Tag Archives: getting back on track with your diet

Happy Herbivore Abroad Cookbook Giveaway

As we finish up 2012, are there healthy eating resolutions & goals on your 2013 list?  If yes, today’s giveaway may just be for you! We are so excited to be included on the Happy Herbivore Abroad Blog Tour and you should be too because we’re giving away a copy for one of our lucky readers! I’ve been on a happy plant-based cooking frenzy since I received my copy of this great cookbook, Happy Herbivore Abroad.

What I like about Lindsay S. Nixon’s Happy Herbivore cookbooks is that the recipes are relatively straightforward and use easy to find ingredients.  The cookbook includes over 135 fat-free & low fat vegan recipes from around the world.  Having enjoyed several of the cities that Lindsay highlights in the book, it was fun to reminisce about my own travels and recreate some favorite international dishes.

Whether you’ve been on a plant-based diet for awhile or are just contemplating one, the Happy Herbivore cookbooks are a great resource and I believe Happy Herbivore Abroad has become my new favorite.  Over the Christmas holiday, I served German Lentil Soup and received rave reviews.  We also loved the Taco Soup (added some gluten-free pasta for more of a taco chili feel) and Swedish Split Pea Soup.  I think the Decadent Brownies are a huge improvement from the Black Bean Brownies (which are good – but these Decadent ones are wonderful!)  The Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe has a nice mild curry flavor and was a nice change of pace from my usual quinoa, cranberry, walnut concoction.  What’s so fun is that there are so many more recipes I can’t wait to try.

I found myself reading off these recipes to my mom over the phone so she could try as well.  After several times of this, I just ordered an additional copy for her.   It’s that good.

I’ve included more on our transition to a plant-based diet here.

This giveaway is now closed. The winner will be notified via email. Thanks!

We are giving away one copy of Lindsay S. Nixon’s Happy Herbivore Abroad, her latest cookbook.  We will pick our winner on January 1, 2013 and notify them via email.  Only U.S. and Canada folks are eligible to enter. 

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this blog post sharing your favorite plant-based dish OR one of your 2013 resolutions.

As part of the blog tour,  I was able to interview the author of Happy Herbivore Abroad, Lindsay S. Nixon:

1.  Congratulations on your new book, Happy Herbivore Abroad.  Do you have a favorite travel experience or funny story from your preparations and research for the book?  

Lindsay: Those stories are in the book :)

From WellnessJunkie: After reading through my copy, my favorite would be Lindsay’s story about getting lost in Granada…mostly because I have my own “getting lost in Rome/relying on kindness of strangers” story…

2.  I’m so thrilled for your growing success with working with Engine 2 and Forks Over Knives, your cookbooks and continued media opportunities. As you are enjoying more and more success and your schedule gets busy, how do you stay grounded and in balance?

Lindsay: I try to take in and enjoy every opportunity, but sometimes it gets shuffled into my day-to-day. My primary concern is my fans — the Herbies — I wouldn’t be where I am today without them and they’ll be there long after the Dr. Oz episode ends. Everything I do, I do for them. They keep me grounded.


3. One of the things I love about your first two books is that most of the ingredients are readily available and not too hard to find.  Was this an easy thing to maintain for Happy Herbivore Abroad or did the international aspect make this more challenging?

Lindsay: I’m very passionate about using everyday ingredients and didn’t want to change that with this book – so I didn’t. You get all the international flavor but without the fuss.


4.  What advice do you give “pseudo” herbivores that are eating about a 90% plant-based diet, but haven’t gone all in? Are there strategies that you’ve learned to help folks get to 100%?

Lindsay: Just do it. Take it a meal at a time. Don’t get caught up with over thinking. Worry about this meal, right now — not what you’re doing tomorrow, or next week or next Christmas. Never think in “Can’t haves” — it’s not that you can’t have it, it’s that you’re choosing not to. Also, focus on all the food you can have, not what you’re choosing to give up. I eat a wider variety of food now on a plant-based diet than I ever did on an omnivorous one!

This giveaway is now closed.

To enter our Happy Herbivore Abroad cookbook giveaway, please leave a comment sharing your favorite plant-based dish or one of your 2013 resolutions.  We’ll pick our winner on January 1, 2013 and notify them via email.  U.S. and Canada folks only, please.

6 Baby Steps to Wellness

Baby steps to healthy living are more sustainable.

I have a friend back home that I was able to spend some great quality time with when I was back for a visit.  She mentioned that she wasn’t feeling great and had given in to convenience over healthy eating with the busy season.  We talked about baby steps to eating more healthy and I thought I’d share a few here.

The busy holiday season can send many of us off our healthy course.  Just yesterday, I was roasting nuts for holiday gifts and I didn’t feel like making a healthy lunch and opted for a frozen pizza.  Yes, it happens.   Now I’m not going to say never eat frozen pizza again, but I will say that my days of eating “beige subfood” are fewer and farther apart than they used to be.  In the afternoon, I had to pull out the Vitamix for a green smoothie to just perk up and finish my nut roasting project.  The more healthy I eat, the less I crave the bad stuff…but I am human.  It takes a little time but your tastes change.

  • Think about what you can/should eat MORE OF first and then begin to EAT LESS of the bad stuff.So I like to tell folks to focus on eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day (making sure that 3 of the 5 are veggies and at least of those three veggies are green).  We’ll want to up that number in the future, but for now, 5 is great place to start. People notice that they’re feeling more full, more satisfied with more complex carbs and fiber, that they’ll eat fewer empty nutrient foods.
  • Get enough protein.  Everybody is different and has different protein needs.  Yes, you can get enough protein on a plant-based diet…but if you’re a meat eater, try to stick with lean proteins like fish or chicken.   Rice and beans or quinoa and greens salad are great healthy ways to get a complete protein. Also, always put a scoop of non-GMO protein powder in EVERY smoothie.  This is an easy way to sneak in some protein, especially in the morning.   I love PLANT FUSION and Tera’s Whey Proteins.
  • Move more.  Whatever you’re doing today for exercise, try to add 2 to it.  Maybe it’s walking 2 more days during the week for 30 minutes.  Maybe it’s 2 more trips to the gym.  Or 2 more fitness DVDs that you pull out and actually do. The key is to start somewhere and inch a bit in the right direction.  If you overdo and injure yourself, you’ll be back to 0 days.  Baby steps, people.
  • Try at least 2 meatless meals.  It’s easy to do and it’s kind to your budget.  Try to eat two meatless meals a week.  I will warn you that my husband and I started with 2 meals a week and soon we’re 90% plant-based…BUT we feel great.  We’ve lost weight, have more energy and sleep better.
  • Be mindful of what you eat. After a few weeks of getting 5 fruits or veggies a day, start to really notice what you eat and how you feel after.  If it’s easier, keep a food journal.  Once you’re paying attention, the areas for improvement will jump out at you:  less sugar, less alcohol, less fat.  For the not-so healthy items, choose one category to focus on at a time.  For example, if you’re a daily soda drinker, focus on decreasing, eliminating and/or replacing your soda with water with cucumber or lemon or green tea.  Don’t try to eliminate soda, chocolate, cheese and coffee in the same week.  One at a time will help you build sustainable change.
  • Grace.  Remember to give yourself a break on the frozen pizza days.  Over time, you’ll see the progress if you make small, achievable changes…Slow and steady wins the race.

What is your best piece of advice for friends wanting to eat healthier?  Leave your comments here…


Getting back on track: Recovering from Thanksgiving

Yes, it happens.  You were doing great with the green smoothies and 3 trips to the gym, no sugar and then…Thanksgiving.  Leftovers and pie and too much football watching and you’re out of your zone.  Don’t be discouraged!  You can get right back on track in no time and you might just surprise yourself that you didn’t lose too much momentum from the turkey day festivities.

You might be tempted to believe that lie in your head that says: Why even try with Christmas right around the corner? My friend, this is exactly why the next 25 days can be healthy ones so that you can indulge in some of your favorite holiday treats without the internal guilt trip. Do the work now, and enjoy the yummy later.

Here are a few tips to getting back in the saddle:

  • Freeze the extra pie — I HAD to do this… hopefully it will taste just as good in a few weeks… but I needed to limit my access to all of the PIE.  If that’s your weakness, freeze it.
  • Make something new with the extra turkey…if you’re still eating turkey, maybe make it into a hearty stew with veggies and low-sodium broth.
  • For the next 2 weeks, buy your usual healthy fare at the store. Resist the peppermint bark and gingerbread houses… they will be there in a couple of weeks and you can buy your treats then.  In your kitchen, create a “temptation-free zone”.  You are safe to roam about in there.
  • If you don’t already, try at least one or two meals a week without meat.  There are so many great websites out there that offer meatless monday dishes…try something new and healthy and give your digestive tract a break. If your family would rebel without meat on the dinner table, check out my friend and yoga client Beth Bader’s Cleaner Plate Club for healthy recipes for the whole family.
  • Gather the troops and MOVE!  Whether it’s the dog or a neighbor or the entire family, get your peeps together and get moving.  I feel very fortunate that I live in the desert this time of year because I can still exercise outside.  If you can’t due to icy or chilly temps, put on some dance music and do your workout inside.  Here’s my “old faithful” cardio routine when I’m not up for a jog or dvd (be careful or modify if you have injuries or weaknesses). For each exercise, count to 20 or 25 before moving to the next one:
  • Walking in place with high knees (2 minutes)
  • Gentle jog in place
  • Jog – High knees
  • Jog – Feet kicking towards glutes
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Alternating Lunges (slow down to get the form right)
  • Flowing Chair and hold Chair for 6 breaths
  • Standing Cat/Cow stretch…
  • Dance around – free style!!
  • REPEAT list 2 more times…