California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

Commitment is key for veganism

Photo by Kedar Dutt/The Pioneer

Photo by Kedar Dutt/The Pioneer

Celeste Marie O'Connell,
Contributor

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My vegan journey has been in full swing for a month and I feel great. The transition to veganism requires a commitment to regularly consuming plant based foods and exercising daily.  Surrounding myself with people who are also vegan and maintain a routine have been essential to strengthening my reserve. In fact, I used to find veganism meal preparation difficult, but now it is a normal part of my day because it is so normalized in my schedule.     

My conversion to veganism has me feeling more energized and lighter in terms of body weight. I’ve tried many diets but eating plant based foods helped me lose weight the fastest. Although I’ve lost some weight, I mostly go to the gym to tone my body and strengthen muscles I’ve never worked out before.

Exercise is part of my successful routine. Everyday I wake up at 4:45 a.m to prepare for the gym.  Before I leave the gym I drink a full cup of honey, hot water and apple cider vinegar. Although it tastes gross, it helps with metabolism and weight loss. After a two hour workout, I head home, drink a protein shake and enjoy a bowl of oatmeal.

Portioning and limiting yourself can be a big help. At about noon, I’ll have the lunch I prepared earlier in the week, which is beneficial to good health and helps me save money on buying lunch. Between meals I allow myself to have healthy snacks.

Finally it’s time for dinner, the meal I prepared earlier in the week.

Drita Alano, 35, from Los Angeles has been a vegan advocate for four years and mentioned this has been the best decision she’s ever made in her life because it’s taught her commitment, dedication, willpower, and discipline. She also mentioned that through this process her family has got involved in the diet as well.    

Preparing food still eats up a lot of my time, however, there is help for students. According to the Pioneer dining website, they have prepared a vegan guide that can help students consume food on campus just in case they don’t have food prepared with them. Some options they offer on the vegan guide are foods at Taco Bell, Subway, Greens To Go, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Panda Express, Einstein Bros Bagels that align with a vegan diet.

For example, you can order a “Fresco Style” bean burrito from Taco Bell, which means they remove the cheese sauce and replace it with pico de gallo and black beans. There are also vegan options in the dining commons, which are labeled with a leaf to indicate the item is vegan.        

Although most things are set up for you to fail, I refuse to give up. I will remain committed and continue on this journey that has been life changing for me. Change takes time, but don’t get discouraged because accomplishment is the ultimate satisfaction when committing to a goal, especially when you see your body change.

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Commitment is key for veganism