Happy Herbivore Blog

Herbie of the Week: Jim

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Herbies

Back in October, Jim left this comment on HH's Facebook page:

As of October 24th, I've officially lost 50 lbs and I'm holding a healthy weight of 165 lbs effortlessly.

Hearing great weight-loss success stories like Jim's get me all teary, so I contacted Jim to show my enthusiasm and support. He shared with me a post he'd written which I'll excerpt below.

After reading his story -- I knew I'd have to bring him on the blog for an interview -- as a Herbie of the Week!

Jim's Post:

I'm finally ready to talk about my weight loss. A lot of people have been asking what did I do and how did I do it.

First, let me say that I'm not sick. Sometimes losing weight at an unusual pace may indicate a sickness, but this is not the case with me and I've been medically cleared by my doctor that I'm healthy in every way. I lost all of my weight over 6 - 7 month period roughly 1.5lb. per week. So, let's get to it.

Diet change was the biggest factor and contributor to my weight loss.

Before weight loss my breakfast consisted of a large triple triple from Tim's (high in sugar and fat), which meant I usually skipped lunch, no snack in between breakfast and lunch. For lunch, I typically ate a large starchy meal (sandwich with white bread, chicken or turkey with mayo, sometimes lettuce, sometimes not) or takeout, and booster juice (high in sugar). Supper involved more starches: pasta, or eggs and toast, or kraft dinner, etc.

With all the processed foods I was eating during the day, I started packing on the pounds.

Now my breakfast consists of 2 slices of sprouted grain toast, all natural ingredients, special K with some soy milk, cup of green tea, plain, nothing in it. (It's an acquired taste). For a snack, I have fruit, usually an apple or banana or grapes (I always have a snack now). Today lunch is a stir fry, cooked in Asian 5 spice, baby corn, carrot, wild rice, red/yellow pepper (healthy food all around) and supper is more of the same. Christina (wife) will try and make enough supper the night before to have for our dinners the next day. It's all about preparation.

So, my diet now consists of less fat, less sugar and more healthy greens, fruits and vegetables. It's important to note here that my weight loss was strictly from diet and not diet and exercise. People are shocked to hear that, but once you start counting your fat and sugar intake, you'll be surprised how much of each you're eating.

Now, where do those great recipes come from? First let me say, that Christina does 99.9% of the cooking and she's amazing at it. We both sit down every Sunday and prepare for the upcoming week, our suppers and lunches. It is truly the only way to benefit a healthy lifestyle. One of the main cookbooks we use comes from the Happy Herbivore. Great recipes and lots of ideas to please even the hungriest monster. That's our main source of healthy meals and we've really haven't ventured much from that.

Now for the interview!

HH: What motivated you to change your diet and lose weight?

Mainly, I wanted to lose weight for my wedding, I wanted to look good, and feel healthy for myself and for my would-be wife :) What kind of husband would I be if I continued to pack on the pounds, be overweight with health problems, with possibly dying at a young age to leave my wife as a widow? Not a very good husband.

HH: How have your friends and family responded to your dietary change?

Growing up my mom always said to me "Jim you have some good friends" meaning we never got into much trouble. I've managed to keep that philosophy through my 20's and 30's because all my friends have been extremely supportive of my diet change. It was more like "Jim, you're crazy, but we really don't vare what you eat." I never get pressure from my friends.

My family was a bit surprised, my mom especially. When she read my Facebook note (above) she called me. It was a supportive call, saying how glad she was that I was finally eating healthy. My mom has always ate healthy and growing up she would try to get me to eat new foods, but the answer was always no.

I make an effort to NEVER talk about my diet. I'm not about forcing a certain diet onto anyone. They'll need to do research for themselves and come up with a conclusion as to which diet is best for them.

HH: Any advice for those looking to take the plant-based plunge?

When switching to a plant-based diet, it has to be about you, you have to want to do it yourself. I can't stress that enough.

Don't wait until something bad happens to change your diet. Change it now and avoid the harm later.

And buy The Happy Herbivore Cookbook. It'll make the transition so much easier :)

Thanks Jim! Wishing you a long, happy and healthy life with your bride!

UPDATE: A year later Jim checked in with an update. Read his progress here.

New Happy Herbivore Meal Plan!

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: MealPlan

Here are some of the recipes you can expect to eat on this week's meal plan:

Breakfast Roll-Up (you'll be hooked on this easy breakfast!)Easy Enchilada Bake
Mexican Potatoes (I'm obsessed!)Sweet Potato Soup
Fruit Crisp!!
African Kale & Potato Soup
Potato Tacos

and so much more!

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"I am now following your meal plan for the fourth week and am convinced this is the lifestyle for me. I have lost 15 pounds. I know I have found what I have been searching for, for many years." - Shelley M.

"Thank you for your encouraging email - I've lost two pounds so far and am feeling much better." - Barbara B.

"I fit into my skinny jeans! Turns out I lost 5lbs from using your meal plan for three weeks. I didn't even try and your recipes are so easy and delicious, I didn't even realize it. Thank you!!" - Stephanie M-B.

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**please make a donation! We've been operating on the honor system, asking folks to kindly make a donation, but a lot of people have been downloading for 'free' which costs us money and isn't really fair to the people who have been generously donating. Without donations, I can't create these meal plans anymore.

Alkaline Foods and pH Balance

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: FAQ

I’ve recently received a few questions about alkaline foods and pH balance. For those of you who have never heard of this, pH balance is the measure of the acidity of a food/solution/or in this case, your own body. Some people believe that balancing your pH and creating a less acidic environment in your body is best for your overall health, because having too much acid can put extra strain on your body that’s already working so hard for you. It’s also said that neutralizing the acid in your body will help you better absorb minerals and nutrients. If you’re someone who doesn’t love eating greens, people with a less acidic pH balance often say that greens taste better to them, they taste less bitter!

If you’re wondering what would cause someone to be ‘acidic’, the answer is in the solution: Diet. A typical American diet full of meat and dairy is full of acidic animal products. Processed foods, like white flour, sugar, and soda, also cause acid build up in your body.

You can test your pH with at home kits, they’re even available on Amazon. You can test your pH with your saliva and get the results in seconds. A few friends were over and I pulled out these test strips to see which one of us was most alkaline- we’re wild ;)

People who try to maintain an alkaline pH balance say to eat a diet that’s 60% alkaline forming foods, and 40% foods that create acid. You should avoid things like coffee and soda if you’re inclined to eat a more pH balanced diet.

Here’s a handy PDF chart with a scale of how foods rate on the chart.

I think one thing that’s great about eating towards a more balanced pH is the emphasis on balance. Your body needs a variety of foods to get the nutrients it needs!