Happy Herbivore Blog

Green For Life (and a new smoothie recipe - Apple Jack Smoothie)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Recipe

Buying Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko was an impulse purchase. It was on sale for $2.99 (kindle) and I bought it. I'd seen the book before but had glazed over it since 1) I'm not raw and 2) you'll never convince me I can live on smoothies alone. 

I basically bought the book for the recipes... Although I LOVE HH's Green Goddess Smoothie (it tastes like chocolate!) I've wanted a little more variety and thought this book might give me some guidance.

Imagine my surprise then, when I really LOVED this book. An entire section is dedicated to chimps, which I wasn't expecting, but found absolutely fascinating. I couldn't put the book down, and kept spouting off bits of information that was so exciting and interesting to me that I just *had* to share it, (Scott, Jim and Bethany were periodically interrupted by my factual outbursts as we rode the train through the Alps -- sorry guys, but you really needed to know 1lb of kale exceeds our daily protein requirements - I swear!). 

For starters, chimps share 99.4 percent of their genes with humans. I'm a total nerd and love reading about animals anyway, but knowing how closely they were related to me, it was also introspective and I was hooked. 

One thing I found particularly fascinating is that chimps who are taught sign language spontaneously use their signs to communicate with humans and each other and they have the ability to combine signs to metaphorically label a novel item, for example: calling a radish "cry hurt food" or referring to a watermelon as a "drink fruit." Fascinating.

I'd always thought chimps were smart, but this blew me away. 

Anyway, it was also the chimps natural diet that the author was most interested in and ultimately, she used their diet to figure out how humans are supposed to eat. Her basis? If we share 99.4% of our DNA with chimps, than shouldn't our diet by 99.4 percent similar? 

The chimps diet is best reflected in a pie graph, but I'm not savvy enough to know how to make one, so I'll just describe it: Half of their diet (50%) is fruit, the other half (45%) is mostly greens and blossoms, with a small amount of pith and bark and a tiny, tiny bit of insects. 

As a raw foodist, the author was already eating a lot of fruit but she wasn't eating many greens. The rest of her diet was essentially fat (nuts, seeds, oils) so she decided to eat like a chimp and see how that worked for her. Out went the fats, in came the greens. 

Early into her experiment, Victoria (the author) found it annoying to have to chew so many greens each day and she frequently experienced stomach discomfort (which she later identifies as a problem when we don't chew greens enough before swallowing). Her solution? Green smoothies -- the blender would do the chewing for her.

Victoria then talks about all the positive experience she and her family experienced once they were getting enough greens every day. (Victoria says 50% of her diet is green smoothies). Although I'm not ready to live on green smoothies alone, some of what she was saying --- some of her experiences -- resonated with me. 

I started drinking HH's Green Goddess Smoothie every day because I noticed I had more bounce in my step on the mornings I had a green smoothie. I'm not sure I'll get to 50% like Victoria (and if I'm being totally honest, I'm not sure I want to) but I am convinced that if I can start my day with a green smoothie -- I should. And if the spirit moves me, maybe have one in the afternoon, too. 

This morning I blended what I had on hand: A little unsweetened almond milk in the bottom of the carton (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup), 1 frozen banana, 1 date, a handful of spinach and about 1/3 of a red apple. I blended it together, then mixed in a little cinnamon.... omg! delicious!

I hope my post inspires you to try a green smoothie! 

Too Many Choices (When the World Really Is Your Oyster)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: AdviceMinimalist

A year ago Scott came home from work and told me he'd been transferred to St. Maarten, and we were moving to the Caribbean.

From the beginning we knew it was temporary, a one-year assignment. We'd assumed after the year was up we'd be transferred back to New York City or to some other property owned by Scott's employer. 

Then, just before I left for my Europe trip, we learned that we wouldn't be transferred back to New York City, or anywhere at all. Scott's job was, simply, over. 

For the first time in our lives, the world was our oyster. The options were limitless. We could literally go anywhere. Move anywhere. Nothing was guiding us or pulling us. ANYWHERE.

We considered everything: from moving back home to New York City, to moving somewhere exotic and maybe a little adventurous, like Buenos Aires or Prague. During my trip I wrote home a few times, saying things like "Let's move to Germany!" or "My Spanish is really improving -- what about Spain?"

By the time I came home to the Caribbean, and it was time to make some decisions about where we were headed, I'd suggested a good 25 places to live. and then I kept adding to the list rather than subtracting from it. I was getting more and more overwhelmed every day -- where did I want to go? where did I want to live? There were just so many choices! Can't we move to them all?

Finally Scott said to me: 

If everything is an option, nothing is an option.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. I'd always operated on the notion that "the more options you have the better" and "options are good even if you don't use them" and while I still think that's true in a lot of situations, in this situation, it was making me crazy.

I'd been away from my inner minimalist for too long. I'd lost my hold on the "less is more" mentality. 

So, I threw out my list and started over. I picked a place. Scott picked a place. Then we decided what conditions had to be met to make each place happen. 

Originally, at first glance, my place was winning. We were moving back to New York City. But then the tides changed. The scale tilted and the planets aligned. and now we're moving to Colorado. 

I'm moving to Colorado.

I'm both excited and nervous. I've been to 41 states and oddly, I've never been to Colorado. In the last 10 years I've lived in 7 states and two countries. Colorado will make #8 in those same 10 years. Sometimes I think I need to stay put and plant a tree, or something. and other times I think I must be destined to be a vagabond. 

I'm moving to Colorado. and I will snowboard everyday.

Necklace Update!

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: News

The designer is finished making the Happy Herbivore necklaces! 

We will be shipping them in the next week or two. Make sure to check your email, I sent a survey via Kickstarter to collect mailing addresses.