If you clicked on this to get a one step answer or find a magic root that will fight belly flab, sorry, this post is not for you. But if you want real, useful, healthy tips from someone who lost over 100 pounds and is now living a happy and healthy life, then read on.
During my last visit to St John’s, Newfoundland (otherwise known as “The Rock”), my co-author Flo and I decided to get some snacks from the “Happy Hummus Hut”…a wonderland of dozens of different kinds of hummus and other fantastic healthy eats.
There we met the owner, Hlynn Kenny. We could tell that Hlynn was passionate and enthusiastic about her business. Then we discovered why. At one time, Hlynn was more than 100 pounds overweight, she was tired all the time and depressed, and was knocking on the door of many other health problems. Both she and her husband spent most of their time in front of the television and ate a diet that consisted of soda, fast food, meats, and cheeses. She and her husband knew that they were headed for a serious health crisis and they decided one day that they had to do something to change their life. And they did…like a total turn-around kind of change. I asked Hlynn how she did it. She said they made simple small changes every day. (Simple changes for healthy living…where have I heard that before?) With each change they felt better and felt encouraged to keep going.
One strategy was that on the 15th of every month Hlynn and her husband sat down together and said “What’s the worst thing we are doing to our bodies right now?”. They would decide on what that was and live without it for 1 month. On the 15th of the next month, they would analyze it and say “could we live without that in our lives?” If the answer was yes, they cut it out forever. If the answer was no, they tried to come up with a compromise…like limiting intake as much as they could until they could revisit it to eliminate it completely. Each month was a new decision.
“The first thing to go on the first month we adopted this plan was soda. We were drinking a LOT of soda and we knew that the soda was killing us.” she said, “We didn’t want to switch to diet soda because that’s even worse with all the chemicals in it, so we began a long journey towards water. It took us a long time to get to water. We started by going to sugar drinks and fruit juices. Then we watered those down, and then we went to water with lemon and sugar in it and gradually removed the amount of sugar. Now we just drink water with lemon all the time and could never even think about going back.
“Commercial cookies were the worst things we were doing one month, so we said, ‘Ok, if we want cookies we have to make them ourselves so we can control what is in them and use fresh ingredients’. Well, we found out it was such a hassle to make cookies, that we didn’t do it very often, and that solved that problem!”
Hlynn continued, “Once we altered our diet, and our bodies were wanting to move again, and we started a walking program. It was great having each other for support. At the time, he was so much stronger than I was. It’s hard to get yourself up when your fat and depressed, but we made some rules: We both agreed to get dressed for our walks every day and go as far as the mailbox. We HAD to go to the mailbox. If we felt we could go on to the rest of the walk, we would, but if we just couldn’t do it, we would turn back and head back inside…but in all the walks we got dressed for, that only happened once.”
Not everyone was accepting to Hlynn’s new habits. “One thing that was a little bit hard was dealing with some of our friends. We did have some friends that we connected with over food, and with those friends, we found we just couldn’t be social and stick to our new life plan. They just didn’t understand what we were trying to do, so we had to drop them from our social network. But most people have been very supportive.”
You don’t look in the mirror a lot when you are overweight and feeling badly about yourself, and there are usually few pictures. Hlynn remembers looking at some photos several years ago with a friend of hers and they came to a photo of Hlynn and she just couldn’t believe how she looked. “I mean… I was huge! And my friend said to me, ‘Hlynn, you were never that fat!’ and I said ‘LOOK! That’s me! It’s a photograph! Of course I was that fat!'”
But she’s not carrying that extra weight any more. Hlynn has since lost over 100 pounds and has turned her passion for eating healthy, plant-based food into a business that serves up delicious hummus and other plant-based meals of all kinds. At the Happy Hummus Hut you’ll find hummus flavors like basic garlic but she also makes a West African Citrus Spiced hummus and various other custom flavors, and also…. CHOCOLATE HUMMUS! You can also get breakfast options, wraps, sandwiches, salads, and soups all with gluten free options as well as other sweets like vegan chocolate truffles, pumpkin spice apple rolls, and chia pudding!
Happy Hummus Hut is located at 208 Duckworth Street St John’s Newfoundland Canada. Phone is (709) 579-5746. Tell Hlynn that Susan and Flo sent you!
Expectations are everything in life. Don’t expect that you are going to solve a lifetime of bad eating habits in one week. Take charge of your life and your health by making small changes. If you need help, please check out our book “100 Perks of Having Cancer plus 100 Health Tips for Surviving It” It’s not just for cancer survivors…it’s for anyone wanting to make healthy changes to live happier. And really, isn’t that what life is all about?