Let's Get Started!
Welcome to Vegetarian Zen! Our mission is to provide a peaceful place for vegetarians, vegans, and the “veg-curious” to share tips for living a more compassionate plant-based lifestyle.
Whether you’ve been vegan for 20 years or are just starting out with a simple meatless Monday, we’re glad you’re here!
Created in 2013 by wife-and-wife partners Vickie and Larissa, the Vegetarian Zen website is packed with information, interviews, product reviews, and podcast episodes to help guide you on your plant-based journey.
We know all of this information can be overwhelming to newcomers, so to get you started we’ve curated some of our very best resources below.
Table of Contents
Step Two: Learn The Lingo
If you’re new to a plant-based lifestyle (or just thinking about starting down that path), some of the terminology and references can be a bit confusing.
Check out our FAQ for some simple definitions and questions common to new folks.
A vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat (including fish and chicken) but might consume some eggs and dairy.
- Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat dairy foods and eggs.
- Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy but not eggs.
A common misconception is that vegetarians eat fish. Those who eat fish but no other type of meat are considered pescatarian.
Flexitarians are people who are primarily vegetarian but occasionally eat meat.
While vegetarians might consume some dairy and/or eggs, vegans do not consume or use any animal products (meat, dairy, eggs) or byproducts (honey, beeswax, leather, or other products derived from animals).
Being a vegetarian in this day and age isn’t very difficult. It can take some pre-planning and occasional adjustments, especially when dining out. Many restaurants have suitable accommodations for those living a vegetarian lifestyle.
We have experienced much more variety in our eating, as many ethnic cuisines lend themselves well to a vegetarian diet. Mexican and Indian cuisines in particular have a lot to offer!
Being vegan isn’t just about food. Non-food products such as shoes, clothes, home furnishings, cosmetics, and more are considered vegan if they do not contain any animal byproducts.
From a diet perspective, yes. However, living a compassionate plant-based lifestyle is also about living in harmony with the planet and our with animal friends with whom we share it.
One of the biggest misconceptions about plant-based diets is that they are protein-deficient.
The good news is that there are PLENTY of great plant-based sources of protein. The even better news is that these sources provide essential protein without all of the saturated fat contained in meat and dairy. Some of plant protein sources include:
- Legumes (beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, soybeans)
- Quinoa and other whole grains
Step Three: Connect with Us!
The Peas and Carrots Society
If you’re on Facebook, we have a great closed group, The Peas and Carrots Society, which is one of the most welcoming places you’ll find on the internet.
Our group is a “no-bully” zone, so if you’ve got a question you can expect an answer without all of the judgment you might find in other places.
No matter where you are on your plant-based journey, we’re here to help! Just be sure to answer our three simple questions on Facebook when prompted and you’re in!
A safe place to virtually connect with other vegetarians, vegans, and the veg-curious. We share delicious recipes, discuss cooking new skills, provide product recommendations, and provide social support. No judgments here! This is a no-bully zone!
On Social Media
Follow us on these social media platforms:
To receive updates on the happenings at Vegetarian Zen be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, The Vegetarian News Beet. When you sign up, you’ll receive a free resource showing you how to sneak more fruits and veggies into your diet.
Step Four: Check Out Some of Our Most Popular Posts
Since we’ve been around for a while, we have a LOT of good information and resources to share with you. This is awesome, but it can also be overwhelming if you’re new.
Here are a few of our most popular posts to get you started:
Step Five: Subscribe to the Podcast
We turned our mics on in 2013 and we’re still going strong! We discuss all things veg, with each other and with great people doing great things for our health, for animals, and for the planet.