Being a vegan in college got you down? Tired of eating soggy lettuce in the dining hall every night? Miss your blender? No? Ok, maybe I’m the only one insecurely attached to my Vitamix. Either way, trust me, I’ve been there, and I’m still there sometimes
Eating in a way that is different than most is already a difficult task, but in college it becomes a serious struggle. Relying on the dining hall for most, if not all, of your meals can be frustrating, but with these six life hacks, being a college vegan will be a breeze.
Trader Joe’s is life.
Not only is Trader Joe’s cheap, but the quality of their food is amazing. Load up on their organic fresh produce and pantry staples for a good price. Also, don’t forget to try all of the pumpkin flavored foods for fall.
Oatmeal is your best friend.
Oatmeal gets a bad rep, but it’s such a delicious and filling food. Cook your oats in vanilla almond milk for added flavor and add your favorite fruits and spices for an easy meal in 10 minutes. A big bowl of oatmeal in the morning is a sure fire way to keep you full for hours and help curb those pizza cravings when you walk past the dining hall between classes.
Buy in bulk.
Plant-based foods are way less calorie dense than animal products, so as a vegan, you have to eat more often to stay full. Knowing that, nothing is worse than having to pay $2.50 for a single mango (Am I the only one that is outraged that mangos are so expensive? No?… Ok). So buy in bulk, hit up stores like Costco, and head over to your local farmers market to get the most out of your money.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
It can be uncomfortable having to explain all the time why it’s so important that your food be prepared a certain way, or asking for certain accommodations, but once you do, your life will be so much easier. Don’t be afraid to ask the dining hall staff for help or to let them know things you’d like to see changed. I did, and now my school’s dining hall offers a vegan pizza and Tofurkey in the sandwich station. You never know what can happen until you try.
Nothing’s worse than being bored with your food. It’s easy to fall into a trap of eating the same things over and over again when your options are more limited. To avoid this, try new ingredients that you wouldn’t have thought to before. Take advantage of the dining hall to make new food combinations, and try to buy a new food item at the store whenever you can.
Make vegan/vegetarian friends.
Finding a community of like-minded people on campus is so important. Go to your school’s activities fair and look for a vegan or vegetarian group on campus, it helps so much. Being apart of a group where you can share experiences and tips will make your college experience so much easier, and even better, you’ll have people to go out to vegan restaurants with.