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Life

Dietary Restrictions and the College Lifestyle

Along with learning, having adventures and finding out new things about yourself is all part of college. It is the entire reason to go to college! To change, to grow, to figure out who you are is the essence of life. College facilitates that.

In their first year of college some people find new hobbies or groups that interest them, some find lifelong friends through their struggles in weed-out classes, some even find love. In my case, I found out that I am intolerant to soy, sulfur, and lactose. AND meat makes me sick but not sure if that’s linked to the sulfur or something else. Fun, right?

For anyone that can eat most everything, food is social. Asking someone to go out for pizza or to a restaurant is the go to for getting to know a person.

In my case, I usually fail to mention that I can’t have a wide selection of foods; anything with animal products, soy, sulfur-based preservatives, fruits and vegetables from certain countries, the list goes on. So, when I go out with someone I end up scouring the menu for the 1% of things I can maybe eat until my date and server get really irritated with me and then I have to explain myself.

My dates:

Many people with restricted diets don’t see food as the center of life. It can be if they cook at home or live somewhere that has a surplus of options, but this is Texas… meat makes up 99% of almost any menu unless you go to a salad bar or a specifically vegan restaurant (College Station has 1).

It’s even harder to find food when you have a meal plan, at least in my opinion. Trying to figure out if a food has butter is a challenge: if you think it does it usually does.

Why do I have a meal plan if I can’t eat anything they have? I didn’t realize I couldn’t have all this food until late into my first semester (I was the kid that grew up on homemade food and my sister is a nutritionist = healthy food only), so I was required to purchase one my second semester. Plus, I live on campus, my kitchen consists of a microwave and, unfortunately, I can’t have Pringles for every meal.

So, how do I deal with this?

A lot of vegan jokes! Maybe it’s just me but I joke about it all the time. Especially seeing as I didn’t choose this life, it chose me against my will…

Reading menus before going out to eat.

Letting people know because it just makes things easier for the both of us.

Again, maybe just me, but when I go home I cook everything whether I can eat it or not. Just makes me feel normal.

Just because you or someone you’re friends with has dietary restrictions doesn’t mean you have to mold all your plans around making sure the place is fully vegan or “whatever” free. Most places nowadays have options, and people with restrictions usually know where they can and can’t eat.

 

A list of places on campus that have vegan options:

Any place that has salad

Sbisa

The Commons Dining Hall

Azimuth (Architecture Building)

Za’tar Mediterranean Cuisine (MSC)

 

Talking with the Chartwell’s nutritionist is a must to figure out where you can eat to meet all your nutritional needs.

 

Off-Campus:

Salata Salad Bar

Hopdoddy (the Impossible Burger is amazing!)

Chuy’s

Ghengis Grill

Mad Taco

Piada

Pita Pit (on-campus food truck)

Taz Indian Cuisine (there’s a food truck on campus, and it smells amazing just walking by!)

Urban Bricks (vegan cheese exists!)

Freshman at Texas A&M University majoring in Environmental Studies. I am a total nerd and love reading even though I have no time to. I'm usually struggling to multitask by watching Netflix shows while doing assigned readings. Neither gets done well.
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