Happy Herbivore Blog

Herbies of the Week: Jill & Gloria (They've Lost 45lbs Together!)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Herbies

Meet our Herbies of the Week: Jill & Gloria!

Earlier this summer, Gloria left this comment on the Happy Herbivore Facebook page:

"My partner and I went vegan March 6th 2013. We educated ourselves with books, documentaries, and articles off the Internet. We came across your 1st cookbook. And now we own all of them. It has helped us with eating healthy and our weight loss. We haven't hit our goal yet but we're closer than ever. We have never felt this good before. We not only feel good physically but mentally as well. Knowing we are doing good for the animals. Knowing no animal has been exploited for our food and clothing. And no animal had to be experimented on for our beauty products. Thank you Happy Herbivore. We just wanted to share our story."

As soon as I read that, I knew Gloria and Jill were the perfect candidates for the Herbie of the Week series!

Here's their story in their own words...

My partner Gloria and I decided to transition into a vegan lifestyle in March of 2013. It all started after a week-long marathon of watching "Forks Over Knives", "Earthlings", "Food, Inc.", "Supersize Me", etc. I was awakened at about 2 in the morning by Gloria pleading with me, “I want to go vegan!!” My response was that we could talk about it in the morning, and rolled over and went back to sleep. She was skeptical that I would be okay with all of this.

I have always been plagued by horrible allergies. To the point of an almost perpetual sinus infection and weekly allergy injections on top of medications. When I awoke that morning, I started researching. I read that one of the biggest attributes to bad allergies was dairy consumption. This alone was reason for me to give going vegan a try. So, we talked when she woke up and made the decision. We were going to go vegan. Her reasoning was largely from an ethical standpoint, and mine was from the health side (in the beginning).

Initially, we were going to start to phase out the groceries we already had in the refrigerator and freezer and make a slow transition. This process lasted only a couple of days when we made the decision to get rid of all food products we had that were non-vegan and just dive in. From there, we headed to our local Whole Foods and began the process of veganizing our lives from pantry to closets.

The first book Gloria got me was "The Happy Herbivore Cookbook”. This book was the beginning of so many changes to be made in our everyday food preparation. From the no oil usage to the mouth-watering sauces, we were hooked! Since then we have purchased all of her wonderful cookbooks, and use them to guide most every meal we make.

In the last year, Gloria has lost 30 pounds and I have lost 15. We both feel so much better in every way imaginable. From our mental clarity to our clearer consciences. Gloria was recently diagnosed with an endocrine disorder and we know that things would have been so much worse for her had we not already adopted this healthy change in our lives.

I have been 100% off the allergy injections for well over a year now and feel great! We most definitely attribute Lindsay’s books and contagious positive attitude through social media to our continued success. We feel better, look better, and are looking forward to living the rest of our lives in exactly this fashion! Thank you and best wishes to everyone who is traveling down this same path in their lives.

Thank you so much Jill & Gloria for sharing your story with us!

Herbies of the Week: Where Are They Now? Andrea W, Margret, Kelsey, Ami, & Ruth H - A Year (or Two!) Later

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Herbies

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?

Sensational Summer Salads! Grilled Vegetable & Soba Noodle Salad, Tomato & Basil Chickpea Salad, Asian Pasta Salad & More!

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: MealPlan

This week's meal plan is exploding with our best summer salads -- and we're not just talking about leafy greens!

Fill up your bowl with new dishes like the Tomato & Basil Chickpea Salad (NEW!), Grilled Vegetable & Soba Noodle Salad (NEW!), Asian Pasta Salad (NEW!), Black Bean & Lentil Salad (NEW!) plus MANY more!

Asian Pasta Salad

Individual Highlights

  • Tomato & Basil Chickpea Salad (NEW!)
  • Lentil & Pear Salad
  • Carrot Cake Overnight Oats (NEW!)
  • Grilled Vegetable & Soba Noodle Salad (NEW!)
  • Peach Basil Quinoa Salad
  • Asian Pasta Salad (NEW!)
  • Black Bean & Lentil Salad (NEW!)

Get this meal plan now.

Tomato & Basil Chickpea Salad

Family Highlights

  • Grilled Vegetable & Soba Noodle Salad (NEW!)
  • Asian Pasta Salad (NEW!)
  • Pepper & "Steak" Fajitas
  • Black Bean & Lentil Salad (NEW!)
  • Refried Bean Burritos
  • Tomato & Basil Chickpea Salad Wraps (NEW!)
  • Balsamic Sweet Potato & Spinach Salad

Get this meal plan now.

Grilled Vegetable & Soba Noodle Salad


"You will be surprised - I actually think it is impossible to follow these plans strictly without losing weight. They are brilliant!" - Clare B

"I just went vegan and was thrilled to find a soy free meal plan. I've tried other meal plans, but didn't enjoy the food. Each meal has been very satisfying and delicious." -Tifani P

Get the current meal plan now.