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Vegan Chicken in Vancouver

When I look back over 2019 and the food trends of this past year, there are a couple that really stick out. Straws became persona non grata in Vancouver this year, and wow did Beyond Meat get popular! In the non-vegan world, it feels like Fried Chicken was the biggest food trend in VanCity this year. It all started with Juke a couple years back, but people went bonkers for the Down Low Chicken Shack and other fried chicken joints that seem to be popping up all over the city recently. 

In the veg world, there tends to be two different types of folks: one has zero interest in “fake meat” and the other is down with it, even if it’s just on an “every once in a while” basis. I mean, let’s face it, veggie or no, eating fried chicken (or fake fried chicken) every day isn’t good for you. 

But for vegetarians, it’s about having options. As a vegetarian, I have few choices at many convenience or fast food restaurants. My son loves to go to Jack in the Box whenever we’re in the States, and the veg choices there are almost nil, and the vegan choices are pretty much zero. 

Over the past year, many fast-food chains have gotten hip to the veg movement. It’s a win-win. The eatery gets more customers, and the customers are happy because they have more choices. 

A&W lead this charge this year by introducing the Beyond Burger (which they immediately sold out of, it was so popular), quickly followed by Tim Hortons and others. 

A&W is also at the front of the pack when it comes to vegan chicken, which I think is going to be the next big trend. 

I’m excited for it. I’m not the hugest fan of the Beyond Burger. I know it sounds weird, but it’s a little too much like meat for me. My thesis is that these “fake meat” products are actually more of an alternative for meat eaters than they are for vegetarians, but I’m all for it. In general, the less meat we eat the better. 

But vegan chicken! Yes please! Bring it. 

So, let’s talk about where you can get vegan chicken in Vancouver. 

KFC Vegetarian chicken

KFC. It’s probably been 10 years or so since I ate at Kentucky Fried Chicken, but when they rolled out a vegetarian chicken burger, I needed to check it out. The weird thing about this sandwich is that it’s basically a secret menu item of one. I can’t find it on the website, and when we went into the store, it wasn’t on the menu. I had to ask for it. Also, please note, it’s fried in the same frier as the chicken, so that may be enough to exclude some of you from trying it. Order it in a wrap, without mayo, and it’s vegan, or just order it regularly if you are vegetarian. 

A&W Plant based Chicken nuggets

A&W. As of the beginning of this month, A&W launched a plant-based chicken nugget. It comes with your choice of BBQ or Sweet & Sour sauces (pick BBQ, trust me). Again, I’m pretty sure they are fried in the same frier as the meat is, but it seems like that’s par for the course these days… 

BeetBox Vegan Chicken

BeetBox: Juke Fried Chicken opened up this little joint on Davie St, and it’s completely plant-based. The menu is exclusively comfort food; burgers, a Taco-Bell type gordita wrap, onion rings, fries… and yeah, they have salads, too. The salads look great, by the way, but I was there for the deep fried goodness. The Chick-Un Sandwich patty is made of seitan and soy, and comes with a miso-based dressing and lettuce. Also worthy to note this is the most expensive (though you are supporting a local biz, not a big chain) of the three options. 

Okay, so now I’m going to weigh in with my opinion. 

Of these three, (and it kind of shames me to say this) KFC is my fave. It’s the most authentic and chicken-like. It’s really quite shockingly delicious. I was frankly disappointed at the A&W nuggets. My feeling is, the Beyond Burger was such a big hit for them, they were rushing to get on the meatless train and roll out something different. But there’s nothing great about these nuggets. They remind me of the boring ones you can buy in the grocery store. They were pretty bland and boring, I don’t think I’d order them again. Beetbox was good, but the texture and colour of the burger reminded me more of a falafel than actual chicken. Also the dressing made the lettuce quite soggy, and I like the textural element of a crisp lettuce on my burger. 

Okay, over to you. Where have you had vegan chicken in Vancouver? Where am I missing and need to go? And have you tried any of the above vegan chicken? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

What to expect when doing IV Therapy for the first time

Have you ever tried IV Therapy? 

I know, a lot of you will think it sounds like torture, but it really was more like a day at the spa. 

The idea behind IV therapy is that you get an infusion of electrolytes, vitamins and minerals, and this infusion is a more concentrated dose that what you could take orally. The infusion is delivered via IV or injection. 

The problem with taking supplements orally is that you think you’re doing something good for your body, but how much of that supplement actually gets into your bloodstream? Because the supplement has to do through your digestive system, sometimes the answer is, not much. 

IV Health Centre

But IV therapy gets the dosage directly into your bloodstream. 

Why might you like to try IV Therapy? 

  • If you’re feeling down and low energy
  • If you feel like you have a cold coming on
  • to recharge

I recently had my first IV Therapy session at The IV Health Centre in Yaletown. It’s actually quite a cool business–in addition to IV Therapy, they offer massage, acupuncture, and have naturopathic doctors on site. Kind of a one-stop-shop. 

I was honestly a bit nervous going in. I mean, nobody really likes needles… would it be painful? How would I feel after? What were they going to infuse me with? 

what to expect the first time you go for IV therapy

The staff was really great, though. I’ll tell you more about how I felt afterwards at the end, but first, here’s what I learned about what to expect when doing IV Therapy for the first time: 

  • The space is more like an industrial spa than a medical clinic. The IV Health Centre had tons of big comfy chairs spread around, and the overall atmosphere was quite chill. 
  • After filling out a form with your medical history, you’ll meet with a doctor. Like, an actual doctor. We chatted a bit about what my needs were, and then she mixed up a formula especially for me. I thought that they had some one-size-fits-all formulas, but that’s not true. Every time you go in, they will mix up a special cocktail just for you. Mine included magnesium, lots of b-vitamins, and electrolytes, amongst others. 
  • Once you are settled in a very comfy chair (that has heat, massage and a big comfy throw), the staff will set you up with magazines or an iPad so you can watch netflix during your treatment. They also brought me water and almonds to snack on. 
  • The doctor then administers the IV. Normally they put the needle in the big vein in your arm, not in the back of your hand. You have to sit with your arm outstretched on a pillow for the duration of the treatment, but they also bring you a warm pack for your exposed arm. 
  • The treatment takes about 45 minutes to administer. 
  • It was not painful. I mean, there was a bit of a prick when the needle went in, but other than that, it wasn’t too bad. There were definitely times when I knew I had a needle in my arm, but there were other times when I forgot about it. 
  • After the IV bag is empty, they will unhook you and you’re free to go. 
  • So, overall, I didn’t feel a huge effect that day. It was really nice to just sit for 45 minutes, though, and do nothing, a rare treat for me. I had a hard time getting my head back into the working game afterwards, so it might be a good idea to book it later in the day. 

The next day, though, I felt pretty good. I had a good sleep and I woke up feeling pretty perky and refreshed. Somebody said my skin looked glowy. 

IV Therapy Yaletown

The doctor said it can take up to 3-4 treatments before you really start seeing results, and then maintenance is every 4-6 weeks. Treatments cost $125. 

I’d love to hear in the comments below if you’ve ever tried IV Therapy. If you’re curious about them, check out The IV Health Centre in Yaletown, or come to The Wellness Show in February at the Vancouver Convention Centre where they will be exhibiting and offering treatments on site. 

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