Happy Herbivore Blog

I'm Moving to France (and Other Changes)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: News

As you know, I've been on a bit of a soul safari these last few months and it's been sooo fun to choose my own adventure again.

Part of that adventure has been working on and writing a new book about my depression (and overcoming it) plus how YOU can live better.

Although I was never a cheerleader in High School, I find I flock to that cheerleader role now. I have that deep desire to help others succeed... which why I started Happy Herbivore, the meal plans... and now this new chapter :)

I'm almost finished with my upcoming book... you can pre-order and read some details here.

One of the lessons in my new book is about saying no and eliminating... It's about recognizing that sometimes you have to say no to make room for future yeses.

It's not a matter of finding more time, or even delegating, but eliminating.

As I was writing that chapter, and looking at my absurdly long to do list, I faced my own truth. I said to myself, "Lindsay you can't do it all" but more importantly, "You don't want to."

I thought about what mattered to me the most. What it was that I enjoyed the most... I thought about my ideal day (another chapter in the book) and it became so clear to me what had to be my "give" in "something's gotta give."

Otherwise, if I continued trying to do it all, the wrong thing would be my give. Something else would suffer... be it my health, my happiness, my relationships with others... or my work. (s a perfectionist I'd rather do one thing really well, than do five crappy jobs.)

It was so hard to make this decision but, after 7+ years of blogging, I'm going to retire. Well, not completely. I just won't be blogging every day.

I'll still blog, but less frequently.

The last few months it's been a struggle to find things to write about... and I think that's part of why this decision, while difficult, feels so right. Maybe I HAVE covered it all...

I don't want to turn out crappy content (I'm always preaching to my business students... quality trumps quantity!) and I don't want to recycle things over and over, either.

If you're looking for more minimalist ideas and projects, check out my minimalist books.

If you have a question about cooking or the plant-based lifestyle, I guarantee it's covered in my new Guide.

The search bar is also probably the most underutilized feature on this blog, too -- enjoy seven years of archives :)

OH! and I am completely redesigning this website and the meal plans website -- and those radically awesome changes will be here soon. (P.S. we also just upgraded and changed the meal plans!)

SO. MUCH. CHANGE.

So what will the new blog look like? We'll still have a Herbie of the Week story each week, but they will appear on Monday, instead of Thursday.

The meal plans will still debut here on Wednesday, and we'll also have posts scattered throughout the week as the spirit moves me or guest posts come in from the community. I want solid, useful, helpful posts like the post about #MakingItWork.

As for France (!)

Most of you know that Scott and I live pretty nomadically. A few years ago we had a moment of honesty and realized that we would never be happy in one place long-term and made the world our home. We've lived in many wonderful places, met many wonderful people, and have had many wonderful experiences.

Our lifestyle isn't for everyone, but it's absolutely for us. A reminder that you can't shove a square peg in a round hole, and that no matter how bad you or someone else wants you to be round when you're square, you're still square... fly that freak flag! (Otherwise you'll just be miserable). You can never be happy when you're living your life for someone else.

Overall, I find the European lifestyle is very healthy for me. I slow the heck down when I'm there, which is helpful in my constant battle against OCD and depression.

But while I fancy the ex-pat lifestyle, my very American husband tires of it after a few weeks. He starts missing baseball, air conditioning, and speaking in English, so our middle ground involves living part of the year in America and part of the year in Europe. (You might recall we spent a good portion of our winter in Switzerland and Belgium).

So with a little luck that my husband's family is stationed in Germany, and two couples we are friends with are getting married *in* France, AND one of my cookbooks is also being translated into French, it was all too easy for me to convince my family to move to Europe for the summer.

While I'll be primarily living in France, I'm sure I'll hop on the train to visit some of my other favorite places, too... and I'll share my pictures and updates with all of my Herbies <3

AND to sort of come back from all my rambling... if I'm running off to go live the sweet life... no time like the present to E. eliminate.

Au revoir!

The China Study All-Star Collection Giveaway + 3 Free Recipes!

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

It's a cookbook palooooza!

As you may have heard, my good friends, Jane and Ann Esselstyn, are releasing their first cookbook, The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook. (Yep! That'd be Dr. Essy's lovely wife and daughter!).

Dr. T. Colin Campbell's daughter, LeAnne, also released her first cookbook last year, The China Study Cookbook and now she's debuting her second cookbook which includes recipes by yours truly and a number of other great plant-based chefs like Mary McDougall (Dr. McDougall's sweet wife), Chef AJ, Del Sroufe (he wrote the FOK cookbook) and others.

aaaand I'm giving away THREE (3!) Copies of this new cookbook today (plus three recipes FROM the book!)

Scroll down for the Creamy Breakfast Rice Pudding recipe :)

To get the recipes for Lentil, Kale & Quinoa Tacos and the Blueberry Dreamsicles, signup for the free Happy Herbivore insiders newsletter! **Must confirm email subscription by Saturday, June 14th (that's tomorrow!) by 12pm EST. Recipes will be sent Sunday morning.**

Creamy Breakfast Rice Pudding

MAKES 2 1/2 - 3 CUPS RECIPE BY DREENA BURTON

2 cups cooked brown rice, loosely packed, divided

3/4–1 cup nondairy milk, divided (see Tips)

1 ripe banana, sliced (about 1/2–3/4 cup) or

1–2 tablespoons maple syrup, coconut sugar, or chopped dried fruits (see Tips)

1/4–1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Few pinches of ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Grated orange or lemon zest (optional)

1. In a small saucepan, add 11/2 cups cooked rice and the remaining ingredients starting with 3/4 cup milk (omit banana if you prefer; see Tips), except for the optional zest.

2. Puree the mixture using a hand blender. Alternatively, you can puree in a blender before adding to the saucepan, but I find the hand blender is quicker and easier for cleanup!

3. Add the remaining 1/2 cup rice and turn heat to medium-low. Let the mixture thicken and warm for several minutes.

4. Add the remaining milk, if desired, to thin. Taste and adjust with sweetener and orange or lemon zest, if desired, and stir through add-ins if you like!

Chef's Note: Make this pudding chocolatey with the addition of 1–2 tablespoons cocoa powder. You will need extra sweetener to balance the bitterness of the cocoa, so adjust to taste.


Giveaway

For a chance to win a copy of The China Study All-Star Collection leave a comment below saying which of these three recipes you're most excited to try!

Note: For peeps who get these blog posts via email, you have to leave a comment on the blog on happyherbivore.com. I cannot accept entries via email, so hop on over to the blog.

Thanks + good luck!

**This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only.**

Herbie of the Week: Jim G (He's Lowered His Cholesterol, Blood Pressure & Lost 40lbs!)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Herbies

Meet our Herbie of the Week: Jim G!

For more than 20 years, Jim struggled with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and migraines -- which resulted in him taking 6 pills A DAY.

Finally, in 2013, his migraines became so unbearable, that his wife suggested he try a vegan diet. At first the firefighter didn't like the idea, but ultimately decided to give it a try.

Within 5 weeks his cholesterol dropped more than 50 points, was taken off one of his medications, AND lowered his blood pressure!

But that's not all! Read Jim's entire story to see what else happened!

I have always been what most people would look at and consider healthy. I am 6 feet tall and generally right around 200 pounds. Being a firefighter and paramedic, I have always tried to stay in shape by doing some cardio and lifting weights off and on. I have also always tried to eat “healthy.” Although my outward appearance was generally showing one thing, my health has always been an issue.

At the age of 18, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. There is extensive family history, and so I was just next in line to get this diagnosis. I was in good shape back then as I was just getting out of high school playing sports and working out all the time. In fact, the reason I went to the doctor in the first place was to get a sports physical so I could play football in college. My diet was never even thought of as a reason for the high blood pressure. I started taking medications for the high blood pressure and after trial and error of several different meds, we found one that somewhat controlled my pressure, keeping it around 140/90. That is not even a good pressure, but it is what we could get.

Over the next 21 years I would go through several tests trying to figure out a cause of my high blood pressure. All tests have been negative for any problems. It was just assumed that I have high blood pressure because of family history. Over this same amount of time, more medications were added and I was up to taking 3 medications for my blood pressure every day. One of those meds I had to take twice a day. Even taking 4 pills a day for the blood pressure, 140/90 was about as good as it got.

Another medical condition I developed over the years was high cholesterol. Now, as I said before, I have always tried to eat what I thought was healthy. I ate lean meats, chicken, or fish along with a serving of vegetables and rice or something similar. Of course much of the food I was eating was processed or had added fats that I didn’t really pay attention to. Also, as I have now learned, even though I thought the lean meats and chicken were healthy, they truly are not. My cholesterol hovered near 200 and I was put on a medicine to control it. So now I was up to 4 different medications every day and 5 pills total.

As if those two things were not bad enough, the thing that bothered me the most were the migraine headaches I would get. The headaches started out very infrequently. I would get one every few months and it would last a couple days. I could take an over the counter medicine and it would be controlled for those couple of days. They were bad, but nothing I couldn’t deal with. These headaches, like everything else, progressed into something worse. I began getting them more and more frequently to the point that I would get them at least once a month. The headaches would last for 3 days every time, and no pain medicine would make them go away. I tried several different very strong prescription pain meds and I would get no relief from any of them. I went to a neurosurgeon who put me on an anti seizure medicine that has been shown to stop migraines. Now I was up to 5 different meds every day and 6 pills total.

In order to control the migraines I knew it was time to change my diet along with the new medicine I was taking. It was September of 2013 and my weight had also climbed to 220 pounds. This was the heaviest I have ever been. I know for some people that weight may not seem like a lot, but for me it was and I could feel it. I researched several different migraine diets and started eliminating things like MSG and more processed foods. I was still eating meat, dairy and cheese because I thought it was OK. I never even considered eating vegan at this point. I did start losing weight which was good, but my blood pressure and even worse the migraines were still there. I was at a point where I could not tolerate the migraines any more. They were that bad!!

In January my wife brought up the idea of eating vegan. My immediate reaction, like everybody else’s that I talk to was: "I can’t do that." I work in a firehouse where we all eat together and meat is always on the menu. Where would I get my protein??? All the things I get asked all the time by my meat eating friends ran through my mind as well, but I was willing to try anything to get rid of the migraines!

We sat down together and watched “Forks over Knives”, “Food Inc.” and a couple other documentaries and we were sold. We also bought the “Engine 2 Diet” book and read that. It suited us well because we're both firefighters. It also gave us something to follow. We started out by trying to do a 28 day challenge and just see how we felt. After a week of eating a whole-food, plant-based diet we knew this was not going to be the challenge we thought it would be. By looking at websites such as happyherbivore.com, we have found many delicious recipes that we can use. Our plates were colorful and very tasty!! We ate more vegetables in the first week than we did over the last year. We also started bringing our own food to the firehouse and eating on our own. Of course we got lots of ribbing from the guys, but it was a decision we made to get healthy.

After 5 weeks of eating vegan with no added oils (plant based, whole-foods) we decided to go get our blood work done. My cholesterol dropped to 146 in 5 weeks!!! With that number I was taken off my cholesterol medicine. One pill off the list! My blood pressure, which has never really been controlled, was 90/60 while in the doctor’s office. That was just unbelievable to me. I have struggled with high blood pressure for 21 years and diet was never really even mentioned to me as a possible cause because I was “healthy.” After only 5 weeks on a whole foods, plant-based diet my pressure was too low! Immediately I was taken off one med and one of the others was knocked down to once a day. One and a half more pills off the list! And 3 weeks after that initial doctors visit my pressure was still remaining low so my doctor stopped one more of the blood pressure meds so now I am at one a day for that.

Now if all that isn’t enough good news, I have not had a migraine headache since I began eating vegan. When I started eating vegan I stopped the migraine/seizure medicine to see if diet alone could stop me from getting them, and it has. Thirteen weeks without a migraine for me is beyond amazing and has made me a believer in food as a medicine.

If you are keeping count, before I went vegan I was taking a total of 6 pills a day for various problems. Today I am only taking 1 very low dose water pill for my blood pressure. It is only a matter of time before that one goes away too. My weight today is also down to 178 pounds from the high of 220. My wife has also lost 14 pounds since we started and is lighter and healthier now than she has been since we have been together.

This year we will have been together for 21 years, and no, she is not the reason for my high blood pressure. Our energy levels are much better and working out has been much easier as well. In fact I just ran 10 miles a couple days ago. It is the farthest I have ever run and it felt great!

Our kids (ages 12 and 13) are eating more of a vegetarian diet, but they are slowly coming on board with us. Guys in the firehouse are amazed at our results, and some have thought about trying to eat vegan as well. My sister in law and her husband have started eating vegan and have both lost some weight in their 2 weeks and are motivated to continue and get healthy. Every time you eat food you are either feeding disease or fighting it. With a plant-based whole foods diet we have chosen to fight it, and we are most definitely winning!

Thank you so much Jim for sharing your amazing story with us!