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Rank #105 in Nutrition category

Alternative Health
Health & Fitness
Nutrition

Vegetarian Zen

Updated 13 days ago

Rank #105 in Nutrition category

Alternative Health
Health & Fitness
Nutrition
Read more

Vegetarian | Vegan | Veg-Curious | Plant-Based | Recipes and Resources MINUS the Judgement

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Vegetarian | Vegan | Veg-Curious | Plant-Based | Recipes and Resources MINUS the Judgement

iTunes Ratings

365 Ratings
Average Ratings
343
14
6
0
2

I love these women!

By Saltman52 - Feb 08 2020
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I love listening to Vickie and Larissa; it’s like having my close friends over. Such a warm nonjudgmental conversation! Having recently had a bruising experience with a very ethical vegan, I especially appreciate the gentle tone these two maintain. Thanks. And keep up the great podcasts!

Great Podcast-Easy to Listen to

By Sara Marceline - Jan 20 2020
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Everyone says that this is the least judgemental and most inclusive vegetarian podcast they listen to, and I agree. My partner is a Pescatarian who heavily leans towards Vegan-no dairy, no eggs, no meat; she eats very limited amounts of fish. And I am veg curious, primarily omnivore. To my point, I feel accepted and welcome here. I don't feel guilty about being me, while learning lots about vegetarianism and veganism. Vicki and Larissa have really pleasant voices to listen to. The information is great, presented well and very useful. And they have lots of resources beyond the podcast. I definitely recommend this podcast (and go back to the early podcasts if you can) as a great place to begin your vegetarian journey.

iTunes Ratings

365 Ratings
Average Ratings
343
14
6
0
2

I love these women!

By Saltman52 - Feb 08 2020
Read more
I love listening to Vickie and Larissa; it’s like having my close friends over. Such a warm nonjudgmental conversation! Having recently had a bruising experience with a very ethical vegan, I especially appreciate the gentle tone these two maintain. Thanks. And keep up the great podcasts!

Great Podcast-Easy to Listen to

By Sara Marceline - Jan 20 2020
Read more
Everyone says that this is the least judgemental and most inclusive vegetarian podcast they listen to, and I agree. My partner is a Pescatarian who heavily leans towards Vegan-no dairy, no eggs, no meat; she eats very limited amounts of fish. And I am veg curious, primarily omnivore. To my point, I feel accepted and welcome here. I don't feel guilty about being me, while learning lots about vegetarianism and veganism. Vicki and Larissa have really pleasant voices to listen to. The information is great, presented well and very useful. And they have lots of resources beyond the podcast. I definitely recommend this podcast (and go back to the early podcasts if you can) as a great place to begin your vegetarian journey.
Cover image of Vegetarian Zen

Vegetarian Zen

Latest release on May 17, 2020

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Vegetarian | Vegan | Veg-Curious | Plant-Based | Recipes and Resources MINUS the Judgement

Rank #1: 5 Awesome Health Benefits of Potatoes (VZ 301)

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The Great Potato Controversy There are several foods that cause a lot of controversy regarding their overall healthiness. One of these foods is the potato. If you Google “Are Potatoes Good for You?” you’ll find plenty of articles arguing each side of the issue, all citing studies in defense of their perspective.   Larissa and …

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Mar 24 2019

21mins

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Rank #2: Goodbye Autoimmune Disease with Dr. Brooke Goldner (VZ 321)

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Who Is Dr. Brooke Goldner? In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast ,we are EXTREMELY pleased to welcome Dr. Brooke Goldner! Dr. Goldner is a board certified medical doctor and the author of 3 best-selling books, Goodbye Lupus, Goodbye Autoimmune Disease, and Green Smoothie Recipes to Kick-Start Your Health and Healing.       …

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Aug 11 2019

1hr 6mins

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Rank #3: These are a Few of Our Favorite Things (2019 Edition) (VZ 333)

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The Holidays Are Upon Us! The fall and winter months are our absolute FAVORITE seasons of the year! Maybe it’s because it’s actually cool enough outside to spend some quality time in nature. Or maybe it’s because all of the decorations, lights, good food, and time with family make this time of your extra special. …

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Nov 03 2019

42mins

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Rank #4: 7 Awesome Refrigerator Organization Tips to Help You Stop Wasting Food (VZ 319)

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You went to the store and bought some of the yummiest looking produce and refrigerated foods with all the best intentions to make delicious meals. A couple of weeks pass and then…“Oh no! I didn’t see that back there!” You find a once-beautiful squash now blackened and mushy in the back of your fridge. You …

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Jul 28 2019

26mins

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Rank #5: A Review of The Game Changers (VZ 337)

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In this episode of our podcast, we review a recently released documentary called The Game Changers.    Back in episode 275, The Rise of the Vegan Athlete, we discussed how many athletes are turning to a plant-based diet.   If you listened to episode 275, you might recall that I was particularly excited about this …

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Dec 01 2019

23mins

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Rank #6: Healing Disordered Eating with Holistic Health Coach Cara Cifelli (VZ 349)

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Disordered eating is prevalent in our society. Women in particular are susceptible to experiencing “complicated” relationships with food.  In fact, approximately 91% of women in the United States say that they are unhappy with their bodies.

In this episode of our podcast, we speak to holistic health coach Cara Cifelli about both her own struggles and about ours. Cara discusses how she coaches both men and women dealing with the same issues with food.

Who is Cara Cifelli?

Cara is a Certified Health Coach, Holistic Nutritionist, chef, author, podcast host, and avocado toast lover. 

She passionately provides the tools to help women leave behind dieting, disordered eating, and body shame so they can show up more fully in all areas of their life.

She inspires others to leave behind society’s expectations as she guides them into their most confident and vibrant versions of themselves. This self-taught chef learned how to love food again as she was recovering from an eating disorder that she struggled with for 10 years. She touches on this in her new book, Vegan Buddha Bowls.

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Cara took her daily pain and struggle and turned it into her life’s work. She quickly learned how easy and exciting healthy eating could be and wanted to share her discoveries with others. 

Highlights of Our Discussion with Cara

  • Cara’s work with people healing from eating disorders
  • Vickie’s struggle with disordered eating
  • The dangers of relying completely on external tools and resources to tell us what our bodies need
  • Larissa’s struggle with sugar addiction and what her body might really be telling her
  • Cara’s new book, Vegan Buddha Bowls

Children are the original intuitive eaters. We all pop out of the womb being deeply connected to our hunger and fullness cues.  All of us have this woven into us. It’s our default setting. Dieting actually disconnects us from that default setting, which is being really deeply connected to our intuition around food. So, it makes perfect sense that you both had mentioned that it was way less complicated when you were young. – Cara Cifelli

Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links and, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through to the product using the link we have provided. We never recommend or provide affiliate links to products or services we do not use ourselves or that come from a trusted resource. Our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.

A Special Thanks To Our Sponsors:

All the Places You Can Find Cara:

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post Healing Disordered Eating with Holistic Health Coach Cara Cifelli (VZ 349) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Feb 23 2020

42mins

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Rank #7: Your Guide to Baking Homemade Bread (VZ 326)

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Fall is typically a great time to do some baking and there nothing quite like the taste and smell of homemade bread! Check out this episode of our podcast for our discussion on all things bread, or read on for a summary of what we discuss on the show!   Why Bake When You Can …

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Sep 15 2019

32mins

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Rank #8: Instead of “New Year, New Me” Try This! (VZ 341)

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We are knocking on the door of a brand new year which means many people are thinking about New Year’s resolutions. “New Year, New Me!” is the rallying cry of many people vowing to start good habits and ditch old bad habits.   Even so, most people know that the percentage of people who actually …

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Dec 29 2019

20mins

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Rank #9: What is Miso? (VZ 353)

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Back in episode 176 we talked about the amazing benefits of fermented foods. One of the foods we discussed back then was miso. 

This latest episode of the Vegetarian Zen is all about miso. I had no clue about miso until I became a vegetarian; I didn’t even know it existed! This is a great example of how becoming a vegetarian expanded my food choices and experiences. You can listen to our discussion here…

…or read on below for a quick summary.

What is Miso?

  • Miso is a fermented paste made of soybeans, a grain (such as rice or barley), and a mold called koji.   

  • Enzymes in the koji work together over weeks (and sometimes years) with microorganisms in the environment to break down the structure of the beans and grains into amino acids, fatty acids, and simple sugars.

  • Most miso is made in Japan, where it has been used since the eighth century or earlier.

  •  According to the Japan Miso Promotion Board (yes, there is such a thing!), there are over 1300 kinds of miso, but the two most common are sweet white miso and red miso.

What Does It Taste Like?  

  • The taste really depends on the type of miso. 

  • Some varieties are more fruity or sweet. 

  • Other varieties have a salty umami flavor. Because of this, it makes a great addition to recipes that traditionally call for meat. 

  • Generally, the darker the color the more it has aged, and the saltier and earthier flavor it has.

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Is Miso Good for You?

The answer to this is a resounding YES! It’s a great source of various B vitamins, vitamins E and K, and folic acid. Because it’s a fermented food, it’s also great for your belly. It provides beneficial bacteria (probiotics) to your gut to promote both physical and mental well-being.

How Can You Use Miso?

Soup is probably the most common way people use miso, but it has other uses as well. 

One great thing about miso is that it doesn’t need to be cooked. This means that you can stir it right into your favorite glazes, marinades, or dressings. 

Some recipe ideas:

  • Vegan cream cheese
  • Vegan ranch dressing
  • Tahini
  • Vegan mayo
  • Stir Fry
  • Marinades
  • Sauces
  • Pesto

Where Do I Find Miso? 

The good news is, you can find miso in most grocery stores these days (check the international foods aisle). Depending on the type, it may also be found in the refrigerated or produce sections. 

How Should I Store Miso?

Covered and in the fridge is the best way to preserve flavor and protect against oxidation. You can also press some parchment paper or plastic wrap over the top under the lid to help keep the air out. 

Recipes:

  1. 15-Minute Miso Soup with Greens by The Minimalist Baker

Minimalist Baker is one of our go-to websites for recipes. Their recipes require 10 ingredients or less, 1 bowl, or 30 minutes or less to prepare. All eating lifestyles are welcome.

  1. Miso Glazed Tofu by Namely Marly

This recipe is also gluten-free and low carb.

  1. Vegan Cashew Cream cheese from It Doesn’t taste Like Chicken

  1. Veggie, Miso and Tofu Stir Fry by Connoisseurus Veg

  1. Ramen Noodles with Miso Pesto from Bon Appetit 

Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links.  That means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of our links. We never recommend or provide affiliate links to products or services we do not use ourselves or that come from a trusted resource. Our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post What is Miso? (VZ 353) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Mar 22 2020

15mins

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Rank #10: Epic Vegan with Dustin Harder of The Vegan Roadie (VZ 332)

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Who is Dustin Harder? Dustin Harder is the host and creator of the original vegan travel culinary series, The Vegan Roadie. The show is described as a version of the popular Food Network series Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. He is an author, recipe creator, and graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute.   Living La Vida …

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Oct 27 2019

33mins

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Rank #11: A Review of What the Health (VZ 309)

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What the Health Review What the Health is a documentary that was released in 2017 directed by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn.  The film follows director Kip Andersen as he interviews several physicians with whom many of us are familiar–Dr. Michael Greger, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. John McDougall, and others. Andersen also …

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May 19 2019

28mins

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Rank #12: Imperfect Produce and Meal Prep with Melissa Grove (VZ 312)

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Imperfect Produce – A Review A few weeks ago, we did a live Facebook video just to chat with folks in the Peas and Carrots Society (our closed Facebook group). One of the participants in that chat, Melissa Grove, mentioned that she uses Imperfect Produce, a fresh produce subscription service that offers perfectly good, although …

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Jun 09 2019

45mins

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Rank #13: 5 Awesome Benefits of Pea Protein (VZ 308)

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  What is Pea Protein? Pea protein is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a protein extracted from peas. Peas are ground to remove the fiber and starch, a process which leaves just the protein. Nutritionally speaking, peas are one of the top sources of plant-based protein, a fact that many people don’t realize. A …

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May 12 2019

20mins

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Rank #14: Finding Flexitarian with Harlie Pruder (VZ 307)

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Meet Golden Apple Roundtable Member Harlie Pruder! We LOVE getting to know the folks within our Vegetarian Zen community! In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we chat with Golden Apple Roundtable member, Harlie Pruder about her plant-based journey from omnivore, to vegetarian, to strict vegan before finding that flexitarianism is right for her. …

The post Finding Flexitarian with Harlie Pruder (VZ 307) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

May 05 2019

31mins

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Rank #15: 7 Tips for Navigating the Holidays As Vegetarian or Vegan (VZ 340)

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We are RIGHT in the thick of the holiday season with many people getting together for family, fun, and food! Navigating the holidays can be challenging for ANYONE. However, making your way through potlucks and parties can be especially challenging especially if you’re a new vegan or vegetarian or are simply trying to reduce meat …

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Dec 22 2019

20mins

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Rank #16: Ask Us Anything! (VZ 327)

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In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we asked YOU to ask us anything! Yes, anything and everything was on the table. Here’s what you asked and our responses!   Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links and, at no additional cost to you, we will earn …

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Sep 22 2019

30mins

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Rank #17: The Best Darn Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili…Seriously Ya’ll! (VZ 339)

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What’s better than a BIG bowl of vegetarian chili? How about a BIG bowl of Instant Pot vegetarian chili! Here’s why… But first, a quick disclaimer from this Texan who takes her chili VERY seriously! Since traditional Texas chili doesn’t call for beans or veggies, we’re going to be taking some liberties with the recipe.  …

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Dec 15 2019

23mins

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Rank #18: 7 Powerful Pantry Organization Tips! (VZ 323)

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In episode 319 of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we gave you 7 Awesome refrigerator organization tips to help you stop wasting food. Also in that episode, we promised to share some pantry organization tips with you…so here we are! Let’s get organizing! Why Pantry Organization?  While most pantry foods have longer expiration dates than things …

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Aug 25 2019

22mins

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Rank #19: On Being a Joyful Vegan with Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (VZ 352)

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In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we welcome Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, a recognized expert and thought leader in the culinary, social, ethical, and practical aspects of living vegan.

Who is Colleen Patrick-Goudreau?

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is an award-winning author of seven books, including the bestselling The Joy of Vegan Baking, The Vegan Table, Color Me Vegan, Vegan’s Daily Companion, On Being Vegan, The 30-Day Vegan Challenge, and her latest, The Joyful Vegan.

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She is an acclaimed speaker and beloved host of the inspiring podcast, “Food for Thought,” which has been voted Favorite Podcast by VegNews magazine readers several years in a row. Her new podcast, “Animalogy,” is changing the way we talk about animals.

Colleen co-founded the political action committee East Bay Animal PAC.  The committee works with government officials on animal issues in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Colleen shares her message of compassion and wellness on national and regional TV and radio programs, including a monthly vegan segment on Good Day Sacramento and monthly contributions to National Public Radio (KQED). 

She has appeared on the Food Network, CBS, PBS, FOX, and NPR, and in the Huffington Post and U.S. News and World Report. Her recipes have appeared on Epicurious.com and Oprah.com.

Interesting side note: Colleen also happens to be friends and a travel companion to one of our previous guests, Brighde Reed from World Vegan Travel! You can hear our interview with Brighde here!

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau lives in Oakland, CA with her husband David and two cats, Charlie and Michiko.

Some places you can find Colleen:

Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links.  That means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of our links. We never recommend or provide affiliate links to products or services we do not use ourselves or that come from a trusted resource. Our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.

Today’s Sponsor:

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Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post On Being a Joyful Vegan with Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (VZ 352) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Mar 15 2020

40mins

Play

Rank #20: All About Pumpkin! Health Benefits and, of Course, Pumpkin Recipes! (VZ 331)

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A sure sign that Fall is here is that pumpkin is everywhere! From coffee drinks and baked goods to jack-o-lanterns–yes, everywhere! But how much do you know about pumpkins?   Pumpkin — fruit or vegetable?  Pumpkin (Cucurbita Maxima) is technically a fruit. It’s a type of winter squash in the same plant family (Cucurbitaceae) as …

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Oct 20 2019

22mins

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Traveling and Supporting Local Businesses with Bree and Ben (VZ 358)

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Travel is very limited these days, but there are certainly still opportunities for us to support our local businesses.

In this episode of the podcast, we welcome Benjamin Hagerty and Brianne Nemiroff of the blog It’s Bree and Ben; Live and Travel Kindly.

Ben and Bree discuss their travels, which focus on learning about plant-based cuisine on the road, what it means to be a kind traveler, and how to support local businesses. The latter is especially important now, as we deal with a global pandemic. 

Who Are Ben and Bree?

Ben and Bree became a couple in 2009 and have always been passionate travelers.

After getting married In 2017 they took a long trip to explore more of the US and Canada. It was during this time they decided that they wanted to enjoy a travel lifestyle full-time! 

They began their trip in April 2017 by journeying into Canada, by way of the West Coast, and drove eastward from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

After spending six months exploring eight Canadian provinces, they ventured southward to visit New England and other cities on the East Coast to experience the fall foliage before returning home for the holidays. In Spring 2018, Bree and Ben drove eastward once again to explore more of the United States, focusing on the Southwest and the Midwest for another five months. 

During their travels, they enjoy checking out the local vegan scene and supporting small businesses along the way.

Be sure to follow Ben and Bree on their website, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links.  That means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of our links. We never recommend or provide affiliate links to products or services we do not use ourselves or that come from a trusted resource. Our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.

A Special Thanks To Our Sponsors:

Further Reading:

Also Mentioned:

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post Traveling and Supporting Local Businesses with Bree and Ben (VZ 358) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

May 17 2020

39mins

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7 Things You Should Know About a Plant-Based Diet and Diabetes (VZ 357)

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A plant-based diet can be a POWERFUL tool to help you manage your diabetes. But did you know that it can even help you reverse it?

A few weeks ago, Larissa had a bit of a scare with her blood sugar levels shooting up. Because she can’t take any medicines such as Metformin to help her control her diabetes (she’s allergic), she needs to ensure she’s eating right and moving. This recent scare prompted us to go back and review some of the basics about controlling diabetes. 

In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we share 7 things you should know about being diabetic on a plant-based diet. Listen here…

…or read on for a quick summary of what we discuss.

Disclaimer: We aren’t medical professionals or licensed nutritionists. The information we share here is intended for you to use when consulting a professional. 

  1. Don’t Hide Your Head in The Sand. Know Your Numbers!

After some persistent nagging, Larissa finally decided to stop avoiding it and check her blood sugar levels. Needless to say, it wasn’t good. Her blood sugar had risen higher than it had ever been.

Denying the truth will only make things worse! The sooner and more consistently you track your blood sugar levels, the sooner you can take control of the situation.

You can learn more about the importance of monitoring your numbers from the CDC website.

  1. Simply Avoiding Meat Isn’t a “Cure-All”

Just avoiding meat isn’t a complete fix for controlling or reversing diabetes but it is important. Why? Animal products contain a lot of saturated fat. Saturated fat causes heart disease and insulin resistance. 

Simply adopting a vegan or vegetarian diet doesn’t mean you’re adhering to a healthy diet. In fact, plenty of junk foods are vegan by accident, as we discussed in episode 286: Are Fritos Vegan?. 

Giving up animal products is definitely a step in the right direction but just remember, there’s more to a healthy diet than just giving up meat.

  1. You Can Still Eat Fruit When You Have Diabetes

Fresh, frozen, and even canned fruits (without any added sugars) are actually perfectly fine to eat while managing your diabetes. 

Because they contain fructose (naturally occurring sugar) and are high in fiber, most fruits are low on the glycemic index (GI). 

A nice, juicy piece of fresh fruit can help satisfy your sweet tooth while providing you a good source of fiber and nutrients! 

  1. You Can Still Have Carbohydrates…Just the Right Kind

Not all carbs are created equal! The key is to eat carbs that contain plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. 

Carbs that come from processed foods don’t do this for you. Carbs that come from fruits and vegetables do. 

While there has been a lot of emphasis on cutting carbs to lose weight, this alone hasn’t proven effective for the treatment of diabetes. 

A study performed in 2003 by the National Institute of Health found that a plant-based diet helped control blood sugar about 3 times more than a diet that restricted carbs and calories. 

In a rather short period of time, those who participated in the study lost weight and their A1C levels dropped. 

In some cases, their diabetes was reversed completely! 

  1. Limit high-fat foods. 

To oil or not to oil, that is the question! Much like coffee, I’ve read a lot about the good and the bad of oil.  

While animal products are high in saturated fats, the unsaturated fats in vegetable oil still make it less-than-healthy. It is high in calories which promotes weight gain and higher insulin resistance. 

When I took the Rouxbe Forks Over Knives cooking course, one of the many things I learned was how to cook without using oil. I really didn’t believe this could actually be done…until I did it!  

Since our bodies don’t require a lot of fat on a daily basis, it’s really easy to get what we need from natural fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and peanut butter.

  1. Eat plenty of fiber.

Fiber helps us feel full which makes us less likely to overeat and gain weight. 

While fiber is great for our digestive health, it’s important to note that if you’re not accustomed to eating a lot of high-fiber foods on a daily basis, you should increase your intake slowly. Even though they’re good for you, it can take time for your body to adjust. Suddenly eating a lot of fiber (especially foods with added fiber or when using supplements) can cause gas, bloating, or constipation. Also be sure to drink plenty of water, because fiber needs water to move through your body.

  1. You Still Need to Move!  

Adopting a plant-based diet is a great way to manage your diabetes, but don’t underestimate the power of exercise.

When Larissa’s blood sugar levels get a little out of whack, it’s amazing how quickly she can get things back on track just by moving. 

According to an article on Harvard Health exercise not only helps you control your weight but also helps reduce your blood pressure and control your LDL (the bad cholesterol).

Additionally, diabetic women can lower their risk of heart disease by about 40% if they spend about 4 hours a week walking or doing moderate to vigorous exercise.

If vigorous exercise isn’t your thing, even simply walking can help to lower your blood sugar levels. The best time to exercise is 1-3 hours after eating. This is the time your A1C levels will typically spike. 

Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. That means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of our links. We never recommend or provide affiliate links to products or services we do not use ourselves or that come from a trusted resource. Our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.

A Special Thanks To Our Sponsors:

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post 7 Things You Should Know About a Plant-Based Diet and Diabetes (VZ 357) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

May 03 2020

20mins

Play

Why Being a Part-Time Vegan is Better Than Nothing with Siovonne Smith (VZ 356)

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If you’ve struggled with the idea of going vegan because you can’t imagine life without some of your favorite foods, perhaps trying out part-time veganism is the thing for you!

In this episode of the podcast, we interview Siovonne Smith, author of The 3-Day Vegan.

In our interview, Siovonne discusses how an experiment to go vegan on a part-time basis eased her into eating vegan regularly.

Who is Siovonne Smith?

Siovonne Smith is a writer, photographer, explorer, and adventurer based in California.

From an early age, she became interested in nutrition specifically, how what we eat impacts our health.

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For more on 3 Day Vegan check out 3DayVegan.com.

To check out some of her other writing and projects follow @TitleWordSmith or check out TitleWordSmith.com.

Can I Really Eat Vegan on a Part-Time Basis?

If it works for you, then YES! You absolutely can!

When we first started podcasting in 2013, one of the things we discussed often was how having an “all-or-nothing” mentality can prevent people from even trying a plant-based diet in the first place.

While some people can go completely plant-based overnight, others might take time to settle into this new lifestyle. We all have or own timelines and we should respect each other’s journeys.

Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links.  That means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of our links. We never recommend or provide affiliate links to products or services we do not use ourselves or that come from a trusted resource. Our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.

A Special Thanks To Our Sponsors:

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post Why Being a Part-Time Vegan is Better Than Nothing with Siovonne Smith (VZ 356) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Apr 19 2020

50mins

Play

The Best Sources for Vegan Probiotics (VZ 355)

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As we deal with the global COVID-19 pandemic, staying healthy is essential. One of the ways to do this is to keep our digestive systems healthy. Enter probiotics; more specifically, VEGAN probiotics! 

You can check out our discussion of vegan probiotics here…

…or read on for a quick summary.

The human digestive system contains a lot of bacteria, most of which are harmless. Collectively, these microorganisms are referred to as gut flora, and are found primarily in the colon and large intestine. They’re SUPER helpful to the body in a couple of ways; they help to control the digestive process and keep your immune system in check.  

Gut flora, along with other organisms living in the body (such as viruses and fungi) make up your microbiome. Each person’s microbiome is TRULY unique, and is determined partly by genetics and partly by environment. 

When harmful gut flora outnumber harmless gut flora, the body can get out of whack. 

Possible health problems that can arise include:

  • heart disease
  • upset stomach (and/or chronic stomach issues)
  • obesity
  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • inflammation
  • skin issues (such as acne)

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that can help manage good gut bacteria, which results in a variety of health benefits.

The most common types of probiotics are:

  • L. acidophilus (Lactobacillus reuteri) — mostly found in dairy products; aids in digestion and helps reduce vaginal bacteria
  • B. longum (Bifidobaterium longum) — helps your body break down carbs
  • L. reuteri — Has been shown to help reduce bad bacteria in your mouth
  • B. breve (Bifidobacterium breve) — has been used to fight infections; helps absorb nutrients and fiber
  • B. animalis — found in some yogurt, such as Dannon’s Activia; has immune-boosting properties and helps with digestion
  • B. lactis — derived from raw milk; helps digestion and immune functions

What Do They Do for Your Body?

An unhealthy gut can lead to all sorts of health issues. Probiotics can help your body balance the good gut flora in your body.  

Antibiotics, for example, can cause gut flora to become imbalanced, which may lead to stomach upset and digestive issues such as diarrhea. 

What Do They Do for Your Brain? 

Probiotics may also have positive effects on mental health.

Studies have shown that mood–and some mental disorders–can be impacted by the bacteria in our intestines. Certain strains of probiotics have been shown to have a positive impact on treating disorders such as OCD, depression, anxiety, and autism. 

We don’t often realize how much of our overall health is dependent on the state of our intestines! 

What’s the Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics? 

Prebiotics are plant fibers that help stimulate the growth of healthy gut flora. They help create the ideal environment in which beneficial microorganisms can grow. 

Prebiotics are found in fruits and vegetables that contain complex carbs and fiber including, but not limited to:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Asparagus 
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Oats
  • Tempeh

Are There Any Risks of Taking Probiotics? 

It seems like probiotics would be a great thing to add to one’s diet, and for most people, they are!

Generally speaking, probiotics are safe, but always check with your doctor before taking any supplements. Children and some people with underlying health conditions may have adverse reactions to these supplements.

Are All Probiotics Vegan-Friendly?

Some probiotics contain animal products (dairy and others), so are not vegan-friendly. If you’re adhering to a strict vegan diet, you’ll want to pay close attention to both the active and inactive ingredients in supplements, as they may contain animal products. 

The good news is, there are plenty of plant-based food sources of probiotics. Here are are few:

  1. Miso –– made from fermented soybeans, salt, and koji (Check out episode 353: What is Miso?)
  2. Kimchi — this is made with fermented cabbage but can also be made from radishes, and is also a great source of Potassium
  3. Kombucha — a fizzy fermented tea (usually black or green)
  4. Tempeh — compressed fermented soybeans
  5. Sourdough bread
  6. Natto — made from fermented soybeans
  7. Vegan yogurt
  8. Sauerkraut — fermented shredded cabbage
  9. Supplements — discussed in more detail below

Of the list above, a number are fermented foods. For more on fermented foods, check out episode 176: The Amazing Benefits of Fermented Foods.

What are Some Vegan Probiotic Supplements? 

Here are a few things to consider when selecting a probiotic supplement:

  • Check the active and inactive ingredients lists for any animal products or dairy 
  • Check the CFU count (colony forming units)
  • Consider shelf stability — does it require refrigeration? 
  • Look at the strain diversity — the more diverse the better 

We’ve compiled a list of 5 supplement recommendations in a variety of forms: tablets, gummies, and powder: 

  1. Ora Organic Probiotics with Prebiotics
  2. Yuve Vegan Probiotic Gummies
  3. Nuzest 
  4. Naturelo Whole Food Vitamin for Women
  5. Flora Pro-Healthy Daily Probiotic by Naturenetics 

Note — I do have direct experience with Nuzest. Here is a little bit about their supplement:

Clean Lean Protein Digestive Support Protein is a European Golden Pea protein blended with probiotics and other gut-friendly ingredients for healthy digestive support. 

Clean Lean Protein Digestive Support Protein contains no artificial sweeteners, flavors, gums, or fillers; plus the L-Glutamine and particular probiotics in this formula were added to target gut health. It is available in Probiotic Cacao and Probiotic Vanilla.

We hope this has provided you with a good list of vegan probiotic options. Cheers to your health!

Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links.  That means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of our links. We never recommend or provide affiliate links to products or services we do not use ourselves or that come from a trusted resource. Our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.

A Special Thanks To Our Sponsors:

Resources Used for this Episode:

Recipe of the Week

Fermented Jalapenos from An Oregon Cottage.

Get everything you need to make your own fermented jalapenos here!

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Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post The Best Sources for Vegan Probiotics (VZ 355) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Apr 05 2020

21mins

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10 Healthy Coping Mechanisms To Help You Through Uncertain Times (VZ 354)

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These are definitely uncertain times.  As I write this, the world is dealing with a major pandemic which has left people feeling isolated, scared, angry, and anxious. Many are having trouble coping with this stress.

In this episode of the podcast, we provide you with 10 healthy coping mechanisms for navigating difficult periods. You can listen here…

…or read on for a quick summary of what we discuss.

10 Healthy Coping Mechanisms

  1. Spend Some Time in Nature

Spending time in nature can be as easy as stepping into your backyard and listening to the birds. We have a duck pond close to our home where we go to walk our dogs and enjoy some time outdoors. Try to find safe outside spaces where you can observe nature without any distractions (including your phone). If your face is buried in your phone while you’re outside, you’ll miss out on a lot! 

  1. Exercise

Exercise not only has physical benefits but mental ones as well.  If you can’t get to a gym, there are PLENTY of things you can do from home (or during your outdoor time). 

Since we both work from home, I’ll sometimes set a timer to help remind me to stand up and step away from my desk. Larissa and I will sometimes start our own impromptu 80s dance party just to get us up and moving. 

  1. Journal

I like to journal, and have done so for years. It feels good to pour my thoughts out onto a page. I prefer longhand writing for journals because I do think your brain works differently when you write versus when you type. It slows you down just enough to allow you to process your thoughts differently. This is currently my favorite journal, but a plain notebook will work just as well. 

  1. Stay In Touch with Family and Friends

My family and friends are truly my greatest treasures. They can be an immense source of comfort during difficult times. Don’t be embarrassed to tell those people close to you how you are feeling. They may be in a position to help you, or at least provide just the right amount of encouragement to help you through. 

  1. Aromatherapy

Our sense of smell is a powerful tool to help relieve stress and achieve relaxation. Scented candles, soothing essential oils, and scented lotions can all help our minds and bodies relax. For more on the benefits of essential oils, check out episode 262 of our podcast, Essential Oils 101.

  1. Watch Something Funny

Of ALL the items in this list of healthy coping mechanisms, this one (for me) works the fastest to turn a “meh” mood into a positive one!

When I was in a job I didn’t really care for, I started incorporating “laughter” into my daily routine. Larissa and I would watch an episode of Arrested Development or Seinfeld while we ate breakfast before I left for work. More often than not, those days went much better than ones we didn’t start with humor.  

Studies have shown that laughter has many benefits, including:

    • Stress reduction resulting from lower levels of the “stress hormone,” cortisol
    • Improved memory
    • Protection from heart disease
    • Enhanced learning ability

Finding ways to laugh during tough times doesn’t mean you’re sticking your head in the sand or not taking things seriously. It’s all about choosing where you place your focus. 

  1. Learn Something New

Our brains love to learn. Focusing on learning something new can take your mind off your troubles and stimulate creative and problem-solving areas of the brain. The “stay at home” orders in place in many areas during this pandemic are giving us extra time to invest in picking up hobbies we’ve always been “meaning to get around to.” Some ideas include:

    • Picking up a new instrument (or one you haven’t touched in a long time)
    • Learning a new language
    • Drawing
    • Creating a new recipe of your own (this one is especially fun with kids!)

  1. Listen To Music

Music is incredibly cathartic. One of the things I used to LOVE to do was put on a pair of headphones and listen to a favorite album from beginning to end with no distractions. I would just close my eyes and listen to every bit of the music.  

According to an article in Psychology today:

There are several mechanisms by which music can have this effect. First of all, music has positive physical effects. It can produce direct biological changes such as reducing heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels.

Try putting on some of your favorite music and doing nothing else…just listen. You might find that whatever is troubling you disappears into the music.

This machine (music) surrounds hate and forces it to surrender. Pete Seeger

  1. Stay Informed, But Don’t Obsess Over the News

Find a couple of trusted sources and try to stick with those. One of those sources should be a reputable national website. As we are currently dealing with a pandemic, the latest and most accurate information can be found on the CDC website.

You may want to choose a local news outlet so that you can stay informed about what’s going on in your city. 

Depending on the situation, you may want to turn off or limit the number of notifications your phone receives. This can be distracting and adversely impact your physical and mental well-being.

  1. Find Ways You Can Help Others

Helping others is kind in itself but it also benefits the helper as well.  

The term “helper’s high” refers to the emotional boost we receive when we help someone.  

The concept of the “helper’s high” arose in the 1980s, and has been confirmed in various studies since then. It consists of positive emotions following selfless service to others. Greater health and increased longevity are associated with this psychological state. Generosity, selflessness, and an extended sense of self favor our ability to confront successfully the environmental challenges we face on our planet. -Larry Dossey

We hope that you will find at least a few of these healthy coping mechanisms helpful in reducing your stress levels. If you are having an unusually difficult time dealing with stress, please be sure to speak with a mental health professional.

Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links.  That means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of our links. We never recommend or provide affiliate links to products or services we do not use ourselves or that come from a trusted resource. Our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.

A Special Thanks To Our Sponsors:

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post 10 Healthy Coping Mechanisms To Help You Through Uncertain Times (VZ 354) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Mar 29 2020

31mins

Play

What is Miso? (VZ 353)

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Back in episode 176 we talked about the amazing benefits of fermented foods. One of the foods we discussed back then was miso. 

This latest episode of the Vegetarian Zen is all about miso. I had no clue about miso until I became a vegetarian; I didn’t even know it existed! This is a great example of how becoming a vegetarian expanded my food choices and experiences. You can listen to our discussion here…

…or read on below for a quick summary.

What is Miso?

  • Miso is a fermented paste made of soybeans, a grain (such as rice or barley), and a mold called koji.   

  • Enzymes in the koji work together over weeks (and sometimes years) with microorganisms in the environment to break down the structure of the beans and grains into amino acids, fatty acids, and simple sugars.

  • Most miso is made in Japan, where it has been used since the eighth century or earlier.

  •  According to the Japan Miso Promotion Board (yes, there is such a thing!), there are over 1300 kinds of miso, but the two most common are sweet white miso and red miso.

What Does It Taste Like?  

  • The taste really depends on the type of miso. 

  • Some varieties are more fruity or sweet. 

  • Other varieties have a salty umami flavor. Because of this, it makes a great addition to recipes that traditionally call for meat. 

  • Generally, the darker the color the more it has aged, and the saltier and earthier flavor it has.

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Is Miso Good for You?

The answer to this is a resounding YES! It’s a great source of various B vitamins, vitamins E and K, and folic acid. Because it’s a fermented food, it’s also great for your belly. It provides beneficial bacteria (probiotics) to your gut to promote both physical and mental well-being.

How Can You Use Miso?

Soup is probably the most common way people use miso, but it has other uses as well. 

One great thing about miso is that it doesn’t need to be cooked. This means that you can stir it right into your favorite glazes, marinades, or dressings. 

Some recipe ideas:

  • Vegan cream cheese
  • Vegan ranch dressing
  • Tahini
  • Vegan mayo
  • Stir Fry
  • Marinades
  • Sauces
  • Pesto

Where Do I Find Miso? 

The good news is, you can find miso in most grocery stores these days (check the international foods aisle). Depending on the type, it may also be found in the refrigerated or produce sections. 

How Should I Store Miso?

Covered and in the fridge is the best way to preserve flavor and protect against oxidation. You can also press some parchment paper or plastic wrap over the top under the lid to help keep the air out. 

Recipes:

  1. 15-Minute Miso Soup with Greens by The Minimalist Baker

Minimalist Baker is one of our go-to websites for recipes. Their recipes require 10 ingredients or less, 1 bowl, or 30 minutes or less to prepare. All eating lifestyles are welcome.

  1. Miso Glazed Tofu by Namely Marly

This recipe is also gluten-free and low carb.

  1. Vegan Cashew Cream cheese from It Doesn’t taste Like Chicken

  1. Veggie, Miso and Tofu Stir Fry by Connoisseurus Veg

  1. Ramen Noodles with Miso Pesto from Bon Appetit 

Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links.  That means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of our links. We never recommend or provide affiliate links to products or services we do not use ourselves or that come from a trusted resource. Our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post What is Miso? (VZ 353) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Mar 22 2020

15mins

Play

On Being a Joyful Vegan with Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (VZ 352)

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In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we welcome Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, a recognized expert and thought leader in the culinary, social, ethical, and practical aspects of living vegan.

Who is Colleen Patrick-Goudreau?

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is an award-winning author of seven books, including the bestselling The Joy of Vegan Baking, The Vegan Table, Color Me Vegan, Vegan’s Daily Companion, On Being Vegan, The 30-Day Vegan Challenge, and her latest, The Joyful Vegan.

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She is an acclaimed speaker and beloved host of the inspiring podcast, “Food for Thought,” which has been voted Favorite Podcast by VegNews magazine readers several years in a row. Her new podcast, “Animalogy,” is changing the way we talk about animals.

Colleen co-founded the political action committee East Bay Animal PAC.  The committee works with government officials on animal issues in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Colleen shares her message of compassion and wellness on national and regional TV and radio programs, including a monthly vegan segment on Good Day Sacramento and monthly contributions to National Public Radio (KQED). 

She has appeared on the Food Network, CBS, PBS, FOX, and NPR, and in the Huffington Post and U.S. News and World Report. Her recipes have appeared on Epicurious.com and Oprah.com.

Interesting side note: Colleen also happens to be friends and a travel companion to one of our previous guests, Brighde Reed from World Vegan Travel! You can hear our interview with Brighde here!

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau lives in Oakland, CA with her husband David and two cats, Charlie and Michiko.

Some places you can find Colleen:

Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links.  That means at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of our links. We never recommend or provide affiliate links to products or services we do not use ourselves or that come from a trusted resource. Our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.

Today’s Sponsor:

Audible

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Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post On Being a Joyful Vegan with Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (VZ 352) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Mar 15 2020

40mins

Play

The Three Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (VZ 351)

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Think you know all there is to know about the three Rs of waste management–reduce, reuse, and recycle? You might be surprised at how even making a few small changes can really help the planet a LOT!

You can listen to the podcast here…

…or read on for more.

What are the Three Rs? 

Reduce

Reducing waste means finding ways to use less materials and energy in order to minimize waste and consume fewer natural resources. 

According to CalRecycle.gov, the website for California’s Department of Resources, Recycling, and Recovery, waste reduction is the preferred approach to waste management. Using more of existing products and resources (i.e., reducing waste) means that fewer new products are created, resulting in lower waste management costs. 

Some examples are:

  • Repairing vs. discarding
  • Cancelling unnecessary mail 
  • Not using disposable plates or utensils at home
  • Avoiding buying plastic water bottles
  • Not overbuying perishables at the grocery store (meal planning can help with avoiding wasted food). 
  • Buy in bulk when possible (less packaging). Reward companies that use less packaging with their products. 
  • Meal Planning. Whether you’re planning on a sheet of paper or using an application like Plan To Eat, meal planning can help you reduce the amount of food you throw away. 

Reuse

“Reusing” refers to using an item again, whether for its original purpose or a new one.  

This is the second “R” in the hierarchy because with little or no processing, reusing items can help keep waste out of waste systems. 

Some examples include:

  • Using a washable rag to clean your house instead of paper towels
  • Donating old clothes or household items
  • Buying second-hand
  • Using your old bedding for your pet’s bed
  • Using glass jars for food storage
  • Saving plastic containers to hold homemade natural cleaners such our all-purpose house cleaner
  • Reusing a foaming soap dispenser for your own homemade version of foaming hand soap which is SUPER easy to make! 
  • Use reusable shopping bags or totes instead of plastic

  • Buy reusable produce bags instead of using the plastic ones in the stores.

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  • Buy a reusable water bottle instead of buying bottled water.

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Recycle

According to the EPA website, “Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products.”

Sometimes it’s hard to see how throwing a cardboard package or glass bottle into the recycling bin can make that big of a difference. However, the following data from the EPA that shows just how big of a difference it can make:

  • 10 plastic bottles can save enough energy to power a laptop for more than 25 hours
  • Recycling 1 ton of office paper can save the energy equivalent of consuming 322 gallons of gasoline
  • Recycling one ton of aluminum cans conserves more than 152 million BTUs, which is the equivalent of 1,024 gallons of gas or 21 barrels of oil.

What Are Some Benefits of the Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling? 

Obviously, the Three Rs help the planet but just how does doing your part help?

Saves Energy

It takes energy to manufacture new products. Reusing items and reducing consumption also reduces  demand. 

Saves Money (you might receive a tax benefit as well)

Some items you donate may be eligible for tax deductions. Be sure to check the IRS website or with your accountant before attempting to deduct anything.

Helps The Less Fortunate Find Goods They May Need (Such as Clothing and Furniture) 

Thrift stores and other donation stations can help those who can’t afford to buy products at full retail find what they need at a reduced cost. 

Helps Reduce Pollution Caused by Harvesting New Raw Materials

Not only does harvesting new raw materials cause pollution but it also depletes our natural resources. We need to make sure we leave our planet in a good place for future generations. 

Saves Space in Landfills

We sometimes forget (or don’t even think about) the fact that our landfill space is limited. Landfills aren’t designed to break down waste, they only store it. 

Garbage in a landfill does decompose, it does so very slowly. 

While we aren’t necessarily in “crises” mode when it comes to landfill space, it’s important that we not put ourselves or future generations in that position. 

We hope this episode has provided you with some insight into what you can do to help save our planet! Remember, even the SMALLEST changes you make can help!

Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links and, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through to the product using the link we have provided. We never recommend or provide affiliate links to products or services we do not use ourselves or that come from a trusted resource. Our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.

A Special Thanks To Our Sponsors:

Further Reading and Resources Used for this Episode:

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post The Three Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (VZ 351) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Mar 08 2020

26mins

Play

The Gluten-Free Vegan (VZ 350)

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Before we begin talking about what it means to be a gluten-free vegan, please be sure to consult your doctor if you suspect you have a gluten allergy or any other medical condition. This information is meant to aid you in any discussions you have with a medical professional.

Listen to our podcast here…

…or read on for a high-level summary of what we discuss.

What is Gluten? 

The website celiac.org explains gluten as the general name for proteins found in:

  • Wheat (including, but not limited to: wheatberries, durum, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, and emmer)
  • Barley
  • Rye

Gluten acts as a glue that holds foods together and help them maintain their shape. 

Celiac Disease

According to the University of Chicago Medicine Celiac Disease Center

  • “Celiac disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive process of the small intestine. When a person who has celiac disease consumes gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, the individual’s immune system responds by attacking the small intestine and inhibiting the absorption of important nutrients into the body.  Undiagnosed and untreated, celiac disease can lead to the development of other autoimmune disorders as well as osteoporosis, infertility, neurological conditions, and cancer.”

  • 1 in 133 people in the US suffer from celiac disease (that’s approximately 3 million Americans!). The really shocking part of this statistic is that about 97% of celiac patients are undiagnosed. 

You don’t have to have celiac disease to want to reduce your gluten intake. Some people have non-celiac gluten sensitivity, meaning that they experience adverse reactions to gluten, including:

  • bloating, gas, and stomach pain
  • headache
  • brain fog
  • joint pain
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • anemia

Is It Hard to Be Gluten-Free and Vegan?

The good news is that, especially in this day and age, it’s not all that difficult to be vegan and gluten-free. 

In 2004, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act became law. Since then, all foods must be labeled to identify the eight major food allergens. These allergens include milk, egg, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soybeans.

Plant-Based Gluten-Free Proteins

Meat and dairy are naturally gluten-free (provided they don’t contain any additives). There are also PLENTY of plant-based gluten-free protein sources available. 

Here are a few:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Peanuts
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Edamame
  • Quinoa
  • Veggies 

In addition to the plant proteins listed above, vegans following a gluten-free diet can also enjoy these foods:

  • Corn
  • Millet
  • Gluten-free oats
  • Rice
  • Sorghum
  • Non-wheat flours such as corn, brown rice, almond, chestnut, tapioca, coconut, and sorghum
  • Coconut aminos
  • Vegan cheese
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Almond, soy,and  coconut yogurt 
  • Plant-based milks

Are Faux Meats Gluten-Free? 

Not all faux meats are gluten-free, so you need to pay close attention to labels here. For example, some Gardein products are gluten-free, while others aren’t. 

On the other hand, Beyond Meat protein is derived entirely from peas, mung beans, and rice.  It does not contain soy, gluten, or GMOs. 

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The newest iteration of the Impossible Burger is also gluten-free, although the first version did. Today’s Impossible Burger is made from potato and soy protein.

Any faux meats containing seitan (also known as “wheat meat”) are also off-limits if you’re trying to ditch the gluten. 

Dining Out as a Gluten-Free Vegan

This one is a bit trickier. While fast food places and restaurants are doing a much better job of offering vegan and vegetarian options, finding menu items that are both gluten-free AND veg-friendly is a bit more challenging.

A good part of the challenge comes from the risk of cross-contamination during food production and cooking processes.

Burger King and Taco Bell do a great job of offering vegan options, but they have a high likelihood of cross-contamination, according to this article in Very Well Fit magazine. The Taco Bell website states that they cannot guarantee that any of their foods are entirely gluten-free.

Even if a restaurant touts gluten-free options, the possibility exists that they cook fries in the same fryer as breaded chicken nuggets. 

If you have a serious gluten allergy, the best thing to do when dining out is to ask a restaurant manager about their cooking and food-handling processes.  

Some Other Foods to Watch Out For That May Contain Gluten:

  • Soy Sauce (not all are gluten-free)
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Gravy
  • Ketchup
  • Tomato sauces
  • Roasted nuts
  • Salad dressings
  • Some herbal teas
  • Candy
  • Gum
  • Stir-fry
  • French fries (some fries have a light coating of flour; fries may be cooked in the same fryers as breaded foods)
  • Chips (potato and tortilla)
  • Pretzels and crackers
  • Breads, pastries, and other baked goods
  • Pastas and noodles
  • Croutons
  • Beer and anything that may contain brewer’s yeast 
  • Flour tortillas
  • Breaded foods 

15 Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes

  1. Healthy Chocolate Smoothie by A Virtual Vegan
  2. Easy Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice by Vegan Huggs
  3. Vegan Gluten Free Quinoa Paella
  4. Obsession-Worthy Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream by Oh She Glows
  5. Crispy Potato Tacos by She Likes Food
  6. Vegan and Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna (updated 2020) by Vegan Chickpea
  7. Best Gluten-Free Pizza Crust by Ela Vegan
  8. Vegan Mock Tuna by Vegetarian Zen (can be found in our Buddha Bowl Book or on our site! Be sure that the vegan mayo is gluten-free (ex. Just mayo and Hellman’s Vegan mayo are both gluten-free).
  9. Colcannon Recipe (A Traditional Irish Dish of Potatoes and Kale)
  10. Easy Vegan Breakfast Tacos by Minimalist Baker
  11. Cauliflower Buffalo Wings by Detoxinista
  12. Vegan Jackfruit Enchiladas Verdes by Simply Quinoa
  13. Amazing Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies by Allergylicious
  14. Easy Gluten-Free Pancakes by Mama Knows Gluten Free
  15. Homemade Ravioli with Tofu and Spinach

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Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links and, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through to the product using the link we have provided. We never recommend or provide affiliate links to products or services we do not use ourselves or that come from a trusted resource. Our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.

A Special Thanks To Our Sponsors:

Further Reading and Resources Used for this Episode:

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post The Gluten-Free Vegan (VZ 350) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Mar 01 2020

25mins

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Healing Disordered Eating with Holistic Health Coach Cara Cifelli (VZ 349)

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Disordered eating is prevalent in our society. Women in particular are susceptible to experiencing “complicated” relationships with food.  In fact, approximately 91% of women in the United States say that they are unhappy with their bodies.

In this episode of our podcast, we speak to holistic health coach Cara Cifelli about both her own struggles and about ours. Cara discusses how she coaches both men and women dealing with the same issues with food.

Who is Cara Cifelli?

Cara is a Certified Health Coach, Holistic Nutritionist, chef, author, podcast host, and avocado toast lover. 

She passionately provides the tools to help women leave behind dieting, disordered eating, and body shame so they can show up more fully in all areas of their life.

She inspires others to leave behind society’s expectations as she guides them into their most confident and vibrant versions of themselves. This self-taught chef learned how to love food again as she was recovering from an eating disorder that she struggled with for 10 years. She touches on this in her new book, Vegan Buddha Bowls.

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Cara took her daily pain and struggle and turned it into her life’s work. She quickly learned how easy and exciting healthy eating could be and wanted to share her discoveries with others. 

Highlights of Our Discussion with Cara

  • Cara’s work with people healing from eating disorders
  • Vickie’s struggle with disordered eating
  • The dangers of relying completely on external tools and resources to tell us what our bodies need
  • Larissa’s struggle with sugar addiction and what her body might really be telling her
  • Cara’s new book, Vegan Buddha Bowls

Children are the original intuitive eaters. We all pop out of the womb being deeply connected to our hunger and fullness cues.  All of us have this woven into us. It’s our default setting. Dieting actually disconnects us from that default setting, which is being really deeply connected to our intuition around food. So, it makes perfect sense that you both had mentioned that it was way less complicated when you were young. – Cara Cifelli

Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links and, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through to the product using the link we have provided. We never recommend or provide affiliate links to products or services we do not use ourselves or that come from a trusted resource. Our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.

A Special Thanks To Our Sponsors:

All the Places You Can Find Cara:

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post Healing Disordered Eating with Holistic Health Coach Cara Cifelli (VZ 349) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Feb 23 2020

42mins

Play

The Dangers of Balloon Releases (VZ 348)

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Balloon releases have been around for decades, but did you know that they are extremely harmful to our animal friends AND our environment? You can check out the podcast here or read on for a high level summary of what we discuss!   What do we mean by “balloon release?” A balloon release is pretty …

The post The Dangers of Balloon Releases (VZ 348) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Feb 16 2020

15mins

Play

Vegan Travel Tips with Brighde Reed of World Vegan Travel (VZ 347)

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Vegan Travel Can Sometimes Be Challenging But It Doesn’t Have to Be! When I first became a vegetarian, I was still working at my corporate job and traveled regularly for business. Back then I learned about some of the challenges that can arise for plant-based travelers. These days, as more people are choosing a vegan/vegetarian …

The post Vegan Travel Tips with Brighde Reed of World Vegan Travel (VZ 347) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Feb 09 2020

46mins

Play

How to Get Enough Potassium (VZ 346)

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NOTE: Before we start discussing how to get enough potassium, we want to stress that you should always consult with your doctor or professional  nutritionist before changing your diet. Only a blood test from your doctor will be able to tell you if your potassium is low.  While low potassium levels can affect your overall …

The post How to Get Enough Potassium (VZ 346) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Feb 02 2020

22mins

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The Top 9 Kitchen Tools Helping Us Get Healthier in 2020 (VZ 345)

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Before we get into our top kitchen tools going into a 2020, we want to stress that you do NOT need to spend a lot of money to get healthy! We’ve accumulated many of these tools over YEARS. In this episode, we simply want to share some of the things we’re using that are making …

The post The Top 9 Kitchen Tools Helping Us Get Healthier in 2020 (VZ 345) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Jan 26 2020

28mins

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7 of the Healthiest Seeds You Can Eat (and Some Ways to Eat Them!) (VZ 344)

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Seeds — what they lack in size, they MORE than make up for in nutritional value! Here are 7 of the healthiest seeds you can eat to give you an extra nutritional boost! You can listen to us discuss these “fab 7” seeds below or read on for a quick review of what we discuss: …

The post 7 of the Healthiest Seeds You Can Eat (and Some Ways to Eat Them!) (VZ 344) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Jan 19 2020

28mins

Play

A Review of Our New Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven (VZ 343)

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Yes, we finally did it! We bought an air fryer!  We decided on a Cuisinart Convection Toaster Air Fryer, which actually does quite a bit more than just air fry (yep, that’s one of the reasons we chose it). Back in episode 259 of our podcast, we talked about air frying. When we recorded that …

The post A Review of Our New Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven (VZ 343) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Jan 12 2020

24mins

Play

How to Cook Quinoa and What To Do With It (VZ 342)

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Quinoa is one of the BEST plant-based proteins for vegetarians and vegans. In this episode of our podcast, we discuss what quinoa is, how to cook with it, and share a few recipes we’re eager to try. You can listen to the podcast here or scroll down for a quick summary of what we discuss …

The post How to Cook Quinoa and What To Do With It (VZ 342) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Jan 05 2020

27mins

Play

Instead of “New Year, New Me” Try This! (VZ 341)

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We are knocking on the door of a brand new year which means many people are thinking about New Year’s resolutions. “New Year, New Me!” is the rallying cry of many people vowing to start good habits and ditch old bad habits.   Even so, most people know that the percentage of people who actually …

The post Instead of “New Year, New Me” Try This! (VZ 341) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Dec 29 2019

20mins

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7 Tips for Navigating the Holidays As Vegetarian or Vegan (VZ 340)

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We are RIGHT in the thick of the holiday season with many people getting together for family, fun, and food! Navigating the holidays can be challenging for ANYONE. However, making your way through potlucks and parties can be especially challenging especially if you’re a new vegan or vegetarian or are simply trying to reduce meat …

The post 7 Tips for Navigating the Holidays As Vegetarian or Vegan (VZ 340) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Dec 22 2019

20mins

Play

The Best Darn Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili…Seriously Ya’ll! (VZ 339)

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What’s better than a BIG bowl of vegetarian chili? How about a BIG bowl of Instant Pot vegetarian chili! Here’s why… But first, a quick disclaimer from this Texan who takes her chili VERY seriously! Since traditional Texas chili doesn’t call for beans or veggies, we’re going to be taking some liberties with the recipe.  …

The post The Best Darn Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili…Seriously Ya’ll! (VZ 339) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Dec 15 2019

23mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

365 Ratings
Average Ratings
343
14
6
0
2

I love these women!

By Saltman52 - Feb 08 2020
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I love listening to Vickie and Larissa; it’s like having my close friends over. Such a warm nonjudgmental conversation! Having recently had a bruising experience with a very ethical vegan, I especially appreciate the gentle tone these two maintain. Thanks. And keep up the great podcasts!

Great Podcast-Easy to Listen to

By Sara Marceline - Jan 20 2020
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Everyone says that this is the least judgemental and most inclusive vegetarian podcast they listen to, and I agree. My partner is a Pescatarian who heavily leans towards Vegan-no dairy, no eggs, no meat; she eats very limited amounts of fish. And I am veg curious, primarily omnivore. To my point, I feel accepted and welcome here. I don't feel guilty about being me, while learning lots about vegetarianism and veganism. Vicki and Larissa have really pleasant voices to listen to. The information is great, presented well and very useful. And they have lots of resources beyond the podcast. I definitely recommend this podcast (and go back to the early podcasts if you can) as a great place to begin your vegetarian journey.