ohiovegan:

I like to think that college is the time you find yourself. You’re away from home/your parents and have the independence to try new things on your own. My first year of college, I was a vegetarian. This year, I’m a fully plant-based vegan and have never felt better. But with that comes a lot of changes. I’m creating a guide to hopefully help out some of you who are in college and just beginning your vegan journey.
Navigating the Meal Plan

You obviously have a whole lot of freedom to cook once you live off campus that you won’t have as a freshman or even a sophomore. Many colleges in the U.S. now require all underclassmen to live on-campus/purchase a meal plan. So how do you make it all work? 
Salad bar is your friend. You will be eating lots of vegetables. Lots of cold, raw vegetables. Better get used to it. That being said, there’s no reason why you can’t experiment and create lush salads comparable to those on instagram! Lots of schools have things like nuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, tortilla strips, etc to top your salad, and you can get creative and mix in some fruit, or add canned beans/legumes in your room. My personal favorite college salad bar combo is spinach, cucumber, broccoli, olives, chickpeas, edamame, and grapes topped with balsamic vinegar.
If you have an all-you-can-eat dining hall, take all of the fruit you can back with you. Seriously. I’m able to eat raw breakfasts and save a shit-ton of money because I’m not ashamed to walk home with 12+ bananas in my bag. 
Contact the chefs in your dining hall. I know at some locations on my campus, if you let the chef know your restrictions far enough in advance, they can usually cook something up for you. It doesn’t hurt to request products (such as milk alternatives at cafes or dairy/gluten-free bread for the sandwich station), either. My campus dining services even hold yearly focus groups for students with special dietary needs in order to develop better menus! 
Eat breakfast in your room.In my experience, breakfast is the worst time to find a good vegan meal in a dining hall (one cannot live on bagels alone), and you rarely have time to go anywhere anyways. I like being able to spend time each morning whipping up some oats in my microwave or making raw banana cereal, or even eating a huge bowl of coconut yogurt. I recommend having a Magic Bullet for smoothies, too. You end up eating the same stuff for lunch and dinner so often that it’s almost relieving to be able to experiment with breakfasts.

Navigating Social Situations

The social aspect of college changes a bit when you commit to living cruelty free. I’ll leave you some tips as my friends are still adjusting to the change.
Don’t be ashamed of sharing your beliefs with your friends/peers. I find that when people ask me about my veganism, it’s not to tease/mock/judge me; people are genuinely interested/curious! This gives you an excuse to respectfully explain why consuming/exploiting animals is bad. 
Be adaptable. Sometimes your friends will want to go to Bdubs. You will have to order a side salad with no dressing, and it will suck. But seriously, don’t turn down opportunities to socialize just because you can’t find anything to eat - just go with the flow, and occasionally suggest trips to cool veg-friendly restaurants that you think your friends will enjoy!
Know your alcohol. There are several varieties of alcohol that aren’t vegan (hate to burst your bubble). You can find a list of vegan beer/wine/liquor here.
Look into special-interest clubs. You may be surprised, but some schools actually have a vegan club. If not, you can either start one or join something animal rights or yoga related (if that tickles your fancy). I’ve found that generally, the veg-types congregate in these kind of clubs, and they’re great places to meet some friends who share your beliefs! 

Toiletries/Beauty

You may have figured out that a lot of common products aren’t vegan or even cruelty-free. Technically, a full-on vegan uses vegan health/beauty products - if you’re interested, here are some resources. 
Peta has a list of companies who test products onanimals. I would suggest avoiding these companies if possible. You can’t always find/afford vegan products, but it’s helpful to at least support cruelty-free companies. 
You can find vegan-friendly products in common stores. I totally get that you can’t always afford the good stuff from Lush. Target and Walmart both have “natural” health/beauty sections and carry products such as the “Yes To….” brand (many products are vegan; all are cruelty-free) among others. The Body Shop, Ulta, and Sephora all carry vegan health/beauty products if you can afford it. 
Coconut oil! Coconut oil is seriously the miracle product. You can get it at Target, Trader Joe’s, etc for around $5-$6, and you can use it for EVERYTHING. Makeup remover, face wash, hair mask, balm for dry skin spots, etc. Not to mention you can eat it/cook with it. 

Other Helpful Sites/Resources

Endless ways to spice up your oats
The simplest/cheapest cookies ever (will impress even your non-vegan friends)
VegWeb (recipes)
Happy Cow (restaurants)
some of my favorite Vegan tumblrs to follow:
agirlnamedally
annabanana-1
arielerinkaplan
cleanbodyfreshstart
collegiateveg
essenaoneill
floraliris / www.superfoodsiobhan.com
funeralformyfat
mild-bloom
riceandraw
thecoconutgoddess

This is just a brief guide. I hope it helps, and I’ll add to it if I think of anything else!

This is a great guide for plant-based eating in college put together by OhioVegan! So happy I was included :)

ohiovegan:

I like to think that college is the time you find yourself. You’re away from home/your parents and have the independence to try new things on your own. My first year of college, I was a vegetarian. This year, I’m a fully plant-based vegan and have never felt better. But with that comes a lot of changes. I’m creating a guide to hopefully help out some of you who are in college and just beginning your vegan journey.

Navigating the Meal Plan

You obviously have a whole lot of freedom to cook once you live off campus that you won’t have as a freshman or even a sophomore. Many colleges in the U.S. now require all underclassmen to live on-campus/purchase a meal plan. So how do you make it all work? 

Salad bar is your friend. You will be eating lots of vegetables. Lots of cold, raw vegetables. Better get used to it. That being said, there’s no reason why you can’t experiment and create lush salads comparable to those on instagram! Lots of schools have things like nuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, tortilla strips, etc to top your salad, and you can get creative and mix in some fruit, or add canned beans/legumes in your room. My personal favorite college salad bar combo is spinach, cucumber, broccoli, olives, chickpeas, edamame, and grapes topped with balsamic vinegar.

If you have an all-you-can-eat dining hall, take all of the fruit you can back with you. Seriously. I’m able to eat raw breakfasts and save a shit-ton of money because I’m not ashamed to walk home with 12+ bananas in my bag. 

Contact the chefs in your dining hall. I know at some locations on my campus, if you let the chef know your restrictions far enough in advance, they can usually cook something up for you. It doesn’t hurt to request products (such as milk alternatives at cafes or dairy/gluten-free bread for the sandwich station), either. My campus dining services even hold yearly focus groups for students with special dietary needs in order to develop better menus! 

Eat breakfast in your room.In my experience, breakfast is the worst time to find a good vegan meal in a dining hall (one cannot live on bagels alone), and you rarely have time to go anywhere anyways. I like being able to spend time each morning whipping up some oats in my microwave or making raw banana cereal, or even eating a huge bowl of coconut yogurt. I recommend having a Magic Bullet for smoothies, too. You end up eating the same stuff for lunch and dinner so often that it’s almost relieving to be able to experiment with breakfasts.

Navigating Social Situations

The social aspect of college changes a bit when you commit to living cruelty free. I’ll leave you some tips as my friends are still adjusting to the change.

Don’t be ashamed of sharing your beliefs with your friends/peers. I find that when people ask me about my veganism, it’s not to tease/mock/judge me; people are genuinely interested/curious! This gives you an excuse to respectfully explain why consuming/exploiting animals is bad. 

Be adaptable. Sometimes your friends will want to go to Bdubs. You will have to order a side salad with no dressing, and it will suck. But seriously, don’t turn down opportunities to socialize just because you can’t find anything to eat - just go with the flow, and occasionally suggest trips to cool veg-friendly restaurants that you think your friends will enjoy!

Know your alcohol. There are several varieties of alcohol that aren’t vegan (hate to burst your bubble). You can find a list of vegan beer/wine/liquor here.

Look into special-interest clubs. You may be surprised, but some schools actually have a vegan club. If not, you can either start one or join something animal rights or yoga related (if that tickles your fancy). I’ve found that generally, the veg-types congregate in these kind of clubs, and they’re great places to meet some friends who share your beliefs! 

Toiletries/Beauty

You may have figured out that a lot of common products aren’t vegan or even cruelty-free. Technically, a full-on vegan uses vegan health/beauty products - if you’re interested, here are some resources. 

Peta has a list of companies who test products onanimals. I would suggest avoiding these companies if possible. You can’t always find/afford vegan products, but it’s helpful to at least support cruelty-free companies. 

You can find vegan-friendly products in common stores. I totally get that you can’t always afford the good stuff from Lush. Target and Walmart both have “natural” health/beauty sections and carry products such as the “Yes To….” brand (many products are vegan; all are cruelty-free) among others. The Body Shop, Ulta, and Sephora all carry vegan health/beauty products if you can afford it. 

Coconut oil! Coconut oil is seriously the miracle product. You can get it at Target, Trader Joe’s, etc for around $5-$6, and you can use it for EVERYTHING. Makeup remover, face wash, hair mask, balm for dry skin spots, etc. Not to mention you can eat it/cook with it. 

Other Helpful Sites/Resources

Endless ways to spice up your oats

The simplest/cheapest cookies ever (will impress even your non-vegan friends)

VegWeb (recipes)

Happy Cow (restaurants)

some of my favorite Vegan tumblrs to follow:

agirlnamedally

annabanana-1

arielerinkaplan

cleanbodyfreshstart

collegiateveg

essenaoneill

floraliris / www.superfoodsiobhan.com

funeralformyfat

mild-bloom

riceandraw

thecoconutgoddess

This is just a brief guide. I hope it helps, and I’ll add to it if I think of anything else!

This is a great guide for plant-based eating in college put together by OhioVegan! So happy I was included :)

Hey! I just wanted to say I really really appreciate your blog. I'm a vegan and a freshman at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. I'm new to your blog and don't know if you've posted something like this before, but do you have any tips for vegans specifically in the Boston area? Do you have favorite restaurants? Is it ever hard for you to eat well when there's a lot of good take-out options in the area? Thanks for taking the time to blog, you rule :)

- Asked by iamaplantbasedgod

Yay Boston!! I posted a list of my favorite veggie restaurants in Boston here. People always note that I didn’t list Veggie Galaxy, and that’s because I don’t like it haha. They are a vegan/vegetarian diner and are great if you have a greasy, diner food craving, but I always feel gross after eating there.

A tip specifically for Boston vegans is to hit up Haymarket on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s not a farmers market, but instead a market where grocery stores sell the produce they need to get rid of for suuuuuper cheap. That being said, it’s older produce so it’s not gonna stay fresh very long. I suggest making a giant stir fry or dinner that night, or buying a ton of fruit for cheap and then freezing it for smoothies.

It can be hard to eat healthy when there’s so much good take out around, but on the other hand there are a lot of healthy take out options too, like mediterranean food or rice and veggies. It’s all about balance, and I do the best I can.

Hope this helps!!

Hi just found your blog and it is exactly what I needed. I became vegetarian about a month ago and I want to become vegan, but I'm struggling so badly. I try to eat healthy, but lately I'm strapped for time and money. Your five and under helped me so much, I'm going to go to the store and buy some of these items! For vegetable broth, it has a lot of sodium, what kind do you get?

- Asked by da-i-sy

Thank you so much! It makes me so happy to know that my blog has helped you out.

As far as vegetable broth goes, I always buy the low-sodium options. However, if you’re eating a varied, plant-based ,whole foods diet that’s mostly fruits, veggies and whole grains, a little sodium from vegetable broth isn’t going to hurt you. If you have extra time, you can make your own and avoid the sodium altogether.

Hope this helps!

Forks Over Knives Review & Giveaway

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I’m partnering with the lovely people over at Forks Over Knives to giveaway one free copy over their new book, The Forks Over Knives Plan. Most of you have probably seen the Forks Over Knives documentary, or maybe even own their first book. But let me tell you a few more reasons why “Plan” belongs on your bookshelves.

  • It provides a plan for a 4-week, meal-by-meal makeover that is great for new plant-based eaters, or anyone who could use a kickstart to get back into healthy habits.
  • It emphasizes transition. Nobody is perfect, and the plan they provide leaves a lot of room for flexibility.
  • It’s not just recipes! This book is a wealth of nutritional information and problem/solution guides dispersed throughout the book. It’s your one-stop-shop on the science behind what’s on your plate.
  • And the recipes are great. Curried twice-baked potatoes? Yes please.

The giveaway is open until Saturday, September 27th. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, and the folks at Forks Over Knives will send the winner his or her book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Three Ingredient Baked Apples

It was finally chilly enough this morning for me to wear a jacket, which means it’s officially fall cooking season. And I’m kicking off fall this year with a sneak peak of one of my favorite recipes from my new eCookbook “FIVE: 50+ Plant-Based Recipes, Five Ingredients or Less” which is available October 1st. Get the recipe below, and check back on the blog October 1st to download FIVE.

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple (my favorite are gala!)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Steps:

  1. Using a knife, slice off the top of the apple and core.
  2. Fill the crater with peanut butter, and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

What’s your favorite fall recipe?

Avocado Bruschetta

I tend to disregard traditional recipe boundaries and put avocado on anything and everything. I have a 100% success rate.

Ingredients:

  • 1 crusty baguette
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tomatoes
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Steps:

  1. Slice the baguette into rounds and lay on a cookie sheet.
  2. Use a broad knife to crush garlic cloves, and rub garlic cloves on baguette rounds. Alternatively you can sprinkle with garlic powder.
  3. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the baguette rounds, and then broil them in the oven until toasty, keeping a sharp eye on them so they don’t burn. Remove from oven and let cool.
  4. Mash the avocado and spread on the toasts.
  5. Seed and chop tomatoes finely, tossing in a bowl with the remaining olive oil and salt and pepper.
  6. Top toasts with the tomato mixture.

Note: You can’t go wrong with adding a fresh basil leaf on top of each piece of bruschetta.

Do you have are good morning smoothie ideas? Anything with fruit is fine :)

- Asked by Anonymous

For a really simple fruity smoothie I like banana, strawberry and orange juice!

These are some of the recipes I’ve photographed so far for my upcoming eCookbook, FIVE, which drops October 1st.
The book will contain some of my signature recipes, like avocado alfredo and stovetop popcorn, but it will also include tons of NEW recipes, like my mocha protein and chocolate covered cherry smoothies, chickpea tacos, banana breakfast wraps and mango salsa. (All five ingredients or less!)
To learn more about FIVE, click here.

These are some of the recipes I’ve photographed so far for my upcoming eCookbook, FIVE, which drops October 1st.

The book will contain some of my signature recipes, like avocado alfredo and stovetop popcorn, but it will also include tons of NEW recipes, like my mocha protein and chocolate covered cherry smoothies, chickpea tacos, banana breakfast wraps and mango salsa. (All five ingredients or less!)

To learn more about FIVE, click here.

Hi, do you know a recipe for a smoothie that fills you up and gives you a lot of energy? With really basic and simple ingredients?

- Asked by Anonymous

Yeah! My favorite smoothie recipe is:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup spinach/kale
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • ice

And then sometimes I’ll also add some flax seed or chia seeds. But that smoothie has a lot of protein, veggies, fruit and healthy fats, so it keeps me full for a long time.

Collegiate Vegan Back-to-School Tips

Back-to-school season is always hard. Transitioning to new classes, a new routine, and wanting to wear sweaters even though it’s still technically summer. To help make the season a little easier, here are some tips I’ve compiled about packing lunches for the day:

  • Eat a good breakfast! Skipping breakfast will only make you even hungrier during the day, so start out with a smoothie, peanut butter toast or oatmeal. If you pour a smoothie in a mason jar to tumbler, you can drink it during your first class.
  • Pack nutrient dense food for lunch that will fill you up. Giant salads aren’t easy to carry around, so make sure if you pack a salad that it has lots of grains, nuts and legumes.
  • "Bowl" meals are your new best friend. Mix together rice, whole wheat pasta or quinoa with a bunch of veggies and sauce, and microwave it for a filling lunch.
  • Chili and stews are great lunch options too, especially once the weather starts cooling off.
  • Go classic. For sandwiches and wraps, fill them up with hummus, lettuce, peppers and cucumbers. Eat with a side of chips, or peanut butter with pretzels.
  • Always have snacks on hand. Click here to see a list of vegan back-to-school snacks that don’t require refrigeration.
  • Throw a few plastic forks and spoons in your backpack, because at some point during the semester you will forget to pack one.
  • If you get a small lunch box, you can load it up with carrots, hummus, cucumbers and grapes.

Here are some of my favorite school lunches:

Happy back-to-school everyone!! What’s your go-to packed lunch?

I started classes this week and I'm there from morning until afternoon. Do you know of any snacks I can bring that don't need to be refrigerated?

- Asked by Anonymous

Sure! Here are some suggestions:

  • Easy-to-carry fruit like apples, bananas, oranges, peaches, plums and pears
  • Crackers, pretzels and peanut/almond butter
  • Trail mix, mixed nuts and granola bars (clif bars, lara bars, kind bars etc.)
  • Dried fruit, banana/apple chips, plantain chips, sweet potato chips
  • Popcorn (make at home and put in sandwich bags, or buy premade)
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Vegan muffins, banana bread, zucchini bread etc.

Hope this helped, and good luck with your classes!

The Collegiate Vegan Presents FIVE

I am SO EXCITED to announce that I am publishing my first eCookbook, “The Collegiate Vegan Presents FIVE” just one month from today on October 1st, 2014!! It focuses on simple, five ingredient recipes that are also healthy, delicious and easy to make. Whether you’re a student or not, these are recipes packed with nutrients and can be made in a hurry and on a budget.

For just $2.99 you will get:

  • 50+ plant-based recipes that are all five ingredients or less
  • Time & money saving guides
  • A vegan diet transition guide
  • A step-by-step meal planning guide

Yep, you read that right. You will get all of those recipes and guides for less than the price of a latte. I’m in college, a lot of you are in college, and even if you’re not in college, money is tight these days. I wanted to make these resources available to as many people as possible! Feel free to buy the PDF and then forward it to your friends, I care much more about empowering people to cook than I ever will about money. The eCookbook download will be compatible on any PDF-friendly digital device.

So keep an eye out for the rest of September, as I will be releasing previews and teasers, and hosting giveaways to promote the eBook! But most importantly, come back to The Collegiate Vegan on October 1st to grab your very own copy of FIVE.

hi! do you have any posts about easy packed lunches for commuting collegiate vegans? i've been vegan for a year and a half but this is my first semester commuting, so i no longer have the option of popping back to my dorm to have lunch like i used to. thanks!

- Asked by captainholts

Hi! I don’t have any posts about commuting or packed lunches right now, but I was actually planning on posting a master list of “Back to School” and commuter lunches later this week. Although I live close to campus, my best friend started commuting to grad school this semester and inspired me to put some tips together.

So check back on Friday and I’ll have something posted for you :)

i'm a new "collegiatevegan" and am worried that as much as i try to eat a balanced diet that i'm not getting all the nutrients i should therefore i wanted to take a vegan multivitamin just in case. i'm thinking about buying DEVA because it says that they're high in B12 (i'm buying the iron-free tablets). what supplements do you take if any?

- Asked by nickjonas2008

Hi! I know it can feel tricky when you’re first starting out, but soon you’ll fall into a routine and feel more comfortable with the variety of your food. Eating a balanced diet these days is hard, no matter if you’re an omnivore or herbivore.

I haven’t seen DEVA in stores before, but from a quick Google search it looks like a decent supplement. I’ve had minor iron deficiency issues my entire life, so when I first went vegan I was taking iron supplements. But I was also using MyFitnessPal to track my food, and soon realized I was getting enough iron on my own, so I stopped taking those supplements.

I’m three years in to a plant-based lifestyle now, and I take a womens multi-vitamin supplement a few times a week, and then I have a B vitamin (Whole Foods brand) that I also take a few times a week. B12 is important, and can be tricky if you’re not eating B12 supplemented foods. A lot of tofu, almond milk, protein powder and nutritional yeast is now supplemented with vegan sources of B12, so you can look out for those foods as well.

I highly recommend using MyFitnessPal to track your food as you start out. I don’t support calorie counting at all, but I think it’s a really great tool to get a solid understanding of the levels of different nutrients in your food.

Hope that helped!