Happy Herbivore Light and Lean Giveaway… Finally!

As you may remember, way back in October I participated in a pre-release blog tour for Lindsay Nixon’s newest cookbook, Happy Herbivore Light and Lean (check the post out for an interview with Lindsay and a Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!). A few weeks later I received my copy and promised a giveaway. Giveaways are marvelous, am I right? 😉

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Well, today’s the day I am going to deliver! I wanted to wait until the holidays had settled down and we were all back to regular blogging activities before hosting this giveaway. I know several bloggers took breaks and just returned recently to posting. Also, I personally didn’t do as much blog reading for my three weeks of winter break and I’m sure many of you were the same. So in light of all of this I didn’t want anyone to come back and find they missed out on this opportunity!

Disclaimer: Although I received a free copy of Happy Herbivore Light and Lean to review, I did not receive any monetary compensation and all thoughts and opinions are entirely (100%) my own.

LIGHT

Review

As I’ve mentioned before, I am kind of atypical in the sense that I like to read cookbooks like I would any other fiction novel. And the night I received Happy Herbivore I got into bed and read through the entire thing just like I do when I get the newest release from my other favorite authors.

Here are my brief thoughts on the overall presentation:

The first thing I noticed as I flipped through the pages was the COLOR. There was not a single page that lacked color. With today’s technology I don’t think there is any excuse for black and white cookbooks (save for those spiral bound fundraising books made by the occasional old lady’s church group). Unlike most cookbooks that I’ve found where the only color is in the pictures of the food, each page had a complimentary color scheme and was just as fun to look at as the pictures themselves.

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On each page there are extremely helpful sections to denote everything you would ever want to know about the recipe. You have allergen information at the top, nutrition information in the corners, and chef notes listed at the bottom. The majority of the page of course is taken up by the recipe with the ingredients and serving amounts on the side, and the directions written in paragraph format under the recipe description. As someone who usually writes recipes using numbers, I was at first a little surprised by how the directions were written out. After reading through the first few though, I began to like the flow and it made cooking seem more like the art it should be and less like some robotic GPS making you complete the first step before carrying onto the next (it’s something that I’m considering changing with my own recipes, but we’ll see!).

Also important to point out is that the pictures are not included on the recipe page but on the opposite facing page of the cookbook, making the directions and instructions less cluttered and giving room for a full page, full color shot of whatever you’re making.

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That was the middle essence of the cookbook. The beginning consists of an introduction with a personal note from Lindsay, an index for all of the recipes listed by calorie count, tips on getting started, a shopping list, an explanation of caloric density, tips on lightening up your day, her personal health journey (loved this!) and an explanation of how to use the icons featured in the book.

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At the end there is the appendix which has a glossary of ingredient descriptions, substitution ideas, kitchen prep “lingo,” additional resources, metric conversions, and an index where you can find a recipe both by its name and by ingredient.

Personal Note

When I spoke of this cookbook last, a few people commented to me that they didn’t understand why I was promoting something vegan. “Don’t you eat meat?” Yes, yes I do. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t eat meat and I’m not going to apologize for it either. My motivation behind reviewing this book was not to promote a vegan diet (or plant-based as many call it). I came at this from the position of someone who has food allergies, and recipes that are vegan are naturally perfect for those who are allergic to animal products like eggs, dairy, meat, fish, etc. Also, since Lindsay promotes mostly lower fat recipes, about 99% of the food is also peanut-free, nut-free and coconut-free too!

Food Allergies

So, with that point made, here are a few recipes that I think would be great for those with food allergies or various other dietary needs when it comes to food:

  • Balsamic-Dijon Vinaigrette (pg. 137)
  • Homemade Ketchup (pg. 8)
  • Chocolate Surprise Frosting (pg. 12)
  • Brody’s Gluten-Free Flour Blend (pg. 267)
  • Everyday Mushroom Gravy (pg. 189)
  • Deviled “Eggs” (pg. 203)
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte (pg. 256)
  • Oatmeal Pancakes (pg. 97)
  • Sweet Potato Ice Cream (pg. 236)
  • Microwave Peach Cobbler (pg. 137)
  • Breakfast Tacos (pg. 145)
  • Smoky Apple Baked Beans (pg. 172)
  • Asian Orange Kale Salad (pg. 179)
  • Loaded Mexican Potato (pg. 195)
  • Carrot Soup (pg. 236)
  • Skinny Pad Thai (pg. 161)
  • Nacho Bowl (pg. 93)
  • Leftovers Pot Pie (pg. 121)
  • Caribbean Chili (pg. 116)

Other Reviews

If you want to check out all of the other bloggers who participated in the tours (along with their reviews and some sneak peak recipes!) check out this post and this post.

A few highlights were Kaila from Healthy Helper Blog who shared Meatloaf Bites:

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Laura from Plant-Based Junkies with a Thai Crunch Salad:

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And the Herbivore herself with a recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes:

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LEAN

Review

Finally, as indicated in the title, Happy Herbivore Light and Lean also features an exercise section with a list of exercise suggestions that are 30, 20, 15 or 10 minutes in length and all burn 100 calories. Next she gives tips on how to fit exercise into your day and continues on with pages of workouts along with her personal trainer friend Jon Warren. My favorite part of this section was “Lindsay’s Body Blast” at the end where there is a page long description of a workout that Lindsay frequently does.

Here is a little snippet from the book explaining what the “Body Blast” is:

“This all-in-one exercise is what I do when my time (and space) is limited. It’s a little on the advanced side, so you may need to work up to it. It’s a killer circuit and I have a lot of fun challenging myself, drill-instructor style, to see how fast I can move through the exercise (while still keeping proper form!) and how many rounds I can go through before I’m wasted. (Usually two, but I’m a work in progress!)”

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I have yet to try this out myself, but from just reading it over I think “killer” is the perfect description. One day when I build up the guts to do it I’ll report back and tell you how far I got!

Conclusion

Really, there’s nothing much more to say other than I am confident that you will love this book if you love cooking and baking as much as I do. This is my second book of Lindsay’s and I have enjoyed it just as much as the first. I know the soup recipes will come in hand this winter and the fresh delicious salad ideas will be welcome during spring. The true test of a good cookbook is its versatility across not only seasons, but also palettes (in this case, I am referring to food allergies) and this book truly has something for everyone.

Giveaway

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If you made it through all of that, bravo! And if you just skipped to the bottom to win the giveaway, I can’t really blame you for that either. This giveaway goes live as soon as I publish this post. It will end one week from tonight and I will announce the winner next Monday morning after using Random Number Generator to pick who wins the cookbook.

Unfortunately this giveaway is limited to just U.S. and Canadian citizens (I can already hear the groans… I’m sorry!). However, if you would still like to participate and someone outside of the United States or Canada wins, I will give a consolation prize of allowing you to write a guest post on my blog about whatever your heart desires (within reason of course). Sound fair?

After I announce the winner, you will have three days to contact me via e-mail with a viable address or I will be forced to pick someone else.

Like with all of my past giveaways, I am going to include a number of ways that you can enter. I do this so that if you aren’t able to complete one of them for whatever reason then you still have several opportunities to win. You don’t have to do them all, but make sure to leave a separate comment for each below::

  1. Tell me what your #1 deal breaker is for a cookbook (Mine is obviously good pictures and color!).
  2. Follow me on Bloglovin or by e-mail (there is an entry box in the right side bar below my social media icons).
  3. Follow me on Instagram.
  4. Follow me on Pinterest.
  5. Follow Happy Herbivore on any of her social media sites: Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

And if by some chance you don’t win, make sure to check the cookbook out on Amazon where you can purchase it in e-book format for $9.99 or in paperback for $11.97. Really great prices for over a 300 page cookbook!

Thursdays are for Thinking Out Loud #1

Hey! What’s this? A post on a Thursday? I know, I know. I’m a constant bundle of surprise.

I decided to break my normal posting schedule to support Amanda and her new weekly link-up for Thinking Out Loud! I’m not sure if I will do this every week because I don’t want all of my posts to become solely for link-ups, but I couldn’t miss out on this inaugural event. This is history in the making.

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In true Thursday Thoughts fashion I am taking a cue from Ms. Spoon’s book and going with some numbers….

1. I’m just not feeling super festive yet. Anyone else? Maybe it’s because I still have school in my constant thoughts. If that’s the case, it probably won’t be until next Saturday that I actually start feeling like it’s Christmas time.

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2. Despite not feeling all Christmas-y, the constant influx of snow is not letting me forget that we are indeed drawing nearer to Winter. While not a “warm” welcome, it does make me a little giddy and nostalgic to awake to a fresh bed of whiteness on our school lawns. Those happy memories are quickly forgotten though when my feet get soaked as I trudge through the wet snow. I need a new pair of boots that aren’t as thin as paper in the heels.

So basically, I feel like this whenever I go outside.

3. Speaking of boots, lets talk about Uggs for a moment. I own a few pair of knockoffs and they are so warm and comfortable. But are they cute? The consensus among my roommates is no. However, one roommate insists that they are adorable. I think that by definition they are ugly, and that is almost part of their appeal. They aren’t super high fashion so they are accessible to everyone and I feel like I can wear them everyday without much concern. Again, they are the epitome of warm. Nothing more.

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 4. I have realized recently that I do best with small changes. Occasionally I do well with just jumping feet first into something (like with this blog, one day it was non-existent and the next I was blabbing away to you all!) But with most things in life it’s better if I get adapted slowly. Like with exercise. I don’t know how many times I have tried to go all out and exercise a lot everyday when I’m first starting. Then within no time I lose that initial excitement and it quickly falls to the way side.

Since Elf For Health‘s challenge on Monday though, I’ve begun slowly adding in just a “bit” here and there. I almost forgot to do the circuit challenge for the day so before going to bed I quickly busted out 5 minutes worth of toning exercises. Is it an overnight transformation? Heck no. However, I’m not doing this to lose weight, and really, I’m not even doing it for the health benefits like potentially reducing the risk of disease, illness, spontaneous combustion, etc. Recently I’ve been intrigued by the idea that incorporating exercise into your daily schedule can help reduce stress and possibly even better digestion. I’m all for that.

Three nights in a row and going strong! 😉 Lol. I have no naive thoughts that what I’m doing is nearly enough, however this time around I want to try the slow approach, adding in a little each day. If you don’t already do wall sits, you really should. Feel the burn.

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5. Up next I’m going to make an easy 5 minute arm workout for myself. I love circuits for their short and choppy nature. With reading my favorite books I have no problem doing the same thing for hours on end, but when it comes to working out if I’m repetitive my interest fades fast. What I need is quick and effective stuff where I won’t lose my mind in boredom.

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6. Tomorrow (Thursday) is the Hobbit 2 premiere and I am super excited. While I liked the original Lord of the Rings film trilogy I actually think the Hobbit is better thus far. My Loki-loving friend managed to snag seats to a special early showing tomorrow afternoon, so we are driving about an hour north to the city to watch in style. The only thing that could make this sequel better than the first is with the addition of some stellar new cast members. Oh wait, there is! Orlando Bloom as Legolas and Benedict Cumberbatch (as the dragon!). Aren’t you pumped? 😉

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8. There are still open spots for the 12 Days of Christmas Recipes link-up! There are 3 or 4 themes left and for those of you worried about being too busy with work and such, all of the days remaining are towards the end so you can work on it in your spare time over Christmas vacation 🙂 A few of the other participants have already been e-mailing me with rough draft versions of theirs (not that you have to do that), which just goes to show how super easy it is join in!

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9. I was just going to end with 8… then I suddenly felt a cold blast of air. For some reason unbeknownst to me (and the rest of humanity) someone keeps on turning the air conditioning on in our room. 😯 Hmm… That 6 degree temperature prediction for tonight is not in Celsius, is it? No. No it’s not. However, I’m keeping my lips zipped and pulling on my house slippers in silence. “Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men…”

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Questions for you:

What are you thinking about on this bright, cheery (cold) Thursday?

Does ending on an odd number bother any of you?

Have you considered joining in our Christmas recipe fun?

How do you keep warm during the winter? (Electric blankets is not an acceptable solution per University policy. No matter how much I would love to convince them otherwise…)

WIAW- Randomness, Workouts and Recipes

Hello everyone! It’s Wednesday so you know what that means…
Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

If you missed any of my last few posts, check them out here: Weekend WIAW (3 Recipes), Sunshine in My Fridays, and Holiday Hustle: Thanksgiving Workout.

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As always, thanks to the lovely Jenn from Peas and Crayons for hosting this awesome party. Seriously, I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have this to look forward to every week!

Today’s WIAW will again feature some of things that I made over the weekend, as well as my some thoughts.

To start off… A new recipe!

As a food allergy gal, I seriously miss my daily serving of bread. I used to eat this one kind of lite whole wheat bread multiple times a day. Toast with peanut butter, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grilled chicken sandwiches… heck I even topped my bread with Greek yogurt on occasion! Mostly though, I miss the convenience of bread, and the delicious sandwiches that it made.

So, when I saw this recipe over at The Brain and Body for a microwave English muffin, I knew that I had to give making sandwich bread a try. Now, my recipe looks absolutely nothing like Sarah’s, but it was the inspiration that I give her credit for. Okay, are you ready?

Microwave Sandwich Bread

High fiber, Gluten-free, vegan, high protein, sugar free, low sodium, corn-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop brown rice protein powder (16 grams)*
  • 1 tbsp brown rice flour (8 grams)*
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (sodium and corn-free)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (60 grams)*
  • 2 tbsp water (more or less if needed)
  • add salt or seasonings if desired

Directions:

1. Mix together all of the ingredients and spread the mixture out in a cereal bowl. Cook for 2 minutes. If moist on bottom flip over and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

2. Let cool slightly then slice carefully with a thin, sharp knife.

3. Fill with meat, veggies, tofu, nut butters, jams, etc. and enjoy!

*Substitution notes: The protein powder and rice could be replaced with any flours desired  and should yield good results (just make sure to use equivalent amount in weight). I cannot make any guarantees though because I haven’t tried any variations. The pumpkin puree could also probably be subbed with another squash puree, banana puree (for a sweet bread), or an equivalent amount in egg.

I filled my sandwich with chicken and lettuce. It was so good! I hadn’t realized how much I had missed my sandwiches…

Oh, and what’s that in the picture?

No, not the sandwich!

Why, it’s butternut squash!

But it’s not just any butter nut squash. It’s…

Microwave Butternut Squash!

That’s right, I have now done it again. First I made acorn squash in the microwave, and now butternut. My life is almost complete.

How to Cook Butternut Squash in the Microwave

Inspired by my microwave Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe butternut squash
  • 1 plate
  • 1 sharp knife (I actually used a butter knife and it worked!)
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 microwave

Directions:

1. Cut the squash in half.

2. Scoop out the seeds and place both halves on a plate.

3. Microwave the squash for 10-15 minutes and check it with a fork. Microwave for a few more minutes until soft, tender and done.

After seeing Jenn’s butternut squash fry recipe on her last WIAW, I decided that it was a must-have for my Friday Food Finds. However, time was not on my side, so instead I decided that microwaving it would just have to do for now.

I also attempted to make some mini cookie dough cakes featuring rice flour, applesauce, and apple chunks. Basically I just mixed together those ingredients with some stevia and baking powder, and Wah-La!

They turned out alright, but not exactly what I wanted. Before I post a recipe I am going to keep on experimenting!

So, that’s 3 out of 4 recipes complete for my FFF. I’d call that a MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Now for some randomness from my weekend:

My mom and I made some Candy Corn Popcorn from a recipe on Fitnessista.

Basically you just melt some butter, candy corn, sugar, salt and vanilla together all in a pot on the stove. Then pour it over some freshly popped (plain) popcorn.

Let cool. Then EAT UP!

My mom said it was delicious. I mean, how could it NOT taste good?!

For those of you with allergies, this is not an allergy-free recipe, which is why I did not post it with the others. I’m sure that there are some ways to modify this if you are allergic to a few of the ingredients. Either way, it’s a really cute concept!

Random side bar:

I actually put away all of my things when I cam back to my dorm this weekend!

Last week I left a lot of my stuff still packed and lying around. Not this week though- I was proactive!

Look! I even got serious:

HAIR-IN-BUN = GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS.

Let’s see. What other randomness do I have to share with you all today?

How about the back of a Cheez-It box?

If that’s not random, I don’t know what is!

Alright. Not so random is the workout that I posted yesterday on Eating 4 Balance. It’s called Holiday Hustle: Thanksgiving Workout.

It’s fun, it’s fast, and it’s super easy to adapt to whatever fitness requirements you may have. I did 30 second intervals yesterday, and today I increased them up to 40 seconds. To keep time I used this handy little Tabata tool I found through a Yahoo! search.

And yes, I prefer Yahoo! over Google. Don’t judge.

Anyways, this workout is great at increasing your heart rate and working up a sweat in a small amount of time. And as a bonus it includes a plank, perfect for Carrots N’ Cake’s 4 Week Plank Challenge.

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Here are the details copied straight from her site:

The Plank Challenge is actually really simple. It will take place for a total of 4 weeks (October 22 – November 16) and will only require 10 minutes or less of your time on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week. Monday and Friday will be time trial days when you hold a plank, time yourself, and record it. On Wednesdays, I’ll (Carrots N’ Cake ) post a plank/core workout (10 minutes or less) on CNC to help you build up your strength and stamina. Basically, the weeks will look like this:

  • Monday: Time trial
  • Wednesday: Plank/core workout
  • Friday: Time trial – try to beat Monday’s plank time!

Who’s with me? I did a 30 second plank yesterday, and a 40 second plank today as part of my Holiday Hustle. I’m sure that I could go longer, but for now I’m happy with small doses.

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Boy do I have a lot of questions for you all today!

What is your favorite thing to make in the microwave? Ever tried cooking squash?

What is your favorite type of Cheez-Its? Mine used to be Sour Cream and Onion, Mozzarella, or the Four Cheese.

Have you tried out my Holiday Hustle workout yet? It’s a perfect way to get into the Thanksgiving spirit!

Are you going to join me in Carrots N’ Cake’s 4 Week Plank Challenge?

Holiday Hustle: Thanksgiving Workout

Good morning! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. If you missed my last post, check out Sunshine in My Fridays for a fun survey and another Friday Food Finds!

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I don’t have time today for a very long post, but I did want to share this new workout I created for the upcoming holiday season. As you may or may not know, I very much dislike exercising. To encourage me to get in exercise, I made this fun little workout. It involves TURKEYS of course for Thanksgiving and shakes things up a bit and comes at a perfect time because today is October 22 which means we are exactly one month away from Thanksgiving!

You can incorporate this workout however you want into your daily routine. My plan is to do this once a day, increasing my time intervals slowly- Don’t want to get worn out too quickly! This would be a great addition to your morning routine as well as a fun stop in between your miles of biking or running. I did the 30 second intervals just to test it out and my heart already started pumping at the end of four minutes!! And for those of you in college… this is super simple to do in your dorm room! You don’t need a weights and there isn’t much space required.

Each move is pretty self-explanatory and is open for any interpretation that you see fit. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments. I hope you enjoy it!

*Note: I am not a licensed or certified trainer. This workout is just for fun and I am in no way telling you what is right for you.
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What is your favorite way to make exercising fun?

Do you like these quick workout ideas that you can find on pinterest? What’s your favorite?

Would you be interested in Holiday Hustle workouts for all of the major holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc?