Candace Nelson discusses living as a vegan in college.
BY JACQUELINE LLOYD
Candace Nelson, a Community Health Major at George Mason University, is changing the way she eats one vegetable at a time. Nelson started as a vegetarian four years ago during her senior year of high school.
Nelson stated that what pushed her to cut meat out of her diet was that she was “tired of being hypocritical.” She had questioned “if I love animals so much, why am I eating them.” She said the first couple months were difficult because cravings can really get to you. She suggests trying meat alternatives such as tofu chicken nuggets, her personal favorite.
What compelled Nelson to shift from vegetarianism to veganism makes her chuckle. “Embarrassingly enough, it was Tinder.” Nelson explained how she met a vegan bodybuilder on the dating app where he suggested the book, Vegan for Life. She said the book helped her feel confident enough to pursue a vegan lifestyle by providing her with information on how to get the daily nutrients she needs.
Since becoming vegan two years ago, Nelson says she has heard her fair share of jokes. She states, “I’m vegan, I’m a fitness fanatic, and I drive a hybrid. Of course, I’m going to get jokes.” The one she hears the most is about the vegan soup, also known as “melted ice.” She says that jokes do not bother her in the long run because they help to bring about the discussion of a plant-based diet. Nelson advises anyone who is interested in becoming vegan to start slowly. “Don’t beat yourself up if you cave in the first month or so. Just remember why you started in the first place, and you will succeed.”