Happy Herbivore Blog

Herbie of the Week: Cindy

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Herbies

Last week with met Dr. Cat who lost an astonishing 100lbs... and this week we're meeting Cindy who lost 50lbs in honor of her 50th birthday!

HH: Happy Birthday Cindy! What did you do for the big 5-0?

For my 50th birthday this month, I ordered a copy of the new “Everyday Happy Herbivore” cookbook to go along with my other gift to myself: losing 50lbs in honor of my 50th year!

I have lost 50lbs in the past 17 months by adopting a whole-foods, plant-based diet. I feel more vibrant, more healthy, and YOUNGER than I have felt in a long, long time!

HH: That's amazing! How easy/difficult was it for you to switch to a plant-based diet?

I’ve been moving toward a plant-based diet for a long time, so for me it didn’t happen overnight. I spent most of my life eating the Standard American Diet. However, in 1998, I gave up red meat, fried foods, and fast food. Over the next several years, I moved away from processed foods and began cooking more whole foods, but I was still consuming a lot of animal products, still addicted to sugar, and feeling pretty horrible.

Before Picture

The result? I was 48 years old, majorly overweight, had terrible digestive issues, lots of inflammation in my body, and my skeletal system was failing me.

I felt like I was in my 60's instead of my 40's! Something was very wrong and something had to change if I had any chance of staying out of a wheelchair and not ending up with diabetes, heart disease, or dead.

HH: What pushed you to make a dietary change?

I saw the movies “Food Matters” and “Forks Over Knives,” and read “The Engine 2 Diet” and they all convinced me that a plant-based diet was exactly what I needed in my life!

HH: Did you make any other lifestyle changes?

I combined improved nutrition with a physical fitness program, working with a personal trainer (I must give kudos to Deb Klafter of Believe Fitness who helped me learn how to exercise safely and effectively after two spine surgeries), and voilà…I’ve lost 50lbs!

After Picture

I’m stronger, I’m healthier, no more sugar addiction, no more digestive issues, and I’m feeling fabulous at 50! I believe a whole-foods, plant-based diet and regular exercise are the key to a healthy body.

HH: Tell us about your dream of becoming a Holistic Nutritional Therapist -- and what you hope to accomplish in your new profession!

In alignment with my newfound LOVE for my whole-foods, plant-based diet, I quit my incredibly stressful job (also not good for my health) and enrolled in school at the Nutrition Therapy Institute in Denver to learn about holistic nutrition in order to become a Master Nutrition Therapist.

I want to learn how to use food to reverse and prevent disease and the many physical ailments that our nation suffers from because of the Standard American Diet. I want to help others learn how a whole foods, plant-based diet can improve their health, the quality of their lives, and make them feel as fabulous as I do now!

HH: What role, if any, has Happy Herbivore played in this journey?

I needed help in learning how to make delicious, nutritious meals and The Happy Herbivore cookbook and this blog have been a staple for me. Two of my favorite recipes are the mock “Tuna” Salad and the African Yam and Kale Soup! And I can’t wait to try some new recipes from “Everyday Happy Herbivore” which just arrived this week!

I also know that The Happy Herbivore will be a wonderful resource for my nutrition therapy clients to help them in their own journey to becoming happy herbies, like me!

HH: Any advice for people thinking about taking on a plant-based diet?

Face your fears, begin today, and then recommit yourself every day to living a healthier life! Change is scary and I think many people are afraid of what others will think, of how hard it will be, and the fear of failure - but don't let that hold you back!

Lindsay Nixon is an “herbies best friend!” There are more resources and support out there than ever before, and being plant-based is becoming more mainstream than it used to be, thanks to people like Lindsay. So…Do it for you! Do it for your health! You are worth it!

HH: Thank you so much for the sweet compliments Cindy, and the encouraging words! You are an inspiration to all of us! Chase that passion!

UPDATE: A year later Cindy checked in with an update. Read her progress here.

New 1200+ Meal Plan (More New Meals!)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: MealPlan

More new meals this week like Thai Peanut Bowl and "Surprise" Hummus... and so many more!

Lot's of seasonal eats this week too! I really celebrated sweet potatoes and butternut squash!

Some fan favorites are also back like Easy Enchiladas & Mexican Salad!!!

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"In the last month, using your meal plans, I've lost 17 lbs and my wife has lost 10. Thank you." - Becca C.

"There is really no though required - just buy the food, make it, and go. Thank you for the concise guide." - Matt

"3 weeks in and I have lost 5 lbs already. Thank you so much!" - K.J. 

"Just for giggles, I weight myself. 7 lbs down since using your meal plan but energy through the roof!" - @HVSoap

"The plan pays for itself. Saving, on average, $30 a month on groceries!" - David K.

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The 411 on Sprouting

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: FAQ

If you're interested in knowing more about sprouting, I'm here to give you a brief explanation and help you understand the basics.

To put it really simply, sprouts are germinated seeds. To start the sprouting process, seeds (beans or grains) are placed in water, rinsed off, and then put in a container at room temperature and left to grow. The seeds, or beans, grow small baby greens that are edible. These sprouts are “living” food, and can be eaten raw (raw foodies can make true raw meals with sprouted beans!) or cooked.

You can sprout most beans and some grains. Sometimes you’ll get a batch of dried beans or grains that are inactive and that won’t sprout, but more often than not you’ll see some change to your seeds or beans within a day or two. Common beans to sprout include chickpeas (for raw hummus!), black beans, adzuki beans, mung beans and lentil. Grains like amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, and mille also sprout nicely and most only take between eight and fourteen hours to grow sprouts.

The process of allowing seeds and beans to germinate before eating them changes the chemical composition of the food in many ways. Sprouting can increase the vitamin content, and neutralize acids in the food that normally inhibits you from absorbing all of the nutrients the beans and seeds have to offer. Sprouted grains and beans are also easier to digest because the natural process of sprouting breaks the amino acid protein bond.

Something important to remember is that sprouted bread isn’t always gluten free. Commercial sprouted bread is made from sprouted grains and is baked, which also makes commercial sprouted bread not suitable for raw foodies. Most sprouted breads contain gluten, but people choose these breads over traditional baked bread because it’s easier to digest and is often times the least processed option at the grocery store. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods both have store brand sprouted breads that contain gluten, but are 100% whole wheat and have a short ingredient list with things you can actually read and identify!

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