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Label Lessons…learned the hard way!

Last week I was on vacation.  I wrote this on the plane.  Heading to Nashville, I was already planning how to sample but not succumb to the southern cuisine of fried chicken, grits and mashed potatoes, but it turns out I had to worry closer to home! Here’s my entry:

So, today I’m traveling.  Not my favorite day as far as staying on my food plan, but usually the Minneapolis airport has some great selections.  French Meadow Bakery, sushi, salads.  But Nooooooooo…… Today, the security lines were long, so we went to the Skyway security checkpoint, which basically cost me my healthy lunch, as it bypassed said healthy options.

D7K_5978 Near the gate, we were confronted with three choices:  hummus with pretzels (really?  you can’t put a veggie in it?), veggies, with dip (dip?  yes, I’d like to eat healthy and serve it with a side of chemicals and fat), un-appetizing ham and cheese on bread, or the “Fresh Attractions”  turkey pesto, roasted peppers and cheese on a brioche.  Ok, I’ll take the turkey and remove the cheese.  How bad could it be?

Forty one – yup, count ’em — 34 Carbs and 43 Grams of Fat BAD.  Why did I not look at the nutrition info BEFORE I bought it?  Guilty as charged… of not following my own advice!!!  And this was NOT a big sandwich.  41 grams is 63% of the maximum daily fat intake you should have.  Not to mention 6 grams were saturated, and 34 grams of carbs!  Think medium size roll, the kind you’d use for a hamburger.  Measuring with his finger, my husband calculated 12 centimeters, which is about 5 inches..  And the laughable thing?  The reduced calorie mayo!  What in God’s name do we need reduced calorie mayo if you’re going to eat 41 grams of fat?  If you’re going to blow it that big, have a party and spring for the mayo.  Seriously, why don’t they leave the mayo off (put in on the side, so you can decide), doesn’t the pesto give it enough flavor?  Well, maybe not…

My husband, who (full disclosure here) doesn’t need to watch his figure EVER, and I attempted to make this healthier.  Step one.  Remove cheese.  Check. ( I would have done this anyway, we don’t eat dairy.)   Step Two:  He removes the part of the bun that has the mayo (He HATES mayo), so shamed into keeping up with him, I remove same half roll.  He scrapes the mayo off the turkey.  Takes a bite and basically says “Bleech”.  Processed turkey with chemicals, processed low calorie mayo, a strip of red pepper crying out for a cousin, and that’s it.  Welcome to mass produced American “convenience” food.  And it’s killing us to be “convenient“.

D7K_5976But, not having eaten, and our flight taking off almost an hour late, we need to eat.  So, I figure I just ate at least 15 grams of fat. And not the good kind of fat.  I can hope I removed more.  And the carbs?  Let’s see, what else is in this thing?  34 grams of Carbs, 1680 mg of Sodium (yep, 68% of your DAILY maximum amount), 47% of your cholesterol intake, and 6 grams sugar.  And only 4% of your fiber.  So, basically, if you eat this entire sandwich, it will hit your stomach, and without any fiber to slow it down, the 34 grams of carbs hit your bloodstream, and WHAMMO, you feel great, until your blood sugar tanks in an hour or two, and you can’t imagine why you’re starving!

Turkey in this sandwich =  turkey, turkey broth with potassium lactate, salt, dextrose, modified food starch, sodium phosphate, sodium diacetate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite, flavoring.   The Pesto, which we all know is pine nuts, basil, olive oil and parmesan didn’t have a pine nut in it.  And the roasted peppers, which were miniscule, had some acid added to them.  I won’t even go into the preservatives in the bun, you can see them in the photo.

My husband suggested I re-name the sandwich.  I think I’ll call it the Fresh Attractions “Not so Attractive 600 Calories on your Hips” Sandwich!

What should I have stuck with?

D7K_5980Probably Water and peanuts!  Or my mini KIND bar in my backpack!

Or get the hummus, toss the pretzels, get the veggies and dip, and ignore the dip.  Yep, that would have been MUCH better…  I think!  Next time I better check what’s really in the hummus.  Oh well, at least I have a gym at our hotel!

So, the lesson here is READ YOUR LABELS!!!  And consider bringing food that you’ve made yourself.  It does check through TSA.  All you have to do is let them inspect it.  (No, you cannot bring liquid, the fluid rules still apply).

Next time I will bring my own healthy lunch.  I am worth it!

saltsugarfatI will also strongly suggest (again) you read the NY Times bestseller “Salt, Sugar, Fat” by Michael Moss.  It is a fascinating look at the convenience food industry.  A must read for anyone who wants to stay healthy.  It explains how all these chemicals ended up in our food.  All in the name of convenience.  It is NOT convenient to go to the hospital and have a coronary bypass!

Have an awesome weekend everyone.  And watch out for the chemicals.

Review of Salt Sugar Fat:  How the Food Giants Hooked Us”



I'm a 18 year breast cancer survivor, RN, certified functional medicine health coach, graphic designer, wife, mother and grandmother. This blog is my story, and the result of a difficult and complicated struggle to regain my health. I hope by sharing my story and what I've learned, I can help others thrive the way I have been able to. Thanks for visiting.


  1. At first I thought, what’s wrong with the ingredients on the label, esp. the “reduced calorie mayonnaise”? Until I saw the REAL ingredients on the back. Eww!

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