Happy Herbivore Blog

New 1200+ Calorie Meal Plan (Lots of New Meals & Recipes!)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: MealPlan

Last week, a meal plan subscriber said she wanted to see more new recipes and meals, to spice things up, so this week I took care to create 8 new meals!

Fall Parfait
Chips & Chili Bowl
Instant Vegetable Soup
Spicy Bean Dip
Loaded Sweet Potatoes
Pasta w/ Veggies & "Ricotta"
Tofu Stir-Fry
French Toast

and so much more!

Donate & Download Now

(1-minute vegetable soup! - but not a pretty picture)


"In the last month, using your meal plans, I've lost 17 lbs and my wife has lost 10. Thank you." - Becca C.

"There is really no though required - just buy the food, make it, and go. Thank you for the concise guide." - Matt

"3 weeks in and I have lost 5 lbs already. Thank you so much!" - K.J. 

"Just for giggles, I weight myself. 7 lbs down since using your meal plan but energy through the roof!" - @HVSoap

"The plan pays for itself. Saving, on average, $30 a month on groceries!" - David K.

Join us!Donate & Download Now.

Food Combining

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: FAQ

There’s a lot of questions going around about food combining, so I thought I would give you some information and tips, if you want to try it and see if it works for you!

Food combining sounds complicated, but must of us already do a little on our own without knowing it! 

Anyway, "Food combining" is exactly what it sounds like- pairing certain foods together in a meal for better digestion and getting the most nutrients and minerals out of your meal. These are basic food rules that are supposed to help your stomach with digestion, which is why these practices can offer relief from people who have sensitive systems or tummy troubles. If all else has failed, and you don't have an allergy, give food combining a try! 

Food combining basics (rules): 

1. Eat fruits alone, and at least thirty minutes before your meal. If you want to eat fruit as dessert, you should wait until your body has already started digesting your dinner.

2. Foods that are starchy should be eaten with non-starches or protein, but you should be eating twice as much starch as protein. You also want to keep your starches to a minimum, don’t eat several starches in one meal (think potatoes and rice in one meal).

3. Protein should be eaten first, so your body can properly digest the protein and you can absorb it.

4. High fat or high protein is hard on your stomach and both of these should be eaten moderately.

5. You shouldn’t have more than two types of starch and one type of protein on your plate.

The take away? Always make sure you’re getting every component on your plate- you want a protein, a non-starchy vegetable, maybe a starch or carb, and some naturally occurring fat (though, remember, all foods have fats naturally, so your protein, veggie or starch/carb might be be delivering fat, too -- soy, for example, his high in protein and fat).

I also like that food combining encourages simple foods. While I love cooking, sometimes basic beans and rice and vegetables are the easiest and healthiest option available. Food doesn’t have to be fancy; you can get everything your body needs in simple, cheap foods.

A word of warning: Try not to get too caught up in the micro-nutrient ideas of food combining, the idea is to make eating healthier simpler, not more confusing or difficult, etc. Look at food combining on a grander scale and focus on having a varied diet with balanced options.

This Week's Ask Happy Herbivore

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: FAQ

1. How do you deal with situations like being invited to holiday parties where there's absolutely no food for you?

Anytime I'm invited to dinner or a party, I always tell the host well in advance about my dietary restrictions, and then I immediately offer to help, such as bringing something.

If I go and there is still nothing to eat, I don't eat. It's that simple. I have to help myself, not someone else. I'm not going to feel good about myself or my choices if I do something I don't want to do out of peer or societal pressure.

It's also possible to decline and be polite about it... I've said things like "Thank you so much for preparing this, I really appreciate it, but I don't eat [food item]" but telling them BEFORE hand helps prevent the situation altogether.

2. Should I bend my dietary rules when meeting my significant other's family? I want to make a good impression, not that I'm picky.

I wouldn't - I can understand wanting to make a good impression, but you have to be yourself, and how you eat and why you eat that way, are a part of who you are. Let them get to know the REAL you.

Plus, it may cause issues down the line. If you bend now, they might expect you to bend later. "Why won't your partner eat this? they ate something like it last visit?!" I've also noticed that some people don't respect your choices as much if you cave.

3. I'm allergic to mushrooms is there a substitute?

Unfortunately, no. Mushrooms are one of the few ingredients that have no alternative. If you're allergic, you'll just have to skip recipes with mushrooms or omit them where possible.

4. Are your meal plans consecutive weeks? Am I too late to join?

Nope! Each week stands alone so you can join at any time. (Get this week's plan here.)

5. I don't like cinnamon or garam masala -- is there a way to season without using these ingredients?

Garam masala, not really -- it's essential to Indian cuisine and flavors. Trying to remove garam masala from an Indian dish would be like trying to remove oregano from Italian cuisine.

As for cinnamon, it would really depend on the recipe, but generally, I find it's necessary for the right flavor.