How to stick with your plant-based diet at college - 10 simple tips
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Some people act as if being vegan in college is like asking to starve or begging to spend pocketfuls of cash on fancy kale meals. What will you eat? Where will you get your protein? How will you survive? Parents worry. Friends joke. But we are here to cheer you on! 

With a little research and some creativity, eating a plant-based diet on a college campus can be fun, satisfying, and just plain delicious. Plus, it can provide a healthy routine during a time filled with so many stresses and changes (hello, midterms and stranger roomies). 

Whether you’re living in a dorm, sorority house, or commuting from home, here are some tips for embracing a vegan meets college student lifestyle. 

How to eat a healthy, plant-based diet when you’re a college student

Be imaginative 

See a banana? Make breakfast banana pops!  Or go classic and slice it on toast with peanut butter (or cinnamon, granola, avocado, almond butter, whatever sounds good/is available). Celebrate the idea that new food combinations can be really delicious and you may just stumble upon a new favorite go-to snack.  

Explore the local scene

Do a little research, download Happy Cow (or other vegan apps), and get outside. The local scene in your college neighborhood can yield foodie gems. Farmers markets, nearby grocery stores, and neighborhood restaurants are often packed with veggie-filled goodness. Even if you’re going to school 20 miles from where you grew up, you may be surprised at what a 15 minute walk will reveal. 

Fill up on fruits and veggies 

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Leaves are changing colours. It's raining. Everything is signaling a change in seasons! I just want to hang on to summer for a little bit longer and enjoy all the local fruits! This is the mini version of the platter I made last week! Are you freezing your fruits for the winter? I use them up faster than i can freeze them 🙈🤷‍♀️ what's your fav fruit? Mine are wild blueberries! . . Sending you so many hugs and positive vibes. Have an amazing day! Sarah xx . . . . _____________________________________________ #vzcomacro #vzcomood #macrophotography #raspberries #farmersmarket #feedfeed @thefeedfeed.vegan @thefeedfeed @bestofvegan @thrivemags #hautecuisines #bbggirls #bbg #bbg2019 #kaylaitsines #feedyoursoul #eatclean #eatraw #beautifulcuisines #bestofvegan #thrivemags #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodstyling #foodphotographer #realfood #vegandessert #snack #veganinspo #gurushots #fruitplatter #berries #gloobyfood

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Produce is loaded with good-for-you nutrients that will fill you up in a way that feels good. If you have access to some sort of kitchen and fridge (most dorms have some sort of kitchen), we recommend cooking your veggies as soon as you get them and storing them. That way, when you get busy with classes, you’ll be more likely to eat them because they’re already cooked and less likely to toss them when they go bad.  

Invest in good food storage

Eating on-the-go is usually a big part of college life. Investing in reusable eco-friendly storage bags like Stasher Bags and glass jars and containers is a smart idea. The key: make it as easy as possible on yourself to grab healthy food in a hurry. So if that means slicing up an apple in advance or making a veggie sandwich the night before a long school day — do it. 

Remember your vegan snacks

In between classes or during a late night study sesh, vegan snacks will become your new foodie besties. Protein bars like Lara Bars and GoMacro Bars are must-haves in every backpack. Plus, they don’t make a lot of noise when you chew, which can be super helpful in quiet libraries. 

Over the bars? Reach for dates (we love dates dipped in almond butter!), dried fruit, rice cakes, oranges, cut-up apples, vegan granola, and veggie chips. And if you’re craving something extra sweet, Oreos and Airheads are totally vegan and totally delicious. 

For some inspiration, check out the best yummy and healthy snacks you can make in minutes

Embrace healthy non-perishables

Black beans, oatmeal, nut butters, veggie soups, and vegan crackers are just some of the many healthy vegan non-perishables. If they can last through a hurricane, they can get you through finals! 

Investigate the food halls

You may be pleasantly surprised at the vegan options in your university hall. Veggie Grill has opened on college campuses across the United States from UCLA to University of Washington and more are on the way

While the salad bar is a great place to start in any cafeteria, don’t be afraid to wander into the other sections and ask for vegan accommodations. That turkey sandwich with avocado and tomato can easily be made meat-free! 


Freeze in peace

Sometimes waiting four minutes for Amy’s frozen lasagna or margherita pizza swirls to heat up is the most effort we can put into a meal. And that’s ok! 

Eat, repeat

Pick your favorite, most accessible meals and snacks, and make them over and over again with small changes to keep things interesting. Add salsa one day, hummus the next. Figuring out exactly what you need will not only streamline your food prep process but also help you avoid creating food waste.   

Find your foodie flow

Once you get into a groove healthy habits will come more naturally. All the effort of meal-prepping and packaging yummy vegan snacks will feel like just another thing you do rather than an added burden. 

Are you living that back-to-school life? Give these reads a go!

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