Happy Herbivore Blog

Food Choice and Sustainability: An Excerpt From Dr. Richard Oppenlander's New Book + GIVEAWAY

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

**This giveaway is now closed. Thanks for entering! Winners will be contacted by email Tuesday, April 8.**

I met Dr. Oppenlander several years ago when we were both speaking at Summerfest.

I loved his lecture on sustainability so much that I immediately purchased a copy of Comfortably Unaware.

We've kept in touch since. Dr. O even had me on his podcast!

Anyway! He's just released a new book, Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won't Work, which I'm super excited about *and* Dr. O has graciously offered to give us a sample *and* 5 FREE autographed copies to some lucky herbies!

An excerpt from Food Choice and Sustainability:

"All protein is not created equal, and animal protein has a detrimental effect on our health in two ways: by association (what comes or doesn’t come along with it) and intrinsically (its chemical composition). We derive animal protein from meat or other animal products, of course, which brings a package of fat, cholesterol, hormones, endotoxins, and pathogens, as well as a lack of any fiber or disease-fighting substances, called phytonutrients. But animal protein, the protein structure itself, is also damaging to your health. Although inflammation is a natural healing body response, chronic inflammation of tissue, organs, and body systems is problematic and is a major contributing factor to nearly every degenerative disease, including heart disease, many cancers, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Animal protein causes inflammation. It is high in arachidonic acid and high fractions of the sulfur-containing amino acids, methionine and cysteine, all of which increase levels of inflammation. Protein from animal sources causes excessive loading of kidneys, liver, and pancreas as well as metabolic acidosis (imbalance and lowering of the body’s pH), which leads to additional inflammation. Filtration of increased urea (a waste product) because of animal protein creates imbalances in calcium and other minerals. If eaten raw, meat will transmit disease-causing organisms, yet when cooked, the protein type in meat has a high likelihood of producing cancer-causing agents (heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and transmitting endotoxins. Casein, one of the protein types in milk, is associated with increased risk of numerous diseases. In general, animal protein (the amino acid profile and general composition) is an upregulator of inflammation, which is a common component of many Western disease states...

...Of the four leading causes of death and disease in the U.S. today, animal products and animal protein are implicated in all four—coronary heart disease, cancer, cerebrovascular disease, and diabetes, as well as their precursors, hypertension and obesity. Eating only plant-based foods prevents and reverses these diseases, as well as lowering one’s risk of contracting numerous other conditions, such as kidney stones and gallstones, kidney disease, osteoporosis, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoarthritis, and many other degenerative diseases, gastrointestinal conditions, and asthma. Of the five most common cancers—lung, colon, breast, pancreatic, and prostate—consuming animal products has been linked as a significant risk factor in all five, as well as many more. I need to emphasize that this is about animal products and the type of protein, which does not change if the animal is grass fed."

For a chance to win:

Post a comment below about a way you make a positive impact on the earth!

**This giveaway is open to US residents only.**

Herbie of the Week: Rebecca A (She's Lost 150lbs!)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Herbies

Meet our Herbie of the Week: Rebecca A.!

After years of struggling with her weight and being unhappy with her overall health, Rebecca decided to make some changes to her diet by eliminating meat and dairy. Before she knew it she started to lose weight and was able to move around without being in pain.

As much as Rebecca liked the results, it wasn't until she went fully plant-based and focused on health rather than size that she saw the biggest change of all: a weight-loss of 150 lbs!!!

Read on for Rebecca's incredible story!

Ever since I can remember, I’d always wanted to be smaller. I wanted to be petite like all the other (popular) little girls. So much so, at the age of 10 I joined Weight Watchers. It didn’t work and it put the zap in my head (even more than I already had) about how different I really wanted to be. With two or three exceptions, I’d been overweight, and even then I was still bigger that I wanted to be. Losing weight had always been a struggle; my weight/size had always been a source of unhappiness.

Fast forward to after my son was born (almost 10 years ago), I was very overweight (275 lbs). Simply moving around hurt and was difficult. I just didn’t feel healthy and was so very unhappy with my health and my size. After years of yo-yo dieting I decided to make some positive eating changes. I started to exclude dairy and land animals. I kept on that path, lost some weight, and was feeling more positive about exercising. I began to take daily walks, and soon my body pains became less and less.

About 3 years ago, I was given Everyday Happy Herbivore as a present for Christmas from my (omnivore) step Mom. She said, "It seems like you're moving in that (plant-based) direction, so here you go!" I loved EHH and quickly purchased The Happy Herbivore Cookbook as well. I have been completely plant-based ever since.

My health has never been better! Tummy issues I had throughout my life became a thing of the past. I rarely get sick (and I work with young children!). Around the same time I became plant-based, I started exercising more. Exercising was no longer a chore, but a pleasure. In addition to my walks, I began to practice yoga and light weight training. I can now do headstands and hold plank pose for quite a while. I can see my muscles! I had never been able to that before. When I became plant-based, I stopped focusing on my "size" and started enjoying to road to better health. In so doing, I've lost a total of 150 pounds!

And, I love to cook. In the past, dieting was so restrictive. Now, I eat when I'm hungry, and eat what I want. And I eat a lot. I love the taste of good, simple food. I love all four of Lindsay's books and have found them an integral part of my overall health.

I have helped motivate friends, colleagues, and family members to make healthier food choices. And now they're encouraging their loved ones. I also have a health blog, where (I like to think) I motivate strangers as well to make positive plant-based changes.

As I mentioned before, I work with children. I'm the director of an Early Education School. I have a complete set of Lindsay's books at the school and I encourage the teachers to bake plant-based goodies with the children. I think the overall favorite are the chocolate zucchini muffins. I also like to regularly incorporate other recipes when we have Parent Events (plant-based nacho bar with tofu sour cream, beans, and quick queso). I am regularly referring friends, family, clients, and blog followers to the HH books, blog, and meal plans for healthy, quick, family (kid) friendly food.

What an inspiring story! Thank you so much Rebecca for sharing your plant-based journey with us!

Samosa Stuffed Peppers, Southwest Chop Salad, Layered Vegetable Enchiladas & More!

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: MealPlan

We're kicking off April in delicious style with this week's meal plan!

Prepare to be blown away with all new healthy recipes like Samosa Stuffed Peppers (NEW!), Southwest Chop Salad (NEW!), Yellow Split Pea & Sweet Potato Soup (NEW!), and Layered Vegetable Enchiladas (NEW!, fam.).

You'll also enjoy meal-plan user favorites like Cheater Pad Thai (indi), Hummus & Cheesy Tomato Sandwiches, Adobo Vegetarian Chili, and so much more!

Samosa Stuffed Peppers

Individual Highlights

  • Carrot Cake Breakfast Salad (NEW!)
  • Adobo Vegetarian Chili
  • Cheater Pad Thai
  • Samosa Stuffed Peppers (NEW!)
  • Green Bean Salad
  • Yellow Split Pea & Sweet Potato Soup (NEW!)
  • Hummus & Cheesy Tomato Sandwich
  • Southwest Chop Salad (NEW!)
  • Apple Pie Oatmeal
  • Veggie Club

Get this meal plan now.

Southwest Chop Salad

Family Highlights

  • Layered Vegetable Enchiladas (NEW!)
  • Adobo Vegetarian Chili
  • Creamy Tahini Chickpea Salad
  • Samosa Stuffed Peppers (NEW!)
  • Asian Bowl
  • Sweet Potato & Apple Home Fries
  • Southwest Chop Salad (NEW!)
  • Roasted Veg Mini Pizzas
  • Cherry Pie Pancakes
  • Yellow Split Pea & Sweet Potato Soup (NEW!)

Get this meal plan now.

Layered Vegetable Enchiladas


"I have lost 2lbs on the meal plans. My husband started last week and lost 8lbs right out of the gate. That was a huge motivator. Thank you and looking forward to new meal plan this week. - Kim

"Thank you so much for your wonderful meal plans. My husband and I are both teachers. We leave at 7:15 am and do not get home until 6 pm most days. Having meals made for the week is so much fun and such a stress reliever." - Heidi H

Get the current meal plan now.