lifestyle. I’m so excited for this next chapter in my life and for the opportunity to encourage and support others in their fitness, nutrition, and weight loss journeys." - Ruth H
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!
Catch up on Pragati, Lisa P, Aaron, Jeannine, & Jenn E -- Where are they now?