Along with receiving an early edition of the cookbook, I was able to do a short interview with Lindsay:
1. I have read several article and blog posts where you interview new ‘Herbies’ and how they became Herbivores, but I would like to hear your story! How long have you eaten a plant based diet? Why did you decide to change your diet from the typical meat based American diet to plant based? And what do you feel the diet has done for you personally (health wise!)
I was a vegetarian most of my life but lapsed back into meat eating in my late teens from peer pressure and family pressure. A serious health scare in my early 20s brought me back to a vegetarian diet and a year later I adopted a totally vegan, plant-based diet. That was about 6 years ago. I was motivated mainly for health reasons, but was also moved by the environmental impact and the plight of farm animals.
Adopting a plant-based diet has profoundly changed my life. In 10 months after adopting a plant-based diet I ran a marathon, having been too out of shape to WALK a 5k the year before. I took up snowboarding, lost 40lbs, eliminated and reversed all of my medical illnesses and found energy and happiness. I like to tell people you never realize how bad you feel until you see what it feels like to be well and thrive.
2. Tell us about your new cookbook: Happy Herbivore Abroad. Does it include recipes from around the world or does it include tips for eating Abroad? What gave you the inspiration for writing this new cookbook?
It’s an internationally theme book — so recipes from around the world, plus stories of my adventures. I travel constantly and this book celebrates my lifestyle 🙂
3. How long have you been writing your blog? Is the success of your blog what inspired you to publish your cookbooks?
I started blogging 5 years ago, in 2007. When I started happyherbivore.com, I didn’t think anyone would read it — my mom didn’t even read it! I have been blown away by it’s success and popularity, which is what led to the cookbooks. They’re an extension of my blog.
4. Where have you come up with the recipes in your cookbooks and especially your new book?
With my first book, The Happy Herbivore Cookbook, I set out to recreate dishes (“comfort foods”) that I used to eat — but in a new healthy and plant-based way. With my second book, Everyday Happy Herbivore, I went back to basics. I looked at whatever ingredients I had on hand, then created a meal (or meals) out of it. With my new book, Happy Herbivore Abroad, I recreated meals I ate or saw on my travels… I made international cuisine healthy and plant-based — and with everyday ingredients.
5. Do you have any professional people in the health or medical field that are currently endorsing your diet? Can you give us their names and why they switched to the plant-based diet?
Dr. John McDougall, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Michael Gregor, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Pam Popper… just to name a few. They’ve all written incredible books and have websites with a wealth of information. If you’re not into reading, a great documentary is Forks Over Knives, which features many of the doctors I’ve listed.
6. What is the main difference between being a ‘Herbie’ and being a vegan?
A “herbie” is just a term my fans call themselves. There is no definition or requirement behind the term — except that I guess you’d have to be a fan of Happy Herbivore.
The term “vegan” has multiple meanings. A vegan (noun) is a person who does not eat or use animal products from an ethical standpoint. “vegan” can also be a designation — a descriptive term. For example a product is “Vegan” if it does not contain animal products and is also not tested on animals.
Here is a helpful post with more information: http://happyherbivore.com/2012/02/what-plant-based-diet-vs-vegan/
7. What is the best advice you can give new folks to the plant based Herbivore diet or who wish to switch to the diet?
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’s 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!
Thanks Lindsay for your time to talk with me today!
Personally, I LOVE her new book. Her recipes are simply and easy to make — nothing fancy or hard to find — and they sound soooooo good! I will be making several of them over the next weeks (probably months!)
Check out ALL of Lindsay’s Cookbooks: