Digital Help for a Plant-Based Diet

greens 2If you have always thought about switching to a plant-based diet, college is an excellent time to become vegan. There are more healthy and unique options in dining halls today than the basic meat-and-potato fare offered years ago. Not all college students eat in the dining halls, however, so the biggest challenge can be figuring out where to find the best vegan options and how to cook them. These iPhone apps can help make the transition easier:

HappyCow ($2.99) – This is the perfect on-the-go guide to plant-based dining, including an interactive map that allows users to filter local businesses for vegan options. The category browser makes it especially easy to fulfill cravings of any kind. It is also available on the Android.

Vegan Xpress ($1.99) – This app is the ultimate companion for vegans eating out with omnivore friends. Lists of over 130 popular chain restaurants are provided with the menu items that are suitable for those following a plant-based diet. They have also covered the snack department, along with questionable vegan items in popular supermarkets.

 (free) – Cooking will never be boring with this app created by Nasoya, an award-winning tofu brand. Video tips on how to prepare tofu are included for novice cooks, and rewards are given to customers who take the Tofu U healthy living pledge. Impress your friends this semester with this app’s fun new recipes!

Animal-Free (free) – A great app to install for those who do not want to spend their shopping trips reading through food labels, this is a guide to help identify not-so-obvious animal ingredients in packaged products through a built-in scanner that allows users to check for undesired ingredients, such as whey or gelatin.

21-Day Vegan Kickstart (free) – This portable guide to veganism, created by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, provides help for those who want to drop animal products from their diets. Providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes for three entire weeks, this app ensures that you will stick to your goals and see amazing improvements in your health.

College is about trying new things, so go into this experience with an open mind. Focus on all of the interesting foods you have not yet encountered, and do not fear new foods or you will set yourself up for frustration. Make sure to focus on the energy and joy you will bring yourself by engaging in this compassionate lifestyle.

Danielle DiCristofano is a sophomore at the University of Dayton majoring in dietetics.  She plans to become a registered dietitian and work for a health magazine.

Photo Credit: Nicole Hayashi, Google Play

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