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Food
Alternative Health
Fitness & Nutrition

Vegetarian Zen

Updated 23 days ago

Food
Alternative Health
Fitness & Nutrition
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Vegetarian and vegan information, tips, recipes, and more presented in a light, conversational, and nonjudgmental manner. We welcome input and feedback from our followers regarding issues you would like us to address as well as ways in which we can improve. Please don't hesitate to contact us and let us know how we can help. If you enjoy and find value in our podcast, we would very much appreciate a favorable review on iTunes. This would help us tremendously. Thanks, and we hope you enjoy Vegetarian Zen.

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Vegetarian and vegan information, tips, recipes, and more presented in a light, conversational, and nonjudgmental manner. We welcome input and feedback from our followers regarding issues you would like us to address as well as ways in which we can improve. Please don't hesitate to contact us and let us know how we can help. If you enjoy and find value in our podcast, we would very much appreciate a favorable review on iTunes. This would help us tremendously. Thanks, and we hope you enjoy Vegetarian Zen.

iTunes Ratings

322 Ratings
Average Ratings
307
9
5
0
1

I Found My People!

By Cats&Carrots - Apr 26 2019
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This podcast is terrific!! I am a relatively new listener and now I can’t stop listening! I have been a vegetarian for years now, and still face the “what about protein?” or “ugh, why?”questions (not to mention the sideways glances). It is SO nice to have found like-minded people who share interesting, useful resources and tips in support of what is a personal choice. Vickie & Larissa, you rock! Keep it up ladies! And thank you :)

Love this podcast!

By Kmp1234567891974 - Apr 22 2019
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This is a fantastic podcast for EVERYONE! I love that it doesn’t judge people on “how Vegan” they are - There are so many of us out there that have their own healthy eating rules - this is a lot of info and topics dissected so you can make your own choices. I’m a vegetarian myself (can’t give up the honey and occasional cheese) and I know so many others have their own “rules” they live by. - thanks for the podcast girls! You make learning fun!

iTunes Ratings

322 Ratings
Average Ratings
307
9
5
0
1

I Found My People!

By Cats&Carrots - Apr 26 2019
Read more

This podcast is terrific!! I am a relatively new listener and now I can’t stop listening! I have been a vegetarian for years now, and still face the “what about protein?” or “ugh, why?”questions (not to mention the sideways glances). It is SO nice to have found like-minded people who share interesting, useful resources and tips in support of what is a personal choice. Vickie & Larissa, you rock! Keep it up ladies! And thank you :)

Love this podcast!

By Kmp1234567891974 - Apr 22 2019
Read more

This is a fantastic podcast for EVERYONE! I love that it doesn’t judge people on “how Vegan” they are - There are so many of us out there that have their own healthy eating rules - this is a lot of info and topics dissected so you can make your own choices. I’m a vegetarian myself (can’t give up the honey and occasional cheese) and I know so many others have their own “rules” they live by. - thanks for the podcast girls! You make learning fun!

Cover image of Vegetarian Zen

Vegetarian Zen

Updated 23 days ago

Read more

Vegetarian and vegan information, tips, recipes, and more presented in a light, conversational, and nonjudgmental manner. We welcome input and feedback from our followers regarding issues you would like us to address as well as ways in which we can improve. Please don't hesitate to contact us and let us know how we can help. If you enjoy and find value in our podcast, we would very much appreciate a favorable review on iTunes. This would help us tremendously. Thanks, and we hope you enjoy Vegetarian Zen.

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

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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 I believe moderation is key in most things, so in today’s episode of the podcast we won’t address the “great potato controversy.” Instead we’ll just talk about some of the known benefits of incorporating potatoes into your diet. Potatoes Get a Bad Rap Potatoes are called root vegetables (or tubers) because they grow underground. Many of the recent trendy diets such as Atkins, South Beach, and Keto discourage eating potatoes, citing the potential for weight gain from their high carbohydrate content.  Also, due to their high Glycemic Index load, they are thought to be bad for people with diabetes. This is particularly true of white potatoes. Getting results using health tips here tristandining.com. From American Diabetes Association Website: Question: “If you have diabetes, do you have to only eat small amounts of starchy foods, such as bread, potatoes and pasta?” ADA Response: “Starchy foods can be part of a healthy meal plan, but portion size is key. Breads, cereals, pasta, rice (whole grain options are better), and starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, peas, and corn can be included in your meals and snacks.” 5 Health Benefits of Potatoes Low in calories. Of course we aren’t talking about potato chips or loaded potato skins here! Plain potatoes are naturally low in calories; it’s when we pile on high fat ingredients or cook them in unhealthy ways that the calories add up. They are naturally fat-free, gluten-free, and cholesterol-free, so the next time you’re tempted to fry your potatoes in oil, opt for boiling instead to help keep your spuds low-cal. Potatoes are rich in nutrients. They are a good source of iron, Vitamin C, five out of the eight B Vitamins (the highest being B6), manganese, zinc, niacin, folate, and fiber. Additionally, they contain antioxidants such as carotenoids, phenolic acids, and flavonoids which help zap disease-causing free radicals in the body. Skin health. The B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium found in potatoes play important roles in keeping skin healthy. While eating potatoes can help your skin from the inside out, potatoes can be applied topically as well in the form of paste or juice to help mitigate skin conditions such as hyperpigmentation and acne.   Potatoes are rich in potassium. Potassium is important to a healthy heart because it helps manage high blood pressure and heart disease. White potatoes have 941 mgs of potassium and sweet potatoes have 542.  That’s about three times 3 times the potassium in an orange and a bit more than a banana. Improved Digestive Health. Potatoes contain what is known as “resistant starch.” This means that it “resists” digestion in the small intestine and instead passes to the large intestine where it ferments. This is good because the fibers feed your good gut bacteria and act as a prebiotic. One result is that you feel full longer, which can potentially help with weight loss. Another is that colon cancer chances may be reduced. Potato Warning! One important note about potatoes: Do not eat them if they are green as they can contain poisonous chemicals that cannot be destroyed by cooking.  Read more in this article The Claim: Green Potatoes are Poisonous about the dangers of eating green potatoes. We hope this episode has helped you understand some of the benefits of incorporating potatoes into your diet. As we stated previously,

Mar 24 2019
21 mins
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Rank #2: VZ 244: What Happens to Your Body When You Adopt a Plant Based Lifestyle?

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The Amazing Effects of a Plant Based Lifestyle In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we discuss some of the changes that can occur in the body as a result of ditching animal products in favor of healthy whole plant foods. 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, and our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners. Here’s what we mention in this episode: Chickpea Miso Broth Powder Resources Used for this Episode: * 7 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat * How Does Meat Cause Inflammation? * 6 Things That May Happen To Your Body When You Go Vegetarian Recipe of the Week * Vegetarian Pad Thai (Gluten-Free, Vegan-Friendly) Question: Did you experience any positive (or negative) changes after adopting a plant based lifestyle? Thanks for listening! Peace and Veggies, Vickie and Larissa

Feb 18 2018
33 mins
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Rank #3: VZ 277: CBD Oil – What is It? Is it Legal? What are the Benefits and the Risks?

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CBD Oil I’d heard about CBD oil but hadn’t really done much research into it until our dog, Cosmo, developed issues with his leg which may require surgery. As we do with any major decision (and some minor ones!),  Larissa and I are doing a lot of research about his condition, including treatment options, before we choose a course of action for our precious boy. To this end, I wrote a post on Facebook asking friends and family for vet recommendations so we can get a second opinion. Among the recommendations were posts from several friends suggesting that I look into CBD oil to help Cosmo with his pain. As I began to research it, I discovered that many people use CBD oil to treat a variety of issues, some of which are detailed below. Before you read on to learn more, please note that the information we provide on health topics should not be used as medical advice. We are not medical professionals. We encourage you to discuss all health issues with your doctor or other qualified medical professionals. What is CBD Oil? Cannabidiol, or CBD oil, is a non-intoxicating (non-psychoactive) extract from the cannabis plant. It’s essentially the hemp plant without the mind-altering effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD oil is different from hemp oil. Hemp oil is taken from the seeds of the hemp plant, whereas CBD oil is made from hemp flowers, leaves, and stalks. CBD has been used as an effective treatment for a variety of diseases and ailments such as mental health issues, sleep issues, childhood epilepsy (and other forms of epilepsy), and as an anti-inflammatory for pain relief. How does CBD Oil Work? The human body produces certain cannabinoids on their own. These cannabinoids have two receptors, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are present throughout the body and brain. In the brain, they help regulate pain, emotions, anxiety disorders, movement, appetite, and other brain functions. CB2 receptors reduce inflammation and chronic pain. Researchers initially thought that CBD attached itself to these receptors, but now believe that CBD simply enhances the body’s own endocannabinoid system by helping the body make more of its own cannabinoids. This is just another example of how plants help our bodies heal themselves! How is CBD Oil Used? Common ways to use include: * Inhalation (like vaping through vape pod systems or smoking via joints or bongs) * Topically (creams, lotions, salves) * Sublingually (under the tongue) * Ingestion (typically in recipes incorporating CBD oil like CBD drawn butter or CBD-infused coffee and smoothies. Even CBD craft beer is an option!) Is CBD Oil Legal in All 50 States? In June of 2018, the federal government (Food and Drug Administration) approved the oral use of CBD as an anti-seizure drug. It is legal if it is produced in accordance  with certain federal guidelines. DEA guidelines state that for to be considered legal it must “consist solely of parts of the cannabis plant excluded from the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) definition of marijuana.” At the state level, the Farm Bill (2014) permits states to have some discretion in experimenting with industrial hemp without being considered a controlled substance. Additionally, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act amends the CSA to exclude “industrial hemp”, which is any part of the Cannabis plant with a THC concentration of less than 0.3%. Despite this, as of 2016 the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) still considered CBD oil to be a Schedule 1 drug because it is extracted from parts of the plant that also contain THC. This put it in the same category as heroin, peyote, and LSD. However, in September of 2018 the DEA relaxed its regulation regarding cannabidiol so that CBD oil containing less than 0.1% THC that has been approved by the FDA is no longer considered a ...

Oct 07 2018
24 mins
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Rank #4: VZ 292: 6 Things We’ve Learned in 6 Years of Being Vegetarian

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We Can’t Believe It’s Been 6 Years Already! The year was 2013 and I was on vacation for the holidays. Larissa and I, a steak-loving couple, decide to watch Netflix and queued up a couple of documentaries just to pass some time. For some reason, we decided on “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead” and “Vegucated“. By the end of Vegucated, Larissa and I decided that we were done eating meat. Becoming Vegetarian How hard can it be, right? Just don’t eat meat! While our hearts were certainly in a good place when we decided to become vegetarian, our brains really had no idea what we were doing. We feasted on Oreos and Fritos and other highly processed junk food thinking that we were doing just fine. However, it only took a few days before our bodies told us otherwise. At first, I thought, “Well, I guess I just need to eat meat” but I knew I couldn’t go back after seeing those documentaries. So what’s an aspiring vegetarian to do? To the Internet! Rather than give up on vegetarianism, we decided to look for some online resources to help us understand what to eat to ensure we were getting the proper nutrition. Almost immediately after implementing some of the guidance we found we started to feel better! As we learned more, we felt the calling to share this with friends and family. Not in a “preachy” or “judgmental” way but rather just as education. Turn on the Mics! In July of 2013, we decided to share what we were learning on our plant-based journey with you, dear community. Bring us your vegan, your vegetarian, your veg-curious! No judgments or shaming here…just good food, good friends, and good fun! So with 291 episodes already under our faux leather belts, we’re proud to bring you the 6 things we’ve learned in 6 years of being vegetarian. 1. Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe Finding a supportive community where you feel comfortable asking questions is essential! While researching plant-based nutrition we came across a TON of great resources. Unfortunately, we also came across some groups and sites that were less focused on educating people and more interested in scolding them for not doing enough. Discovering that these sites and groups existed was the push we needed to create Vegetarian Zen. As our community has grown over the years, we’ve attracted folks with our same tolerant vibe. 2. Keep It Simple! When you first transition to a plant-based lifestyle figuring out what to eat can be a challenge. Your best bet is to start with what you currently like and see if you can make that plant-based. It’s really a lot easier than you think. Simply googling “vegan pizza” will result in lots of recipes for you to choose from. Once you master a few of your favorites, you might even build enough confidence to try out some new recipes you find…or create your own! 3. Life Isn’t All-or-Nothing Deciding to become vegetarian, vegan, or simply more plant-based isn’t an “all-or-nothing” deal. If you “slip up” and eat meat again is no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water. All-or-nothing thinking often leads to giving up altogether, and we definitely don’t want that. Forgive yourself if you stray from your goals. If your goal is simply to eat less meat or dairy, then the fact that you are even more aware of what you are eating is a win in our book! 4. It’s OK to Dislike Faux Meats When we first became vegetarian, we thought replacing meat with faux meat was all it took. When we didn’t like the taste or texture at first, we thought it might just take some time to adjust. After a while we realized that there are some faux meats we like and others we just don’t&#...

Jan 20 2019
26 mins
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Rank #5: VZ 213: Follow a Plant-Based Diet Without Feeling Hungry

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Feeling Hungry? A member of our closed Facebook group, The Peas and Carrots Society, asked for tips to help her follow a plant-based diet without feeling hungry. Our members responded with some really great suggestions, which we’ll share in this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast. 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, and our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners. Here’s what we mention in this episode: Vega Plant-Based Protein Dr. McDougall’s Ten Favorite One-Liners Resources Used for this Episode: * How to Fill Your Tummy and Feel Satisfied on a Plant-Based Diet! Recipe of the Week * Slow Cooker Lentil Quinoa Taco Filling Quotes of the Week Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory. — Mahatma Gandhi Question: What do you do to help ensure that you don’t feel hungry throughout the day? Thanks for listening! Peace and Veggies, Vickie and Larissa

Jul 16 2017
24 mins
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Rank #6: VZ 281: 10 Easy, Powerful Food Combining Tips that Actually Boost Your Health!

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How I Stumbled Across the Idea of Combining Certain Foods for Health Recently, while doing some research for one of our podcasts, I came across an article that mentioned the health benefits of combining turmeric and black pepper. I had recently begun incorporating turmeric in some of my cooking after learning about its health benefits but had no idea that combining it with black pepper could make it even more powerful. After reading the article, I wondered what other foods complement each other in the same way? This led me to learn more about the practice of food combining for health, something I’ve also heard called “food synergy.” Basic Principles of Food Combining Food combining refers to the idea that certain foods, when properly combined, work better together than when eaten separately. Those who subscribe to the notion of food combining also believe that some food combinations can be bad for you. Bad food combinations are those that cause the digestive system to work poorly, often causing gas and bloating. The idea of food combining isn’t new. Food combining diets first appeared in the Ayurvedic medicine practices of ancient India and began gaining popularity in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s important to note that there is still quite a bit of controversy surrounding some food combining principles due to inconclusive or, in some cases, directly contradictory scientific research. That doesn’t mean we have to throw the baby out with the bathwater, however! There is still some evidence that shows combining certain foods can be great for your body, so let’s talk about some food combining tips. Food Combining Tips 1.   Combine Black Pepper and Turmeric Turmeric contains curcurmin, a phytochemical that gives turmeric its bright yellow color. Curcurmin, a powerful antioxidant, is “supercharged” by the bioactive compound piperine found in black peppercorns. In addition to improving the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%, piperine has also been shown to help relieve stomach issues such as poor digestion and nausea. And we thought pepper was just a food seasoning! 2.   Combine Beans or Chickpeas with Rice In episode 280, we talked about the health benefits of chickpeas. If you listened to that episode, you may recall that one of the benefits of chickpeas (and legumes in general) is that they are great for the digestive process. They aid in digestion and keep you feeling fuller longer, which can lead to weight loss. While rice and other healthy whole grains are nutritious, when eaten alone they digest quickly in the body (particularly white rice). This, in turn, causes blood sugar to spike. The beneficial digestive properties of legumes help you to get the nutritional benefits of whole grains without the heavy glycemic load. 3.   Add Black Pepper to Green Tea Green tea contains the antioxidant EGCG which is believed to help regulate your metabolism and fight cancer. In 2004, a study in the Journal of Nutrition found that the absorption of EGCG was increased when piperine, the active ingredient in black pepper, was added. Instead of a lump of sugar in that tea, how about a sprinkle of pepper? 4.   Squirt Some Lemon on Your Spinach Salad While heme iron (the type found in meat) is easily absorbed by the body, we need a little help to absorb iron from plant sources (called non-heme iron). Fortunately, Vitamin C helps to store non-heme iron in the body in a form that is easier to absorb.

Nov 04 2018
32 mins
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Rank #7: VZ 300: Meal Subscription Boxes with Danielle Fried

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Danielle Fried (who we affectionately call “Listener Zero”) has been a friend of ours for almost as long as we’ve been podcasting. She became a vegetarian very close to the same time we did (about 6 years ago) and was one of the first people to reach out to us commenting on the podcast.   Very similar to us, Danielle became decided to give vegetarianism a try after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and Veducated along with a couple of other documentaries. Danielle is a very active member of our Peas and Carrots Society offering friendly advice to fellow members. Meal Kit Review In this very special episode of our podcast, we talk to Danielle to get to know her a little more and to hear her recent experience with meal kit delivery services  and their plant-based options. Danielle tried 4 meal subscription boxes: Hello Fresh Green Chef Purple Carrot Marley Spoon (Martha Stewart) High-Level Summary: Of the 4 boxes tried, Daniellle states that she would probably order Marley Spoon and Hello Fresh in the future. Both used high quality ingredients and the meals were crowd-pleassing. Marley Spoon meals typically took about 30 minute to cook but did require quite a bit of cooking tools. Ingredients and recipes were fairly easy. All kits seemed to have more packing than was needed (not exactly eco-friendly). Green Chef didn’t have many choices and had a longer lead time to cancel (7 days). Purple Carrot is completely plantbased. Listen to our interview with Danielle for more details! 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, and our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners. A Special Thanks To Our Sponsors: * Old San Antonio Trading Post (our vintage item store!) Find us on: * Ebay * Etsy * Mercari * Poshmarkbr /...

Mar 17 2019
33 mins
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Rank #8: VZ 263: Tips for Affordable Plant Based Eating

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Plant-Based Eating…Emphasis on Affordable When we hit a financial rough patch it’s easy to cut back on non-essential expenses like extra cable channels or dining out. But sometimes that’s not enough and budgeting enough for basic food expenses can become a challenge. In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we’ll share some tips for affordable plant-based eating. 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, and our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.   Here’s what we mention in this episode: * Old San Antonio Trading Post on eBay * VZ 040: Meal Planning 101 * VZ 070: Eating Healthy on a Budget * VZ 102: How to Save Money When Following a Plant-Based Diet * Cheap Lazy Vegan on YouTube * The Happy Pear on YouTube   Resources Used for this Episode: * Tips from the Peas and Carrots Society Recipe of the Week * Vegetarian Crockpot Taco Soup (With Vegan Option) Question: What are your best tips for affordable plant-based eating?   Thanks for listening! Peace and Veggies, Vickie and Larissa

Jul 01 2018
28 mins
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Rank #9: VZ 257: Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Challenge

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In early May, Larissa and I challenged the members of our closed Facebook Group, The Peas and Carrots Society to Dr. Michael Greger’s Daily Dozen Challenge. You might remember that Dr. Michael Greger is the founder of Nutritionfacts.org, which is a website we dedicated an entire episode of our podcast to because we thought it was a really awesome resource. In today’s episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we’re going to talk about what was involved in Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen challenge and share some comments from those of our members who joined us in our week-long journey. 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, and our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners. Here’s what we mention in this episode: Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Checklist Resources Used for this Episode: Daily Dozen Challenge Recipe of the Week: * Vickie’s Blueberry, Chia, Flaxseed, OatmealOatmeal with Flax if possible * * Tablespoon chia seeds * Handful of blueberries * Palmful of walnuts * Small amount of sugar to taste [youtube id=”Jji_QvksaW4&t=11s”] Question: Are you up for the Daily Challenge? Download the app or pdf (show notes) and try it for 1 day. It will definitely help you get some insight into your eating habits!   Thanks for listening! Peace and Veggies, Vickie and Larissa

May 20 2018
26 mins
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Rank #10: VZ 270: Vegan Trader Joe’s

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Showing Some Love to Trader Joe’s! Trader Joe’s is a popular store for many folks within our Vegetarian Zen community. Why? Maybe it’s because of the great Vegan Trader Joe’s offerings! In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we share our very first legit visit to Trader Joe’s. We say “legit” because we were on a mission to do our weekly shopping exclusively from TJ’s armed with a list of Vegan and Vegetarian Trader Joe’s must-try’s from our Peas and Carrots Society. What did we try? Find out in this episode! 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, and our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.   Today’s Sponsors: * Old San Antonio Trading Post on eBay * Mercari on Mercari * Old San Antonio Trading Post on Poshmark * Golden Apple Roundtable (Patreon Campaign) Our Vegan Trader Joe’s List (and some vegetarian too!): * Steamed Lentils * Meatless Breakfast Patties * Vegetable Fried Rice * Crispy Ginger Chunk Cookies * Green Goddess Salad Dressing * Vegetarian Tamales * Soy Chorizo * Garlic Naan * Habanero Hot Sauce * Peruvian Inca Corn Snacks Recipe of the Week: Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatball BBQ subs Resource of the Week: Trader Joe’s Website Question of the Week: What are your Trader Joe’s must-trys? Please share in the comments below!   Thanks for listening! Peace, love, and veggies, Vickie and Larissa

Aug 19 2018
36 mins
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Rank #11: VZ 299: How to Marinate Tofu

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Tips and Recipes Ideas for Tasty Tofu! Back in episode 8 of the podcast, we talked “All About Tofu”, explaining what it is and sharing a few tips for cooking with it. 291 episodes later we’re back with another round of tofu talk, this time inspired by Peas and Carrots Society member Ron Kaufman-Schmick who posted in the group: “Looking for new ways to marinate tofu please…..annnnnd go!” As usual, our fellow Peas and Carrots members jumped in with some great ideas!  In today’s episode of the podcast, we’re going to share some of their suggestions along with some tips for ensuring that your tofu is the best that it can be! What is Tofu? Tofu is a coagulated soy milk product that has been pressed into curds and made into solid white blocks with varying degrees of softness. The softness levels are silken, soft, firm, and extra firm. Each type lends itself to a different type of dish. For example, silken tofu is great in smoothies and baking, but wouldn’t hold up to cubing, marinating, and baking or frying.  For more in-depth information on tofu, be sure to check out episode 8 of our podcast, All About Tofu. Why Should I Eat It? Tofu is one of the most popular meat substitutes in vegan food recipes.  It’s low-calorie and a great source of protein, iron, calcium, and magnesium. Additionally, it contains all nine essential amino acids and in its plain, unflavored form is typically gluten-free. Just be sure to check the label if this is important to you. Why Do I Need to Marinate Tofu? Tofu in itself is pretty tasteless so if someone scrunches up their nose when you mention tofu, chances are they have a) never tried it or b) never had it cooked right!   Because of its neutral flavor and texture it easily absorbs flavors, making it is extremely versatile in cooking. Tips for Marinating Tofu * First,  slice the block of tofu horizontally in half. 2. Then press the tofu for at least 30 minutes to ensure you remove the excess liquid from it. We usually press ours for an hour. While there are companies that make tofu presses, you really don’t need one. We like to put the tofu in a jellyroll pan (or something with sides so the liquid doesn’t seep out onto the counter). Place several layers of paper toweling (or a washable tea towel) on the pan and place the sliced tofu on top. Add a second layer of paper towels and cover with a cutting board. Place something heavy–we use a couple of our heavy Le Crueset frying pans–on the cutting board to press the liquid out. 3. Once the tofu is pressed, it’s time to marinate! Your choice of marinade really just depends on what dish you would like to make with your tofu. 4. Cut the tofu pieces into cubes unless your recipe calls for longer pieces. The size is really up to you. 5. Place the cubes in a sealable container (we use a Pyrex bowl with a lid). Mix your marinade ingredients and pour them over the cubes in the container. It’s important that the container allows for full coverage over the tofu. The longer you can leave it marinating the better. An hour would probably work too but just keep in mind that the longer you can keep it soaking, the more flavor will be absorbed. 6. Once your tofu has marinated for a minimum of 20 minutes it’s time to cook! Cooking Time! One of the most common ways to consume tofu is in a stir fry, but it’s generally best to cook the tofu separately first. While frying isn’t necessarily the healthiest, we usually do fry the tofu in a bit of grapeseed and sesame oil after tossing the cubes in some cornstarch.

Mar 10 2019
28 mins
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Rank #12: VZ 265: Forks Over Knives Cooking Course – Vickie’s Review and Update

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I’m Taking the Rouxbe Forks Over Knives Cooking Course! Note: This podcast episode was recorded prior to me completing the course. For a full review of the Forks Over Knives Online course after having completed the entire course, check out episode VZ 274: 5 Big Takeaways from the Forks Over Knives Cooking Course. In early June, Vickie started a Forks Over Knives Cooking Course in an effort to get more creative and knowledgeable in the kitchen. Not having enough variety in our meals has caused us to drift back into some old bad habits like relying on a lot of processed foods and even fast food. We wanted to take charge of finding ways to come up with different meals while learning and enjoying the process. In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we discuss the Forks Over Knives Cooking Course and Vickie’s review so far! 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, and our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.   Here’s what we mention in this episode: * Old San Antonio Trading Post on eBay * Mercari on Mercari * Old San Antonio Trading Post on Poshmark * Top Chef by Master Cutlery 9-Piece Knife Set * Rouxbe Resources Used for this Episode: * Forks Over Knives Cooking Course Recipe of the Week * How to Make Coconut Bacon Question: What has been your biggest learning in the kitchen?   Thanks for listening! Peace and Veggies, Vickie and Larissa

Jul 15 2018
28 mins
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Rank #13: VZ 230: 5 Things We Wish We’d Known As New Vegetarians

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Lessons Learned! In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we’ll share our top 5 things we wish we’d known as new vegetarians. We also posed this question to the members of the Peas and Carrots Society, and we’ll share some of their responses as well. 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, and our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners. Here’s what we mention in this episode: Bakol Yum Cups The Taco Cleanse: The Tortilla-Based Diet Proven to Change Your Life The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good! Vitamix 5200 Blender Instant Pot Ultra 6 Qt 10-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Cake Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and Sterilizer a href="https://www.amazon.

Nov 12 2017
24 mins
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Rank #14: VZ 266: Rise of the Non Dairy Milk Industry and What You Can Do to Keep it Going!

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Non Dairy Milk…It’s What’s for Breakfast (and Lunch, and Dinner, and Snacks…) Back in episode 078 we did our first episode on plant milk titled “The Delicious World of Plant Milks” and in a recent episode 253, we talked specifically about peanut milk. In today’s episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we are going to discuss the Non Dairy Milk industry overall and where it seems to be headed. Hint: We think you are going to like where it’s headed! As an added bonus, we’re going to give you 5 tips to help contribute to this growing trend of reducing dairy in your diet. 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, and our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners. Here’s what we mention in this episode: * Old San Antonio Trading Post on eBay * Mercari on Mercari * Old San Antonio Trading Post on Poshmark Resources Used for this Episode: * US Faces Cheese Surplus as Dairy Demand Drops * Non-Dairy Milk Guide For all Your Cooking and Baking Needs * Non-Vegan Company Names Plant Milk the Future of Milk * Plant Based Milk Sales Grow 61% In US Over 5 Years – Dairy Sales Plummet by 15% * Healthy Concerns About Dairy Milk * Dairy Under Threat from Plant-Based Demand, Warns Industry Outlet * 10 Best Food and Health Documentaries * How to Make Milk in a Vitamix Blender by Larissa * Calcium in a Vegan Diet Recipe of the Week * Vegan Taco Pizza from One Green Planet Thanks for listening! Peace and Veggies, Vickie and Larissa

Jul 22 2018
29 mins
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Rank #15: VZ 242: Fresh Ideas for Vegetarian and Vegan Lunches

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Vegetarian and Vegan Lunches Can Be So Much More Than Salad! Having a healthy lunch at work or school can be difficult, particularly if you don’t have access to a microwave. In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we share some ideas for vegetarian and vegan lunches that don’t require a microwave.   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, and our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners. Here’s what we mention in this episode: Our Weekly Recipes board on Pinterest Resources Used for this Episode: * 29 Meat-Free Meals You Can Make Without Your Stove * 18 Vegetarian Lunch Ideas That Will Make Your Colleagues Jealous * 17 High Protein Lunches You Don’t Need to Reheat at Work or School * 26 Packable Vegan Lunch Ideas for Work or School * Skip the Microwave: Lunches that Don’t Need Reheating Recipe of the Week * Spicy Tofu Vegan Rolls Question: What are your ideas for lunch ideas that don’t need to be reheated?   Thanks for listening! Peace and Veggies, Vickie and Larissa

Feb 04 2018
30 mins
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Rank #16: VZ 254: Some Facts About Foodborne Illness

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Understanding Foodborne Illness Is Critical to Maintaining a Healthy Society Widespread outbreaks of illness resulting from contaminated produce have been in the news a lot recently. In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast, we’ll present some facts about foodborne illness, including how it happens and how you can lower your risk of getting sick.   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, and our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners. Here’s what we mention in this episode: * Bad Bug Book * Strawberry Hullers on Amazon Resources Used for this Episode: * Bacteria From Eating Raw Vegetables * How Do Pathogens Get Into Produce? * Produce: Selecting and Serving it Safely * 5 foods more likely than chicken to harbor salmonella * How Food Gets Contaminated – The Food Production Chain Recipe of the Week * Panko Baked Avocado Tacos Question: Do you take extra precautions to prevent or minimize your risk of exposure to foodborne illness? Thanks for listening! Peace and Veggies, Vickie and Larissa

Apr 29 2018
39 mins
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Rank #17: VZ 272: 10 Simple Meal Planning Tips

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Meal Planning Tips to Make Life Easier for All School has started already and for families with school-aged kids life just got a LOT busier. Trying to find a balance between work, school, and home lives can leave little time for meal planning, which can lead to fast food stops or expensive restaurant trips. Way back in 2014, we did an episode called “Meal Planning 101” in which we shared some basics of meal planning. We’ve learned a few things about meal planning since then and have become much more consistent (but we still have work to do!). In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen Podcast, we’re going to share 10 meal planning tips that can help you stay on target with your health and financial goals. 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, and our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners. Today’s Sponsors: The Shop at Vegetarian Zen – Sign up for our newsletter to receive a 10% discount on your first purchase! Old San Antonio Trading Post – Shop for great vintage housewares, toys, clothes, and more in our very own shops on eBay, Poshmark, Mercari, and Etsy! Recipe of the Week: All-Purpose Cashew Cream Resource of the Week: Mealboard More Resources and Sources Cited: Imperfect Produce Question: What are some of your favorite meal planning tricks? Thanks for listening! Peace, love, and veggies, Vickie and Larissa

Sep 02 2018
34 mins
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Rank #18: VZ 262: Essential Oils 101

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The Essentials of Essential Oils We have recently started including aromatherapy using essential oils as part of our monthly massages and we both love it. In this episode of the Vegetarian Podcast, we discuss the basics of essential oils–what they as well as some benefits and risks associated with their use. 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, and our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners.   Here’s what we mention in this episode: InnoGear Upgraded 150ml Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Using Essential Oils Around Your Pet (includes infographic mentioned in the episode) Resources Used for this Episode: * Aromatherapy * Sawbones Podcast: Aromatherapy * How to Choose High-Quality Essential Oils Recipe of the Week * 101 Essential Oil Uses & Benefits Question: Do you use aromatherapy? If so, what is your favorite oil or combination of oils?   Thanks for listening! Peace and Veggies, Vickie and Larissa

Jun 24 2018
31 mins
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Rank #19: VZ 290: Vegetarian Sandwich Recipes for the PBJ Weary

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Vegetarian Sandwich Recipes That Aren’t PBJ When I first became a vegetarian in 2013 I thought my sandwich life would consist of egg salad, peanut butter and jelly, and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Quite honestly, even when I did still eat meat, my sandwich choices weren’t very creative. One thing that being a vegetarian has taught me is how to be more creative with my food choices. After all, having to piece together sides at a steakhouse to create a meal forces one to think outside of the box! We’re including some links to recipes below to help spark some ideas, but remember that the best sandwiches are always the ones that suit your specific taste, so don’t be afraid to tweak and refine! It All Starts with Delicious Bread The right (or wrong) bread can seriously make (or break) your sandwich. Like many people, when we were growing up we relied on plain old generic off-the-shelf white bread. Today, however, many grocery stores have their own bakeries that offer a wide variety of scratch-made whole grain breads. While not all breads are conducive to sandwich making, try experimenting with a few you’ve never tried before. You may find a new favorite!  Also, whoever defined “sandwich” as this-or-that between two pieces of sliced bread was sorely lacking in the creativity department! Get creative with pita, naan, an English muffin, or a bagel  (especially toasted!). Or come up with something else completely new! Check out this article from the Happy Herbivore for more vegan bread options. Veggie-Based Spreadables Whether you are vegetarian or vegan, your choices of sandwich spreads are certainly not limited. Lacto-ovo vegetarians who eat dairy and eggs can use standard mayonnaise, but there are also some non-dairy/egg mayos available these days. Just Mayo brand is one of our favorites. * Awesome alternatives to mustard and mayo also exist. Some other favorites are: * Hummus * Avocado * Cream Cheese (standard or vegan) The State of Veggies The state of your veggies really really REALLY matters! Wilted veggies can take a sandwich from hero to zero, so be sure to use only the best! This is especially true if you’re making a veggie sandwich without faux meats or cheeses. If a raw veggie sandwich sounds too boring, try grilling them or sauteing in red wine for powerful flavor. How about this amazing recipe for a grilled veggie panini? This looks so good!  Don’t Forget About Veggie Burgers and Other Faux Meats! A meatless sandwich doesn’t necessarily mean veggies only. There are some delicious faux meats on the market, and more options are popping up all the time. Yes, many are processed and therefore not the healthiest choice, but if you’re craving a burger why not try a meat substitute to satisfy that craving? You can also grill a portobello mushroom and top with caramelized onions for a delicious meatless burger, or heat vegan meatballs in pasta sauce for a classic meatball sub. Tofu can also be used as a sandwich filling. Just remember that tofu is flavorless on its own, so you’ll need to marinate it before baking or pan-frying. The good thing is that marinade possibilities are endless, so you really can create a truly unique sandwich. Check out Peta’s “12 Vegan Meat Brands That are Changing Everything!” for more on faux meats. Less-Processed Fillings For healthier, less-processed options, try making your own bean burgers, falafel or vegan tuna salad made from hummus. Jackfruit and portobello mushrooms also do a remarkable job of subbing in for meats especially sloppy joes or BBQ. Gettin’ Cheesy Since most vegetarians still eat dairy and eggs,

Jan 06 2019
34 mins
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Rank #20: VZ 253: Peanut Milk

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Another Plant Milk? Yes…Here’s Peanut Milk! In this episode of the Vegetarian Zen podcast we’ll be talking about a new nut milk that’s poised to become a staple in plant-based households…PEANUT MILK! 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, and our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers and listeners. Here’s what we mention in this episode: * Nut Milk Bags * Elmhurst Milked * Old San Antonio Trading Post – our store on eBay! Resources Used for this Episode: * Peanut Milk: The New Nut Milk You Haven’t Tried But Should * A major dairy producer collapsed — now it’s making nut milks and business is booming * Elmhurst Milked Recipe of the Week * How To Make Peanut Milk * DIY Peanut Milk Question: Have you tried peanut milk? If you have, what did you think? Thanks for listening! Peace and Veggies, Vickie and Larissa

Apr 22 2018
19 mins
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