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Lindsay Nixon (Happy Herbivore)'s interview

Interview by Lydia Interview by Lydia

We interviewed Lindsay Nixon (Happy Herbivore)!

Visit the blog: Happy Herbivore.

See profile page and recipes

Hello Lindsay Nixon (Happy Herbivore), so tell us...

When did you begin your blog, and what inspired you to start it?

I started blogging in October 2007. I had been plant-based (vegan) for a little less than a year and wanted to share what I was learning (and eating). I figured there were others like me who were new to eating a whole foods, plant-based diet and they had, or would have, the questions I did. Blogs were also still really new back then. I think there were only about a dozen other vegan blogs, and there were a few cookbooks, too, but none of them followed the lifestyle I was trying to follow -- whole, unprocessed foods, no oil, etc. I wanted to add to the conversation.

When did you become interested in switching over to a plant based diet? Was it a gradual process?

I was a vegetarian for most of my childhood but fell into a more (unhealthy) standard American diet in my late teens from family and peer pressure. My health took a nose dive with my dietary change and a serious health scare brought me back to the vegetarian diet of my childhood. I thought being a vegetarian would help me make better, healthier food choices (it did) and slowly, I started to get my health back. As I was getting healthier, I kept reading and learning as much as I could about health and nutrition. Once I understood the benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet, and then experienced them for myself, there was no looking back.

What is your earliest food memory?

My pediatrician asking me what my favorite food is, and me saying "mashed potatoes!" and him telling me to lay off the mashed potatoes because I was fat. Not a happy memory, but I recently did a bikini photo shoot and not only ate a lot of potatoes the week before, but had them as a snack on the shoot. I suppose that was a sort of personal gratification :)

Who are your culinary influences?

Hmm... I'm not sure I have any. I actually avoid watching food shows and reading cookbooks, etc because I don't want them to influence me. However, I would say I'm inspired by Rachel Ray and her "everyday" brand and Jamie Oliver who has a similar "use a few ingredients make it yourself easily" approach. I've tried to do that with my recipes and work.

What are some tips for some one who is interested in switching over to a plant based diet?

Just do it. Take it a meal at a time. The next thing you put in your mouth -- a snack, a meal. Make it a plant-based one. Don't think too much about it... just do.

Can you tell us a little about your most recent cookbook?

Last December I released my third cookbook, Happy Herbivore Abroad, which has recipes from around the world (but made healthy and plant-based) plus stories of my life as an ex-pat/traveler. My fourth book, Happy Herbivore Light & Lean will be here this December and I'm really excited. We just finished up the final edits and she's off to the races err--- printer. Light & Lean is all about eating healthy -- filling but low calories (and super healthy) recipes with workout plans, etc. I'm writing my 5th book now.

Do you have a secret ingredient, a product you use a lot that is unexpected?

I tend to fall in love with an ingredient and use it constantly in all sorts of bizarre places until I get bored and fall in love with something else. It pays off, because I find killer combinations I'd have never guessed like black beans and bananas or lime and bananas. (Bananas is my "it" ingredient right now). I was obsessed with hot sauce for a while, then it was Dijon mustard, then it was smoked paprika, and then it liquid smoke and then chipotle..... I could go on and on.

When you have a last minute get together, what are your go to dishes?

It would depend on whatever I have on hand :)

What are your goals for your blog? Where would you like to see it in the next year? Five years?

I've been surprised by the journey my blog has taken me on -- I don't really have "a blog" anymore. My "blog" has turned into 4 cookbooks (soon to be 5) and last year we became a bona fide business -- Happy Herbivre Inc. with employees and all! My vision and goal has always been to help people live better, eat healthier. To show how easy, affordable, realistic and delicious eating a low fat, no oil, whole foods, plant-based diet can be. Every day I get to do that, every time we help someone, it's a win.

Anything else you would like to share?

Eat kale :)

Thank you Lindsay Nixon (Happy Herbivore) for answering our questions and see you soon!
Published by Lydia - 08/27/2013

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