Happy Herbivore Blog

Who me?!

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Advice

I've noticed my "about me" video has been getting more hits lately. Combine that with a few Amazon reviews where some very sweet reviewers said they enjoyed the blurbs in the cookbook that let them get to know me a little and I realize...

You're curious about me!

and why wouldn't you be? After all you're inviting me into your kitchen and trusting me with your taste buds (Thanks!)

So, I thought I'd do a quick post today so I'm less of a ghost. [BTW, I've always been really hesitant to blog about myself. On the one hand, it feels a little funny and the other, it never occurred to me you might wonder about me]

So without further ado: 

My mother calls me a vagabond. and I don't think that's entirely untrue. In the last 10 years I've lived in 15 apartments, 6 states and 2 counties. My head hurts.

When I was in High School in Florida I was not a popular cheerleader or the misunderstood outcast. I didn't fit into any one social circle but I had friends in all of them. and moved through them as I saw fit. I danced to the beat of my own drummer and I still do. p.s. I met my best friend Jim in high school. and yes, my best friend is a guy. (and single! hey hey ladies!)

Funny: one guy I dated in High School ended up on a Reality TV show (he's a Dr now, so let's not judge him too harshly) and my most serious High School boyfriend is gay, but we're the best of friends now, and I am crazy about his partner. I have dreams of living together in a big brownstone in NYC. I know this makes me crazy.

I'm also friends with my 8th grade boyfriend and it weirds me out how similar we turned out as adults. When I talk to him I realize, it's so nice to know someone who knew you when you were young, no matter how embarrassing that age was.

Moving along, at the tail end of college in South Carolina, I met Scott and somehow, within a few dates, knew I was going to marry him. Thankfully, when I got into law school in Boston, he agreed to come with me!

It was during the first year of our marriage, and the end of law school, that I went vegan. After law school we moved to LA and then my "hometown" of NYC and now we're on an island. Man, this sounds worse than a soap opera! 

On the upside, all this shifting means we (including the pugs) have seen the vast majority of the United States (41 states for me) and a whole lot of countries thanks to an extended backpacking trip as a honeymoon. 

In my old life I was a lawyer. I was pretty good at it. I was sexually harassed. and then fired. I never went back to the law again. Let's leave it at that.

In a lot of ways this blog, and my cookbook, saved me from the darkest hour of my life. I came home to heal, and I did. I also have you to thank. 

Other interesting tidbits: I am a nail biter. Can't help it. Add to that a whore for Red Vines. and a slight hypochondriac when it comes to the pugs. I'm also really sensitive, as in, I cry easily. Tell me my shoes are ugly and I'll be a blubbering mess. Let's see... I was almost an Army JAG and Special Agent for the FBI (this was before I accepted I was not a joiner. or a follower). I am allergic to broccoli, which I think is tragically funny, and I spent several years thinking I was allergic to latex when I'm actually sensitive to the adhesive glue.

I can't always tell the color purple from the color blue. I'm not "colorblind" but have a "blue-green deficiency" which continues to be the most amusing thing to Scott when I can't coordinate properly. After 7 years, I thought it might not be as funny, apparently it still is. 

and when I'm really stressed out, my only way to relax is to color. I totally suck at it. 

I hope I'm less a ghost now. Thank you for all your continued support!

I'd also like to close this post with a great statement by a sassy business woman I look up to:

"People love me or they hate me. Take me or leave me. I can't be someone else. I can only be me." - Rachel Ray

Traveling Herbivore: How I eat Healthy, Low Fat and Vegan in Airports

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Travel

The world is getting more vegan-friendly, and that's great... I love seeing vegan options on menus, or even dishes that are healthy and can easily be adapted to be vegan, such as asking for fresh avocado instead of grilled chicken on a salad. (Yes, this works!)

After I posted about my hotel room burgers, a few readers asked for more travel tips. Live in airports and hotels? I hear ya! I've done a lot of traveling in the last few years and now I'm gearing up for a mini book tour which means me, and my lovely assistant Andrea, will be eating out of bus terminals, train stations and my backpack. 

So, without further ado, here is how you can eat healthy (and vegan!) while traveling.

Friend #1 Starbucks

Although not too long ago I could drop $5 on a coffee without batting an eye, I've since become more economical and Starbucks coffees are a thing of the past... though, I've recently rediscovered Starbucks as a source of food — thanks to my friends Gloria & Rob. I always knew Starbucks sold oatmeal, but I had no idea you could make it vegan. All you need to do is tell the cashier you'd like it made with soymilk and voila! (I order the nuts and fruit topping).

Friend #2 Seattle's Best (and Sandwich Shops)

Many of the Seattle's Bests (btw, owned by Starbucks) are offering freshly made-to-order sandwiches and if there isn't a Seattle's Best, there is always some other place that sells fresh sandwiches. If you're lucky, they'll have a vegetarian option on the menu that can be vegan if you hold the mayo and cheese — but I've had huge success just asking the employees to put every veggie they had on some bread with mustard. I've even found that most places have whole wheat these days, and even if they don't have whole wheat, they at least have multi-grain. Cucumbers, carrot slices, tomato, lettuce and dijon mustard? it's heavenly.

Friend #3 To-Go Stands

It's January, and I really don't want to think of where this cantaloupe-based "fruit salad" was flown in from, but when you're traveling, some compromises must be made. That includes eating fruit out of season for me, and eating fruit that probably isn't local. Sometimes you can also find bananas and apples; which I prefer, but that wasn't here this day.

Frenemy Fast-food.

I loathe fast food, but sometimes it's my only choice (especially if you're traveling by car in a remote part of the United States) and after spending way too many hours online, I have a list of vegan goodies at seemingly un-vegan chains. I am borrowing a few examples:

Try these choices: bean burritos at Taco Bell (sans cheese), french fries at Wendy's (no cross-contamination), veggie fajitas (sans cheese) at Chipotle, vegetarian burrito (black not pinto beans) at Chipotle (sans cheese and sour cream), Subway, streamliner (veggie burger) at Johnny Rockets (take care to tell them no butter on the bun), veggie pizza on whole-wheat crust (without cheese) Papa Johns, and many more. (Here is a free list online — but not entirely comprehensive, or accurate, from my independent research -- always check and ask before ordering).

Lastly, I also like to bring provisions with me — larabars, (Clif bars for Scott), Justin's PB packets, raisins, instant oatmeal (because you can always find hot water), and homemade sandwiches — which you can see in this picture if you look past the drink:

Yeah, I can't believe I drank that glass of blue booze either.

I've been silenced (the vegan dramaz needs to stop)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Advice

I was going to delete this post, then decided to keep it. with one caveat. I don't want to waste any more time talking about what happened, rehashing, or dignifying any of the the false accusations with commentary. Let's just leave it at: it was an awesome day for my book (#145 on Amazon!) and amazing day for veganism thanks to the Oprah show, with some unfortunate blips along the way. and hopefully now, we're all better for it!! 

-------------------------------

Today is the official release of my cookbook

Yes, I know I celebrated it last week, but that was before the release date got moved to today (so! that means you should be able to find it in Borders and all the other stores that didn't have it last week!)

That also means we need to keep working hard this last week — we're in the home stretch for #1! Keep spreading the word!

Anyway, despite this being birthday #2, I still expected today to be a happy day... only, I woke up to a mound of unpleasant email.

Now, before I go any further let me explain a little about myself.

I am a loud mouth. Find any high school friend of mine on Facebook and they will quickly tell you I'm a loud mouth. And a big mouth. And my loud and big mouth frequently got me in trouble.

At 29, I accept this about myself. I am highly opinionated. I'll probably tell you my opinion even if you didn't ask for it. and if you are my friend, I probably won't sugar coat it at all. Some of my friends really love that about me — my brute honesty, while others wish I'd take a class on sensitivity (I'm working on it).

So, because I am opinionated, and have a big mouth, it should go without saying that I LOVE to leave reviews. I review everything, but I really take time and put considerable thought into my reviews — and they are always fair. AND because I'm the kind of person that won't say anything on the Internet that I would not say to someone's face, I even use my real name Lindsay Nixon.

But not anymore. Now that I have published a book, I am apparently no longer allowed to have a public opinion. Any review I left that was not 5 stars (but 4 stars) was viciously attacked by a certain well-known author's fans. I've been accused of all sorts of sabotage, even when I left these reviews long before I dreamed to write my own cookbook! 

And while I can kind of deal with the haters, these "rabid fans" have now taken to attacking people that leave ME a kind review, but (golly gee!) maybe didn't like some other book. That I can't deal with. I love my fans, I certainly don't want to bring ugliness into their life.

Before my book came out, a few fellow authors emailed me to warn me this might happen — I'd heard malicious rumors that certain authors, and certain authors' fans, leave fake reviews on the competition trying to sink them, that they attack any and everyone who doesn't give their favorite author a 5-star review... and I thought "This can't be true!" It just seemed so absurd!

But now I think it is. And that is really sad. 

I've been accused of sabotage (a 4-star review is sabotage, btw) and now the allegations are extending: people who happened to rate me well, but maybe not another cookbook as well, well the "rabid fans" insist these folks are either doing my bidding for me or it's me making fake profiles.

BTW, not only do I not have the time to do that, I wouldn't even know how. I couldn't even figure out how to get my Mom her own Amazon account without her real name on it. (She likes her privacy). 

But is it really that absurd of a notion that someone might LOVE one vegan cookbook and not care for another? Is it so absurd that we all have different tastes? Is it possible that not everyone worships the same God? (Okay, maybe I went a little far with that last one — forgive me, my panties are in a twist).

As a result, I deleted every review I ever left on Amazon for vegan cookbooks (23 in total), except for 2 that I did not have the heart to delete because people had voted them as "helpful."

But there is an even deeper loss. I once left an... unpleasant review of Bryant Terry's cookbook. Bryant called me out on it. All of it. After a few (heated) email exchanges, the clouds cleared, the sun came out and would you believe it? We're pals. He's been a wonderful "colleague" ever since. I like to think we've helped each other grow. I have certainly learned a value lesson or two from him and that situation and I can't help but think, if I'd never said a word (even if I want to take them all back now) I wouldn't have had this other experience... 

and now I'm being robbed of this chance, and so are others. 

Why can't we agree to disagree... different strokes for different folks?

Lately it seems everyone has been blogging or tweeting that the vegan community reminds them of high school — is that really the community atmosphere we want? Do we really think we'll attract people to join us that way? It makes me want to grab my Hello Kitty lunch box and run.

Live and let live, I say. 

There are worse things than having multiple famous and beloved vegan cookbook authors.

UPDATE: Hours after this posting, a seemingly fake 2-star review appeared on Amazon for my book (it's really doesn't make sense).

UPDATE #2: that review was deleted, but another equally suspicious one appeared, and someone else took the time to mark all 76 (!!) 5-star reviews as "unhelpful" -- really?

UPDATE #3 (and last thing on this topic--I'm over it) thx to a tip, I found the root of it-- a forum dedicated to my book on the PPK where it starts off nice and genuine and then quickly turns into a witch hunt, with horribly mean accusations and statements made by Isa! Then she closed the forum so I couldn't defend myself and leave any sort of reply to clarify anything.

and to think, she used to be my hero.

just, wow.

I wish they'd see all this negativity, all these lies, all this hate, does nothing to help veganism -- It would be a better use of their energy to help spread veganism, rally against the people who attack our community as a whole, etc. then waste their time ripping apart fellow vegans.

LIVE and LET LIVE.