Five Dorm-Friendly Ways To Be Vegetarian

When I first headed to college, I had already been a pescatarian for close to 2 years. I had some knowledge under my belt on how to adjust meals to replace meat products with alternatives and how to fuel my body with protein. But, I was still nervous about keeping my diet healthy especially on a college campus where the salad bar won’t always look that appetizing or the only good ‘tummy filler’ is pasta.

 

Now I will say, I’m not poster child for eating healthy. I indulge in pasta almost everyday and will often skip out on vegetables all together. But with the help of a little research and some willingness to compromise leading a healthy, vegan, vegetarian, or pescatarian lifestyle on campus is more than do-able.

1. Find campus nutritional info

I would be willing to bet that almost all campuses have an online website where you can find the nutritional info and ingredients for the meals being served on campus that week. At UConn, we have an app that makes it super easy for me to look up the options and schedule out the dining halls I would want to eat at that week. This also helps get a few extra steps walking across campus for some bomb vegan ravioli.  

2. Make a list

Before I left for college, I wrote down a whole big list of everything I could eat. This made it so much easier to create my meal plan based of the dining hall menus. And when I would go out to eat with my friends, I didn’t have to waste too much time over-reading the menu. I kept the list on my phone for easy access and can honestly say this is one of the easiest and smartest moves I made to make it easier to maintain pescatarianism in college.

3. Stock up on snacks

I personally always kept a bin full of my favorite snacks in my room. Our late night dining options were always just a long list of leftover meat products the kitchen could save to serve another day and this often left me starving.

So instead, I made sure to keep a bunch of healthy and not so healthy snacks in my room so I’d always have something to cure my hunger. I also had a mini fridge, where I would store snacks like ranch and carrots.

4. Make your own food

Depending on where you live, you may have access to a kitchen. If you do, take advantage of it! During my senior year, I loved making my own meals in my kitchen. Especially my favorite, salmon burgers and baked beans. You can’t find that in the dining hall. And if you share a kitchen with your hall or building, make sure to double or triple your recipe so you have leftovers that can help get you through the week. And if you don’t have a kitchen nearby, see if you are friends with someone who does. Maybe one of your friends lives off campus and doesn’t mind you borrowing their kitchen for an hour (you can always entice them with your yummy food).

5. Buy a blender

A fruit lovers best friend is usually their blender. I always kept frozen fruit and yogurt in my freezer to whip up a smoothie at any time. Check to see if your campus allows blenders in the dorms and if they do, make sure to add it to your packing list.