Following college, I jumped into my car and drove to Nashville for a promising career in minor league baseball. I sold ticket packages and stadium signage, but most of the time, I either dressed in an Ozzie the Cougar mascot costume or sweated at the stadium grill. While at the grill, I cooked hotdogs, hamburgers, pork chops, chicken wings, and bratwursts–hundreds of each during a homestand. It didn’t take long before I became the head of the Grillbillies–a hard-working lot of stadium cooks.
Preparing tons of meat for a crowd of hungry fans can be a disgusting experience–a story for another time. Being around so many grilled munchies was too tempting, and I usually washed down a few dogs and burgers with a few sodas. Yummy dinner. It didn’t take long to become a chubby Grillbilly.
In one year, I had become an excellent grill master. I mean, my grilling tasted good. I had also put on 30 pounds and felt slow and tired, which I made up for by drinking more soda. After two years of destroying myself, I sat back and thought about what I wanted to feel and look like and what I would have to do to accomplish that. The excessive meat and sodas had to go.
Flash forward 10 years and I still grill. I’m still good at it, but I’ve dropped the hamburgers for other tasty choices, and I make the patties myself. I know what’s in my delicious burgers. (I remember finding out for the first time what was in the all-meat dogs I was serving at the stadium. Now, I don’t know now why eating eyeballs is any different from eating ground chuck, but at the time, it shocked me. Nah, none of that carnage makes it onto my bun.)
I know that the bean burger I make includes non-GMO, organic ingredients that actually energize me instead of slowing me down. The whole foods in my burgers include nutrients my body can use, instead of empty calories that just add fat and make me tired, craving a soda.
Try making your own patty. Put whatever you want in it. The spices that go into flavoring those hamburgers are what make your burger taste good–not so much the charred muscle. You can make your vegan burger taste just as good by adding the spices and ingredients you want, and your body will thank you for it by staying energized and lean.