It's not easy to change the way I'd been eating my whole life and restrict myself to a diet excluding all animal products and animal by-products. It's been a journey with ups and downs.
Making the transition from being a vegan at home to being a vegan while living and eating on campus was really difficult. I really didn't think that I would be able to keep it up. I had to make major adjustments. At home, I had the luxury of easily being able to have vegan-friendly food, and here, I often have trouble finding food that I can eat.
Many people have asked me why I became vegan or where the idea came from, because they don't understand how I could live without cheese or butter. I've never been a picky eater. I was always one to try anything and like it too, so this change in my life brought about a new side of my love for food that I hadn't known.
I've been able to appreciate food in a new way. With the limited selection of vegan-friendly food on campus, I've had to be more creative to make sure that I get the nutrients that I need on a daily basis. Putting together a meal that has everything that I need is a challenge. I recently met with the campus nutritionist, and although it was really helpful, it only made me realize how much harder I have to try to keep myself healthy.
I've been able to eat pretty basic foods and receive the nutrition that I need. The only supplement that I currently take is the B12 vitamin, which is usually found in meat. It's amazing that I can be healthy while staying away from animal products.
Overall, it's been a really positive experience. I've gotten to know myself better. It's taken a lot of mental strength to resist eating my favorite foods, like chocolate and other delicious foods, but it's definitely worth it. I feel really great, healthy, and happy. I hope to continue following a vegan diet for as long as I can.