Holistic health: How to eat a plant-based diet as a college student

Photo illustration by Gabriela Faraone

I first went vegan five years ago when I lived in Paraguay. I had to make soymilk since it was very hard to find a milk alternative in local stores. It was through this shift in diet where I became obsessed with creating vegan recipes.

Now living in the U.S., there are many alternatives to milk at the supermarket alongside vegan cheese, yogurt, plant-based meat and many other options.

My dietary lifestyle became easier when it came to resources, but at the same time it was overwhelming.

If you are trying to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, budget can be seem like the main obstacle. I challenge that a healthy diet is quite possible within a budget.

I understand that being a college student is a full-time job. School responsibilities can often take all your time and certainly make you doubt being able to take care of your body with nourishing food.

To start this transition, here are some tips.

There is no need to buy the alternative cheeses or meats. This alternative lifestyle, like any lifestyle, can be as cheap or as expensive as you allow it to be and as simple or as complicated it you allow it to be.

Get local fruits and vegetables that are available in your area. Support your local market. Normally there are deals on seasonal products.

Let’s say that you found that the quinoa on the market is overpriced; don’t panic and find a cheaper option. Get some bulgur, brown rice, oats or any other type of grain. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new things.

Buy fresh and whole food products for the best deals and nutritional content. Processed food can sometimes be an easier way to go, but not the most healthy because of its high sodium content, and not the most affordable one.

Following a healthy plant-based lifestyle doesn’t mean that you have to go and spend all your money on expensive superfoods, follow health trends or start drinking matcha lattes to feel that you are doing the right thing.

Make it simple and convenient for your time and budget and a joy for your body and health.

Don’t forget that even thought diet is essential, making time to stay active is also very important.

Gabriela Faraone is a junior in kinesiology. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.