Herbie of the Week: Stephanie V (She's Down 95lbs & Off Her Cholesterol Meds!)

Meet our Herbie of the Week: Stephanie V!

A former fad dieter, Stephanie was determined to lower her cholesterol without the help of medication by changing her diet. But when a low fat diet and eliminating red meat didn't lower her numbers, her doctor put her on meds.

Feeling desperate, Stephanie turned to Google for help and that's when she came across a plant-based diet. It's been 2 1/2 years since she stopped eating meat, dairy and oil cold turkey, and she's still rocking and rolling!

Since making the switch, Stephanie's lost nearly 100lbs (and kept it off!), no longer needs to take cholesterol medications and has a ton of energy.

Read on for Stephanie's story!

I am excited to share my story. It all began years ago with my love and comfort of food. I did not grow up in a loving family and food fulfilled that void. I have been overweight my entire life and have been on all kinds of weight loss fads from the first “shake” diet drink to even the prescription weight lose pills. Every one I tried, I lost weight but ended up gaining it all back plus some.

Several years ago after having my blood work checked, the results came back with high cholesterol and my LDL was out of control. So being the researcher that I am, I found my next weight loss plan – a low fat diet. I pleaded with my doctor to not prescribe me cholesterol meds and that I would control via my diet. I delved in with the low fat diet and also cut out some meats – the only meats I ate were chicken and pork. The doctor agreed and requested my blood work be done twice a year and after two years, it never lowered. I was bummed and finally had to take cholesterol meds.

I started to get depressed for I did not want to be dependent on meds, but still stayed with the low fat diet and sadly the little weight I lost started coming back. I was like "this is it" – feeling desperate I started more research and came across the book, "Eat to Live". I ordered, read the book and went plant-based cold turkey the day after Christmas. "Eat to Live" lead me to watch "Forks Over Knives", which then lead me to Happy Herbivore. I ordered all of Lindsay’s cookbooks and have enjoyed each recipe. I was surprised how great the food tasted, and being a chocolate lover that I am, the chocolate chip cookies are very yummy.

Before I started the low fat diet I hit my highest weight of 270 and as of today I am down 95 pounds - yeah! I did lose some being low fat but lost even more once I went plant-based over two and a half years ago. I feel so great – I am off the cholesterol meds, my knees no longer ache and have so much energy. Several have told me I even look younger. And best of all for me – I have not gained it all back and kept it off. That is a huge for me after trying so many fad diets only to gain it back plus some.

Several have asked me how I have lost weight and I share about plant base. I get lots of weird looks and questions from where do you get your calcium to your protein. It is sad that our society has believed what others have told us what to eat. I live in the Midwest and they love their comfort food – my goal is to lovingly share about plant-based and be supportive in the choices others make. My best step is to lead by example and will share I have seen others step over to the vegan and even plant base. Others have even added more veggies to their omnivore palette. That to me is progress.

I will admit I have slipped and found myself picking up vegan processed foods, and when I do I tend to gain weight. So after gaining 9 pounds back I was like "it is time to get back on track!" Lindsay’s articles she has posted on staying free of oils and sugars have been a huge plus for me. I signed up for the meal plans and very happy I did because since I started in September – I have lost those 9 pounds - woohoo! I tell ya the meal plans are so easy and my grocery bill is much less in cost. I make all the meals on Saturdays. I have added vegan chocolate chips to some muffins, fruits or shakes (I do love my chocolate) but sure will not beat myself up over it. For me it is about progress and not perfection or to get upset if I add some vegan chocolate chips.

My goal is to reach that 100 pounds lost mark and know I will. If it takes another month or two – I am ok with that for my focus is stay plant proud and keep the weight off.

Thanks Lindsay and team for your caring spirit for others.

Thank you Stephanie for sharing your beautiful story!