Happy Herbivore Blog

Minimalist Monday: DIY Baking Soda Dispenser (Guest Post By Win A Visit Winner, Amy!)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: MinimalistGuest

Today's Minimalist Monday post is about something very near and dear to my heart: baking soda!

I've already written at length about my love affair with it (I use it to wash my face, as deodorant, to clean, etc etc), which is why I asked Amy, the winner of the "Win A Visit" sweepstakes, to do this guest post.

When I visited her home in DC earlier this year, I found out that Amy not only shares a love of baking soda, but she also has a brilliant and minimalist way of storing it!

I'll let Amy tell her story - and show you how to make her dispenser.

I went plant-based in May 2011. Thanks to Lindsay's suggestion from her blog, I've been using baking soda to clean a lot of things in my house - fruits, veggies, my face, pots & pans, etc. It works so well! I was using it frequently which meant that oh-so-fashionable box was constantly staring back from the sink and getting wet in the process. It had to go!

Instead of buying a shaker or dispenser, I repurposed one of our large salsa jars. Mine holds two boxes of baking soda and has a wide opening. I nailed the holes into the lid myself; you just need a hammer and a nail. I also use jars for recipe leftovers, soups, sauces, dried beans, rice, lentils, bulk nutritional yeast, xanthan gum, gluten-free flour, paper clips, nails/screws, etc. Any way I can find to use them, I do :)

It was such an incredible experience to meet Lindsay. She is so genuine and giving of herself and her time. I know, as Herbies, we all have our own stories of how Lindsay has made a difference in our life, in the lives of loved ones, and all those around us.

It was beyond amazing to spend the day with her! We laughed, we cooked, we ate. The food was awesome! We had Thai Tacos from HHLL and Asian Noodle Soup from the 7-day meal plans (Oct 2013). I wanted to choose something that we hadn't made previously and something with mushrooms. BTW, she ate more than myself or my hubs :) We had such a fun day and then we were off to the DC Herbie meet up!

Thank you Lindsay for being you and making my birthday week the best ever :) XOXOXOXO

Food Choice and Sustainability: An Excerpt From Dr. Richard Oppenlander's New Book + GIVEAWAY

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

**This giveaway is now closed. Thanks for entering! Winners will be contacted by email Tuesday, April 8.**

I met Dr. Oppenlander several years ago when we were both speaking at Summerfest.

I loved his lecture on sustainability so much that I immediately purchased a copy of Comfortably Unaware.

We've kept in touch since. Dr. O even had me on his podcast!

Anyway! He's just released a new book, Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won't Work, which I'm super excited about *and* Dr. O has graciously offered to give us a sample *and* 5 FREE autographed copies to some lucky herbies!

An excerpt from Food Choice and Sustainability:

"All protein is not created equal, and animal protein has a detrimental effect on our health in two ways: by association (what comes or doesn’t come along with it) and intrinsically (its chemical composition). We derive animal protein from meat or other animal products, of course, which brings a package of fat, cholesterol, hormones, endotoxins, and pathogens, as well as a lack of any fiber or disease-fighting substances, called phytonutrients. But animal protein, the protein structure itself, is also damaging to your health. Although inflammation is a natural healing body response, chronic inflammation of tissue, organs, and body systems is problematic and is a major contributing factor to nearly every degenerative disease, including heart disease, many cancers, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Animal protein causes inflammation. It is high in arachidonic acid and high fractions of the sulfur-containing amino acids, methionine and cysteine, all of which increase levels of inflammation. Protein from animal sources causes excessive loading of kidneys, liver, and pancreas as well as metabolic acidosis (imbalance and lowering of the body’s pH), which leads to additional inflammation. Filtration of increased urea (a waste product) because of animal protein creates imbalances in calcium and other minerals. If eaten raw, meat will transmit disease-causing organisms, yet when cooked, the protein type in meat has a high likelihood of producing cancer-causing agents (heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and transmitting endotoxins. Casein, one of the protein types in milk, is associated with increased risk of numerous diseases. In general, animal protein (the amino acid profile and general composition) is an upregulator of inflammation, which is a common component of many Western disease states...

...Of the four leading causes of death and disease in the U.S. today, animal products and animal protein are implicated in all four—coronary heart disease, cancer, cerebrovascular disease, and diabetes, as well as their precursors, hypertension and obesity. Eating only plant-based foods prevents and reverses these diseases, as well as lowering one’s risk of contracting numerous other conditions, such as kidney stones and gallstones, kidney disease, osteoporosis, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoarthritis, and many other degenerative diseases, gastrointestinal conditions, and asthma. Of the five most common cancers—lung, colon, breast, pancreatic, and prostate—consuming animal products has been linked as a significant risk factor in all five, as well as many more. I need to emphasize that this is about animal products and the type of protein, which does not change if the animal is grass fed."

For a chance to win:

Post a comment below about a way you make a positive impact on the earth!

**This giveaway is open to US residents only.**

Herbie of the Week: Rebecca A (She's Lost 150lbs!)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Herbies

Meet our Herbie of the Week: Rebecca A.!

After years of struggling with her weight and being unhappy with her overall health, Rebecca decided to make some changes to her diet by eliminating meat and dairy. Before she knew it she started to lose weight and was able to move around without being in pain.

As much as Rebecca liked the results, it wasn't until she went fully plant-based and focused on health rather than size that she saw the biggest change of all: a weight-loss of 150 lbs!!!

Read on for Rebecca's incredible story!

Ever since I can remember, I’d always wanted to be smaller. I wanted to be petite like all the other (popular) little girls. So much so, at the age of 10 I joined Weight Watchers. It didn’t work and it put the zap in my head (even more than I already had) about how different I really wanted to be. With two or three exceptions, I’d been overweight, and even then I was still bigger that I wanted to be. Losing weight had always been a struggle; my weight/size had always been a source of unhappiness.

Fast forward to after my son was born (almost 10 years ago), I was very overweight (275 lbs). Simply moving around hurt and was difficult. I just didn’t feel healthy and was so very unhappy with my health and my size. After years of yo-yo dieting I decided to make some positive eating changes. I started to exclude dairy and land animals. I kept on that path, lost some weight, and was feeling more positive about exercising. I began to take daily walks, and soon my body pains became less and less.

About 3 years ago, I was given Everyday Happy Herbivore as a present for Christmas from my (omnivore) step Mom. She said, "It seems like you're moving in that (plant-based) direction, so here you go!" I loved EHH and quickly purchased The Happy Herbivore Cookbook as well. I have been completely plant-based ever since.

My health has never been better! Tummy issues I had throughout my life became a thing of the past. I rarely get sick (and I work with young children!). Around the same time I became plant-based, I started exercising more. Exercising was no longer a chore, but a pleasure. In addition to my walks, I began to practice yoga and light weight training. I can now do headstands and hold plank pose for quite a while. I can see my muscles! I had never been able to that before. When I became plant-based, I stopped focusing on my "size" and started enjoying to road to better health. In so doing, I've lost a total of 150 pounds!

And, I love to cook. In the past, dieting was so restrictive. Now, I eat when I'm hungry, and eat what I want. And I eat a lot. I love the taste of good, simple food. I love all four of Lindsay's books and have found them an integral part of my overall health.

I have helped motivate friends, colleagues, and family members to make healthier food choices. And now they're encouraging their loved ones. I also have a health blog, where (I like to think) I motivate strangers as well to make positive plant-based changes.

As I mentioned before, I work with children. I'm the director of an Early Education School. I have a complete set of Lindsay's books at the school and I encourage the teachers to bake plant-based goodies with the children. I think the overall favorite are the chocolate zucchini muffins. I also like to regularly incorporate other recipes when we have Parent Events (plant-based nacho bar with tofu sour cream, beans, and quick queso). I am regularly referring friends, family, clients, and blog followers to the HH books, blog, and meal plans for healthy, quick, family (kid) friendly food.

What an inspiring story! Thank you so much Rebecca for sharing your plant-based journey with us!