VegEats! An Introduction

Veggies: delicious, nutritious, and cheap!

Hi everyone! My name is Jon, and I’m going to be offering some guidance into the wonderful world of vegan/vegetarian-friendly eating in New York City. For those who aren’t sure, a vegetarian is a person who restricts consumption of meat and animal byproducts. There are several types of vegetarians: pesco-vegetarians, who include fish in their diets; pollo-vegetarians, who include poultry; ovo-vegetarians, who include eggs; and lacto-vegetarians, who include dairy products. These prefixes can be combined. For example, when I officially started identifying myself as a vegetarian three years ago, I was a ovo-lacto-vegetarian.

About two months ago, I began identifying myself as a vegan, which is a strict vegetarian (absolutely no meat or animal byproducts) who extends this philosophy beyond diet into other parts of life. This means vegans don’t use products made from materials like leather, silk, or wool, because these materials rely on animals and animal captivity to be made. Vegans also only use man-made sponges and avoid substances like gelatin, an ingredient in most marshmallows and derived from collagen found in animal bones, or beeswax, commonly used to make candles and produced over a long period of time by bees as an essential part of their home. This lifestyle may sound a little extreme to those who have not encountered veganism before, but when adopted mindfully for the right reasons, it can be a wonderful positive change for many people.

So you may be saying to yourself, well, now I know what they don’t eat; what DO they eat? I eat primarily fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains, as well as artificial animal-free products such as tofu. When eating out, I often go for Indian, Chinese, Israeli, Thai, or Mexican, as these cuisines offer lots of delicious vegan options, or I go to one of the multitude of vegan/vegetarian-friendly restaurants in New York City. Many people when hearing about this diet have concerns about health, primarily about protein and iron deficiency. Vegetarianism and veganism are actually very healthy as long as the practitioner eats a variety of foods, pays attention to intake of nutrients, fats, and calories, and stays active, (which is true of any lifestyle.) In fact, studies have shown that limiting meat and animal byproducts can significantly lower your chances of major health problems, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, obesity, diabetes, even Alzheimer’s! The average American eats nearly double the amount of protein they need per day, and veg-eaters have numerous alternative to meat and animal byproducts to find protein, iron, and all other essential nutrients.

I’m so excited to help you find ways to eat healthy on a student’s budget. New York can be expensive, but there are lots of tricks to up your nutrients, help the environment, and keep your wallet (and belly) full. To get you started, Campus Clipper has wonderful coupons for great veg-friendly restaurants like Atlas Café, Indian Taj, Monster Sushi, Tahini, Wild Ginger, and many more! Check them out on the coupons page! Happy Eating!

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