APL on Fox Good Day Chicago: Fast Food Trends

Here is the link to today’s segment!

This morning I was excited to be invited on Fox’s Good Day Chicago to chit chat with the always wonderful and articulate Corey McPherrin about the current fast food trend of  removing unnatural ingredients.

The question is: is it really healthier?

I have to be careful here because it is SO important people understand that this is a fantastic breakthrough and the fact that bigger companies are following the people’s demand for more natural products is a big step in the right direction. However, just because they are removing some unnatural ingredients, does not make your meal healthier when it comes to nutrition and overall wellness.

What’s Good, but Not Great:

A great example is Chicago-based company; Kraft. Their Macaroni & Cheese has gotten a lot of flack for being faux…because it has been a household, American staple for generations and so popular with children, it is crazy it has remained so artificial for so long. Recently, they announced that they are removing the artificial preservatives and synthetic dyes that make their cheese yellow and using turmeric, paprika, and annatto to make it…awesome move. But, at the end of the day, you are still eating white noodles and cheese, which have very little nutritional value at all.

BEST MEAL SOLUTION when using Mac & Cheese:

If I am going to make this for my daughter one day, I would serve her ½ a cup of the natural mac with some greens in it and a healthy, lean protein. Making it well-rounded and making the mac & cheese just a side instead of the main part of the meal is ideal.

Chipotle says goodbye to GMOs…it took them 2 years to do it, but alas, they did. “Non-GMO” is one of the fastest-growing label trends on U.S. food packages, with sales of such items growing an average of 13% a year since 2010 to more than $3 billion last year, according to market-research firm Nielsen. Switch from one trend to another…so, yay for no GMOs! Just keep in mind the other components to their meals to keep them “fast,” like the sodium content in their meals is appalling!

BEST MEAL SOLUTION if you wind up at Chipotle:

I would do a bowl with cilantro-lime brown rice, fajita veggies, tomatillo red chile salsa for some spice, + romaine lettuce

Subway removed chemicals in their bread that also made yoga mats…but white bread is white bread folks, sorry to say. It lacks any nutrition; it’s empty calories. So, while I am so happy you won’t be biting into a workout mat, I am not so happy about the lack of fiber and whole grains available.

BEST MEAL SOLUTION if you wind up at a Subway:

9-grain bread, for a 6 inch or mini sub, oven-roasted chicken or veggie, topped with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, either a small amount of guac or Dijon mustard.


The changes like using antibiotic-free chicken at Chik-fil-A and adding leafier greens at McDonald’s is a start…those things are enhancing health and the nutritional profile of the meal. The key is to have more natural foods, but also having meals that are full of healthful nutrients while tasting good!


I relate this to when I go overseas on vacation and am eating incredibly fresh, chemical-free foods from European countries and I don’t gain any weight and I feel lighter as if I have better digestion. Note, I am eating things like pasta, gelato, red meat, wine – not healthy meals by any means. Am I being healthier? Not really! I am chemical-free, but I am not helping my cholesterol, blood pressure, or overall health. This is not a healthy lifestyle or way of life, but chemical-free and eating healthier foods is fantastic! (But, now I want to go on vacation!)

In summary: LESS CHEMICALS is always good- the more natural things are the better for our bodies. However, the nutrition of what you choose to eat still matters.

Now, back to my day with this little nugget! #ReeseVivian #mommyhood