A Day In The Life Of A Vegan University Student
Daisy Moss shares her experiences as a vegan university student
In my first year of university, I became vegan. I’d been vegetarian for three years beforehand, but I decided that moving away from home and having complete control over what I was eating gave me no excuse not to take the leap and start eating a plant-based diet. I would never look back now I have been vegan for two years and I have genuinely never felt better.
The misconception that following a plant-based diet is more expensive than a meat or vegetarian diet is completely wrong, so I thought I would share what my average daily meals would look like, alongside how much they cost. You will be surprised at how much money you save!
I usually like to wake up quite early to give myself time for a good, nutritious breakfast. My favourite breakfast that I have most mornings is Protein Peanut Butter Overnight Oats.
I probably buy each of these ingredients about once a month (apart from the oat milk, which is weekly) for a total of around £25, meaning this breakfast only costs about £1 a day! The recipe really couldn’t be simpler:
- 2 tbsp organic rolled oats
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp vegan vanilla protein powder
- 1 tsp peanut butter
- 200ml oat milk (or any other plant milk)
Before you go to bed, all you do is combine all of these ingredients in a jar, give it a good stir, pop on a lid and put it in the fridge. Then, in the morning you just open the jar, slice a few pieces of banana for the top and it’s ready to eat!
I usually pair this with a multivitamin tablet and a smoothie if I have time to make sure I’m kickstarting the day with lots of vitamins and minerals. It’s great for when you know you have a busy day ahead and I can promise you’re not going to get bored of this anytime soon.
P.S. If I’m feeling slightly hungover, I usually go for a vegan sausage sandwich with lots of ketchup… Not quite as healthy!
If I’m going to be in lectures or seminars for most of the day, I’ll take my lunch in with me. My go-to lunch is a falafel, houmous, spinach and mango chutney wrap. I’m still obsessed after having it about four times a week for the last year!
I’ll have it with lentil crisps, an orange and a small pack of oreos. For enough ingredients for one wrap a day between Monday and Friday, this will cost you about £7.50, meaning each lunch is £1.50 for everything.
It’ll also be a bit cheaper if you make your own houmous! You’d be spending double that if you went for a meal deal each day so it’s definitely worth it, for the taste and the savings.
With my savings, I like to go and try out vegan brunch places because we all deserve a treat on the weekends!
I always struggle to decide what to have for dinner as there are so many amazing options out there these days. However, my staple is always a Three Bean Chilli served with a jacket potato, a sprinkle of vegan cheese and a side salad.
It is packed full of delicious beans and vegetables meaning I know I’m getting plenty of protein through this meal. The best part is it’s perfect for batch cooking and freezing. The ingredients for 5 portions (including the cheese, potatoes and salad) will cost me about £10, and I don’t think £2 per meal is bad at all.
- 1 tin kidney beans
- 1 tin pinto beans
- 1 tin black beans
- 2 peppers (any colour)
- 1 pack mushrooms
- 1 white onion
- 1 red onion
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 sachet chilli flavouring
- 1 tin sweetcorn
- 5 baking potatoes
- 1 iceberg lettuce
- 1 cucumber
- 5 salad tomatoes
- 1 block vegan cheese
Using a knife, stab the potato a few times, drizzle with olive oil and salt and place in the oven for around an hour. Chop up your onions and cook until soft.
Then add in all the beans (drained), chopped mushrooms, chopped tomatoes, sweetcorn, tomato puree and the chilli flavouring. If the mixture looks a bit thick, add some water. Bring to the boil and then simmer on low for half an hour.
Serve on top of your jacket potato with the salad and a sprinkle of cheese! It will take about an hour all together, but will be worth it as you will have a week’s worth of dinners ready to go.
Here’s a quick hint for you: if your flat or house is planning a roast dinner or pizza night, you don’t need to be worried about missing out.
Simply ask them to cook the potatoes and other vegetables in olive oil rather than any animal fats, bring along your own vegan pastry or meat substitute and your own gravy.
For pizza nights, most mainstream takeaways offer vegan options now, or head down to the supermarket and pick up your favourite to pop in the oven before the night begins.
Don’t feel pressured to give up your values to fit in, as good friends will support you in your plant-based eating.
University has been the making of me, largely because it’s when I became vegan. The difference I have noticed in my health and overall well being is incredible, so I hope I’ve proven how cheap and easy it is to eat vegan!
I haven’t regretted it for one minute. If you’re not ready to go fully vegan, try introducing more plant-based meals into your diet and you will soon notice the benefits.
Words by Daisy Moss, @DaisyMoss20