Vegetarian Zen: Nutrition, recipes, cooking tips, natural remedies & more for vegetarians, vegans, & the veg-curious.
Vickie Velasquez & Larissa Galenes: Entrepreneurs,
Vegetarian | Vegan | Veg-Curious | Plant-Based | Recipes and Resources MINUS the Judgement
VZ 296: What To Do If You Find a Stray Cat or Dog
Several weeks ago, we found a stray dog at a park near our neighborhood. It was a stressful experience for us because once we were able to contain him, we weren’t sure exactly what we should do. Listen to our story here: Summary of Tips Provided in this Episode * Safety first! Rescuing is awesome but you need to ensure that you are looking out for their safety and for yours as well. Be very careful to keep the stray away from your own children and other animals as they may have contracted diseases, fleas, or ticks. Animals who are injured can be particularly aggressive if you try and approach them so it’s better to call animal control in this case to protect everyone including the animal. * Could this be a lost pet?If you are able to safely approach the animal, check for tags that may have an address or give a clue about where this little guy or gal belongs. If the animal does not have a tag and you are able to safely take the animal to a local vet, they can scan for a microchip. * Scan for flyers in the neighborhood. Very often when people lose pets, they will post flyers in neighborhood parks, mailboxes, and telephone posts. Check to see if you find any matching the description of the animal you found. * Social Media and Apps. While people very often still post flyers for lost/found pets, the modern day era has leaned more on technology and that’s a good thing because it allows for a much quicker chain of communication. With respect to Facebook, do a search for “Lost Pets” plus your city in the search field on Facebook and you will see several pages (depending on the size of the city you live in) with Lost Pet pages where people share information attempting to reunite lost furry family members. Be sure to take several pictures of the animal to post with any distinguishing characteristics that might help identify him/her. Some other apps that may help are: * Fido Finder * Pet Harbor * Finding Rover * Nextdoor (this one is great for other updates with respect to what’s going on in your neighborhood as well) * Craigslist (Lost and Found) * You may also want to consider “liking” pages of local rescues so that you have these contacts already lined up in case you need them! Also, save the numbers for your local animal control and humane society in your phone should you need them quickly. It’s a good idea to make a note of their intake policies so you aren’t caught by surprise should they request a surrender fee from you (our humane society currently requests a $75 surrender fee assuming they have capacity). * Be prepared! If you live in a neighborhood where you encounter strays often, consider carrying a leash with adjustable collar, a blanket, and a collapsible cat carrier or cardboard box. “If you’re uncertain about whether or not to help or keep an animal you see alongside the road, here’s a final word of advice: First, think of what you would want the finder of your animal to do if they happened to find them injured without their collar. You’d want them to take your pet to a veterinarian, and you’d want them to try to find you. At the same time, be reasonable about how much you can afford to do for that animal if no owner shows up.” (From the Humane Society of the US Website) 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...
VZ 295: 6 Ways to Celebrate a Cruelty-Free & Environmentally Friendly Valentine’s Day
Be my Veggie-Valentine! Despite its theme of love, Valentine’s Day can be a high-pressure holiday. What to give your spouse of 30 years “who has everything”? You’ve only been on two dates with someone—do you give them a gift? Should you declare your undying love for your secret crush?? (probably not!) Being a cruelty-free, eco-conscious shopper can make preparing to celebrate this day of love even more stressful. Here are 6 tips for finding animal planet-friendly Valentine’s day gifts! 1. Think outside the box (the chocolate box, that is!) — or at least find awesome vegan chocolates Just because it doesn’t say “milk chocolate” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s vegan. Some dark chocolate products may contain filler ingredients, like whey or casein, that are derived from milk. Check out this article from Peta for a guide to vegan chocolate. 2. Opt for Organically Grown Flowers from Local Farms Did you know that some of the flowers sold locally can actually come from places far away? Transporting flowers to other parts of the world results in a strain on the environment. Think air transport and refrigerated trucks heading to their final destinations. Finding flowers grown organically from local farms can help to leave a smaller carbon footprint on the planet! 3. Plant Something Together Instead of a dozen roses, how about planting a rosebush or a favorite plant or tree together that will last for much longer! Not only do you get to spend time with your sweetie in the garden but you’re planting something you’ll both enjoy for a long time to come. And the bees will love you too! 4. Seek out Bee-Friendly Vegan Candles Speaking of bees, traditional candles are often made from beeswax, which is not considered vegan. Luckily soy candles are a great alternative to beeswax when it comes to setting the romantic mood.Oh Comadre Candlesis one of our favorite online shops for soy candles. We’ve purchased several candles from the candle maker and owner, Marcella Gomez. Her Pan Dulce and Mexican Hot Chocolate are DIVINE! She makes these candles using soy wax and cotton wicks. Great for the planet! 5. Seek Out Vegan Spirits Did you know that many wines and spirits are refined (filtered to remove inpurities) using animal-derived products such as fish bladder? You would if you listened to our previous episode 137, Is Alcohol Vegan Friendly?. Fortunately, there are plant-based options for these fining agents, so discovering vegan wines isn’t all that difficult. Check out our previous podcast and Peta’s Guide to Vegan Wine for help! 6. Shop for handmade, Upcycled, Enviro-friendly gifts There are so many amazing independent artists out there creating beautiful jewelry, artwork, clothing, and decor items from materials that would otherwise end up in landfills. Etsy.com is a great place for shopping for online handmade goodness, but don’t forget to shop local as well! Additionally, we’ll be welcoming back Cheery Bird Studio (Larissa’s upcycled functional art business) back to our Shop at Vegetarian Zen soon, so be on the lookout for that! We hope we’ve provided you with some helpful tips for finding planet- and animal-friendly gifts for Valentine’s Day! However you choose to celebrate, we hope you have a wonderful day filled with much love and happiness! Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate ...
VZ 294: Buddha Bowls – What They Are and Why You Need Them In Your Life
What are Buddha Bowls? Larissa and I are busy people, as are most of the folks in our community. Full-time jobs, kids, pets, and finding time for friends and family can make it challenging for anyone to plan meals, much less plan healthy meals. The siren song of Grubhub beckons all too often when we realize, after working, that we forgot to take a lunch break and failed to plan for dinner. Enter the Buddha Bowl… I follow a LOT of vegan and vegetarian accounts on social media so I definitely see my share of Buddha bowl pictures. If you follow the same type of accounts I guarantee you’ve seen them too, even if you didn’t know what they were called. Buddha bowls, sometimes called power, nourish, hippie, sunshine, or macro bowls, are essentially bowls filled with vibrant, healthy food. While they are typically plant-based (and dairy-free), I have seen some variations that include fish or meat. Why Are They Called “Buddha Bowls”? I’ve read several explanations of why these delicious meals are called “Buddha Bowls”: The shape of the bowl signifies Buddha’s belly It’s “balanced”, just like the Buddha It’s what the Buddha himself ate While there’s no single definitive explanation regarding the name, one thing for sure is that these have absolutely helped us solve a few challenges we’ve faced with respect to our own eating and nutrition. 3 Reasons You Need Buddha Bowls in Your Life When I really started researching Buddha bowls, it didn’t take me long to fall in love with them. They seem like the perfect solution to several food-related issues Larissa and I face with as two very busy people. * Meal Planning. While we certainly have moments when our meal planning is on point, things can get pretty crazy. A Buddha bowl is a super easy, healthy meal to create on the fly. While some ingredients you choose may require advanced preparation (grains, noodles, etc.), there are many ingredients that won’t take much time at all. Once you have your ingredients prepped, you’re pretty much ready to go. The only thing you need to do is assemble them! While you can assemble ingredients ahead of time, some foods will keep better kept separately until you’re ready to eat them (dressings and sauces, for example). * Variety.Many of the folks in our community have households made up of both omnivore and plant-based family members. This can make it tough to plan a meal that is healthy and versatile enough to accommodate everyone’s needs and tastes. By including Buddha bowls in your meal rotation, you can easily meet your vegan requirements and satisfy your gluten-free omnivore spouse or kids as well. Ingredients can be tailored in a way that pleases everyone. * Meeting Nutritional Needs.Once you understand the basic components of a Buddha bowl (which we’ll discuss in the next section), you’ll realize how completely these amazing meals can fulfill all of most of our basic nutrition requirements. Your body is rewarded nutritionally by your creativity! The Anatomy of an Amazing Buddha Bowl Buddha bowls typically have five ingredients, though not just any five. The key components are: Veggies and/or fruits Whole grains Nuts and/or seeds Protein Dressing The reason these specific components are important is that the combination of fiber, starch, protein, and grains provides you with a burst of energy and enables you to feel full longer. The ratio of ingredients can vary, but the majority of the bowl should consist of vegetables (35-40%). This certainly isn’t set in stone, however; you should feel free to adjust amounts to accommodate your taste and any personal dietary needs or goals. Additionally, the idea of “contrast” plays a big part in the making of a great Buddha bowl. A nice mix of colors, textures, shapes, flavors,
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