Being a veggie-lover in college can be difficult, but CHAARG girls never veer from a challenge! Use the dining hall to your advantage this semester by mixing + matching your favorite healthy foods. All you need is a little inspo + a whole lot of CHAARG love to get through each day with a new vegetarian-friendly meal plan. Maybe even invite some CHAARGies to take on this lifestyle with you. It’s easier to be vegetarian in college than most people realize, as long as you’re prepared —
1] PREPARE HEALTHY SNACKS
Sometimes we crave a snack [or two!] throughout the day between meals. There are healthier options available you can find in your dining hall or dorm room. Apples, bananas, + oranges are easy snacks on the go. It’s simple to grab a piece of fruit + head out the door to class. Place oats, nuts, + seeds into reusable containers that are easy to transport + mix with fruit. Power through the day with fuel snacks, like granola bars + chia seeds. Rice cakes with peanut or almond butter + chia seeds on top are snacks that pack the protein power punch. Nut butters come in small containers, making them easy to store in our dorm rooms. Especially since vegetarians avoid meat, it’s important to eat snacks with protein + fat!
2] KNOW THE DINING HALL
Scope out the dining hall to find healthy [+ vegetarian friendly! : )] items that combine well with other foods. Learn what your dining hall usually serves each day for breakfast, lunch, + dinner. This will make it easier to find inspiration + recipes ahead of time! Create your own breakfast sandwich with egg, avocado, cheese, + tomato on your choice of bread for a quick meal before class. Looking for something to satisfy that sweet tooth? Start with fruit + add yogurt or granola into a bowl for a breakfast treat. Adding eggs + dairy products into your meal provide extra protein, calcium, + vitamin D, no matter what time of day! During breakfast or lunch, hard-boiled eggs pair well with salads + sandwiches. The salad bar will become your best friend for its endless veggie options. For example, spread some hummus onto a whole-grain bagel or piece of toast + place tomatoes or carrots on top. Search for any tofu that can be used as a meat-substitute — it tastes even better when combined with other vegetables, seasonings, + dressings. Grains + beans are nutritious staples that add texture to meals + fill you up too. Upgrade plain pasta or rice by adding veggies, salad dressing, or seeds. Take advantage of any avocado available + test out different variations of avo-toast, like our tropical avocado toast [yum!].
3] MASTER SIMPLE COOKING
Chances are you don’t have the best kitchen appliances in your dorms or apartments. Look towards simple kitchen tools instead, like easily storable mixing bowls + measuring spoons to create healthy meals that are easy too!. Energy bites do not usually require an oven or any large tool to create. Combine dry, non-perishable ingredients [like peanut butter, oats, + nuts] into a small mixing bowl. Roll the bites into pieces + stick them into a mini-fridge. No fridge? No problem. Create a granola mix by hand with oats, nuts, coconut flakes, + chocolate flakes. Save the treat in a plastic container for snacking. You can also cut vegetables into bite-sized pieces + dip into hummus or salad dressing!
4] EAT OUT SMART
Instead of saying *no* to friends when they ask to hit up the newest restaurant or take-out place, remember there are probably vegetarian options. Ask your server at a restaurant if there are vegetarian-friendly accommodations not listed on the menu, or if they could substitute meat for tofu or rice // beans. Tasteful + HealthyOut are free smartphone apps that locate restaurants in your area according to your preference. Whether vegan // vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo, or looking for a different restaurant to test out, these apps can find places for you without having to search! Follow our tips for eating out, whether a vegetarian or not, + ask the server for accommodations. Restaurants will usually have options, so don’t be afraid to ask!
5] AVOID FALLING INTO AN EATING RUT
It can be really easy to hit up the salad bar or grab some granola before we head to class for the day, but eating these foods everyday can be boring. Constantly search for new food inspiration + veggie-hacks to change up a potential food-rut + broaden your palate. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other CHAARGies for food inspo + support!
From one CHAARGie vegetarian to another, we understand how difficult the veggie-lifestyle can be. Reach out to other friends and fellow CHAARGies this semester ++ eat up all of the veggies our hearts desire! #CHAARGon : )
++ Brittany Bluthardt [@brittanyblu_inchaarg] // Butler University