Today’s blog is an interview with Lindsay Nixon, Miss Happy Herbivore, who recently released her second book, Everyday Happy Herbivore. After the interview, I will post instructions for how to win a copy of this latest book.
Lindsay is a bit of an online crush, if you will. Let me explain: I’m one of those odd people who’s crushes are generally related to talent, motivation, and the ability to make me really think. Of course, the physical aspect can come into play :)
Lindsay is one talented, driven lady, who is not afraid to live the dream. She stays motivated and healthy, and she’s committed to changing the lives of those who give her a chance to teach them about her lifestyle. Even outwardly, Lindsay is the picture of health, with her long healthy hair, a trim figure, and glowing skin. But the outside isn’t what matters when it comes to our health, and Lindsay has committed to an oil free plant based diet, which has done wonders for how she feels. And how we feel is incredibly important.
Lindsay has become a dear friend. The internet can be a wonderful place to meet like minded people, no matter where they live. Though we haven’t met, we’ve communicated online for years, and I look forward to the day when we get to meet, and have some girly drinks, while making amazing and healthy vegan food. When Lindsay posted on her blog that she was seeking bloggers who’d like to interview, I hesitated. See, I didn’t want to only interview her about the new cookbook, or about veganism alone, I wanted to ask a few personal questions. I’m lucky she was open to this! I have what I hope are some unique questions for Lindsay, and I hope you enjoy them. Please note that I will make a few comments after the answers I was given, but these comments will be in brackets, and I’ll identify myself. Don’t forget to scroll past the interview to get a delicious recipe for Sweet Potato Dal, and for your methods of entering my contest to win the latest Happy Herbivore Cookbook.
1. What was the hardest part about making the leap from being a lawyer to choosing to live your dream?
In a lot of ways, leaving the law reminded me of a breakup I went through in college — the law was just another bad boyfriend. I knew it was wrong for me, and we didn’t work together. the law didn’t and could never make me happy, but I’d spent so much time and energy and money on trying to make it work, could I really let that go to waste? Just give up everything I’d worked for and fought for and been through? Yes. It took a little while for me to see that I wasn’t giving up but moving on, and that nothing is truly lost if it pushes you to where you’re supposed to go.
[Lacey: this is actually a wonderful comparison. Folks, I hope you’re listening!]
2. How do you handle people who attempt to force their negativity onto you? What I mean is, I have noticed that while a lot of omnivores give vegans a hard time, other vegans are often more negative towards fellow vegans than omnivores are, so how do you handle this issue in a positive way?
I have found when people are so dogmatic about something, it’s NEVER about the person they are attacking. It’s about them and their own inner demons. I like that saying that the worst thing someone can say about you, reveals a little truth about them… back to that grade school, when you point a finger at someone, three more point back at you.
With omnivores, if someone is picking on you about a vegan diet, know that it’s because your mere existence makes them reflect back on themselves and they don’t like what they see. They then attack you to make themselves feel better because really, if someone was totally confident in their choices to eat animals, why would your choice not to upset them so much to the point of anger and hostility?
If you keep these points in your mind, any time someone is negative to you, you’ll feel empowered.
3. Tell me the best thing that veganism has done for you.
Aside from the health benefits, and the general happiness I experience knowing that I’m living a compassionate life, I have met so many truly wonderful people online through the veg community. Many close friendships have developed. My fans and supporters are another gift. I feel very blessed.
4. Do you get recognized often? Is it ever awkward having someone you don’t know walk up gushing “OMG IT’S YOU?!”
I just spent the last year abroad, so no one really recognized me on the street or anything, but I have gotten to meet fans at conferences. I’m such an emotional person that I cry easily, so if a fan starts crying or gushing, it’s all over for me. Tears are always everywhere.
My favorite stories, though, are the ones where people I’ve known for a long time, one of their friends suggests happy herbivore to them, and they perk up and say “oh, I like know her. in real life. we sat in geometry class together” and the other person freaks on them. I sort of love that.
5. Can you tell me one vegan food, besides broccoli, that most people seem to love that you just can’t get into? [Lacey note: I knew Lindsay was allergic to broccoli because I follow her on twitter.]
Hey now, I like broccoli. Broccoli just doesn’t like me back! I don’t do brussel sprouts. or eggplant. meh.
6. This is unrelated to veganism, but what kind of music do you like?
Classical is probably my overall favorite but I listen to most everything. On my current playlist I have Adele, Lady Gaga, AWOLNATION, Ben Folds, Muse, Amy Winehouse, Nora Jones, Florence + the Machine, Hans Zimmer, Glee, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Amy Grant, Madonna, Smashing Pumpkins, and various scores (i.e. the original score for Band of Brothers)… I also have Korean techno but we don’t need to go there right now :)
7. You’re a traveler, something that makes me green with envy at times. Can you tell me your favorite and least favorite places that you’ve lived and why?
I’ve lived in Florida (Orlando, Tampa, Tallahassee), Pennsylvania (I was born in Scranton), Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, Charleston S.C. and now Colorado… plus a year in St. Maarten (Caribbean) and two months in Europe — where I traveled to 35 cities/places (including Africa). I’ve also been to 43 states and a handful of Caribbean islands.
There are things I liked and disliked about each place I’ve lived, and even visited. I’m not sure I have a favorite anything — there are places I like more than other places, but for different reasons. I like some places for their beauty, others for their culture, or because of experiences I’ve had there.
I’m a bit of a vagabond.
8. Can you tell me which recipe creation you’re most proud of?
I’m really proud of the rum cake. I need to enter it in a contest or something.
[Lacey: I’m not surprised Lindsay created a rum cake. She lived in the Caribbean for a year recently!]
9. My last questions are about staying motivated. How do you do it? What drives you to stay on track with a healthy diet and lifestyle? What’s your secret for making healthy choices when you’re traveling and/or spending time with family and friends? Society tends to think of food indulgences as being for special occasions, but your lifestyle seems to defy that which really impresses me. I must know your secret!
My sister’s advice is “nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels” and I really like that — but I think it’s more than vanity for me. I want to live this life where I snowboard everyday in the winter, and I travel the world constantly in the warmer months, and I can’t do that without energy and if I’m not feeling my best. If I eat crap and make unhealthy choices I won’t be at my best or get to do what I want to do… so that forces me to make good choices always. It’s all about the end game for me and getting what I really want. I keep my eye on the prize.
Lindsay was generous enough to share the recipe for Sweet Potato Dal with us today!
Sweet Potato Dal | serves 2
This soup is Dal-icious! It’s so flavorful you’ll want seconds. and thirds!
1 small sweet potato, skinned
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp garam masala, plus extra
1 cup vegetable broth, plus extra
1/2 cup red lentils
4 cups spinach, or more
Dice sweet potato into small ½-inch cubes, and set aside. Line a medium pot with a thin layer of water and saute onions and garlic for a minute. Add a pinch or two red pepper flakes and continue to cook until all the water has cooked off. Add turmeric, ¼ tsp garam masala and stir to coat. Add 1 cup broth, uncooked lentils, and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce to low, cover, and simmer for a few minutes, about 5. Add sweet potatoes, bring to a boil again and reduce to low and simmer, until lentils are fully cooked (they expand and the sauce thickens), about 5 minutes more. Check periodically to see if you need additional broth (I tend to add an extra ½ cup but it can vary). Once lentils are cooked and sweet potatoes are fork tender, taste, adding more garam masala as desired (I like to add another ¼ tsp but some blends are stronger than others). Add spinach, continuing to stir until spinach cooks down and softens. Add salt to taste and serve.
Per Serving: 232 Calories, 0.9g Fat, 42.2g Carbohydrates, 17.7g Fiber, 4.7g Sugar, 15.4g Protein
For the contest! Since it’s the holidays, I’m going to give you all a crazy amount of entries into the contest!
1. Tell me about your favorite healthy recipe.
2. Tell me how you stay motivated.
3. Go to the Happy Herbivore Recipe page and tell me which recipe sounds most appealing to you.
4. Like Happy Herbivore on Facebook
5. Follow both myself and Lindsay on twitter.
6. Tell me why you want to win this book.
7. Tweet about this giveaway: I entered to win the new @happyherbivore book, Everyday Happy Herbivore from @kuntrageous http://wp.me/p1otK1-hg
Please leave a comment for each separate entry. This contest is open to US Residents only. This contest will close on December 21st at noon CST. This is so that I can send it out from Amazon and still have it arrive before the holiday weekend.