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Eight ways to be vegan at university

Whether you’re a seasoned vegan, or just taken the plunge adjusting to life at uni can be a bit intense. So we’ve rounded up eight tips that will help you get the most out of being vegan whilst at uni.

1. Learn to cook

If you’re already a pro, skip to the next point, but if not it’s time to change! You’ve still got time to figure out the basics of cooking before you leave for uni in September.

This might seem like a really daunting task, but you don’t need to become a Michelin star chef. Your best bet is to find some tasty, cheap and easy to make vegan recipes online and build up a little repertoire of meals. This will also help you know what kitchen supplies you will need to take with you to uni. Efficient much?!

2. Eat a variety of foods

Make sure you’re getting all of the nutrients you need on a vegan diet, by eating balanced meals that include a variety of healthy foods. Beans and leafy greens are going to be your go-to for protein and fibre. Whole grains are going to boost your iron and B vitamins and help to keep you full.

Try and avoid falling down the pasta-for-every-meal rabbit hole and make sure you’re not just becoming a starch-aholic. Make the vegetables the star of your meal and you’ll be winning. If you think you might struggle to get all the necessary amounts of vitamins you could take a multi-vitamin or vegan supplement. This will be especially helpful around deadlines when your cooking may become a little more rushed.  

3. Cook your friends a feast

With these new found cooking skills you should definitely impress all your new pals with a vegan feast. It’s a chance to show people how delicious vegan meals are and encourage them to want to go out to veggie/vegan restaurants with you.

It’s also just a really nice reason for a social gathering and an opportunity to find out more about each other / exchange cooking tips and recipes. Maybe you could make it a regular event and encourage people to make a dish each.

4. Join a society

Have a look and see if there’s a vegetarian/vegan society or group that you can join. Or a culinary society? It will be a great way of meeting like-minded people and trying out new things. If there isn’t one for you to join, why not create one? There will be plenty of other people in the same boat as you, who would definitely be grateful for you creating a vegan community on campus.

5. Learn to shop on a budget

We know you probably just winced at the thought of having to make a budget, but honestly it’s not that difficult. Keep an eye out for offers at the supermarket and collect points with a loyalty card. Make your shopping list and stick to it. Sometimes it’s worth shopping in the evening before the shops close. You can get some really good deals and they try to get rid of produce.

We’ve got loads more tips on being healthy on a budget at uni.

6. Shop online

If you live in an area that doesn’t really offer many vegan alternatives that you’re used to eating, why not shop online? It’s probably the most convenient way for you to get exactly what you’re after, so you’re not having to compromise on the foods you really enjoy.

This is probably also a really easy way to find the most budget friendly options, without having to trawl around town.

7. Packed lunches and snacks

This is a good tip regardless of your dietary choices or needs. It’s going to help you save money and mean you’re eating more wholesome, healthy food than trying to find something suitable at the vending machine or canteen.

If you’re batch cooking your evening meals, try and think about how you can also incorporate lunches into this. Why not experiment with making your own vegan snack bars? It’s easier than you think and often more cost effective.

8. Scope out the vegan-friendly spots

Luckily we live in an age where the food industry is taking veganism seriously and offering some really great options. Many restaurants will have a vegan menu, so it’s always worth asking.

We have so many amazing vegan/veggie restaurants in Birmingham including The Warehouse Café, Vegan Munch, BA-HA, Falafel Munch and Natural Bar & Kitchen to name just a few. There’s also some great vendors at Digbeth Dining Club that might tickle your fancy and offers a different eating experience to the traditional restaurant or café.

Spend some time researching when you first move to uni and make a list of all the places you’d like to visit. It’s a great way of exploring a new city, as well as getting to eat loads of yummy food.

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