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Fast Food Truths. Warning: You May Never Look at Them the Same

Fast Food Truths. Warning: You May Never Look at Them the Same

Google “fast food truths” and a slew of gruesome results offer a behind-the-scenes peek at the chemical-laden nasties that tantalize and entice your taste buds, all brilliantly disguised by grilled aromas and appetizing colors.

These results mean nothing to your 30-minutes-for-a-break rush, or your growling belly. You just want it fast, without knowing about all the additives and horrendous processing techniques. After all, people have been eating Chicken McNuggets and vat-deep-fried fries, and drinking strawberry shakes for years, right? Yet the amount of chemicals hidden in these foods is astounding, and here are a few of the highlights.

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The Usual Suspects

  • Deep-fried fast foods. If you want a simple recipe of potatoes plus oil without chemicals, then you had best skip the drive-thru and take a few minutes to julienne those potatoes yourself. One common denominator in food research results is the chemical ingredient dimethylpolysiloxane: used for breast implants, silly putty and as an additive to prevent the oil from foaming in the deep fryer as it cooks your French fries, chicken nuggets, chicken breasts, and so on.  Here’s more information for you if you care to read on.
  • Strawberry milkshakes. Did you expect that real strawberries were coloring and flavoring your fast food shake? Eric Schlosser’s research quashed any hope for that when he penned “Fast Food Nation” and exposed a laundry list of chemical flavorings and colors used to create a simple strawberry shake. These included but are not limited to: amyl acetate, rum ether, solvent, butyric acid, ethyl acetate, and cognac essential oil.
  • Hamburgers. Did you know that you are risking contamination by eating just one hamburger? According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention food safety fact sheet, that one hamburger “may contain meat from hundreds of animals,” which means if one animal was infected with something nasty, the whole batch of food is infected.

More fast food horrors

Did you see the Facebook video circulating in newsfeeds showing a pinkish glob of bones and tissue being pumped through a processor to eventually become hot dogs, bologna, and even Chicken McNuggets? Long-time vegans and clean eaters discovered the grim horrors of what was really gracing the grocery store shelves long ago, and still the list of fast-food horrors seem to be never-ending. Yet rather than take the time to prepare our own food, we rush for the quick fix and turn a blind eye to everything except the good smell and taste of the food in front of us.

Chances are most of us would never tolerate any of these rumored fast food restaurant conditions in our own homes:

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  • Mold in the ice dispenser
  • Fecal bacteria on drink fountain dispensers
  • Cooking grills with layers of caked-on fat and food particles.

Or how about:

  • Seaweed (carrageenan) in our ice cream
  • Beetle juice (carminic acid) in meats, cookies, sausages, juices, and preserves
  • Duck feathers (L-cysteine) in our hamburger buns
  • Bee vomit (honey) as a natural sweetener
  • Wood pulp (cellulose) in cheese and salad dressings?

Cancer-causing ingredients

It’s not only the unhygienic cooking methods that can make you sick. There’s a chemical cocktail in there that can have long-term effects too, such as:

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  • Acrylamide. Foods fried or baked at high temperatures (think fast foods) produce this carcinogen.
  • Sodium nitrite. Also cancer causing and found in pepperoni, sausages, hot dogs and bacon.
  • TBHQ (tertiary butyl hydroquinone). This is not cancer causing, but is lethal in high doses. Found in Chicken McNuggets, according to this article levels of more than 0.02% of this chemical in foods are dangerous. One gram can actually cause “nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and a feeling of suffocation.”

Fast food places suit the “progression” of the American lifestyle: hurry up and get it done, no matter that this method may kill us. The real truth is, when we eat fast food, we’re eating processed food designed for mass consumption. We focus on the “fast” instead of what’s healthiest for our bodies.

Featured photo credit: Alvimann via mrg.bz

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Last Updated on November 20, 2018

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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2. You put the cart before the horse.

“Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

3. You don’t believe in yourself.

A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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6. You don’t enjoy the process.

Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

7. You’re trying too hard.

Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

8. You don’t track your progress.

Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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9. You have no social support.

It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

10. You know your what but not your why.

The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

  • The more specific you can make your goal,
  • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
  • The more encouraged you’ll be,
  • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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