Being A Vegetarian In College Isn't Easy

Being A Vegetarian In College Isn't Easy

Living on a college student budget does not make trying to eat healthy and be a veterinarian easy.

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Being on a college student budget for groceries does not make being a vegetarian easy.

Since my senior year of high school, I have been a vegetarian and I never had a hard time until college came around. Living at home and having your mom make you dinner, especially a vegetarian one, is a blessing I took for granted. Now that I have to juggle paying for bills, gas, and groceries every week, it makes it so much harder.

We all know how expensive fruits and vegetables are, and having a budget of $30-$50 a week for food limits the amount of food you can get for your money. Yes, there are alternatives to eating meat, but the substitutes like veggie patties and veggie burgers are still rather pricey.

Don't even get me started on trying to find a decent meal while living on campus, and having to pray they make a vegetarian option for dinner.

Salads get boring after a while and having carbs for every meal isn't healthy. It is sad that we live in an age where healthy foods are still so much more expensive than a burger or fries, and converting back to having meat again just isn't an option.

Pasta is amazing, but try having it for every meal.

Going out to eat is also a struggle because fast food is geared towards people who eat meat, so finding something other than a salad on the menu is a hit or miss. No one likes having to be the one to always have to say, "If we eat there, is there something I can actually have?" or being at a restaurant and realizing there's nothing there for you besides soup or a salad.

Not liking or eating meat is a struggle.

Meat lovers, I'm jealous.

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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The Best Answers To 5 Questions Vegans Always Hear

And no, it isn't just a phase.

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As someone who eats a Vegan/Plant-Based Diet, I hear the same types of questions from many different people. This usually stems out of judgement or ignorance about the diet in general. Instead of being angered by these questions, I have realized that informing someone in a calm manner, without any judgement of my own, is the best route. It is everyone's personal choice what they eat, but if someone asks me a question, I will answer them to show how I maintain this way of eating.

So here are the top five most asked questions, and how I typically answer them, for those looking to change their eating habits, or those who are simply curious about Plant-Based and Vegan nutrition:

1. “Do you get enough protein?/Where do you get your protein from?”

Probably the most popular answer: many people that consume animal products think it is the only means of protein. This was simply the way they were raised, so getting upset and spitting out, "YES," is not how I try to answer someone. Instead, I say that every vegetable has protein, even if it's the smallest amount.

Although, there are plant sources that are high in protein, such as hemp seeds, lentils, beans, nuts, spirulina, tempeh, quinoa, flax seeds, oats, nutritional yeast, pumpkin seeds, peas, tofu, spinach, soymilk, tempeh, kale, and more.

2. “Do you ever miss meat or dairy?”

I have not eaten meat in over two years, so my taste buds have changed significantly and grown accustomed to what I eat. If I haven't eaten something for years, my body does not crave it, because it is not used to desiring that taste anymore.

Having a healthy, happy body can be achieved eating the right kinds of foods on a Plant-Based Diet, and I try to limit processed and junk foods.

3. “Is this just a phase?”

Many people see the will power that being a Vegan takes. Eating out, finding foods at a grocery store, always checking the ingredients. They think it looks exhausting, limiting, but this is where I tell them how amazing this decision has been for me, and how I do not plan on going back any time soon.

Having will power is admirable, and all of these "struggles" become easy, second nature things after a certain amount of time. Knowing what exactly goes into my body is important to me.

4. “Do you get enough Calcium and vitamins?”

This comes from the same roots of people thinking that only certain nutritional value can come from animal products, but plant-based foods and vitamin supplements are also a valid way to gain these same nutrients.

For example, dark leafy greens, such as rocket, bok choy, turnip greens, collard greens, and kale are all high in calcium. Plant-based milks, like almond milk, tend to have more calcium than regular dairy milk as well.

As for vitamins, eating a balanced whole foods diet (no processed foods or sugars), allows me to achieve consuming foods with a good deal of vitamins, although it is wise to take something else as well. I take a multivitamin and mineral supplement daily (which helps when I enjoy the occasional not-as-nutritional Vegan treat).

5. “Can you eat ____?”

When I first began eating this way, this question would bother me, but I soon came to realize that a lot of people really do not know what is in their food. Now, I just answer with a simple "Yes" or "No," and tell them what is in it that I can or cannot have.

If someone offers me I food that I cannot eat, I just politely decline. Being knowledgeable about ingredients in foods is a cool skill to develop in this lifestyle, but different ways of eating are not familiar to everyone, so expecting everyone to know is not realistic.

In the end, informing one another about our lifestyles is the best way to avoid any further ignorance. I always have to ask my family members about their Keto Diet, or my one friend about eating Kosher. Food is a huge part of our lives, it is how we survive and how we socialize, so sharing our experiences and relationships with food will help others have a better understanding, so no one has to pass judgement on one another.

I love my chosen way of eating. It makes me feel better physically and ethically, but it is also different from most people, so while these questions can get repetitive, I enjoy being able to inform people about my lifestyle.

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