Its been just over a month since I made the switch to veganism. In this time it’s cemented the fact that I am never ever going back. I feel great. I have so much more energy so I’m up early everyday, I workout, I get more accomplished in a day. I feel healthier, I digest more easily. Even my nails have gotten stronger and grow faster (a pleasant side effect as my nails have always been painfully brittle).
As I was walking my dog this morning I noticed a McDonald’s bag in someone’s trash (I wasn’t garbage picking, People, it was in plain view) and I realized I never crave fast food anymore or even really get it!
Fast food is terrible for you BUT it is convenient and my boyfriend as well as many of my friends and family aren’t vegan so I would definitely come to a point where I’d be eating out at restaurants or going through drive thrus. Therefore, I decided to research where and what I could and could not eat. Canadian McDonald’s has, in recent years, made the change from beef based oils to vegetable based oils so their fries are a big thumbs up! I haven’t ordered those at all yet, nor do I have any plan to do so in the near future though. Harvey’s has an amazing veggie burger which is DING DING DING also vegan! Yay, because if there’s one downfall I have, it’s for a delicious veggie burger and Harvey’s makes one of the best. There were some other places like Taco Bell and Burger King that boasted a great selection of vegan friendly dishes on their menu, but honestly I’ve never been a huge fan of either of those places. Dominoe’s was also brought to my attention as having all vegan pizza dough! I can definitely do cheese less pizza if I’ve got a real hankering for it.
In the past, way before I even went vegetarian, I never ate at fast food joints. Growing up, my mom was all for staying in. She made plain, healthy dishes without adding lots of salt or butter to them. In the summers we’d be treated to McDonald’s on the long rides up to the cottage or Dairy Queen in town once we got there. To my mom, fast food and eating out was a waste of money. Therefore, I never ate much of it. (Thank you Mom!)
I didn’t land my first job until I was 17 (no way was I going to work in the fast food industry even if it meant I could start working at 15). Through high school as all my friends started their first jobs at McDonald’s, Harvey’s and Burger King, I saved my birthday and Christmas cheques and spent very little to nothing at all. I went home for lunch or packed one every day and never wasted money on fast food.
But that did come to an end of course with my pay cheques starting to arrive. And so my post high school years were full of discovering the world of fast food. How it was actually pretty cheap, delicious and convenient. Even the warnings of how unhealthy it was didn’t curb my appetite for it. This was around the time I was getting confused on what exactly even was healthy with all the mixed reviews I was reading.
Fast forward past those awkward years where I was 40lbs overweight in college and then the post college years and here I am. I’ve discovered a simple, clean way to eat healthily and happily. Causing no pain and suffering, feeling great about what I consume. And I’ve basically come full circle. A few times I’ve been out and caved for some fries but mostly I stick to the greens and stir frys on the menus. I’ve ordered a Dominoe’s pizza with every single veggie they offered on it. I’ve had the Harvey’s veggie burger once (and topped it with my own fresh avocado YUM).
What I’ve mostly gotten used to though is preparing and packing my own meals whenever I go out now. Everyone’s gotten used to me showing up at their house or parties with a lunch bag in tow. And usually the food I make myself is waaaaay better than anything I could order. And I don’t just mean better as in healthier I mean it tastes far superior to the burgers, fries, deep fried chicken and cheesy garlic bread that everyone else has. So really I’m not missing out on a damn thing.
One last thing. I live in an area that is not heavily progressive in the health food world yet. In my home town alone there is only one vegetarian restaurant and nothing focused on vegan. It’s common for me to be out with friends and there’s not a single vegan option on the menu. It’s okay, I’m used to that and was prepared for it to be that way so I’ve always got my trusty lunch bag. But what makes me super excited is traveling a ways towards the bigger or more developed cities with a more diverse demographic and seeing all the amazing progressive restaurants and even fully vegan fast food joints that are starting to open! It’s so exciting and amazing to see and I’m attempting to visit and support them all.
I love food and love to share what I’ve made at home or tried at new vegan restaurants. If you’d like to see them for yourself then feel free to follow gonevegan_ on instagram!