Restaurants with explicit vegan options, let alone a full vegan menu, are relatively rare. So it must have been a bit of a surprise when a fully vegan restaurant with a fast food oriented and relatively affordable menu opened in Yuma, Arizona, a small city in the south-western corner of the state. Now with two locations, Nature’s Express continues to provide plant-based and great-tasting food to visitors in order to provide alternatives to regular fast-food and help support healthier eating habits. This article explores the history of Nature’s Express, lists some of its must-try menu items, and provides a brief discussion on having a diet higher in plant-based food items.
History of Nature’s Express
Nature’s Express was started in Yuma, Arizona by Carl Myers, M.D, a former oncologist (physician specializing in cancer). While practicing oncology in Yuma and reading the ever-growing amount of research on the negative effects Americans’ diets can have on their health, Carl decided to take a completely different path and open up a vegan fast food restaurant. In 2009, Carl left oncology to focus on the restaurant full-time. The Nature’s Express team consists, in part, of co-owner Jean Myers, a nutritionist and Carl’s wife, as well as the Yuma location’s branch manager, Jarcey Rodriguez, who joined the Nature’s Express team after trying one of the restaurant’s chili cheeseburgers and who has since also lost 45 pounds. In early 2010, Nature’s Express opened another location in Berkeley, California.
Recommended Nature’s Express Menu Items
Exploring the Nature’s Express menu is fun for everyone, but those who eat a diet high in vegetarian and vegan food items will be particularly pleased with the varied menu and its great prices (especially compared to other vegan restaurants). Some recommended items include the South of the Border or Mushroom burger with cheese, the hearty Nachos Supreme, the Thai Peanut wrap, the Chik-un fingers, and the Soft Serve “ice cream”. Soon Nature’s Express will be providing the full nutritional information of their menu items online, which will be helpful for customers or potential customers to compare Nature’s Express food to the food of other fast-food restaurants.
Potential Benefits of a Diet With More Plant-Based Ingredients
Becoming vegetarian or vegan does not necessarily mean one will become healthier, but adding more plant-based food items to one’s diet, in addition to eating more organic whole foods and less processed foods, can put one on the right track to better nutrition and a more healthy lifestyle. Leading such a lifestyle may help decrease rates of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and autoimmune disorders. Therefore, while eating a 100% vegan diet may not always result in better health, places like Nature’s Express that offer delicious and plant-based food items provide a much healthier option to the typical fast-food restaurant. Nature’s Express provides a fast food model that will hopefully be emulated across the country.