Happy Herbivore Blog

New Features: Shopping List, Printable Recipes, Menus!

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: News

During Monday's meal planning post, I hinted that a new feature was coming to happyherbivore.com to help you with meal planning and now it's here! (This was totally not planned, by the way, talk about planets aligning!)

Have you ever wished you could click on a few Happy Herbivore recipes and then a shopping list will print out? Now you can.

Have you ever wished you could view a recipe full screen -- like it would look in a cookbook? Or print it on a sheet of paper instantly? Now you can.

Have you ever wished someone else could plan your meals for you? Yep, we have that too! You'll find 5 sample menus on the site plus I'll be releasing a new, seasonal-minded list every Saturday morning for download!

Scott has also created this great tutorial video -- please watch before using the tool.

I hope you all enjoy these new features. We'd love to get your feedback, so please leave a comment, like it, +1 it, whatevs!

By the way, I'm also going to be creating a weekly shopping list, available for download every week here on the blog and also on Facebook! 

Lindsay & Scott

p.s. here are cute pictures of the pugs for good measure:

Lily Bean


My greatest fear

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: AdvicePopular

I read A Place of Yes over the weekend and it changed me. I really try not to throw grandiose statements around lightly, so believe me when I say this book was monumentally therapeutic for me. 

By sharing her stories, Bethenny made me realize things about myself -- noise (fear) that I wasn't aware I had necessarily, and how those fears were holding me back.

So what's my greatest fear?

That I won't be accepted. That no one will like me.

This, like a lot of our fears, stems from my childhood.

Growing up I didn't have many friends. I wasn't an outcast or bullied, I just never seemed to find my way into the crowd of acceptance. I was the last person picked at kickball and I wanted to die anytime you needed to find a partner because I never had one.

When I did have friends, they circled in just as fast as the circled back out. I would have a glued-to-the-hip inseparable friendship with someone for a period, until it abruptly ended. Sometimes that person turned on me and got my peers to turn on me too. It was lonely. These intense--Tasmanian relationships have continued on throughout my life and have happened as recently as this past year.

In high school, however, my outsiderness wasn't so bad. It allowed me to be acquainted with everyone (true, my senior year book is signed lovingly by the prom queen, quarterback, math team captain, class misfit and the valedictorian) but I never fit into any one social circle or wolf pack. I could stop by and say hi, sure, but I didn't run with them. I was transparent. I was lonely. and I felt left out. 

Even now in the vegan world I feel like an outcast sometimes... I just never seem to fall into the in crowd, and perhaps that is why my fear is my fear. Ever since I was little I wanted to be liked and accepted and be part of a group. I see now how that has held me back. But it doesn't have to anymore. 

Those who don't follow have to lead, right? 

As part of my realization, I saw how irrational my fear was because I have been liked and accepted for a really long time.

Her name is Courtney and she is my sister.  Courtney came into my life when I was 12 years old and our relationship reaches to every part of my being. For whatever reason, Courtney likes me and accepts me. I will never be alone in this world because I have her. I've showed her the ugliest and worst parts of myself and she still loves me anyway and without judgment. Her love is unconditional and eternal. I don't have to be afraid because I have what it was I always wanted, it just took me until now to see it. 

I may not win over the masses, I may never fall into a circle of peers, I might always be a weirdo, but I am not alone. As Courtney said in the 8th grade "What is normal? There is no such thing as normal because you have to get an average of multiple things to create a single normal. "

There is Jim, too. My best friend. Next month we will be celebrating 15 years of friendship. Tasmania be damned. Plenty of others have circled in and circled out, but Jim stays put, hurricane winds and all.

I've never felt so loved in my whole life as I do now. I've never felt so wanted or accepted as I do now. Jim and Courtney love me for me. Imperfections and all. I'm totally--completely-- accepted. I don't have to win them over, or impress them, or get them to like me. I have what I always wanted.

Of course Scott deserves a nod too. I don't always make it easy for Scott to love me. My fear of not being liked or accepted also creates a fear of rejection and failure and the way I sometimes I address that fear is to hurt others before they can hurt me. My hope is by admitting this I can quiet that noise (fear) too.

Publishing a book was the most terrifying thing I've ever done -- it played right into my deepest, darkest fears, but I did it. and I survived the rejection. I survived the mean words. I survived the crushing feelings of fear... But I also embraced all of the overwhelming positives -- like being accepted. and being liked. I took it all in and I'm better for it. Stronger...and less scared. Love me or leave me, all I can be is me.

I still have a long road to travel in fighting these fears, quieting this noise, but today's post is a step. Thank you for listening.


Minimalist Monday: Meal Planning

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Minimalist

Planning our week's meals before going to the grocery store has been one of those Do as I say, not as I do things for me. 

I recommend meal planning all of the time and truthfully, I've always wanted to meal plan. I saw the utility and value behind it, but for the past 5 years, Scott & I have always lived in walking distance to a grocery store. 

In Boston I lived across the street from Whole Foods, in New York City I had four supermarkets and one boutique health food store within two blocks of my apartment and even here in St. Maarten I am about 40 steps away from a small market that has just about everything we need.  

Having instant access to a grocery store meant I went pretty much everyday to get whatever I needed for meals that day. We also didn't have a car so large shopping trips and bulk buys were out of the question anyway. I like to fashion myself as a strong woman, but I can only carry about four bags safely before I come a walking hazard with zero balance and coordination. 

On the one hand, I really liked this habit. We always had ultra fresh food and I could sort of plan dinner around what caught my eye at the market. On the other hand small incremental spending on a day-to-day basis never made me realize quite how much I was spending on groceries. $7 here, $18 there -- whose counting? But after reviewing my finances recently, I choked when I added all the sums up and saw the grand total.

We eat a lot of food -- true, and we do eat pretty much everything I bring home, but the problem is with all the incidental purchases -- the buying of items I don't really need or have a plan for. 

I remember going to the grocery store once, buying $200 worth of food, and then come dinner time, scratching my head thinking "I have nothing! What the hell did I buy?" 

This was clearly happening in much smaller quantities--seemingly unnoticed. 

To get my budget back on track (and break the daily grocery store habit) I decided to take a stab a meal planning this week.

I was hesitant, mostly because what's available at the grocery store here is always a gamble. Since everything is flown in to St. Maarten we run out of things a lot, sometimes for weeks at a time, which can make planning tricky. My resolve? Contingency planning. I had back up recipes on my list in case I couldn't get ingredients for the recipes I picked. 

I have to say I'm all in -- a total convert.

It wasn't just the gratification from the amount of money we saved (grand total of $127 compared to an average of $205) but the fact meal planning saved me time and stress -- the two things I sought after with my minimalist lifestyle.

Going to the grocery store, even if for only 15 minutes, adds up quick over a week (almost 2 hrs!) and with meal planning I don't have to stop and think about what's for dinner -- it's already decided for me. Minimalist indeed.

I still can't believe how much more zen meal times became when I had a plan in place and my brain wasn't racing while I washangry. It was also wonderful to open my fridge and know that everything in it was spoken for and I didn't have to scramble to find a way to use the spinach before it expired. 

Meal planning also gave me the chance to sort of clean out my pantry. Assess what items I had too much of or had been hanging out for a little too long, and pick recipes that use those items. 

All in all, meal planning was an absolutely great exercise and when I think about it -- meal planning is minimalist. For me, minimalism is all about streamlining my life and meal planning really fits into that.

p.s. a new feature is coming to happyherbivore.com that will help you with meal planning - stay tuned! 

Do you mean plan? Any tips?