Happy Herbivore Blog

Speaking Up (if you see something, say something)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Advice

When you see something, say something. Don't be embarrassed or afraid -- speak up.

I received the following message from a friend this morning:

"When I was walking out of the supply store yesterday, hands full of boxes, this older man, an employee, asked whether I was ticklish. I say "no" and start walking away fast. He then says "I was going to tickle you... do you have time? I say "huh? no..." and kept walking. He stayed behind me and asks again "do you have time to come to my car?" I skedaddled out of there -- and fast!"

Upon reading this -- I quickly urged my friend to call the store and report this incident to the store manager. My friend told me she felt violated and I felt violated just from hearing about it. 

Afterwards, my friend emailed me an update:

"I just spoke with the store manager. She said she knew exactly who it was and that they've had issues with him in the past. I guess this was his final strike because he's being fired now."

My reply to my friend was "Thank God you called!" and she replied: "Thank God you made me call!"

We both wondered how many customers this man was inappropriate with...but it had gone unreported? After all my friend -- who is an incredibly smart lady, might I add, didn't think to call until I mentioned it... Truth is, when these things happen, we tend to want to put them out of our minds. 

If you see something or something happens, speak up. Tell someone. It can't change what has happened to you, or what you saw, but it can prevent it from happening to someone else. 

In the grand scheme of things, it may not seem like such a big deal, after all, my friend is fine and we've all survived weirdos who catcall or hit on us, but my friend should feel safe in a store, if nothing else, she should not be harassed by an employee. 

But even still... employee or not. Who knows what would have happened had my friend not ran away or what the guy might try next time. He made her uncomfortable and the right thing to do was to report it. 

When I asked my friend if I could share her story on this blog, she said "please do! and please tell them that it all caught me off guard because he didn't look like a creep, if you know what I mean. He seemed harmless... a real reminder not to judge anyone by what they look like. Stereotypes are wrong. Be safe."

Single-Serving Pumpkin Muffin (whole wheat, fat free, vegan!)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Recipe

You know how much I love my single servings (because I cannot be trusted with an entire pan of brownies or a dozen muffins).

Yesterday I was drying - dying - for a pumpkin muffin so I decided to play around and see if I could make a single-serving.

After I'd made one (and, ugh, then another) Scott scolded me saying "why do you only make one?!" I think you just answered your own question, m'dear.

So without further ado (send thank you notes to lindsay-at-happyherbivore.com) lol.

Recipe:Single-Serving Pumpkin Muffin

Prep time: | Cook time: | Total: | 1 servings


The taste of fall -- without having to bake an entire batch.



Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350F. Grease a single muffin cup or place a paper liner in a metal measuring cup. In a small bowl, whisk dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice) then add remaining ingredients. Stir until combined, adding a little extra nondairy milk if necessary. Gently spoon into muffin cup and bake 15-18 minutes, until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

How I Make A Living (Hint: It's Not Blogging)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: AdviceBusiness101

After writing my post on Success, the following question bubbled up on Facebook:

"I hope you don't mind me asking, but does Happy Herbivore, the cookbooks and other spin-offs, support you financially or do you have to do other work? I hope the former"

I don't mind the question, it's something I've wanted to talk about, but haven't because here I go being controversial again!

Anytime I hear a blogger say they make a living off their blog I want to scream. I'll cut to the chase and say I sincerely doubt they really do. 

Happy Herbivore has enjoyed over 2 million pages views since January 1st. Roughly 65,000 unique people visit this website every month. Let's be frank, that's a crap ton of traffic. (Thanks Herbies!) 

Yet when I ran ads like many other bloggers, I only made a couple hundred bucks a month. That's a far cry from enough to live on. (I ultimately decided the ads were so ugly and annoying I'd rather just give up those few hundred bucks and remove them.)

Maybe other bloggers get boatloads of more traffic than me and maybe they have slightly better ad deals, but I just find it all suspect, especially after reading this article on Copyblogger, "Why You Can't Make Money Blogging."  The article points out a blog got half a million visitors one day, and still, for the total month, the blogger only made $1,000 bucks in ads. Umm...

So as much as I love this blog -- it doesn't pay the bills. In fact it does the opposite. It costs a lot (a lot!) of money to run happyherbivore.com. I'd say somewhere North of $200 a month. 

For the past four years (happy 4th birthday, Happy Herbivore!) we've ran Happy Herbivore at a loss because Scott & I wanted Happy Herbivore so badly. We both believed in what I was doing and the changes we could make... the people we could help... the talent that I needed to share. 

That's why we're asking for donations with the Meal Plans. We're hoping with your donation we can offset some of the costs associated with running this website. Think of your donation as a tip, a thank you for our efforts -- and a way to support this community and website. All donations are greatly appreciated.

But what about my books?!

I got the deal for my first book, The Happy Herbivore Cookbook, in October 2009. It's October 2011 and I just saw my first royalty check last week. It's been two years -- two years! and I finally saw some money for my work --- and no, it wasn't a big pay day. While it was a nice little something, it is by no means enough to live on. At best it is the equivalent to a few months salary. Like I've said before, there is no money in writing cookbooks -- even bestsellers. I do it because it's my passion.

But there is more to the finances than that. When I was writing my first book, and my second, I had to take a leave of absence from work and for four months (twice!) I didn't make any money. Scott & I lived in a tiny -tiny- studio and gave up any unnecessary expense -- like cable -- when I wrote my first book. We were better prepared for the second (we'd saved up some money in anticipation) but still, it was rough.

I often look back at all we put into and gave up for Happy Herbivore. The sacrifices we made. Was it worth it? Yes! But I won't lie. There were periods where I wanted to quit. Give up. Surrender. 

I'd worked so hard and for so long and I was so tired of being so broke. Maybe I'd had my go at it, and it didn't work, time to move on... but my passion kept me rooted. I would always remember why I started it all in the first place and then I'd put away my white flag. 

I was committed to my helping others eat better and damnit, I was going to keep doing it - whatever the cost. I told myself that success is not given, it is earned, and I had to keep hustling. Keep trying. Keep working. Do what I do because I love it and because truthfully, I don't want to do anything else. 

For four years I've worked 16 hrs a day, 7 days a week. I eat, drink and sleep Happy Herbivore... and that's one of the reason why I needed to go to Europe for a month... because it was getting unhealthy. 

To finally answer the question: yes. Now, after four years of debt and struggles and financial crisis, yes, I am finally supporting myself with Happy Herbivore. It happened very recently - in the last month. I'm still making a very modest (very modest!) living, but it's enough that I no-longer have to work at another job full-time. 

I'm still taking on some freelance assignments here and there, but I hope as Happy Herbivore continues to grow (with your help!) one day this will be my only job.

Allow me to close this post by thanking all of you. You made living my own dream possible. I hope to repay the favor someday.