Booo....My favorite fast food is NOT vegetarian and I never knew!

Okay, if you are keeping up with the blog, you know that I am all about getting real and organic with my family's food. The bigger part of my family's mission is to  be realistic while living an organic lifestyle. I will never commit to saying absolutely NO to things like fast food, family gatherings, and dinner with friends. Living a healthier lifestyle is JUST like a diet...if it isn't something you can do long term and commit to....then it is never going to work. Allowing for some non-organic meals without beating yourself up will help you stick with a newer healthier living plan!

One thing that I THOUGHT I was committing to was my vegetarian diet. I have been a vegetarian for almost 6 years and have never intentionally broken. No cheeseburger has looked good enough nor has a chicken finger looked dunkable enough to break. Well, I am sad to say that I was unknowingly cheating! I thought I had mastered this whole vegetarian thing but sadly, I was being tricked!

If you want a quick read of 10 things you only THOUGHT were here! Also, here is another list just in case you are inviting a vegetarian to dinner!

As someone who tries to stay "in the know" on foods....I read a lot of blogs and reports and I will admit that many are bologna. There are so many conspiracy bloggers out there who are trying to make food sound like the devil or maybe mislead you in one way or another. I skim past those ones and go to the people who are not trying to scare you but inform you. Well, this leads me to what I am considering "THE ULTIMATE DECEPTION"....My favorite French fries from a well known fast food joint are NOT VEGETARIAN!!!!

I could not believe it when I first read it. So I skimmed past and moved on with life continuing to indulge in a large fry every few weeks. Yesterday, all of that changed. I actually tasted beef when I ate a fry so I decided to go straight to the source. I went directly to the company's website only to find that many of their items that you would think were "vegetarian safe foods" were actually loaded with beef and animal flavors.

The company is McDonalds. I know that they do not pretend to be the place for "health" foods so this will not be an article about how evil they are or how they are making us fat! The truth is, I made the conscious decision to eat the fries and therefor made the decision to make me fat...I know they are processed and filled with chemicals but part of my lifestyle is making healthy living easy and doable. McDonalds never said.,"here, try our fries...they are good for you!" The hubby was out of town, I had 5 hungry kids, and my parents were willing to bring lunch (they think I am evil for making the kids eat can read more about that here).

Anyway, I went to the site and found that there were many things that I thought were vegetarian that were not so I thought I would share! I am not bashing McDonalds nor am I endorsing them. Just putting the information out there so other vegetarians can quit living the lie.

These were taken directly from the nutritional menu from McDonalds. PS...there are a lot of ingredients and very processed so I shared the entire list of ingredients.
* Please note, I did not list the bread sourced which DO contain dough conditioners (sometimes chicken feathers), items listed with gelatin, and cheeses with enzymes. You can read the 10 things you only thought were vegetarian to find out why these may be no go's.

This list was provided by McDonalds Website and is effective 11-2013
    Ingredients: Water, Soybean Oil, Cultured Buttermilk, Sugar, Distilled Vinegar, Tomato Paste, Egg Yolks, Spices, Fire Roasted Jalapeno Pepper Puree, Salt,
    Buttermilk Powder, Natural Flavors (Plant and Animal Source), Orange Juice Concentrate Powder, Worcestershire Sauce (Distilled Vinegar, Molasses, Corn Syrup,
    Water, Salt, Caramel Color, Garlic Powder, Sugar, Spices, Tamarind, Natural Flavor [Plant Source]), Maltodextrin, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Xanthan Gum,
    Lemon Juice Concentrate, Lime Juice Concentrate Powder, Dehydrated Green Bell Pepper Powder, Tomato Powder, Natural Hickory Smoke Flavor (Plant Source),
    Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Dehydrated Parsley, Dehydrated Onion, Modified Corn Starch.
    Ingredients: Water, Soybean Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Distilled Vinegar, Buttermilk Powder, Egg Yolks, Maltodextrin, Dried Cayenne Red Pepper Sauce (Aged Cayenne Red Peppers, Vinegar, Salt, Garlic), Sugar, Corn Starch, Modified Food Starch, Contains 1% or Less: Salt, Spice and Spice Extractives, Natural Flavor(Dairy and Animal Sources), Lemon Juice Concentrate, Lactic Acid, Habanero Pepper, Red Bell Pepper Powder, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate

    (Preservatives), Xanthan Gum, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Apple Cider Vinegar.
    Ingredients: Water, Soybean Oil, Distilled Vinegar, Maltodextrin, Modified Food Starch, Enzyme Modified Egg Yolk, Salt, Sugar, Xanthan Gum, Mustard Flour, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Lemon Juice Concentrate, Polysorbate 80, Natural Flavor (Animal Source), Calcium Disodium EDTA to Protect Flavor, Beta Carotene (Color).
  4. Hash Brown:
    Potatoes, vegetable oil (canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives]*, citric acid [preservative]), salt, corn flour, dehydrated potato, dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain color), extractives of black pepper. 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.
    *(Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients).
    Ingredients: Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Natural Beef Flavor [Wheat and Milk Derivatives]*, Citric Acid [Preservative]), Dextrose, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (Maintain Color), Salt. 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.
    *Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients.
  6. Newman's Own® Ranch Dressing:
    Water, soybean oil, corn syrup solids, buttermilk, distilled vinegar, egg yolks, salt, sugar, corn starch, chives, garlic powder, onion powder, natural flavors (dairy and animal source), lactic acid, parsley, xanthan gum, lemon juice concentrate.
  7. Newman's Own® Low Fat Family Recipe Italian Dressing:
    Water, corn syrup solids, distilled vinegar, Romano cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), soybean oil, sea salt, sugar, worcestershire sauce [distilled vinegar, molasses, corn syrup, water, salt, caramel color, garlic powder, sugar, spices, tamarind, natural flavor (fruit source)], anchovy paste (cured anchovies, salt, water), dried onion, dried garlic, spices, xanthan gum, barley malt extract (contains barley gluten), citric acid, paprika (color), hydrolyzed soy protein.
  8. Hot Habanero Sauce†:
    Soybean oil, water, corn syrup solids, distilled vinegar, buttermilk powder, egg yolks, maltodextrin, cayenne red peppers, sugar, food starch-modified, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, spice and spice extractives, natural flavor (dairy and animal source), lemon juice concentrate, lactic acid, habanero pepper, red bell pepper
    powder, ground chili pepper, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservatives), xanthan gum, propylene glycol alginate, apple cider vinegar.
Newman's Own® Creamy Southwest Dressing:
Water, corn syrup solids, soybean oil, distilled vinegar, egg yolks, corn vinegar, corn starch, whey, salt, cilantro, sugar, spices, onion powder, garlic powder, apple cider vinegar, sour cream powder (cultured sour cream, skim milk solids, whey, sugar, citric acid, lactic acid), natural flavors (animal and vegetable source), xanthan gum, lactic acid, paprika, parsley.

So...there it is, my list of 9 things that I THOUGHT were vegetarian from my favorite fast food splurge joint.  I am vert thankful to the people at McDonalds for making such a thorough listing of their ingredients and hope that there are others who are doing the same. I plan to check out various fast food listings and share what I find out. If you want me to check out some place in particular...let me know and I am on it!

Please remember that I am not condoning eating these very processed foods! I do not believe in these chemicals and since I have went to a 98 percent organic diet (yes 2% is just simple living - dinner with family, friends, and the occasional fast food), I have never felt better! If you want to learn more about how to get your family to a more organic eating lifestyle and learn how to do it easily and ON A BUDGET...spend some time on the site and let me know if there is anything that I can help with!

Organic Beauty on a Budget

That is correct, you can do ORGANIC beauty on a budget!

I started my organic journey with foods. So many people complain about how expensive eating organic can be. I think those people just haven't found the tips and tricks to being organic on a budget. Basically, if you want it - you may have to make it yourself! Hate to say it BUT the same rule applies to organic beauty. Honestly, it is easier than you think!

So Why go organic with your beauty routine?
There are TONS of reasons and each person will have their own personal reasons- BUT for me, it was the fact that I had worked so hard to eliminate chemicals from my diet that putting them on my skin was not an option. After doing research, I realized that your skin is not a barrier - it is like a sponge. Your skin will absorb and use whatever is put on it. Studies are even finding chemicals in new born babies that are only found in beauty products. I am not a "conspiracy" type of gal but this was enough to let me know that even though I wasn't eating chemicals - I was still getting them.

IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE ME....Try This! Cut a raw clove of garlic and then rub it on the bottom of your bare foot. In about 5 minutes, you will taste the garlic in your mouth! NO JOKE!

So HOW do I do it?
It's actually very easy!
  • For your skin care/beauty routine, make a list of what you actually use. Shampoo, body wash, sugar scrubs, self tanner, lotions, anti aging creams, etc.
  • For your makeup routine, do the same. I do not recommend doing most of this on your own BUT there are some things you can DIY!
  • Check COUPONS! Shopping online is great for saving money on organic items! Click here to Check out EBATES!! I use through ebates and not only do I get great deals BUT I get 6% cash back AND earn free stuff! There are tons of retailers available so you can do almost all of your shopping there.  You get a FREE $10 gift card just for signing up!
For makeup -
you will find TONS of organic beauty lines that have hefty prices. Okay, maybe not hefty if you are used to buying pricey cosmetics. I - AM NOT! I do have a splurge line that is a go-to for me - Sappho Cosmetics. Here is my review of some of their items. I am in love with the concealer and foundation! I think I will continue splurging on those!

Keep searching for the deals!
Check out Physicians Formula! They now have an Organic line that is available in many national retailers. They are priced a dollar or so above their regular line and are pretty darn amazing!

Here are some of my favorites!

Physicians Formula Powder - Only $10.23 and one I use! LOVE!
Physicians Formula Organic Wear Moisturizer - Just $13.49
Organic 5X lash BOOSTING Mascara - Just $10!!
Organic Wear Mascara under $8!
Organic Wear Finishing Veil

Wanna DIY?
Here is an AWESOME DIY bronzing powder! It is made with just a few ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry!

Here is a SELF TANNER recipe  - so easy to make and uses ingredients that you have on hand!

For Skincare -
I TOTALLY dig the stuff from Juice Beauty! They actually have both makeup and skincare! You get FREE shipping on orders over $50 and get 3 FREE SAMPLES with each order.

Click on the image to check out Juice Beauty! FREE SAMPLES

You can also DIY your organic skincare!

I hope that these tips and tricks have helped! I am absolutely LOVING my new skincare and beauty routine. The makeup is just as good - ACTUALLY BETTER - and I am avoiding the extra chemicals. Don't let people convince you that Organic "Green Beauty" has to be just need a little direction and maybe even some DIY!