I hope that’s actually a term, “semi-vegan/vegetarian”. If it wasn’t before, it is now!
Here’s what makes me a semi-vegan/vegetarian…
1. I don’t eat meat – no chicken, no beef, etc.
2. I rarely eat fish – only when it’s guaranteed fresh and I know where it came from, and only on special occasions.
3. I do eat eggs – why? I love them, and I need protein. And they’re inexpensive – perfect for college!
4. I aim to set aside at least three vegan days each week – yupp. No animal products whatsoever for at least three days!
Now, is that hard to do in college, on a budget, on a meal plan, with a tiny kitchen, an extremely active life and a demanding schedule? At first, yes. But soon enough you develop routines and figure out what works for your body, your schedule, and your happiness.
If you need a few tips…
· For my vegan-day(s)…
o Instead of dairy milk in your coffee, oatmeal, cereal, or whatever, sub almond milk.
o Instead of string cheese as a midday snack, grab some nuts, roasted chickpeas, fruit, or veggies.
o Tofu/tempeh/soybeans are all good in moderation, so try to stick with just one serving a day.
o Beans are your friend! Black beans (I’m getting used to them), pinto, chickpeas, even hummus. They’ve got protein, carbs, and some good fiber!
o Make this day more of a relaxed one – do yoga instead of long run, weight session, or HIIT to give your body a little break.
o FYI – you’ll probably feel a little hungrier throughout the day, but your body will get used to it.
· For the other days…
o If you still want soy, you should still cap it at about one or two servings a day. Here’s why.
o Eggs are good! They have lots of protein and healthy fats and are definitely within the college food-budget.
o Almond milk, nuts, fruits, veggies – perfect snacks.
o Greek yogurt – perfect bedtime snack.
o As for fish, be careful. Do your best to find the freshest, most sustainable, wild-caught kind.
Vegan Day – Broken Down
- 1 brown rice tortilla + nut butter + cinnamon
Snack (if needed)
- ½ cup berries or your favorite fruit
- 3 oz. baked tofu + 1 cup spinach (preferably cooked) + 1 cup vegetables of choice + 1/3 cup hummus
- ½-1 oz. mixed nuts or 1 serving fruit
- ½ cup black beans + ½ cup cooked mushroom caps + 1 cup kale, cooked + ½ avocado + 1 baked sweet potato (add some honey mustard, balsamic vinegar, salsa, etc. whatever you like)
- ¾-1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 brown rice cakes + nut butter + cinnamon + toppings: shredded coconut, chocolate chips, banana, etc.
Snack (if needed)
- 1 serving fruit + 1 cup almond milk
- 1 serving edamame (roughly ½ cup) + 1/3 cup hummus + ½ cup cherry tomatoes + ½ sliced cucumber + ½ cup shredded carrots + 1 cup romaine lettuce
- 1 serving fruit + a few nuts
- 2 eggs + 1 egg white (cooked to your preference) + 1 cup spinach, cooked + 1 cup broccoli florets, steamed + ½ avocado (add some salsa, Sriracha, or whatever you like with your eggs)
Bedtime Snack (if needed)
- ½ cup Greek yogurt + shredded coconut + 1/2 cup brown rice crisps + 1 tsp. cinnamon or
- almond milk
Of course, I don’t follow these plans exactly as they are here every single day. Variety is key to enjoying what you’re putting in your body from day to day! These are just rough ideas.
Overall, I’ve learned so much in the past few months since I’ve cut out meat, cut back on animal products, quit coffee, and kept an eye on my sugar-intake as well as try to incorporate more yoga and stretching into my routine.
It’s been a blast and I can’t wait to keep learning!