Veganism has become an important part of pop culture. Not only does it promote a healthy and clean diet but also encourages sustainable eating. Experts have claimed that going vegan can be healthier and it can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and other similar common health problems. 

These claims baited my curiosity. However, I found that it was really expensive to eat Vegan because many restaurants and supermarkets considered a product to have 'added value' if it is Vegan. Therefore, the food becomes more expensive. This has been the major factor that has deterred me (and many other students) from becoming a Vegan. 

On the other hand, if it was possible to eat in UCLA's Residential Area, called 'The Hill', Veganism would be a lot cheaper and accessible to many students. Thus, I tried to go vegan for a week based solely on foods from UCLA's Dining Services.

Here is what I ate for the week and what I thought about my experience. I have omitted breakfast from all the meals because I flip-flopped between two breakfast meals; I either had an iced almond milk latte with a vegan cookie or bowl of vegan cereal with soy milk. Both meals were great so I never strayed from these. 

ice, coffee, tea, milk, cream
Alex Frank

My Week's Food Diary


Lunch: Vegan BBQ Chicken Quesadilla from Rendevous. This is one of the Monday specials so it is only available then, which is hard for Vegans as they have to wait for vegan quesadillas to be offered every week. The dish itself was very mediocre. It was satisfactory because I didn't have high expectations for Vegan meals but in retrospect, it was one of the worse meals I ate this week.

Dinner: B-Plate (Plantains with Beans and Rice along with a Make-Your-Own-Salad). I was actually really disappointed with B-plate's limited selections for vegan food that day thus I resorted to eating a salad at the salad bar. 


Lunch: Sandwich at The Study (Olive Tapenade, No Cheese, Avocado, Lettuce, Olives and Jalapeños). This was my favourite meal by far! I was scared about the sandwich being too much like a salad without any proteins but it was amazing and I would eat it again even if I wasn't vegan. 

Dinner: Vegan Tagliata Salad from Café 1919. This salad was a huge let down. It was a very unbalanced salad and had too much vinegar. This was the worst meal of the week.

Anusha Goyal


Lunch: I actually ran out of time to get a meal on The Hill today. I tried to eat on campus and was so surprised at the lack of options. I had to settle on a salad again, which was also surprisingly more expensive than other foods you can get around campus. I hadn't realized how many more options UCLA's dining halls had compared to a regular food court.

Dinner: Vegan Chicken Tenders from De Neve Late. I'm sure if you are a Bruin you've heard people rave about this meal because it is THAT good! I am an avid eater of the regular chicken tenders but the vegan version is so good too. It isn't the same but its another good meal I would happily get these on a regular night even when I'm not trying out veganism. 


Lunch: Salad from the Study (Spinach, Beets, Lentils, Bean Salad, Tomatoes and Olives with a Lemon Dressing). This salad was actually really good and it was a light and fresh meal to have in the middle of the day. It was just a regular salad. I did learn that many salad dressings aren't vegan, which stumped me when deciding what I wanted in my salad.

Dinner: B-plate (Make-Your-Own-Salad and Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich). I know it sounds odd but I was getting sick of eating salads and B-plate's Menu failed to entertain my taste buds once again. I did end up being able to make a vegan PB&J, which was a pleasant break. It was made with peanut butter and strawberry compote in between two slices of cranberry bread.


Lunch: B-plate. I gave B-plate once last chance and today the menu was delicious. They had a vegan chili, which was arguably better than regular chili. I followed it with lots of fruit, which made for a great lunch.

Dinner: Make-Your-Own-Pizza from The Study (Spicy marinara, vegan mozzarella, mushrooms, jalapeños and basil). This pizza was pretty similar to non-vegan pizza!! But the vegan cheese was definitely different in texture. It was more gelatinous than normal cheese thus the pizza was not as good as my go-to pizza order but nonetheless compared to the rest of my vegan meals it was pretty good.

Anusha Goyal


Overall, my experience being vegan for a week was decent. I had previously thought that my experience was going to be really bad but I was pleasantly surprised by some meals, specifically the vegan chicken tenders and the avocado sandwich. I think there can definitely be more options for vegans on campus but because it is so new many restaurants haven't properly acclimated to the popular lifestyle. In the near future, it is likely that UCLA will be providing more options.

I didn't eat very healthy so I didn't experience much of a physical difference. However, it was very interesting to have to consistently look at what is in my food. If you have the opportunity you should definitely try going vegan because it is possible with a meal plan at UCLA.