Vegan in College: What I Eat in a Day

what I eat in a day veganA common question among prospective vegans or students heading to college soon is, “What the heck am I going to eat?” If you eat all of your meals at a dining hall like I do, this question can be even more concerning. To hopefully provide some insight, I am going to show you everything I ate today as a vegan college student.


For breakfast, I ate a bowl of pineapple and strawberries, half of a grapefruit, and a banana. I also drank a glass of water. Typically, I like to have peanut butter toast, but I wanted to go running and was too drowsy to wait until afterwards to eat breakfast, so I opted for a light and energizing all-fruit  breakfast.



After I finished my run and had gotten ready, I went to my favorite coffee shop to study for an exam. I drank a peach iced black tea and ate a banana and an apple.



For lunch, I ate a spinach, tomato, cucumber, mushroom, and hummus sandwich on wheat bread. Tip: hummus makes a great substitution for cheese on sandwiches and adds flavor so you need not add any additional sauces.


I also ate a plate of veggie sushi, which contained carrots, cucumbers, and avocado.


Another tip: Whenever I visit the dining hall, I like to take some fruit, such as apples and bananas, with me and keep them in a fruit bowl in my room. Then, if I am hungry during the day or after the dining hall closes, I have a snack on hand. I recommend keeping only healthy snacks in your dorm room so that when you are up late studying for exams or working on projects, you won’t be tempted to binge eat junk food. Am I the only one whose inhibition takes a nosedive after midnight?


As a vegan in college, there are bound to be days when the vegan options at the dining hall are far from ideal. Today was one of those days. The only vegan entrees the dining hall in my residence hall was serving were tater tots, fries, and orange sauce. 😦 Here’s a tip for turning a tight situation around: Check the menus at other nearby dining halls (my university has an app for this). That way, you can scope out some tastier, healthier vegan options and avoid having fries for dinner.

I took a trip to another dining hall that had a rad pasta bar. I got mine with broccoli, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, marinara sauce, and soy cheese.

IMG_20150424_170406622I also ate a plate of grilled asparagus.

IMG_20150424_171232233For dessert, I ate a bowl of pineapple and strawberries.


For a study snack later that evening, I ate a cashew and almond mix.

IMG_20150424_194517419That’s what I ate today! I hope that this helps to answer the question of what vegans eat, and what to eat in college.




Bugs in Makeup?

bugs in my makeup

An unexpected ingredient in my eyeshadow recently came to my attention…BUGS!

Yes, ground up bugs are a common ingredient makeup such as eyeshadows and blushes. Often masquerading under the name Carmine, this red coloring is produced by the cochineal beetle. To produce the coloring, thousands of live insects are dried using boiling hot water or harsh sunlight. Then, they are ground and squeezed to extract the pigment. It takes 70,000 insects to produce a single pound of dye!

bugs in makeup

I had always thought carmine was only found in red colored foods, such as candies and sugary drinks. But it is also common in makeup, even makeup that is not bright red. Shockingly, the majority of Urban Decay’s eyeshadows contain or “may contain” carmine! Even my all time favorite shade Sin, a champagne color, may contain carmine.

sin carmine

Additional names for Carmine include crimson lake, cochineal, and natural red 4. When in doubt about whether an ingredient is vegan, a brief internet search will often give you the answer.

When it comes to food, I don’t mind if it “may contain” animal products, as they are obligated to add that statement if it is processed on the same equipment as foods that contain animal ingredients as as an added precaution for those who have severe allergies.Carmine is also linked to severe allergic reactions, so I assume this is the case for cosmetics as well. Therefore, using makeup that “may contain” carmine does not contribute to the demand for it. However, Urban Decay does not denote the shades that “may contain” carmine as vegan. So whether you choose to use these products is up to your judgement.

To avoid rubbing ground up bugs on your face, I would suggest always checking the ingredients before purchasing any makeup or colored food items, even if it does not appear to be red. And to stay on the safe side, there are plenty of completely vegan cosmetic brands such as Pacifica, which is conveniently sold at Target. In addition, many brands such as Urban Decay allow you to browse only their vegan products online. Just select the vegan filter. Tarte cosmetics carries an entire vegan collection.

eyeshadow vegan

On the Urban Decay website, select “Vegan” under “Feature” for the product of interest.

So though shopping vegan and cruelty-free may feel like a hassle, there are plenty of great vegan friendly brands that make it so much easier.