Tag Archive: McDonald’s


No More Caramel Sauce

Do you ever find yourself getting irrationally angry about something that shouldn’t be a big deal?

I have and recently it has been about food. Let me preface that it is not about moms dealing with food allergies, even when it takes me out of my usual routines. I understand where they are coming from, that it is a life or death situation some days when a kid comes into contact with an allergen.

It is about this war on obesity. I understand the big deal about teaching people to eat right. I understand that the president’s wife wants us to move more and eat healthy, that kids need to learn that lesson as well.

But what gets me sick are these food nazis who decide we have to follow their rules. Therefore, McDonald’s Happy Meals now have both, french fries and apple slices, in them. What a waste. Little kids have space for only so much food and fries will be eaten first. Then the kid is going to say “I’m full” with the apple bag going straight to the garbage.

You want to know the worst part? Caramel is not handed out with the apple slices. This last week when the kids had a day off from school (teacher conferences), the husband made the trip for lunch. The kids received their apple slices and employees checked to see if there was any caramel packets hanging around.

Image from AmericanSweets.co.uk

You know what is going to happen. Mom is going to stop at the store, buy some caramel sauce and bring it home for the kids. The amount that will be poured out – especially by the kids – will be more than the small container we used to be able to get from McDonald’s. I am sure that is what those ‘nutritional’ experts were looking to happen.

Another thing that got me going about these food police idiots (hey, it is my blog and I get to put down people as I see fit) are the ones who have decided that they want to tax each ounce of sugared-added drinks sold in the state of Illinois. The radio interview I listened to really set me off when this woman would not answer a question about what brand of juice exactly might this tax refer. Then she talked about how diet and lite drinks would be excluded from this tax.

So drinks using artificial sugar are better for us than drinks with real sugar? And is she aware that apple juice has the same amount of sugar as most sodas?  This make me wonder if we should not just tax those bags of sugar they sell in the baking aisle. I mean, you can’t make unsweetened kool-aid without them and who wants to face their morning oatmeal without brown sugar.

But seriously, when is enough, quite simply, enough? When are we going to learn that we cannot – or perhaps should not – legislate food choices. It is one thing when we tax cigarettes and alcohol to the nth degree because the proof is undeniable that these two items are a direct link to death. The Marlboro Man and MADD have proven that.

There are many, many books out there telling those of us who diet that soda is liquid Satan. There are tons of articles telling us to eat our fruit, don’t drink our fruit. We have the First Lady planting a garden in the White House lawn, showing how to get your own fresh veggies in your back yard. There are the milk ads and the new dietary symbol and Dr. Oz telling us all of the good food options.

However, until a two liter soda costs much more than a 2-quart bottle of apple juice, people won’t care.  The cheap brand of soda in my store costs .79. The cheap apple juice costs $2.00. Bag of apples run between $2.99 (cheapest) to $4.99. Ore Ida frozen french fried potatoes stick around $3.19.

Price does matter but so do other factors. Such as those artificial sweeteners are not good for you either. Such as carbonation is not good on a daily basis. Such as it would be better to drink Snapple or Arizona teas any day rather than soda. That you cannot control everything that people in this world will eat or drink.

Food is such a basic visceral need. Why we eat what we eat has so many reasons behind it. Some foods are comforting, some foods bring back family memories. Some just taste good and we enjoy them. No one has an ice cream binge for the joy of it, that is always a way to chase away sadness.

Image by Clarita

When groups start to try to regulate consumption by taxation, you make people surly and angry. One of them might decide to follow you around to see what you eat and drink all day. I wonder what we would see…

New Year, New You?

I have seen you skulking around, checking out some of my weight-loss and food-issue  posts.

Picture by Cohdra

It is a new year and you want that one secret to losing weight, the one secret to losing that tummy. You want to know it because you want to use it. You might have even sat through at least one of those infomercials on the web hoping to hear it.

 I can share a few things with you about my journey of weight loss.

 I topped the scales at 220 pounds although I lied to myself and said I was 210. The clue should have been my waistline which expanded to 48 inches. My waist was bigger than my boobs. My favorite pieces of clothing were not fitting.

 So I did the hard stuff.

I started changing my diet, making sure I ate at least one piece of fresh fruit daily. I made sure to fit some sort of veggie in as well. About this time I gave up soda except for Pizza Night and replaced it with ice tea. Plus, I started drinking more water. McDonald’s stopped being a regular meal place.

Mad Woman, Picture by Mantasmagorical

But the thing that helped most in the last year was losing my job. The work was great; I enjoyed learning and getting better every month. What I hated was my boss, a scattered brain micro-manager who worked to make everyone’s life miserable. When I hear of her these days, I feel sorry for my old boss. She will always be the evil person she is now and feels she does not need to make any changes.

Leaving that toxic situation allowed me some other changes. Like being able to sleep at night. Newer studies are showing that getting your needed amount of sleep helps your body do the work it needs to do.

 Another big change was being able to relax. While I still worry about doing good work at my current job, it doesn’t wear on me like it did at my last job. Plus, my family reports enjoying being around me once again. I am calmer, happier, not ready to jump at every wrong happening in the house.

 I no longer mentally prepare myself for dealing with a stubborn mule who did not believe in communication and treated any brainstorming meeting with me as wasted time. I mean, who wants to take the time to think of ways to improve your product? (yep, still bitter)

 One of the biggest changes was adding in exercise so I could speed up my metabolism and work off the fatty foods I love eating. A 75-pound black Labrador pulling you along for a walk requires energy to keep up.

Picture by Alvimann

 The other big change is no longer stopping off at McDonald’s every other day for a three pack of chocolate chip cookies and a huge sweet tea. Or stopping off at the gas station for a candy bar or a Little Debbie’s snack and can of Arizona Sweet Tea. I no longer require as much comfort food as I have in the past. 

The short of the long is to really get that weight off, I had to leave a toxic situation. Maybe that is not your situation. But if you actually hope to lose weight, you have to work at it. It requires making lifestyle changes in your diet and exercise routines.

 That is what it took for me to lose nearly 30 pounds. That is what it took for my waist to measure just under 42 inches. No whey powder, no yucky shakes or diet pills. There is no magic formula that will keep it off once you lose it other than that.

Picture by Xandert

If that is what you are ready to do, jump on my wagon and let’s see how far you can go.

What are you willing to do to finally lose the weight?

Monsters Inc., toy; picture by Llaboo

When you go to a fast food restaurant, do you really think your kid is more interested in the greasy burger than the toy?

I know what my kids are looking for and the food is just an added benefit. At some point I made the rule that food must be eaten before the toy would even be opened.

A few months back the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington D.C. consumer group, threatened to sue McDonald’s in order to make them stop putting toys in the Happy Meals. Now the city of San Francisco wants to get in the act by banning the toys in kids meals unless the meal meets more stringent nutritional and sodium levels.

I know that childhood obesity is a problem. And I know people are looking for solutions all over the place. But let me ask this. Was anyone paying attention to home economic classes when they were talking abut the food pyramid? All those years that Richard Simmons was telling us to exercise to the oldies, did anyone get up and do it?

When McDonald’s started offering apple dippers and different drinks other than soda, was I the only one paying attention? I have often made laundry list orders that had chicken nuggets, apple slices and apple juice as our choice. Chocolate milk as a choice? Great! My daughter, who is not a fan of soda, was very relieved that now her choices included milk or apple juice or lemonade.

Are we getting to the point that we have to regulate everything? There are people who eat nothing but fast food. But does that mean the rest of us have to be penalized? We are not able to outlaw stupidity so we need to force regulate good food choices instead?

All this because people have forgotten that if you want to eat meals that have the required caloric amount of a whole day at one setting you must get up and exercise. You must get away from the TV or game boy or computer and move.

Here is an idea. Let’s ban TVs and nintendo and gameboys. Add on home computers and blackberries. Regulate that people have to move at least one hour a day, every day. Lets put timers on these devices and when a person has spent an hour at one setting, the device will automatically shut-down – forcing that person to move on to something else. An alarm will sound until they go outside and move around a bit.

That’s right, force people to exercise. Force people to get off their butts and move. While we are at it, let’s make a law that parking at shopping malls must be at least a quarter of a mile from the closest doors. That way people will walk at least a half a mile whenever they go to the mall.

Picture by Cohdra

Then let’s remove escalators, moving sidewalks and elevators. Let’s do whatever it takes to get people healthier and those are some simple fixes. Just like when McDonald’s stopped using lard to fry those French fries because vegetable oil was supposed to be healthier for us.

How’s that working out?