College can be a time of meeting new people, trying new things, and self-discovery. However, it can also be a time of late night pizza runs, cookie deliveries, and tons of coffee. Being plant based in college might seem intimidating and impossible at first, but it can be done! Here are a few tips for being vegan or vegetarian at Indiana University.
1. Download Happy Cow
Happy Cow is an online source that finds vegan/healthy restaurants in your area! This is super helpful if you’re going out with non-vegan friends and want to find a place that offers a plant based option.
2. Check Out Blooming Veg
Blooming Veg is a social advocacy group for veggie lovers. They promote vegan dining options and have a full dining guide on their website that lists all restaurants in Bloomington with vegan options! Make sure to check them out on Instagram.
3. Get Involved
Veg at IU is a student run organization open to students who are interested in vegetarian/veganism. The group hosts dinners/pot lucks which is a great way to meet liked minded people!
4. Find A Veggie Friend
Hopefully after getting involved around campus you can find a veggie buddy! Finding someone who is down to try out the new vegan restaurants, cook up a healthy meal, and go to the dining hall with will make life a lot easier!
5. Eat At Collins
Collins Living Learning Community is a small residential community in the Northeast campus. Their dining hall offers the largest variety of vegan/vegetarian options on campus. This dining hall will be your friend!
6. Make Going To The Farmers Market A Habit
The Bloomington Community Farmers Market is open every Saturday; April through November, from 8 a.m to 1 p.m. Not only does shopping at a farmers market help support local farmers, but you will be buying quality produce. This is the time to stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, the easiest ones to keep in the dorms are bananas, apples, oranges, carrots, cucumbers, and spinach!
7. Stock Your Dorm With Healthy Snacks
Going along with #6, you want to make sure you have healthy snack options in your dorm! Pantry items like, oatmeal, dried fruits, nuts, crackers, and beans are great options for building meals. Snacks such as carrots and hummus and trail mix are great for a brain booster while studying. When you are prepared with healthy snacks you’ll feel more energized for the day.
8. Meal Prep Your Breakfast
Your mornings will most likely be rushed and the last thing you want to spend time doing is making breakfast. Preparing overnight oats will make your mornings run that much smoother. This is the perfect breakfast to grab and go on your way to class. This is my favorite recipe: http://ohsheglows.com/2015/07/22/vegan-overnight-oats/
9. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask
If you feel the options at the dining hall are lacking don’t be afraid to ask a worker if they can prepare you something plant-based. I bet they will be more than happy to accommodate your diet. This goes for eating out at restaurants too. Chances are many of your friends will be meat eaters and some of their go to restaurants might not necessarily be vegan friendly. Ask the waiter/chef if they can whip you up a special vegan meal… you might be surprised what they come up with!
10. Explore The Food Trucks
Fridays in Bloomington A.K.A food truck Fridays! And yes, plenty of them have vegan options. A few notable ones are: Kebab on Wheels, Rasta Pops, Cluster Truck, and Sazon.
11. Trick Your Friends At The Owlery
The Owlery is an all vegetarian restaurant in Bloomington. Their menu is filled with tons of plant-based comfort foods including fish tacos, chicken caesar wrap, and coconut tofu. Take your non-veggie friends and show them how good vegan food can be!
12. Enjoy A Warm Gooey Cookie At Baked!
Yes, Baked has vegan cookie dough and yes, it is AMAZING! They also deliver to any dorm on campus if you’re ever experiencing a late-night sweet tooth.
13. Enjoy A Cone From Hartzell’s
Hartzell’s offers vegan ice creams/sorbets and plenty of delicious mix-ins! It’s the perfect post-exam treat.
14. When You’re Craving Pizza…
Rockits Famous Pizza offers both vegan cheese and vegan pepperoni. King Dough is the only pizza joint that makes wood fired pizzas in Bloomington and they offer a homemade vegan cheese. These places will save your life because pizza>everything.
15. Stay Caffeinated At Soma
College and Coffee essentially go hand-in-hand. Soma has three locations around Bloomington and will soon become your favorite coffee shop. Besides coffee, they have delicious smoothies and a large variety of vegan baked goods. Try their fun specialty drinks such as PB Cup O’ Joe or Oahu.