Measuring cups of water, witty puns, gluten-free buns… The works!
No holistic diet is equipt without a girls’ night out and a juicy burger here and there… one of my favourites! Diets that may restrict these things are for temporary healing but are not sustainable long-term and a holistic lifestyle is about enriching your life, not restricting it. So when my girlfriends asked me to dinner at The Works Burger Bistro, I was instantly on board. Besides, I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of scouring menus and creating a holistic and healthy spin on what’s at hand!
From the witty puns beefing up the menus, the water served in measuring cups, the alternative rock music as the ultimate side dish to a good meal or the loaded burgers themselves, all of it combined “mustard” up a delicious dinning experience. Whether in a diner or your own dining room, this is your guide to get game with red meat!
Red meat and health
- Meat products can be incredibly wholesome. They provide a rich source of B vitamins (including B12), iron, healthy fats and are a fantastic source of protein. What’s more, it is a complete protein containing all of the essential amino aids required to manufacture proteins within the body.
- Optimal portion sizes of meat are about the size of your palm, with the showcase of your meal being a focus on non-starchy vegetables and leafy greens to provide balance. The key to reaping the full health benefits of red meat is both moderation and quality.
As Micheal Pollan once said:
“You are what what you eat eats”
If your beef is injected with antibiotics and hormones and eating food contaminated with pesticides, you are consequently ingesting those too. Excessive antibiotic use in agriculture is significantly contributing to the rise in antibiotic resistance in humans and meat is one of the highest sources of pesticide contamination beyond fruits and vegetables, although those are high as well.
Consuming quality meat products will not only ensure that these concerns are reduced but will also provide you the must bang for your buck when it comes to nutrient density.
Always look for :
- Certified grass fed
- Antibiotic and hormone free
- Free range (though visiting the farms yourself to review living conditions will always be most beneficial)
- Organic (it is illegal for it to be genetically modified or irradiated)
- Local when possible
For a small downtown nook in the city, it is always packed and as we waited for our seats in the rustic booths, we scoured the menus and all of the options at our disposal. Bonus: As a person who has a difficult time deciding between all of the options on the menu, being a health nut makes the job marginally easier and with that, this is your 4 step path to building a holistic burger at The Works:
Step One: The bun
- Steer clear of the gluten. Not only are these buns highly processed but they are also very difficult to digest. Beef in itself is difficult to digest and made increasingly hard with the addition of a wheat bun as carbohydrates and proteins require different digestive enzymes to breakdown. This will leave you feeling tired and stuffed by the end of the meal.
- The best choice? The naked wrap. Quite simply, this is a lettuce wrap and received my ginormous stamp of approval that this is offered on the menu! However, I decided to treat myself and opted for the second best option: the gluten-free bun. Though highly processed and far from the optimal choice, it is a definite step up from the gluten.
Step 2: Got beef?
- I upgraded the burger to the lean, local, domestic elk burger which is grass-fed and hormone free, free of fillers and well worth the $1.02 extra.
- Another fantastic and meat-free option: the Portobello mushroom cap!
Step 3 : Fixing overload
- My burger of choice? The pesto piazza! A pattie slathered with garlicy pesto, olives and sundried tomato.
- With the flavour packed pesto and loaded with toppings, you can skip the ketchup and mustard which are heavily processed and high in sugars, food colourings and additives.
- There is more than enough “cheese” dished out in the menu’s puns to last you the meal. Go dairy free by opting out of the cheese.
Step 4; The side
- This is an easy choice, opt for the weeds! The simple salad with romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, red peppers and cukes and olive oil with balsamic vinaigrette as the dressing. Opting for greens will assist in buffering the acidic state of the body which occurs as a byproduct of digesting meat. Meat should ALWAYS be paired with greens for this reason.
- There is also the choice of celery sticks and cucumbers as non starchy vegetables that will also assist in alkalinizing and balancing the body (potato fries not included)
Holistic Life Hacks:
- I always sneak in a stack of digestive enzymes in my purse which wil ease the digestive load off your body so that the only thing that will feel stuffed is the loaded burger!
Whether sliding into a rustic booth at The Works Burger Bistro or flipping a pattie over at home, with the right quality, moderation and perfect pairings, red meat can be a wholesome dinner 1-2 times a week.
With a holistic burger under gluten-free wraps,