If you haven’t read Lindsay Nixon’s, The Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living, you need to. Lindsay’s book is filled with some of the best advice, tips, information, and testimonials on the health benefits of plant-based living that I’ve ever read in one place. It’s so well organized and easy to read that I finished it in two days. And the testimonials from her fans, who she affectionately calls “Herbies,” are incredibly fascinating and inspirational. This book has something for anyone who is interested in a vegan lifestyle, regardless of where you are in your journey toward living a healthier, happier life.
Nixon’s book begins with her story. She was a chubby child who loved vegetables and fruit, didn’t like cheese and eggs, and yet ate mostly processed foods like sugary cereal, frozen breakfast pastries, Lunchables, and Little Debbies. She shares with her readers how she yo-yo dieted her way through her young adult life until a major health scare woke her up and made her take a hard look at her eating habits and lifestyle. Nixon was like so many Americans, only she made a change and discovered the power that food has over our health and well being.
One of the many things that I liked about this book was how it was organized. After Nixon explained why she (and her husband) transitioned to a plant-based lifestyle, she dove right into defining the differences between eating a plant-based diet and being a vegan. There are differences, and as a vegan I appreciated the explanation. Once she made sure the reader understood those differences, Nixon dug right in and busted the vegan myths that plant-based people like us have to answer to all too often.
If you’ve ever been stuck for an answer when someone questions the politics of a vegan lifestyle, or the dairy/protein myth, the athletes’ protein myth (I get that a lot), the soy myth, or the fatty acids/fish oil myth, this book has the answers to those questions.
The guide reads like a bible for those who are thinking about transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, or for those who are part time vegans and want to commit full time, but are having difficulty doing so. Nixon offered so many great tips on transitioning, such as focusing on today; not tomorrow, or the next week, or an upcoming holiday. She also had wonderful advice for those who are picky eaters, and for people with food addictions.
Nixon also included a small section that talked about pets and a plant-based diet, how to eat on the road, how to deal with cravings, how to deal with temptation, and how to live in a mixed household. I enjoyed reading about how she overcame all of those issues, but my favorite part of the book was her explanations on how she handled common objections, combated anecdotal evidence, and dealt with negativity from people who were threatened, and/or didn’t understand why she chose to give up the standard American diet for a plant-based lifestyle. She was so honest and up front, and I’ve bookmarked her advice for future encounters.
The most inspirational parts of The Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living are the testimonials from Nixon’s “Herbies.” Every chapter is broken up with one or two stories of an Herbie who was once obese, or suffered from a life threatening disease, or both. They all share their stories of how they went from unhealthy, to incredibly healthy, after adopting a plant-based diet.
Every Herbie inspired me and touched my heart, but my favorite story was of Sally, a late-stage ovarian cancer survivor (seven years!) who overcame one of the deadliest types of cancer. Sally went into remission after her surgery and chemo, but knew that fewer than fifty-percent of the patients with stage-three ovarian cancer live five years after their diagnosis. Instead of accepting that statistic, Sally changed her lifestyle. She says that she’s “convinced that adopting a plant-based diet, along with a routine that includes yoga, family, friends, and loads of gratitude, keeps me cancer free.”
The Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living is filled with so many great tips, advice, and recipes, but I don’t want to give too much away. I want you to buy the book and read it for yourself. I’m making my husband and son read it, especially for the testimonials. If those don’t convince you to adopt a plant-based diet, I’m not sure what would.
Finally, the last chapters in the book are filled with shopping ideas, meal planning ideas, and recipes. I took it upon myself to make one of Lindsay’s recipes, because I couldn’t in good conscience tell you that they were great without trying one. I chose to try the “Cheater” Tofu Lettuce Wraps. They’re a copycat of the lettuce wraps you can order at P.F. Chang’s. The verdict, after my son and I polished off the entire pan: Delicious! They taste almost identical to the meat based lettuce wraps that I used to eat, only these are healthier and kinder. I did add some Thai basil from my garden and swapped out the soy sauce for Bragg’s liquid aminos, but other than those two things I stayed true to the recipe.
Whether you’re a long time vegan, a part-time vegan, or someone who’s interested in transitioning to a plant-based diet, Lindsay Nixon’s, The Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living
will become your go to book for every question or problem that comes your way on your journey to a healthy plant-based life.
I’d like to thank BenBella Books for asking me to review Nixon’s book. The only compensation that I received for this review was the book. This review is based solely upon my own opinions.
Order The Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living today. Click the link or the photo to get yours!