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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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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