Interview #20: Lindsay Nixon of Happy Herbivore
Lindsay S. Nixon is a rising star in the culinary world, praised for her ability to use everyday ingredients to create healthy, low fat recipes that taste just as delicious as they are nutritious. Lindsay's 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 Lindsay and sample some of her recipes at happyherbivore.com.
Kiss Me, I’m Vegan: What was the turning point in your life that led you to veganism? Was it one huge moment, or a collective group of small moments that changed you?
Lindsay: I grew up largely a vegetarian, but caved to peer pressure in my teens. Then, after a serious health scare in my early 20s, I went back to vegetarianism thinking it would help me make better choices. About a year later, I went vegan as an experiment - I wanted to see if all the alleged health benefits were true. In the process, I learned about all the factory farming horrors (with respect to dairy and eggs) and what eating these animal products did to my body and that was it for me. Vegan for life.
KMIV: What have been the greatest rewards of your vegan lifestyle? What have been the greatest challenges?
Lindsay: Good health is the greatest reward; but I also like a sense of knowing I'm living consciously, compassionately.
The biggest "challenge" is the convenience factor. It's not always convenient to be vegan, but the world is definitely changing to make it less burdensome.
KMIV: Tell me a little bit about The Happy Herbivore. Have you always wanted to write a cookbook? What do you hope to accomplish with it?
Lindsay: The Happy Herbivore is my new cookbook; it's a collection of popular blog recipes (where the book gets its name from) and new recipes. My mission with happyherbivore.com was always to prove that healthy vegan can be just as delicious as it is nutritious, and with the book, I wanted to also demonstrate how easy, affordable and approachable vegan food is.
KMIV: A lot of my readers are either activists or activists-in-the-making, which is why I love them! In terms of what you do, how do you feel about the ever growing "food activism" world, and what steps can we take in promoting compassion through our meals with ourselves and others?
Lindsay: I think the best thing we can do is educate others, make them aware of what is on their plate and what it took to get there (the resources, the cruelty, etc) -- but in a nonjudgmental, friendly way. I found that when I led by example, and didn't preach, most of my friends (whom had previously shut me down) came around to veganism and vegetarianism. I'm very fortunate that almost all my friends and family members are veg now, and I believe that it's because I'm honest, but not aggressive about it. I think its important to remember to practice compassion with other humans too.
KMIV: What advice would you give someone who is interested in veganism, but afraid of taking the leap?
Lindsay: Jump in. Give it a try today. I avoided being vegan for months because in my head it seemed so impossible, so extreme but I was -- and am continued to be --- surprised at how easy it's been for me. Whatever's been holding you back, ignore it. Cross that bridge when you come to it.
KMIV: As it says at the top of the blog, Kiss Me, I'm Vegan! is a blog "for the happy vegan in all of us.". What are the most positive aspects of the vegan movement for you, and what do you feel are the biggest reason to smile when doing this work?
Lindsay: A vegan lifestyle is the single best thing we can do for our environment, our health, the animals, humanity--- it's a terrific, warm fuzzy feeling to know I'm making such a positive impact with my fork. I've always been a starry eyed idealist wanting to change the world... and with veganism, I feel like I really am.
KMIV: Okay - here's a silly one! You're stuck on a deserted island with three vegan food items - what are they?
Lindsay: You know I actually live on a tropical island in the middle of the ocean, right? (LOL!). If I'm being practical, I guess I'd want tofu, rice and peanut butter (because I'm assuming fruit would be a plenty!) but if we're living in fantasy, bring on the dandies. and coconut ice cream. and nutritional yeast.
To learn more about Lindsay and her delicious recipes, check out www.happyherbivore.com.