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Last week we met two amazing herbies who lost almost 100 lbs together. This week we're meeting Lisa, who gained more confidence and energy, as well as losing almost 20lbs, by changing her diet!
HH: How did you find your way to a plant-based (vegan) diet?
About two years ago I read a bit about "clean eating" (cutting out processed foods). It made sense, but after eating clean for several months I didn't feel any better. I then dabbled in vegetarianism, and I did well, but continued to gain weight. I knew I was missing the mark but could not seem to correct my yo-yo dieting. I even tried macrobiotics for about a week but it was too much work.
Then, about 6 months ago, I saw an ad on my Facebook page for the Happy Herbivore, I "liked" the page, I ordered the book... the rest is history. On May 31, 2011 I went vegan. I researched for months about veganism and switching my diet while cooking from Lindsay's book. It all just clicked for me. I have no cravings, I do NOT miss animal products and I have never felt better.
HH: What were the first steps that you took in your vegan journey?
I began to slowly start cooking meals that appealed to me. For about 2 weeks straight, I followed The Happy Herbivore Cookbook as often as 2 meals a day. I spent a lot of time on the HH FB page too, there is a lot of motivation to be had there and Lindsay is always there to answer questions or give advice. I also read a lot of books and researched website after website.
HH: Have you experienced any positive changes since going vegan?
My confidence is through the roof. I look healthy, feel energized and clear-minded (no more brain fog!). I lost 6-inches from my waist, 4-inches from my hips, went down a whole clothes size and lost 19lbs!
I also recently had my cardiac lipid profile blood work done and have normal levels of everything and am "low risk" for heart disease. I am overwhelmed by that news. My father died from heart disease 7 years ago.
HH: You mentioned yo-yo dieting struggles in the past. Has eating a vegan diet changed how you eat beyond the contents of your plate?
I used to snack a lot!!! Now the only time I snack is maybe around 10 a.m. at work when I eat seeds and fruit if I'm hungry. I rarely eat between meals and if I do it's low key.
When I think back to how I ate a year ago... I cringe. I never eat processed foods now. I never eat cake or donuts or fruit bars or sugar cereal or candy. I don't crave it anymore. I crave veggies and fruits now... how wonderful is that?
HH: What does your daily menu look like now that you're vegan?
Morning is peanut butter with any kind of whole wheat bread and fruit. Lunch is a soup or HH's mock tuna or HH's eggless salad with fruit. Dinner is any entree from HH like black bean burritos, chickpea teriyaki---just to name some of my favories, and a veggie or salad on the side. I am a dessert person so I almost always do HH's raw banana ice cream or single-serving brownie.
HH: Any advice for those looking to make the vegan switch?
The best advice I can give, if I can be honest is: it takes time. It takes trial and error. You won't like everything you eat, and you may have a few slip ups until you find the meals that work best for you. Also, you have to be willing to put in the time to read cookbooks, recipes, cook and plan meals. Do not expect perfection right away, forgive yourself and pay attention to how good you feel when you do eat right.
HH: Thank you for your honesty!! and I'm so glad Facebook brought us together!
UPDATE: Two years later Lisa checked in with an update. Read her progress here.