There’s 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 McDonald’s. 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 McDonald’s with cheese and mustard only.
As of Friday, I haven’t had it in a year. I’m really proud of that. It’s not that I learned something new, but I finally reconciled how that “food” 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 I’d finish a burger and fries from Mickey D’s I’d have a headache, stomach cramps, nausea, shaking, or a combination of those. That was consistent. Sometimes I’d order it because it sounded good or it was the easiest option. Sometimes I’d order it out of boredom. Sometimes it was because I was traveling on the turnpike and well, you can’t not get McDonald’s 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 McDonald’s burger isn’t inclined to rot or spoil, I knew that whatever was in it wasn’t beef alone. Did that stop me from eating it? No. Ignorance is bliss, and I’d chomp away.
Care2.com reported last fall that “McDonald’s announced that ‘we made a decision to discontinue the use of ammonia-treated [pink slime] beef in our hamburgers.’ But, there is no way to know if it is still in use at McDonald’s, other than to trust McDonald’s to do what it says.” The company claims to only serve 100 percent pure beef, but I’m personally not sold.
I eat pure beef. Not often, but on the rare occasion I do buy and prepare ground beef at home I’m never sick afterward. The time before my last meal at McDonald’s, 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. It’s something I eat few and far between because I don’t 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 Wendy’s when I’m in a pinch, or frankly just wanting a burger, I’ve never once felt sick afterward. There’s got to be something to that. Fortunately, I’ll never know the feeling of a Sicky D’s meal ever again.
I feel like a recovering addict. I’m one year clean, and I feel really good about that.