For many people, meat and dairy products are something they can’t see themselves living without. However, the vegan diet is based on that very idea.
Olivia Frye ’22 was very interested in the lifestyle of vegans and decided to switch her diet to veganism in the summer of 2018.
¨I originally wanted to become vegan because I’d read a lot about the lifestyle,¨ Frye said. ¨I thought it would be a good way to be healthier and feel good.¨
Frye said she initially had some challenges with changing her diet completely, but pushing past these obstacles was worth it in the long run.
¨I had some stomach issues because I had to adapt to the new foods,¨ Frye said. ¨But after some time, I really grew to love how I felt after eating this way.¨
Frye said that one of her main issues early on was not eating enough food to sustain her in the first few months.
¨I was not consuming enough calories to keep up my energy levels because I was very active,¨ Frye said. ¨When you’re plant-based, you need to eat more food and get sufficient nutrients to account for the absence of what used to fuel you.¨
Frye said she has learned a lot about veganism and her body during this time, though her diet has changed from strictly vegan to a more relaxed approach.
¨I still love vegan food and incorporate a lot of it in how I eat, although I am now eating more vegetarian,” Frye said. “This is mainly because (veganism) was a little hard to maintain with everything I’m involved in.”
Frye said being so strict with her diet made her life difficult– being more adaptable was easier.
¨My mom wanted me to be more flexible, and I didn’t want to be difficult for her or my family,¨ Frye said. ¨I’m really happy now and appreciate that I include some cheese and eggs occasionally.¨
Frye said she loves eating healthy and making her food look appealing.
¨I really appreciate different smoothie bowls or salad bowls where I can mix and match what kinds of food I put in and make them look pretty,¨ Frye said. ¨It’s fun to be creative with my food.¨
Frye said her vegan diet was not always received well by her peers, but learning to deal with that was important for her.
¨My biggest takeaway from this chapter of my life was that I learned not to care what people thought,¨ Frye said. ¨A lot of people would judge or make jokes about me being vegan, and that would get to my head. However, I eventually learned to not care about them because I was doing what I loved.¨