Students living on campus can have a hard time going vegan—because there are so few healthy food choices. They often pay twice for food: for the cafeteria food they can’t eat and for the food they have to buy to avoid starvation. Here are 10 tips to help student vegans take charge of their diets. (Judy Kingsbury is the founder of savvyvegetarian.com, which offers advice, articles, and recipes for vegetarians.)
1. Don’t waste time and energy on anger or self-pity—just think about you can do.
2. Vegetarians and vegans are a significant, rapidly growing minority on campus. Organize, agitate, make change happen, as Laura has done.
3. Study vegan nutrition. I recommend Becoming Vegan, by Melina & Davis.
4. Choose the most nutritious food in the cafeteria. Eat all the veggies, beans, anything whole grain (like oatmeal).
5. Accept that you have to feed yourself, then get creative and push the dorm food rules hard.
6. Make your food dollars count: fill in the nutritional gaps with fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains—get your vitamins and minerals.
7. Pick the most unprocessed food you can find—think granola, trail mix, and apples instead of Cocoa Puffs, Oreos, and Fruit Loops.
8. Take a high-quality nutritional supplement including vitamin B12, vitamin D, and omega 3.
9. Exercise, get out in the sun, and get enough sleep—they’re just as important as what you eat.
10. Take it easy! You wouldn’t expect to become a concert violinist overnight, and you won’t go from junk-food addict to healthy vegan overnight either.