by Ali Berman
Categories: Eats.

Every healthy foodie has dreamed of this kind of initiative for years: a fast food chain that truly serves healthy foods and, get ready vegans, even plant based options.

The new restaurant called Lyfe Kitchen (an acronym for Love Your Food Everyday) plans on opening its first restaurant in Palo Alto, California this summer. After that, more locations will pop up in Northern California. And then, the chain is rumored to have plans to spread nationally with as many as 250 locations in the next five years.

It looks like where other fast food companies just pay lip service to healthier options, Lyfe Kitchen will actually come through. Every menu item will be under 600 calories. Foods like sweet potato fries will be baked instead of fried. While there looks like there will be meat on the menu, there will also be vegan options for main courses and dairy free desserts.

It seems ironic that one of the major players behind this new venture is Mike Roberts, a man who served as president and chief operations officer of McDonalds before leaving in 2006. Stephen Sidwell, an investment banker and one of the players behind Gardein, went to Roberts about a year ago with the idea. With so many people talking about healthier foods, the market seemed ripe for a new chain. They both knew that the food had to taste good, so they went to Oprah’s chef Art Smith to help create a menu.

For the vegan options, the Lyfe Kitchen executives went straight to Tal Ronnen, author of The Conscious Cook and executive director of Gardein Protein. The veggie burger will use the famous Gardein product and be called “Classic Gardein Burger.”

Personally, I can’t wait to have a fast food chain I can stop in at while on the road. The current restaurants all seem so depressingly cheesy, meaty and fried. The question is, will America embrace a healthy food chain? We hope so!

Via Chicago Tribune

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

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  • Brooke Bailey Morgan

    WOW! I sincerely hope this is true. Since giving up meat I have the hardest time finding food on the road. Every time we travel I say “We should open up a fast food chain that offers actual healthy food that I can eat!” Finally someone is thinking the same thing! I live in the South though so I’m sure it will take a while before this chain gets to me :( Don’t forget, just because the south TYPICALLY likes their burger & fries, there are a lot of us out there that are vegetarians, especially in the bigger cities.