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Do you know what's in your chicken nugget?

Frying chicken is fairly simple, if a little messy. You dip pieces of chicken into a mix of egg and milk, roll them around in flour and spices, then cook the chicken in sizzling hot oil until the pieces are brown, crispy and delicious.

But wait! Don’t forget to add a dash of dimethylpolysiloxane, an anti-foaming agent made of silicone that is also used in Silly Putty and cosmetics.

Now add a heaping spoonful of tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), which is a chemical preservative and a form of butane (AKA lighter fluid). One gram of TBHQ can cause “nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse," according to A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives. Five grams of TBHQ can kill you.

Sprinkle on thirteen other corn-derived ingredients, and you're only about twenty shy as many ingredients as a single chicken nugget from McDonald’s. And you were using pulverized chicken skin and mechanically reclaimed meat for your chicken, right?

No one in his or her right mind would cook chicken like this. Yet every day, hoards of Americans consume these ingredients in Chicken McNuggets, which McDonalds claims are “made with white meat, wrapped up in a crisp tempura batter.”

However chicken only accounts for about 50% of a Chicken McNugget. The other 50% includes a large percentage of corn derivatives, sugars, leavening agents and other completely synthetic ingredients, meaning that parts of the nugget do not come from a field or farm at all. They come from a petroleum plant. Hungry?

Scariest perhaps is the fact that this recipe is a new and improved, “healthier” Chicken McNugget launched in 2003 after a federal judge called the deep-fried poultry bites “a McFrankenstein creation of various elements not utilized by the home cook.” Also terrifying is the fact that these McFrankenuggets are overwhelmingly marketed to children who love their fun shapes and kid-friendly size.

While McDonald’s is of course the poster child for fast food ire, if you look at the nutritional information for chicken at any fast food restaurant, the ingredient list will be dozens of items longer than the egg, flour, chicken and oil recipe you might use at home.

Eating fast food is a habit, but it is one that you can break? No doubt you rarely plan to have a delicious meal at Arby’s for dinner, a lingering lunch at Carl’s Jr. or a special breakfast at the Burger King in the airport. It just happens. You are late, tired, hungry, broke, or all of the above. You have no time, and you must find something to eat before you crash. All of a sudden a bright, friendly sign beckons from the side of the road: Drive-through!

In five minutes you are happily chowing down on an inexpensive, filling meal. But don’t be fooled – the true cost of fast food does not come out of your wallet, but out of your body, your health, and your years on this earth.

You can break the unhealthy fast food habit: educate yourself about the true ingredients of fast food items, plan ahead for your meals, carry healthy snacks like nuts to ward off hunger and cook healthy chicken recipes at home. Convince yourself that fast food is the most disgusting stuff on the planet and is harmful to you and to those you love. After reading this, that shouldn’t be too hard.

Full ingredient list for a Chicken McNugget (from McDonald’s website):

White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning (autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid, rosemary), sodium phosphates, seasoning (canola oil, mono- and diglycerides, extractives of rosemary). Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, whey, corn starch. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.

Full ingredient list for fried chicken:

Bone-in chicken pieces, egg, milk, flour, canola oil, salt & pepper.

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Do Life Movement!

Yesterday we had Ben Davis from the Do Life Movement here in Portland. We ran the 5k with him and a group of over 60 people who got together for this event. The weather was perfect, we had a great time, meet some really cool people and enjoyed exercising outside in that beautiful waterfront area.

Ben announced they are almost reaching with one more city to go, 1500 participants so far on this 31 cities tour. The track how many pounds people that ran have lost and the number is pretty amazing... over 29,000 pounds!

We hope Ben and his dad return again to Portland soon. Maybe January 2012?, maybe I heard wrong... :-)

Take a look at the pictures from the event by clicking here!

Down below you can watch part of the brief talk from Ben right before the run. These events are pretty informal and relaxed but fun! On, Wednesday 27th, the Do Life group did the last event of this epic tour, closing in Seattle, WA. There were about 80 people running with Ben around Green Lake.

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Lose-It's Million Person Milestone

Lose it BadgeRecently, the "lose-It' weight loss application and website celebrated it one-millionth user. The folks at Lose-It initially released the application back in 2008 with a desire to help people lose weight and live healthier lifestyles using new technologies. The extremely popular iPhone application has been downloaded more than 6 million times, and the last upgrade was installed by more than 2 million users!

The Lose-It app has some pretty impressive statistics to show off after only 3 years on the market. Besides having one million registered users, people using this app have logged more than 300 million different foods -- worth an average of 750,000 foods being logged in a typical day.

But perhaps the most impressive fact to date is the total pounds lost by the Lose-it Community. To date, people using the Lose-it app have lost a staggering 3.5 million pounds.

With the app going strong and the companion website (added in 2009) handling thousands of queries each minute, Lose-It is poised to continue it's quest to help people shed unwanted pounds. If you are not already using this amazing app (or the companion website), click on the Lose-It link on the front page of OregonHealthyLife.com and start logging!

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When driving 300 miles to run 3 makes sense...

Ben Davis Group shot This past Friday evening my wife, two kids and myself started a long 165 mile trip up to Seattle to run a 5K with some friends. The "friends" that I speak of are people we had yet to meet, but we knew they would be there, as excited to run in this 5K as we were.  Some of the people who attended where first time runners, while others were experienced and had logged a few more miles, but we all shared the same passion.
We decided to take this long journey because of Ben Davis. As you may recall, we interviewed Ben a few weeks ago on OregonHealthyLife.com, about his amazing weight loss and dedication and love of running, specifically running road races like this one in Seattle. The interview with Ben really showed us anyone can achieve a set of goals, no matter how impossible or far off they seem.

Running with Friends


Ben had mentioned towards the end of the interview that he was planning an upcoming 5K race in Seattle as sort of a "test" run. Ben wanted to see if he could organize a small, informal 5K run / walk, with people who are following him on his site 'BenDoesLife.com'. This "test" event would be a trial run for his upcoming 31 city tour across the United States. Ben's goal this summer is to meet with people and share his passion for running, exercise, and living a healthier lifestyle.
Map of tour

The Seattle 5K, was a mix between a race and a walk, lasted a little over a half an hour, and included a lot of chatting, encouragement and fun. Ben ran the first half of the course, stopping and encouraging people along the way, then stopped and waited for everyone to reach the half-way point. Ben, knowing what it was like to be a first time runner and the effort it takes, made sure to wait for, and accompany the last group of participants, offering them all his Do Life Calendar support and cheering them on to the finish line. It was a fantastic experience, and it was great to meet such a young guy with so much energy, charisma, and willingness to help others succeed.


I'm so glad we made the trip up there and the 300 mile round trip to participate in such a fun, inspiring 5k event and ha Do Life Stickers d the chance to meet Ben Davis. He is truly an genuine and inspirational guy on many levels.


We here at OregonHealthyLife.com are excited and looking forward to Ben's Portland visit and 5K race, happening July 26th, 2011. As the date gets closer we will post additional information about times, location and ways to participate. Stay tuned and start training!

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