Happy Herbivore Blog

Inspiration Interview: Philip

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Herbies

If you've scoped out HH's new e-courses, you may have seen Philip's testimony for the Balanced Nutrition e-course.

"I lost 20 more pounds, for a total of 60, since I took your course 2 months ago. Your diet plan rocks!!" - Philip C.

Today, Philip is talking with us about his weight-loss and motivations for adopting a plant-based (vegan) diet.

HH: So Philip, what made you take HH's Balanced Nutrition e-course and go plant-based?

Philip: Well, your plan was pretty much the last stage in a doctor assisted plan in which I plateaued on. 

HH: Your doctor had you on a diet plan? Tell us about that.

I noticed, about a year ago, that my weight just started ballooning. I've always been the type to eat whatever it was I wanted and not see any consequences, (I'm a good Italian boy so I ate ALOT of pasta, chicken parm, meat balls, sausage... etc.) so this worried me.

When I went to the doctor, I was diagnosed with diabetes and opted to get it under control with nutrition before I tried medication.

HH: Was your doctor supportive of a holistic approach?

Yes. Dr. Hugo Rodier placed me on a 6 week nutrition plan. Weeks 1-2, I could only eat chicken, fish, nuts and vegetables, and could only drink green tea and water. Weeks 2-4 I could start adding fruit to my diet. Weeks 4-6 I added legumes and after week 6 I could add whole grain breads.

HH: Did this plan help improve your health?

At 10 weeks I was down about 35 lbs, but I had plateaued. 

HH: So what brought you to HH and the Balanced Nutrition e-course?

One night, while I was watching Whale Wars (Paul Watson is a hero of mine) I came across your Happy Herbivore website through your facebook page, and decided to take your course. I basically substituted my chicken and fish intake with tofu. (The course promotes a wholesome plant-based diet).

HH: Had you ever considered going vegan or vegetarian before?

I always wanted to stop eating meat, but as weird as it sounds, I truly believe that I was addicted to it. 

HH: Did you find it easy to swap tofu for chicken and fish? Did you eat other meats previously?

I ate beef and pork prior to being diagnosed with diabetes, and switched to solely chicken and fish through a recomendation from my doctor. The first few days when anyone changes their diet... I think is going to be rough. Sticking with it is the best thing you can do because the long term benifits vastly outweigh the lack of immediate gratification you crave for the first week or two. 

There are times when I miss sushi; however, I know that will pass because I don't even crave beef or pork anymore. I can honestly say that the thought of eating beef or pork disgusts me. 

HH: Did you have any other motivations for going plant-based?

I figured that: (A). Since I already made a drastic change in my diet, and (B). Since I work for Adobe, a company that really cares about the environment to the point where it's corporate office is entirely powered off of green energy; it only made sense for me to kick the meat habit. 

HH: What was your experience on the plan? Did the weight come right off?

In about a month and half I dropped an additional 25 lbs. It was like my body was saying "thank you" for kicking the habit of eating animals.

HH: Are you still following the plan?

Yes. It really has been a complete lifestyle change and I have no intention of going back. As Ari Gold once said - "I WANT TO LIIIIIVE!!!!"

HH: So your diet is 100% plant-based now?

Entirely. In addition to that I'll only eat organic. 

HH: In addition to shedding a total of 60lbs, have you noticed any other benefits? 

YES! The biggest thing I've noticed is a change in my overall well being... meaning... I'm a lot happier. Some people will try to attribute that to being vain, but it's more than that. When you have more energy you actually start to appreciate the things in life alot more, instead of just shrugging off opportunities due to the fact that you don't "feel like doing anything."

HH: What role has your environmental activism played in all of this?

I think a more accurate statement would be that I've always been a fair weather environmentalist. I wasn't really hard core about it until I was diagnosed with diabetes and saw first hand how the collective attitude of not caring about the environment manifests itself into creating poisonous consequenses such as the creation of refined sugars and the callous disregard in which we treat the fellow inhabitants of this planet. 

HH: Anything else you'd like to share? 

I just wanted to personally thank you for assembeling all the information that you did. It really did help me and I hope that you can use this interview to help more people!

Aww.. Thanks Philip! And Thank you for such a great, inspiring interview!

Blog Action Day 2010

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Normally I try to keep Happy Herbivore neutral; leaving politics and activism for other, more appropriate places, than a humble food blog. However, today I'm breaking that rule to participate in Blog Action Day 2010 -- an iniative to help spread awareness about the worldwide water crisis.

Nearly 1 billion people lack access to clean water.

To put that number in perspective, there are only 307 million people living in the United States and only 6.7 billion people living on the entire planet! 

Worse still, nearly 42,000 people die EACH WEEK from unsafe water. Many of these deaths are children under the age of 5 who die from drinking unsafe water or from unhygienic living conditions.

What can you do to help?

Leave animal products off your plate as much as possible. It takes 66 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of wheat and 6,604 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of meat.

Use your iPhone less. iPhone's require half a liter of water to charge. Considering there are over 80 million active iPhone users, that's a lot of water!

Say No to Plastic Bottles: The average American drinks 200 bottles of water each year. It takes over 17 million barrels of oil to manufacture those bottles -- 86% of which will never be recycled. 

Shop less: That cotton T-shirt you're wearing took 1,514 liters of water to produce. Jean require an extra 6,813 liters. 

Conserve. The average person uses 465 liters of water per day. 

My individual water use was 463.94 gallons per day (compared to 1,190.5 gallons per day the average American uses)... figure out your water footprint & make small changes to use less water.

NYC Eats: V-Note

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Travel

It's been a long time since I've posted a restaurant review of any kind, no? I guess that's because Scott & I haven't been traveling (or eating out) as much this past year. A sign I have been way too busy? Perhaps. But that's how I like it!

Anyway, the stars aligned this week and I was able to meet JL and experience a new NYC vegan restaurant with her -- V-Note. Plus, this place had vegan wine. Oh, yeah!

Now on to the food: (& thankfully, since JL and I are homies and foodies, we shared everything, switching plates halfway through each meal -- except for the dessert which was a sort of like an 18th Century dual-by-fork experience).

A wonderful vegan crab cake appetizer -- the sauce was killer!

fresh vegan ravioli in a cream sauce (my fave dish!)

vegan seafood risotto, made with lobster mushrooms.

smoked black beans and tempeh

Heaven on Earth--- I mean, vegan cheesecake. (I really have to hand it to V-Note with this cheesecake -- it was so light and fluffy...not too sweet or rich or thick like most restaurant vegan cheesecakes).

For those of you who know I loathe Blossom, yes I was a tad hesitant to come here. As soon as JL gave me the address I'd realized it was in Blossom's failed UES Cafe but ! despite the same location (they redid the inside -- it's stunning!) and the same chef's in control, the food was marvelous. I highly recommend those raviolis! 

Good food. Great conversation. I was definitely a HAPPY herbivore!

(P.s. Read JL's review here.)