Well, I’ve figured out why it’s been so difficult to take off the weight.
Over a decade ago, when I was a freewheeling and high-earning New York City girl (with a much higher metabolism) living off of takeout four to five days a week (and leftovers the other two to three), my mother blessed me with some
unsolicited advice sage wisdom: “When you dine out a lot, you’re placing a lot of responsibility for what goes into your body in someone else’s hands.”
As usual, Mom was right; it wasn’t until I took matters into my own hands and started cooking (and accounting for) the majority of my meals that I was able to achieve control over my intake—and substantial weight loss soon followed. I mention this because it’s been on my mind the past week, as my already overbooked summer season entered the home stretch, and I found myself both entertaining and being entertained by non-vegans on an almost daily basis, which presented the unique and contradictory challenge of trying to eat deliciously and vegan while far from the comforts of my well-stocked refrigerator.
Fun fact for the non-vegans in the room: Do you know how many establishments offer a garden salad as their only non-dairy, non-meat offering? And how many french fries are fried in duck fat or beef tallow? A lot.
But somehow, I managed...though I consumed far more potatoes than any human should in the space of a week. Especially challenging? Brunch—otherwise known as black folks’ favorite meal—which I had no less than four of between Saturday of last week through yesterday, all of which looked something like this...
While that was fairly delicious (at least, the first two times), it wasn’t exactly the breakfast of champions—and I’m pretty sure the sparkling rosé shouldn’t have been my favorite part of the meal. I had slightly better luck in the evenings, particularly on the evening my gentleman friend (I told you he’d make a reappearance) specifically chose a restaurant with an extensive menu that included a plant-based section (good looking out, Earl’s Kitchen & Bar).
While it may not have been an extensive offering, it was an extremely well-curated one; in fact, I couldn’t decide between the vegan bibimbap or the quinoa and avocado “powerbowl”...and the prospect of that vegan buffalo cauliflower was playing with my emotions, too. In the end, the bibimbap won over my Korean-loving palate, and I have to say that for a non-Korean establishment, it was pretty great—and very spicy (just like I like it).
But there was yet another item on the menu that caught my eye, and after the gentleman tried it the next day and raved about the experience, he brought me back to Earl’s so I could try it, too—since apparently, I was one of three people in the world who hadn’t tried the famed “Impossible Burger.”
Dude. If cheese is potentially the kryptonite that’ll keep me from going fully plant-based, the Impossible Burger may be what keeps me in line, because of all the things I’ve eaten during this challenge, this may be the thing that made me feel most, well, normal. While I’m not a fan of GMOs and question the point of giving up meat to subsequently eat things that mimic meat (this sucker even “bleeds”), as a meat lover, I have to say this creation has indeed achieved the seemingly impossible and is well worth the hype. By vegan or carnivore standards, this is just one good-ass burger, y’all (and Earl’s came through with a perfectly golden, crisp and salty batch of fries as accompaniment).
Truthfully, I think the gentleman really brought me back so he could have another Impossible Burger himself. I say this because the two of us sat there moaning in ecstasy, elevating an otherwise innocent meal to a damn near erotic experience—or at the very least, a bonding one. I mean, what’s a more classic date than a burger and fries (though the prototypical milkshake was subbed out for a margarita, in my case)?
And really, this is why my weight hasn’t dropped since last week (despite upping my exercise)—but it’s likely why it hasn’t gone up, either. The fact is (as has been drilled home by the more moral personalities in our comments section), despite Beyoncé’s success with plant-based eating as a dietary plan (plus training and rehearsing, which I will never stop drilling home), veganism isn’t plan you should adopt to lose weight unless you’re combining it with tried and true practices like portion control and keeping a food diary, because meat and dairy-free don’t mean calorie, fat or sugar-free. Veganism requires moral fortitude, and is well worth it if you feel deep concern about animals and the environment.
That said, you will get a lot more bang for your health and metabolism from plant-based eating; I know for a well-experienced fact that a regular burger and fries likely would’ve shown up differently on the scale. So, maybe this week spent running the streets wasn’t a win, but it definitely wasn’t a loss.
But for now, though I’m home and soon to start cooking, all I can think about is this damn burger—and I may or may not be scouting out the closest Burger King to try their Impossible Whopper next. All I know is if Impossible Foods figures out the cheese game, I may be a convert.
Updated: Wednesday, 8/28/2019 at 7:10 p.m., ET: I just discovered Burger King will deliver an Impossible Whopper to my apartment. Help me, Jesus.