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What are vegan eggs? 

The term “vegan eggs” essentially refer to anything that replaces eggs either as a main dish or in a recipe. 

Vegan egg replacements can be either store-bought or homemade. Read on to learn about a few popular store-bought options, plus a few options for making vegan egg replacers at home.

How are vegan eggs made? (aka…what could possibly replace eggs?)

Ingredients in both commercial and homemade egg replacers vary widely. Many commercial products contain a thickening agent such as potato starch or tapioca flour, a leavening agent such as cream of tartar, and various other binding agents and/or preservatives. 

Are vegan eggs healthy? 

Just because a food is vegan doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy. It’s always important to check labels for natural, good quality ingredients. 

Off-the-shelf vegan eggs Just Egg

This product seemed to  be the most popular with our community when it came to off-the-shelf replacements. 

Per the package: 

  • Made from plants
  • 5 grams of protein per serving 
  • Scrambles just like real eggs but is cholesterol-free, non-GMO, and contains no eggs or dairy

So, does Just Egg taste just like eggs? As of this writing, we haven’t personally tried it. However, after seeing the recommendations from our community and the positive reviews on Amazon, we’d bet money it absolutely does! 

Namaste Egg Replacer

Namaste was recommended by Andrea in our Peas and Carrots Society group on Facebook. 

It’s derived from citrus fiber, tapioca starch, arrowroot powder, cream of tartar, and sodium bicarbonate. 

Namaste does not contain wheat, gluten, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, sulfates, sesame, mustard, potato, or corn. 

Based on the pictures, it looked to be mainly used in baking recipes so we’re not sure how scrambling up a mess of Namaste would turn out, but the recipes on their website look good. 

Ener-G

Ener-G is a powdered egg replacer that mimics the binding function of eggs in cooking and baking, but it’s completely egg-free. It can be used to replace both egg whites and yolks and contains no gluten, wheat, or cholesterol. It’s low in sodium and protein and is vegetarian and kosher.

One 16 ounce package equals approximately 100 eggs.

Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer

We love Bob’s Red Mill products! Their egg substitute is paleo and grain-free and contains no nuts, flours, starches, or seeds. It’s also gluten-free and kosher. 

This one won’t work as a scramble but does work well with baked items. 

Follow Your Heart’s VeganEgg

This product actually comes in an egg carton-looking container. It can be used for baking or for scrambled egg dishes. 

Follow Your Heart’s VeganEggs are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and dairy-free.

5 foods to substitute for eggs in baking and cooking

Way back in episode 68 of the podcast, we talked about vegan baking in general, but in this episode, we hone in on eggs specifically.

Banana

If you don’t like the flavor of banana (like Larissa doesn’t), you might want to move on to the rest of the list. Bananas make a great replacement for eggs in soft chewy baked good such as muffins or brownies. Just be sure to use ripe bananas. One medium ripe banana (mashed) can be used in place of one egg.

Flaxseed

Ellen from our Facebook group says, “When it comes to baking, I like to use one tablespoon flax meal plus 2.5 tablespoons of water (rest for 5 minutes before using) for a quick and easy egg replacer. Works great in brownies & cookies.”

Health Coach Darryl says, “When I am baking I almost exclusively mix flax seeds with water to make the replacement. When I’m making waffles or pancakes I use one tablespoon of applesauce for each egg. I do not like the product VeganEgg at all, and I think the box is corny. It smells like real eggs but it doesn’t taste like it at all. Now, this new JUST EGG is great for scrambled eggs!”

Applesauce

Caroline says, “PSA! APPLESAUCE as a replacement for eggs in fudge brownies is beyond INCREDIBLE!!! I honestly couldn’t tell a difference aside from the fact that it leaves you with THE MOST fresh, “moist” (sorry but no better word for it😂) tasting brownies for days upon days!!

Use one tablespoon of applesauce to replace one egg in baking recipes. 

Aquafaba

You may recall from the podcast that this is one of our all-time favorite words on the show! In case you’re still wondering what this is, aquafaba is essentially the liquid in a can of chickpeas. How cool is that? Not only can you eat the chickpeas but even the liquid can be used! 

What’s great about aquafaba is that it binds really well in recipes and can easily be used in baked goods.  If you cook your own chickpeas, save the cooking liquid; homemade aquafaba will keep in your fridge for two to three days.

Check out this awesome “Guide to Aquafaba” by Minimalist Baker, which includes some tricks and tips for using it in your recipes.

Tofu

Tofu is a versatile addition to any plant-based kitchen–it’s one of our refrigerator staples! 

Holly from our Peas and Carrots Society says that she loves scrambled tofu and gives a pro tip for making delicious scrambled tofu. She says, “I LOVE scrambled tofu. Rani black salt (ordered off Amazon, about $7) makes it taste extremely similar to eggs. I crumble up extra firm tofu and sprinkle it with some black salt, along with pepper, turmeric for the yellow color, garlic powder, and onion powder. Then I add in some green bell pepper and tomato, maybe some hash browns and veggie sausage, and you’ve got a tasty scramble.”

We hope this has provided you with multiple options for replacing eggs in your meals and baked goods. Some of these you may have to play around with a bit to see what suits you but the good news is you have plenty to experiment with!

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: Further Reading and Resources Used for this Episode: Recipe of the Week
  • The recipe this week is Vegan Egg Salad Sandwich from the Edgy Veg (edgyveg.com) It was recommended by Peas and Carrots member Steph who said, “I love this recipe. It actually fooled a bunch of omnis.”

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post Your Guide to Vegan Eggs and Egg Replacers (VZ 317) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

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What is cruelty-free, and is it the same as vegan?

Before we talk about shampoos, let’s explain the difference between a “cruelty-free” product and one that is considered “vegan.” 

A product can be both or only one of these, but they are not the same. For a product to be “cruelty-free,” neither the finished product (nor any of its individual ingredients) were tested on animals. A “vegan” product contains no animal-derived ingredients. 

An example of something that could be cruelty-free but not vegan would be a lipstick or balm which was not tested on animals but contains beeswax (byproducts of bees are not considered vegan). 

Seven Vegan Cruelty-Free Shampoos Jason Volumizing Lavender Shampoo and Conditioner

We’re starting with Jason products because we have personal experience with them. Larissa uses Jason Volumizing Lavender shampoo and conditioner. Vickie’s used them on occasion as well. 

In the About section on their site, Jason states that they started their brand in 1959 after becoming disenchanted by big companies and big chemicals. They say that they “harnessed their free-spirited California mindset” to create products that use simple, safe, and gentler ingredients.

They also have a “code of honor” on their site that lists the ingredients they don’t use. These include:

  • Parabens
  • Harsh Sulfates
  • Petrolatum
  • Phthalates
  • Artificial colors
  • Saccharin
  • GMOs
  • Plastic Microbeads
  • MEA, DEA, TEA
  • PEG Derivatives
  • Formaldehyde Donors
  • Animal Testing

To expand on “animal testing,” they state that for skin irritation, they use human volunteers and will “never, ever, conduct these or any other tests on animals.”

Lush Big Shampoo

Lush is another brand that we are personally familiar with. In fact, every three weeks when Vickie goes to the mall to get her hair cut, she stops by the Lush store to pick up something new to try. One week she picked up a sample of Big Shampoo, which she LOVED (read on to learn why)! 

First, the smell is amazing! Next, the base for this shampoo is over 50% sea salt, which helps volumize and degrease hair. The sea salt gives the shampoo a gritty consistency but no worries, your hair won’t be gritty! The sea salt is balanced with coconut oil, citrus juices, and a seaweed infusion. Finally, it lathers very well, which made Vickie’s hair feel squeaky clean, even after spending the morning doing laps in a chlorinated pool. 

To add to their appeal, a couple of things on the Lush website caught our attention.

First, they had a tab dedicated to Pride Month–super cool! It’s great to see more companies fearlessly embracing diversity and inclusion. 

They also have a section for “Ocean Inspired Faves.” It is wonderful seeing an entire section dedicated to ocean-themed products, including a bar of soap “Shark Fin Soap” (which is, of course, NOT made from shark fin!). According to their site, they’re now sold out, but 100% of the proceeds from this soap went to the Rob Stewart Sharwater Foundation to help save sharks. According to the foundation, shark populations have decreased by 90% over the past 40 years, which is why their mission is so important. 

We’re not the only ones who love Lush products. Peas and Carrots Society member Chantal Broiullard shared that Lush also does a great job cutting down on waste. She said that the Lush store she visits allows you to bring your own containers (either theirs to refill or your own) to help cut down on packaging. We will definitely ask about this next time we’re there! E.L Bedouh from the Peas and Carrots agrees, saying, “I think cruelty-free should include waste-free. How many animals die every day because of plastic in the water?”

Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Shampoo

On their website, Paul Mitchel states the following:

“In 1980, we became the first professional beauty company to publicly stand up against animal testing. Now, nearly 40 years later, that pledge to our furry friends remains a driving force behind all that we do.”

Recently, Vickie’s hair stylist recommended it because she goes to the pool a lot. She picked up some of the from the salon during her last visit and loves it! The ginger tea fragrance is very refreshing. It’s paraben-free and also color safe. 

Dr. Bronner’s 

On their FAQ page, Dr. Bronner’s states that all products sold in the U.S. and Canada are Certified Vegan (except for their organic lip balms and organic body balms which contain organic beeswax). They have the “Leaping Bunny” certification and they are certified cruelty-free. 

Their Pure Castile Liquid Soap can be used for body, hair, dishes, mopping, and pets! 

Health Coach Darryl (Roberts) who is a member of our Peas and Carrots group stated shared a video from Dr. Bronner’s YouTube Channel (below) using their castile soap to bathe your dog. They added the caveat that you need to be careful with cats though, as some of the essential oils included in some of their shampoos can be harmful to them.

Dog Washing with Dr. Bronner's - YouTube

Costco’s Kirkland Brand Shampoo and Conditioner

Costco’s Kirkland brand shampoo and conditioner were mentioned in the shampoo discussion thread in the Peas and Carrots group on Facebook. 

The bottle I found online didn’t specify that it does not test on animals and it officially certified cruelty-free, but Kirkland has stated that “None of their products or suppliers test on animals.” 

In addition, although Kirkland shampoo and conditioner are 100% vegan not all of their products are, so be sure to read the ingredients list!

Acure Curiously Clarifying Lemongrass Shampoo

The Acure website is very basic (pretty much a shopping cart with a very short company bio).  They state that their performance-driven hair care free from parabens, silicone, petrolatum, mineral oil, and sulfates. They are certified vegan and certified cruelty-free. In addition to the website, their hair, skin, and body care products are available on Amazon and at Target.

Giovanni Smooth as Silk Shampoo

Not all of Giovanni’s products are 100% vegan but they are cruelty-free, Giovanni has been around since 1979. Their website states that all of their products are vegan except for their Magnetic Shampoo, Conditioner, Power Treatment Styling Gel, and Styling Wax. Their products contain a number of organic ingredients with no parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, DEA, formaldehyde, or glycol. 

We hope this episode has provided you with some great options for cruelty-free and/or vegan shampoos. By purchasing from these companies, you’re telling them that how we treat animals and our planet is important to you, so please try and support these companies when you can!

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:

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post 7 of The Best Vegan AND Cruelty Free Shampoos (VZ 316) appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

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Vegetarian Zen | Vegetarian | Vegan | Ve.. by Vickie Velasquez & Larissa Galenes - 2w ago
What is Pea Protein?

Pea protein is exactly what it sounds like. It’s protein extracted from peas. Peas are ground to remove the fiber and starch, a process which leaves just the protein. Nutritionally speaking, peas are one of the top sources of plant-based protein, a fact that many people don’t realize. A standard serving of pea protein powder contains approximately 20-25 grams of protein.

Is Pea Protein or Whey Protein Better for You?

Whey protein does provide a good amount of amino acids, which is why it’s often chosen by athletes looking to supplement their protein intake. However, whey is derived from cow’s milk, so if you are trying to eliminate dairy or if you are simply allergic to it, whey protein is not for you.

Even if you don’t have an actual allergy to whey, some people find it difficult to digest and as a result suffer bloating, upset stomach, and fatigue. The plant-based nature of pea protein, on the other hand, makes it much easier on our tummies. The digestibility of any nutrient is essential to being able to benefit from it. If your body can’t digest it easily, it can’t do you much good!

What are the Benefits of Pea Protein? 5 Benefits
  1. Pea protein is gaining in popularity due to the fact that it is made from veggie protein and doesn’t contain common allergens including soy, whey, or gluten.
  2. Pea protein contains all 9 essential amino acids. In previous podcasts, we’ve explained the importance of eating foods containing amino acids to help the body maintain energy, repair damaged cells, build muscle, and regulate immune function.
  3. Pea protein is rich in iron. Larissa has been anemic for a good part of her adult life and when we became vegetarians, some of the medical guidance she initially received was that she should eat some meat to obtain iron. We know through research that plants can provide us plenty of iron; peas are a great example. Most pea protein products contain around 5–7.5 milligrams of iron per serving.
  4. Pea protein can also help with weight loss since it’s easily digestible and helps you feel full longer.
  5. Pea protein is more sustainable than animal-derived proteins. Processing plant-based proteins, in general, use fewer energy resources, thereby leaving a much smaller carbon footprint. Peas specifically use less water and land to produce (about 20% less!)
How to Pick a Pea Protein Powder

Going into the protein powder section of a store (virtually or in person) can be overwhelming. There are a lot of choices and the labels can be very confusing.

Assuming you’ve already decided on pea protein as your choice, a good first step is to check the sugar content. Larissa is diabetic so this is always something we look at, but diabetes isn’t the only reason to monitor sugar intake. Look for a protein powder that is low in sugar while also keeping in mind that artificial sweeteners are even worse than natural sugar–try to avoid those as well!  Remember, sometimes companies hide the sugar by calling it something else; here’s an article that will help familiarize you with some of the names.

In addition to sugar, fillers, and artificial ingredients, another factor to pay attention to is how the pea protein powder is processed. “Isolate” processing has the highest concentration of protein.  “Concentrate” and “textured” are two other methods of processing protein that yield lower protein values. Therefore, look for powders that specify “isolate”.

We hope this episode has helped you get to know pea protein a little bit better and provided you with an option for your protein needs.

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:

Nuzest Clean Lean Protein

Recipe of the Week

Thanks to Peas and Carrots Society member Trisha Charles, who shared The Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe from Vedged Out.

Trisha says, “Whipped up some vegan chocolate chip cookies for my kids when they get home from school on this rainy Friday. Ok, maybe I had a couple too. You may have to adjust the flour slightly. If you follow the recipe my tend to come out a bit flat, adding a 1/2 cup more of flour makes them a bit cakier. But they taste delicious either way!”

More Resources

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post 5 Awesome Benefits of Pea Protein appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

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Vegetarian Zen | Vegetarian | Vegan | Ve.. by Vickie Velasquez & Larissa Galenes - 3w ago

When you hear the word, “Malt”, what do you think of? If you’re like most people, you probably think of malted milkshakes, beer, malt liquor, or maybe malted milk balls.  We never really thought of malt as a healthy supplement, but we were wrong!

Malt is germinated cereal grain (usually barley because of its high enzyme count) that has undergone the process of “malting”–the grain is germinated by soaking it in water and then dried with hot air. So malt is, essentially, sprouted grains. Sprouting grain in this way releases enzymes, unlocking the grain’s nutritional power.

Malt can be further processed to produce liquid or powder sweeteners called malt extracts that are used in beverages (beer, malted shakes, energy drinks), baked goods (cakes, pretzels, bread), cereals and snacks (protein bars, yogurts, confections), and other foods.

The origin of malt can be traced back to early Egypt and was more than likely used as an ingredient in beer way back then.

What are some of the benefits of malt? Antioxidants GALORE!
  • Malt contains more than 5 times the antioxidant power of fresh broccoli and nearly 50 percent more than blueberries
  • Because it’s made with whole grains, malt is not an empty sugar–it contains antioxidants, essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals
Supports Digestive Health
  • Malt is a rich source of soluble fiber, which helps improve digestion by optimizing good bacteria and minimizing bad bacteria
Promotes Heart Health
  • Malt has been shown to lower cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of heart problems
Athletic Recovery
  • Athletes are increasingly relying on malt extract-based beverages to replenish and recover after exercise
Boosts Happiness
  • Malt extract contains hordenine, a plant-based, naturally occurring compound that has been scientifically shown to improve mood
What are some healthy ways to consume malt?

Malt extract can be used as a natural plant-based sweetener in breads and other foods. It has a lower glycemic impact plus with the benefits of vitamins and minerals. It is a little less sweet than table sugar so you may need to play around with quantities to get the right taste in your recipes.

Want to hear more about malt? 

If you want to learn more about malt, check out our interview with registered dietitian Jilian Greaves, who talks in-depth about some of the benefits of incorporating malt into your diet.

Jillian Greaves is a Registered Dietitian with a strong foundation in nutritional science and deep understanding of the relationship between food, body, and mind. 

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from UMass Amherst and a Master of Public Health Nutrition from Tufts University. 

She completed her internship at the University of Michigan, gaining experience in medical nutrition therapy, food service management, and community nutrition, and worked in clinical nutrition research at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. 

Jillian is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Massachusetts Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group, Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine Practice Group and the Nutrition Entrepreneurs Practice Group. Learn more at: Prevention Pantry (preventionpantry.com)

We hope this episode has helped you understand a bit more about the forgotten powers of malt and has inspired you to start adding some to 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.

A Special Thanks To Our Sponsors: Where You Can Find Jillian

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post So What Exactly is Malt? appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

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Beat the Heat with a Non-Dairy Treat!

What do you think of when you think of summer? Being from South Texas, the first thing I think of is triple-digit HEAT! Then I think about ways I can keep cool. A nice dreamy swimming pool is an awesome way to cool off. A DELICIOUS way to cool off is by enjoying some creamy ice cream!

But we’re not just talking about any old ice cream.  We’re talking VEGAN ice cream!

Today on the podcast, we’ll be talking about some of the BEST vegan ice cream brands currently on the market. We’ll also share input from some folks from our closed Facebook Group, the Peas and Carrots Society regarding their favorite brands.

Some of the Best Vegan Ice Cream Brands to Help you Keep Cool!

If you’ve listened to us for a while, you’ve probably heard us comment on how amazing it is that there are so many vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based offerings popping up in different industries.

In our last podcast (ep. 313), we talked to the CEO of one such company (who also happens to be our sponsor today), Jonny Edwards of Nuzest Clean Lean Protein. This boom in vegan and vegetarian product offerings is VERY encouraging!

With respect to the topic at hand, vegan ice creams, our local grocer (which is a massive Texas chain) used to only carry maybe 1-2 non-dairy ice cream options. Boy has that changed!  With a rise in demand comes a rise in offerings which is a SUPER great thing for those of us looking to reduce or eliminate all animal products from our diets.

So,let’s start talking about some 6 popular vegan ice cream brands.

So Delicious

We’re going to start with So Delicious because they are a very popular brand that we ourselves have tried and really dig. It is also the number one vegan ice cream recommended by the Peas and Carrots Society.

Victoria Brown of the The Peas and Carrots Society said,

First non dairy I tried. SO DELICIOUS is right!

Not only does So Delicious offer an amazing selection of frozen desserts, they also carry plant-based milks, creamers, cheese shreds, and yogurt alternatives.

They’ve been in the dairy-free business for over 30 years so they are definitely a strong player in this space. They use organic coconuts, are certified vegan, and also non-GMO Project verified.

In 2017, they also joined the B Corp movement which is a global movement of “people using business as a force for good.”

From the So Delicious website:

“Certified B Corporations must meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability, and must aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.

Some of the ways we currently live these values are by paying fair wages to our So Delicious employees and committing to reduce our environmental impacts. And in 2018 Danone North America signed the “We Are Still In” petition, standing by the Paris Climate Agreement and committing to meeting its goals.”

Halo Top

This one was mentioned in our Peas and Carrots group so we’re listing it here. In looking at the offerings on their site, they had a really good selection of vegan, soy free, and gluten free treats.

One thing that may be a pro for some but a con for others is that they don’t use sugar but rather, use stevia. They also use erythritol which is a sugar alcohol found in pears and grapes but supposedly does not use blood glucose or bloating.

Peas and Carrots Comment: Rebecca’s Hinson Beck

The Halo Top brand is not bad.  The flavor varieties are spectacular, but I still haven’t found the creamy consistency that I crave in a vegan ice cream yet. 

Ben and Jerry’s

If someone asked me to quickly rattle off the top brands of ice cream on the market, vegan or non-vegan, Ben and Jerry’s definitely would be on that list.

Honestly, before putting together the outline for this article, I didn’t realize just how many non-dairy ice cream flavors they had available. Their non-dairy flavors are made with almond milk and are 100% certified vegan.

Some of those that grabbed our attention were:

  • Cherry Garcia
  • Chunky Monkey
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Cinnamon Buns

At the bottom of their page, they also have some more information and resources regarding their pints to include a form where you can suggest a new flavor. What would you pick?

Haagan Dazs

Haagan Dazs is another one of those big players in the dairy ice cream space that has started offering non-dairy alternatives.

Some of the flavors that stood out to us were:

  • Chocolate Salted Fudge Truffle
  • Crunch Peanut Butter
  • Lemon Sorbet
Trader Joe’s

A lot of folks in our Peas and Carrots group LOVE Trader Joe’s as do we! It’s no surprise that TJ’s came up in this discussion. The frozen treat that specifically came up was the Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Chip.

Jessica Riggolaud of the Peas and Carrots says,

We love trader Joe’s cherry base with chocolate chunks! Vegan version of Cherry Garcia; our carnivore friends also enjoy it.

Tofutti

Tofutti started out with non-dairy ice cream and then moved into soft serve ice cream. After that,they expanded into cheeses to include cream cheese, raviolli, and pie pizzas which look amazing! We will include a video in the show notes where CEO David Mintz talks about all of their offerings.

Welcome to the World of Tofutti - YouTube

We hope that this has provided you with some good options to choose from when it comes to vegan ice cream.  Remember, we vote with our dollars so be sure to pick some up if this is something you like!

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:

Recipe of the Week

Vegan Ice Cream (Nice Cream)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • splash of plant milk
  • 1 tbsp cacao
  • couple of drops of vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
    • Optional
      • chopped nuts
      • vegan chocolate chips
      • coconut flakes
      • favorite berries
Product of the Week

Looking for “Vegan Ice Cream Near Me”? Try checking out the Happy Cow app for all of your veg-friendly needs!  Current price in the IOS store is $3.99.

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post VZ 314: We All Scream for Vegan Ice Cream! appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

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Vegan Businesses are BOOMING!

Yes, it’s true! Vegan businesses are on the rise!  When Larissa and I became vegetarians in 2013, there weren’t nearly as many vegan businesses or products on the market as there are today. I remember looking for vegan fashion and was very disappointed at the lack of available products.

Flash forward to 2019 and we seem to be in a vegan product and services boom! It’s so encouraging to see new choices popping up in so many different industries.

Meet Jonny Edwards of Nuzest-USA

Today on the show, we are excited to talk to Jonny Edwards, the CEO of one such vegan company, Nuzest-USA.  You may recall that we recently partnered with Nuzest-USA because we liked their products and mission VERY much!

In this episode, we talk to Jonny about how he became vegan, how he became CEO of Nuzest-USA, and what trends he sees in vegan businesses.

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:

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post VZ 313: The Rise of Vegan Businesses with Jonny Edwards of Nuzest-USA appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

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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 slightly irregular, fruits and vegetables.

Because several other group members use Imperfect Produce (and we’ve been wanting to try it), and because the best recommendations for products and services come from our Vegetarian Zen community, we asked Melissa to come on the show to share her Imperfect Produce experience. 

Meal Prep and Batch Cooking Tips from Melissa!

As an added bonus to our discussion, Melissa shared some great tips for meal prep and batch cooking. Since her husband isn’t such a fan of vegetables, she essentially cooks for one. Whether you’re an Imperfect Produce customer or not, you’ll still appreciate the expert batch cooking and meal prep tips provided by Melissa!

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:

Further Reading and Resources Used for this Episode:

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

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

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When is World Environment Day?

World Environment Day is a day designated by the United Nations to bring awareness to environmental issues and wildlife crime. It’s celebrated on June 5th every year. Over 143 countries participate annually.

The World Environment Day website states, “Above all, WED is the ‘people’s day’ for doing something to take care of the earth. That can be local, national or global. Solo or in a group.”

Each World Environment Day has a focus theme and a “host” nation. This year, the host nation is China and the theme is “Beat Air Pollution.” The first World Environment Day was held in 1974 and the theme was “Only One Earth.”

Some past themes have been:

  • Beat Plastic Pollution (2018)
  • Connecting People to Nature (2017)
  • Go Wild for Wildlife (2016)
How You Can Participate This Year to Help Beat Air Pollution Here are some general examples of ways to help reduce air pollution:
  • Use public transportation or car sharing, ride a bicycle, or walk
  • Switch to a hybrid or electric vehicle and request electric taxis
  • Turn off the car engine when stationary
  • Reduce your consumption of meat and dairy to help cut methane emissions
  • Compost organic food items and recycle non-organic trash
  • Switch to high-efficiency home heating systems and equipment
  • Save energy: turn off lights and electronics when not in use
  • Choose non-toxic paints and furnishings

This year, the UN is also calling on everyone to join the “Mask Challenge.” Wearing a face mask will let world leaders know that breathing clean air is important to their citizens.

Here’s how to participate in the challenge:
  1. Between May 24th and June 4th, make a pledge and challenge others to take action
    • Take a photo or video of yourself wearing a mask to post on social media
    • Don’t have a mask? Get creative and make your own!
    • In your post share the action you’ll take to reduce air pollution
    • Tag 3 people/organizations/ companies to challenge them to do the same
    • Use #WorldEnvironmentDay and #BeatAirPollution in your social media posts and don’t forget to tag @UNEnvironment

2. On World Environment Day, show how you have fulfilled your pledge!

    • Take another photo or video of yourself fulfilling your commitment and post it on social media
    • Use #WorldEnvironmentDay and #BeatAirPollution in your social media posts and don’t forget to tag @UNEnvironment and @vegetarianzen

We hope we’ve helped to bring awareness to the existence and importance of World Environment Day. We plan to make our World Environment Day podcast episode a yearly event to spread the word about the theme and encourage our listeners to participate as a community.

Protecting Pollinators - Air pollution's effect on bees - YouTube

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: Further Reading and Resources Used for this Episode: Recipe of the Week

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post VZ 311: World Environment Day 2019 appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

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Chickens Matter!

Did you know that May is International Respect for Chickens month? We didn’t know that either until we talked in-depth with rescuer  Lindsey White of ChickensMatter.org. Lindsey tells her moving story of how she transitioned from a farmer to rescuer.

You’ll hear stories of some of her most challenging rescues and get to know some of the personalities of the animals she cares for.

Some additional facts:

  • Chickens can distinguish among more than 100 faces of members of their species. They can also recognize people, as Lindsey explains.
  • Contrary to commonly spread misinformation, chickens feel pain and distress.
  • Chickens form a social structure among themselves. This is where the phrase, “pecking order” originates.
  • The natural lifespan of a chicken is between five and eleven years. Sadly, most birds raised for food only live 41 days before being slaughtered. They are pumped with hormones to grow quickly.

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:

Resources for this episode:

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post VZ 310: Talking Chickens with Lindsey White of Chickensmatter.org appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

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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 interviews (or tries to) several representatives of various health organizations such as the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes association. Unfortunately, he is shut down before getting answers to his questions about the links between diet and health.

One of the biggest points of controversy deals with the root cause of diabetes. There are doctors who say that diabetes is caused by fat in the blood, rather than sugar or carbohydrates as is typically cited. Sugar is introduced into cells via insulin. These doctors claim that fat in the blood and muscle fibers interferes with insulin, preventing sugar from getting into the cells and causing sugar to build up in the bloodstream (diabetes). Diabetes then, according to some, results from fat toxicity in our organs. While sugar can certainly exacerbate diabetes it’s not solely responsible for causing it.

Given this and numerous studies linking consumption of meat and animal byproducts to major health issues such as diabetes, Andersen is puzzled as to why non-profit organizations such as the American Diabetes Association would include recipes containing meat in their recommended diets. This is where things get ugly. Andersen was chewed out by Robert Ratner, then Chief Scientific & Medical Officer for the American Diabetes Association (Ratner left the ADA in 2017, the same year What the Health was released), for asking so many questions about the links between meat and diabetes. The doctor ended up storming out of the room.

When Andersen did further research, he discovered that many of these organizations are sponsored by factory farming industries including dairy and meat, and by corporations such as Dannon and Tyson. One particularly heart-stopping revelation was that the American Heart Association receives support from the Texas Beef Council! Additionally, these organizations also receive money from the pharmaceutical industry.

Another alarming fact is that the government organizations that create the US Dietary Guidelines–Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA)–are filled with members who receive money from corporations.

It really should come as no surprise that critics of the film have accused Andersen and Kuhn of cherry-picking facts and case studies to support the film’s claims. It’s been called propaganda that has the goal of pushing a vegan agenda by exaggerating the risks of eating animal products. Something I heard in another video offers an excellent explanation for this type of criticism–“We love finding good excuses for our bad behaviors.”

DEBUNKING WHAT THE HEALTH FILM w/ Dr. Neal Barnard - YouTube

What the Health Fact Check

Critics of the film say that the producers are engaging in fear mongering behavior  by “cherry-picking” certain facts to coerce people into adopting a vegan diet. Ironically, one critical article I read was titled “Debunking What the Health, The Buzzy New Documentary that Wants You to be Vegan.” This is a great example of critics of the film trying to scare omnivores into thinking people are “coming for their meat and dairy.” Just like liberals are “coming for your guns.”

Most sources that claim to “debunk” What the Health like to call attention to a statement made in the film about processed meat being as bad for you as cigarettes. The context of this is, of course, usually not cited. Taken in context, the point being made is that, like cigarettes, processed meat has been classified by the World Health Organization as a Group 1 carcinogen, putting it in the same carcinogenic category as tobacco.

Let’s put the science aside since this seems to be the point of so much contention. The mere fact that so many of the non-profit organizations and government agencies we entrust with our health are sponsored by big business should give us cause for alarm.

We hope this review has given you some insight into What the Health. Despite the controversy, we feel that it’s a solidly researched, well-presented documentary that offers valuable information about the struggle plant-based lifestyle advocates and experts face with agri-business entities, government agencies, and the pharmaceutical industry. We also hope that it will inspire you, as it has us, to continue to research these topics so that you can make educated decisions about these matters.

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:

Buddha Bowls: The Vegetarian Zen Way

Further Reading and Resources Used for this Episode: Recipe of the Week

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

The post VZ 309: A Review of What the Health appeared first on Vegetarian Zen.

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