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How to be a Vegan: Dining Hall Edition

People usually write off the possibility of being vegan because it seems daunting and impossible. I’m here to help convince you that it is not at all impossible. Yes, even if you have a meal plan and only eat in the dining hall. I’m not saying it’s easy. It requires dedication and a little bit more time, but it’s definitely worth it. Care about climate change? It takes 2,400 gallons of water to produce one (that’s right, ONE) pound of meat. So basically, you’d save more water by not eating one pound of meat than you would if you didn’t shower for five months.


Image via Youtube


Okay, but what do you eat?


If I’m in a rush, I grab a vegan granola bar and some fruit. Bananas are a great option, but I prefer apples or oranges. 

If I decide to actually get out of bed when my alarm goes off, then I head to Arnold and grab a bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar, a slice of peanut butter toast, and more fruit (I could eat those pineapple chunks all day).

I also try and make vegan protein shakes whenever I can They’re super easy and you can find tons of recipes online.

Lunch: Umph has pretty decent vegan options in the “Healthy on the Hilltop” line. Things like tofu wraps, curried chickpeas, and Cajun tofu are some of my favorites. If I’m not feeling what they’re serving, then I head to the sandwich line and make a veggie sandwich (spinach wrap or wheat bread with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and hummus). Then, I grab a veggie burger patty (near the fries) and make myself a delicious lunch. They also have great stuff like black beans, spinach, and quinoa to add to your sandwich in the salad bar.

Dinner: For dinner, I usually get stir fry from the Mongolian Grill line at Arnold. I usually put all the veggies, either rice or noodles, and ask for extra tofu. I love spicy food so mine is covered in Sriracha sauce. If the line’s too long or I’m extra hungry, I grab a baked potato (with some salt, pepper, and hot sauce) and a huge salad with balsamic dressing and a little olive oil.

Snacks: I’m stalked up with snacks in my room:

⁃ Sea Salt Popcorn

⁃ Vegan Cereal and Almond Milk

⁃ Oreos (They’re vegan!!)

⁃ Fruit

⁃ Baby carrots

⁃ Pre-packaged cups of quinoa

⁃ Dark chocolate

You’d be surprised how many snacks are actually vegan! Just check the ingredients to make sure there’s no hidden dairy or eggs!

But what about protein? Check out this chart that compares animal based protein to plant-based protein:


Image via Pinterest


According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, animal protein consumption is linked to increased risk of diabetes, mortality, and cancer where as plant-based diets tend to be low in saturated fat, high in fiber and full of antioxidants to prevent health issues like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. There are plant-based substitutes for just about every food (even bacon), but eating raw, whole foods would definitely equate to a healthier lifestyle. There are plenty of reasons to go vegan and it doesn’t have to be an overnight change. Do some research (Netflix has some great documentaries like “What the Health”) and figure out how you can make transitioning to veganism best fit your lifestyle.

For more information, read on below:

PETA The Vegetarian Resource Group The Vegan Society

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