Happy Herbivore Blog

HH30, in review

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

The 30 WHOLE Days Challenge came to an end on Monday with mixed emotions for most participants. As I suspected, it was an enlightening and educational experience and here are some of my thoughts.


I never thought I would be a salad-a-day girl but thanks to HH30 I have at least one really big salad every day. I've also come to really enjoy smoothies (I even developed some killer recipes during HH30). On the days I kept with the challenge, my body felt great and my digestive system hummed along smoothly. However any time I "cheated" I paid for it handsomely -- my digestive system freaked and I felt sluggish and moody.

HH30 also changed my taste sensitivity. I "cheated" and bought twizzlers at SATC2 last week but could barely eat more than a few because they were now sickly sweet to me. I find I also taste salt much more predominately, especially in processed foods -- many taste so salty now that I can't eat them.


The challenge didn't mesh well with my social life. Going out to dinner at a restaurant wasn't too challenging but dinner parties and last minute social gatherings proved to be. For example, at one dinner party, the omni host had gone out of her way to prepare something for Scott & I, her lone vegan guests. It was too hard to say "no thanks" or "I can't eat that, either." Then another time, a friend called right after work saying she'd scored tickets to a concert that night. I hadn't packed a dinner and the only vegan option at the concert was a veggie & bean burrito from chipotle...

We also had friends visiting this month, the Veggie Pride Parade in NYC and some joyful news worthy of a celebration... and celebrating with a smoothie is just not the same as celebrating with a HH cookie or cupcake! I was also finishing the last of the cookbook pictures this month and while I was pretty good about avoiding temptation, it often made me feel resentful.

As for the other participants, after the first week many "took the weekend off" while others dropped out completely. From those who stuck through it, many of them lost weight -- upwards of 15lbs each! Others just generally felt better, had more energy and adopted new, healthy habits for the long-term.

Others' thoughts:

"I loved the smoothies!! I've had so many this month." - Ashley 

"It was great, totally revitalizing. I lost four pounds and have made my diet a priority again. HH30 reminded me to cook instead of being too caught up in work/life." - Rachel

"When I had slipups, it made me acutely aware of the effects that certain processed foods, like white bread, had on me and now I'm "done" with those 'foods.' I've also taken away that I function at my peak when I eliminate all processed foods, but doing that every day is not sustainable. My goal now is to stick to HH30 during the week, with flexibility on the weekends." - Danielle

"Smoothies for breakfast are the best and giving up cheese was not as hard as I thought it would be. I also learned that cooking can be fun, but it's also exhausting when you have to do it every meal, every day. I didn't like how the challenge made me obsess about food, but it's helped me make realistic goals for the future and I'm now more aware of processed foods." - Winnie

"Right before HH30 I found out I was sensitive to gluten, then on the challenge I realized I was also sensitive to nuts, corn and soy. I've also had some other struggles with food and diet this month, but the good thing is I now care for my body more than I did; I'm eating better and doing better thanks to HH30. I love the smoothies!!" - Rox

I think the take-away for everyone -- whether you participated or not, is that we should incorporate more wholesome foods into our diet and opt for fresh over processed as much as possible. Eating totally whole is not sustainable, but making good choices when you eat processed foods -- and making them the side dish and not the main meal, is key.

What are some of your healthy habits?

Healthy Options - Butter Bean Cookies

Posted by: Scott Nixon |

Category: Video

In episode 2 of "Healthy Options with the Happy Herbivore" Lindsay shares her secret for making delicious -- but healthy! chocolate chip cookies.

(If you can, please watch the episode directly on our blip.tv channel. The short advertisement at the beginning helps pay for the support and maintenance of happyherbivore.com). Thxx!


Recipe:Butter Bean Cookies


The best low fat and protein packed chocolate chip cookie you'll ever eat! Any white beans (butter beans, navy, cannellini, etc) can be used in this recipe.



Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a large cookie sheet or line with parchment paper and set aside. Transfer 3/4 cup of the oats to a food processor and pulse, about 15x, until crumbly but not powder. Transfer to a mixing bowl and combine with flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cardamon. Whisk to incorporate and set aside. Transfer beans to processor then add applesauce, sugar, vanilla extract and 1 tbsp of the bean liquid. Whiz until smooth. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir about 10 times. Add chips, remaining 1/4 cup oats and the rest of the bean liquid, stirring until combined. If the mixture is too wet, add more oats. If it's too dry, add a little water. Drop tablespoons of batter onto the cookie sheet, leaving an inch of room between each. Bake 15 minutes, until edges are just turning light brown and middles are firm. They will firm a bit more as they cool. Check the bottoms to make sure they are golden brown.

Fiesta Mac n' Cheese

Posted by: Scott Nixon |

Category: Recipe

Have you ever had an idea rattling around in your head that's a lil' strange and if executed could either be weird and gross or innovative and totally awesome?! 

Well that's the deal with this recipe. For a while now I've wanted to dump chunky salsa over my mac n' cheese. Color me crazy, but it just seemed like a great idea. Of course getting up the nerve to actually do it (AND feed it to Scott) was a whole other story.

Maybe it was the mojitos, or the spirit of Memorial Day weekend... I don't know, but I tried it and hot damn! What a pay off.

The nice thing about this new take on an old favorite is the possibilities. I'm not just adding salsa to my pasta -- but a host of nutricious options. You can dump in vegetables like zuccihini, tomatoes and corn, stir in black beans for added protein or heat it up with a spicy salsa, hot sauce or chiles. Hell, even sliced black olives over top with some soyrizo (I have a fat-free recipe in my cookbook) or spicy seitan sausage could be KILLER.

To make Fiesta Mac n' Cheese add 1 to 1 1/2 cups chunky mild salsa to the cheese sauce after it's done cooking. (Note: although fruit salsas like peach and pineapple are damn tasty, I think they'd pretty gross here. Stick with traditional tomato-based salsas and keep the fruit salsas reserved for salsa chickpea wraps). NOM NOMINO!

Recipe:Easy Macaroni and Cheese


A quick and easy vegan mac n' cheese that doesn't use tofu -- or fat! Miso can have soy in it, so be careful when selecting your miso if you have an allergy or dietary need (chickpea miso is soy-free!). You can also make this dish gluten-free by using brown rice macaroni.



Cook pasta according to directions, immediately drain, rinse with cold water and set aside. Whisk all remaining ingredients (plus salt and pepper to taste) together in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a near boil and turn heat down to low. Stirring occassionally, allow the sauce to thicken up. Combine with macaroni, stirring to coat. Garnish with smoked paprika if desired.