Vegetable or buffalo chicken wrap?
Would you rather feed your kids a greasy Buffalo chicken wrap over a healthy vegetable wrap? It depends. If you are not a vegetarian or vegan, you probably don’t see anything wrong with that. I don’t blame you. There was a time when I did the same. In fact, I loved them so much I couldn’t imagine becoming a vegan one day. Luckily, times have changed.
Living in a fast food generation
Raising two boys into young adults, who have grown up in a fast food society, I had some regrets.
I always thought – OK – if the kids behave I will reward them with a treat. And the treat was the kid’s meal at Mc Donald’s (that’s when they were really small) since they had an indoor playground where they could play after their meal.
What a mistake. I instilled junk food as a way of an incentive for my kids. I remember my kids knew all the burger joints by name before they were able to read. I know it’s my fault, I didn’t know any better then.
Children live what they learn. That’s what my wife always says, and I think it comes true in many cases. I always liked to eat healthy (most of the time :)), and kids take notice of that. Kids unconsciously learn and adapt their parent’s lifestyle.
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”― Albert Einstein
For instance, my boys would say I eat trees for breakfast. That tree-like food was home-baked multigrain bread with lots of nuts and seeds or maybe a bowl of oatmeal. They rather loved the soft white bread, which I didn’t like to buy. Today, I must say they eat the same way as I do putting fibers, fruit, and vegetables first. I am very happy about that, although they are no vegans yet.
Implementing healthy dining options
I was always an advocate for eating healthy as you can tell. However, since transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, I have come to realize that not only chefs but cooks, servers, F&B managers, restaurateurs have an opportunity to educate our communities when it comes to the trend of eating healthy. Unfortunately, not enough hospitality professionals actually following this trend. Yes, the big restaurant corporations all have implemented healthy dining options, however, rather few meals.
Farm to table is one concept that resonates with most diners everywhere. However, not all farm to table concepts are vegan, most actually offer animal products. Obviously not every chef can be a vegan, either. Hence, most chefs have the opportunity to offer more vegan options to their menus.
“The most ethical diet just so happens to be the most environmentally sound diet and just so happens to be the healthiest.”― Dr. Michael Greger
I see it every day on my job as an executive chef, where we serve all types of guests ranging from corporate clients, locals to tourists. They are all looking for healthier dining options and are open to vegan meals, too. Which is great as this opens the door to more conversations about veganism.
The Future of Our Health is Determined by the Choices We Make….
That is, in particular, true with the type of food we choose to eat. Well, some get away with eating junk food all day long and still don’t get sick. However, the growing obesity rate in the USA suggests otherwise.
We have never had so many obese children. Our healthcare cost is through the roof. If we don’t change the way we eat we essentially program our bodies to fail, which is unsustainable for a nation. We have an opportunity to change that by simply living healthy and maybe even transition to veganism.
Veganism as a lifestyle
Many of my guests are open to hearing what it takes to be a vegan, but the possibility of never eating meat again feels too overwhelming to them. Once I explain the process of becoming a vegan, they are much more open-minded.
The most challenging period is the first few month. This is where people question your decision of becoming a vegan.
Especially if these individuals are family members; makes it especially difficult to stay on the path of veganism. Comments like “you’re restricting yourself”, “you are getting too thin” or “you are taking it to another level” is completely normal.
In these situations, it’s essential to remember why we have chosen to become a vegan. More on this in a later post. Believe or not, veganism is likely the most sustainable lifestyle thus far.
I became vegan because I saw footage of what really goes on in the slaughterhouses and on the dairy farms. Ellen DeGenere
Regardless of what people tell me about veganism, most are incredibly supportive. In fact many of my colleagues or family members trying to adjust their eating habits. They might not transition to veganism. However, I do see that they are making an effort to eat healthier. To be honest, it’s extremely fulfilling to see people around me getting inspired to live healthier, because of my lifestyle. In the end, it will help humans, animals, and the planet.
I chose this vegetable wrap because it appeals to kids as it does to adults. Who doesn’t like a wrap?
Do you think we can have an impact on our family members and friends through our lifestyle?
How do you deal with fast food cravings?
Do you agree that chefs have an opportunity to educate our communities when it comes to healthy dining options? I would love to hear your opinion.