Meet our Herbie of the Week: Jennifer H!
This mother has lost 30 pounds and is down 4 sizes!
She tells us how she has made plant-based transitions with her children and increased her energy level.
Read Jennifer's story in her own words...
With a hippie, health nut mom, I grew up eating relatively well. A meat and dairy eater, but also a brown rice and steamed veggies lover. Fast forward to 2007, went through a divorce, moved back home to CA, approaching 40, I started to balloon to a size 12. As you put it, this is not "epic", but for me it was indicative of major stress and a lack of self love/acceptance.
In the fall of 2011, I had watched Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. My husband was already vegetarian, so we had been preparing all veg meals at home. I only ate meat & dairy when eating out, and I was still serving my kids meat meals for lunch & dinner. After watching that movie and feeling like I was ready to shed some pounds, my husband & I both decided to go on a raw vegan diet for at least the weekend. It ended up being about 10 days, and it felt amazing! That was my first experience eating vegan day after day, and I loved it. It wasn’t hard and it was delicious! Being a foodie, I knew I couldn’t stay raw forever, but staying vegan (and gluten-free) seemed completely doable and the right thing!
I found this new diet to be fun, easy and interesting, so I began to educate myself further through documentaries, cookbooks, websites, and of course the Happy Herbivore Facebook page! The deeper I delved, the more fun I had, and the clearer it became that being vegan was the right path for me. Forever. I lost 30 lbs., am down 4 sizes, off caffeine, 99% plant-based & (mostly) gluten-free. I have more energy than ever before and feel clean, regular (heehee) and young! And no one made me do it!
I converted my kitchen to 100% plant-based so even my kids eat vegan at home! I still allow them to order anything they want at restaurants, and believe me, they do order meat. But when I’m cooking, it’s all vegan. At first it was an adjustment for them, complaining about the taste of rice milk in their cereal. But I didn’t let up and I wasn’t agro about anything. I just stayed the course and now they NEVER complain. We have soy milk (tastes better) for cereal now, vegan cream cheese for bagels, orange ‘chickn' for dinner, loads of fresh, organic fruit and vegetables, lentils, black beans, gluten-free pasta…they don’t starve that’s for sure!
It really became a moral journey for me about not only eating right, but choosing conscientiously, buying local & organic, caring about the animals' well-being and caring about the planet.
I'm 43 now and my health is a much larger priority. My passion for nutrition has opened me up to a whole new life as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. The potential was always there, and now I'm fulfilling the possibilities for my life.
My advice to those looking to go plant-based is educate yourself. Read Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet. Buy Happy Herbivore cookbooks and get in the kitchen and experiment! Watch all of the above documentaries. Don’t put pressure on yourself, and don’t do it because someone else is asking you to (a doctor, spouse, concerned friend). I also feel like it’s ok to ease into it.
Thank you so much Jennifer for sharing your journey with us!