These days, it’s hard not to hear something about veganism. Whether you stumble upon a blog online, see an elaborately-decorated smoothie bowl or pass by yet another new completely vegan and organic café, veganism is extremely trendy these days. A year ago, I would scoff at the idea. Honestly, when I thought of veganism, I thought of hipsters with nose rings and beanies scarfing down tofu. No meat and no dairy? The concept seems impossible.
College has opened me to such an array of new things. I was so limiting in what I allowed myself to eat throughout my entire life. I was absolutely obsessed with my favorite foods, including greek salads, frozen yogurt and spicy tuna sushi rolls. I am not saying here that I didn’t value my health, because I did, but rather that I did not make the best choices. I mean, I have an Instagram account called @fatpplproblems for crying out loud.
When I got to college, however, the option of a vegetarian cafe on campus was eye-opening for me. I slowly began to incorporate a plethora of vegetables into my diet and fell head over heels for kale, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. I realized that these foods not only tasted good, but actually made my body feel good too.
The next stop was trying vegan food. I had never even had a freeze-dried veggie burger before and frankly, the thought of vegetarian and vegan meat replacements repulsed me. One day, a friend convinced me to try a quinoa black bean burger and I was never the same.
There are so many options available out there, ranging from sweet potato and wild rice to spicy chickpea burgers, that it would be pretty hard to find one that you don’t like. Slowly, I began to incorporate more and more replacements into my diet, even trying out grilled tofu.
Being the frozen yogurt enthusiast that I am, I just had to try vegan ice cream on the streets of New York City. This cone, and many of these guilt-free ice creams that you can find in supermarkets, are seriously comparable to the real thing.
While I love to embrace the vegan lifestyle and try out all sorts of new vegetarian/vegan/raw vegan restaurants in New York and Nashville alike, I do not believe I have the diligence to properly nourish myself on a vegan diet. And frankly, I do not believe in the necessity of dietary labels because food is supposed to be fun. So, while I give major props to all the vegans out there, I will continue eating my salmon and of course, my fro-yo, alongside all of the delicious veggies of the world.