Being a vegetarian on the college campus is not always the easiest lifestyle to maintain. Dining halls don’t always have the best options or any at all. And, when they do protein usually isn’t their top priority.
You can always go grocery shopping, but finding good food at a low cost adds up when you are making all your food in the dorm. So, how do you make it as a vegetarian? I’ve got some tips:
Give The Dining Hall A Try
It is important to give the dining halls and on-campus cafes a shot. The availability of vegetarian food on campus is only half the battle, though. Next you need to see if what you are eating is taking care of your health and needs.
Yes, cheese pizza is vegetarian, but only eating pizza is not healthy. You also can’t live off of only fruit, find a balance. Look at the options: grab a cup of soup, look at the salad bar, make some peanut butter toast, or look for a vegetarian specific section. Balance what you are getting, don’t overload on carbs, or only eat bananas.
Stock Up On Groceries
Going grocery shopping used to seem like a chore, but once you get in the swing of dorm food, you crave fresh produce. Remember: Make a list when going to the store, do not go in blind because that is when you end up buying things you will never eat.
Buy fresh fruits and veggies and store them in your fridge. Make sure to get protein-rich foods like soups, lentils, and beans. Don’t go in and only buy your quick cravings or only load up on ramen — actually buy things that will help you keep a balanced diet. It helps to be willing to try new things you may not have eaten when at home.
Foods like chia seeds and hemp are great to add to your diet. You can make quick, healthy, and protein filled snacks. Make chia seed pudding or if you are in a rush add some chia seeds to your water. Add some hemp and chia to a healthy banana ice cream or make some hemp ice cream. These are quick and easy ingredients to add to your diet to improve the nutrients you are getting.
Look Up Easy Dorm Recipes
A good way to get out of the cafeteria slump is to look up simple recipes you can make in your dorm. There are plenty of easy recipes for healthy smoothies or easy dorm meals you can make. Once you figure out how often you make food in your dorm it becomes easier to find a balance of grocery shopping to dorm food.
In the end, it’s important to have a good balance on where and what you are eating. If the dining hall food is not full of enough protein and making you feel sluggish, go and get some fresh food. But going grocery shopping every week is not in all of our budgets so get the essentials. Find a good balance, explore your options, and try some good food.