Wednesday, December 14, 2011

An Interview with Happy Herbivore, Lindsay Nixon

We are honored to have Lindsay Nixon, author of the Happy Herbivore Cookbook, stop at Kitchen of Health on her blog tour. As a bonus below, you can sample one of the recipes from her newly-released cookbook Everyday Happy Herbivore.

Lindsay has been praised for her ability to use everyday ingredients to create healthy, low fat recipes that taste just as delicious as they are nutritious.Her recipes have been featured in Vegetarian Times, Women's Health Magazine and on The Huffington Post. Lindsay is also a consulting chef at La Samanna, a luxury resort and four-star restaurant in the French West Indies. You can learn more about her and sample more of her recipes at

Here's the interview between Kitchen of Health and Happy Herbivore: 

KOH: For someone just starting on a plant-strong path, what would be the most important foods to
stock up on?
HH: I actually have a great shopping list at the front of both books (and I think it's on my website too)! If you have those items, you can make any of my recipes without a special trip to the grocery store.

KOH:  How would you recommend that a person go about getting off the Standard American Diet?
HH: Just do it. Take it one meal at a time. Eating one healthy meal will get the ball rolling. It'll encourage you to make more good choices. Make the next meal a healthy choice. 

KOH Is it ever tempting to return to your old lifestyle?
HH: Never. My stomach clenches when I see people eating food I used to eat. I feel bad for them, and their colons! I can't believe I ever ate any other way. I'm thankful I made the switch every day.

KOH: Has eating plant-strong improved your health and vitality?
HH: Absolutely. Within months of adopting a plant-based diet I went on to run a marathon when I'd never so much as ran a 5k before. I rock climb, snowboard and mountain bike -- activities that seemed impossible and out to sight before. I lost 30 lbs -- going from a 12 to a 4. My stomach issued cleared, my acne went away. I pretty much eradicated my migraines. My skin and hair is healthy. My teeth are healthier. I have so much energy. I sleep better, I recover faster. I never get sick and I'm just generally a happier person. Less stress, anger and anxiety.
KOH What do you eat in place of fast food?
HH: A PB&J, bean burrito, hummus and pita, pasta, frozen veggie stir-fry, canned soups, all those foods take less time than going through the drive thru and are so much better for you. I wrote a post about healthy meals that are faster than fast food:

KOH: How do you handle eating out?
HH: When possible, I try to support vegan and vegetarian restaurants... though all of last year I lived on a small island in the Caribbean so there weren't any... and now I'm in a tiny ski town and none are here. I tend to go to restaurants that I know will have veg options -- such as Thai restaurants, Italian restaurants, Indian, Ethiopian, American Grills, that sort of thing... but I have yet to go anywhere in the WORLD where I couldn't find something on the menu to eat. Sure it takes a little patience and creativity sometimes, but I always find something -- even in Africa :) I also wrote a post about eating plant0based while traveling, etc -- this helps:

KOH: Is it difficult to eat at group functions that are not plant-strong? How do you handle these kinds of social settings?
HH: I'm very open about my diet, and always make sure to tell the host well in advance of my dietary restrictions, and offer to bring something. When I go to conferences where I know there probably won't be anything for me, I pack food and snacks in my purse.

KOH: How can a plant-strong individual be sure he is getting enough vitamin B-12?
HH: I'm not a doctor or dietician, so this isn't medical advice. If you're concerned with B-12, take a supplement or buy ingredients that are fortified with B-12 like nutritional yeast, soy milk, almond milk, cereals, etc. Everyone, plant-strong or not, should get their B-12 checked annually. While I don't know anyone that is plant-based and B-12 deficient, two of my rather carnivorous friends had B-12 deficiencies.
KOH: Should individuals eating plant-strong be concerned about calories?
HH: Again, I'm not a doctor or dietician, but I was a personal trainer so I'll answer with that experience and training in mind. If you need or want to lose weight, then yes. I find a lot of people operate on the notion that plant-based calories are magic calories -- that they don't count or something. Excess is still excess. Sure a bag of carrots is better than a bag of potato chips, but at the end of the day, even if you're eating carrots, an extra 1000 calories will cause you to gain if you don't need all those calories. I was lucky that once I switched to a whole foods, plant-based diet, I lost weight even without counting calories... and that is true for a lot of people, but not for everyone so you may or may not need to be concerned. As a trainer, my number one concern was that my clients ate real food. The numbers were secondary but I found once my clients started eating right, they generally stuck within their calorie range. It just worked out.

KOH: Would you share a recipe with us that might make eating vegetables at little more appealing?
HH: Here's one from my newest cookbook:
Spicy Orange Greens | serves 2

The slightly spicy orange sauce in this dish is one of my favorites. You can serve it with any greens you like or have on hand, but collard greens are my favorite to use. For a complete meal, serve over or tossed with noodles.

1/3 cup water
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp orange marmalade or jam
4 cups greens (any)

Pour water, soy sauce, ginger and red pepper flakes into a skillet. Turn heat to high and saute until the ginger is fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in marmalade and then add chopped greens. Reduce heat to medium and using tongs, turn greens into the sauce. This will help cook the greens down; stop when your greens are bright green and have softened. Serve.

Chef's Note: Cooked broccoli florets may be substituted for the greens. Toss cooked broccoli with the sauce once it's been warmed and serve.

Per Serving: 156 Calories, 1.5g Fat, 32g Carbohydrates, 8.8g Fiber, 11.6g Sugars, 10.1g Protein 

Thank you, Lindsay Nixon, for visiting Kitchen of Health. Readers, you can now order your own copy of Everyday Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Quick-and-Easy Low Fat and Fat-Free Vegan Recipes. Buy on Amazon.

In this much-anticipated follow-up cookbook readers will see, once again, that just because plant-based eating is optimal for health, it doesn't have to also be expensive or time-consuming.

Everyday Happy Herbivore includes more than 175 do-able recipes--recipes that are so quick and easy, you could cook three healthy meals from scratch every day like Lindsay does.

Each of the recipes are made with wholesome, easy-to-find, fresh ingredients and include no added fats. With additional notes indicating recipes that are ideal for preparing ahead of time and those you can whip up with just a few dollars.

To your healthy and happiness,

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ladies! Well, you now know one person who is on a plant-based diet who is Vitamin B12 deficient. Me! I'm no doctor, but I do want to tell everyone that it is very important to have your bloodwork done once a year to check all of your levels. I went through a series of B12 injections to fix the problem. It's extremely important that we take our health into our own hands. And it's not a problem particular to vegans. All people, no matter what they eat, suffer deficiencies. Us vegans just know which ones they are likely to be! But you know what I really don't get? Sick! I'll take low B12 over colds and the flu anyday!!!!