Happy Herbivore Blog

10 Warming Soups

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Holiday

Inspirational Interview: Beth

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Herbies

The Inspirational Interviews series is back this week with a sassy business woman who (get ready for it!) used happy herbivore recipes to meet her health, weight and fitness goals!

Six weeks ago Beth emailed me saying she wanted to lose a little bit of weight and she was only going to eat recipes from happyherbivore.com to do it!

I was so flattered and honored I didn't know what to say other than "hey! if it works, you, like, need to let me interview you!"

HH: So Beth, what spawned this idea of yours--to lose weight with happy herbivore recipes?

Beth: I reached a point where I physically was not matching how I felt mentally or spiritually. I found myself eating the same boring things or skipping meals entirely because I had lost interest in food as fuel, and nutrition as a vehicle for feeling optimally.

HH: Before your... happy herbivore diet (shall we say) what was your diet like?

Beth: I was a convenience food vegan. I ate a lot of vegan pre-packed foods from the local co-op (which were sneaky vegan calorie bombs smothered in rich sauces or infused with a hefty amount of oil to keep it from drying out when reheated). I also skipped meals a lot. 

HH: You've been eating a la happy herbivore for six weeks now. Mind us asking how much weight you've lost?

Beth: I have currently lost 34 pounds eating happy herbivore recipes in conjunction with yoga and an intense weight training routine at the gym.

HH: Like many of us, you've attempted weight loss before--was this time (with happy herbivore recipes) easier, harder about the same?

Beth: I've attempted weight loss many times before but my focus on the dietary aspect changed this time around as did my need to become more intense and diverse in my workouts since I passed the age-30 barrier. A vegan diet alone isn't a guarantee of weight-loss, as one look down the dairy-free "ice cream" aisle can attest, but with a common sense method of the carb-protein-fat combination as well as a reasonable portion size, I have been able to create a workweek meal plan that is easy to follow, satisfying and nutritionally complete using only happy herbivore recipes. Even my non-vegan trainer can't complain! 

HH: In addition to weight loss, have you noticed any other benefits from eating happy herbivore recipes (and thus, adopting a low fat plant-based diet)?

Beth: In making these happy herbivore recipes I have found that I am sustained for longer periods of time without the need to binge or eat something that is empty on the go (like potato chips). Even though the recipes seem to be more nutrient dense, they have not left me feeling heavy or bloated as some other recipes I've made do (primarily due to the heavy "cream" or sauce base). 

HH: A lot of people don't think they have the time to prepare fresh meals from scratch everyday--but even as a busy career woman (Beth owns her own business!), you've made the time... care to tell us about that?

Beth: Unlike so many others, happy herbivore recipes are simple and satisfying enough to incorporate into anyone's busiest work week, which can be a major hurdle or reluctance. In fact it is easy to initially doubt that the simplicity of the recipes could actually be fulfilling enough to tame a voracious vegan eater like my husband, but they do! I have been able to vastly increase my physical workload, maintain my career and home obligations, and become more mentally present while losing these unneeded (unwanted) pounds and integrating a majority of happy herbivore recipes into my daily dietary repertoire.

HH: All this food talk is making me hungry! What are some of your favorite and go-to happy herbivore recipes?

Chickpea Noodle Soup, Celery Root Soup, Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie and Kale Chips are some of my favorites. My husband also makes the Chickpea Tacos at least twice a week! He is a glutton for them!

HH: Thanks so much for sharing you story with us Beth--and I'm so glad happy herbivore recipes have helped you become your healthiest self yet! Keep up the great work! You've certainly inspired me with your amazing "can do" attitude! 

Eat to Live vs. Live to Eat

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Minimalist

Earlier this week I was catching up with my friend Stephanie online when she asked me how I was adjusting to the island. I told her while there are some things that annoy or frustrate me such as "island time" (we'll save that for another post) and the fact that most places close at noon on Sundays (a vast change from 24-hour New York City) I have generally found the culture here agreeable, if not refreshing.

This island, if you are unaware, is French and Dutch (it is quite literally split down the middle):

(Just past the airport to the left you'll see "cupecoy" thats where I live, smack on the border. I joke that in my frontyard, I'm on the Dutch side, and in my backyard, the French. This is not really an exaggeration!)

Although I've only been out of the U.S. for three weeks---I've gleaned a lot of perspective in that time. For example, I always knew that Americans were obsessed with BIG everything -- big cars, big houses and big portions -- but I never realized how much that spilled over into other faucets of life.

Let me back up. St. Martin carries a reputation for being a culinary mecca and you'd think that everyone here would be food obsessed as a result... you'd expect dining out to be integrated into the culture the way it is New York City and other culinary hot spots in America --but it's not. People that live here seem generally...disinterested. 

During my converstaion with Stephanie, it all came together for me. The difference is, Eat to Live vs. Live to Eat. and perhaps that is why the French are so slender as a people. They aren't living to eat, but eating to live---it's something they do because they have to, not something they do for the sake of pleasure. --but that's not to say that eating isn't pleasureful for them... 

This is another difference I observed, and it's best told in a story: I stopped at a local store, only to find it closed in the middle of the day. I peered through the window and saw a man sitting at the counter, eating a sandwich joyfully. I knocked on the door. He ignored me. I knocked again. Eventually he shouted something, which I translated to mean along the lines of "Closed for lunch." Okay, fine. The man has to eat. But he ate that sandwich for a good 25 minutes. Then he sat there, for a few more minutes (savoring my guess) until he finally opened up his shop again. I thought the whole thing was strange until a French friend explained it to me. "He had a sandwich. You don't rush through a sandwich." It was as though my expectation---my American expectation--- of a quick and dirty lunch was a totally alien idea to him. "But he almost lost my business" I squealed. "You'd have come back, no?" Apparently, the idea of interrupting lunch to make a sale was equally as absurd.

So, there it is, a primal lesson: you should stop, savor and enjoy every bit of your sandwich.

This part of the culture I'm really digging. They don't just Eat to Live, they live their eating. No dashboard dining, no desktop lunches, no shoveling it into the mouth to get back to whatever they need to do. When they do eat, they glean pleasure from every bite. and they eat with purpose. When we do go out to a restaurant, or even a bar here, the service is "slow" by American standards--I see now that this allows me to savor the entire experience of dining out, rather than Eat.Check please! and we're out the door...

So, now I open the discussion---What do YOU think of the "eat to live" vs. "live to eat" mentality?