I had the great pleasure of interviewing an inspiration of mine named Lindsay Nixon. First of all, she is a wonderful, down-to-earth woman but is also a passionate author of three cookbooks. Her newest cookbook is titled Happy Herbivore Abroad and features 135 fat-free and low-fat vegan recipes from around the world. All the food that she makes is whole foods, plant-based and wonderfully delicious. I’ve tried several of her recipes and I haven’t met one I didn’t like yet. Being a busy working woman myself, I appreciate that her recipes are easy to create. Check her out at happyherbivore.com. All three of her cookbooks can be purchased on Amazon.com or as eBooks (Kindle eddition). Here is the conversation I had with her:
What originally motivated you to start eating a whole foods, plant-based diet?
I was a vegetarian for most of my life, but lapsed back to meat-eating in my late teens due to family pressure and peer pressure. A serious health scare in my early 20’s brought me back to a vegetarian diet and about a year later I adopted a totally plant-based (vegan) diet. I was motivated mainly for health reasons, but I also care about the environment and am moved by the plight of farm animals.
What has been your biggest challenge in creating new, flavorful recipes?
Each recipe and book I’ve written has had it’s own challenges. With Abroad specifically, I was trying to recreate traditional dishes but in a new and healthy way. Some dishes translated beautifully and easily, as if they should have been plant-based and healthy all along while others took some tinkering to get just right.
How do you deal with the skeptics who don’t believe in your plant-based choices?
I’m a big believe in leading by example. When people look at me, they can’t deny the benefits. I also tell them about all the people I know who have changed their life too.
What’s your favorite go-to recipe?
When I’m not in the mood to cook, we usually eat greens with a side of beans, grains and a fun sauce or salsa to pull it all together.
When going to a non-vegan restaurant how do you figure out what to order?
I look at the menu to see if they have any vegan or vegetarian options. If not I start looking at components in other dishes to create my own meal. For example I was at a restaurant in the airport recently and decided to order the house salad – without cheese or dressing, and top it with a portobello mushroom I’d see on a burger on the menu.
What’s the most interesting reason you heard from someone not wanting to start on the plant-based diet?
Most people do it for their health or for their loved ones — or ethical reasons (animal rights).
How do you motivate people to take control of their health?
I find most people want to live better and eat healthier. I just show them how to do it.