Want to Be Vegan Again - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-06-2013, 10:23 PM
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Hi! I have been a vegetarian for a little more than a year, and in January I went vegan, but went back to just vegetarian at the end of June. I didn't think I could continue being vegan because I was going to college and I knew it would be hard enough being vegetarian at college and I didn't want to stress about where I would find food on top of being a new college student! However, now I want to go back to being vegan because I do not feel good about my food choices and I feel guilty eating eggs/dairy. I am thinking of transitioning more slowly this time because I don't know what foods I will even be able to eat here, since they have basically nothing vegan other than a salad bar, fruit at breakfast, and stir fry with rice, tofu, and veggies, and burrito Wednesday when I get a bean and veggie burrito. Everything else is just a total meat and cheese fest. I know I will not be able to stick with being vegan if I am eating the same plain fruit and salad every day, but there is really not a lot of options here, and I feel bad because I got my mom to get me the meal plan that gives me three meals a day and I will waste all the money she spent, because it was really expensive. I have a crappy microwave and a mini fridge in my dorm, but I have absolutely no access to a kitchen of any sort. We even have to wash our dishes in the bathroom sink here. So I can't have anything that you can't cook in a microwave, and I don't have a lot of money to go shopping for food so I want to use my meal plan since I already paid so much for it! I am very conflicted, and also worried about my health if there is not enough vegan foods here will I get sick, etc. But I just do not feel good eating what I am eating and don't know what to do.

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#2 Old 10-07-2013, 07:28 PM
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Hey! Welcome :hi:

I can understand your dilemma. While it's ultimately what you can live with, trying to bring together your conscience, your budget, time, and money is not easy. You can one or two, feel great about it for awhile, then something else comes up and you wish you'd chosen otherwise. Well, that's been me.

Stress and budget is a reality, and they play a big part on the options you choose. My advice it make the most of the food plan. Try and keep a really good diet even if it's limited in variety.

How about trying a vegan protein/vitamin drink in a mini blender to start your morning?

I've tried these two, which are cost effective:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_2_11?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lifetime%20protein&sprefix=lifetime+pr%2Caps%2C267

I had the chocolate. My son really loves it, I find it too much stevia taste, but I do like it with cold coffee. It mixes well in a "bullet" type blender, and gets kinda frothy, Not  grainy, good with banana. We only use half a scoop.

 

This was my favorite:

http://www.amazon.com/Alive-Soy-Ultra-Shake-Vanilla-Powder/dp/B0006LCQHS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1381195462&sr=8-2&keywords=alive+shake+pea+protein

It's a green drink, mixes really well in OJ with just a spoon. Has a "bright" taste if that makes any sense. I like it lot, it's not sweet and the OJ really comes through. It's vegan. 

 

I just think there are times when things like this are a help in easy nutritition. They certainly have an energy boost, esp. the Alive!


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#3 Old 10-14-2013, 12:35 AM
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Hi, I also understand your dilemna but if your ethics are in alignment with your desire to do the right thing, you will find a way to make it easier. I would suggest having instant oat in your room to which you can just add some warm water and cut bananas. That is a way to start the day which is inexpensive and healthy and it will also help you feel more full for the day in case you have a hard time with getting options. 

The idea of having a small blender in your dorm is a good one. If you get fruits and veggies, you can keep a small carton of soy milk or other non-dairy milk with you and use it to add to it and make a smoothie. 

I also suggest you keep walnuts, almonds etc with you during the day. They are rich in omega 3s fats and will also help stay full in case you're stuck with just the salad.

 

I would also suggest that you write down all the options you can get from the cafetaria for a week. From that, you can probably mix and alternate things more if you know exactly what to expect and perhaps add a few things they don't provide. Once again, nuts are a good options. 

 

Good luck, and remember if you heart is in the right place, the obstacles won't feel as difficult. 

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#4 Old 10-14-2013, 03:54 AM
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As a short term solution, I think the oats idea is great because you can buy a good bit of plain oats for very cheap and make it last a while and eat it cold or cooked in the microwave with a little water and a pinch of cinnamon and dried or fresh fruit.  Raisins are also relatively inexpensive and you could add some to your cereal or eat them as a snack.  Another cheaper item is packaged roasted pumpkin seeds with the shell.  I snack on those and they fill me up and last over a week.  You could even make three or four quick meals or snacks out of a can of vegetarian baked beans or plain pintos, a few tablespoons of salsa, and a tube of polenta that can be sliced.  No cooking involved, just heating.

 

Are there any vegan groups or animal rights groups near the school you go to or even in that state?  They might be able to help in some way, or at the very least they can help you contact the director of dining services and see if they can get more vegan friendly items on the menu for students who are vegan or have special dietary needs.  A collective voice is sometimes more powerful than one student's.  There are a lot of vegan organizations doing this already. The Vegetarian Resource Group for example is one that provides advice on how to get more vegan food in your school:

http://www.vrg.org/fsupdate/index.htm

 

http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2006issue3/vj2006issue3college.htm

 

 

I did this with the medical complex where I work which has three cafeterias but sadly very little in the way of vegan fare.  I contacted the director of nutrition services and donated to him a book called "Vegan in Volume: Vegan Quantity Recipes for Every Occasion" which focuses on economical ways to provide vegan dishes and foods to college cafeterias, nursing homes, and other large institutions.  Although he did not respond to my request, within a month I noticed more vegan food items on the menu, including a few from the book, so there is hope!  You are paying the same price as everyone else for the food services there and you have a right to have food provided to you that you can eat within reason.  Doing a survey on campus and collecting petitions from other vegetarians for more food options might be something to consider and might bring awareness to the dining services that there is a need and demand there.  I know it is a time consuming endeavor and not a quick solution but it would go a long way to help in the future and to help other students following in your path.  In fact I might just do a survey of other employees where I work too.  I am an online student and also working so I do understand time constraints but I also understand that change won't happen unless we make our voices heard and bring awareness to our situations.  Best wishes and I hope you get some more good feedback!


In the end, only kindness matters. - Jewel



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#5 Old 10-14-2013, 04:24 AM
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I just did a little more research and here are a few other links with ideas:

 

http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vegdiets/incorporating-vegetarian-meals-on-college-campuses

 

http://www.vegsource.com/jo/qa/qadining.htm


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#6 Old 10-14-2013, 08:21 AM
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Some suggestions:

 

First, talk to some of the chefs and workers at the cafeteria. Ask them if they know if there are any special vegan options. Ask a few different people because some will be helpful while others are not. There may be things you just don't know about yet. For example, sometimes you can just ask and the chef will make you something special. I am often getting things at cafeterias and restaurants that are not on the menu.

 

Next, PETA has a campaign that can help you get more vegan options at your college. Check it out http://www.peta2.com/actions/veganize-your-dining-hall/

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