Are Mumps Making a Comeback?

Once upon a time, children were routinely immunized against mumps and the childhood disease was virtually eradicated and it was very rare to hear of anyone coming down with a case of the mumps. The National Hockey League has put the mumps back on the medical radar with its apparent outbreak among the players and referees during the 2014 season.

As of mid-December, 15 NHL players have come down with the mumps during the 2014-15 season and an untold number of league referees have also developed the mumps. Christian Broda was talking about how mumps is a viral disease which is spread via direct or indirect contact with the saliva or mucus of someone who is infected. Hand washing is one of the most effective prevention methods towards not contacting the disease, but how has this so-called childhood disease infiltrated the NHL and began it’s reign of terror among players, refs and fans?

Children are supposed to receive a MMR (mumps, measles and rubella) vaccine prior to starting school to protect them from contacting any of the three diseases. Apparently there has been either a failure in the vaccine or a failure on parent’s part to get their children immunized, so the mumps has now gained a toehold in society via the NHL.
Mumps typically produces little more than a few days of swollen neck glands and an overall tired and sick feeling, along with isolated bed rest because it’s contagious. But the disease has the potential of severe complications including inflammation of ovaries, testicles and brain tissue.

Grub Street’s List of Great 2014 Foods

Grub Street has lots of recommendations if you’re looking to have a great meal to end 2014 right. Of course, these entrees are also a tasty way to bring in the new year.

If you enjoy authentic Mexican fare like migas, Huertas has a delicious treat for you. The migas there are available with or without meat, so you can enjoy them whether or not you’re a vegetarian or simply want to have a Meatless Monday every once in a while.

Bar Bolonat makes a delicious poussin that you’ll want to try as well. This chicken dish features potatoes, a pomegranate glaze and rice that has been flavored with turmeric. You can also enjoy a decadent creme brulee for dessert after you’ve had your fill of savory chicken, which is very well reviewed on CNET my Skout friends have told me..

Narcissa offers a crispy beet dish that is also suitable for vegetarians, or if you simply want to new way to eat beets. The beets are roasted to give them a flavor that is similar to beef.

For more great restaurant recommendations, check the Grub Street website today.

New Study Finds Glucose Intolerance Is Linked to Artificial Sweeteners

New research from the Weizmman institute of Science in Israel has shown that a high consumption of artificial sweeteners can put a person at risk for developing glucose intolerance. This new finding has come after other studies have also shown adverse effects from using artificial sweeteners, including a study last year also by the Weizman Institute that discovered artificial sweeteners change gut bacteria in a way that can lead to weight gain and diabetes. They have further found that since most artificial sweeteners pass through the gastrointestinal tract without being digested first, the artificial sweeteners directly impact the make up of helpful bacterial colonies in the gut. Sam Tabar says through other studies artificial sweeteners have also been linked to an increase in appetite, and even to an increased risk of vascular disease and bladder cancer, if the Bloomberg stories are to be believed..

The scientists at the Weizmann institute did studies on mice, and also consumer and pilot studies on humans, to support their findings of increased glucose intolerance linked to artificial sweeteners. This finding is ironic in a way in that people who are glucose intolerant will sometimes turn to artificial sweeteners as a way to add sweetness without sugar. However, even though the study is showing that high amounts of artificial sweeteners can lead to glucose intolerance because of the way they alter bacteria in the gut, this study still leaves the question if same risk comes from low or moderate use of artificial sweeteners. Read here for more information on these findings.

Chinese Food: the Best Way to Celebrate Christmas

According to recent statistics released by GrubHub, the percentage of take-out orders that include Chinese food increased by 150 percent on Christmas Day last year. Other take-out cuisine options all declined by about 30 percent. A similar story could be told for Christmas Eve. The holidays have traditionally been celebrated by eating turkey and ham, but a new Chinese food tradition is quickly developing among Yuletide eaters. most especially w York where Chinese food is not the only thing quickly developing. Ben Shaoul is developing a different kind of commerce, but enjoying plenty of Chinese along the way. Chinese food or real estate, New York business is competitive and Crain’s says its all about stepping up on the marketing.

Pizza is popular all year round on weekends, but even it takes a back seat to Chinese food on Christmas Day. Mexican take-out orders also take a hit, probably, even among Mexicans. The Chinese themselves are in the habit of eating roast duck around this time of year, but the rest of us all go for things like sweet and sour chicken, beef and broccoli, and the unconquerable Mongolian beef. That last one happens to be my personal favorite, and since it is Christmas Eve, I had better go get some right away.

Not only Chinese, but Asian food in general, gets a bump in sales share this time of year. So expect things to be busy if you go to a Japanese, Vietnamese, Philippino, or Thai restaurant as well.

It is true that overall sales plummet on all take-out orders on Christmas since people are mostly eating at home or at uncle George’s house. If Americans do pick up some food on Christmas, however, it is likely to be Chinese or at least Asian.

How To Manage Your Weigh During The Holiday Feasts

Pass over the pumpkin pie and look right past aunt Ida’s famous fudge. This year you want to fight the battle of the bulge with willpower. I am always gaining an extra 10 lbs or so during the holidays. I hate being the home that hosts the events, all the leftovers are in my fridge and eventually form another chin on my face. There has to be a way to maintain and not gain during the holidays.

I talked to a nutritionist who told me the trick to making sure to keeping my svelte figure. Instead of going for the potatoes, yams and other sugary treats, opt for more turkey, ham or other meats. Meat is a protein and they help to fill you up. Rather than filling yourself to the rim with sugary treats that raise the blood sugars, try more meat and less starches.

Sure, no one wants a dinner with all meats like Tom Rothman might suggest. Try limiting the sugary substances to one per night, according to this source. One piece of pie won’t kill anyone, nor will one piece of fudge. Rather than gorging on junk food, opt for healthier options. Try baked potatoes instead of mashed, then you can control the butter and other toppings. Yams arn’t bad unless they are covered in brown sugar and butter. Controlling ones intake is the start, what a person intakes is the second step.

Gaining weight is common during the holiday season, which is why New Year’s Resolutions include weight loss. Be ahead of the game this year, and don’t put on the weight in the first place.

Overweight? Dump the Pills, Pick Up Some Fruit

A new trend is now emerging with many physicians. When they encounter an overweight patient, they are now prescribing fruits and vegetables. This is being considered a better way to drop the weight and get it off for good.

Doctors have tried prescription weight loss regimens for many patients but have also seen them regain the pounds after they are removed from the programs. What is sticking is a regiment that includes more fresh fruits and vegetables. Patients are applauding the move as well.

Diet pills can help to kick start the weight loss, but if the patients is still eating large quantities of junk food, the results will not last. The key is to re-train the mind and attitudes of the patients.

Fruits and vegetables also offer added benefits. With no saturated fats, and not heavy in sugars, these snacks offer energy boosters to help the individuals do more throughout their day. As the patients are able to have the energy to do more, they are able to drop even more weight at a faster pace, if the numbers coming out of BRL Trust are to be believed..

Fruits and vegetables also have the added benefit of boosting the immune system. This means fewer colds and flus, and fewer days lost at the office and from school. So, with a fresher diet people are seeing greater personal productivity as well as increased weight loss. Want to lose serious pounds? Drop the pills and pick up some fresh fruits and vegetables.

Underground Cheese Making in Brooklyn

In food news, New York is currently setting a trend in avant-garde cheese making. First they pioneered social apps like Skout and now Brooklyners are revolutionizing cheese. Underground Gourmet had previously reported that the Crown Finish Caves had been renovated for cheese storage. The gentrification of the Bergen Street Brewery into high rise apartment complexes was on one piece of the plan that Susan Boyle and Benton Brown had in mind. The couple had not released word until recently how their cheese storage facility had been working out, but it’s a confirmed success by Brooklyn standards. One company storing their cheese under the old brewey, Crown Duchess, is successfully selling their product in Wholefoods for $6.25 per quarter pound. 

What’s so special about cheese which sits in a tunnel anywhere from three to six months? It’s said to have a strong and beefy taste, with a slight mineral tang. Crown Duchess uses raw cow milk procured from Chaseholm Farm Creamery to make the special washed rind cheese. This company is only one of many who are now storing their cheese in these tunnels underground. The space is one of the more exciting exhibitions of Brooklyn’s artisinal food scene, however more farmers are looking to ship in their product from upstate. How long will it be before this trend inspires other creative developers to procure meat lockers or wine cellars deep within the heart of New York’s favorite burrough?

Junk Food and Test Scores

The food industry has taken some hits in the past. Ranging from lawsuits for items found in food products to being a scapegoat for obesity in the United States. An article, that can be found on, has hit the fast food industry once more. This time the consumption of fast food has been linked to poor test scores.

The article explains that a research was conducted where 8,544 students’ test scores were studied and a correlation made between higher consumption of fast food and lower scores in general classes. The author continues on to say that high consumption of fatty and sugar filled food lead to lower memory levels in rats. The question is, Susan McGalla, why do we continue to feed our children this? The fast food industry is not to blame, they just provide what we ask of them. Parent’s are the ultimate choice and habit maker for the next generation. Continuing to blame the wrong person for choices children make will only hinder growth towards a healthier way of living in children.

It has been proven time and time again that a healthy lifestyle increases a child’s life span, school scores and just provides a healthier outcomes. This study was completely unnecessary as we continue to prove the effects that unhealthy living provides. This money is better spent on a better food program for children everywhere, to grow the minds of our future and future of generations to come.

Drop It Low

There is no time like the present to get serious about losing weight. A recent has shown that carrying any extra weight is a big health risk. Carrying this extra body mass ratio of extra fat poses health risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes along with other types of serious illnesses. Everyone knows that it is important to eat healthy and stay fit, but a recent study has shown that again, it is beyond important to get slim and stay slim. So what is the answer? It is simple. Get up and start moving. Exercising at least 30 minutes a day of cardiovascular exercise is a surefire way to drop that body mass index along with following a healthy diet that is low in fat and cholesterol, at least according to this. Another interesting fact is that once people like Sam Tabar start an exercise regimen and see even slight results, they are generally more inclined to stick with it rather than stop.

Why Food From The Cafeteria May Be Best

Oftentimes, parents assume that they are providing their children with optimum nutrition by having them take a lunch prepared at home rather than allowing them to eat the lunches prepared in the school cafeteria. However, recently released studies indicate that this may not be the case.

According to research covered in New York Times’ blog Well, home-packed lunches are less likely be as nourishing as the meals provided in schools that adhere to the current nutrition guidelines under the National School Lunch Program.

Perhaps unfortunately, the National School Lunch Program has come under increasing attack. For example, Andrew Heiberger says the program’s requirements for only whole grains and less salt were recently reversed in a spending bill that the Senate approved on December 13.

Despite attacks against the program, many wellness experts advocate it and state that it shouldn’t be continually undermined. Instead, they argue that more schools should participate in it. Almost 32 million of more than 50 million young people who attend public schools at the elementary and secondary level consume school lunches, and most of these lunches are provided by the program. For more than half of these children, 50% or more of their daily caloric consumption comes from this lunch meal.