Thereâs this strange food euphoria that exists when you bite in to a plain cheeseburger, a few french fries, and take a swig of an ice cold Coke from McDonaldâs. I craved it. Lusted after it. I would make up any excuse in the book to get it. This was one of my biggest food vices – the number two combo at McDonaldâs with cheese and mustard only.
As of Friday, I havenât had it in a year. Iâm really proud of that. Itâs not that I learned something new, but I finally reconciled how that âfoodâ made me feel was not how I should feel after eating a meal. I decided I never wanted to feel that way again.
Invariably, every time Iâd finish a burger and fries from Mickey Dâs Iâd have a headache, stomach cramps, nausea, shaking, or a combination of those. That was consistent. Sometimes Iâd order it because it sounded good or it was the easiest option. Sometimes Iâd order it out of boredom. Sometimes it was because I was traveling on the turnpike and well, you canât not get McDonaldâs on a road trip! Sometimes I ate it just to eat it.
Whatever the reason, I always knew what I was putting in my body. I swore off my love affair for their chicken nuggets years ago after watching Jamie Oliver demonstrate how that food atrocity is created. The thought makes me ill. Considering that a McDonaldâs burger isnât inclined to rot or spoil, I knew that whatever was in it wasnât beef alone. Did that stop me from eating it? No. Ignorance is bliss, and Iâd chomp away.
Care2.com reported last fall that âMcDonaldâs announced that âwe made a decision to discontinue the use of ammonia-treated [pink slime] beef in our hamburgers.â But, there is no way to know if it is still in use at McDonaldâs, other than to trust McDonaldâs to do what it says.â The company claims to only serve 100 percent pure beef, but Iâm personally not sold.
I eat pure beef. Not often, but on the rare occasion I do buy and prepare ground beef at home Iâm never sick afterward. The time before my last meal at McDonaldâs, I was grotesquely ill. I broke out in sweats, I was nauseous, had the shakes, and eventually felt sick enough to leave work to go home and deal with a host of other symptoms. I was most certainly not lovin’ it.
Have I sworn off fast food completely? Pretty much. Itâs something I eat few and far between because I donât generally even want it and I certainly never need it. I prefer the fast food approach of a Chipotle or Panera over the joints with a fryer in the back. But if I do eat at Wendyâs when Iâm in a pinch, or frankly just wanting a burger, Iâve never once felt sick afterward. Thereâs got to be something to that. Fortunately, Iâll never know the feeling of a Sicky Dâs meal ever again.
I feel like a recovering addict. Iâm one year clean, and I feel really good about that.
May 12th, 2014