Becoming vegan can be demanding. Every time sophomore Emily Mills ate meat, her stomach hurt. The pain made her want to make a change. Just a month ago, Mills decided to eliminate meat from her diet and went vegan. Despite this demanding change, Mills has noticed a significant change in her daily life.
“I was a little hungrier because it doesn’t fill me up as much, but I felt more energetic. I feel like every type of restaurant contains animal products. With that I usually go to any restaurant and then just order the dressing on the side,” Mills said.
Preparing meals is an important part of going vegan, and for Mills, preparing the right kind of food gives him the energy he needs to get on with his day. Mills looks in the refrigerator for a while, usually trying to figure out what he can eat.
“I like making teriyaki tofu. It’s kind of like stir-fried tofu with teriyaki sauce. Tofu tastes like it’s a kind of beaten bread. But if you season it right, it tastes good,” Mills said.
Cooking teacher Molly Gordon, who has been a chef for about eight years, said the process of finding and preparing vegan food can be difficult. According to her, even searching for a decent vegan restaurant can be difficult due to cross-contamination.
“It depends on the type of restaurant you are looking for. If you’re a great vegan restaurant, obviously, it’s a lot easier because you don’t bring in products that might contain animal products. But if you’re just a regular restaurant and you offer some vegan products, you just have to make sure there’s no cross contamination, so keep them in separate environments, separate equipment and separate kitchen environments,” Gordon said.
Protein is very important for the human body to have a healthy diet. However, there are proteins that do not come from animal products or animal byproducts. Vegans often make the mistake of lacking protein intake, a crucial nutrient for the human body. However, there are many creative ways vegans can include protein in their diet.
“Protein that [is] What you find in vegans comes from things like soy…, lots of beans, [and] Nuts have protein, which is why you sometimes see people using cashews. there is [also] Things like nutritional yeast. So, things are fortified with things like vitamins and nutrients that are found in animal-like proteins, but a lot of vegetables are provided in vegan foods for protein,” Gordon said.
The hardest part of cooking vegan food is trying to find a meat alternative that tastes good, looks good, and provides the nutrients needed in daily life. One of the most important things about meat alternatives is making them attractive to people who need that meaty feeling. There are a good number of companies now making good meat alternatives, such as soy and Beyond Meat.
“If you’ve been vegan your whole life, you don’t miss it, but if someone decides to go vegan, they’re going to miss the taste of a burger or the crunch of a chicken nugget. So just making vegan food taste and not look vegan so everyone can have the same dining experience. “You don’t want to be able to look at a table and choose what’s vegan and what’s not vegan,” Gordon said.
There are all types of vegetarianism, for example Pescatarianism. This is where the only meat you can eat is seafood. Junior Kathryn Ball went from being vegan to being a Pescatarian.
“I have been vegan/pescatarian for four or five months. The whole animal slaughter thing just made me stop eating meat,” Ball said.
Ball is an active and encouraging person. He realized that he had to find a source of protein somewhere.
“I just told people that I am a vegetarian, but I only eat seafood and poultry. Just because I needed some source of protein and that’s mostly the only meat I really care about,” Bell said.
Being a cheerleader and vegan, she found that she couldn’t maintain her energy, which was affecting her performance.
“I didn’t really notice a difference, but I guess my trainer did, but I probably just had really bad stamina and couldn’t keep my energy up. Now I eat a lot of pasta and chicken Alfredo noodles. Most of the time I just eat frozen chicken nuggets and I mainly ate deli turkey slices, which are usually an easy snack to grab for protein,” Bell said.