The Memorial Day BBQ Belly Ache – Ingredients Breakdown

Memorial Day - Ingredient Breakdown -

Do you know what Ingredients were in your food this weekend?

& Yes, I purposely waited to write this post until the day after your Memorial Day BBQ’s and picnics in the park commenced. I didn’t want to ruin all the fun or have you hating me while you were there. Plus, I figure your belly ache the next day might get your attention when it comes to ingredients and it might just inspire you to stop eating JUNK FOOD.

It’s time for my favorite topic… let’s talk about ingredients. & REAL FOOD & why my biggest pet-peeve is the oh-so-terrible “Standard American Diet”. Don’t get excited… This is no diet plan or weight loss program… When I refer to the “Standard American DIET” I am referring to everything that Americans eat on any given day. Usually consisting of something similar to the following:

Processed sugary cereals, loads of caffeine, sugary sodas and juices, processed lunch meats, greasy pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, little to no fruits or vegetables, and loads of fast food. & you can’t forget all of the salty potato chips, french fries, candy and ice cream. & Sadly… these are only a few of the things at the top of the list… I could go on and on but I want to get to the point here before you stop paying attention to me.

Take a look at this:

Doritos - Ingredients Infographic -

& tell me if you knew that MSG was actually still an ingredient in anything you ate? We’ve all heard about it. Panda express “stopped adding it” to their prepared meals and we as a society thought we got rid of it. NEWSFLASH: It’s still around and is in almost every processed junk food that you’re addicted to. That is it’s job after all. MSG signals the brain to crave the food that you’re eating so that you continue to eat it. BONUS: They don’t use the term “MSG” any longer… look a little closer at the ingredient list above & you’ll discover Monosodium Glutamate, otherwise known as “MSG”.

This ingredient should be your number one enemy after you’ve mastered avoiding GMO corn & soy. (another thing that is in absolutely everything these days!) MSG has no nutritional value or purpose other than its use to heighten your sense of taste while eating and trigger your cravings so that you keep going back for more. “Bet you can’t eat just one” wasn’t just a clever marketing campaign… It was scientific proof.

When I first started writing this blog a few years ago… I was so motivated by all the new knowledge I had gained and discovered on my own & couldn’t wait to tell everyone that would listen what I had figured out about our food system. IT’S TERRIBLE. & IT’S FRUSTRATING. but there is so much we can do to help ourselves choose the right foods! & it gets easier as you go. I PROMISE.

My world completely changed regarding food and nutrition the day I decided to look at nutrition labels just a little bit closer…

I skimmed past the calorie count, the fat content and the daily percentage of sodium & the always minimal vitamin content. I discovered the INGREDIENT LIST and my inability to pronounce more than half of the ingredients in all of my favorite foods in my cupboards.

If you haven’t taken time to do this before, I challenge you to start today & your perspective might just change. Most likely you have foods in your cupboards that were green washed with the health-enticing words like “low-fat” “all-natural” “sugar-free” etc. Sadly, Foods like this are usually the worst. They might look good on the calorie count but that’s about it.

I’m going to dive into this topic deeper with each coming post as I am realizing I have been sharing real, whole, nutritious food recipes with you for years but I haven’t ever really gotten into the nitty gritty of the importance of ingredients.

Plus, If you’re not reading your ingredients labels then how do you know what you are eating is actually “REAL FOOD” ?  … Rule of thumb to live by … If something on the shelf has more than 5 ingredients, it is most likely too processed, too highly preserved and most likely disappointingly more artificial than it is REAL.

Let’s Start with a few of the foods you may have had this weekend during your Holiday Celebrations with family & friends:

Did you enjoy your sugar rush from GMO corn syrup paired with phosphoric acid, ‘Natural Flavors’ and that carcinogenic caramel coloring in your brown carbonated drink? Bet you never thought of Coca Cola this way. & maybe next time you’ll grab a fresh brewed Iced-Tea instead.


CocaCola - Ingredients Infographic -

Are you still eating hot dogs? MAYBE NOT… but I bet you have fed them to your family or kids at some point. Hebrew National is known for being one of the ‘better choices’ as it is ‘kosher’ and advertises the fact that they use no By-Products.

Agreed, this is a step in the right direction but it doesn’t mean they aren’t adding in other chemicals that we shouldn’t be consuming.

Hot Dog - Ingredients Infographic -

Not to mention the ‘beef’ is not organic so these cows are being fed a diet consisting of solely GMO corn and soy and are being injected with artificial growth hormones and antibiotics to keep them alive in such terrible, overcrowded, bacteria infested conditions. I don’t even need to continue on about the sodium lactate, unidentified spice, hydrolyzed soy protein, sodium dictate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite and other mystery ‘flavorings’ as I’m sure your hot dog cravings went out the window after that first sentence.

Let’s not forget the bun you serve it in. This ingredient list below is far more complicated than flour, salt and yeast (even though that’s all you need to make bread)!

Hotdog Buns - Ingredients Infographic -

You can see for yourself, It’s just not REAL FOOD any longer. It’s all about profit, keeping food preserved so that it can sit on the shelf in the store for an extended period of time. DON’T WORRY THOUGH: There are much better hamburger buns and hot dog buns out there … all you need to do is read your ingredients labels to discover the better brands and products available to you. When I buy organic, sprouted whole wheat hamburger buns they never have more than 5 ingredients. & they get moldy after 5 days if I don’t refrigerate them. REAL FOOD grows mold, just use it before it goes bad!

& last but not least. Please stop ruining your veggies with this terrible dip in the middle of a veggie tray or slathered on top of a small side salad that barely had any hope at the BBQ anyways. Learn to love Hummus and get creative with some homemade salad dressing recipes. (I’ve got a few great ones in that recipe tab at the top of this page!)

just say no to RANCH DRESSING!

Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing - - Ingredients Infographic -

If you look closely… you’ll notice that pesky ingredient we talked about earlier.


& Here’s one last eye-opener.

The average person eats all of the above foods along with other side dishes in one day at one BBQ or family gathering on a fairly regular basis… & when they do so… they put all of these combined ingredients into their system at one time.

READ BELOW to find out more…

This is only ONE meal Consisting of One Hot Dog on a Bun with a side of Doritos, a few spoonfuls of ranch dressing (with some veggie sticks hopefully!) & a CocaCola to wash it down with.

& It includes all of the following ingredients:

Vegetable Oil (Soybean and/or Canola), Water, Egg Yolk, Sugar, Salt, Cultured Nonfat Buttermilk, Natural Flavors (Milk, Soy), Less than 1% of: Spices, Dried Garlic, Dried Onion, Vinegar, Phosphoric Acid, Xanthin Gum, Modified Food Starch, Monosodium Glutamate, Artificial Flavors, Disodium Phosphate, Sorbic Acid and Calcium Disodium EDTA as Preservatives, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate. Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Phosphoric Acid, Natural Flavors, Caffeine. Corn, Vegetable Oil (Sunflower, Canola, and/or Corn Oil), Maltodextrin (Made from Corn), Salt, Cheddar Cheese (Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Whey, Monosodium Glutamate, Buttermilk, Romano Cheese (Part-Skim Cow’s Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Whey Protein Concentrate, Onion Powder, Corn Flour, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Dextrose, Tomato Powder, Lactose Spices, Artificial Color (Including Yellow 6, Yellow 5 and Red 40), Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Skim Milk, Red and Green Bell Pepper Powder, Disodium Insinuate and Disodium Guanylate. Enriched Wheat Flour [Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Reduced Iron, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid], Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Yeast, Soybean Oil, Nonfat Milk, Wheat Gluten, Salt, Cornstarch, Calcium Propionate (Preservative), Corn Flour, DATEM, Monoglycerides, Calcium Sulfate, Turmeric Color, Monocalcium Phosphate, Potassium Iodate, Paprika Color, Natural Flavor, Soy Lecithin. Beef, Water, Contains 2% or Less of: Salt, Sodium Lactate, Spice, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Paprika,  Sodium Diacetate, Garlic Powder, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite, Flavorings.

My Stomach Hurts just Thinking About it.

Read your labels & Start eating REAL FOODS today!

the #beachlifeorganic way.

I reccomend these recipes for your next family gathering: Brownie RecipeSuperfood Salad RecipeSweet Potato French Fries Recipe, & you can never go wrong with a big bowl of fruit or a great big platter of veggies with some fresh hummus!

I would love to hear what you think about this post! Please Comment Below & share this post with everyone you know to help me spread the word!


I would love to know… What did you eat at your Memorial Day BBQ/Picnic? Comment Below.

x, Bri

INSTAGRAM: BeachLifeOrganic

FACEBOOK: BeachLifeOrganic / TWITTER: OrganicGirlLife

I would love to hear what you think about this post! Please Comment Below & share this post with everyone you know to help me spread the word!

Ingredient List Information & Product Images Sourced from from the following : Doritos, CocaCola, HebrewNationals, BallPark Buns, HiddenValley Ranch Original Picnic picture sourced from : theNYpost

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