Happy Herbivore Blog

Herbies of the Week: Derrick & Katie (They've Lost 140lbs Together!)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Herbies

Meet our Herbies of the Week: Derrick & Katie!

This hubby and wife team stumbled upon a plant-based lifestyle after paying more attention to what they were putting into their body -- and realized what they thought was "healthy" was the exact opposite.

Derrick and Katie started to eat more plant-based foods and noticed they felt a lot better. Fast forward four months later: Derrick and Katie lost a combined total of 140lbs and lowered their cholesterol and blood pressure!

Read on for their incredible plant-based adventure!

Our “adventure” began in March 2013 when Derrick decided to try a new app that tracks your nutritional and caloric intake and documents cardiovascular activity. Derrick had successfully lost 40 pounds the year before with intense exercise, but gained it back because his diet didn't contain enough calories and other things your body needs to keep you healthy.

I decided if he was going to log his food and exercise every day, I should, too. We quickly learned that not only does regular heart-pumping activity help you lose weight, but a balanced diet does also. Like most people, we've been bombarded with mixed messages about what's healthy and what's not our whole lives, whether it was from friends, family, the Internet or media. Lots of things seem to work for people, but not long-term and not in a way that leaves them feeling energized and full.

In addition to calories, our app tracks nutritional information like sodium, sugar, potassium, vitamins, cholesterol, fat, fiber and protein. We were amazed so many foods in our diet offer little or no nutritional value, and these are the types of foods touted in our culture as being “healthy.” Processed foods are so awful! And good luck finding anything in a restaurant that is low in sodium, sugar and calories. Yuck! So many boxed, bagged, frozen and canned products are loaded with preservatives and other chemicals. Products labeled “diet,” “skinny” or “healthy,” we noticed, are the biggest offenders. What the food companies cut out in calories or fat they just replace with additives, salt and sugar.

With all this new information learned, we also found out what is good for us to eat. Some foods are even “free” to eat whenever you want. Fresh vegetables and fruit are amazing! For example, if there was a day when we were really low in potassium or iron, and were therefore feeling really sluggish, we often found that eating fresh produce solved the problem. Eating cheese and meat made us feel gross and ready to nap. If you've ever inhaled a pizza, burger and fries or steak dinner you can relate.

Within four months of us following a plant-based lifestyle, Derrick lost 100 pounds and I lost 40 pounds. We felt amazing, like we found “the answer” that everyone is looking for. Our cholesterol and blood pressure is very low; mine is that of a professional athlete.

There have been many other resources we have used on our journey in addition to the app. We watched documentaries like Forks Over Knives, Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue and other films that have grown in popularity as people have become interested in plant-based eating. We were amazed by what they were teaching is what we had found in our own research. We read blogs and bought plant-based cookbooks. I went to hear the No-Meat Athlete author Matt Frazier give a talk. We dove into plant-based cooking and spent many, many hours in grocery stores. Education has been the driving factor in our decision to change the way we live.

While neither one of us is vegan or vegetarian, we are continuously working at incorporating plant-based meals into our daily routine. There have been really great days, weeks and months, and some not-so-great ones. We've found that stressors like work, family issues, societal pressures and even winter weather have an impact on how we eat. Both of us have always used food as a coping mechanism for boredom, stress and sadness, but it's also used for celebratory times, bonding with people and relaxing.

We live in the rural Midwest, where many meals center around a huge cut of meat, and the sides are usually secondary and often warmed up in a microwave. We drive to a nearby city to get most of our groceries. We are planning to buy a house soon and hope to plant a garden to help with that. We are still learning how to address eating (or just not eating) at social functions where healthy options are not available.

I am still considering becoming vegan because I feel the best when I eat that way. It's an ongoing education and learning process for us, and we cannot say enough great things about resources like Happy Herbivore for getting the information out to people. Doctors don't always prescribe food as medicine, but if they did, we believe it would cure so many of the world's health problems.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Katie & Derrick!

"Beef" with Broccoli Bowl, Grilled Vegetable & Chickpea Salad, Southwest Pasta Salad & More!

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: MealPlan

Start the month off right with this week's meal plan!

Both the individual and brand new dinner only family meal plan are exploding with delicious and exciting new recipes like the "Beef" with Broccoli Bowl (NEW!), Southwest Pasta Salad (NEW!), Grilled Vegetable & Chickpea Salad (NEW!), and the BBQ Black Bean Wrap (NEW!).

Happy & healthy eating everyone!

Southwest Pasta Salad

Individual Highlights

  • Easy Mango & Strawberry Smoothie (NEW!)
  • "Beef" with Broccoli Bowl (NEW!)
  • Banana Split Overnight Oats
  • Grilled Vegetable & Chickpea Salad (NEW!)
  • Southwest Pasta Salad (NEW!)
  • Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas
  • BBQ Black Bean Wrap (NEW!)

Get this meal plan now.

"Beef" with Broccoli Bowl

Family Highlights

  • "Beef" with Broccoli Bowl (NEW!)
  • Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas
  • Southwest Pasta Salad (NEW!)
  • Tomato Cobbler with Rosemary Biscuits
  • BBQ Black Bean Wrap (NEW!)
  • Cajun Cornbread Casserole
  • Grilled Vegetable & Chickpea Salad (NEW!)

Get this meal plan now.

Grilled Vegetable & Chickpea Salad


"Through your meal plans, I've finally learned how to eat well. Since April 1, I've lost 22 pounds and 10 inches off my waist! Thank you again for the valuable insight you provide all of us." - Jen P

"Your meal plans have changed my life!" - Kelly C

Get the current meal plan now.

Introducing the New Dinner Only Family Meal Plan!

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: MealPlanNews

I'm SO excited to unveil the new dinner only family meal plan that debuts tomorrow!

Based on last month's survey, I think everyone will be very happy with the new features and format!

The new dinner only family meal plan starts June 4th (that's tomorrow!). If you subscribe to the monthly family meal plan, you'll receive it instantly via email the moment it's released. The individual meal plan will remain the same, with a slight improvement on the prep sheet.

Now on to the good stuff...

What does the dinner only family meal plan include?

1) The new meal plan features 7 dinner recipes (each recipe serves 4), most of which will be BRAND NEW!

2) This plan is also perfect for couples! You'll both have leftovers for lunch the next day!

3) Each recipe also includes recommended sides (when necessary) so you can round out or extend the meal. (This is great if you need to bulk up the calories or have more than 4 family members).

4) Just like the original family meal plan, there's instructions for meal prep, so you can make all your dinners ahead for the week. Many are freezer-friendly!

5) We're also including free bonus breakfast and lunch recipes each week as well that are optional, but there for those families who liked the previous meal plan with breakfast, lunch, and dinner laid out.


What you're really going to LOVE about the new dinner only family meal plan is the new shopping list feature!

All of the ingredients (minus the pantry staples) note which meals they belong to. That means if you don't want to cook meal #2, just cross out where the "2" is on the shopping list and you're good to go! SO easy!

This feature has been long requested and was not possible with the old meal plan, but is now here for the new dinner only plan :)

Check it out:

Lastly, I'm also having a LIVE chat tomorrow night (Wednesday) to talk about the new changes and answer any questions you have about this new meal plan or meal plans in general. Sign up for the free meal plan newsletter to get deets!

As a reminder, this new dinner only family meal plan is not available until TOMORROW, June 4th.

HOWEVER if you start a subscription today, you'll get the current meal plan with some fantastically awesome recipes like the Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie, Sweet & Sour Stuffed Bell Peppers, and Ratatouille Sandwich AND you'll get this brand new plan first!!! It'll pop up in your inbox immediately once it releases at midnight.

We believe in the meal plans so much we offer a 100% money-back guarantee, so there's no risk to you! (We also donate a portion of proceeds to elephant charities).

Thanks for helping me make the best meal plans possible! I love making it easy (and tasty!) for your family to eat well.