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(365)

Rank #123 in Nutrition category

Alternative Health
Health & Fitness
Nutrition

Vegetarian Zen

Updated 2 months ago

Rank #123 in Nutrition category

Alternative Health
Health & Fitness
Nutrition
Read more

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

Read more

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 Jul 26, 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 …

The post 5 Awesome Health Benefits of Potatoes (VZ 301) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Mar 24 2019

21mins

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Rank #2: 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. …

The post These are a Few of Our Favorite Things (2019 Edition) (VZ 333) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Nov 03 2019

42mins

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Rank #3: 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 …

The post 7 Awesome Refrigerator Organization Tips to Help You Stop Wasting Food (VZ 319) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Jul 28 2019

26mins

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Rank #4: Goodbye Autoimmune Disease with Dr. Brooke Goldner (VZ 321)

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In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we are EXTREMELY pleased to welcome Dr. Brooke Goldner! Who Is 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. She has been …

The post Goodbye Autoimmune Disease with Dr. Brooke Goldner (VZ 321) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Aug 11 2019

1hr 6mins

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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 …

The post A Review of The Game Changers (VZ 337) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Dec 01 2019

23mins

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Rank #6: 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 …

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Mar 22 2020

15mins

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Rank #7: 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. 

Leuchtturm Journals
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  • ELASTIC CLOSURE BAND: Secure your content with the elastic enclosure band and inner gusseted pocket. Page marker is included for easy access to a specific page
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  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

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Rank #8: 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 …

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

Mar 15 2020

40mins

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Rank #9: 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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Rank #10: 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 …

The post Imperfect Produce and Meal Prep with Melissa Grove (VZ 312) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Jun 09 2019

45mins

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Rank #11: 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 …

The post Epic Vegan with Dustin Harder of The Vegan Roadie (VZ 332) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Oct 27 2019

33mins

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Rank #12: 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 …

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

Mar 01 2020

25mins

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Rank #13: 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 …

The post All About Pumpkin! Health Benefits and, of Course, Pumpkin Recipes! (VZ 331) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Oct 20 2019

22mins

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Rank #14: 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 #15: 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 #16: In the Garden with Augie Sanchez (aka The Unkempt Gardener) (VZ 302)

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Springtime is a GREAT Time to Be in The Garden! In this episode of our podcast, we are very pleased to share an interview with someone who has been a friend of mine for 10 years or so now. I met him while working in my corporate job and we’ve stayed in touch even after …

The post In the Garden with Augie Sanchez (aka The Unkempt Gardener) (VZ 302) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Mar 31 2019

40mins

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Rank #17: 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 …

The post Your Guide to Baking Homemade Bread (VZ 326) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Sep 15 2019

32mins

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Rank #18: 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 …

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Jan 05 2020

27mins

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Rank #19: 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 …

The post Ask Us Anything! (VZ 327) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Sep 22 2019

30mins

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Rank #20: 5 Awesome Benefits of Pea Protein (VZ 308)

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There are so many great ways for vegans and vegetarians to get their protein. One source, that isn’t discussed as often as it should be is through peas!  In this episode of our podcast, we discuss the benefits of pea protein.   You can listen to us discuss pea protein here or read on for …

The post 5 Awesome Benefits of Pea Protein (VZ 308) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

May 12 2019

20mins

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Let’s Go On a Vegan Picnic! (VZ 363)

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Summertime…and the living is easy — except that, down here in the blazing heat of south Texas, going outdoors can be rough. Sounds like the perfect time for a virtual vegan picnic!

We asked our friends in our closed Facebook group, The Peas and Carrots Society, to let us know what they’d be bringing. In this episode of the podcast, we’re going to share some of their responses and recommendations.

No time to listen? No problem. Read on for a quick summary and links to everything we mention on the show!

We’re Going on a Vegan Picnic!

  1. Mediterranean Polenta Snacks from Cooking with Plants

One Peas and Carrots Society member said, “Press these into an 8 x 8 pan. This is sooo delicious and refreshingly summery! Toppings can be changed round to suit your tastes.”

  1. The Best Vegan Macaroni Salad by Nora Cooks

No picnic (vegan or otherwise) would be complete without a good ol’ pasta salad! This one from Nora Cooks is vegan and oil-free.

This particular recipe doesn’t call for bacon bits, but I grew up with my mom’s bacon bit-studded macaroni salad, which my family LOVED! But wait! Bacon bits? How are those vegan?

Believe it or not, MANY store bought bacon bits brands don’t contain bacon at all. You’ll still want to check the package to ensure there aren’t any whey products (dairy). You can also consider these:

Pimp My Salad Coconut Bacon Bits (Vegan)

The vegan bacon alternative. All the sweet, smoky, and savory goodness of the bacon, with none of the meat! Our vegan bacon alternative is the best way to enjoy those classic flavors you love in plant-based form.

Buy on Amazon

  1. Herbed Fingerling Potatoes by  Forks Over Knives

While this recipe called for fresh herbs, you can substitute easily substitute dried herbs. Tasty and oil-free!

  1. One-Pot Creamy Garlic Orzo by Six Vegan Sisters

The Peas and Carrots member who recommended this recipe from Six Vegan Sisters said, “This is SUPER easy and delicious warm or cold.”

What I really like about this one is it calls for nutritional yeast (aka Nooch) which adds a cheesy flavor without the cheese. It also has added nutritional benefits. We talk about Nooch in episode 142, Just What Is Nooch Anyway?.

  1. Roasted Carrot Dogs by Brand New Vegan

The Peas and Carrots member who recommended roasted carrot dogs didn’t include a recipe but we found this one from Brand New Vegan that looks amazing! It calls for liquid smoke to give the “dogs” that grilled-out smokey flavor.

What I like about this recipe is the “smoky” part. In episode 361, Spice Up Your Life with These Vegan and Vegetarian Seasonings we talked about using liquid smoke to give certain foods that grilled/smoked taste. We definitely want to try this one! 

  1. Fully Vegan Red Velvet Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Red Velvet cake is one of my FAVORITE desserts (especially the buttercream frosting)! Traditional buttercream is not, as its name implies, vegan, however. Peas and Carrots member Ramya Ramachandran — who shares her own vegan and vegetarian recipes on her site, Food E-scape — recommends this vegan buttercream icing from Loving it Vegan.

Additionally, if you’re in a rush and don’t want to make your cake batter from scratch, many conventional cake mixes are vegan, like this cake mix from Betty Crocker. Adding eggs or dairy is what makes cakes made from these mixes not vegan.

Luckily, there are several ways to replace these animal-based ingredients. Use your choice of plant milk in place of dairy milk and a vegan egg replacer such as the ones we mention in episode 317, Your Guide to Egg Replacers.

  1. Fruit Salad by Vegan Kitchen Magick

Another must-have for any picnic, vegan or otherwise, is a refreshing fruit salad. 

This recipe from Kitchen Magick looks close to the one my mom used to make except that my mom included marshmallows.

If you plan to use marshmallows in your fruit salad, remember that most marshmallows are not vegan because they contain gelatin.

Luckily, Dandies marshmallows ARE vegan and they taste amazing! So amazing, as a matter of fact, that Larissa and I don’t keep them in the house because they are way too easy to binge.

  1. English Scones by BBC Good Food

Who doesn’t love a good scone? These vegan scones from BBC Good Food Enjoy use soy milk and vegan vegetable spread to replace the dairy milk and butter. Serve with your favorite jam for a sweet treat!

  1. Cowboy Caviar by Food 52

If the name “cowboy caviar” doesn’t ring a bell, you may know this tasty dish by its other name, “Texas Salad.”  According to Food 52:

“The dish didn’t get the name of Texas Caviar…until it was served at the Driskill Hotel. Evidently, Texans decided that it deserved a fancier name than ‘pickled black eyed peas!’ The name stuck and so has this dish.”

  1. Simple Vegan Tuna Salad by Vegetarian Zen

And last but certainly not least, I’m bringing the vegan tuna salad!

Like a lot of people, I grew up with tuna as standard fare for lunch. If you are plant-based, it’s easy to think the days of tuna for lunch are over. Not so!

After tinkering with several recipes, I came up with my own tuna-free recipe that satisfies my tuna cravings. This recipe doesn’t call for black salt which provides the sulfurous taste reminiscent of hard-boiled eggs, but you can certainly add a dash if you prefer!

And there you have it! Some great vegan picnic ideas brought to you by our closed Facebook group, The Peas and Carrots Society. Enjoy!

A Special Thanks To Our Sponsors:

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Patreon is a simple way for listeners to contribute to Vegetarian Zen every month.


Pledge levels start as low as $1 a month. Pledge $5 or more and you’ll receive some sweet Veg Zen swag…t-shirts, stickers, magnets, grocery bags, and more!


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Learn More The Golden Apple Roundtable All proceeds go directly back into supporting the podcast and website.

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

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.

The post Let’s Go On a Vegan Picnic! (VZ 363) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Jul 26 2020

21mins

Play

The Ultimate Intentional Living Road Map with Jen Rao (VZ 362)

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What Does “Intentional Living” Mean?

Do you ever have days when you feel like a pinball bouncing around, unfocused? I know I can feel like that sometimes. That’s where understanding what it means to “live intentionally” can really help you create the focus you need. 

In this episode of the podcast we welcome Jen Rao of Clear Your Life.


Clear Your Life was founded on the belief that a simplified, beautiful living space will not only reduce stress but will allow you to create better relationships, work better, and feel more fulfilled.


Jen recently wrote an article titled, “The Ultimate Intentional Living Road Map“. In it, she discusses how we can design our lives to be more in line with our values.

Whether it’s making the decision to go plant-based or starting a business, Jen will walk us through how to set our intentions and create a workable plan for ourselves.

Check out our interview with Jen here:

Who is Jen Rao?

Jen is a professional organizer who specializes in decluttering (and its magical benefits!). She helps people clear their mind, home, and spirit by simplifying their lives.

In 2017, she downsized her life and moved into a 112-square foot tiny home on wheels with her husband and cat. After traveling full-time for two years, they’ve now settled in Squamish BC.

Jen continues to share her fresh, approachable take on simple living, organizing, and living an intentional life.

You can find her work at Clear Your Life and on Instagram.

Be sure to check out her free workbook, the Clear Your Life Method. 

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

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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.

The post The Ultimate Intentional Living Road Map with Jen Rao (VZ 362) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Jul 12 2020

44mins

Play

Spice Up Your Life with these Vegan and Vegetarian Seasonings! (VZ 361)

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Yes, it’s true. Vegetarian and vegan food is often thought of as tasteless, bland, and generally “no-fun” by people who might not know any better. But we know differently! That’s why we’ve put together this guide to vegan and vegetarian seasonings to help you add some spice to your dishes…and your life!

You can listen to us discuss our favorite vegan and vegetarian seasonings here…

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

10 Of Our Favorite Vegan Spices

  1. Steak or Poultry Seasoning 

Don’t let the name fool you! Steak and poultry seasonings don’t contain meat. They’re called this because these blends contain herbs and spices often used to season meat.

You can make your own very easily or buy off-the-shelf products. While these seasoning blends are usually 100% vegan and gluten-free, always check the label just to be sure. You’ll also want to be sure to check the labels to ensure no MSG has been added.

There are plenty of recipes available online for both steak and poultry seasoning. Poultry seasoning contains herbs including sage, thyme, rosemary, pepper, and marjoram, and spices like nutmeg cloves. Steak seasoning ingredients can vary a lot more, but some common ones are pepper, red pepper, garlic, onion, and salt.

What can I use this with? 

Poultry and steak seasonings are really good to use in dishes that typically call for meat. 

For example, using poultry seasoning in vegan chicken noodle soup such as this one from Simple Vegan will give you the same great flavor as traditional chicken noodle soup minus the meat! 

  1. Taco Seasoning 

Taco seasoning is one of my FAVORITE vegetarian seasonings. Here’s a shameless plug for our own homemade taco seasoning recipe

The ingredients in ours (which are pretty typical) are:

    • Chili powder
    • Garlic powder
    • Onion powder
    • Dried oregano
    • Paprika
    • Ground Cumin
    • Sea Salt
    • Fresh-cracked black pepper

What can I use this with? 

We love adding this taco seasoning to crunchy tacos made with Gardein Beefless Grounds or to our vegetable enchiladas. This seasoning adds a Mexican flair to any dish! 

  1. Liquid Smoke

Storytime! Back in the 19th century, a guy named Ernest Wright happened to notice a black liquid dripping from a stove. He figured out that this black liquid was the result of smoke coming in contact with cold air. 

After some experimentation, he was able to condense the hot smoke-flavored liquid and voila! Liquid smoke was born! 

Liquid smoke makes a PERFECT vegetarian seasoning because adding it to veggies and in other recipes can bring back that “grilled-out” flavor without any meat.

By the way, Wright’s is STILL making liquid smoke!

What can I use this with? 

Liquid smoke is a great addition to any dish in which grilled or smoked meats usually take center stage. 

Check out this Texas Style Vegan BBQ recipe from Brand New Vegan that features MUSHROOMS in place of meat!

  1. Black Salt

    Black salt, also known as kala namak, is a type of rock salt that has a sulfuric taste and smell. 

    Naturevibe Botanicals 100% Natural & Healthy Himalayan Black Salt
    • Kala namak is a kiln-fired rock salt used in South Asia with a sulfurous, pungent-smell.
    • Black salt, as compared to common salt, has lesser sodium content that makes it an amazing cure for water retention.



    Buy on Amazon!

    What can I use this with?

    Before you say, “Ewww!”, consider that the taste and smell add that “eggy” flavor back to recipes that call for eggs. Try a pinch of black salt in your next tofu scramble or in this recipe for Vegan/ Gluten-free Chilaquiles from One Green Planet.

  2. Nutritional Yeast

    The Nooch! Considered a STAPLE vegan seasoning, nutritional yeast is a great alternative to cheese. Unlike cheese, it has very little fat and contains a good amount of protein, B vitamins, and fiber. 

    Bragg Premium Nutritional Yeast
    • Provides great taste when added to a wide variety of foods & recipes.
    • A delicious Vegan seasoning substitute for parmesan that all ages are sure to love!
    • Try it in salads, soups, dips, spreads, sauces, salads, vegetables, potatoes, rice, pasta & popcorn.
    • It's great “cheese-like” flavor makes it a delicious cholesterol-free, low-sodium, addition to most recipes and foods.
    • Shaker Top. Rich in B vitamins
    Buy on Amazon!

    What can I use this with?

    The question here might be instead, “what CAN’T you use this with?” It’s a super way to help wean yourself off of cheese, particularly if you’re new to a plant-based diet and are having trouble living without it. 

    I love it on popcorn, but you can also use it on mashed potatoes, and of course in vegan mac and cheese recipes like this one from Cookie and Kate.

  1. Tumeric

    Just like nutritional yeast, turmeric is another spice that packs a lot of health benefits in addition to providing great flavor in your dishes. 

    It contains potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and a few other minerals that can help in the treatment of inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis. 

    What can I use this with? 

    Since turmeric is related to ginger, it’s a great addition to Indian or Asian foods. We found a Tumeric, Miso with Ginger, Garlic and Tofu soup recipe over at Vegan Richa for you to try. 

    I like to throw a tablespoon of turmeric into my morning smoothie for an added nutritional kick. 

  1. Chili Powder 

    A very underutilized seasoning (in my opinion), chili powder is typically a combination of paprika, oregano, onion powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, and garlic powder.

365 Everyday Value, Organic Chili Powder Blend
  • Brought to you by Whole Foods Market. Our standards are what set us apart, and our quality is what keeps us stocking pantries, fridges, and freezers with the best natural and organic 365 Everyday Value products every day.
  • Product of the USA.
  • Certified Organic, Certified GMO-Free, Certified Kosher.


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It’s a GREAT vegetarian/vegan seasoning to make at home since it’s simple and you control the hotness level.

What can I use this with? 

Rather than insert the obvious chili recipe here, we’re excited to share this gem, Baked Chili Cheese Fritos, found on Minimalist Baker. You can serve these as a side for your favorite sandwich or add them as a topper on your favorite homemade tortilla soup!

  1. Liquid Aminos

    Liquid aminos are very similar to soy sauce but without all of the salt. They are made from fermented soybeans but are healthier because they don’t contain unhealthy chemical preservatives like sodium benzoate. 

    What can I use this with?

    Liquid aminos have an umami flavor and can serve as a substitute in any recipe calling for soy sauce, such as stir fry and fried rice.

    Check out this recipe for Easy Vegan Fried Rice from Mindful Avocado.

Bragg's Organic Kitchen Variety Pack
  • Bragg's Organic Kitchen Variety Pack includes: Bragg's Organic Liquid Aminos 16 oz + Bragg's Sprinkle Seasoning Blend - 24 Herb & Spices, 1.5 Oz + Bragg's Nutritional Yeast Supplement, 4.5 Oz.
  • Bragg's Liquid Aminos organic is an excellent alternative for Tamari and Soy Sauce.
  • Bragg Organic Sprinkle is an original blend of 24 organic herbs and spices. Contains no additives, no preservatives, no fillers.
  • Delicious salt-free seasoning with no sodium, no carbohydrates, no sugar, and no cholesterol
  • Items are certified USDA organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, and certified kosher.


Buy Now on Amazon
    1. Nutmeg

      I had forgotten about the comforting taste of nutmeg until Larissa reminded me that it is one of her favorite smells. 

      In addition to having a warm and soothing taste and smell, nutmeg is also great to help relieve indigestion, improve blood circulation, and help with detoxification. 

      What can I use this with?

      My favorite way to use nutmeg is in my morning coffee. I add a pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of cinnamon, both of which really help bring out the flavor of the coffee.

      If you’re looking for a great way to start out your day with a pinch of nutmeg, try this Vegan French Toast recipe from Love & Lemons, or this one for French Breakfast Puffs from the Food Network (during the podcast, Larissa mentioned a recipe but couldn’t find the exact one. This one was close!)

    2. Vegetable Broth or Bouillon

      When I took the Forks Over Knives Cooking Course offered by Rouxbe a few years ago, one thing I learned was how to saute without using oil. I was VERY skeptical about this but was determined to keep an open mind.

      Much to my surprise, it’s not only possible to cook without oil but the food tastes so much better without the greasiness and taste of the oil. 

      One method we learned for doing this was by using vegetable broth or bouillon in place of fattening oils. 

      What can I use this with?

      Vegetable broth is a staple for any vegetarian or vegan pantry. In addition to being a great way to replace oil when cooking in many recipes, it can add flavor to your homemade borracho beans, quinoa, stews, rice dishes, and so much more!

Here’s a video from Sweet Potato Soul where she shows you how to make two types of veggie broth. The first is a mushroom seaweed broth and the second is a more standard veggie broth.

There you have it…our top 10 vegan and vegetarian seasonings to spice up your life. Of course, as with many of these types of lists, we like to hear from our closed Facebook Group, the Peas and Carrots Society, to ask their opinion.

Never ones to disappoint, they added some of their own favorite seasonings and/or recipe additions that can help you add some pizzazz to your dish. 

Here are a few: 

      • Guacamole
      • Maple Syrup
      • Sesame Oil
      • Tahini
Trader Joes Green Dragon Hot Sauce - 2 pk, 18 oz each

-Green Dragon Hot Sauce is the top-selling hot sauce at Trader Joes.

-It is the perfect complement to rice, eggs, etc.

Buy on Amazon!

This one has taken the place of Sricha sauce for me, at least for now! Great as a condiment or for cooking!

Our Pick Huy Fong Fresh Chili Garlic Sauce 18 oz (Pack of 2)

Chili Garlic is a blend of coarsely ground chilies and garlic. Add GROUND FRESH CHILI PASTE to make any food mouth-warmingly spicy. Use it to heat up your stir fry dishes, Vietnamese Noodles (Pho), pizza, eggs, pasta, or anything you desire. The delicious flavor of the sauce complements everything from a cracker to poultry to soups. It has a full-bodied flavor that will make your mouth water. The blend of Chili & Garlic is a wonderful flavor combination for stir-fries etc.

Buy on Amazon

      • Not a vegetarian seasoning but a book recommendation (PLEASE do not attempt to EAT this book! lol)
Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.: Quick-Fix Recipes for Hangry Athletes: A Cookbook

Cook the recipes that Shalane Flanagan ate while training for her 2017 TCS New York City Marathon historic win!

Buy on Amazon

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 Spice Up Your Life with these Vegan and Vegetarian Seasonings! (VZ 361) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Jun 28 2020

41mins

Play

Zero Waste Stores with Callee Ackland of Hippie Haven (VZ 360)

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In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we’re pleased to welcome Callee Ackland of Hippie Haven, the first zero-waste store in South Dakota. 

We’re going to talk to Callee about what a “zero-waste” store is and about the mission at Hippie Haven, whose vendors are 70% women-owned.

Who Is Callee Ackland?

Callee Ackland is the owner of Bestowed Essentials and Hippie Haven, two Earth-conscious companies based in South Dakota. 

Her personal mission to provide people with the knowledge and tools they need to spark positive change in their community. 

Callee’s career began when she joined the U.S. Navy because she wanted to change the world. She started her first eco-friendly business, Bestowed Essentials, at the age of 23 while still on active duty. 

In just under 3 years, Bestowed Essentials grew to be South Dakota’s largest soap company. You can find their products stocked in more than 150 stores across the U.S. and Canada. 

She recently opened Hippie Haven shop, the first zero-waste store in South Dakota. Callee is also the host of the popular Hippie Haven Podcast, a free resource all about living a harmonious and eco-conscious life.

Mentioned in our Interview:

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All the Places to Find Callee and Hippie Haven:

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 Zero Waste Stores with Callee Ackland of Hippie Haven (VZ 360) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

Jun 14 2020

45mins

Play

Vegan for Everyone with Laura Theodore (aka The Jazzy Vegetarian) (VZ 359)

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In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we are pleased to welcome Laura Theodore, a.k.a., The Jazzy Vegetarian. 

We’re EXTRA excited about having Laura on the show because she was one of our inspirations for creating The Vegetarian Zen podcast.

Many of you know that we started Vegetarian Zen as a place for people to feel comfortable asking questions and learning more about being plant-based without feeling bullied or pressured. We wanted to focus on the positive aspects of being vegan or vegetarian, and Laura certainly brings that vibe.

Today we get to know Laura a little more and talk about her latest book, Vegan For Everyone. 

Be sure to scroll down to find links to a few recipes Laura shared with us!

Who Is Laura Theodore?

Laura Theodore is a nationally recognized television personality, radio host, celebrity PBS vegan chef, and award-winning author of five plant-based cookbooks. Season Eight of the Jazzy Vegetarian television show airs nationally every Sunday at 9:30 am EST on the Create Channel (check local listings).

Laura’s new podcast, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio airs live every Thursday on Unity Online Radio. Learn more at www.jazzyvegetarian.com.

Vegan for Everyone By The Jazzy Vegetarian

Vegan for Everyone is the perfect book for anyone looking to add easy-to-prepare and delicious, plant-based food into their weekly menu plan. This innovative cookbook features more than 160 family-friendly recipes (135 are gluten-free friendly) and over 200 beautiful, full-color photos, including 100+ new recipes, along with updated versions of 60 fan-favorites, all created by award-winning vegan chef Laura Theodore (PBS’s Jazzy Vegetarian).

 

Our Pick Vegan for Everyone: 160 Family Friendly Recipes with a Delicious, Modern Twist

Vegan for Everyone is the perfect book for anyone looking to add easy-to-prepare and delicious, plant-based food into their weekly menu plan. This innovative cookbook features more than 160 family friendly recipes (135 are gluten-free friendly) and over 200 beautiful, full-color photos, including 100+ new recipes, along with updated versions of 60 fan-favorites – all created by award-winning vegan chef Laura Theodore (PBS's Jazzy Vegetarian).

Buy on Amazon!

This book includes an entire chapter of up-to-date nutritional information contributed by Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT (The Plant-Based Dietitian), making it a complete and fun way to make family meals kinder, healthier and—most of all—tastier.

With classic recipes like No-Egg Tofu-Veggie Scramble, Crazy, Easy BBQ Portobello Burgers and Cauliflower Steaks with Sweet Pepper Sauce; kid-friendly recipes like Yummy Banana-Oat Pancakes, Rockin’ Peanut Butter-Banana Toast and Date n’ Rice Cereal Treats; and plant-based, gluten-free recipes like Peachy Date-Nut Oat Bars, Zucchini Fettuccine Alfredo, and Mad Mocha Marbled Mousse Pie, you’ll be able to delight your entire family and all of your guests with easy-to-prepare, four-star meals that are satisfying, nutritious and delicious!

Vegan for Everyone includes:

  • Over 160 delectable vegan recipes, each with easy-to-follow instructions
  • Full-color photo with almost every recipe (over 200 photos in all)
  • Recipe ingredients that can be found at most local supermarkets
  • Handy icons to quickly identify over 135 gluten-free friendly recipes
  • Detailed lists of vegan essentials, including how to stock your plant-powered pantry and organize your spice rack and table of equivalent measures
  • Many quick and easy three-ingredient recipes
  • Festive recipes to serve for holidays, birthdays and any special occasion
  • Comprehensive plant-based nutrition chapter, contributed by Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT

Vegan for Everyone includes delightfully delicious, classic recipes to impress everyone you are cooking for—omnivores and vegans alike!

Recipes

All The Places to Find Laura:

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 Sponsor:

 

Our Vintage Store! Cheery Bird Vintage

Have you ever caught yourself saying, “They just don’t make them like that anymore!”


Larissa and I have which is why we decided to open up a shop filled with many of the clothes, shoes, games, toys, and housewares that we grew up with.


Vintage items are not only fun and unique but reusing them helps to free up space in landfills so it’s also good for the planet.

Find Us Here!

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post Vegan for Everyone with Laura Theodore (aka The Jazzy Vegetarian) (VZ 359) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

May 31 2020

33mins

Play

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

Play

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, 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 the environment. 

When harmful gut flora outnumbers 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. Therefore, 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. 

So here’s the good news! 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.

 

15% Off! Nuzest Clean Lean Protein
  • The Best Selling Vegan Protein!
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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

Play

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. 

Leuchtturm Journals
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  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 …

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

Mar 22 2020

15mins

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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 …

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

Mar 15 2020

40mins

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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 …

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 …

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

Mar 01 2020

25mins

Play

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 …

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

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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

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.