How Chicken Nuggets Are Made

Jamie Oliver did an experiment for his Food Revolution in which he shows children how their beloved chicken nuggets are actually made, hoping to sufficiently gross them out and help them to choose differently once they know the truth. Sadly, the American children were still happy to eat the monstrosity he created. In contrast, the British children he’d practiced on previously were unwilling to eat once they knew the truth. Maybe the fluoride in our water and the drugs for the ADHD have made our children so completely stupid that they cannot make good choices. Pathetic. Watch for yourself to have an idea how these nuggets get made; it’s interesting, in a disgusting sort of way.

What difference does it make what you eat? Parts is parts, after all. Right?

And, now for some writing.  This article explains exactly how those things are made, at the end is a recipe for making your own healthier nuggets. I’m not sure I’d use the cornflakes, but whole wheat breadcrumbs would work fine.

Chicken Nuggets
By Leanne Ely, C.N.C.

Admittedly, it doesn’t take much to get my nutritional feathers ruffled. I’ve seen a lot of things that have made me crazy over the years and you’ve heard me harp on them—from “healthy” whole wheat donuts to artificial sweeteners, Olestra and acrylimide. I’ve sang the siren’s song about good nutrition and what I believe too, to be common sense nutrition. Why would we drink something, in the name of quenching our thirst, that looks like toilet bowl cleaner or antifreeze?

Anyway, today I stop singing and start sounding the alarm. We absolutely must stop the madness that is fast food. We absolutely must stop the madness and the obesity and the rise in degenerative diseases. We are raising an unhealthy generation because we feed this junk to our kids! PLEASE STOP!

I know there are attempts at some fast food places to do better. As Oprah says, “When you know better, you do better.” Well, today you are going to know better about chicken nuggets, because today, I am going to tell you all I know about them.

First, McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets contain 38 ingredients. Yes, THIRTY EIGHT ingredients! Some of those ingredients are things you wouldn’t give to your DOG. Some of those things, you could use to start a fire—well, almost. Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) is a derivative of petroleum that is sprayed on the nugget or in the box that holds the nugget to keep it fresh. TBHQ is also a derivative of butane, also known as lighter fluid. It is furthermore a suspected carcinogen—cancer-causing agent.

The batter is set in shortening (hydrogenated oils) and in turn, it is cooked in partially hydrogenated oils at the restaurant. Some of the additives in there are antifoaming agents, emulsifiers, leavening agents, preservatives, fillers and binders. Sounds yummy, doesn’t it? Something you’d want to feed your kids?

The nuggets themselves contain 53% chicken. You wanna know what that 53% chicken is? I promise you it isn’t nice white chicken breasts! If you find those nuggets spongy and watery it’s because the chicken meat and skin is ground into a slurry, binders and fillers are added, plus lots of water, then formed into neat little nuggets.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ILL. Why do we manufacture stuff like this and then call it food? Where’s the value in it?

Please, for the children’s sake and for your own health’s sake, let’s stop this craziness with the food. It’s time to get back to basics and only eat food that is 100% identifiable. If you don’t know exactly what went into what you’re eating, you’re making a mistake. Our bodies do not need to contend with more pollution than what is already in our environment.

Here’s a quick and easy alternative to chicken nuggets:

Crunchy Honey Mustard Chicken Fingers
Serves 4

1 pound chicken tenders
1/4 cup honey, warmed
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup corn flakes, crushed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

In a small bowl, mix mustard and honey together. In another bowl, place the crushed corn flakes.

In assembly line fashion, dip the chicken tender in the mustard mixture, then roll in the corn flakes and place on the cooked sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes, or when cooked through

Copyright (C) 2010 www.savingdinner.com Leanne Ely, CNC All rights reserved

Our First Week: Adventures in Detoxing

Well, we’ve made it through our first week of our Family Natural Detox. And we’re all fine.  Hubby is doing a much more intense detox than the kids and I are and he’ll have to speak for himself-maybe he’ll write a post of his own–but the rest of us are well. Our 6 year old (the one who was recently in the hospital with pneumonia) was the only one who seems to have experienced detox-related symptoms. The first night, he started with a stuffy nose, the next day a cough, and by that second night he was up wheezing and all croupy. His cough was strong and continued like that for 2 days (steam really helped him), and then it began to let up. I know he has some weakness in his lungs, and I am hopeful that the detox is helping that work itself out.

Although I had planned to serve cooked dinners during the first week, I managed to avoid that and we have stayed raw until today. I know that we will get more out of the detox by doing that. However, the kids need more calories and fat; although I’m trying to give them lots of nuts, I can tell it’s not enough. So, I’ll begin the first week’s meal plan now. Of course, I’m still including plenty of raw and focusing on good food combining.

The Stink Factor

As you know, we’re doing a detox program in our family.(Click here to read all our posts on our detox)

I geared up mentally for the raw food that we’ve been eating all week. I got the kids prepared. I got excited to see the changes in health for my son with the lung issues, for my son with the skin issues and the general crankiness and sleeping trouble. I was totally psyched for these darn parasites to leave us.

And, of course, if I’m going to try to get the toxins OUT of me, I want to do what I can to avoid putting them INTO me.  Unfortunately, I did not consider what that would mean when it was time to get dressed in the morning, and I reach for my anti-perspirant and……WHOOPS.

That’s right. I still use anti-perspirant. And I’ve been thinking about quitting. But, I was NOT planning to quit in the middle of the summer!

In case you are wondering why I’d stop using anti-perspirant, it’s mostly because of the aluminum. Aluminum is toxic stuff that’s been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease and other brain disorders.

Katie at the Simple Organic had a natural deoderant challenge a little while back. It intrigued me.  She even had a follow up with good news that was encouraging; I was definitely inspired to try it myself. Next winter.

Umm….enter the detox time. I was NOT prepared for this. So, although I would like to try making my own deoderant, I just have too much on my plate right now. So, I’ve been using a generic version of Gold Bond Medicated Body Powder. I’ve been putting it on in the morning, and again in the afternoon. It’s not too bad. It does have talc in it, which is also not without problems. But, it’s better than the aluminum, and it’s doing the job.

Have you ever considered going natural on the stink prevention? What’s your situation?

Our Detox Plan

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

We’re doing a family-wide 21 day detox beginning Monday, August 15th.

Here’s Our Plan:

The 3 older children (ages 7,6, &4) and I will use the Basic Kit Daily “Detox Coctail” available from WellWithU. They are supplements that boost our available and active antioxidants and supports the liver (which is our body’s natural detoxifying organ).  It is safe,  natural,  and easy. My husband will be using different supplements for a more intense detox, lasting 21 days.  The two younger children (ages 2 1/2 and 12 months) will share the almost completely raw diet, but not take the supplements.

All of us will eat an extremely clean diet  for the same 21 days (three weeks), consisting of mostly live foods. Our meals will look something like this (I’ll post a more specific meal plan soon):

Breakfast: Fruit & nut smoothies with some greens thrown in

Lunch: Fresh vegetable juice, mostly green. Raw nuts, etc for the kids for added fat and protein, added calories

Dinner: Salad plus some kind of cooked whole grain/beans/soup. My husband will continue with raw, mostly juicing.

Snacks: any kind of fresh fruit, nuts, seeds.Possibly dried fruit, but limited due to high sugar content. I’ll be experimenting with my dehydrator, making “chips” and granola bars, etc.

Drinks: WATER. Lots of it.

Absolutely NO processed sugar, caffeine, meat, dairy, alcohol, or white, bleached grain.

Why are we doing this again? Well, read Our Poisoned Planet is Poisoning US for the why and A Different Kind of Body Clutter for the challenge. YOU can join us on any level!

Upcoming: Meet our family and know our health struggles. Read how I hope our health is impacted by this detox.

A Different Kind Of Body Clutter

I recently shared that we live on a poisoned planet, and the environment plus our living habits (especially our diets) are slowly poisoning US. Adding a yuck factor to our bodies that leave us feeling sluggish,  and generally unwell, and are actually beginning disease processes that we may not find out about for years.

So, what can we do about this?

In Flylady terms, we need to declutter. We already know about clutter in our houses. It just grows and grows as we bring it in, and ends up preventing us from enjoying our homes.  I’ve also heard the Flylady refer to two different types of body clutter: excess weight and clutter between your ears, or “stinkin’ thinkin‘ ”

I suggest that there is another type of Body Clutter: Toxins. They’re not just theoretical; they’re very real. And to make your body work right so that you can feel well and enjoy your life better, you need to get them out. You need to declutter. You need to DETOX.

Sounds like a huge big deal that’s only for health nuts, right? Well, it might sound that way, but it’s not. It’s actually very easy to do, and you can do it too, just by taking some babysteps.

How do you know if you need to detox?

Do you:

  • *get headaches (they may be common, but they’re not normal!)
  • *feel tired even when you’ve gotten what should be enough sleep
  • *get “indigestion” (constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, heartburn, etc.)
  • *have allergies
  • *get sick more than a couple of times a year
  • *have a general feeling of blah for no apparent reason
  • *live on the same poisoned planet that I do 🙂

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then read on. Steps to declutter your toxins are coming up.

My entire family and I are going to do a detox program beginning next week (August 15) for 21 days.  It will involve taking certain supplements (that are completely natural and safe for us all-even the little guys) and modifying our diets to assist our bodies to do what they already know how to do: take out the garbage. I’ll share more details  of our plans in an upcoming post.

But what about YOU? Do you feel that maybe, just maybe, you could use a little bit of “body de-cluttering?” Even without taking supplements, you could make great changes.

Detoxing is not an “all or nothing” kind of thing. Any little step you take will help you.

Commit to ONE of these for three weeks beginning on August 15, 2010:

  1. Say NO to soda and/or coffee, and drink ONLY WATER.  Leanne Ely of Saving Dinner posted a great “No Soda for Me” essay on her Facebook page. If you still don’t believe that soda’s bad for you, read my post on What Happens To Your Body Within An Hour of Drinking a Coke. Note: “drinking water”  means drinking 1/2 your body weight in ounces of WATER each day (not juice, crystal light, or anything else.
  2. Say NO to artificial sweeteners, MSG, and/or high fructose corn syrup. You can read my post on Aspartame’s New Name and why corn syrup is NOT a sweet surprise.
  3. Say NO to processed grains. This means only WHOLE wheat bread, pasta, whole grain rice.  For more info on why whole wheat is important, see Is Wonderbread Making You Sterile?
  4. Say NO to meat of any kind more than 3 times total in one week. Or cut it down to once. Or not at all. In other words, how ever much meat you are eating now, eat much LESS of it. Wondering what you’ll serve for dinner? Check out some of my non-meat recipes including beans.
  5. Say NO to dairy. Or cut it down dramatically. Whatever would be a big change for you; none is best if you want to be able to see how you feel without it. Why? Read my post on milk and how to get your calcium from other places. And don’t forget: you can make your own almond milk anytime!
  6. Say NO to processed sugar. This includes white and brown sugar and also honey if it’s pasteurized. What does that leave you with? Raw honey, sucanat, or stevia. Dried dates and raisins can be used to sweeten, but try getting along without indulging that sweet tooth. And yes…this means no chocolate! Unless you can get chocolate without sugar. If so, then go for it! 🙂
  7. Say NO to animal products. In other words, go vegan. Avoid all meats, milk/cheese and eggs. Eat only things that might have been growing in the Garden of Eden, hopefully in a form close to their original.
  8. Say NO to cooked foods. Go for LIVE foods that still have their enzymes in them. If you do this, your body will absolutely jump for joy, and the level of healing and detoxing it can accomplish will soar.  I’ve mentioned going more raw in these posts: When Your Child Is Unwell: Attitudes Toward Illness and Sick And Tired of Feeling Sick And Tired. If going completely raw is not something you’d consider, try it for two or at least one meal each day.

Do any ONE of these for 21 days (3 weeks), and you will notice changes!

Choose the one that works for YOU.

I can’t wait to see how great our family feels after our detox. Join us.

Make a commitment to ONE of the above choices for 3 weeks. Which one is right for you? Leave a comment. Accountability is very powerful, and I’d love for us to share this journey together.



Unwanted Guests

Ever had an unwanted guest?

A few years ago we experienced the thrills of head lice. Boy, that was a hassle. Thankfully, it didn’t scar my 3 little boys too much to get a buzz cut, and I had a good friend who was willing to comb out my hair for me. Many times. But, what a hassle! Now we use rosemary oil regularly to help keep them away. It seems to work.

Last year at this time we were a little negligent lax about treating our dogs for ticks. We thought that as long as we checked them regularly and removed the ticks, that was good enough. Well, we discovered that ticks just LOOOVE to replicate in the house, and boy, are they good at it. A tick infestation is NOT a fun thing to deal with.  This spring, we did not take any chances, and have treated them with the chemicals. And, it seems to be working.

This year, we have a new unwanted guest. It’s a nasty one called Enterobius Vermicularis. Also known as Pinworm. Oh, if you don’t know about pinworm, let me enlighten you. Warning: it’s disgusting.

First, someone, presumably your young child (I’ve had 3 in and out of preschool, kindergarten, and first grade in the past 2 years) touches something that has a microscopic worm egg on it, probably at school, and puts his hand in his mouth. The egg is swallowed, and then hatches in your child’s intestine where it enjoys a nice warm place to sleep and food consumed by the child. When it’s ready, the female worm (which is very tiny, only about 8 mm long) lays eggs. Oh, this is the good part: it comes out your child’s rear end while he is sleeping and lays eggs around there. Tiny, microscopic eggs. The eggs are attached by sticky stuff that itches, so your child scratches, getting the eggs under his fingernails. And guess where the eggs go then? You got it: back in the mouth. Unless, of course, your child goes and touches ANYTHING ELSE IN THE HOUSE, like toys, etc, and then those eggs don’t go back in his mouth, oh no. They wait until someone else in the house touches that thing and gets to have the eggs for himself, sharing the love.

I know, you’re thinking THIS IS DISGUSTING! And you’re absolutely right. Want some more good news? Pinworms are EXTREMELY COMMON, and there’s a good chance that your children have them too. People often don’t experience symptoms, and they’re very hard to test for. You basically need to see one, which is tough to do.

Standard treatment is to take some nasty chemical pesticide, and treat everyone in the whole family at the same time with said nasty chemical.  We’ve tried the pesticide, but didn’t want to give something so toxic to those we weren’t sure had it. So, we probably have had this infection for ???? long without knowing it.

The good news, is now we know it. I’ve confirmed pinworms on 4 of the 5 children. I must assume that the 5th child and both my husband and I have it as well so that we can be serious about treatment. But what kind of treatment can we do without poisoning everyone? I’m not about to give that stuff to my 12 month old!

Well, we were able to get some all natural anti-parasite supplements that are safe for everyone. We are also taking apple cider vinegar, garlic, and cloves as much as I have time and creativity to prepare. And, we’re gearing up for a family detox starting next week that will leave our intestines so squeaky clean that those guys won’t even want to be there.

And as far as getting rid of the eggs….that’s the tricky part. I’m doing a LOT of laundry (sheets & towels, as often as possible), a LOT of vacuuming, and a LOT of toy washing. Yep, washing Every.Little.Toy. Sound like fun? Ha.

At least our play room will be in order by the time we’re done!

And about unwanted guests: watch this!

You can even watch the whole movie on YouTube. Here’s the link. I think I might need to watch it tonight!

Have you ever experienced a parasite? At least fleas? I know I’m not alone. Share your disgusting story here!

Our Poisoned Planet is Poisoning US!

We live on a poisoned planet. The air we breathe is full of automobile and manufacturing emissions. The water we drink and bathe in is chlorinated and fluoridated, and the toxins from the plastics all around us are harming us. And that’s just the beginning.

Depressing, yes. But the reality is that even if we eat perfectly healthful diets  (which I don’t), our bodies get toxic. Toxic, as in, poisoned…to a degree. That’s because lots of the stuff that goes into us (like from plastics, for example) our bodies can’t get rid of. They just were not created to deal with these unnatural things. So, our bodies store them, locked away. But they’re not truly locked away, no. They cause our bodies to develop dis-ease.  To not function right. To not feel well.

Do you feel well? Do you have as much energy as you should?

I have an electric teapot. It boils water very quickly. Comes in handy. I also have very hard mineral containing tap water. (It’s less when I use my filtered water, but it’s still there. And I’m making a point here so don’t get on me for advising folks to drink tap water! ) After several days of use, the teapot gets a hard white film on the bottom of it. I can swish some of it away, but if I don’t do anything about it, it will continue to grow. Until one day I heat up water for some herbal tea, pour it in my cup, and see gross flakes of white stuff floating around. Yuck.

So, I need to clean that stuff off. Break it up, dissolve it. I pour some white vinegar on it and let it sit for an hour and presto! It’s gone. Just like that. Of course, it will build up again, but I know how to clean it.

The same idea goes for many things. Decluttering your house, cleaning your kitchen, detoxifying your body.  If you want to have a house you enjoy, a kitchen without bugs, and a body that feels good and works well, you must clean them up and maintain them.

My body needs to be decluttered. In other words, it’s time for a detox. Our whole family, in fact, could use one, and it’s time. I mentioned this in my post: Sick And Tired of Feeling Sick And Tired, written quite a while ago. Now we’re getting serious. In fact, we will begin our family detox program next Monday, August 15. Would you like to join us?

If you would like to know more about why and how to detox, WellWithU has a wonderful 5 part webinar series on Environmental Detox available on their website.

So, I’m making a plan for our family to detox. I’ll include details in an upcoming post of what exactly we will do.

And if you’re interested in joining in, in decluttering your body of toxins, we’d love to have you join us. I’ll give you some ideas of things you can do, some babysteps you can take toward a healthier you.

Think about it….

When Your Child Is Unwell: Attitudes Toward Illness

As some of you may have read on FamilyNatural’s Facebook Page, my 6 year old son was recently hospitalized with pneumonia.  And, thankfully, he is doing much better.  There are just so many aspects of the situation that I’d like to share; I’ll just start with first things first.

A little background: In case you don’t know me personally and can’t tell from reading this blog, I don’t have any warm fuzzy feelings toward the practices of “modern” medicine.  I believe that our bodies are made to be healthy, and created to be able to heal themselves as long as they have no interference. In other words, if we get rid of the garbage in our bodies and treat them right, they know what to do and usually need no help. Furthermore, I believe that most medical intervention (in the form of drugs) are not only unnecessary, but extremely harmful to the body, and actually create many and more severe problems than the symptom they were taken to mask.

So, what happens when someone in our family is unwell? (Notice I didn’t say “gets sick”….I do not believe that sickness is something that one “catches” or “gets”, but rather that the body develops) First, I’ll tell you what doesn’t happen. What doesn’t happen is any worry or fear. My (and my husband’s) attitude is: your body knows what it needs to do and it is doing it for a reason, even if I don’t know what that need is or understand the reason. My body was created with an inner wisdom, an innate intelligence far greater than my own. I respect it immensely.

The body needs to use its energy to do whatever healing or repairing needed. I don’t want to take that needed energy away from that work and force the body to use it for other unnecessary things.  Did you know that one third of the body’s energy is used just for digestion? ONE THIRD!!! The best way to accelerate healing is through fasting. By fasting, I mean eating no food, but drinking plenty of water and resting. So, if possible, we fast.

Not into fasting? Or can’t imagine having a child do such a thing? That’s OK. You can still help the body to use its energy more efficiently by eating only RAW foods while healing. Fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. Water. Nothing else (food wise–I do give/have supplements such as echincea, vitamin C, etc.) until symptoms are gone. Raw foods include the enzymes necessary for digestion and therefore require much less work from your body. That’s a good thing when you want to conserve energy so that it can be used for more important things. I wrote a post on including more raw foods in our diets for healing; you can read it here.

What about fever reducers? Cough suppressants? Pain killers? Decongestants? Antibiotics?  It’s best to avoid them completely.  Not only are the chemicals toxic to the body even under normal conditions, but during healing time they would be even more disruptive, giving the body extra work to deal with.  Those symptoms serve a purpose, and the drugs usually hinder, not help the body to heal

I am thankful for my education in chiropractic; through my four years of school I gained a great deal of knowledge that has been extremely helpful toward raising my family through more natural means. Fortunately, we all have access now (mostly through the internet) to information that gives us the power to take responsibility for the health of our families.  Your medical doctor most certainly has knowledge that you don’t. But that doesn’t mean that he/she is wiser.

A resource I highly recommend for every family is the book How To Raise A Healthy Child In Spite Of Your Doctor, by Robert Mendelsohn, MD.  It’s written by a pediatrician, so he knows common medical practice and also has had plenty of experience. It comes in handy when you’d like a reminder of what to look for to decide if your child actually needs a doctor visit, or if you can handle it at home. Even with my health education, I have referred to this book many times over the years, and it truly does empower the parent to make educated decisions for the child’s health.  My second child experienced febrile convulsions twice, and thanks to the book, I was able to keep myself together (though they were indeed scary) with the knowledge that my child was not in any actual danger.

I’ll share more about my son’s hospital experience in some of the posts to come. I’m thankful that he got helped. And I’m also thankful that I have the knowledge and ability to help his body recover from the help that he got (yes, his body needs to be cleaned up from all the chemicals that were put into him), now that he’s home.

Concerned About Whooping Cough?

Within the past few days, I have heard mention on three different occasions of the most recent (current)Whooping Cough outbreak. All of them pointed fingers at those “parents who refuse to vaccinate their children” and those “adults who refuse to be vaccinated” Although my heart goes out to those whose children have died, pointing fingers is not the answer.

Barbara Loe Fisher, founder of the National Vaccine Information Center gives a video commentary on this most recent outbreak of Whooping Cough.