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How to Be a Vegetarian in College: A Guide to a Healthy, Animal-Friendly Lifestyle

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Healthy vegetarian salad
Photo Credit: ELLE

One of the things I am consistently asked as a vegetarian is “how do you do it?” I think what people mean is how did I ever give up meat, but as a life-long vegetarian I interpret the question more as “how do you find all your nutrients and stay healthy?”

It wasn’t difficult at home, where all my meals were chosen by me or cooked by my vegetarian mom. However, once I walked into the campus dining halls and realized I didn’t have easy access to a kitchen, I had to make some quick changes to my diet.

If you’re a vegetarian or are considering being one, read on to find out how to survive college as an herbivore.

Make snacks your best friend.

Snack with honey
Photo Credit: ELLE

I don’t know about other vegetarians, but I find myself constantly hungrier than my meat-eating companions. I was the girl last year who requested all my friends join me in the dining hall for dinner at 4:30pm (that’s exactly when it opens). To combat this need to eat, I suggest stocking up on protein-filled snacks that will keep you fuller longer and reduce overeating.

Try making salt and vinegar roasted chickpeas, grabbing a protein bar, or indulging with some nut mixes. If you happen to be allergic to nuts, like I am, you can substitute hard-boiled eggs or a lentil mix. While these might sound weird, they’re actually delicious and fun to eat!

For more snaking-inspiration, check out Greatist’s list of 31 Healthy and Portable High-Protein Snacks.

Find Indian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern restaurants.

Falafel plate
Photo Credit

I’m not even a huge fan of Indian food and I can still see how great it is to have friends who love this type of cuisine. Indian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern-themed restaurants will probably always have a great vegetarian option, whether it be a box of samosas or a delicious and crunchy falafel wrap.

These foods are also typically high in protein and vitamins, since they are designed to be daily foods eaten by people from the respective cultures. At the very least, you’ll have a different cuisine that is probably not offered in the dining halls.

Be crafty in the dining halls.

Dining hall college
Photo Credit

I’m ashamed to admit it, but it took me approximately five months to figure out how to eat in the dining halls as a vegetarian. I would constantly walk in and be presented with the salad bar (I don’t like salad – worst vegetarian ever?), which isn’t fun to eat every day.

Over time, I realized that by mixing food items from different stations, I had such a wide variety of options! For example, there was a wrap station, but it had mostly meats available, so I asked for the wrap left open with the few vegetables they did have.

I then moved to the burger section and asked them to add guacamole to my wrap, and finally to the salad section, where I added spinach and healthy greens. The finished wrap was excellent, and I could also run to the “Mexican cuisine” area to add salsa.

If you have a kitchen, cook.

Kitchen elle
Photo Credit: ELLE

After suffering through many mediocre microwave meals last year, I was blessed this year to finally live in a place with a kitchen, and fully intend to use my beautiful stove top and oven.

This is where vegetarians can have real fun – I want to make everything from simple quesadillas to fancy Italian pasta. You can also blend your own smoothies to get your fruit and vegetable intake, and cook fancy dishes beyond just salad. My favorite is this black bean and cheese enchilada, but if you have your own family recipe bring it with you!

My roommate’s mom printed out all her favorite recipes and put them in a binder for her birthday, which is a great idea if you want to have mom in the kitchen with you.

Take your vitamins.

Woman taking vitamin
Photo Credit: ELLE

Having been a vegetarian my whole life, my system is used to the differences in how I get protein and vitamins. For many girls that become a vegetarian after a lifetime of eating red meat and fish, it can be difficult to get all the essential nutrients. For vegetarians, calcium is not as big an issue as it is for vegans, but if you do choose to be vegan, make sure you get calcium-fortified foods and eat dark, leafy greens.

The other health risks associated with vegetarianism include deficiencies in vitamin B-12, protein, and vitamin D. Protein can be found in grains, lentils, beans, tofu, nuts, seeds, and eggs. Even if you are also eating foods with a high vitamin and iron content, you might become anemic or need supplements. Talk to your doctor if you are vegetarian and see if you should be including a multivitamin pill into your daily regimen.

What do you think?

Are you vegetarian or planning to become one? Do you have any special foods you eat or tips for staying healthy? Share them in the comments below!

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Dior: Philosophy and Transformation

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Commons dior
Dior exhibition in Moscow | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Wherever there is a brand, there must be brand consistency. The general shape of brand evolution is the spiral: all it takes to turn a dead circle into it is one step forward. Remixed reiteration, a change of form instead of contents, is common, but it is a rarity for a brand to freeze for a second and take the opposite direction.

Did it happen to Dior? Is Simons’ vision a mere step forward or a change of route? What would good old Christian say?

Dior. The name itself sounds like a revelation. Be French, almost skip the “r” and imagine stroking feline fur waiting forever in the dressing of room of your fickle actress girlfriend. Okay, okay, the association may be extreme, but even the most pragmatic of us would agree that if Dior took shape of a line, it would be the perfect curve. Leave the Chanel comfort for the straight line people.

Decidedly feminine, like white lace gloves and Grace Kelly in Rear Window, Dior is first and foremost a transparent fantasy, The Nutcracker ballet, and rose petal macaroons. It’s hard to believe that it begun as the exact right idea for the right time. A thought, a project, not a midsummer dream.

Christian’s Dior

Original Dior
Christian’s Dior | Photos: Wikimedia Commons

1940’s fashion was plagued by World War II. It was a numbers’ game: exactly this much fabric for this many people. If you’re not going to be a pacifist for the sake of exploding people, be one for the love for fashion. The utilitarian approach left nothing in excess, because it couldn’t afford it.

Then, in 1945 Hitler famously lost, giving 42-year old Christian from Normandy a chance to start his fashion house and manifest the return of joy to the dress. The 1947 collection, called “Corolle” (meaning flower petals), set the tone for all ’50s style with the ravishing “new look.”

The ladies of the time didn’t wait for admirers to send them flowers. They became flowers themselves. The silhouette was all about corsets with bell-shaped skirts and, so, extra fabric. This unnecessary, waster’s approach was a natural reaction to the confines of wartime. Christian Dior knew that fashion goes in spirals, too. And that sometimes a fashion step forward is a shocked step away from something else.

After Christian came Saint Laurent and his tweed blazers with the typical Dior skirts. Then Marc Bohan and weird hats with the typical Dior skirts, followed by Ferre’s glitter with the typical Dior skirts. The motto was adding twists without changing the concept. In 1996, Galliano was appointed, and everyone got front seat to the magical theatre of magnified, amplified, and intoxicated Dior.

Galliano’s Dior

Elle Galliano
Galliano’s Dior | Photo: ELLE

Galliano’s Dior was all excess and witchcraft; less elegant than the original, yet louder, more triumphant. The girls were less delicate, but had more character. Christian’s Diorette would blow you a kiss, but Galliano’s Diorette would blow your mind.

People who want to spend the money spent on creating haute couture more reasonably should watch Dior S/S 2009, fall in love, find God, and maybe change their minds. Dior at the time was pure art and fabulous unnecessities. Too bad the dreamy farce ended in scandal.

Once upon a time, John goes to a bar and gets drunk. Then John says something about loving Hitler and, since it is illegal in France, gets fired from Dior. Apologies don’t help. This is a tale with no happy ending. But let’s leave the lawyers to discuss free speech and employment and talk about irony.

In his last collection (S/S 2010), Galliano returned to Christian’s silhouettes and more elegant cuts. The circle was complete and the era ended with love for Adolf, the villain originale of the Dior play. It only seems natural that Raf Simons, Dior’s current designer, is a famous minimalist, doesn’t it?

Simons’ Dior

Elle Raf Paris
Raf’s Dior | Photo: ELLE

You’re about to describe something in excruciating detail, laud its merits with SAT words, or mourn its loss in a Shakespearean sonnet, but the minimalist stops you. “More to the point,” he says, “all of that extra is, well…a little extra. Can’t you be simpler?” And, of course, you can. The return to minimalism is inevitable; it’s haunting my daydreams about lavish extravagance with its serene symbolism.

Simons is a big fan of it. His Dior is crisp and pure, but strangely out of place. The recent collection referenced Christian’s New Look, but it’s hardly possible to merge two opposing ideas. I see Raf’s Diorette’s bell skirt getting paler and paler, leaving but the shadow of a silhouette. She’s still wearing the dress, but the dress means something else nowadays.

The Dior Philosophy

I’m not old enough for inevitable minimalism, but maybe Dior is. Maybe it is time for the brand to retire back into the ’40s modesty (Wasn’t free speech banned during Third Reich, too?) and stop with the airheaded dreams.

Maybe, indeed, we spend too much money on haute couture and not enough time thinking about equality… But before the coming years transform Dior, before the dream fizzles out, and the carriage turns into a pumpkin, let’s think about everything Dior – everything beautifully unnecessary, wastefully grand. All the explosive self-expression and dramatic passions, all the waltzing, star-gazing, and love letters. All the magnificent unnecessities.

After all, like a Robin Williams character once said, even though there are many noble pursuits to sustain life, “but poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”

Thoughts?

Which Dior is your favorite? Is minimalism the culmination of any lavishness and vice versa? Tell us in the comments.

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Looks on Campus: Lex – Fashion Institute of Technology

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With her bold, brave style and sparkling personality, anyone can see that Lex stands out from the crowd. It’s impossible not to find yourself smiling when talking to Lex, and her style reflects her fun nature.

While she enjoys wearing a wide range of styles, she admits that her most defining fashion feature is her hatred for pants… even though she was once spotted by a street style reporter for Seventeen magazine wearing a pair of oversized camo pants. The horror!

Lex concluded our interview by saying, “kawaii princess forever!”, which sums up her look. I’m really grateful her graphic outfit caught my eye, so I had a chance to talk to fashion royalty!

Lex 101

Fit student street style

Name: Alexis – “But please call me Lex”

Year: Senior

Major: Fashion Merchandising Management, specializing in Product Development

School: Fashion Institute of Technology

Let’s Talk Fashion

How would you describe your style? “It’s like Clueless meets Freaks and Geeks. I guess it would be considered ‘alternative vintage.’ Just imagine pin-up girl legs and a lot of black. I’m very drawn toward mythical and magical symbols and designs right now, but I also want to be a Lolita/fairy kei Harajuku girl, as well as a forest fairy – so I guess my sense of style is very versatile! I just mostly don’t wear pants.”

What inspired this outfit? “Rave culture. I studied in London last term, and while I was a basshead and loved electronic/deep house/trance/all of that before, my English friends took me out to some sick places and introduced me to some cool artists. This outfit is perfect for making shapes, but still looking cute and comfortable!”

Who are some of your favorite designers? Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu, Meadham Kirchhoff – whom I just discovered last week! – Jeremy Scott, Christopher Raeburn, and Mary Katrantzou.”

When did you really start to develop your style? “As basic as it is, since I could dress myself. My mom put me in the worst clothes; I would wear sweats on sweats, and I remember in second grade a girl told me I should watch how I dressed. I’d always get into fights with my mom about my outfits. In middle school I fell into the ‘scene’ trend and since then have always been attracted to a more alternative style.”

Since you’re studying fashion, what are your hopes and dreams for yourself within the fashion industry? “New York has a sick streetwear background, but a ton of brands are coming out of LA.. London has interesting publications and Japan has a rich fashion culture. I don’t really know what I want to do yet; I just know that I want it to involve middle market street wear.

Long term, I want to make an impact. I took a class on ethics in the fashion industry and it gave me further insight on what we can do as customers and producers to not harm the people or environment around us.”

What fashion advice would you give to other students looking to improve their style? “Find a story that you like and pay attention to different outfits. Look on the internet for inspiration. Expensive items do not equal good style. Look for key wardrobe pieces to maximize looks and minimize spending. Also, see that you can DIY or thrift.

Basic advice, but when you’re trying to find your own vibe, don’t listen to what anyone says about you. Your personal style should reflect your personality. If you like how you feel in it, nothing else should matter.”

Elements of Lex’s Outfit

1. Prints on Prints

FIT student wearing a flower crop top and smiley face shorts

Did you think the top and shorts were sold together in a store? I definitely did! However, Lex fearlessly and perfectly paired this Lazy Oaf flower crop top with shorts found at Gypsy Warrior.

Lex’s outfit is a stylish example of how you shouldn’t be afraid to mix unlikely prints; maybe you didn’t naturally associate smiley faces with flowers, but they look great together on this fashionista!

2. Fun Accessories

Stylish FIT student fashion

In case you didn’t get the memo from the happy face shorts, Lex has a vibrant personality that she continues to show off with a rainbow Mickey Mouse bracelet she bought at Disney World. Her accessories walk the line between adolescence and adulthood, with one wrist showing off her strong love for Disney while the other is adorned with more subdued yet still coordinating bracelets.

Lex wore sneakers and gray socks with her outfit. Her footwear of choice was unexpectedly comfortable and casual, but worked well with her look.

3. Double Buns

College student wearing double buns

This super-cute double bun hair style is easy and adorable. As noted before, Lex takes adolescent elements from childhood and wears them in a fresh and on-trend way. When is the last time you wore pigtails? Take a cue from this street style maven and try them out!

What do you think of Lex’s outfit?

Would you ever wear two bold prints together? Are you sold on adorable hair buns? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

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