If you haven’t heard about Food Truck Friday yet, let me tell you - it is something you absolutely must check out! The food truck phenomenon has finally hit Central Michigan, and with it, new food opportunities await.
Although some of the vendors may already be familiar to you, like Crep and the Wiener Wagon, you can rest assured that in the weeks to come, both established and new food truck enterprises will be ready for you at the weekly held event taking place at the Central Michigan University Research Corporation (CMURC) located at 2625 Denison Dr. For example, new this past week was Nine 8 Nine’s Smoked Out menu. Serving everything from brisket to pork tacos.
Not only is this opportunity a great time to explore new foods, but its also a great way to enjoy a nice summer day with friends or network with those in your community. The CMURC is all about networking and after getting a tour of the facility, its an inspiring place where entrepreneurs, mentors, and community members can come together to build up ideas and launch new businesses that will succeed and enhance the world we live in.
Of course, you don’t have to be an entrepreneur or business-savvy person to enjoy Food Truck Fridays. Anyone can come; however, if you are a health minded eater, you may find it difficult to find options that work for you. Since I don’t want all our healthy eaters to miss out on such a fun food-related event, I’m going to share a few tips on how to keep it healthy if you do indeed decide to go and check out this new food offering in our community. Since food trucks aren’t always catering to our health, this is particularly important.
Look out for vegetables. Whenever you eat a meal away from home, keep an eye out for vegetables; and no, french fries don’t count! As I made my way through all the vendors this past week at Food Truck Friday, I noticed that there weren’t a ton of vegetables hanging around. The only exception to that was Crep with avocado, onions, spinach, and tomatoes listed in two of their crepe offerings. When in doubt, try to choose entrees that are rich in veggies. These tend to be more healthful options and are relatively easy to spot.
Keep an eye on portion sizes. I ordered a crepe from Crep and it was delicious, but wow was it huge! Just like with restaurant eating, portion sizes matter. Try to keep that in mind and don’t be afraid to only eat what you need. Try to listen to your body and stop when you feel comfortably full. Save the rest for a later meal or share with a friend.
Bring foods from home. Depending on your individual nutritional needs, you may find it necessary to supplement your food truck meal from home. This is especially true if you are frequenting food trucks that don’t necessarily offer a ton of health-conscious options. Not only will this ensure that you have a more nutritiously adequate meal, but it may also save you a little money. Consider packing some fiber-rich fruits or vegetables and bringing along your own water in a reusable water bottle. Or, if you aren’t finding a main dish that suits your needs, consider packing the majority of your lunch at home and supplementing with a beverage or side item. No matter what, have a plan and make sure you are building a meal that benefits you and your health.
Enjoy your surroundings, not just the food. Despite their title, lunch hours shouldn’t just be about the food. Instead, make the most out of your hour outside by walking around and enjoying the good company of those around you. Not only will this aid in digestion, but it is a great way to squeeze in a little extra movement into your day. Remember, food shouldn’t be the only enjoyable experience you encounter on a daily basis. Make time for other enjoyable moments too.
According to Elissa Richmond, Marketing & Public Relations Director of the CMURC, there are high hopes that more health-conscious food truck vendors will be on the scene soon. Smoothies and juice bars were just two ideas thrown around, but who knows what the future may hold; especially if there is a demand for more nutritious fare.
Food trucks can be a lot of fun and a great way to not only try new foods, but to support local people too! The next Food Truck Friday is this week August 8th, 11 a.m. -2 p.m. Maybe I’ll see you there!