Happy Herbivore Blog

Blogger Challenge: 30 Whole Days

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Yesterday I came across this CNN Health article "An inconvenient challenge: eat real food for a month." I was excited to see such a popular blog challenge (900 participants!) but surprised that many people found it 'hard.'

Happy Herbivore has always promoted eating whole, unprocessed processed foods... and without added fat! Sure tofu, non-dairy milk, flour, condiments like soy sauce and even pasta find their way into my recipes (and my diet) but for the most part, I've found eating a whole diet rather... easy, and quite delicious, too!

So I mozied on over to my fridge and pantry to see exactly what processed foods I had on hand. It was the usual suspects: tofu, ww bread, brown rice pasta, sweeteners, condiments and some canned tomatoes. Could I live a whole month without this stuff? I wondered.

I immediately took my question to twitter and HH's facebook page, asking everyone if they'd be interested in joining me for a 30-day challenge of eating only whole, unprocessed foods. The response was overwhelming (and exciting!!). Within an hour more than 75 people responded "yes!" and I knew this was something I had to do.

Starting May 1, I'll be living 30 days WHOLE -- no processed foods! and I invite you to join me. 

The guidelines are simple: eat and drink only whole foods.

A good rule of thumb: does it look they way it did in nature? If not, is there more than one ingredient? While fresh foods are ideal, I plan to incorporate some frozen veggies and dry spices. And remember, real foods don't come in a cardboard box.

And although I do encourage everyone to keep a vegan diet, you don't have to be a vegan to participate -- all are welcome to join.

I've also created a Google Group where we can post discussions, share recipes and ask each other questions. I'll also be posting daily tips and challenges.  (A FAQ strand has already been started with questions I've received.)

Here is a cool button (okay not that cool, but the best I could do) for bloggers who are participating.

I'm really excited about this challenge -- to learn about myself (just how healthy do I eat?), spend a month with you directly, reset my taste buds and just nourish my body in the best way possible.

And just in case good food, excellent nutrition and improved health aren't motivating enough, I'm going to contact a few companies and stores I've worked with in the past to see if they are willing to be sponsors -- a.k.a. give away some cool swag to people who make it the whole 30 days! 

**Note: I think it's important with this challenge to use your intuition -- you know what's healthy! The point is also to prove how easy and possible this is. The goal is not to make this so extreme it becomes impossible. In other words, do you absolute very best to eat whole. If you need a little mustard to get your greens down, or a pinch of salt to making something palatable, do it.. but remember less is more with these things. :)

*** I use the term "processed" to signify foods that have been made and prepared by companies or manufacturers. Things that come in a box, items that have more than 1 ingredient, 'foods' you probably wouldn't find at a farmer's market or in the produce section of the grocery store... Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils in any way that you like... cooked, raw, juiced, blended, straight-up... or (e.) all of the above!





We have a YARD!

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Advice

This weekend Scott and I moved into a new apartment. In the 6 years we've been together we've lived in 9 (9!) different apartments.... but #10 is the best yet because it has a huge yard and garden! 

Now, I know what you're thinking... "but don't you live in Manhattan?" Yes, I do. Manhattan is not quite as on top of itself as it appears. In between buildings you'll find lovely outdoor gardens. Of course, getting one of these apartments is all but impossible and you can read how we got one here. (Calling Elaine Benes!) 

Our new apartment is directly below our old apartment so it was an easy move. We didn't even pack. I dropped the pugs off at our neighbors and then Scott & I started loading our stuff up on a trolly and taking it down a floor. Several hours later we were moved in and I went to get the pugs. 

They were confused because the apartment looked the same, but smelled different. It took them a few minutes to find the door that led to the yard but when they did... wow. They started spinning in circles they were so happy. Here are some pictures of them discovering their new yard:

They are so happy! AND SO AM I! I spent all day in the yard yesterday trying to clean it up and plant my very first garden (you can read on and see more pictures on Hey Lindsay! HH's behind-the-scenes blog).

It's still very much a work-in-progress (but this is a big improvement from this, no??)



Easy Breakfast Cereal Bars

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Recipe

Scott's breakfast style comes and goes in waves. He'll get on a cereal + soy milk kick and then ditch it for whole wheat bagels with tofu cream cheese a few weeks later. The end result is that I always seem to have half-eaten boxes of cereal lying around just waiting to go stale. I'm not much of a cereal person (I used to be) but I was tired of throwing cereal away.

I figured cereal bars would be a great way to use up all the leftover cereal and this recipe couldn't be any easier. You just mix and go -- there is absolutely no baking involved! These bars are also portable, so they're a great on-the-go breakfast or snack. I also chopped a bunch of the bars into bite-sized pieces to make "energy bites" to fuel my workouts.

You can also mess around with this recipe by adding chocolate chips, flax seeds or dried fruit, just be sure to proportionately reduce the cereal in exchange. I used a combo of three different cereals, two by Nature's Path and then some plain brown rice crisps. Mmm mmm!

Recipe:Breakfast Cereal Bars


The perfect way to use up leftover cereal! Mix and match with different cereals to keep it fun! If you don't have access to brown rice syrup you can try substituting other syrups like agave, barley, maple or honey. 



Line a 9x9 baking pan with wax or parchment paper and set aside. Dump cereal into a very large mixing bowl, mixing it together if using different cereals, and set aside. Combine brown rice syrup with optional peanut butter in a medium saucepan and warm over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it becomes liquid-like and is no longer thick. Once it's liquid, dump HALF of it on the cereal and set the pot down in a safe place. Using a spatula stir the cereal gently, trying to coat all cereal with a little bit of the mixture. Add the remaining mixture as needed to make sure that all pieces are lightly coated but not well coated (or they will be mushy). Transfer cereal to the 9x9 pan and using a spatula, pack it down tightly and evenly. Let the mixture set out and dry for at least 4 hours before trying to cut blocks or bars.