Marlene Souriano-Vinikoor’s Love Affair With Veggies

June 20, 2018 by •

Healthy Living Challenge*


As a young adult, Marlene Souriano-Vinikoor adopted a vegetarian lifestyle – to save money.

That worked for her until she got pregnant with her first child, and she wasn’t feeling her best. “My husband thought I needed iron from meat,” Souriano-Vinikoor says. “Then, after the baby was born, I turned to sweets because I was always so tired.”

Her doctor weighed in what was missing from her diet: B vitamins. That started Souriano-Vinikoor’s journey of understanding what her body needed and making a real effort to accommodate it.

In addition, after being diagnosed with health conditions, Souriano-Vinikoor realized she couldn’t eat whatever she wanted without consequences.

“I went on to have two more children and adopted a healthy menu for all of us,” Souriano-Vinikoor says. “I’ve become an educated shopper and cook. I know it makes a difference. Mambo Sprouts has introduced me to many wonderful products and enriched my repertoire.”

We talk to Souriano-Vinikoor one-on-one to learn more about how she overcame her healthy living challenge – and maintains a fulfilling vegetarian-leaning lifestyle.

Mambo Sprouts: Describe your healthy living challenge.

Marlene Souriano-Vinikoor: My healthy living challenges revolve around several issues: I was heavier and continue to be concerned about maintaining my weight loss. And I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD) so I’m insulin deficient and need to watch my carbohydrate intake.

Mambo Sprouts: How did you discover Mambo Sprouts?

MSV: I discovered Mambo Sprouts from a health food/food coop store that carried your coupon books. I signed up and have received your emails, newsletters and coupon books on a regular basis for years. I also follow Mambo on social.

marlene painting 2

Marlene Souriano-Vinikoor loves her fruits and veggies, especially peppers and oyster mushrooms, so much that they're very often the subject of her paintings.

Mambo Sprouts: What specific help or services did Mambo give you in helping address your challenge?

MSV: Mambo Sprouts introduced me to so many wonderful vegetarian products and paved my way by offering coupons and samples. Mambo also contributed to my knowledge of many healthy natural and organic products. When they were highlighted in form of a coupon or article, I was more inclined and curious to use them.

Mambo Sprouts: Describe how you overcame your challenge.

MSV: I took an interest in nutrition and researching vitamins and alternative ingredients. I’m still working daily at it.

Mambo Sprouts: What’s your life like today?

MSV: In addition to watching what I eat in a healthy way, increasing vegetable use for all meals, I exercise regularly with cardio, biking and stretching. My life today revolves around trying to keep this commitment to myself and my family.

Mambo Sprouts: What does healthy eating look like for your family?

MSV: While I’m not totally vegetarian, I make vegetarian dishes the majority of the week, which are satisfying, creative and lighter. I do appreciate the beauty and creativity of vegetarian eating. It does involve more planning, ingredients and preparation. It’s a good way to experiment with vegetables and plant-based products.

We love:

  • homemade pizza without tomato sauce, using cheese (ricotta, feta or even vegan cheese) and vegetables for toppings
  • burritos with lots of fillings: peppers, artichokes, black beans, brown rice, olives and cheese
  • fish croquettes using bulgur wheat as a binder, and placed on parchment and baked instead of fried.

Mambo Sprouts: Can you share one fun fact about yourself with us?

MSV: I have a BFA in painting and drawing and often glorify the beauty of vegetables in my work. They’re the stars.

Healthy Living Challenge* is a new Naturally Mambo Blog series where we talk with Mambo Sprouts community members about how using our educational and promotional offers helped pave the way for a healthier lifestyle.