Maintaining a good diet while keeping up with your studies can be a battle at the best of times. As soon as you choose to limit your diet for health or ethical reasons, it can be really difficult to make it work logistically. Let’s look at some helpful tips for embarking on a vegetarian journey – with a little organisation and commitment, you can be eating better, cheaper, and smarter than ever!
As a CSU student, I’m sure you already know the value of education – both in a formal sense, and on a personal experiential level. When I eliminated meat from my diet, I found it was really important to discover new recipes, foods, and flavours that I adored. Honing my cooking skills in this context also helped me to learn how to improvise in the kitchen, which is crucial for those of us on a tight student food budget!
So the first step in changing your diet for the better is to learn: read cookbooks and blogs, buy different ingredients and experiment, visit new vegetarian eateries, and pick the brains of your vegetarian or vegan friends. There are some stellar vegetarian cookbooks specifically designed for students – pop one on your Christmas list this year!
When I removed meat from my diet, I found that I was hungry all.the.time. As a student working split shifts, I have always eaten meals at odd times, and found snacking is crucial to maintaining my energy levels and brainpower during late-night study sessions. Carrying homemade snacks with you, will help you avoid getting hungry throughout the day, while resisting the temptation to waste money on junky convenience foods (guilty!).
Check out these awesome vego snacks to get some snacking inspo. Try to include some protein in your snacking for slow-release energy – I always keep some nuts or hummus handy for a quick energy hit. If you have a sweet tooth, try some of these healthy no-bake energy bites!
Meal-planning doesn’t need to be complicated – create a fortnight meal plan based on a list of your favourite breakfast, lunch and dinner meals, and then just rotate it every fortnight! If you’re cooking a dish that you can easily freeze, then make a big batch for the coming weeks to save yourself a bunch of time. Keeping a well-stocked pantry will help you plan and prepare healthy meals on the fly, so stockpile your favourite dry foods when they’re on special!
Finally, give your vegetarian meals the ultimate boost with home-grown produce! There are plenty of hardy veggies that you can grow without any experience and a minimal time commitment. If you live in a dorm or small unit, why not grow a beautiful herb garden or try container gardening – trust me, your taste buds will thank you, and you may even find it’s a cathartic experience!