Emily Before and After

Yes, this is me in 2002, just before I made the change to a whole foods, plant-based diet.  I’m proudly holding a conventional (dairy) mint chocolate chip cheesecake topped with mint Oreos and chocolate ganache that I had just made.  Looking back, it’s hard to believe that is even me!   My main food groups were cheese (brie, cheddar, gorgonzola, mozzarella – I loved it all!), wine and bread with a side of Benson & Hedges Deluxe Ultra Light Menthol Cigarettes!  I thought I ate a pretty healthy diet because I did eat fresh fruits and vegetables (a lot, I thought, especially compared to some people) and didn’t eat a lot of processed junk food and never drank pop.  I didn’t eat much red meat, preferring chicken, fish and dairy.  I had so much to learn and once I began, I found this new world of fresh, healthy food and compassionate living very exciting and life-changing!

On vacation in Saint Maarten, 2002, a few months after I had begun eating a plant-based diet.  I had already lost about 20 pounds and was feeling great.  We were sure to seek out the only health food restaurant on the island called Top Carrot.  I was very proud and excited about my progress.  I had no idea how much better it could get.  During that trip, I was reading John Robbins’ book, The Food Revolution.  I couldn’t put it down!

One year later in 2003.  I had lost 45 pounds and weighed 125 pounds.  I was wearing size 4 jeans and felt and looked like a different person!  I had begun my journey by reading Marilu Henner’s book, Total Health Makeover and joining her online classes at www.marilu.com.  I am truly one of her success stories.  Thanks Marilu!

A weekend in Lake Tahoe in 2005 at my dream weight of 120-122 pounds.  I had a great haircut, a beautiful dress and I felt fantastic!

Turning my passion for healthy whole foods, plant-based cooking into a job I loved as the Supervisor of Salud! Cooking and Lifestyle School at Whole Foods Market Sacramento.  My weight fluctuated between 122-125 pounds in June of 2006.

Summer 2010 in Monterey.  I now have a wonderful 3 year old son and a new job as a Food for Life Nutrition & Cooking Instructor for The Cancer Project and PCRM.  After a difficult bout of postpartum depression and weight gain, I am back to a healthy weight.  In this photo, I’m at 130 pounds.  As I write this in the fall of 2010, I’m already down 4 more pounds at 126 pounds and back into size 2s and 4s.  As I increase my vegetable consumption, I lose a bit more weight and get closer to my naturally healthy weight of around 120-125 pounds.  I love being naturally skinny and healthy.  I love it that my son happily munches on red peppers, broccoli and kale and drinks yummy green smoothies everyday.  I don’t miss cheese, wine or cigarettes anymore.  I look and feel better and younger than I did 10 years ago!  I hope you and your family will join me on this journey toward health and wellness!

Love, Emily