Guest Post from Thisdreamsalive
Being vegan in college or university has its challenges, and it’s best to come prepared. While how easy or difficult it is will depend on where you’re going, these tips should come in handy.
|Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash|
Figure out where you can eat in advance
While everyone else gets to eat in campus restaurants and cafes on impulse; vegans don’t have that luxury. My university had very few vegan options, and most places to eat didn’t have a single thing (unless you just wanted a big plate of chips, which isn’t viable to eat every day!)
Before the week or semester starts, make time to check out the places to eat on campus, and figure out where offers decent vegan options. That way if you forget your lunch, you’ll know exactly where you can eat.
Make sure you’re eating properly
It absolutely is possible to meet all your nutritional needs on a vegan diet, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s easy. You need to find new plant-based sources of protein, omega 3, iron, and many other vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, when it comes to eating out, the vegan or vegetarian option is often salad or something that’s just a big bowl of carbs, so it can be hard to find well-balanced meals.
When cooking for yourself, a good rule of thumb is to have protein with every single meal. Eat a wide variety of fruit and vegetables every day to meet your nutritional needs, and see a GP or dietitian if you’re worried, or take supplements.
Depending on the day you’re having, you might not have time or money to go eat somewhere. Even if you’re not vegan, bringing snacks with you is a good idea. Some days you’re just hungrier than others so it’s good to have some extra food for an energy boost on a long day than to have to wait until you get home. Trust me, if you’re hungry you won’t be able to concentrate or be productive.
The shop on my campus never had the same stock. Some days or weeks they would have lots of vegan snacks and others all I could find was an apple. If where you go is just as unreliable, then don’t make my mistakes and come prepared!
Get creative with your meals
You might have limited capacity to cook due to having a few roommates who also want to use the kitchen or have a tight budget. Being vegan in college isn’t the time to turn into Gordon Ramsey, but you can still make nutritious tasty vegan meals.
Easy vegan meals:
– Pasta salad with pesto, and lots of veggies
– Veggie burgers
– Chickpea curry
I love stir-fries, noodle dishes in general and curry’s because there are so many sauce options that even if you make them a few times a week, with a different sauce it will feel like a different meal.
Meal Prep and Use Leftovers
This vegan in college point ties back to the first one, which is to come prepared. As you’re going to be busy, one of the easiest ways to thrive as a vegan in college is to meal prep. Make a few things to dinner and lunch so you can just grab food and go in the morning.
Another thing I often do is make extra food for dinner, and have the leftovers for lunch the next day.
It goes without saying that this academic year has been completely unprecedented due to Covid-19. So if you are on campus this September, stay safe and take care of yourself.
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