Happy Herbivore Blog

Introducing the New Dinner Only Family Meal Plan!

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: MealPlanNews

I'm SO excited to unveil the new dinner only family meal plan that debuts tomorrow!

Based on last month's survey, I think everyone will be very happy with the new features and format!

The new dinner only family meal plan starts June 4th (that's tomorrow!). If you subscribe to the monthly family meal plan, you'll receive it instantly via email the moment it's released. The individual meal plan will remain the same, with a slight improvement on the prep sheet.

Now on to the good stuff...

What does the dinner only family meal plan include?

1) The new meal plan features 7 dinner recipes (each recipe serves 4), most of which will be BRAND NEW!

2) This plan is also perfect for couples! You'll both have leftovers for lunch the next day!

3) Each recipe also includes recommended sides (when necessary) so you can round out or extend the meal. (This is great if you need to bulk up the calories or have more than 4 family members).

4) Just like the original family meal plan, there's instructions for meal prep, so you can make all your dinners ahead for the week. Many are freezer-friendly!

5) We're also including free bonus breakfast and lunch recipes each week as well that are optional, but there for those families who liked the previous meal plan with breakfast, lunch, and dinner laid out.


What you're really going to LOVE about the new dinner only family meal plan is the new shopping list feature!

All of the ingredients (minus the pantry staples) note which meals they belong to. That means if you don't want to cook meal #2, just cross out where the "2" is on the shopping list and you're good to go! SO easy!

This feature has been long requested and was not possible with the old meal plan, but is now here for the new dinner only plan :)

Check it out:

Lastly, I'm also having a LIVE chat tomorrow night (Wednesday) to talk about the new changes and answer any questions you have about this new meal plan or meal plans in general. Sign up for the free meal plan newsletter to get deets!

As a reminder, this new dinner only family meal plan is not available until TOMORROW, June 4th.

HOWEVER if you start a subscription today, you'll get the current meal plan with some fantastically awesome recipes like the Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie, Sweet & Sour Stuffed Bell Peppers, and Ratatouille Sandwich AND you'll get this brand new plan first!!! It'll pop up in your inbox immediately once it releases at midnight.

We believe in the meal plans so much we offer a 100% money-back guarantee, so there's no risk to you! (We also donate a portion of proceeds to elephant charities).

Thanks for helping me make the best meal plans possible! I love making it easy (and tasty!) for your family to eat well.

Minimalist Monday: Gardening (How To Regrow Vegetables & Herbs)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Minimalist

Back in January I stumbled across an article about vegetables and herbs that can easily be regrown. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to share it when the weather was better suited for gardening.

Rather than going out and buying seeds, bulbs, etc, you can actually grow plenty of vegetables and herbs with everyday items that you probably already have in your kitchen! In fact, some things don't even require soil! Just a mason jar, water and a little sunlight.

It doesn't get any more minimalist than that! Happy growing!

Avocados: Growing avocados isn't a fast process (it takes anywhere between 5-13 years!), but if you'd like to have your own avocado tree, then it's worth the wait. Rinse and dry the pit of an avocado. Stick 3-4 toothpicks into the pit and place it over a cup of water, with the water covering about an inch of the pit. Put in a warm place, making sure to maintain the water level. In 2-6 weeks, roots and a stem should begin to sprout. When the stem is about six inches long, trim it in half. When the stem leafs again, transplant to a pot with loose soil. Plant root down, leaving the top half of the pit sticking out of the soil. Give your plant frequent, light waterings and keep it in a sunny place. Pinch back the newest top leaves every time the stems grows around 6 inches to encourage more growth and a fuller plant. (Source)

Basil: Snip the top of a basil stem with 4 sets of leaves growing, then remove the 2 bottom sets of leaves from the stem. Place the stem into a mason jar or shot glass of water and set in a sunny spot. Roots will begin growing in about a week. Once roots are thick and long enough, transfer to soil and continue to grow your new basil plant. You can do the same for mint and rosemary! (Source)

Celery: Once you've cut off all the celery stalks, save the base and place in a bowl of water in a sunny window (changing out the water every couple of days). After about a week, place the base into a pot or planter and cover with soil. Water generously while the celery continues to grow. (Source)

Garlic: If you have green sprouts growing from your garlic, don't throw them away! Instead, place the cloves or bulb in a small cup or bowl. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the cup (the water should be barely touching the bottom of the cloves. Don't submerge!) Change the water out every couple of days. Once sprouts are about 3 inches tall, clip them off and add them to a baked potato, salad or veggies. If you're wondering about the taste, sprouts have a very mild garlic flavor. (Source)

Ginger: Take your store-bought ginger root and cut off the "fingers" (this is where the roots will grow). Plant ginger sprout side up in enough soil to cover the root. Keep soil moist in a warm area (ginger actually doesn't require as much sunlight as other plants). In about 4 months you should be able to start using your newly-grown ginger. (Source)

Green onions: Place a bunch of green onions with their roots in a glass full of water and place in a sunny window. Cut off what you need while cooking. The onions will regrow themselves. (Source)

Romaine lettuce: This one is pretty easy. Simply place the lettuce "stump" in a half inch of water and before you know it, you'll have little romaine leaves. Be sure the check the water level daily. (Source)

Have you ever regrown any vegetables or herbs?

Herbies of the Week: Where Are They Now? Pragati, Lisa P, Aaron, Jeannine & Jenn E - A Year (or Two!) Later

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Herbies

I think my crowning achievement on this blog has been the Herbies of the Week series, which I look forward to every Thursday!

This series started three years ago (back in 2011) and I'm always in awe, inspired, and touched, when I think about all the different people and their amazing stories, that have been shared here every week.

I've decided to start reaching out to our past Herbies of the Week to see where they are today, a year (or two!) later.

What's new? Are they still rockin' and rollin'?

I hate to spoil the surprise, but the short answer: YES.

Former Herbie of the Week: Pragati (Mar. 2012)

Pragati (our first international Herbie of the Week) switched to a plant-based diet after the birth of her son. In just 21 days Pragati saw the many benefits of eliminating dairy and meat from her diet -- including an 8lb weight loss! "I feel lighter, less sluggish and have more energy. I don't feel bloated after meals and the best part - I don't have to control how much I eat." (Read Pragati's full story)

Update: "I lost 27lbs in the first 10 months and haven't lost any since. I think my body (I'm hypothyroid) has reached it's equilibrium and I'm happy with that. I've been plant-strong for 2 yrs and 1 month. I haven't been sick since I started (I used to get the most horrible sinus and lung infections), & no migraines. I have a ton of energy which I need to keep up with my full time job and a 4y old. My cholesterol is down to 139, trigly to 102, HDL 44 and LDL 75 (yay!). I actually use my elliptical for exercise and not as a clothes hanger anymore. I'm slowly working on converting my husband (he's still not there after 2ys). My MIL is a convert though - her doc of 30yrs told her she hasn't had blood work this good since she was in her 20s. This year my goal is to move towards a more minimalist lifestyle." - Pragati

Former Herbie of the Week: Lisa P (Mar. 2012)

Lisa P was inspired to try a plant-based diet after seeing a segment on Dr. Oz's show. Almost a year after that episode aired, Lisa went from a size 16 to a size 4 and lost a total of 65lbs! On top of the incredible physical transformation, she no longer craved processed junk food, and had a lot more energy. "I honestly feel like I know a secret and want to share it with all. So many people can't believe that you can live (and thrive) on plants!" (Read Lisa P's full story)

Update: "Hello and many Happy Herbie wishes to all in this New Year! March 30th was my 3-year "veganversary" and in February I turned 48 and I couldn't be happier! I love this way of life and will NEVER go back! For the past 3 years, I have felt "normal". Until my new, vegan life, I never understood why I was so addicted to food. The answer came to me about two months into my journey. It was... I was so addicted to processed food, including fats and sugar, my body couldn't get satisfied. I found the secret....eat real, plant-based foods and nothing else. It has worked. Those nasty 65 pounds are still gone and I am so grateful that I stayed on the journey. To those just start starting out, hang in there! Let your body go through the withdrawals. Things get better...then fantastic...and real, whole plant foods become amazing and so, so delicious!" -Lisa P

Former Herbie of the Week: Aaron (May 2012)

Despite taking medication for high blood pressure, firefighter Aaron considered himself to be in OK health, that is until he was put on statins to lower his cholesterol. With a little encouragement from his wife, Aaron hung up his Ambassador of Bacon hat andmade the switch to a plant-based diet, which resulted in him shedding 22lbs and no longer needing his meds. (Read Aaron's full story)

Update: "It has been just over two and half years since going plant-based. I am still only 90-95%, as work and traveling may require otherwise. At home I am 100%. I have moved to a new station and we are making more plant-based meals. Many nights we have no meat or dairy on the table at all. (Remember in my first interview that meat was the base for most meals in the firehouse.) However, my crew recently sent me a picture of their steak dinner while I was on vacation. Firehouse humor.

My health continues to get better. I recently had a physical, and the PA I saw said, “Come back when you have something wrong with you.” That was very encouraging, as it was another doctor within that practice whose poor advice caused me to seek out a plant-based lifestyle.

Since my interview I have participated in the Tough Mudder twice, ran a couple half-marathons, a half-Ironman, and the California International Marathon in December. I am much more active than I was before changing my lifestyle. I am also talking with as many friends and family members about the changes going plant-based have made. It is great to see some of them making small changes towards better health. A few have even gone plant-based.

Here is a picture of Rip Esselstyn at I at a recent talk he gave. Now I just need to meet another author and plant-based guru who has helped me and my family towards a better way of living. Wink wink Lindsay." -Aaron

Former Herbie of the Week: Jeannine (June 2012)

Jeannine was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, an auto-immune disease that causes severe hypothyroidism. After watching Forks Over Knives, she decided a plant-based diet was the best for her health and the changes she experienced were amazing! The former yo-yo dieter dropped 25lbs and lowered her cholesterol by 27 points! (Read Jeannine's full story)

Update: "I got a little off track between Jan 2013 and Jan 2014. We were eating store-bought veggie burgers, fake meats and snacking a little too often on chips and sweets. I eventually gained back 20lbs of the 80lbs I had lost. I wasn't getting in much exercise either.

I'm happy to report that since February I've cleaned up my diet, focusing more on whole foods. Very little processed foods. I no longer snack on chips and we only have one vegan convenience meal per week. I have found the time to do exercise videos in the mornings and now that my lower back doesn't hurt I also walk 50 minutes a day. Since then I've lost 24lbs that I had 'reclaimed' the year before.

I've also experienced a lot of personal & spiritual growth in the past two years. I've become very interested in meditation, yoga and the mind/body connection in general. The biggest change I've experienced is that I no longer allow myself to participate in self-defeating thoughts. It's true, you are what you eat, but you are also what you think. I've learned to replace negative thoughts about myself with loving and kind thoughts. A family friend shared a mantra with me that I've taken to saying daily while looking in the mirror: "I'm learning to love this person in the mirror. I'm learning to be proud of this person in the mirror. I'm learning to believe this person in the mirror is amazing". It felt silly at first, very silly – my throat would tighten up because I didn't believe in what I was saying. I had spent most of my life having self-defeating inner dialogue. After months of this daily mantra it has become so easy that I've now shortened it to "I love you, I'm proud of you, you are amazing". No matter what my mood is, I say it." -Jeannine

Former Herbie of the Week: Jenn E (Jan. 2013)

After being lectured by her chiropractor about the negative affects of dairy on the body, Jenn went plant-based as an experiment to prove him wrong. Two weeks later she stopped calling it an experiment and started calling it a lifestyle change. Not only did she end up losing 50 lbs, Jenn also experienced other incredible changes like career improvements and fitness goals. "As my body began to heal, other parts of my life started to heal, also." (Read Jenn E's full story.)

Update: "Life is good! In the past year and change I've completed three centuries (100 mile bike rides), lost another 20 pounds (for a total of about 70 pounds), and met my boyfriend, Alex. Alex changed his diet when we started dating and he's lost about 70 pounds, too. We love riding bikes, living active lives, and being healthy happy herbivores!" -Jenn E

Big hugs and thanks to all of our Herbies of the Week! We are so happy to see you're still chopping carrots and taking names a year (or two!) later!

Your lives are a testament to the power of plants and an inspiration to us all!

Catch up on Pam, Lisa R, Jason and Kay too -- Where are they now?