Herbie of the Week: Darla (She's Wearing Suits that Haven't Fit Since 2007! Menopause Isn't Slowing Her Down)

Meet our Herbie of the Week: Darla!

Darla had been vegan for 30 years and never had to worry about her weight. But as soon as she hit menopause, she started to notice her weight creep up.

One day Darla came across a recipe from "Everyday Happy Herbivore", and it was a complete game changer! Once she started cooking for herself and taking her lunch to work, it wasn't long before her size 4 suits fit again!

I'll let Darla take it away...

I'm 56 years old and found Dr. McDougall more than 30 years ago and have followed his plan ever since - almost but not quite perfectly. However, I have been completely vegan for most of that time, and learned early on that added oil is not healthy - but I would do it now and then, and I would eat out, especially lunches during the work week. Dr. McDougall is the best thing that ever happened to me, and even though I am a voracious reader and I love all the other whole foods books and experts, it was not until 30 years later (when I found Lindsay Nixon) that the second best thing in my life happened as respects my health.

Since first going vegan 30 years ago, I maintained a perfect size 4 - until menopause hit 8 years ago. My weight crept up to size 6 and I figured this is the new normal. One day I got a Meatless Monday recipe from the Humane Society of the United States and glancing through it, I thought OMG! This recipe looks fantastic and looks EASY. I ran right out and bought "Everyday Happy Herbivore" that very day, as it was from that book - it is GENIUS. So I started cooking for myself and taking my lunches to work so I can save time, and besides, I am not fond of restaurant food as often it is too rich.

My work suits started getting looser and looser and my belt had to get tighter and tighter until I said HEY what is this all about? I got out my old size 4 suits and they FIT FANTASTIC. All of my lovely old size 4s fit great! I was not only not expecting to lose weight, I really figured I couldn't get any smaller at my new old age. I had to stop and think hard - what was I doing differently? I was pigging out on great food, all I wanted including the cornbread and sweet treats in the books, stir frys, pastas, burgers and fries - I even made the baked onion rings (from "The Happy Herbivore Cookbook") and pigged out on those (LOVE that recipe!). I have all 6 books now and love-love-love them and I look great! I lost a solid 15 pounds without ever thinking it was possible at my age.

If you're looking to switch to a plant-based diet, read "The China Study" and "Whole", and arm yourself with the facts from PCRM.org. Also read Lindsay’s "Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant Based Living" and stock your pantry, pick just a few recipes, and follow Lindsay’s advice to plan ahead, shop and cook on the weekend, and DO IT 100%. Don’t complicate it with 8 recipes to start. Find 3 you like and eat those until you are ready to move on to more – it’s OK! Remember, even if you ate nothing but rice, you’d be better off than ingesting meat, dairy, and eggs. People can literally save their life eating like this and typically fake meat is fake food (and half the time would make me feel crappy after I ate it). Being a Happy Herbivore is much, much easier, less expensive, and HEALTHIER.

Thank you Darla for sharing your story with us!

UPDATE (Feb. 2016)

I know it’s one year since I discovered Lindsay because bok choy is back in season. I was smitten with Ginger Bok Choi Stir Fry (EHH) - lived off it for some time! But one year later, and a solid 18-20 lbs lighter, I can honestly say I lost weight eating Portobello "Steaks", Quick Burgers, fries (Happy Herbivore Abroad) , onion rings, and Mac & Cheese. Also love the desserts! One all-time favorite Lindsay Nixon recipe?? Well, do you have an all-time favorite Beatles song? Can’t be done.