Being A Vegan On Campus Without A Meal Plan: Tips and Ideas

I never knew what was to come once I canceled my meal plan. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy I canceled it because I was wasting money on a $1,700 meal plan that I couldn’t use. The only thing I would have been able to eat would be salad, veggie patties and drinks. That is why I buy my own food now. I love being a vegan now even though I never wanted it to come to this. I was ok with being a pescatarian because I got to eat seafood. My life changed when I got the news that I was allergic to everything that I once loved and cherished. Fish,crab, lobster, shrimp, nuts, eggs, milk, certain grass and even willow trees. That’s my favorite tree.

Once you become a vegan, everything changes because you have to find different ways to cook for yourself. I have had a lot of help from my family on this journey. Since I am not working and I live on campus, my family are always sending me recipes and they even bring me food. My mom makes different vegan recipes and bring them to me. My sister share recipes from a Facebook page called “vegan soul food”. I can’t lie when I say I am hooked. I am thankful because of them, without them I would be trying to buy weird things at the store but now I can actually eat different things and save them for later. My mom would cook a recipe and make enough of it for it to last for about a week. That’s good for me because I love to eat and eat a lot. That is what I was afraid of the most.

If you are a foodie lie me then you can’t help eating. It’s a part of life and you have to eat. The only thing about staying on campus as a vegan who cooks their own food is that I over eat. I over eat because I don’t get full. I use to not get full at all. I would constantly eat because I wasn’t eating a full meal with all my nutrients. I use to get nervous eating certain things because I am allergic to them so I would eat a lot of the same thing. I have learned making food and actually eating a full meal is more satisfying than eating a lot. I would make a pot of chili and eat it with rice which got me full so quick. The best thing to do is to keep many ingredients in your room that you can cook easily.

There are many things you can cook in a dorm room. I have turned to pinterest but the Facebook page “vegan soul food” makes me wanna try many new things. If you have a kitchen in your residence which you do, can be your best friend. If your like me, then you hate walking down there and want to find different ways. My grandmother bought me the most useful item ever before this semester started which was a three way mini toaster oven. It has a griddle, toaster oven and a coffee pot with it. It’s not loud at all and is easy to use. I don’t have to use it that much but when I do it works amazing. When making things like rice, you can buy the mini bag of rice to boil and use your coffee pot. That is how I cook my rice. It’s quick and efficient.

The microwave is another best friend. Of course you would use your microwave because it cooks food fast. I buy foods that are easy to heat up in the microwave like instant whole potatoes. They sell whole baked potatoes that goes in the microwave for about 8 minutes. My favorite go to meal is Annie vegan microwave mac and cheese on top of a baked potato. This meal is so good and I get so full because I put two together. You have to get creative when being alone and that is the only way I eat my potatoes now. Adding some chili to the potatoes is also good. That sounds so good right now by the way.

At first, I was thinking about how I was gonna survive like this. I became a full vegan before this semester and was only use to cooking like this at home so it was big change. It was tough at first because I didn’t know how to do anything. A good tip is to buy in bulk because you will get hungry. Cook a lot so you can put away leftovers and get full faster. I am happy now because I can try so many healthy things now. My favorite part is people asking me for help because I too am surprised that I stuck to this. I haven’t eaten meat since January and I don’t miss it at all. It will get easier.

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