No Hard Feelings, Chick-fil-A, But I'm No Longer A Meat-Head

No Hard Feelings, Chick-fil-A, But I'm No Longer A Meat-Head

My advice to anyone considering going vegan or starting out vegetarian, is to just give it a try.
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I grew up my whole life eating juicy burgers, steaks, and lots of salmon and fish. Both my parents always knew (and still do know) how to make mouthwatering cuisines. Of course, I sometimes get that craving for one of their delicious meals, but coming to college I made the decision to become vegetarian... something I never thought I would do. I never felt as if meat was a bad thing to eat, but as soon as I became in charge of my own diet every day, I realized that I was feeling l bloated and just overall lazy and tired. After figuring out that it was the meat that was causing me to feel this way, I immediately went cold turkey (no pun intended) and stopped eating all meat.

I'll be the first to say: it is NOT easy to make such a drastic diet change in college. It is hard enough to adjust to the different foods offered in the cafeteria and to cut your options in half due to their content of meat, which makes that adjustment even harder. After I eventually adjusted and realized what I could and couldn’t eat, it became a habit to head to the salad bar or stir-fry vegetable station. The hardest part came when I took my first trip to Target and realized all of my usual snacks were not going to cut it if I wanted to be meat-free and health conscious. For all of you potential vegetarians or vegans, some of my favorite snacks are RX bars, nuts, carrots, Kind breakfast bars, and when I want something unhealthy and sweet, I usually go for the Halo Top ice cream.

The first few trips to the store were hard, but I promise it gets easier as you start to adjust to the new foods you're eating in place of meat or dairy. Since I stopped eating meat, I have overall felt more energetic, happier, and healthier. My advice to anyone considering going vegan or starting out vegetarian is to just give it a try. It doesn't have to be all at once, but take it one step at a time. It isn't realistic to say you are going to wake up one morning and not eat 3/4 of your normal foods that make up your daily diet. I am a culprit of being unreasonable with these things too though. One day I will get myself to the gym, eat two salads, and complete my full skincare routine, getting in bed before 12. The next day I am going to bed at 2 A.M. with a full face of makeup on and a bag of chips in hand. Nobody says you have to be perfect; everyone has a few cheat days here and there.

The most important thing is listening to your body and what it needs. College is a busy and overwhelming time, and it is okay to experiment different diet options and find the one that works best in your life. Regardless of your health habits, is it really so bad to pick a salad over curly fries every once and a while?

Cover Image Credit: pexels

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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My Strange Obsession: Bibibop Addition

I am obsessed with Bibibop.

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I am obsessed with Bibibop.

Sounds strange, right? But it's true.

For those of you who have never had the opportunity to experience Bibibop, Bibibop is an Asian Grill set up similar to Chipotle. You're able to go down the line of food, choosing a base (always go with the purple rice), hot toppings (they all slap), protein (the tofu is to die for), some cold toppings (a great way to try kale for the first time), and a sauce (if you don't get the Yum Yum sauce, you're weird.)

And, let me tell you, the final product is always delicious.

I hadn't been introduced to Bibibop until this past year, but once I tried it for the first time, I never looked back. Now I am constantly craving the taste of the Yum Yum sauce. I usually hit up Bibibop once every two weeks, but if I was rich, I would probably eat it every other day.

Though, admittedly, the prices are pretty good. And they celebrate meatless Mondays with 20% off to anyone who doesn't get meat in their bowl.

Plus, it's pretty healthy. Unlike most restaurants, like Chipotle, where your somewhat healthy meal can instantly become bad for you with the addition of something on the menu, Bibibop's entire menu provides nutritional value and offers gluten-free and vegan options.

Basically, Bibibop is the most underrated and most delicious restaurant in the world, which is why my obsession with it runs so deep. Although I would usually admit that obsessions are unhealthy, I think this one might be okay.

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