Happy Herbivore Blog

Vegan Emergency Kit

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: FAQMisc

I've been getting requests all day about what foods a vegan can have on hand in case of an emergency.

I lived in Florida for years (was there during Andrew) and now I live on a small island where hurricanes and the loss of electricity are always a real threat. 

Here's what we do to be prepared:

We keep plenty of canned goods on hand---canned beans and canned vegetables. Black beans and corn might not be the most exciting meal, but it will do in an emergency.

We also keep peanut butter and shelf-stable crackers on hand. Other good things to have are fruit such as apples and oranges, that can stand to go without refrigeration. 

Dry hummus mixes are also good (not the tastiest, but they do)--many of them just require adding water and mixing. 

I also have lots of shelf-stable tofu (Mori-Nu) which really isn't all that bad with mustard (which doesn't need refrigeration). 

Remember that the key is survival---any vegan food is good food when you're hungry. Don't forget about your pets! Make sure you have plenty of food and bottled water for them as well.

Stay safe!

How I Lost Weight With The Happy Herbivore Cookbook

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Guests

Today I'm sharing a guest post with you written by Nita. I love meeting fellow Herbivores and I had the opportunity to meet Nita when she visited the island! 

I have been cooking exclusively from my Happy Herbivore Cookbook for about 3 weeks and I have lost 6 pounds! I went to work this morning with a BIG meal plan in mind for this evening. I bought all my ingredients yesterday and was ready to go. It didn’t work out that way; I had an extremely stressful day at work and I was TIRED this evening. I have been reading great reviews on the Cheater Pad Thai (pg. 117) recipe and decided that would be a quick, easy meal for dinner and I already had everything I needed. We LOVE Pad Thai but haven’t had it in awhile because of the fat content. I’ve never used a recipe that called for less than ¼ cup of peanut butter and that is a LOT of fat. This one uses such a small amount that I was concerned that it just wouldn’t taste good.

I made the sauce exactly as the recipe stated - I just doubled it because we are SAUCE people and we like a little on the side to pour over the dish. I used the vegetable Pad Thai recipe (pg. 117) – I added baby corn, water chestnuts, and fresh grated carrots. I mixed everything together and plated the dish; I sprinkled a bit of cilantro and sesame seed over it. When I took my first bite it was one of those shut your eyes and make a noise bites.

It was the best Pad Thai I have ever tasted. I will never vary from this recipe and believe me that is rare for me! Thanks, Lindsay for another winning recipe!!

Here's some awesome food pictures of what Nita's been eating during these three weeks!  
Chickpea Tacos (pg. 97) and Mexican Cabbage (pg. 130)

Instant Vegan Alfredo (pg. 163)

Chickpea Cakes Piccata 

Thanks for being our guest, Nita! Congratulations on your weight loss, everything looks delicious! 

How to Talk About Veganism

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: FAQ

There were so many great comments on my post about dealing with confrontation and negativity, that I thought I'd follow-up and do a quick post about how and when to tell someone you’re vegan (or plant-strong), and how to talk about your lifestyle or diet in a way that won’t scare people off or cause them to power down and get defensive. 

The Big Announcement: When to tell someone about your new diet and lifestyle depends on you, your comfort level and the relationship you have with the person you’re telling. Each situation is different and unique. Perhaps you’ll tell your best friend right away because you’re really excited about your newlifestyle, but you’ll wait a while to tell your parents because you sense they might be confused or disapproving. 

It is also important to remember how “strange” your decision might sound to someone. While vegans and vegetarians are becoming more mainstream and commonplace (Bill Clinton, anyone?) it’s still shockingly foreign to many. 

Also, be conscious of who you are talking to. The more you know about the listener, the better you’ll be able to tailor your explanation in a way that they will understand. For example, I know that my uncle, a hunter, would tune out anything I said if I started off on animal rights issues right away. He is very health conscious; however, so if I explained my choice to be vegan from a health perspective, he’d be more apt to listen to what I have to say and with a lot less judgment and preconceived notions. 

Before you speak, take a moment to think about what your listener will empathize with, and begin with that issue.  

Never feel pressured to explain or justify your choices. If someone can’t accept or respect your choices up-front, you probably won’t change their mind that day. No sense in getting worked up and frustrated trying...come back to it later. 

If you do respond, give a clear, simple and concise statement. Try saying something like “I believe this is the healthiest choice for me and my family” or “I’m moved by the plight of farm animals. I don’t want to suffer or cause another living being to suffer.” 

Don’t engage in debate if you don’t want to or you’re not comfortable. If someone tries to force it, simply say that you prefer not to discuss it at this time, but you’re happy to tell the listener where he or she can learn more.

Social Activism: Advocating your beliefs is noble, but there is a time and place in social situations. In my experience, I had zero converts when I tried to push my lifestyle on others. However, by being compassionately quiet and leading by example, friends and coworkers started asking me about it. 

Then, by engaging in casual, non-judgmental conversation about my diet and lifestyle, I was able to plant a seed — a seed that later led many of these people to adopt plant-based (vegan) or semi-vegan diet. I really do believe in the power of leading by example and being a smiling, positive and gentle influence. Tread softly.

I’ve also given a lot of talks and speeches (I’ve even spoken at Google!) and the one compliment I get over and over again is how much people appreciate that I’m upbeat and encouraging--- not pushy or judgmental. 

My “closing” statement is always “Anytime you can eat a vegan meal, do it. Your body will thank you.” 

See how I accomplish this with my video via The Huffington Post:

The Happy Herbivore makes Veggie Biscuit Pot Pie from Andrea Chalupa.