Topic: Herbies

Meet our Herbies of the Week: Erin & Mark!

I first heard about Erin and Mark's plant-based journey during "The Forks Over Knives Plan" giveaway.

Erin wrote on the HH blog:

"The movie changed my and my husband's life. We quit milk cold turkey, transitioned to a plant-based lifestyle, and told the people we care about the most to watch the movie. We have been going strong for 3 years and my acne cleared up, we lost weight, and feel the best we ever have. My husband's family has high blood pressure, and even though he has been a distance runner for a long time, his blood pressure was high. Since the FOK movie, his blood pressure is in normal range. It changed our lives forever and we are so, so thankful!"

As soon as I read Erin's comment I just had to share their story as part of our Herbie of the Week series.

I'll let Erin take it away!

HH: Hi Erin! Tell us how you and your husband, Mark, discovered a plant-based diet.

My husband’s brother told us about the movie "Fork Over Knives" in 2011. Little did we know that the FOK movie would change our lives. Before we watched the movie, we were eating meat about 3 to 4 times a week and we loved dairy products. We would eat cheese like it was going out of style! We also loved milk, yogurt, and ice cream.

The entire movie was a wake-up call for us due to Drs T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. The information they provided during the movie about heart disease, cancer rates, etc. was just eye opening and it was impossible to ignore. I remember after I watched the movie I kept waking up that night and thinking about it. The next day I was paying attention to what I was eating and what it was possibly doing to me. We used to have a huge Sunday brunch with breakfast burritos with A LOT of cheese or eggs with cheese and we shared an entire package of cinnamon rolls. We watched the movie on a weekend and the thought that this food we were eating was actually killing us was scary.

Our transition was slow, but we cut out meat first and the last to go was cheese and yogurt. During this time, my husband also read "The China Study", which helped complete our transition to a full plant-based diet.

HH: What about "The China Study" made you fully transition?

My husband would read excerpts from "The China Study" as he was reading through the book. Specifically, the information on the cancer rates and the correlation to casein/protein intake. At that point in time, I was still eating yogurt and some other milk products. After my husband read "The China Study", I stopped eating milk products and we were fully plant-based. I can honestly say that there are days that I miss cheese and ice cream, but my husband quit cold turkey and even realized that he is allergic to milk now that he has been off of it for such a long time. If there is even a little milk in a product or in the food at someone’s house, he notices and his nose is stuffy for a day!

HH: You listed some of the benefits you've experienced since going plant-based, do you mind elaborating on that?

Mark's blood pressure dropped into a low-normal range and his cholesterol is even better than mine, which was unheard of before. I, on the other hand, always struggled with acne since high school. I saw dermatologists for acne medications, which helped a little, but didn’t complete get rid of it. After going plant-based, my skin cleared up completely. My dermatologist said it looked like the medication was working well, but I told him the reason was that I changed my diet and went plant-based. He was shocked and I recommended he let his other patients know that cutting out milk will get rid of the acne. We also realized how healthy we are on the diet – we are sick less, we have more energy, lost weight (I went from a size 8/10 to a size 4) and just feel better than we did before.

HH: You said Mark is a distance runner. Has he noticed any changes in his recovery or running times after going plant-based?

He has definitely noticed a difference with his recovery. His recovery times have become faster and he honestly has fewer injuries and less inflammation than before. He used to get injured quite a bit and he would take a lot of ibuprofen. Now he is rarely injured and never takes ibuprofen. I also have osteoarthritis in my knees due to a ski injury/knee surgeries. Once we switched to a plant-based diet, my osteoarthritis has almost all but disappeared completely.

HH: Let's talk food! Were there any recipes that helped you transition?

Once we decided to switch to plant-based, we went to the book store to look for cookbooks that could help us transition. We knew we were going to need help, otherwise it was not going to stick. We loved cooking and needed help creating wonderful meals that would help us not miss meat and dairy. On one of the end stands we noticed a cookbook called The Happy Herbivore Cookbook. We made the chickpea tacos, soups, entrees, and the one recipe that saved me the most was the Quick Queso recipe. I loved my queso and chips when I was not plant-based and I really needed something to replace it. I definitely didn't miss cheese anymore!

HH: You said in your original comment that you now recommend FOK to your friends. Have any adopted a plant-based diet?

We have recommended that everyone, especially the people that we love and care about the most, to watch FOK. We think it is so important to understand what the food your eating is doing to you. We want those close to us to live long and healthy lives, which is ...

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Meet our Herbie of the Week: Kate B!

While many of our Herbies of the Week talk about weight-loss, Kate is a perfect example of how a plant-based diet can do so many amazing things for your health.

After working as a nurse for a decade and seeing the decline in health of her patients, Kate knew a plant-based diet was the way to go.

Today she's off her medications for anxiety and depression, her migraines are gone and ...

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Meet our Herbie of the Week: Kelli!

Feeling like she was living in her own food coma, Kelli's plant-based journey started when the last of her three children moved out of the house. With more time on her hands and a desire to eat healthy, she watched "Forks Over Knives" and it was exactly what she needed to hear!

Two years later, Kelli has lost 50lbs, lowered her cholesterol, no longer feels addicted to food, and most importantly: she ...

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Meet our first Herbie of the Week of 2015: Heather M!

If you're looking for some plant-based inspiration, then you need to read this story!

Heather's journey began when she realized she had been neglecting her health for the last 15 years. When a coworker mentioned a plant-based diet, she immediately started her research and decided to give it a try -- and the results are INCREDIBLE!

In less than a year, Heather lost 125lbs (which she has maintained ...

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It has been an incredible (incredible!) year. So many people are changing their lives thanks to a plant-based diet. We had so many AMAZING stories in 2014, and I already have more inspiring stories lined up for 2015! Lives are changing!

Here's a look back on all of our 2014 Herbies of the Week!!!

Judith & Fran lost a combined total of 80lbs, lowered their cholesterol, and Fran is now off half of his blood pressure and heart medications.

Kate M not only improved her GI issues with a plant-based diet, but her labwork for signs of cancer continue to improve and show negative tests for tumors, lesions or other signs of growth.

Rose lowered her cholesterol and lost 40lbs in less than a year.

Erin is 37lbs lighter and no longer suffers from chronic pain.

Lynne beat PCOS & infertility by switching to a plant-based diet.

Jacqueline lost over 105lbs thanks to the meal plans and Happy Herbivore cookbooks. She also started running and completed her first half marathon.

Mia shed 50lbs and is finally in control of her health now since going plant-based.

Holly immediately saw improvements to her skin and energy levels after adopting a plant-based diet (plus she lost 15lbs!). Her hubby Adam dropped 50lbs and stopped taking his blood pressure and cholesterol meds.

Sherry & Kerry lost over 250lbs together after Sherry suffered a lacunar stroke. Sherry also reversed her T2 diabetes!

Rob dropped 62lbs and 12 inches off his waist. He's also in less pain, has more energy, and his allergies and acid reflux are nearly non-existent.

Stacy lost 20lbs after ditching meat and dairy without even trying. She also noticed improvements to her health, including her fibromyalgia.

Rebecca A stopped focusing on her size and started focusing on health when going plant-based. The result? A 150lb weight-loss!

Heidi was off her blood pressure medication within three months of going plant-based and is now in the best shape of her life.

Crystalyn lost more than 30lbs and lowered her cholesterol by more than 65 points in less than a year.

Jernae cleared up her acne, sleeps better, no longer suffers from exercise-induced asthma and lost 23lbs.

Jesse welcomed a beautiful baby girl after a plant-based pregnancy.

Catherine's headaches and brain fog are gone as well as thicker and shinier hair, thanks to her plant-based diet.

Bonebreaker went from 570lbs to plant proud professional wrestler. He also lost an incredible 150lbs of body fat, no longer has a heart murmur, reversed his diabetes and lowered his blood pressure.

Patti lowered her cholesterol by 120 points, her chronic headaches disappeared, cleared up her skin and has more energy than ever.

Deb B. lost nearly 50lbs (with the help of the meal plans), no longer needs her pain management medication and reduced her acid reflux meds.

Derrick & Katie lost a combined total of 140lbs and lowered their cholesterol and blood pressure!

Jim G lowered his cholesterol by 50 points within 5 weeks of switching to a plant-based diet. He also lowered his blood pressure and lost 40lbs.

Sarah C lost 20lbs and feels more empowered than ever thanks to her plant proud lifestyle.

Stephen no longer needs to take medication for his anxiety -- and he lost 70lbs!

Cat & Shelton supported each other on their plant-based journey and lost over 190lbs together!

Suzanna went from a meat-eating Ms. Natural Olympia bodybuilder to a plant-based tennis playing champion and educator.

Kathy shared her experience on being plant-based and pregnant with TWINS!

Schari & Ryan lowered their cholesterol and lost 120lbs together!

Jill & Gloria lost 45lbs together by eliminating all animal products from their diet.

The Turner Family's skin cleared up, they lost weight and their kids are thriving on a plant-based diet.

Rebecca B finally listened to her body and is now happier than ever.

Erik B lost 75lbs and lowered his cholesterol (all while being on active duty with the US Navy!)

Joanne dropped 20lbs and is doing the best she can on her plant-based journey.

Diane H is down 2 pant sizes and ...

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