Broken Legs and the Sandwich Meat That’s Going to Kill Me

My legs aren’t really broken, but since my hamstrings won’t let me run, they might as well be. Read on. 

Very frustrating news: I mentioned before that I had been having some problems with my hamstring. This has been going on since January, and it is finally starting to improve. Since it’s not quite healed enough to run, I’ve been doing some workouts on the elliptical. I really pushed myself the other day on the elliptical and got in a surprisingly satisfying workout. I was cranking up that resistance and going for fast strides. It was fun. But the morning after, I noticed that now MY OTHER HAMSTRING IS F*****D UP!!!! Just as one leg was getting better, I hurt the other one. On the ELLIPTICAL! Whhhyyyyyyy???!!!!!!!

Just needed to vent. Now onto a happier subject: salad!


Spinach with balsamic vinaigrette, red bell pepper, feta, and Boar’s Head All Natural Roasted Turkey Breast. I wish that I had an avocado!

A note on deli sandwich meat:

In college, I took a class my junior year called Food and the Consumer. We learned about a study by WHO (World Health Organization) that found an increase in cancer risk through consuming processed meats and red meats. We talked about nitrates added to processed meats being one of the reasons it may be carcinogenic.

When I heard the term “processed meats,” I first thought of hot dogs, canned vienna sausages, beef jerky, “meat” at Taco Bell, spam, and other things (I say things because I don’t think they qualify as real food) that I don’t eat. But then I realized that most meats you get for sandwiches are most likely preserved with nitrates as well.

i have no idea what this is, but i bet it's way worse than sandwich meat!


At the time, I was on the university meal plan, and I ate turkey sandwiches all the time since the sandwich line always seemed like one of the healthier options. I would have one for lunch everyday and sometimes one for dinner, too! Turkey on wheat with provolone, honey mustard, tomatoes, and spinach was my sandwich of choice. I was concerned after hearing about the study because I was pretty sure that the dining hall was not investing in organic, nitrate-free deli meats for the sandwich line, and deli turkey meat constituted a major portion of my diet!


After getting off meal plan, I drastically reduced my consumption of turkey sandwiches (mainly b/c I had finally grown tired of them, not really the nitrate issue). And about the post title, I don’t really think I’m going to get cancer and die because of all the possibly nitrate-laden sammies I ate in college. (Mmm…doesn’t that sound appetizing?) I’m 22-years-old, and I strongly believe that I am invincible! Sandwich meat will not be the cause of my demise!

But seriously, I now try to buy the all natural deli turkey meat, like the Boar’s Head turkey on my salad today. It seems to me that any meat you get from the deli counter would be less processed than the kind in a package, but just to be safe, I’ll shell out the extra dollar per pound that specifically says there are no nitrates. And better yet, I’ve stopped eat deli turkey everyday anymore anyway!

Is there anything that you used to eat all the time but decided to stop eating or eat less of? (Whether it be for health reasons, because you got sick of it, or both)

And runners– any hamstring advice or insight? My health insurance does not cover physical therapy, so any advice would be greatly appreciated!


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5 responses to “Broken Legs and the Sandwich Meat That’s Going to Kill Me

  1. I lived on diet coke and lean cuisines in college! I’m only 3 years out of school but it disgusts me now! I’ve always been active but living in LA totally converted me to real, good food. I resisted all this time because all my parents fed me during childhood was healthy, organic food and I guess it was my form of rebelling to eat chemical-crap??? Glad that’s out of my system….

  2. I grew up on turkey sandwiches, and I’m fine :) But I don’t really buy any deli meat anymore. I prefer to buy chicken breasts in bulk and grill a few at a time to have on sandwiches and salads for the week – seems cheaper AND healthier to me!

    As for something else I used to eat a lot of, that would be artificial sweeteners. While I don’t believe they are going to kill me, I have definitely cut back a lot and try to stick to all-natural sugar substitutes. But I’m not 100% strict. I take everything in moderation :)

  3. Sorry to hear about your hamstrings Tyler!! I am no expert on how to heal best, but I do know that a tried and tested sport i always go for is swimming. Maybe you can take it up for a while to see if it helps?

    I definitely have gotten wayyyy better about eating less “cheap” deli meat. I used to consume it…hm…almost daily!

  4. So sorry to hear about your hamstring injuries! Hope everything heals, ASAP.
    I used to eat fake meats all the time as a new vegetarian. I’ve since replaced them with less processed forms of protein, such as beans & tofu.

  5. Sorry about your hamstrings. I also have tons of problems with my hamstrings from gymnastics and then running. Something that really helped me was sitting on a stability ball when working at my desk/computer instead of a regular chair because it takes pressure off the hamstrings. But then again I was sitting a lot r/t being a student. Otherwise, stretching (yoga) and icing have helped.

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