Category Archives: Saturday Snippets

The Saturday Snippet – Fast Food Facts You Won’t Forget

I loved fast food. I would have married it had that been an option. When I was a city dweller, I would make every excuse in the book to eat somewhere so I didn’t have to cook. Not surprisingly, I craved this food more and more and ate it more and more. I recently decided to look up some of my favorite fast food places. Just reading about them makes my mouth water even now! Let’s take a look at what Knowledge Sutra has to say about my four favorite drive thru restaurants of the past.


The egg’s reputation is recovering, but scrambled eggs as a part of McDonald’s breakfast include much more than egg. Their pasteurized whole eggs have sodium acid pyrophosphate, citric acid, and monosodium phosphate (all added to preserve color), and nisin, a preservative. To top it off, the eggs are prepared with liquid margarine: liquid soybean oil, water, partially hydrogenated cottonseed and soybean oils (trans fats), salt, hydrogenated cottonseed oil (trans fat), soy lecithin, mono- and diglycerides, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate (preservatives), artificial flavor, citric acid, vitamin A palmitate, and beta carotene (color). Though not all bad, these added chemicals may be the reason why homemade scrambled eggs taste so much better than McDonald’s.

For coffee drinkers, it would seem fairly safe to just grab a quick cup of coffee at McDonald’s on the way to work. But many health conscious people would object to it also including this list of ingredients: sodium phosphate, sodium polyphosphate, Di-Acetyl Tartrate Ester of Monoglyceride, sodium stearoyl lactylate, tetra sodium pyrophosphate, sodium hexametaphosphate, sodium citrate, and carrageenan. Do health nuts still drink coffee?

Salads can usually be counted on to be a “what you see is what you get” item. But McDonald’s adds some interesting ingredients. The salads with grilled chicken also have liquid margarine.

Several salads have either cilantro lime glaze, or orange glaze added. Along with many of McDonald’s sauces, both the cilantro lime glaze and the orange glaze contain propylene glycol alginate. While propylene glycol is considered “GRAS” for human consumption, it is not legal for use in cat food because the safety hasn’t been proven yet [10]. Propylene glycol is also used “As the killing and preserving agent in pitfall traps, usually used to capture ground beetles” [10].

The chili lime tortilla strips that are included in the southwest salads have several ingredients used to hide MSG. They also contain two ingredients that advertise the presence of MSG: disodium inosinate, and disodium guanylate.

The chicken has sodium phosphates (of an unspecified variety). It could be trisodium phosphate (a cleanser), monosodium phosphate (a laxative), or disodium hydrogen phosphate [11]. Why would McDonald’s add sodium phosphates (a foaming agent), and dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent in their crispy chicken breast fillets? It isn’t dishwasher detergent.

Burger King

It’s interesting to note that the BK Veggie Burger has six ingredients commonly used to hide free glutamate (MSG): calcium caseinate, hydrolyzed corn, yeast extract, soy protein isolate, spices, and natural flavors. At the end of the ingredients list, it states This is NOT a vegan product. The patty is cooked in the microwave. Was that a warning statement?

Burger King has three salads to choose from. The TENDERCRISP Garden Salad, the TENDERGRILL Garden Salad, and the Side Garden Salad.

A salad may be a little boring without a dressing like Ken’s Fat Free Ranch Dressing which includes titanium dioxide (an artificial color, or sunscreen, depending on use), preservatives, and the ingredient seemingly mandatory in all ranch dressings: monosodium glutamate.

Once again, as is typical with the fast food industry, they took a simple thing like chicken, and added a long list of ingredients.

Chicken Breast with Rib Meat, Water, Seasoning (Maltodextrin, Salt, Sugar, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Garlic Powder, Spices, Natural Flavors, Onion Powder, Modified Corn Starch, Chicken Fat, Chicken Powder, Chicken Broth, Disodium Guanylate and Disodium Inosinate, Citric Acid, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Dehydrated Garlic, and Artificial Flavors.), Modified Corn Starch, Soybean Oil, Salt, Sodium Phosphates. Glazed with: Water, Seasoning [Maltodextrin, Salt, Sugar, Methylcellulose, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Partially Hydrogenated Sunflower Oil, Modified Potato Starch, Fructose, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Dehydrated Garlic, Spices, Modified Corn Starch, Xanthan Gum, Natural Flavors, Disodium Guanylate and Disodium Inosinate, Chicken Fat, Carmel Color, Grill Flavor (from Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil), Chicken Powder, Chicken Broth, Turmeric, Smoke Flavor, Annatto Extract, and Artificial Flavors], Soybean Oil. [12]


If a sandwich is advertised as healthy, one would expect that the bread would be whole grain. Not so with Subway’s wheat bread. While it does have some whole wheat flour, it’s the third ingredient, listed just before high fructose corn syrup [4]. None of Subway’s breads are whole grain. Ammonium sulfate (a fertilizer) is also added. Unfinished sandwiches may be composted. The bread also contains azodicarbonamide. From Wikipedia,

Use of azodicarbonamide as a food additive is banned in Australia. In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive has identified azodicarbonamide as a respiratory sensitiser (a possible cause of asthma) and determined that products should be labeled with “May cause sensitisation by inhalation” [5].

Most of the meats at Subway contain MSG and/or sodium nitrite.


The chicken, the gravy, and even the rice all have monosodium glutamate added. Not surprisingly, the chicken in the salads also has MSG. For a healthy menu item, the House Side Salad without dressing has nothing more than iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, and tomatoes.

KFC claims 0g trans fat per serving for all their fried chicken. But The Extra Crispy Chicken, Colonel’s Crispy Strips, HBBQ Wings, Boneless HBBQ Wings, Fiery Buffalo Wings, and more have partially hydrogenated soybean oil listed in the ingredients. So if the trans fat content is below 0.5g per serving, they can round down to zero and claim zero grams per serving.

There you have it – in its chemical glory. Not so appetizing now, is it? I have a very hard time just smelling the greasy odors these places emit – there is no way I could eat at any of them now. Our daughter would love nothing more for us to succumb to the lure of the bright play areas and colorful containers but we have no plans to do that – ever.

Interesting facts about what they consider food! Head over to the Knowledge Sutra website – there are more restaurants listed!

Love, Me


Like Riding a Bike

I have obtained exercise gear. I have a bike!

It has been really interesting because I find myself looking at things differently than I ever have before. I used to see a bike as a big huge pain in the……you know. Not only did it mean I had to get off my butt and move around (which was hard enough) but now you wanted me to add balance, poise, concentration and no T.V? Ugh! It sounded horrible!

When we got our daughter her bike, she was thrilled and wanted to test her abilities with various speeds. I couldn’t keep up – I was walking! I barely ran and didn’t want to go too far. She clearly did!

So, now that we each have a bike, we travel our roads regularly. We examine nature, take photographs and explore things we wouldn’t normally stop and give a second thought to. We appreciate every thing in nature – even the gross stuff!

Yesterday, as we drove down the road and I semi-listened to my daughter as she continuously chattered without taking a breath (kind of like I just did there….did you catch that…?) – and I noticed something. I suddenly felt like I was ten years old at my grandmother’s cabin on the lake.

The perfect combination of lighting, girlie chatter, scents in the air and visuals (blinding sunshine, pine trees stretched to the clouds when you look up) – it was phenomenal. Of course, anyone else might look at me and think I was strange. I assure you I am! I love things like this – and lately, nature has been a great way for our daughter and I to spend time learning and laughing together!

When things like this happen to me, it is merely a reminder to be grateful and keep moving. I have come a long way, yet not as far as most – and I am proud. I love the reminiscence of memories, but refuse to dwell too long in the realm of them for fear of becoming lost or determined to remain within their confines. Wow – Charlie Sheen moment!

My point is that memories are great if they benefit you – make you want to be better than you currently are. If memories are negative or bad and we dwell on them, we become absorbed into our thoughts and do nothing else. We fail to move. We fail to act. We stand still. Anything is better than that!

Instead of focusing my thoughts on anything negative from my past (my present does not contain these types of memories and we all have junk we didn’t like growing up so get over it already) – I create as many new positive memories as I can now. I barely remember the bad and I definitely like it that way! Trauma, however, is something our bodies shut down from by itself. We must deal with trauma effectively, or it becomes the thing we cannot pass by to progress…..and we all must progress.

One bike ride – and all of that came up. Interesting! Ponder your memories awhile – see what you like and what you don’t. Face the ones you’re not that fond of and sweep them out of the back corner of your mind. It’s clutter and it isn’t helping you.

Remember one thing – for every perspective you have on an issue or event that occurred in your life, there will be others who may see it differently. The war should not begin by defending these memories and being correct in recall. Share, explore them and relate. Enjoy the banter but don’t use ego. Use love! That’s all it is about. It brings people closer, gives us information that we may be missing from how things truly were growing up and allows us to sweep it clean.

If there are those that refuse to ‘go there’ – forgive them. They are not ready to deal with your progress because they are standing still and that’s ok. Maybe one day they will approach you with the same thing. It will go far better then!

Discovering wellness and a healthy lifestyle after years of being obese and lazy is like getting back on the bike. You’ll catch on really fast and feel great.

Happy Saturday – we’re off for a bike ride!

Love, Me

The Saturday Snippet

from “1,001Facts That Will Scare the Sh** Out Of You” by Cary McNeal



This has to be one of the grossest best books I have read in a long time! It is stuffed full of tidbits of disgusting facts we really didn’t want to know.

Let me tell ya – it has helped me in my journey to avoid the bad foods and savor the good ones. This creepy book has a food section!

The reason I enjoy this book so much isn’t the horrid facts – it’s the writer’s comments after each fact. They crack me up!

Let me tease you with a sample….

Fact: Your body produces enough saliva during your lifetime to fill two swimming pools. Luckily, most swimming pools are already filled with saliva, so yours isn’t needed.

Fact:The Omlette Feast at International House of Pancakes contains 1,335 calories and 35 grams of fat. That one and a half times your recommended daily fat requirement and three times the suggested daily cholesterol intake. Hint: Avoid menu items that include the words feast, monster, explosion, blowout or eat-a-palooza.

Fact: The term ‘natural’ (or all natural) has no nutritional meaning and is not defined or regulated by the FDA, so packaged goods and restaurants can use the term at will. For example, fast food chain Arby’s claims to serve “100% all natural chicken” but uses artificial flavoring. Consumer food products, now made with 100% all natural bullshit!”

Fact: Vegetarians beware: many low-fat and non fat yoghurt contain gelatin, which is made from animal tendons, ligaments and bones. You’d think the crunching would give it away. It must be drowned out by the sound of all those vegetarians patting themselves on the back for being vegetarians.

Fact: Bottled drinking water has been marketed as being cleaner and more pure than ordinary tap water, but in a recent study, a third of bottled water showed significant chemical or bacterial contamination, including arsenic, nitrates, carcinogenic compounds and coliform bacteria. Probably the bottom third – that stuff tends to sink.

This is a new book every single time I pick it up! I’ll never memorize all of these whacky facts, but there are certainly those that I will not soon forget! I may post more slimy, scary facts another time – until then – enjoy your weekend!

Love, Me