How to Eat Vegan in Your College Dining Hall

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The college experience is a gamut of seemingly trivial difficulties that can hamper your studies if not appropriately handled. Take for example your nutritional demands. Whereas most people do not care about what they eat, certain classes of dieters known as vegans are very particular about what they eat.

It becomes slightly dicey when you have to eat at the college dining hall which may not cater to plant-based diets that generally exclude poultry and dairy products, and other animal-based foods. Based on the belief that every problem has a solution, here are some tips that should help you eat vegan in your college dining hall.

Be Creative

The more creative you are, the more options you will have with the food that is served in your dining hall. Take oatmeal for instance. There are so many variations that you can get from combining it with banana, apple slices, nuts, mixed berries, and peanut butter. 

Try as much as possible to explore your options. Be creative with the different staples. You can combine rice with things like leafy greens, steamed vegetables, soups, salsa, and salad bar items. 

Take advantage of the endless possibilities at the salad bar in your dining hall: carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, beans, chickpeas, and tofu.

Befriend the Dining Hall Staff

It will be in your best interest to befriend the dining staff. After all, you have special dietary needs that might need them to go the extra mile. Now’s the time to get off your high horse. Dining halls staffers at UT, for example, are relatively accommodating.

Let them know of your resolve to stick to your vegan diet and try to be as charming as you can since you are asking for favors. If you are straightforward and civil enough with the staff at University of Texas dining hall, they will be willing to help you out with your special requests when necessary.

Take Advantage of Starch-Based Foods

One of the challenges of maintaining a vegan lifestyle is the energy needs that arise as a result of vegan foods being predominantly low calorie. So the best way around that is to add starchy foods and vegetables like rice, grains, pasta, potatoes, and squash to your meals whenever you can.

Get a Backup Plan

Nothing saves the day like a sweet and reliable plan B. There are going to days when all of your meal plans will fall short; days when you might not get your choice of food at the University of Texas dining hall.

In this case, the backup plan is healthy snacks: fresh fruits, salsa, hummus granola, vegan protein bars, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Some of these snacks will need refrigeration, so you should make provision for that too.

There are always ways to maintain a vegan lifestyle in college, even when the odds are stacked up against it. All it takes is a few tips and valuable info. Campus Reel gives you a substantial glimpse of overall life at the University of Texas and what you could generally expect from the dining halls.