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Doing The Impossible: Veganism At College

The vegan movement is on the rise and more and more people are taking initiative. The meat and dairy industries are continuously being exposed and the world is starting to pay attention to the terrible acts that are committed. Not only from an animal rights perspective, but veganism is also a path often chosen by those who want to live healthy lifestyles. Meat and dairy are not necessary for humans to consume and, in fact, these foods can actually negatively impact our health. One problem, however, is that even if more people are wanting to go vegan, it’s not the easiest lifestyle if you don’t really know what to look for. For a college student, it’s even harder. Vegan options are not shoved in your face, which means you have to make more of effort to find them, and that sounds intimidating. It may seem impossible at first, but there are ways to be vegan as a student and not hate your life. Here are some tips.

 

Stock Up On What You Can

There are some things that are a little harder to find, like fruits and vegetables. But there are other things that you can easily stock up on and store in your dorm or apartment. Oatmeal, granola bars, trail mix, soy milk, and snacks like pretzels or chips are just a few on the list.

 

Don’t Let Yourself Get Hungry

Being vegan requires a little more organization than a regular diet. You won’t always be within 5 minutes of a vegan snack, so it’s important to make sure you’re eating regularly. If you get too hungry your body won’t care what kind of food is available because it needs to eat regardless of whether it’s vegan or not. This is the fastest way to break your diet, so keep a granola bar in your purse. Even if you don’t feel like you’re super hungry, make sure you’re eating small portions throughout the day just to keep your blood sugar levels up.

 

Protein Protein Protein

My biggest mistake with going vegan was not finding enough protein. I got to a point where, although I was avoiding all the meat and dairy that wasn’t good for my body before, I still wasn’t much healthier as a vegan because my body wasn’t getting the protein it needed. I felt weak and tired all the time and eventually had to take a break from veganism, which wasn’t what I wanted. To avoid this, nuts will be your friend and protein powder is a great quick fix. It’s also a good idea to take iron supplements every now and then to boost your body because it’s not going to be getting the iron it normally would from red meat.

 

Cheat Days

This is more of a personal preference thing, depending on your reasoning behind going vegan. If you’re doing it because of a moral standpoint, you might not allow yourself cheat days. However, if you’re just doing it to be healthy, this is something you might want to consider. The people who don’t eat dairy or meat because of animal cruelty are highly motivated to stay vegan and struggle less with keeping up. People who are only vegan for their own bodies might have a harder time saying no to things, especially when going out with friends. If you give yourself a cheat day here and there, it will help you resist the urge to binge or throw your diet out the window completely.

 

Ask Questions

The more you ask the more you will know. Sometimes schools offer vegan options but just don’t advertise it heavily. And most restaurants will do substitutions for you if you ask them. Do some research and get creative. I bet most of you didn’t know that you can eat vegan cheeseburgers or vegan pizza (Ian’s has vegan pizza and it’s amazing). It’s 2017 now; we all know someone who’s gluten free or lactose intolerant or only eats organic. There’s options for everyone if you just take a moment to look for them.

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