College vegan?

Erin

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I am currently a college student looking to make a semi-vegan change to my diet. I want to make this change for my body because I know I will feel better. I'm lactose intolerant but I have never been able to cut out cheese from my diet (I'm not too sensitive to it). I finally decided it was time because I know most of my digestive problems and bloating is caused by the continuous consumption of cheese (it's my weakness). I'm set on going meat and diary free, but don't know if I can survive on campus (without a kitchen) cutting out all foods that a typical vegan diet does. I think this is my biggest worry is not being able to get enough calories in per day eating in my dining hall. My dining hall has a very limited selection of vegetarian foods let alone vegan selections. I'm only a couple days in to my new diet and I feel as though I'm always hungry no matter how much food I put into my body. I know beans are a good source of protein and will help me to stay fuller longer but they are not always readily available to me. I also wouldn't consider myself a picky eater, but there are some staples in vegan cooking that I don't really like, like mushrooms. Also I'm not a huge fan of nuts, I will eat peanut butter but not on its own (with apples, celery, oatmeal).

Any suggestions of eating in the dining hall or how to get and stay full?
 

Hannah Banana

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I am at college, I have known a few meal plan vegans, but we were very fortunate with our vegan selections - every single station had a vegan option! There's probably a few things you could do.

First, for calories and fullness, I would suggest starches as a center of your diet! Dr. McDougall has a meal plan for that on his website if you're interested! Hopefully your dining halls would offer some potatoes, rice, and other starch basics.

Second, if the food options are just not adequate for veganism at your college, I would conduct some change. I really consider it a college's responsibility to cater to its students taste and diets (as best as possible). I know our college has a whole foods club and a vegan club, and those groups are in communication with dining services to ensure their representation. If you could start a college club and get some traction, you might see change!

At the very least, email dining services and explain that you have purchased a meal plan, transitioned to veganism, and there aren't adequate options for you. Maybe they could refund you or work on getting you some options. Also, if you email dining services and don't have access to a kitchen, I'm sure they could work with you if there are dorms with kitchens. My old dorm would have a kitchen on every other floor, and I'm sure they could grant you access to a space like that if you needed it! Another option is if you have a friend who is off the meal plan or living off campus, maybe see if you can use their kitchen for an hour or two a week to prepare some basics and have the stocked up!

I wish you the best of luck! College veganism, woohoo! :blush: