Happy Herbivore Blog

A personal note

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Advice

I try to keep personal matters (aside from fun sight-seeing pictures & food!) off of Happy Herbivore because that's not what this site is about. Though now I feel it's time for this out-of-character post. 

A year ago my life changed. I was working as a lawyer in California when I was sexually harassed and fired for complaining about it. It also later came out that my boss had only hired me because he wanted to sleep with me. It was devestating as a young female lawyer. Here I thought that I'd earned this job because of my smarts and my talent, but as it turns out, Elle Woods was not so fictional.

The economy was circling the drain, too -- so finding another job was unlikely. Plus without my job, we could no-longer afford to live in our apartment or pay for the car that we'd just bought to get me to and from the job I'd just loss. Scott's employer was also facing financial problems and was planning to lay off some 60 employees. We didn't know on what side of the chopping block Scott would fall and I felt so... hopeless. 

Everything in my being told me to run -- to get out of there and in the blink of an eye, I was packing up all our worldly possessions and moving my family home - to New York City.

My somewhat blissful unemployment gave me the chance to focus time on Happy Herbivore -- and write another e-cookbook, Backyard Vegan. The more time I put into Happy Herbivore, the better I felt. In a lot of ways, Happy Herbivore saved me from myself - it was my therapy. 

In July I sat, took and passed the New York bar exam. I remember leaving the exam knowing that I passed and that without a shadow of doubt, I never wanted to practice law ever again. I didn't know what I was going to do, but I knew I wanted to help people. I had always wanted to help people. It's why I went to law school though I never seemed to help anyone as a lawyer. 

Not too long later my cookbook deal fell into my lap -- in the most unexpected of all circumstances (it is its own story, and a great one). I've since spent all my time funneling my creativity, beliefs and passion into Happy Herbivore -- and my upcoming cookbook

I don't tell you this story to glean sympathy -- but to tell you that yes, it's true: when one door closes, another one opens. 

In this last year I've been inspired in ways I never thought possible. I've made friends -- really great friends, through Happy Herbivore. I wake up every day thinking I'm the luckiest girl in the world -- and I have you to thank. In my darkest moments, when the pain of what happened was all-consuming it was the sweet emails, thoughtful comments and support you showed me -- the kindness you showed me --that brought me to where I am today. I am on a mission to prove that healthy food tastes just as delicious as it is nutritious. I am finally helping people -- through food, my passion.

In the past I've celebrated my veganniversary by posting a kick-ass recipe. In years past it was the famed carrot cake cupcakes and cheesecake. This year I missed my veganniversary and while that was disappointing, I've realized that really, I didn't miss it. It was just meant for another day. A day more reflective of how being a vegan has changed my life. Today is that day. and tomorrow, I'll post the recipe. 

Thank you. Thank all of you -- you inspire me to be.... me.

Fat-Free Vegan Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Recipe

Even though its unseasonably chilly here in NYC (44 in mid-May?) I'm still enjoying smoothies for breakfast. Not in the mood for my usual peanut butter cup smoothie or neapolitian smoothie I decided to shake things up a bit with pumpkin.... mmm... it's like pumpkin pie in a glass.

Have leftover pumpkin? Make these fat-free pumpkin-raisin oatmeal cookies

BTW, Happy Herbivore will be down for routine maintenance this evening starting around 8:00 p.m. EST. Sorry for the inconvenience. It'll be back up and running within a few hours. 

Recipe:Pumpkin Pie Smoothie


Rich and creamy, this smoothie tastes like pumpkin pie in a glass... and it much more slimming!



Combine all ingredients in a blender and whiz until smooth, adding more non-dairy milk as necessary to achieve proper consistency. Add more pumpkin or spice to taste. Garnish with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. (1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice = 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp cloves or allspice, 1/8 tsp nutmeg).

Week 1 of HH30

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

The first week of the 30 WHOLE Days Challenge (#HH30) is behind us and I think I can speak for everyone when I say it's been an educational and eye-opening experience full of surprises. For me, I've noticed that attitude is every thing. If I look at the challenge as this wonderful thing I'm doing for my body, I have a great time doing it. However, if I look at it like a diet or a test, I feel frustrated and it reflects in my day and attitude (see my daily log on Hey, Lindsay!). 

The first few days were bumpy for me, and for several other participants, as many of us learned that planning is crucial for success. Many of us also experienced headaches and other withdrawal-like symptoms mid-week from the absence of sugar. That was a real awakening -- and shocker. Even though I, and many other participants, do not normally use added sugars or eat sugary foods like candy, we apparently still get enough sugar through processed foods (like condiments or whole wheat breads) to trigger a withdrawal when we went without it. 

Collectively, it seems almost everyone is having smoothies for breakfast -- and really enjoying them. Lunches and dinners are are varied but tend to be a mix of vegetables, grains and legumes.

(photo by Lambzilla)

Several participants have lost weight (upwards of 8 pounds!) while others have not and are hoping to. I appear to be down 2 pounds, which could be part of my natural fluctuation or a result of decreased calorie consumption.

As the first week was wrapping up, I asked participants to share there experiences:

"The challenge has helped liven our tastebuds as we've been trying new veggies! My husband is also down 7 lbs!" - Manda 

"HH30 has made me realize my diet is relatively healthy and the change hasn't been too drastic. I think the best thing I've realized is that oil for frying is very overrated. Onions are SO much sweeter when cooked in a little water. I'll definitely be reducing my intake of cooking fats drastically in the future!" - Kelly Monster

"The first week has been easier, in that I'm satiated and feel fine, but also harder, in that I need to plan meals to avoid using non-HH30 foods on hand." - Danielle 

"I'm getting more veggies and fruits than ever before and I'm really enjoying whole grains as opposed to quick-fixes like processed veggie burgers. I'm also trying and experimenting with new foods. I cut my first avocado this week! I really thought I'd miss cooking with oil, but so far it's been okay. I'm also sleeping deeper and I've lost 2 lbs!" - Jess

"I've learned that I like some foods that I previously thought I did't and I'm eating less because of the foods I've been choosing; I certainly snack less. The hardest part has been telling others "no thanks" when they invite me to eat out. Though declining has taught me it's a reasonable thing to do, not rude. Everyone has been more respectful of my choices than I thought they'd be." - Lambzilla

"I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I don't miss processed foods." - Katie

"This week I've been working 60 hours and studying non-stop, but I didn't feel sluggish or tired. I've actually felt lighter and more energized. I also feel I lost a pound or two and I didn't exercise! That's a pretty big deal!" -Yoginidan

"I've learned about how my body interacts with food, some of which surprised me. I had always thought I had trouble digesting raw vegetables and it turns out I don't. What I really have a problem with is wheat. I have a sensitive digestive system so I was surprised when most of my digestive problems had disappeared by the third day." - Haley

"I'm just now having my first cup of coffee since the challenge began and I'm loving the fact that I no-longer have a cup just because it's the thing that I always do. That's true of everything in this challenge. I consume it because I need it or I want it, not out of routine." - Saydee (who is in Mexico City!)


By the way, Happy Herbivore was mentioned in the latest Vegan Mainstream newsletter!