Thursday, February 18, 2016


After I stopped eating fast, easy, convenience food from a box, bag or can and focused on eating plant-based meals; I started losing weight.


I was in a lot of pain when I weighed 183 pounds. That pain came from the arthritis inflammation in my hands, feet and back so I was very inactive. I remember thinking this is what it feels like to be old. I believed that was the way my body was going to feel from that point on. I was deeply depressed, and it showed in what I wore and how I carried myself. I gave away all of my heels and bought ugly flat shoes that are supposed to be comfortable. My feet still hurt!


A few days after plants became my only source of food, I started to feel much better. Soon I felt like going for long walks, working in my flower gardens, cleaning my whole house in one day and anything else I wanted to do. The pain melted away. I was amazed!

My spirits lifted because I now felt better than I did when I was in my 30s. I gave all those flat shoes to my mother and started buying shoes and clothes that reflect my personality better. It didn't happen right away but after a couple of years, I found my style chops again. (For some strange reason, I believed those horrible print tops hid my rolls and dimples.)

When we go out to eat now, I order a salad with a side of steamed broccoli or some other vegetable, and I ask them to hold the salt and butter. We will always order the vegetarian entree when there is one offered, and we often visit restaurants because they are vegetarian.

I eat this for breakfast almost every morning.
My late lunch sometimes looks like this.

I get questions almost every day about how I managed to lose weight during those hormone shifting menopausal years.

Honestly, all I did was change my choice of food. There was no radical exercise regime. I didn't take any pills or get on any of those food to order programs. I still don't take any medications!

The book "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman gave me guidance on what to eat and explained why. The most important thing to know is that you need a variety of colorful, fresh, organic, local and in-season fruits and vegetables as often as possible. My diet includes fresh fruits, leafy green and other vegetables, mushrooms, onions, berries, seeds, nuts and ancient whole grains every day. I eat this way 90% of the time.

I still enjoy a piece of dark chocolate, a glass of wine or a decadent dessert on occasion but not every day. I also know that only a few bites are enough. I don't need to finish the whole dessert. 


I have maintained my weight loss for almost five years. No diet or pills. No gyms or classes. No calorie counting or obsessing about food. 

I hope that sharing my example helps you to achieve a happy, healthy body as well.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

Susan Street is the President of

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Yvonne said...

Wow - I'm always amazed how much younger you look in your after photos. What an inspiration you are for a healthy lifestyle and fabulous style!

Unknown said...

Hi Susan! I think we are own worst critics. You honestly didn't look awful when you were overweight. I'm sure you feel so much better now, but I think you still looked pretty back then! I am also trying to go to a plant-based diet because I have fybromyalgia, and I'm only 46. I'm always achey and I'm trying to do low-sodium all the time. You for sure look great now but I still think you looked pretty back then too!

Jan Maier said...

You know, what's interesting and pretty amazing to me is that not too long ago, I thought I was eating in a healthy way when I nuked frozen meals advertised as low fat, low sugar, low points, a healthier choice, a way to get lean. Now that I'm not eating processed food the change is amazing. The biggest change was the loss of belly fat that I had blamed on menopause. Well, that IS when it started and I have always exercised in one way or another but it was the change in eating/nutrition that made the biggest difference in my body shape.. I'm not big into cooking for myself so I do have lots of salads and fresh produce and a bit of chicken or salmon if someone else cooked it. My health is great except for a congenital heart valve issue that is being watched but requires no meds. At almost 76 I feel at least 20 years younger. Life is good.

Ruth Robbins said...

Susan thank you for this post. I am 54 right now and have reached that cross-roads because I quit smoking two years ago and gained 40 lbs in a tiny little 5'0" frame! I was thin all my life but between that and menopause the muffin top came and so did an additional chin :-(. Also I had a very small stroke two months ago and know I have to stop taking everything for granted to embrace complete health. I know I can, and even though I quit smoking I still have paid the price for 37 years of all that poison going into my body. So now I have the blender, the juicer, and the desire to be healthier than I have ever been. I too experience the pain in my legs and hips and back, and it gets discouraging. So...walking 30 minutes a day, eating right, and reading your inspirational blog are all on my agenda!!

Unknown said...

You are a wonderful inspiration! Thank your encouragement!

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

You are such a good spokesperson for this book...I still have much, much work to do and perhaps I should get the book. Thanks Susan

Elizabeth said...

I am new to your blog. I did a search on Pinterest on ways to style a red shirt and a picture came up of a beautiful woman in a red top, white jeans and nude high heel sandals leaning up against a sports car. It was you! I was thrilled to learn about your blog for woman over 50+. You are such an inspiration and I am bleary eyed from doing a marathon session of reading your blog archives. I am exactly the same size as you but never dreamed I would be able to pull off the modern looks you wear. I am so excited about shopping now. My personal style is very classic and lady-like but somewhere along the way that transformed into FRUMPY. I am so excited to go shopping now and transform my look into a more updated version. It's so hard to see pictures of 17-24 year olds wearing beautiful clothes and knowing how to make that work for me and my body. Thank you so much for all your honesty and for being such a wonderful role model. I'm starting with the look you showed me today. In the words of SNL Billy Crystal - "you look marvelous."

mcstoneworks said...

Susan's journey is indeed inspiring.

For those people who find it too difficult to follow a vegan diet, a vegetarian diet might be easier. I've been a vegetarian for over 30 years. It's much easier to be a vegetarian now than years ago. Back then, if you went to a restaurant, your option was an iceberg lettuce salad and a baked potato, if you were lucky. Nearly every restaurant today offers a variety of grilled vegetables.

I'm almost 62 years old, 5'4" and weigh 112-115 lbs. I've never had a health issue or been on any medications. My cholesterol and health stats are perfect. I do eat dairy and if I eat an "occasional" grilled cheese sandwich or tortilla chips, I don't sweat it.

The bottom line is you have to find a healthy eating lifestyle that works for you and that you can stick with.