Happy Herbivore Blog

Bill Clinton Vegan? My Thoughts & "Is Vegan Healthy?"

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Misc

When I first heard President Clinton went vegan, I got really excited. I'm happy for him and his family---he looks great, much healthier. I was also excited for what this meant for veganism. 

My initial thought was, "veganism has officially hit the mainstream--it's finally "normal" -- a PRESIDENT is vegan! No one can ever cast us off into the "weird" corner again" but it's more than that. 

President Clinton has the ability to spread our message to the masses. He has a powerful voice. His words have credence. His words have an impact. Someone might not listen to me -- after all, who am I to them? But they might open their ears to a former President. 

President Clinton can also help facilitate real changes in our food industries. He can talk to Congress, help lobbyists, create initiatives and He has access to the media. Exclamation points all around! 

So why the long face? 

 Just about every article I've read about Clinton's veganism has this little "disclaimer" (from NPR):  

The former prez will need to keep an eye on his B12. Vegans and vegetarians can be short of this vitamin, which is present in eggs and dairy foods, and can become tired and anemic without it. They can also run short of iron, protein, zinc and calcium. 

This drives me mad. Eating meat and dairy does not mean all your nutritional needs are going to be automatically met, or they're going to be met more easily or more likely than if you only ate plants. 

I have several friends---friends who proudly describe themselves as "carnivores"--- who are on supplements for B12, iron, calcium and/or Vitamin D---because they have inadequate levels. One friend actually cured her iron deficiency naturally by switching to a vegetarian diet! 

I will never understand why there is such a concern for vegans and where they get their calcium, protein, iron, etc--but no one wonders where an omnivore gets their fiber and water-soluble vitamins?

And why is there such criticism for the person who eats a diet filled with vegetables and fruits--but no judgment is passed on the someone whose only source of fruit is orange juice and whose only vegetable intake is a French fry? 

The takeaway here is that whether you are vegan, vegetarian, omnivore or a flexitarian--- your diet must be balanced, with a wide variety of nutritious foods. If you fail to eat a wholesome, appropriately balanced diet, you will have health issues eventually. That's why my message on Happy Herbivore has always been about eating healthy and eating well above all else. For me, I find it's much easier to meet all my nutritional needs as a vegan because as a vegan I'm consuming more fruits, vegetables and legumes than I ever did before.

Anyway, I just had to get my little rant out---I still think all the press around President Clinton's veganism is still good for our message and I'm hoping his words will change a lot of lives. He changed his own life, and that matters too. 

By the way, I've written about this topic before, and in much more depth. For more reading, see my manifesto, "my vegan diet." 

What are your thoughts?

Fat Free Whole Wheat Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Recipe

Hi Herbies! It's Andrea, again :) I wanted to share a weekend cupcake recipe with you! I absolutely love baking; cookies, cupcakes and breads are my favorite things to make in the kitchen. When I was packing my apartment before moving to Happy Herbivore Headquarters, I got overwhelmed by the amount of STUFF (read; junk) in my apartment so I decided to take a break from packing and get into the kitchen.

I grabbed my copy of The Happy Herbivore Cookbook and turned to the page thats the most "loved"...or,ya know, slightly covered with batter stains ;) I decided to adapt HH's Strawberry Cupcakes (pg. 216) and make a tropical pineapple vegan vanilla cupcake.

Here's the recipe for the vegan vanilla cupcake that was the base of my tropical creation!

Fat Free Whole Wheat Vegan Vanilla Cupcake

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine salt
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup non-dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Grease a muffin tin or spray paper liners and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
4. in a large bowl, whisk applesauce, sugar, non-dairy milk, and vanilla extract until well combined.
5. Pour dry mixture into the wet mixture in 3 to 4 batches, stirring until just combined.
6. Spoon batter into muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 15 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Transfer to a wire cooling rack.
8. Once the cupcakes have fully cooled, slather icing over the top. 

I made a pineapple flavored glaze to top mine, and then garnished with two fresh pineapple chunks.

Pineapple Glaze
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp pureed pineapple

1. Puree some fresh pineapple in a blender or food processor, it should get very watery. If you need to, add a little non-dairy milk to get a thin consistency.
2. Stir together the confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and pureed pineapple. 
3. Add more sugar to thicken the icing or add a little non-dairy milk to thin it out. It should be the consistency of a paste-like glaze. 

If you don't feel like baking a dozen cupcakes, you can always make HH's Single Serving Cupcake and adapt the glaze recipe for one. Enjoy! Have a great weekend!

HH Meal Plan - Back to School Edition

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

This week's meal plan focuses on family favorites to celebrate the start of another great school year. I also took care to pick recipes with similar ingredients so you don't have to worry about leftovers. Enjoy! 

Download the PDF here.

Don't forget! You can also build your own meal plan and shopping list with our  Shopping List feature!