Meet a Vegan: Chelsea Bode

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I’ve known Chelsea since junior high–we went to the same youth group when I grew up in Sleepy Eye. She also was in my best friend Rachael’s bridal party with me last June, and we were able to bond and talk about veganism because that’s when I started going plant-based! Pretty much the entire time I’ve known her, she’s been vegetarian, and she’s recently transitioned into veganism. For this week’s post, I decided to do a Q&A with her to share some vegan insight from someone other than me!

PBG: How long have you been vegetarian/vegan? 

C: I’ve been vegetarian for 11 and a half years. I was vegan for six months last year and went back to being vegan January this year.

PBG: What was your biggest challenge when making the transition to veganism? 

C: Cheese! There isn’t a great substitute for cheese.

PBG: Where do you draw inspiration for new recipes? 

C: I generally look up recipes for vegan versions of foods that I already love! YouTube is a great resource as well!

PBG: Do you have any advice for new vegans?

C: Get used to checking labels. Make sure you get your protein. But don’t over-complicate it. Many places (shout-out to Chipotle, Pieology, Noodles & Co.) have convenient vegan food. You can still socialize and be vegan!

PBG: How about vegans on a budget?

C: As far as budget goes, my best hack is probably overloading a Chipotle bowl and eating it as two meals.

PBG: What’s your favorite thing about being vegan? 

C: I feel better–healthier, not to mention ethically as well!

PBG: What’s your favorite vegan meal? 

C: I’m a sucker for breakfast foods. A good tofu/kale scramble with some avocado toast!

I totally agree with the point that Chelsea made about YouTube being a great resource for finding vegan recipe ideas. Plus it’s nice to see all the steps in one video! For anyone who may be interested in exploring vegan YouTubers, here are some of my favorites: More Salt Please, The Vegan Zombie, Apples and Amandas,  and Sweet Potato Soul .

18 thoughts on “Meet a Vegan: Chelsea Bode

  1. Cheese is probably the number one reason I can never be vegan, sorry! It was interesting reading why someone went vegan and what their challenges and benefits are from the transition. I didn’t realize big name restaurants life Chipotle and Noodles & Co. had vegan options, but that makes sense because they would be missing a large audience without it!

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    1. For sure! Vegan cheese just doesn’t melt the same..it’s pretty sad actually 😦 I just ended up cutting it out completely because I don’t like fake cheese. But yeah, Chipotle has “sofritas” which basically tastes like taco meat but it’s tofu. Super yummy!

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  2. I agree with the cheese comment! That would strongly disable my ability to become a vegan as well. It is super cool that you have a connection like that to the vegan world! I don’t even know if I know any vegans closely, so having that kind of relationship must be nice! Side question, what kind of milk subsitute do you prefer? Soy? Coconut? Other?

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  3. PBG,

    This was interesting to hear of someone who made the transition recently from vegetarianism to veganism, because I often hear that’s how people eventually become vegan, since I think it would be a hard transition to become vegan right off the bat. I recently met some vegans in their late 60s who have been vegans for over 20 years and it was really fascinating to talk to them because it’s such a different lifestyle than mine. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about Chelsea’s experience and you left me wanting to hear more. I liked that you added some of your favorite YouTubers in as well so we could have places to go for more recipes.

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    1. I agree, it is definitely a tough transition going straight to vegan. I tried cutting out all animal products right away, but it difficult and I had a few slip-ups along the way (mostly cheese cravings haha). But that’s cool you met some older vegans that have been vegan that long! It would be amazing to learn their long-term health benefits and how things must have changed over time.

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  4. While I personally could never go vegan, because of my love for meat, cheese, eggs, and every thing else vegans don’t eat.. I am surprised a vegan would say they haven’t found a good substitute for cheese. I mean I can’t think of any good subs, but generally vegans seem optimistic about what they can’t eat. It would take a lot of dedication to become vegetarian let alone vegan. I hope both of you the best and am sure you will find some great recipes!

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    1. I think that the main reason vegans can’t find a good substitute for cheese is that it is so so difficult to replicate, especially in terms of melting. I’ve had some “okay” versions that are made with coconut, cashews, and even tapioca (which is supposed to help with the texture), but they just don’t taste the same. It’s a lot of dedication and involves hunting for new ways to create things, but I think it’s totally worth it 🙂

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  5. It’s crazy to me that vegans can go without cheese. That would for sure be the hardest thing for me to give up not only because it is so good, but because it is in so many things. It could just be a struggle trying to make sure there’s no cheese in your food. I think your interview and questions were great! Thanks for sharing all your vegan posts this semester!(:

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  6. Honestly before constantly reading an of your post, I assumed that been vegan just meant avoiding eating actual meat. Most of your posts including this one taught me that being vegan is actually more than just avoiding actual meat. I can appreciate vegan lifestyle but I don’t think I’m actually able to constantly avoid eating cheese, eggs and mostly actual meat. But like I said, I have a appreciation for people who are capable of doing thing I myself can not.

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  7. I like that you had your friend give another perspective into veganism. It helps me understand a little more what being vegan is all about! It’s probably really nice for you that going vegan doesn’t mean giving up Chipotle or Noodles haha. I completely agree with your friend about overloading the Chipotle bowl (even if people aren’t vegan)!

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