My Weight Loss Success Story

Sharing how intermittent fasting and eating a whole food plant based diet helped me to lose 46 pounds and feel the best I ever have in my life.

Diane blogger at In My Own Style on lake dock after eating a plant-based for a year.
AFTER – so far.

Three years ago on January 1st, I made a goal to live the best life I could in all aspects of my life.

One of the goals was to eat better, to not only lose weight, but to be healthy overall.

But this time around was different. As there have been many times before this that I had this goal only to fail, I decided to make a pact with myself. I told myself to take it slow this time around. Slow and steady was my motto.

I had no need to lose 10 pounds by a certain day or event. My focus was on the big picture… as in the rest of my life. :-)

I truly set out to learn to eat better to live better so it would become habit.

Don’t forget that we are all different, and it’s better to consult your doctor before you make any drastic changes in your diet, especially if you are under any medication or treatment.

How I Started My Whole Food Plant Based Diet Weight Loss Success

My journey started with the WW Freestyle program online, now called the Blue Program. I highly recommend this as a way to get started as it is a solid plan where you get to choose what you like to eat.

You can eat the foods that you like, are real and satisfying. Recipes with veggies, fruits, eggs, beans and chicken breasts. I could eat as much of these as I wanted. I liked all of the options and ate them daily.

I have always strived to eat well and be active. I gave up dairy 15 years ago. It had been making me feel sick and bloated along with chronic nasal allergies since I was a child. Seeing the changes in my body after giving it up and how much better I felt was positive proof to me that we are what we eat and breathe.

For exercise, I started walking for an hour, 6 days a week and went to a 45-minute fitness class 3 days a week. Doing this, I lost 22 pounds in 6 months. I kept up with this routine for 2 years and didn’t gain any of the weight back, but the weight loss stopped, even with following the plan.

When we traveled to Paris, I did allow myself the indulgence of chocolate, wine and bread, but ate very carefully so I wouldn’t gain weight. Happily, I came home not having gained an ounce.

I felt proud of myself that I had learned what was working for me. And this I found was the key to success. I had to do it in my own style, just like I do everything else.

How I Stayed Positive

Fast forward to March 2020 when the pandemic hit. We had to go into lockdown and we were homebound with no place to go.

Comfort food was calling my name, but I didn’t give in. But my weight loss had stalled at 22 pounds. I still wanted to lose more weight.

The cover of the book  The Obesity Code by Jason Fung, MD

A few months earlier, not happy with my weight loss plateau, I read The Obesity Code by Jason Fung. I understood the concept behind the premise of intermittent fasting, but at the time said to myself that there is no way I could skip a meal. I forgot all about the book.

So when we started lockdown, I decided to read the book again and give it a go.

I also did something else to make myself accountable. If you read my blog last year, then you may remember the post I wrote entitled, A Note to You and From You.

It was something positive I did for myself over the few weeks that we thought lockdown was going to last. Ha! Little did we know it would be more than a year.

I wrote a note to myself with a list of what I wanted to do while we were stuck at home with newfound time on our hands. I wrote to continue to try to lose weight and get healthier. Then, when the lockdown ended, I would have accomplished something, instead of letting the time slip by.

Here we are… a year later. I could not be happier that I will be coming out of this pandemic just as I wanted with 24 pounds lost to my already 22. 46 pounds total.

How Did I Break Out of My Weight Loss Plateau?

During the first few weeks of lockdown, I started to fast for 16 hours – no breakfast for 3 days a week. It was hard the first few days, but at the end of the first week, I lost 4 pounds.

It was the first time the scale moved down in a year and a half. I was eating the same things, just within a time window. So I kept at it and loved watching the scale go down.

Diane - In My Own Style plant-based weight loss story success.

As I got into the rhythm of it, I found it very easy and started to do it every day. I ate basically all the healthy whole food I wanted between the hours of noon and 8PM.

According to the author of the book, intermittent fasting is the missing link that one should add to any weight loss program. Your body needs to rest to re-adjust. It has to do with insulin and our hormones.

I felt great after a few weeks so that made it easy to keep at it. I was still counting WW points while intermittent fasting.

New black ceramic cooktop in white kitchen. Art leaning against back splash that says, Eat Good Food

While following WW and fasting, one night I watched the Forks Over Knives documentary on Netflix.

The show was eye-opening and aligned with the deep down way that I always wanted to eat. I always wanted to, but never seriously considered it as it would have been too hard raising kids and Ed who would never give up meat.

As an empty nester – I no longer had to deal with feeding a family. I jumped in with both feet! One benefit of being older. :-)

I went fully Whole Food Plant-Based (WFPB)—with no added sugar, salt, or oil. It may seem extreme, but I have never felt better in my life.

I no longer have sweet cravings. Instead I crave lettuce and chickpeas! For real!!! How can this be?

I do enjoy a dairy free chocolate chip power ball from time to time, but it is rare. My blood cholesterol went down 60 points. :-)

Ed saw my success with intermittent fasting and eating a plant-based whole food diet with no oil or added sugar (only fruit) and little saturated fat in the way of nuts and seeds. He decided to give intermittent fasting a go and eat plant-based two days a week.

Between the two of us, we have lost almost 80 lbs. It is truly AMAZING to us!!! We are sold on the concept. It has become our way of life to eat this way.

How Hard Was It to Commit to Intermittent Fasting and a Whole Food Plant Based Diet?

Tiered kitchen basket to make to store fruit and produce on a counter.

It was not easy at first to commit to intermittent fasting and then a plant-based diet. I had to rethink everything about the foods I was eating. The hardest part was the big change I had to make to my daily schedule to make time for food prep.

I was committed and kept at it. I had to learn to enjoy planning meals, prepping food and cooking it. I now batch cook for the week ahead.

Setting Up My Kitchen for Plant-Based Eating Success

Plant Based organized refrigerator using wide mouth Mason jars to organize cut up veggies and more to make plant based eating easier.

Having an organized kitchen set up for whole food plant based diet for weight loss meals helped me to successfully transition to eat plant-based.

A Well-Stocked Pantry – One key to effortless plant-based cooking was stocking my kitchen pantry with the right ingredients. This included the non-perishable ingredients on my pantry shelf (canned, dried, and bottled); the stash of prepared foods for my freezer, and the fresh veggies, fruits and other perishables in my fridge.

I learned a lot from a few websites, especially, Hello Nutritarian where I learned how to set up my Eat to Live Fridge.

Kitchen island card with cookbook on top and cutting board on top. A wine box repurposed into a recipe box on second shelf. Makes it easier to eat a plant-based diet.

I also made my kitchen island a workhorse. Remember my post about how I added an extra shelf to my kitchen island and made a recipe box using wine crate labels?

cut up veggies on a wood cutting board.

Both the island and custom recipe box make it easier to stay on track. I have recipes handy and a permanent place where I can chop, chop, and chop some more to make all the foods I eat.

A loaf of sourdough bread on a white cake stand.

I have been making everything I eat from scratch. Soups, sourdough bread, sauces, casseroles, plant-based burgers, and more.

I don’t eat any vegan fake food like vegan meat, cheese or mayo. They have ingredients in them that make me sick, like guar gum. I strive to not eat anything processed.

It takes commitment and time to eat this way, but over the last year it has become a part of my existence and I like it. In fact…. I love it! I couldn’t imagine eating any other way now.

Ed and I have even started a kitchen garden so we have fresh veggies and herbs right out the door.

Plant-Based Weight Loss Cookbooks

6 of my favorite plant-based recipe cookbooks

1| 2 |3| 4| 5 | 6

I still have a lot to learn about preparing plant-based recipes. I read plant-based whole food cookbooks like they are novels and follow many plant-based web sites in search of new recipes to try. I can read a recipe now and successfully tweak or change out the ingredients to ones I like. I have learned to replace oil with veggie broth, applesauce or flax seed meal.

When I started eating plant-based, there was a lot of trial and error involved when using new to me ingredients and vegetables.

I threw a lot of food away and learned to read every label with a fine-tooth comb. No oil, salt or added sugar is what I strive for, but I am not perfect. For time prep sake, I do buy canned beans and rinse them well to remove 3/4’s of the added salt.

I frequent these sites a lot to find free recipes:

I have found my groove and now know I don’t like Swiss or rainbow chard – gag!

I also don’t like food with ginger and turmeric, but curry – bring it on!!! I also found I like Italian seasoning and lemon on everything!

Cut up lettuce . leafy greens and vegetables on a wood cutting board. Chef's knife on the side.

Since eating WFPB – no oil, one of the frequent questions I get is,“What do you put on a salad?”

There are many dressings that I make with no oil that taste so much better than heavy oil-laden dressings. My favorite dressing so far I found on Hello Nutritirian. I will link to it at the end of the post.

How I Lost Weight

Sourdough bread being cut on a wood cutting board. Yes bread can be part of a plant-based weight loss success story.

I know for a fact that what works for one person to lose weight might not work for another. I never feel like I am missing out. I even enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner every once in a while.

If I feel full, I will skip eating bread for a day or won’t use tahini in a dressing. I don’t eat a lot of pasta as I would rather have toasted bread. I experiment to see what works best.

I know I like veggies much better when they are finely chopped and soups made with turnips and parsnips.

I experiment to see what works best for me and simply just kept doing what was working.

How to Transition to a Whole Food Plant Based Diet

When transitioning to a WFPB diet – mindset matters. Slow and steady progress is more important to me than hitting a certain goal on a specific date. Small changes can lead to radical improvements. Life and food are meant to be enjoyed.

The thing that surprised me the most was the diversity of food available to me. Even though I was not eating meat, processed foods, oil, or dairy, I still had so many options that I began to enjoy.

For the first time EVER, eating well became exciting to me. I found a love for cooking that I never knew I had. I started to enjoy coming up with new dishes and doing the prep work involved from shopping to even chopping. :-)

I Prioritized My Goals

I always kept focused on what I really wanted. I stopped trying to be all things to all people. I also lessened the time mindlessly spent on social media – which on some days amounted to hours.

With my newfound hours, I had time to research recipes, plan, prep and make healthy plant-based foods. It came down to priority.

What Do I Eat in a Day ?

A lot! :-) I still intermittent fast for 16 hours. I eat between 12pm – 8pm.

Salad and bean sprouts on white plate for lunch. Plant-based weight loss staple.


  • Chopped salad of mixed greens, veggies and crunchy sprouts with No Oil Walnut Vinaigrette dressing, a piece of sourdough bread and a cup of soup. Or toasted sourdough bread or an Ezekiel’s Sprouted Grain wrap with chickpea salad and chopped cabbage. Or last night’s dinner leftovers.

Afternoon Snack

Healthy banana oatmeal cookies on a white plate stand.
  • Homemade applesauce with chia seeds.
  • No oil air popped popcorn with a spritz of Braggs Liquid Aminos and nutritional yeast.
  • Banana Oatmeal Cookies
  • Fruit
  • Roasted Chick Peas
  • Crunchy Sprouts
  • A handful of raw or dry roasted nuts


  • Fresh veggies either steamed, grilled or roasted with veggie broth. Potatoes of all kinds. Casseroles made with veggies, millet, whole wheat pasta. Plant-based burgers made with beans, oatmeal, quinoa and other veggies, grains and seeds.
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup of red wine


Plant based food desserts made with a Yonana banana whip maker.

My Go-To Plant-Based Favorite No Oil Recipes

  • Applesauce – no recipe needed. Chop up apples and place in a covered dutch oven with about a 1/4 cup of water. Add a sprinkle of allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon or all three. Stir to mix. Cover the pot and heat on medium. Stir every 5 minutes until the apples are soft. For smoother applesauce, use an immersion blender to get the desired texture. Store in fridge for up to a week.

If you would like to know more details about what I eat and how I go about organizing my kitchen to make eating plant-based easier, please let me know in the comments.

I started a new category here on the blog specifically for anyone that wants to know more about eating plant-based and intermittent fasting, along with my favorite books and recipes. I will be adding to it on an ongoing basis. It can be found under the Lifestyle heading in my blog’s navigation bar.

The Takeaway: Healthy Eating is a Personal Journey

This way of eating, plant-based with intermittent fasting has been life changing for Ed and I, but know that just like I always say when decorating, the best way is to do it in your own style.

Photo of Ed and Diane blogger of In My Own Style outside by a tree.

You have to find what works for you and this is the best advice I can give you when it comes to losing weight.

I believe in personalized nutrition, which is a “science-researched” way of saying that everyone is unique. And everybody — your spouse, friend, co-worker, and parent— has unique dietary needs.

Just because your friend feels like a million bucks now that she’s living the keto lifestyle does not mean keto is right for you.

I can eat a high carb meal of corn on the cob and beans for dinner and the scale goes down. This is not so for Ed.

Each of us is different and we have to realize what works for one, may not for another. You have to experiment to find which foods will make you feel amazing (and which ones don’t), so you can develop your own path to healthy eating and living to your own weight loss success story.

What Plant Based Kitchen Tools Do I Really Use?

Having these items in my kitchen has made my transition to eating plant-based much easier. I didn’t purchase all of these items. I already had many of them and only bought others when I realized having them would make cooking and prep work easier.

  1. Bag dryer – I reuse heavy duty gallon size freezer bags. After washing, this makes drying them easy. I keep it on top of my fridge where it is handy, but out of the way.

2. Sprouting lids – I found I really like crunchy sprouts and learned how easy it is to sprout them myself. Having these lids that fit on wide mouth Mason jars makes the sprouting process easy.

3. Berry Colander – I eat a lot of berries, this makes cleaning them a breeze.

4. Baking mats – No oil needed when I bake anything on them from veggies to healthy cookies.

5. Heavy wood cutting board – This is the most important item in my plant-based kitchen. It is large and heavy which makes it very stable when cutting.

6. Good knives – With so much cutting, having a good chef’s knife is necessary. Just be careful so you don’t cut a finger tip off, like I did. :-) (It is all better now.) One reader mentioned getting this knife glove to protect my fingers when using my knife.

7. Microwave Popcorn Maker and Concentrator Cups – I use this to make oil and salt-free popcorn. It is one of my go-to snacks.

  1. Immersion Blender – Makes it easy to blend chunky soups and sauces into smooth ones.

2. Yonanas Banana Whip Maker – Makes a healthy version of ice cream – using frozen bananas or berries. You will think you are eating ice cream.

3. Food Processor – If you have a lot of chopping and prep work, having a food processor makes the task fast.

4 & 6. Vitamix or any blender and additional blending cups – Having a high speed blender and the smaller cups make mixing small amounts of ingredients much simpler and easier to clean up.

5. Electric Knife – Makes cutting tough crusted sourdough bread easier.

1, 5, & 6. Wide Mouth Mason jars of various sizes with plastic lids | 8 ounce – I use these to organize everything I prepare in advance from chickpeas, salad dressing, soups, sprouts, cut veggies, applesuace and more.

2. Fridge bins – I use one long one to hold washed, ready and bagged greens so I can easily grab the bin and bring everything out to my kitchen island in one motion to fix a salad.

3. Salad Sling – Easier and faster than a salad spinner to dry washed lettuce and leafy greens.

4. Souper Cube – After making soup, I fill this up to freeze 4 – 1-cup servings of soup. It freezes the soup into blocks that you push out and then store in sandwich size freezer bags.

Now that you have read my plant-based weight loss success story, let me know if you have any questions. I would also love to hear about the ways you live the best way you can with diet, exercise, meditation, whatever makes you feel great. :-)

Bottom line, I would love to know what works for you.

4 images of plant based healthy food. Text overlay says How to succeed on a plant based diet.

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  1. Bonnie Jo Milburn says:

    Hi Diane, I have been following your blog for Several years now. I’m very interested in this plant based eating. I make sourdough bread every week from scratch, but it has oil and sugar and salt in it. I was wondering if you would share your recipe for sourdough that does not have these things. Thank you for sharing all your knowledge.

    Bonnie Jo

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Bonnie Jo – Here is a link to the sourdough bread I make. It is from Alexandra’s Kitchen. It does call for salt, but I only use 1/2 of what it calls for and it turns out fine. Here is the link:

      Thanks for reading my blog. If you ever have any questions about plant-based eating, just let me know. I have been eating this way since March 2020 and would never eat any other way now.

  2. Mickey Wood says:

    I loved the story of how you and Ed met. Thank you for sharing and thank you for the weight loss inspiration. (I tend to jump around from link to link in your emails.)
    You always provide down-to-earth, doable ideas from decorating to diets and everything in between.
    I am so intrigued with your whole food plan and have tried it in various iterations over the years. It always worked for modest weight loss, and I would feel better, but, without my husband on board, my efforts would soon fall by the wayside as it was just too much work to manage 2 different regimens. You are fortunate that Ed joined you. My husband will never give up meat and subs and junk food. But I am 78 years old and, as someone once said (although for a much greater cause) , “If not now, when?”

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks for the nice note Mickey – I know that having my husband on board 2 nights a week for the past 2-1/2 years has been a huge help to my efforts. I was making his dinner and mine every night, but back in the summer when my hip started to really become painful, he started to make his own dinners and we got into a new meal time rhythm. He makes his and I make mine now. It is the best and we are both very happy as we still sit down to eat with each other every night, just different foods.

  3. Hi Diane – love the story of your journey- you both look great and best of all radiantly healthy!! Do you have any tips cooking wfpb while living with a meat eater? Also what do you do going out to restaurants or when entertaining?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Deb – Since my husband Ed is a meat eater, both he and I had to learn how to make it work. It does take time to get into the swing of it. At first I was making 2 meals – one for home and mine, but after a while, he began to like some of the food I was making and now eats 2 dinners a week plant based so that helps.

      I keep our meals simple – for him a meat, starch (rice, potatoes, pasts) and veggie. In place of meat for me, I have a plant burger or a bean stew or soup that I make and freeze so they are ready to go. For the veggies, rice or pasta – I cook them for both of us the same way, but season his with oil/butter and salt while leaving my alone.

      When going out to eat. I have to plan ahead. I usually take my own salad dressing to restaurants where I know they won’t have much for me to eat. I order steamed veggies, a potato and salad. I haven’t been to a restaurant yet that doesn’t have these. I drink red wine and always have that. For dessert – I always order a decaf coffee black so I have something to enjoy while others at the table may be eating a dessert. It was hard at first, but now I don’t even think about it.

      When going to a friend’s home for dinner or a party, I always bring my own food and tell the host not to worry about me. I usually bring a salad or a wrap or one of the recipes that I have posted in the WFPB living category on my blog. Many times – others want to try what I eat and like it. It has started many a conversation.

      When I entertain at home for friends and family – I make standard American diet recipes for everyone, and get something that I prepared beforehand for me to eat.

      The best advise I can give you though is to take it one step at a time. It is a big transition that I didn’t do overnight – so don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t follow the wfpb way of eating 100% at first.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

  4. I have re-read your post on your plant-based journey several times, and little by little we are adding in ideas you shared! Thank you. Question – what about drinking coffee and tea?? We are daily coffee drinkers (morning) and love both iced tea and hot tea. . . Do you drink either or both of these and what is good to use for a sweetener?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ali –

      I drink a few cups of black coffee in the morning and tea all through the day. About 10 years ago I stopped putting sugar in my tea and then milk. It took a few months to get used to drinking it black, but I did. I never added milk or sugar to my coffee.

      When going plant-based and intermittent fasting, this was one thing I had already changed so I didn’t have to transition to drinking tea and coffee black.

      I would suggest you start by just adding less sugar and milk/cream every week until you are not adding any so your tastebuds get used to it. Going cold turkey is too hard.

      Everything I have done to lose weight and eat better has been done in stages. Master one step and then add the next thing you would like to change and you will succeed. It is a journey for sure.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

  5. You look amazing Diane! I need to clean up my eating act. The combo of back surgery, quarantine and comfort food eating has caught up to me. I also spend way too much time on social media and feel like my days are wasted so I think it’s time I embrace doing what will make me feel better. Now if I could just embrace grocery shopping and food prep!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Kelly XO – Believe me, if I could learn to like food prep and cooking, you can too. A glass of wine always helps. The key to making it easier though is batch cooking and just learning as you go. If you try to do it all at once, it will be too overwhelming.

  6. Thanks for so much great information! Would you share recipes for bread with no SOS. I need to learn to make my own bread. You are truly an inspiration!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jane – For the sourdough bread, I follow the recipe and method this blogger uses: You can find the post here:

      She adds salt, but I don’t add it.

  7. Wow! You two look great! Congratulations on your accomplishment – most of all, because you feel good – fantastic!
    As always, you provide DETAIL – I appreciate that about you so much! You are inspiring me. I’ve dabbled in the fasting, but now I realize I need to incorporate a more structured way of eating during the permissible consumption hours and that includes planning and pre-prep – I just have to do it to realize any real results… you’ve proved that to me!
    With gratitude,

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you Chris – I think doing the fasting along with an eating plan work together. According to the author of The Obesity Code, fasting is the missing component in any diet or eating plan. It surely is working for me and my husband. Just keep sticking to it, even if you have a down day. It is the long run and not day to day losses and gains that matter. :-)

  8. For folks who are put off by the HIGH price of the Vitamix blender that’s linked, if any of those readers are Costco members, they often offer deals on various Vitamixes at much lower prices. In fact, I finally splurged (Did I dare?) on a different model offered through Costco: the Explorian 360. It’s a “souped up” version of that model with two cups, and a larger than normal (48 oz. v. 64 oz.-short size) blender vessel. But, it lacks the presets and digital screen, which haven’t been missed. I kept watching prices and bought it for their all-time low of $299. (These specials come and go, so be alert.). Was it worth the expense? WOWZA! YEA-US!!! It is heads and shoulders performance wise over my past 1971 Oster (lasted years) and later, a cheapo Hamilton Beach. (I am not a paid Vitamix spokesman.) These do so much…and are well worth the cost… Google reviews (The Wirecutter, Epicurious, etc.) Oh, Costco also offers fridge and pantry containers (I-Design) often, too.

    Congrats on your success! And, happy to hear your finger’s mended!

    Oh, re knives..that’s something on which I’ve splurged in later life, too, and wished I would have done so sooner Check out the site “Chef Knives to Go”. They sell mostly Japanese crafted knives which come in two handle styles: wa (Western style as most of us use) and yo – which is totally rounded. The site provides video reviews of many of the knives and also a “menu” of features of each knife. You’ll probably want to start out with a Gyuto “all purpose” – most like our chef knife and then proceed to either a Santoku or Nikiri (pretty much dedicated to veggies. There is a lot of info about the steels used. I decided upon versions fully stainless (R2, G2, Ginsan, VG-10) and blades that have a 50-50 edge. (Historically, Japanese knives pitch more to one angle. If you go with stainless, you won’t have to worry about the blade discoloring/rusting and need to take precious care of it. These are light, but with such good blades/edges, most effective. I apologize for giving beau coup info, but I took a long time to research and this may save interested parties some time. These are made to last a lifetime and also are a step up from what most of us use. Most important: PLEASE LEARN HOW TOHOLD A KNIFE so you can cut effectively and not endanger yourself. No finger on the top of the blade, or “tennis racket” holds, guys. Learn the “pinch grip”, shown on many YouTube videos. It’ll take a bit of practice to unlearn your old way of holding a knife; but, in the end, you’ll have lots better control, be more able to make the type cuts you wish, and be as safe as possible. Jacques Pepin has videos on this, too. (Can you tell I’m retired and have some spare time?). Bon Appetit!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi MDM – Thank you for taking the time to share what you have learned about the Vitamix and knives. It sounds like you enjoy working in the kitchen and your retirement. :-) I agree with you that having a Vitamix is Wowza! I love it. Nice to know that if you keep watch you may be able to find a model for less.

  9. You both look fantastic! I read every word you wrote with great interest. So timely, I can’t thank you enough! In 2020 I went though menopause and, as a stress eater, turned to food for consolation during the pandemic. Long story short I’m in pre-metabolic syndrome and I’ve got at least 30 lbs to lose. I’m going to get the book The Obesity Code and read that as I have read articles about IF and I’m interested! Please can you tell me how you get enough protein? That’s my biggest concern about WFPB. I saw eggs in your fridge. Do you ever eat fish? My husband and I are doing WW and have learned to love salmon, tilapia, and other fish and they are such a good source of proteins and healthy fats. I was so excited to read about your success! Well done! I hope to be as successful as you!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Cathy – Thank you. When you intermittent fast you can eat whatever you want in the eating hours. I have just taken it a step further and eat 100% whole food plant-based, with no oil or added sugar.

      My husband eats eggs, meat and fish and by intermittent fasting, he lost 34 pounds. So you can stick to WW while you intermittent fast. If you plan to read the book, it will give you all the details.

      For whole food plant-based eaters, vegetarians and vegans there are many protein sources. When we were growing up we only learned in school about meats and fish having protein. :-) Beans – lentils, chickpeas and all beans are protein also many veggies, tofu, chia seeds, nutritional yeast and whole wheat are a few.

  10. Becky in 'Bama says:

    Impressed with your food changes to create a leaner healthy you! While I like most of the veggies you eat, my celiac disease, missing gallbladder (surgery) and irritable bowel make eating a lot of them impossible. BUT I do believe I could survive the intermittent fasting plan to rid myself of these 15 lbs. that won’t let go (probably 20 if I’m honest LOL). I have been gluten free for over 40 years now (before it was fashionable) and was able to keep my weight under control until menopause reared its head, but I’ve been lazy with my diet. You have inspired me to try some of your tips for plant based eating. I eat very little meat, so that is something I would not miss. Thanks for your sharing the info with all of your readers.

  11. Nancy Twombly says:

    I have been following your blog for years but have never been so excited to read anything more than your experience of WFPB life style. I have been wanting to try this myself but have been reluctant to take the challenge. You have inspired me to take the first step.

    I plan to explore all the links you have listed and will begin my journey. Just two questions to help me get launched:

    1) Do you fast every morning or just 3 days/week:
    2) Is it OK to drink coffee or tea on fasting mornings?

    Thank you so much for the inspiration!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nancy –

      Thanks for following and telling me you were excited to read my post. I will be posting more about the topic from now on as I have gotten such a positive response.

      When intermittent fasting you can do it anyway that feels best. I started with 3 days a week fasting between the hours of 8PM and 12 noon. It is a 16 hour fast. Once I got the hang of it I started to fast everyday between these hours.

      Some people fast for 24 hours every other day or set up a timing that fits their schedule best. The main goal is to have your body get a long rest from having to digest food. This is the basis of it. For more details, I would highly suggest reading The Obesity Code ( a short quick read) or any book on the topic.

      When in the fasting hours, the goal is to not take in any calories. Water, black tea and coffee are fine. If drinking herbal teas, make sure they don’t have anything in them with calories – some do have added stuff, just read the ingredients.

      When in the eating hours, follow your plan of eating. I pretty much eat 100% plant food and try to stick to keeping track of WW points. When you eat plant based most of the foods are point free. What I have to keep track of is bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, oatmeal, red wine, dates, raisins, nuts and nut and seed butters. I eat these daily, but do limit or keep portion sizes smaller.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

  12. Jessica Z says:

    Congrats Diane!! You look great! I follow your blog. I’m decoholic too! Love your ideas and inspirations!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jessica – Thank you and thanks for reading. I love being able to share my decoholic ways. XO

  13. Hey, thanks for adding those things to your shop. I’ll be checking them out soon. Yes, Paleo with lots of veggies! And absolutely I’m blessed to be able to have a big garden. I love sharing my excess with others too and if you were close enough I’d share with you! Yes, you created quite the interest, didn’t you? I’m interested in hearing more about your journey, and I went to Hello Nutritarian and subscribed to her blog. Wow, talk about a PREPPER! She’s amazing.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sharon – I learned a lot from Hello Nutritarian. Her site is one of the best for eating a WFPB no oil diet. I didn’t sign up for her plan as what she has in her posts was more than enough to get me started. She is amazing!

  14. My question to you is whether you are still following WW and doing IF?
    I am a WW member.. not really following.. but I do track.

    I have followed you for years and you were one of my inspirations for Going Grey Gracefully.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Patti – Thanks for following me all these years. That makes my day. XO Happy to hear that my going gray story inspired you.

      I still track Freestyle blue points, but in my head, I don’t use the app anymore. Tracking points has become second nature for me. I always pour a glass of wine at 1/3 cup, as I know it is 2 points. Same with having bread or higher point foods, like peanut butter. I know the point value of all the foods and portion sizes I eat and stick to it pretty much.

      1. patti nisenholz says:

        TYSM for responding. I noticed you eat sourdough bread…. that works for me.. but wondering how it works with plant based. I am assuming because you don’t use the ww app.. the IF can work.. ( if one does not track ) I don’t get a blue dot day!! I also follow “blue”.
        Does your refg look like the ones you linked us to?? I SOOOO want to go to walmart and purchase everything.
        Not a great week to begin this next journey with being in the midst of Passover~ but perhaps just a few steps will help. TY again……………… Keep inspiring !!

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Patti – Sourdough bread or any whole wheat bread with no oil or dairy in it is whole food plant based as is whole wheat pasta. I made my sourdough starter using sprouted whole wheat flour. When I make the bread, I use the same flour and mix it with another whole wheat flour. I usually add dried herbs and wheatberries. No oil, sugar or salt.

          In my post, there is a photo of my actual fridge. It is not as neat and bright as Hello Nutritian’s is though. I use one half of the fridge to set up for me, the other side is for all the stuff Ed eats. It can look different from week to week depending on what I have planned for meals.

          I use the Mason jars and the method works! I am sold on it. I use 4 different size jars. They are not as easy to find at Walmart as before the pandemic. Seems like a lot of people began canning food and there is a shortage. I need more of the pint size and can’t find them at the Walmart’s near me.

          I agree this week is not a good week to begin… candy everywhere! :-) Happy Passover!

  15. Barbara B Pilcher says:

    Thank you, Diane, for sharing your inspiring and information-packed story! You are an amazing person, a reminder to others what is possible by educating ourselves and disciplining ourselves. I’ve gotten back on the rebounder that’s been neglected for the past year. Thank you for getting me off my butt, because covid eating put 12 pounds on me. I taught macrobiotic cooking during the 70s so I know all about how to prepare great menus exclusively from whole plant foods. I love to cook and I have all the knives and cutting boards and the blender and processor and bread machine and convection gas range and…well everything I need except the determination to avoid sweets. I’ll make that my first step.

    I have two questions. Are you able to enjoy a restaurant meal? I would assume you would order from the soup and salad portions of the menu. How does that work for you? Do you bring a homemade dressing along? Also, do you have a source for probiotics in your present diet, or does that not concern you? You could make sauerkraut and other naturally fermented vegetables. This is the one I like the best, from Amazon: Keep up the fine work!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Barbara –

      Good question about what I do when we eat out. We haven’t gone out too much the last year, but so far, I have been bringing along my own salad dressing and order two salads. I drink wine and ask for plain potatoes and veggies. Soup can have oil and or dairy in it so I haven’t ordered it.

      When we have been invited to friends homes for dinner, only twice in the last year, I have brought my own meal. Both my friends were fine with me doing this.

      I used to take probiotics, but found they didn’t do anything and were so expensive, so I don’t take any supplements. I just try to eat good foods in a rainbow of colors and that are good for gut health like natural sauerkraut and have bought fermented Brussel Sprouts. I haven’t tried other feremented foods yet, but as my journey continues plan to try more.

      Going to check out the fermentor you linked to. Thanks :-)

  16. I am so happy you shared this. I went in to have a series of colonics in December, and she made me watch a bunch of plant based diet videos while I was having them. The first one I watched was Forks over Knives! Ever since, we have been trying to eat more plant based. I am surprised you don’t have an instant pot on your essential list. We make an instant pot of dry beans once or twice a week. It is so simple to do and only takes about 1 to 1/2 hours from start to finish to have a fresh pot of beans. The best part is you can control how much salt and how they are seasoned. My kids will just snack on them because they taste so much better than canned beans.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mary – Funny colonics story. Plant based does make elimination very easy. :-)

      I have looked into buying an InstaPot, but my kitchen is small with very limited counter space. I haven’t bought one for this reason, but maybe I will have to rethink it. Do you soak the beans first?

      1. Mary South says:

        No! I just measure how much I want to make and rinse the beans and I put them in the instant pot with water and whatever I want to season them with and in an hour I have fresh beans! There are so many recipes and instructions on how to make instant pot beans out there. I am still trying to figure out how I like to season each type of bean I make. Thanks again for sharing your story. I think I am going to try intermittent fasting. I would welcome any other posts you have about your cooking and lifestyle adjustments. I have been following your for over 8 years!

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Mary –

          Thanks for your suggestion and reply. I ordered an InstaPot over the weekend. :-) I love beans and enjoy them like your kids do, eating them like a snack so this will be a great addition to my from scratch, food prepping life. I will be sharing more on the topic from now on and so happy to find out that there is a lot of readers interested in it.

  17. You look amazing! Weight loss can be such a tough journey and those who do well on one path often believe you must be cheating when you don’t get the same results. I was “very” active and ate healthy but add I started having health issues the pounds began to pile on. Knowing this would only increase my health issues were motivation for me to continue trying different things. I recently turned 67 and FINALLY started to drop the pounds again. Good luck on your health journey 💕

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sheryl – Thank you. Weight loss is hard and it takes lots of focus to stay motivated, especially as we get older. Happy to hear that you have been able to find the motivation to continue your journey and are losing weight. Keep at it… it’s a journey and not a race is how I try to look at it.

  18. Connie McGhee says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey into plant based eating. I have been on this journey for awhile now but I’m not nearly as successful as you. Question. .do you take liquids during your fastings? Specifically your morning tea or coffee in my case.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Connie –

      I am so happy to have been able to share what I have been doing. Each one of us is different and will have different paths to success. It has taken me 3 years to figure what works best for me. :-) Good question about what I drink when in fasting hours. I drink water, black tea and or coffee. Probably 2 mugs in the morning and 1 mug of tea after 8PM.

  19. You and Ed look amazing! I’m so glad that you found a plan that works for you. I really appreciate all the information and links you provided. A lot of time, thought and effort went into this post. Thank you for sharing!! I went to the used bookstore today and found a copy of Jason Fung’s book that you referenced. We will definitely incorporate some of your healthy practices in our meal planning and cooking. Here’s to your continued energy, health, and well being. So inspiring!!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Deanna – Thank you. :-) Great deal finding the book at the used bookstore. It is a quick read. I think you will find it enlightening.

  20. So happy to read plant based works so well for you. I have wanted to go plant based for a while, I just no longer want to cook and the food prep seems exhausting . Check out Nutmeg Notebook. Tami and her husband have a YouTube channel, she has a blog and they share all things plant based. She has wonderful recipes and gives lots of food prep info. I think you’ll like her.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Paula – The prep work does take time which can be impossible to do for many. I am not familiar with Nutmeg Notebook. I will check them out. Thanks for telling me.

  21. Congrats on your journey for healthy lifestyle! Thank you for sharing your journey! It is always good to learn from someone who shares what works for them. I have been adding more plant based meals and my husband is always surprised when he realizes how much he likes them. Please keep sharing because it is motivating!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nancy – Thank you. Ed is the same when he eats what I make for dinner. The more I research and look into recipes and how to tweak them to our tastes is surprising. Happy to read that doing so will be motivating for you. I will keep sharing about my progress and what I am doing.

  22. Elaine Heron says:

    Hi Diane,
    Never posted on here before but followed for a while now. Congratulations to you both on your success!! My question will seem strange but, I would be really interested to know what your daily eating was like before you changed to this diet. What food did you eat? Why did you feel the need? Did you feel unwell, or stuck in a food rut?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Elaine –

      Thank you. Your question is a good one.

      The reason I wanted to change was I was stuck in a weight loss plateau and my blood work – mainly cholesterol was not going down. I ate a pretty healthy diet and followed the WW plan. This consisted of scrambled eggs or a poached egg for breakfast with a little spray olive oil in the pan. I ate steamed Brussel sprouts every morning with the eggs sprinkled with low salt seasoning. A slice of Ezekiels bread, berries and black tea or coffee. For lunch, low-sodium chicken breast lunchmeat or a chicken breast or tuna salad made with a little mayo, soup and a Diet Coke. Dinner – fish, meat or chicken. Corn on the cob, tomatoes, a veggie, baked potatoes, a salad with bottled dressing. I never used butter as it has dairy in it and I gave that up 15 years ago. For snacks – the same popcorn I eat now, Graham crackers, a piece of toast with a spoonful of jam or peanut butter, almonds.

      Now what has changed is I no longer eat eggs, meat or anything packaged like salad dressing. I don’t use oil to cook or in anything. Now I have a huge chopped leafy green salad with veggies and crunchy sprouts for lunch with no-oil dressing, sourdough bread and a cup of soup that I make from scratch so I know every ingredient. Black tea and or coffee. Lots of fruit and veggies rolled oats, potatoes, some pasta and rice. For dinner I make bean burgers of all kinds, bean meatloaves and more casserole style recipes that I have been finding in plant-based recipe books. One is made using whole wheat lasagna noodles, veggies and firm tofu. It is really good. :-)

      The big changes in my diet were timing – only eating between 12 noon and 8PM and eliminating – eggs, meat, oil, added sugar and salt. I am not perfect as I do eat dairy-free chocolate chips from time to time when I make certain sweets which I posted about and can be found under Plant-Based Living, but that is it for added sugar. I use dates in most recipes now that call for a sweetener.

      If you have any more questions, let me know. :-)

  23. Thanks so much for sharing your successful journey. I find I always aspire to double or triple our vegetable intake but fall short due to time. I really appreciate your honesty in sharing that eating this way will definitely require a shift in time priorities. Also, do you find that you need to shop more than once a week for all the fresh produce?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Michelle –

      The biggest obstacle for most of us is the time it takes to prepare the food. Batch prep and cooking is the answer and I have been learning to do this better.

      I usually shop twice a week. One big run and then another for everything I forgot on the first run. :-) I wash and dry all produce when I bring it home and store it wrapped in paper towels in plastic bags or Mason jars. I pull apart, clean and dry all leafy greens and wrap in paper towels and place in ziplock bags. When I want to make a salad I take out what I want from each bag and finely chop. This keeps the greens very fresh for a week. The key is making sure the leaves are dry before wrapping in paper towels and storing. The drying towel works well for this as does a salad spinner. I will write a post about this process as it keeps everything fresher.

      Another trick to keep produce fresher that I have cleaned and cut is to place a paper towel in the bottom of the bag or container, then add the produce and then another paper towel on the top. Close and store. The paper towels absorb the moisture so the produce stays fresher. I want to make a bunch of washable and reusable absorbent fabric towels to do this so I am not using so many paper towels.

  24. TerriC/HoustonLady says:

    Hi Diane,
    Big congrats to you and Ed. You both look great! Thanks for this post and all the resources you provided : )
    Have a great weekend

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Terri XO – Hope you have a great weekend also.

  25. Wow! Diane, you look incredible!! I mean that in every way. Thank you for sharing your journey, and I am happy for you for that you found something that works for you and for Ed. Keep up the great work!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you Tracey – It feels so good to have been able to get to this point in my journey. I have learned so much and will be keeping it up. It makes it a whole lot easier with Ed onboard.

  26. We have been WFPB no oil, sugar and just enough salt to get our iodine for over three years. It’s the best weight loss, anti cancer, anti diabetes, anti heart disease never hungry way of eating there is. I never thought I would get my husband to eat this way, but I had done the cancer research on this and presented this to him. He held the two big black garbage bags as we emptied our house of ALL the animal products. His oncologist is Chinese, so she was all on board for eating this way. My husbands overall cholesterol is 80, I am still working to get mine below 150, but I’m getting close. We are both slim and trim without counting points, calories, macros or anything else. We just eat good food that is good for us, and eat until we are full. Like Dr. Goldhammer of True North Health center says to people who ask if they need to eat this way 100%, “I don’t know, how sick and fat do you want to be?” That is a quote that keeps me 100% all the time.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Pam – Loved hearing your story and how eating 100% plant-based no oil, sugar has made your lives better. I have read a cookbook from one of the recipe developers at True North, but had not heard the Dr. Goldhammer quote. That is good one to keep living plant-based and plant-strong life.

  27. Donna Albanese says:

    Hi Diane, you look amazing! Thanks for sharing your journey. My goal is too be healthier also. Need to lower my cholesterol and want to get the numbers down naturally if I can. Stepped up exercise all through Covid but since Feb of this year doing 10,000 steps a day, HIIT workouts and attempting Vegetarian diet (and fish). So needless to say was very happy to see your post. Thank you for sharing ❤️

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Donna –

      Thank you. It sounds like you are on your path to success. It has taken me 3 years to reach this point. When Covid hit, my gym closed and they started having Zoom classes which were OK, but not as good. In June, my hip started to give me trouble and was told by my doctor to stop fast moves in dancing and jumping. If I didn’t I would need a new hip soon. So I now, walk fast, do pilates and weights. I do miss the more active fitness classes, but will stay positive and move the way I can to stay fit. Keep up your good work and let me know from time to time how it is going.

  28. This is such a great article! I am also trying to be 100% plant based – I’m probably around 85%. It is amazing how your cravings change and what it does for my T1 diabetes. You have some great resources I haven’t yet found, thanks so much for sharing. You look wonderful!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you Lisa – That is so good to hear that eating plant-based has helped your T1 diabetes. :-) It is truly amazing how cravings change. I still can’t believe just how much.

      Another reader who left a comment listed a resource I hadn’t heard of before. A blog and YouTube channel called, Nutmeg Notebook. I spent last night on the site and took away a lot of great tips. The best was tips on when traveling and ways to prep food. If you haven’t checked them out, I would recommend it.

  29. That is awesome Diane! Keto is still my way of eating and the weight has stayed off for three years. You have to find what works for you and you clearly have. I am looking forward to seeing your raised gardens grow. You have a much longer season than we do, so I imagine you are underway. Congrats again!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Debbie – XOXO

      It is great to find the fit that works. Being older and empty-nesters has given us the wisdom and time to experiment and focus on what works. When you figure it out, it becomes easy and a way of life. :-)

      Ed is assembling arches for the garden right now. We plan to have beans, cukes and tomatoes growing on them. We are trying to make the most out of every inch using whiskey barrels as well as the raised boxes. I will post updates soon and looking forward to a visit from you and Martin someday soon.

  30. Thank you for this helpful, healthful information. You’ve gone through so much work to research the topic, experiment with recipes and write about your experience. I certainly will print this out and experiment myself.
    I’ve often felt that I’m stuck in old eating habits, not sure how to move on to more of a plant-based diet. This will surely spur me on. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    By the way, you look terrific!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Mary –

      It is easy to stay with old-eating habits and takes and lots of thought and time to change. If you want to try, start small by adding one thing and removing another and keep at it over time.

      For me, dairy was the first thing to go since it made me sick. It was hard not being able to eat pizza, but I learned how to make my own and now enjoy it just as much. Next it was sugar, which was harder, but I just kept moving away from adding it. Small changes build up to big ones.

      A good place to start is to figure out your “why” and focus on that. For instance – you want to lose weight or lower your cholesterol or simply feel better. Stay focused on the goal and do the things that will get you there even if it is slow going at first.

  31. You are truly kind to share your weight loss journey. Ive been dealing with weight gain since I turned 40 and am now almost 61. I quite smoking and put on 60 pounds in 1 year, became very ill and was eventually diagnosed with Thyroid Disease. Until that point, I never struggled with weight but have ever since. I certainly don’t regret quitting smoking and the thyroid disease was probably exacerbated by giving up smoking. I have spent thousands of dollars on weight loss programs and have always been successful but cannot seem to keep the weight off. I really love a glass of wine and sweets. My husband can eat whatever he likes and never gains an ounce. I am waiting to prepare myself yet again for weight loss but will admit that I’m exhausted with trying diet after diet and really don’t enjoy cooking anymore. It’s a struggle for sure. I need to read inspiring stories such as yours to ready myself for my next weight loss journey. I guess at first you don’t succeed, try and try again, right?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Valerie –

      Sorry to hear about your thyroid. I have a friend who has had to deal with that since she was a kid. She would get really thin and then a year later gain a lot of weight and then back to thin. It still happens to her, but she found eating Paleo helped her gain control over it. She does take medication, but not as much as she used to. Have you tried intermittent fasting? It may be worth a try and one positive way to look at it, less meals to have to cook. :-)

  32. Congratulations!!! What a wonderful thing you have done for yourself. You look greaat.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you Loi – It feels good and so worth it to take the time to figure out what would work for me.

  33. Maureen Ingram says:

    So inspiring! Thank you.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you Maureen.

  34. Good work and thanks for the extensive notes. I’m a new working mom so I’ve been playing with ways to prep/prepare ahead. Not sure how frozen prepared soups work in plant-based diets. I’ve begun batch cooking soups then freezing them in the round to-go pint containers. The shape fits in a lunch crock-pot I have at work. I was required to return to the office, it’s a small office, but it minimized the fight for the microwave at work from those eating in. Also use the containers to dice & freeze, the leftover ingredients bought in bulk. I’m still experimenting how to divide prepped ingredients so it could be premeasured. Next experiment- to use cupcake liners to divide a container in 1/2 cup or cup portions.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi – I make lots of soup and freeze it. Since I know all the ingredients I add are plants, the recipes fit seamlessly into eating plant-based. You have some great ideas about how you prep and store in bulk. Thanks for sharing them. I have been using freezer bags, but may up my game and get some stackable freezer containers. I love the Souper Cube and use that all the time. So much to learn that will make eating plant-based easier.

  35. Dianne have you read The Starch Solution by Dr McDougal ? He is one of the doctors on Forks Over Knives.
    I like you had to have control over something’s it Covid .. Went 90% plant based. Felt energized but weight just wouldn’t budge. Took what I learned from him and doing WW Purple Plan. Easy peasy 13 lbs in six weeks. And numbers from dr are way down. Win win
    You look great !

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Barbara –

      Congratulations on your success! :-) The WW’s plans are solid and doing it plant-based is win-win. I have not read the book by Dr. McDougal, but have listened to him being interviewed on a few videos. He along with Drs, Greger, Campbell, Fuhrman and Esselstyn have so much to say on the topic. I try to listen to all of them.

  36. Carol Heartfelt Whimsies says:

    Diane—-wow—you look amazing and even more, you sound like you FEEL awesome!
    Congratulations and thanks for sharing all this incredible information!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Carol – Thanks – I do feel good which is a great way to feel. It is one of the things that keeps me focused on doing what is working.

  37. Helen Moss says:

    Congratulations, Diane — and thanks for being an inspiration to us all!
    Vitamix is certainly a blast from my particular past. When my son was just starting school (he’s over 50 now), we lived in Oberlin, OH. I worked for the Oberlin Printing Company as a proofreader and later as proofchief. Sometime during those few years, I remember proofreading the Vitamix cookbook. I’m not sure if it was their first cookbook, but it could have been. The reason I still remember it is because I was really impressed that you could put veggies in and they would come out as hot soup, or you could go the opposite way by putting ice cubes in and make ice creams and sorbets. It was all metal in those days.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Helen –

      Such a fun story. :-) I love the Vitamix. I won it at a blog conference! Vitamix was one of the sponsors and had a session showing how to use it, hot soup and all. We all got to make a smoothie bowl. If we posted what we made to Instagram with the #Vitamix hashtags we could win one of 6 Vitamixes they were giving away at the end of the conference. I was one of the lucky winners.

  38. Thanks for sharing this inspiring post. You look fantastic. I used quarantine to change up my habits too and was terrified of intermittent fasting. After trying it I agree it does get easier. I took a slightly different approach learning to jump rope for exercise which has been a blast.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Andrea – I never would have thought I could do the fasting, but here I am and feel it makes a big difference. Love hearing how you learned to jump rope. What fun! Did you jump rope as a child and sing all the jump rope songs as you jumped?

  39. Julia@Cuckoo4Design says:

    That’s so awesome! You look amazing Diane. I have been fasting too. I started January 2020 but also counted calories in my eating time frame. I ended up shedding 18 pounds. Even though I never gave up fasting. I have gained some back over the holidays and have to get back on track. Your post might give me the necessary push to do so :)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you so much Julia XO –

      You must look and feel great. :-) Fasting and not overeating can really make a difference. It is hard to stay focused over the holidays and now with Easter candy… temptation is everywhere. It makes me happy to know that my post may help you get back on track.

  40. Question, Diane. Did you add the above listed items you use to your Amazon store? I was hoping to see them in one place….I know, picky picky! Several things I’m really interested in and it would be much easier to go back and find them.
    Have a great day!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sharon – Yes I will be making a Plant-Based Eating category in my Amazon shop. I should have it up later this morning. I wanted to create it last night, but when it was getting close to midnight, I decided it could wait a day. Enjoy your weekend.

  41. After getting threatened with a statin prescription and having high bp, I decided to make radical (for me) changes to my diet and the way I cook and I am down almost 8 pounds since the end of February. No more coffee creamer, baked goods, and fewer starchy foods. We eat mostly veggies with some lean protein on the side, and we love beans of all kinds. I read all labels at the store for salt content and more often than not I don’t buy processed foods. I quit using salt in my cooking, opting for lemon pepper or herbs. I use extra virgin olive oil sparingly. I eat whole oats three times a week with dried fruits and nuts. Cut down on the number of eggs I eat. No more bacon every weekend!! Switched to almond milk, though I still enjoy cottage and hard cheese. Beef is strictly once a week at most. So far, I DO feel better and I will be excited to visit my doc again in 4 more months (:

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Gina – It sounds like you are on very much on the way to creating your own success. :-) I am sure in 4 months your numbers will all be down. Way to go!!! :-) Keep in touch with updates about what is working for you.

  42. saba KHAN says:

    Beautiful story. I am very intrigued and want to see you share at least once a week new recipes for the whole week of eating as i can not imagine what I should do if I decide to go that route.Bravo to you both

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Saba –

      I can try to document what I eat in a week and post it. It does take planning. :-)

      If you want to decide to try whole food plant based eating there are many sites that share how to prep for the week. You can check out and Nutmeg Notebook blog. Or Google – Plant-based Batch Cooking

  43. You know that I have ALWAYS thought you were so cute and adorable! Of course you still are and I marvel at how you look the same…..only younger and more diminutive…..perhaps even happier, or possibly just more satisfied because I’ve thought of you as being a happy person. LOL.

    Thank you for spending so much time creating this post for us so we could really understand it and the importance of this eating style for you. I’m glad you are able to thrive! I personally would not be happy without my animal proteins. I am a true carnivore! But I love and crave all sorts of veggies also. I have found that Paleo works very well for me. And it’s sustainable for me. Unless I stray too far away for too long, then I get hooked on my old ways…..choices. Regardless, I have made and kept specific changes such as NO oil other than coconut, “pure” olive oil, avocado oil, and grape seed oil. And very seldom do we eat processed/packaged or convenience foods. Luckily for me I have always enjoyed scratch cooking but had to learn to alter certain methods that weren’t healthy. I was never 100% Paleo, but more like 75-80%. These days I’m more like45%. You have given me renewed desire to get back to at least 75%. That’s where I feel and look my best. We always have a huge garden, and I eat a lot of my mid morning to lunch meals straight out of it. We live 9 miles from our farm so during the growing season I spend most of time out there and that is my happy place!

    Continued success for you and Ed on this food journey! I look forward to hearing more about it.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sharon – Thank you for your compliments. :-)

      I did add all the kitchen items to my Amazon shop. I think I responded to that comment you left, but mentioning it here to make sure you knew.

      My sister finds she feels best when she eats Paleo style, too …with lots of veggies. How nice to have a farm and be able to bring home lots of fresh produce on a daily basis if you wanted. I am envious!!!

      I plan to keep posting about what I have been doing and what is working and not working on an ongoing basis. I wasn’t sure if there would be any interest, but it seems there is, which makes me happy. :-)

  44. This is a timely post for me! I have been on an intermittent meal plan for the last week and it is going great! I have never been a big meat eater and eat plant based most of the time but now I am going to focus on giving up as many processed foods as possible. Thank you so much for the inspiration and the resources you provided!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Theresa – I found the first week the hardest, but now it is easier, even when family is visiting and they are all eating all meals, I have stayed on plan. I am sure when you begin to eat less processed foods you are going to start feeling and looking better. I didn’t realize how bad I felt, until I learned what feeling really good actually feels like. :-)

  45. Jenny Young says:

    I would love to be better at this. I cannot imagine my husband giving up red meat. I’d really like to hear ideas on how to cook for two when your spouse needs or wants a different diet? My husband has juvenile diabetes(type 1) which is very different from adult onset (type 2). Meat & dairy are staples for him. There are many vegetables he can’t eat as well…no dried beans, grains, potatoes, corn…..then many others that are hard on his digestion…peppers & broccoli. Our diet is fairly healthy compared to the past but neither of us feel good much of the time & I really believe it’s what we’re eating.

    I also spend 30 hrs a week with a 3 yr old babysitting my grandson. The energy that takes & the crazy schedule makes the fasting seem so overwhelming. Do you know if it helps to do this just certain days a week & not every day?

    I’ve really enjoyed this post & hope you’ll write more on this topic.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jenny – I smiled when I read that you watch our grandson 30 hours a week. That is for sure the best workout ever! I am sure it is exhausting at times. You rock being able to do that! :-) When intermittent fasting, you don’t have to do it everyday at all. You choose what will work best for you. Some fast for a day or more, or only 3 times a week. It takes some trial and error to find what works best for you, but no matter how many hours or days you do, it works.

      I feel for your husband. I have a cousin who has juvenile diabetes. Growing up at family gatherings, I saw first hand how she had to manage it with what she ate and the timing. The disease is so different from Type 2.

      Have you read the book, How Not to Die by Michael Greger? It may not apply to your husband, but it could help you feel better. Of all the books I have read, I think he is the most knowledgable about nutrition and how what we eat can make us feel. Here is a link to his site:

      1. Jenny Young says:

        Thanks for the tips. I’ll check out the book.

  46. What a great post Diane! I’m so happy for you and applaud your success. I was researching how to grow micro-greens this week. They are super easy and you can grow them right in your kitchen. I like the soil less system for growing inside. There is lots of info if you do a google search. Thought you might be interested.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Vikki – Thank you! I love micro greens and have been thinking of using the soil less system. Do you have a system you like? I would love to know as there are so many different types to choose from.

  47. this is fantastic! I would love to read any information or tips you have. Thanks!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Felechia – I will be building the category and pages about Plant-based eating and intermittent fasting on an on-going basis from now on and will mention any updates to it in my Sunday posts.

  48. First of all, you look amazing! Thank you for sharing your story. As I’ve gotten older, my metabolism has slowed way down and I need to be more intentional about what I eat. I usually walk 4-5 days a week and I’ve been trying to do the intermittent fasting. I haven’t gone the full 16 hours yet but I can usually make it to about 13 or 14 hours. I have two teenage boys who eat a LOT so I have fallen into the trap of cooking for them and eating whatever they eat. Your blog post motivated me to start heading towards a more plant based diet. I already pinned this and will probably reread your post over and over. Thanks for the motivation!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Shelley – Thank you. :-)

      Getting older for sure slows things down, but it sounds like you are doing the things that over time will make big changes happen for you.

      I know first hand how hard it must be to have two teenagers in the house, especially teen boys who can eat a lot. My daughter’s are coming this weekend for Easter. They have put in their food requests for meals they enjoyed that I made while they were growing up and don’t make for themselves. I told them I would make them, but I won’t be eating any of it. It will make me feel good that I will be supplying them with lots of leftovers to take home. Thanks for pinning.

  49. Rachel Marquardt says:

    I am so excited to read this post and all of the comments! I keep feeling a tug to go meatless and really want to more seriously try IF but love my morning coffee with creamer. Any suggestions on that one? Also, go you incorporate nuts or avocados into your meals or snacks? Where do you get your proteins?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Rachel – I have a good friend who swears by Keto. She puts full-fat creamer in her coffee every morning. :-) I drink my tea and coffee black and have for years so that was one thing I didn’t have to change. :-) I do eat nuts – all kinds- raw or dry roasted, not a fan of avocados, but will eat them in guac.

      The protein question is one that all plant based eaters get asked. It is mentioned in every book I read. We learn early on that we can only get protein only from meat, but this is misleading. Plants have protein in them also. I get my protein from so many sources. Beans, nuts, leafy greens, chia seeds and other veggies. It all adds up, so in a day I get my protein fill and more. The only thing that plant-based eaters may not get enough is B-12. I make sure to eat plenty of B-12 that is in Nutritional yeast and other plant foods. I sprinkle it on many veggies, bean burgers and potatoes as I would cheese. I do take a liquid supplement of B-12 every other day to keep my level up.

  50. Hello!
    I really enjoyed reading this! I’m a long-time reader and a junk-food-vegan, so I’ve always been curious to know what the no-oil crowd are eating all day 😂 You look great! Those jeans are fabulous! I will have to try some of your recipes; the pandemic has definitely given me some extra cushion ☺️

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jen – Thanks and thank you for being a long time reader. :-) It does take focus to find ways to cook without oil, but I think I have gotten it down after a lot of trial and error. The jeans are from Celebrity Pink.

  51. Thanks so much for this great post giving the details of your successful life and diet changes. The photos of the foods are beautiful and appetizing. I have been heading in this direction so the many links you provide are very helpful. I especially agree that everyone is different so we each have to find out what works for us, and I also dislike the fake vegan foods. I know one change that will not be difficult for me – fasting until noon. I’m never hungry early in the day but usually eat something because I think it’s healthier, so I’m happy to wait until noon and see how that goes. Thanks for your inspiration and information!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda –

      You are well on your way, being that you are not hungry early in the day. :-) A big + for your journey. Vegan fake food and fake meat are becoming so popular. It is all marketing. When you look at the ingredient lists – not at all healthy as they claim, but they are meat-free and ready to eat which sells. It does take time to make real food from scratch and this can be a big obstacle for so many.

  52. Thank you so much for this post. I was so excited from our previous email that I went ahead and tried doing it for a week. I love the food and i’m Already feeling better. You and Ed look so great which is so exciting. You rocked the dock!!! I hope you will continue to share your journey with your readers as well as a few of your favorites recipes. Thank you again so much.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you Nancy –

      I wasn’t sure if I should write the post or if there would be any interest, but there is a lot. I will be sharing more about my journey and what I find helps from now on. It has become a passion of mine, so sharing what I like with readers will be enjoyable.

  53. Congratulations! Thank you so much for sharing your success and the details of your journey. You and your husband look fantastic. I appreciate the mention that we are all so very different, and one person’s body will respond differently based on many factors. The food you eat looks ah-mazing, but I would struggle to lose a pound with all of the yummy complex carbs (gotta admit I’m a little jealous that there’s bread and potatoes on your menu…). I’ve just hit the 50# milestone last week through intermittent fasting. I do a more radical version of it with a 23:1 most days. My meal is lower carb, heavy vegetables and clean protein plus good fats. Most days it’s an enormous salad, but there’s flexibility to make it livable. I’m 56 and have a good bit left to lose, but am thrilled having lost the weight and down 2 sizes. I never thought the scale would budge again, so I am a true believer in IF and lower carb eating. Health becomes the reason for everything as we age, and you have offered wonderful motivation and information. Vibrant health and blessings to you and all of your readers!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Andrea –

      Thanks for sharing your weight-loss journey and success with me. I enjoy learning what others are doing as it keeps one motivated when you know you are not alone.

      It sounds like you are well on your way and you have learned what works best for you. I am a true believer that IF and any diet can make the pounds melt away. I know that sounds like a grocery store check out line magazine cover headline to draw attention, but it really truly works!

  54. Diane,
    Thanks for sharing your success. It is very motivating. I looked on the WW site and don’t see a Freestyle or Blue Program. Any advice???

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda – In my post I have a link to the WW page, but here it is:

      WW has a few plans that you can choose from. They designate them by color, Blue, Green and Purple I think. Each one entails a slightly different way of using daily points. The Blue way is what I did.

  55. I would love to have more info about your success and what has worked!! I am now an empty nester (although I do babysit grandchildren), I am ready to focus on my own health as well!!!

  56. Very informative-like you, this is something I have wanted to do for years. It’s just common sense that your body
    and mind prefer basic healthy food. The fasting regimen is key in my opinion, but that’s just my opinion. I’ve been able to
    go only half way. My husband is a dedicated meat and potato guy, but he does like meatless days too. It’s definitely a process. Curious, I live in the northeast (MA) and when I eat like this my food bill is a bit crazy. : ) Is yours?
    I have one book I would recommend-it’s called “Green Burgers” by Martin Norton. EXCELLENT! This has helped my husband shift from Cheeseburgers to black bean burgers, etc.
    Well, in closing, you look youthful and healthy. If I may, I would like to suggest one thing that will change your life and help save you $$. Invest in a food saver, and use their zip lock bags (external vacuum). This allows me to get an extra week. I chop, then seal, you can always reseal from the bottom. Thank you again for enlightening me once again. I’ve been a fan of yours for years!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kathy – Thanks for the nice note and book recommendation. I am interested in the Food Saver system and will check into it. Is there a brand or a system that you use or think is better than another?

      As for my food bill, I found the exact opposite, without buying meat we are saving a lot. I found the best produce and prices at Aldi and Lidl – like the best!!! I had never shopped at either, but a friend told me they shop there for produce and save quite a bit. I now go there all the time. I try to go to each every other week. For instance- at the Supermarket Publix in my town. A carton of fresh berries runs around 3.99 and up depending on the time of year. A bag of organic apples is 5.99.

      At Aldi and Lidl – the same size carton of berries are 2.50 and bag of organic apples $3.50. And they taste better. If you have either of these stores in your area, they would be worth checking out.

  57. Feeling great is important and you both also look happy and healthy 💜.
    Everyone has their own path and it’s great when everything clicks! Thanks for sharing your story with all of us 😊

  58. Diane , thanks for this comprehensive posting. And for the emphasis on tailoring your eating plan to your likes, and
    what works for the individual. I’m glad the eating plan is so sensible, and not something too difficult to follow.

    A question: How did you decide on the size of your cutting board? Mine never seems large enough , and I have been planning to purchase a larger one.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Faye – I chose the size of my cutting board so it would fit on the portable metal cart that I use as my kitchen island. The cutting board is 16″ x 20″. It is just big enough and very heavy that it never moves when I am cutting on it. If it were larger, I would be fine with that, but I don’t have the space. I hope this helps you figure out what size to get for yourself.

  59. Congratulations, Diane!Thank you for all the resources. I practice IF most days and it works. My husband eats healthier than I do but we both eat lots of organic vegetables and grass-fed beef from an area ranch. I look forward to more info from you on this topic. I know you are excitedly awaiting Zoe and your girls and SIL. Happy Easter!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Terry – I am so happy that the topic is interesting to so many readers. I will be posting more about what is working for me, recipes and more. I hope you have a very Happy Easter.

  60. Christine Williams says:

    I am on a plant based lifestyle also. I supplement with juice plus products to give me an added edge. I have two tower garden on my patio to grow my produce. I love it! Feeling better reach day.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Christine – It is the best feeling to feel better and in the long run – our best ever. How to you like your tower garden? What do you grow in it? I am fascinated by them.

      1. Christine Williams says:

        I grow lots of lettuce Swiss chard collard greens tomatoes zucchini squash herbs flowers. Doing strawberries this year

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Christine – When I lived in New Jersey when my daughters were little, the previous owner of the house had a massive strawberry garden that was well-established. That was the best. I missed it when we moved and still do. I hope you get many delicious strawberries and more in your garden this year. Enjoy

  61. Thanks so much for sharing your journey. I love the emphasis on health over just losing weight for appearance sake. (But you do look great!)

    I am going to try what you did using the Blue WW plan with the intermittent fasting. I have been exercising a lot lately and can’t get the scale to move one bit. But, I have decided no more “diets”–just being healthy in body and spirit. I’m doing it for ME now.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Martha – I really think WW Blue was the perfect way to start and the points system is still ingrained in my mind. I still stay on track with points, even though it is all plant food now and I don’t use the app anymore. That and just wanting to be and feel my best. That was the best motivator. Keep me updated on your progress.

  62. Mary Frasher says:

    You look absolutely stunning and younger! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you so much Mary XO

  63. Lots of great info. You both look wonderful. Thanks for putting it all together. I actually did buy sprout lids and seeds this winter. I also just got a fermenter lid that fits a mason jar so I can make my own sauerkraut. Had a small garden last year, starting a bigger one this year. We are the land of plenty but the American diet is literally killing us.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Carol – Thank you. I love bean sprouts and those sprout lids get a good workout in my kitchen. Another reader told me about the fermenter lids. I will have to check them out. If it is as easy to do as sprouting, then I am all in. :-) Enjoy your larger garden. Ed and I are putting the finishing touches on ours and started to plant a few plants. I will post an update soon.

  64. This was a terrific post, so incredibly informative. Thank you so much. It’s what I needed, I’m on it!

  65. Great post! congratulations! Thanks for including all the tips on equipment and recipes.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Elle – Thank you. I tried to make the post as complete as I could by sharing as many details to answer questions readers may have.