A Heart Attack on a Bun

We’ve all made this joking reference before to fatty fast foods that we love, but that are less than healthy to consume.  Regular readers of the Allen School Online Blog know that we love to cover stories about horrible fast foods.  From KFC’s gruesome Double Down sandwich to the greasy McDonald’s McGriddle breakfast sandwich.  As entrants into the field of medical office assisting, you’re bound to endure a lifetime of dealing with people who suffer the maleffects of eating this kind of diet.  Just look at the case of the man that suffered a heart attack while eating something called the “Triple Bypass Burger” (see photo) at a place in Las Vegas known as the Heart Attack Grill.  You may be as disgusted as I was to learn that this 8000 calorie monstrosity of a sandwich is not the largest one on their menu (see the Quadruple Bypass Burger to be truly impressed/repulsed).  So yes, the victim in this story did indeed suffer a heart attack while eating a Triple Bypass Burger at the Heart Attack Grill.  Is anyone surprised?  Always looking for stories about horrible dietary abuses so if you know of any places or stories like this one, please share with me in the comments.  Now go eat a spinach salad!  Happy Friday students!

Take a Break, Improve Your Performance

Allen School Online Students know what it means to be multi-taskers.  Between studying medical billing and coding, many have full time jobs, households to run and many other challenging commitments to honor every day.  This is why some of us tend to be wound tightly, stressed and feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all we are responsible for.  Here’s the answer to this condition:  TAKE A BREAK!  Yes, you heard me right.  And I am not being snarky either.  It has been proven that taking well planned breaks throughout your day can really help alleviate the stressful conditions that lead to anxiety, insomnia and other productivity-sapping ailments.  It seems counter-intuitive, but investing a little time in your own emotional well being can pay dividends in your job performance, demeanor and attitude.  All of which are crucial to success in business and in life.  Click here to read more about the details and science behind taking a break in this excellent article from LifeHacker.com.

Wheat Belly – A Breakthrough!

This blog often covers issues related to diet, healthy foods and related trends.  So I am excited to share with the readers here some information I have firsthand knowledge of regarding a very important personal breakthrough.  This blogger has eliminated all wheat products from his diet for 45 days and has dropped almost 30 pounds in the same period of time!Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist, has uncovered a very startling fact: modern, genetically modified (GM) wheat produces a gluten protein that crosses the blood-brain barrier.  Know what else crosses the blood-brain barrier?  Cocaine, heroin and other highly addictive substances!  This is why, if you’re like me, you frequently cannot help overeating with a ravenous furor that borders on the uncontrollable.  Since the 1960s, as part of efforts to optimize yields and feed a growing and hungry humanity, all wheat produced globally has been a GM variety.  There was never any testing done to check if the GM grain had any negative side effects.I can tell you that after the first 4 days without wheat – during which time I experienced miserable withdrawal symptoms reminiscent of drug withdrawals – my compulsion to eat constantly has all but subsided.  Now, I still miss breads and pizza etc.  although I can easily resist them whereas before, I was all but powerless to do so.  Happily though, the damaging gluten protein is not inherent in potato, rice, corn and many other grains.  So when I get to longing for a wheat product, I can satisfy myself with some fries and ketchup.  Or I can enjoy a plate of pork fried rice.  Or tacos in crunchy corn shells.  And, I AM LOSING WEIGHT!  So that’s something!  You can visit Dr. Davis’ Wheat Belly Blog here. I highly recommend the book too.  It’s called Wheat Belly. It’s available at Amazon.com and your local public library.  Both the blog and the book also contain recipes to replace some of your favorite wheat-based munchies!

Perseverance

We all have days when we feel like life’s challenges are just more than we can overcome.  If you’re feeling stretched thin, perhaps as you’re trying to train for a job in a new career field.  Or maybe you simply struggle to keep studies, work and family responsibilities from falling by the wayside.  Whatever your personal struggles, remember that the secret to success is to never give up.  Never give in.  PERSEVERE!Consider the story of Brandon Mulnix of Michigan.  Mulnix’s jaw was wired shut after injuries he sustained in a car wreck.  Yet he was scheduled to run a marathon.  A person with less perseverance might have opted to skip the 26 mile run.  But not Brandon.  He stuck to the task, no matter how large the obstacle in his path and completed the run in spite of his inability to consume solid foods for nutrition and energy.Kind of puts your struggles into perspective no?  Excelsior!

Top 10 Spingtime Superfoods

One of the best parts about Springtime is anticipating the return of greater varieties of fresh produce in the Northeast.  All winter long, we survive on produce either in cold storage since Fall or fruits and veggies weeks old and flown in from more southern latitudes.Here’s a great list of the top 10 superfoods for Springtime:1. Artichokes 2. Asparagus 3. Avocado 4. Blueberries 5. Fava Beans 6. Fresh Figs 7. Leeks 8. Oregano (and other fresh herbs) 9. Spinach 10. StrawberriesTo read more on why each of these are considered superfoods, click here for the Yahoo! article.

Food & Wine’s Best Burgers in the US

In-N-Out Burger, "Animal Style"

This blog periodically covers the topic of fast food and its impact on culture, wellness and society.  I have also written several times about my personal favorite, In-N-Out Burger, the west coast chain that haunts my dreams as an east coast denizen.  Well, Food & Wine magazine publushed its annual list of the best burgers in the US and In-N-Out was at the top of the list!  For us here in the NYC area, the list includes several contenders from the Big Apple.  Minella’s Tavern, the Spotted Pig and Shake Shak all made the list.  As did Peter Luger’s, the legendary steakhouse in Williamsburg.  But if I am going to Luger’s I am eating steak, not burgers.  Where is your favorite burger place?

Rising Food Costs Will Affect Public Health

Up for the seventh month in a row, the closely watched Food and Agriculture Oganisation Food Price Index on Thursday touched its highest since records began in 1990, and topped the peak of 224.1 in June 2008, during the food crisis of 2007/08.  Several factors contribute to this rise in costs.  We now use food stocks such as corn to make ethanol to burn in our cars.  The logic of using food to make fuel is dubious at best.  The other major factor has been a year fraught with severe weather phenomena from floods, to droughts to frosts which have all decimated crops in many parts of the agricultural producing world.With the price of food skyrocketing, people all over the world will struggle with less food in terms of both quantity and quality.  The effects of a global population eating less (and less nutritious) food and more of their diets being comprised of filler and processed ingredients will have a definite impact on health.

Worst Food Awards for 2010

IHOP's Big Country Breakfast

David Zinczenko produces the “Eat This, Not That” books which show readers what foods are particularly unhealthy and what satisfying alternatives to each dish might look like.  He has published the annual list of “Worst Foods” for 2010.  Some of the big winners are dishes from P.F. Chang’s, Pizzeria Uno, Cheesecake Factory and IHOP.  I was shocked not to see my favorite culinary abomination – KFC’s Double Down – make the list.  But with the holidays fully upon us and lots of dining out for holiday parties, I thought our readers might arm themselves with this knowledge before they hit the restaurants.  Enjoy!

5 Tips for Avoiding the Common Cold

Well, cold and flu season is upon us again and no one hates being sick more than I do.  So I have been looking for some ideas on how to minimize the probability of catching a cold this season and I came across this. An article by dietician and nutitionist Susan Dopart offers 5 tips for avoiding the sickness this time of year.  Click here to read the useful suggestions she offers.

Is Fast Food “Less Delicious” than Slow Cooked Food?

Science has been looking into the causes of obesity in the US population.  One interesting idea is that society has grown less interested in preparing its own food.  As both sexes in the modern world typically work out of the home, food technology has improved to shorten the time it takes to prepare meals.  As a result, the meals themselves are less satisfying and Americans try to regain the satisfaction by consuming more.  When we take our time to prepare a meal from scratch, our brains perceive it as “more delicious”.  Maybe they’ve never tasted my wife’s cooking!  (Just kidding honey!)  These are interesting ideas, but really, is there any evidence to support these conclusions?  Yes!  The article linked here appeared in Wired magazine and it discusses some of the experiments scientists performed to try and get to the bottom of this question.  You’ll be surprised to learn what they’ve found.  Read it and form your own conclusion.