Pathological Eating Disorders and Poly-Behavioral Addiction

When considering that pathological eating disorders and their related diseases now afflict more people globally than malnutrition, some experts in the medical field are presently purporting that the world’s number one health problem is no longer heart disease or cancer, but obesity. According to the World Health Organization (June, 2005), “obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with more than 1 billion adults overweight – at least 300 million of them clinically obese – and is a major contributor to the global burden of chronic disease and disability. Often coexisting in developing countries with under-nutrition, obesity is a complex condition, with serious social and psychological dimensions, affecting virtually all ages and socioeconomic groups.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (June, 2005), reports that “during the past 20 years, obesity among adults has risen significantly in the United States. The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that 30 percent of U.S. adults 20 years of age and older – over 60 million people – are obese. This increase is not limited to adults. The percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980. Among children and teens aged 6-19 years, 16 percent (over 9 million young people) are considered overweight.”

Morbid obesity is a condition that is described as being 100lbs. or more above ideal weight, or having a Body Mass Index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30. Being obese alone puts one at a much greater risk of suffering from a combination of several other metabolic factors such as having high blood pressure, being insulin resistant, and/ or having abnormal cholesterol levels that are all related to a poor diet and a lack of exercise. The sum is greater than the parts. Each metabolic problem is a risk for other diseases separately, but together they multiply the chances of life-threatening illness such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke, etc. Up to 30.5% of our Nations’ adults suffer from morbid obesity, and two thirds or 66% of adults are overweight measured by having a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 25. Considering that the U.S. population is now over 290,000,000, some estimate that up to 73,000,000 Americans could benefit from some type of education awareness and/ or treatment for a pathological eating disorder or food addiction. Typically, eating patterns are considered pathological problems when issues concerning weight and/ or eating habits, (e.g., overeating, under eating, binging, purging, and/ or obsessing over diets and calories, etc.) become the focus of a persons’ life, causing them to feel shame, guilt, and embarrassment with related symptoms of depression and anxiety that cause significant maladaptive social and/ or occupational impairment in functioning.

We must consider that some people develop dependencies on certain life-functioning activities such as eating that can be just as life threatening as drug addiction and just as socially and psychologically damaging as alcoholism. Some do suffer from hormonal or metabolic disorders, but most obese individuals simply consume more calories than they burn due to an out of control overeating Food Addiction. Hyper-obesity resulting from gross, habitual overeating is considered to be more like the problems found in those ingrained personality disorders that involve loss of control over appetite of some kind (Orford, 1985). Binge-eating Disorder episodes are characterized in part by a feeling that one cannot stop or control how much or what one is eating (DSM-IV-TR, 2000). Lienard and Vamecq (2004) have proposed an “auto-addictive” hypothesis for pathological eating disorders. They report that, “eating disorders are associated with abnormal levels of endorphins and share clinical similarities with psychoactive drug abuse. The key role of endorphins has recently been demonstrated in animals with regard to certain aspects of normal, pathological and experimental eating habits (food restriction combined with stress, loco-motor hyperactivity).” They report that the “pathological management of eating disorders may lead to two extreme situations: the absence of ingestion (anorexia) and excessive ingestion (bulimia).”

Co-morbidity & Mortality

Addictions and other mental disorders as a rule do not develop in isolation. The National Co-morbidity Survey (NCS) that sampled the entire U.S. population in 1994, found that among non-institutionalized American male and female adolescents and adults (ages 15-54), roughly 50% had a diagnosable Axis I mental disorder at some time in their lives. This survey’s results indicated that 35% of males will at some time in their lives have abused substances to the point of qualifying for a mental disorder diagnosis, and nearly 25% of women will have qualified for a serious mood disorder (mostly major depression). A significant finding of note from the NCS study was the widespread occurrence of co-morbidity among diagnosed disorders. It specifically found that 56% of the respondents with a history of at least one disorder also had two or more additional disorders. These persons with a history of three or more co-morbid disorders were estimated to be one-sixth of the U.S. population, or some 43 million people (Kessler, 1994).

McGinnis and Foege, (1994) report that, “the most prominent contributors to mortality in the United States in 1990 were tobacco (an estimated 400,000 deaths), diet and activity patterns (300,000), alcohol (100,000), microbial agents (90,000), toxic agents (60,000), firearms (35,000), sexual behavior (30,000), motor vehicles (25,000), and illicit use of drugs (20,000). Acknowledging that the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality was risky behavior lifestyles, the U.S. Prevention Services Task Force set out to research behavioral counseling interventions in health care settings (Williams & Wilkins, 1996).

Poor Prognosis

We have come to realize today more than any other time in history that the treatment of lifestyle diseases and addictions are often a difficult and frustrating task for all concerned. Repeated failures abound with all of the addictions, even with utilizing the most effective treatment strategies. But why do 47% of patients treated in private treatment programs (for example) relapse within the first year following treatment (Gorski,T., 2001)? Have addiction specialists become conditioned to accept failure as the norm? There are many reasons for this poor prognosis. Some would proclaim that addictions are psychosomatically- induced and maintained in a semi-balanced force field of driving and restraining multidimensional forces. Others would say that failures are due simply to a lack of self-motivation or will power. Most would agree that lifestyle behavioral addictions are serious health risks that deserve our attention, but could it possibly be that patients with multiple addictions are being under diagnosed (with a single dependence) simply due to a lack of diagnostic tools and resources that are incapable of resolving the complexity of assessing and treating a patient with multiple addictions?

Diagnostic Delineation

Thus far, the DSM-IV-TR has not delineated a diagnosis for the complexity of multiple behavioral and substance addictions. It has reserved the Poly-substance Dependence diagnosis for a person who is repeatedly using at least three groups of substances during the same 12-month period, but the criteria for this diagnosis do not involve any behavioral addiction symptoms. In the Psychological Factors Affecting Medical Condition’s section (DSM-IV-TR, 2000); maladaptive health behaviors (e.g., overeating, unsafe sexual practices, excessive alcohol and drug use, etc.) may be listed on Axis I only if they are significantly affecting the course of treatment of a medical or mental condition.

Since successful treatment outcomes are dependent on thorough assessments, accurate diagnoses, and comprehensive individualized treatment planning, it is no wonder that repeated rehabilitation failures and low success rates are the norm instead of the exception in the addictions field, when the latest DSM-IV-TR does not even include a diagnosis for multiple addictive behavioral disorders. Treatment clinics need to have a treatment planning system and referral network that is equipped to thoroughly assess multiple addictive and mental health disorders and related treatment needs and comprehensively provide education/ awareness, prevention strategy groups, and/ or specific addictions treatment services for individuals diagnosed with multiple addictions. Written treatment goals and objectives should be specified for each separate addiction and dimension of an individuals’ life, and the desired performance outcome or completion criteria should be specifically stated, behaviorally based (a visible activity), and measurable.

New Proposed Diagnosis

To assist in resolving the limited DSM-IV-TRs’ diagnostic capability, a multidimensional diagnosis of “Poly-behavioral Addiction,” is proposed for more accurate diagnosis leading to more effective treatment planning. This diagnosis encompasses the broadest category of addictive disorders that would include an individual manifesting a combination of substance abuse addictions, and other obsessively-compulsive behavioral addictive behavioral patterns to pathological gambling, religion, and/ or sex / pornography, etc.). Behavioral addictions are just as damaging – psychologically and socially as alcohol and drug abuse. They are comparative to other life-style diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease in their behavioral manifestations, their etiologies, and their resistance to treatments. They are progressive disorders that involve obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviors. They are also characterized by a preoccupation with a continuous or periodic loss of control, and continuous irrational behavior in spite of adverse consequences.

Poly-behavioral addiction would be described as a state of periodic or chronic physical, mental, emotional, cultural, sexual and/ or spiritual/ religious intoxication. These various types of intoxication are produced by repeated obsessive thoughts and compulsive practices involved in pathological relationships to any mood-altering substance, person, organization, belief system, and/ or activity. The individual has an overpowering desire, need or compulsion with the presence of a tendency to intensify their adherence to these practices, and evidence of phenomena of tolerance, abstinence and withdrawal, in which there is always physical and/ or psychic dependence on the effects of this pathological relationship. In addition, there is a 12 – month period in which an individual is pathologically involved with three or more behavioral and/ or substance use addictions simultaneously, but the criteria are not met for dependence for any one addiction in particular (Slobodzien, J., 2005). In essence, Poly-behavioral addiction is the synergistically integrated chronic dependence on multiple physiologically addictive substances and behaviors (e.g., using/ abusing substances – nicotine, alcohol, & drugs, and/or acting impulsively or obsessively compulsive in regards to gambling, food binging, sex, and/ or religion, etc.) simultaneously.

New Proposed Theory

The Addictions Recovery Measurement System’s (ARMS) theory is a nonlinear, dynamical, non-hierarchical model that focuses on interactions between multiple risk factors and situational determinants similar to catastrophe and chaos theories in predicting and explaining addictive behaviors and relapse. Multiple influences trigger and operate within high-risk situations and influence the global multidimensional functioning of an individual. The process of relapse incorporates the interaction between background factors (e.g., family history, social support, years of possible dependence, and co-morbid psychopathology), physiological states (e.g., physical withdrawal), cognitive processes (e.g., self-efficacy, cravings, motivation, the abstinence violation effect, outcome expectancies), and coping skills (Brownell et al., 1986; Marlatt & Gordon, 1985). To put it simply, small changes in an individual’s behavior can result in large qualitative changes at the global level and patterns at the global level of a system emerge solely from numerous little interactions.

The ARMS hypothesis purports that there is a multidimensional synergistically negative resistance that individual’s develop to any one form of treatment to a single dimension of their lives, because the effects of an individual’s addiction have dynamically interacted multi-dimensionally. Having the primary focus on one dimension is insufficient. Traditionally, addiction treatment programs have failed to accommodate for the multidimensional synergistically negative effects of an individual having multiple addictions, (e.g. nicotine, alcohol, and obesity, etc.). Behavioral addictions interact negatively with each other and with strategies to improve overall functioning. They tend to encourage the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, help increase violence, decrease functional capacity, and promote social isolation. Most treatment theories today involve assessing other dimensions to identify dual diagnosis or co-morbidity diagnoses, or to assess contributing factors that may play a role in the individual’s primary addiction. The ARMS’ theory proclaims that a multidimensional treatment plan must be devised addressing the possible multiple addictions identified for each one of an individual’s life dimensions in addition to developing specific goals and objectives for each dimension.

The ARMS acknowledges the complexity and unpredictable nature of lifestyle addictions following the commitment of an individual to accept assistance with changing their lifestyles. The Stages of Change model (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1984) is supported as a model of motivation, incorporating five stages of readiness to change: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. The ARMS theory supports the constructs of self-efficacy and social networking as outcome predictors of future behavior across a wide variety of lifestyle risk factors (Bandura, 1977). The Relapse Prevention cognitive-behavioral approach (Marlatt, 1985) with the goal of identifying and preventing high-risk situations for relapse is also supported within the ARMS theory.

The ARMS continues to promote Twelve Step Recovery Groups such as Food Addicts and Alcoholics Anonymous along with spiritual and religious recovery activities as a necessary means to maintain outcome effectiveness. The beneficial effects of AA may be attributable in part to the replacement of the participant’s social network of drinking friends with a fellowship of AA members who can provide motivation and support for maintaining abstinence (Humphreys, K.; Mankowski, E.S, 1999) and (Morgenstern, J.; Labouvie, E.; McCrady, B.S.; Kahler, C.W.; and Frey, R.M., 1997). In addition, AA’s approach often results in the development of coping skills, many of which are similar to those taught in more structured psychosocial treatment settings, thereby leading to reductions in alcohol consumption (NIAAA, June 2005).

Treatment Progress Dimensions

The American Society of Addiction Medicine’s (2003), “Patient Placement Criteria for the Treatment of Substance-Related Disorders, 3rd Edition”, has set the standard in the field of addiction treatment for recognizing the totality of the individual in his or her life situation. This includes the internal interconnection of multiple dimensions from biomedical to spiritual, as well as external relationships of the individual to the family and larger social groups. Life-style addictions may affect many domains of an individual’s functioning and frequently require multi-modal treatment. Real progress however, requires appropriate interventions and motivating strategies for every dimension of an individual’s life.

The Addictions Recovery Measurement System (ARMS) has identified the following seven treatment progress areas (dimensions) in an effort to: (1) assist clinicians with identifying additional motivational techniques that can increase an individual’s awareness to make progress: (2) measure within treatment progress, and (3) measure after treatment outcome effectiveness:

PD- 1. Abstinence/ Relapse: Progress Dimension

PD- 2. Bio-medical/ Physical: Progress Dimension

PD- 3. Mental/ Emotional: Progress Dimension

PD- 4. Social/ Cultural: Progress Dimension

PD- 5. Educational/ Occupational: Progress Dimension

PD- 6. Attitude/ Behavioral: Progress Dimension

PD- 7. Spirituality/ Religious: Progress Dimension

Considering that addictions involve unbalanced life-styles operating within semi-stable equilibrium force fields, the ARMS philosophy promotes that positive treatment effectiveness and successful outcomes are the result of a synergistic relationship with “The Higher Power,” that spiritually elevates and connects an individuals’ multiple life functioning dimensions by reducing chaos and increasing resilience to bring an individual harmony, wellness, and productivity.

Addictions Recovery Measurement – Subsystems

Since chronic lifestyle diseases and disorders such as diabetes, hypertension, alcoholism, drug and behavioral addictions cannot be cured, but only managed – how should we effectively manage poly-behavioral addiction?

The Addiction Recovery Measurement System (ARMS) is proposed utilizing a multidimensional integrative assessment, treatment planning, treatment progress, and treatment outcome measurement tracking system that facilitates rapid and accurate recognition and evaluation of an individual’s comprehensive life-functioning progress dimensions. The “ARMS”- systematically, methodically, interactively, & spiritually combines the following five versatile subsystems that may be utilized individually or incorporated together:

1) The Prognostication System – composed of twelve screening instruments developed to evaluate an individual’s total life-functioning dimensions for a comprehensive bio-psychosocial assessment for an objective 5-Axis diagnosis with a point-based Global Assessment of Functioning score;

2) The Target Intervention System – that includes the Target Intervention Measure (TIM) and Target Progress Reports (A) & (B), for individualized goal-specific treatment planning;

3) The Progress Point System – a standardized performance-based motivational recovery point system utilized to produce in-treatment progress reports on six life-functioning individual dimensions;

4) The Multidimensional Tracking System – with its Tracking Team Surveys (A) & (B), along with the ARMS Discharge criteria guidelines utilizes a multidisciplinary tracking team to assist with discharge planning; and

5) The Treatment Outcome Measurement System – that utilizes the following two measurement instruments: (a) The Treatment Outcome Measure (TOM); and (b) the Global Assessment of Progress (GAP), to assist with aftercare treatment planning.

National Movement

With the end of the Cold War, the threat of a world nuclear war has diminished considerably. It may be hard to imagine that in the end, comedians may be exploiting the humor in the fact that it wasn’t nuclear warheads, but “French fries” that annihilated the human race. On a more serious note, lifestyle diseases and addictions are the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality, yet brief preventive behavioral assessments and counseling interventions are under-utilized in health care settings (Whitlock, 2002).

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded that effective behavioral counseling interventions that address personal health practices hold greater promise for improving overall health than many secondary preventive measures, such as routine screening for early disease (USPSTF, 1996). Common health-promoting behaviors include healthy diet, regular physical exercise, smoking cessation, appropriate alcohol/ medication use, and responsible sexual practices to include use of condoms and contraceptives.

350 national organizations and 250 State public health, mental health, substance abuse, and environmental agencies support the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Healthy People 2010” program. This national initiative recommends that primary care clinicians utilize clinical preventive assessments and brief behavioral counseling for early detection, prevention, and treatment of lifestyle disease and addiction indicators for all patients’ upon every healthcare visit.

Partnerships and coordination among service providers, government departments, and community organizations in providing treatment programs are a necessity in addressing the multi-task solution to poly-behavioral addiction. I encourage you to support the mental health and addiction programs in America, and hope that the (ARMS) resources can assist you to personally fight the War on pathological eating disorders within poly-behavioral addiction.

For more info see:

Poly-Behavioral Addiction and the Addictions Recovery Measurement System,

By James Slobodzien, Psy.D., CSAC at:

[http://www.geocities.com/drslbdzn/Behavioral-Addictions.html]

Food Addicts Anonymous: http://www.foodaddictsanonymous.org/

Alcoholics Anonymous: http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org/

References

American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition,

Text Revision. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p. 787 & p. 731.

American Society of Addiction Medicine’s (2003), “Patient Placement Criteria for the

Treatment of Substance-Related Disorders, 3rd Edition,. Retrieved, June 18, 2005, from:

http://www.asam.org/

Bandura, A. (1977), Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review,

84, 191-215.

Brownell, K. D., Marlatt, G. A., Lichtenstein, E., & Wilson, G. T. (1986). Understanding and preventing relapse. American Psychologist, 41, 765-782.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Retrieved June 18, 2005, from: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/

Gorski, T. (2001), Relapse Prevention In The Managed Care Environment. GORSKI-CENAPS Web

Healthy People 2010. Retrieved June 20, 2005, from: http://www.healthypeople.gov/

Publications. Retrieved June 20, 2005, from: http://www.tgorski.com

Lienard, J. & Vamecq, J. (2004), Presse Med, Oct 23;33(18 Suppl):33-40.

Marlatt, G. A. (1985). Relapse prevention: Theoretical rationale and overview of the model. In G. A.

Marlatt & J. R. Gordon (Eds.), Relapse prevention (pp. 250-280). New York: Guilford Press.

McGinnis JM, Foege WH (1994). Actual causes of death in the United States. US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC 20201

Humphreys, K.; Mankowski, E.S.; Moos, R.H.; and Finney, J.W (1999). Do enhanced friendship networks and active coping mediate the effect of self-help groups on substance abuse? Ann Behav Med 21(1):54-60.

Kessler, R.C., McGonagle, K.A., Zhao, S., Nelson, C.B., Hughes, M., Eshleman, S., Wittchen, H. H,-U, & Kendler, K.S. (1994). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders in the United

States: Results from the national co morbidity survey. Arch. Gen. Psychiat., 51, 8-19.

Morgenstern, J.; Labouvie, E.; McCrady, B.S.; Kahler, C.W.; and Frey, R.M (1997). Affiliation with Alcoholics Anonymous after treatment: A study of its therapeutic effects and mechanisms of action. J Consult Clin Psychol 65(5):768-777.

Orford, J. (1985). Excessive appetites: A psychological view of addiction. New York: Wiley.

Prochaska, J. O., & DiClemente, C. C. (1984). The transtheoretical approach: Crossing the boundaries of therapy. Malabar, FL: Krieger.

Slobodzien, J. (2005). Poly-behavioral Addiction and the Addictions Recovery Measurement System (ARMS), Booklocker.com, Inc., p. 5.

Whitlock, E.P. (1996). Evaluating Primary Care Behavioral Counseling Interventions: An Evidence-based Approach. Am J Prev Med 2002;22(4): 267-84.Williams & Wilkins. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Guide to Clinical Preventive Services. 2nd ed. Alexandria, VA.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2010 (Conference Edition). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2000.

World Health Organization, (WHO). Retrieved June 18, 2005, from: http://www.who.int/topics/obesity/en/

Advantages to Computers in the Food & Beverage Industry

Computers have revolutionized the food and beverage industry as they have nearly every other industry. Computers have had positive, measurable effects on the front end and back end of hospitality operations. Computers systems have improved employee performance, and food and beverage quality and consistency. Within the food and beverage industry there is no longer a question of should technology be used, but rather a question of which technology to use? In the food and beverage business, computers are here to stay.

In the hospitality industry, customer service is an absolute critical factor for success. Computers are helping in this area in several ways. In many restaurants, the wait staff can process various forms of payment at guest tables, which allows guest to leave directly from their table without the need to stop at a centralized checkout station. This has removed long unsightly lines, which annoy customers, and disrupt the flow of traffic in food and beverage businesses. This service is made possible by either small hand held computers which handle credit card transactions using wireless technology, or via remote point of sale systems that interact with a central computer system. This improves the customers dining experience, which should be the goal of any food service business.

A key management concern of any food and beverage business is the profit margin. In this vital area of business, computers have also proven to be an indispensable tool. Computer systems help manage the entire food service process from ordering the ingredients needed to produce menu items, to forecasting the amount of items to prepare for each dining period based on historical patterns. This helps to reduce wasted food, which is very expensive and comes out of the businesses profit. It also helps in preparing menu items before hand, which reduces customer wait time. Computer can also forecast with high accuracy rates the volume of business to be expected which allows managers to properly staff their business. This is vital because having too much staff on hand can consume unnecessary amounts of payroll, and not having enough staff on hand will cause customer service problems.

Computers are also being used in very innovative ways by some food and beverage businesses. For instance, Darden Restaurants that owns and operates the Red lobster and Olive Garden chains uses computers to help choose new building sites. This computer system uses a software program called the Darden Site Analyzer. The software gathers critical information needed to select a site, such as demographics, distance to other restaurants and customer information specific to the Darden business model. The program then analyzes the site and provides a series of reports to help Darden make the final decision. Darden plans to improve the software so that it can evaluate things such as whether a new Darden restaurant will negatively effect other Darden restaurants in the same area.

Computer systems have become a vital part of all aspects of the food and beverage industry, they help with purchasing decisions, inventory control, employee scheduling and training, and customer acquisition and retention. A leading indicator of this growing trend is the fact that many hospitality training programs now include computer and technology courses in the curriculum.

Each year innovators are creating more unique ways that technology can be used to enhance the overall commercial dining experience. Computers make out of home dining a more enjoyable experience for the consumer and a more profitable manageable experience for business managers and owners.

(c) 2006, Marcus Barber

Role Of Food Service Consultants

If you have ever received bad service in a restaurant, you know that it can be a sales killer for any restaurant business. However, if you desire to have your restaurant be among the better restaurants in town and you aspire to be the best in your niche, then, providing great service is one of the best ways to earn a strong reputation. And one person that can help you deliver great is a professional food service consultant. The professional food service consultant can advise and give you the guidance you on the proper service techniques for your concept and assist in training how to deliver great service.

Providing great service is complex and needs all departments to coordinate their training and to achieve great service. It effects each food service departments such as banqueting, catering, room service and kitchen. Good food and beverage managers learn how to organize each of these departments to achieve great service.

Providing great service in hotels is even more complicated because there are so many departments involved. Every department imaginable including housekeeping, human resources and purchasing can have an impact on service. Different types of hotels have different food service needs as well. Little wonder that providing great service is so complicated. Food service consultants are the experts who know exactly what is needed by different restaurants.

Food service consultants play an active role in recipe development. They take on a number of services like:

– Development of food products

– Compilation and preparation of recipes

– Developing new ideas for recipes

– Innovating new product range

– Product management from planning to cooking and presentation

– Analyses of the market

– Analyses of competitors

– Recipe development

– Menu development advice and planning

– Catering

– Product tasting and evaluation

– Food styling and presentation

– Food recommendations

In addition to the above, food service consultants also focus on the nutritive value of foods so that the restaurant can serve foods that appeal to a large number of customers. Food consultants can even provide food specific nutrient analysis to show the exact number of calories, protein, carbs and vitamins in particular foods. This is important as many people are becoming more health conscious. A well trained food consultant can help you modify your recipes so that they are flavorful, visually appealing and nutritious.

Along with recipe development, good food consultants also can support the training of your people.

Therefore, if your restaurant business seems to be lagging behind and you just don’t know what to do, consider contacting a professional food consultant to assist in supporting your needs. You could also depend on food and beverage consultants to produce attractive pictures and sales materials for the restaurant.

Great food and service is an integral component to your restaurant business. A restaurant with excellent food service is the foundation for popular.

5 Advantages of a Home Made Ice Cream Maker

Ice cream is one of the worlds’ favorite comfort foods. It just seems to make everything better, don’t you agree? You can mix it with fruits, custard, wafers, chocolates, nuts, brownies, cheeses and other stuff that people like, to give it different wonderful flavors. There are even eccentric flavors such as squid, wasabi, chicken, and bacon! Ice cream has been enjoyed by the elite from as early as second century B.C., and as its goodness became known, more and more people hungered after it which gave birth to its massive production in the 1800s.

Surprisingly, not a lot of people know that you don’t have to look for a gelateria or sherbet shop every time you want some dessert. Through developments in technology, you can now make your own frozen dessert according to your tastes. Ice cream makers are available in the market and can be purchased in almost any appliance shops or online store. Some think that these machines are expensive but the truth is they have many advantages that can outweigh their prices.

  1. One of the main advantages of having a homemade ice cream maker is the ability to create healthy desserts anytime. Unexpected guests may always visit one’s home and it can be a real treat to serve them delicious homemade desserts such as sorbets, sherbert and yogurt. You can always lug one of these over to a friend’s house to have an impromptu party, as most of them can be easily cleaned and stored after without hassle.
  2. Another good thing about these machines is that they can be used to make different ice cream flavors effortlessly. Right after you create one mix, you can go ahead and pour it into a freezer bowl and make another one. Even a cheaper model can make tons of flavors since most of these machines can create desserts in as little as 20 minutes.
  3. Aside from portability and ease of use, the homemade stuff is healthier than most frozen desserts bought in the store. You may not be so sure whether the ice cream that you are about to buy from the grocery has been defrosted and frozen back several times which can lose its flavor and health benefits. Having a homemade ice cream maker gives you the option to create your own flavor and to put ingredients which you think are beneficial to you.
  4. If you are looking for a quality machine for a fraction of the price, you may also look into buying a durable ice cream maker online. A durable one can last a long time and it can be very good investment if you are planning to use it very often. Some of the trusted brands in the market are Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, Lello and KitchenAid. They can be easily purchased online where you can also read feedback from users so you can assess if their features are apt for your needs.
  5. Last but not the least, having a homemade ice cream maker saves you time than going out and looking for the flavor that you want. You do not need to be a professional to create new flavors. All you need to do is to look for a recipe and gather all the ingredients and you can make as much ice cream as you want.

Making healthy desserts should not be too hard if you have all the things that you need. Whether you have a pricey ice cream maker or a cheaper model, enjoying healthy desserts is always possible at the comfort of your own home.

The Benefits of Having a Healthy Heart

The heart plays a vital role in keeping the body alive. The heart is a pump that pumps life through the body. The heart has two main functions. It pumps blood to the lungs to retrieve oxygen and then pumps that oxygen into the blood and transports it around the rest of the body.

The heart is actually muscle and you have to keep training the muscle to maintain its conditioning. As the saying goes if you don’t use it you will lose it, and this also applies to the heart.

When the heart is in top condition the body works like a highly maintained car engine, it runs perfectly. A heart that is healthy and well taken care off is more able to cope with demands and stress that is put on the body. As the body has been designed to move it is the constant of physical activity that keeps your heart fit.

A healthy heart can provide you and your body with many benefits as follows:

• By acquiring the habit of doing physical exercise everyday you can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease and coronary heart attack. These exercises do not have to be intensive are done for a long period. As little as 15 minutes a day of exercise that makes you breathless will greatly improve the health of the heart.

• A heart that is healthy and strong will enable the body to function more effectively. This will enable the body to take on more strenuous activities and the common daily tasks are done with efficiency and comfort.

• A trained and healthy heart works more efficiently than one that is out of condition. This means the it beats at a lower rate when the body is resting. Over time this means the heart works less and does not wear out.

• The great thing about your heart is that it has the ability to heal and repair itself. For example, if it has already been damaged by heart disease it can be repaired through the proper healing processes and activities.

As you can see the heart plays a very important role and as it is a muscle of the body you have to keep training it to keep it healthy. The best way to do this is to look at your current lifestyle and see if any improvements can be made. For example, you could cut down on high fat foods and introduce more fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet. If you do not take any exercise then maybe you should consider joining a gym or go for a jog a couple of times a week to keep you and your heart in shape.

Always seek medical advise before changing your diet or taking physical exercise if you have a health condition.

Healthy Eating – Four Reasons to Take Probiotics

If you are someone who is interested in maximizing your health, one thing you might be considering is your intake of probiotics. These healthy bacteria live in the stomach and help keep your immune system strong, promote optimal digestion, and keep your entire body working in proper order.

While everyone needs to be consuming a healthy dose of probiotics on a regular basis, there are particular times when you need to increase your dose.

Let’s take a closer look at the main times when serving yourself a little extra dose of probiotics is a wise move…

1. When You Are Ill. Because probiotics play a vital role in keeping your immune system in top shape, it is important you focus on consuming these probiotics when you are struggling with your health.

If you are currently ill, an extra dose can give you the power your body needs to fend off whatever it is fighting: helping you get back to optimal health. When you have a common cold or the flu, as well as when you are struggling with a health issue, an additional dose could be helpful.

2. After You Have Completed The Prescribed Antibiotics. While you are sick and need antibiotics, they can be useful. What they won’t be good for is your gut health. Antibiotics will kill any harmful bacteria currently residing in your system. However, they will also take out all the “good” bacteria.

Serving yourself an extra dose of probiotics during this time can help bring your gut environment back to optimal, ensuring your immune system stays strong.

3. Before And During Travel. The next time it is a smart move to add a few extra probiotics to your daily menu is before and during travel. Before travel, the goal is to make your immune system as healthy as possible, which will help fend off any viruses present in the area you are going.

During the traveling period, taking the probiotics will help keep your system as healthy as possible, and help you avoid any digestive woes that may occur due to eating foods, not your typical dining choices. If you are all about trying local cuisine when you travel, your taste buds may enjoy this, but your stomach may feel otherwise. Using a probiotic may help prevent unwanted issues from occurring.

4. Throughout Pregnancy. Finally, the last time to make sure a probiotic is present in your life is throughout pregnancy. Keeping your body extra healthy at this point is important, and a good quality probiotic may help to reduce your risk of suffering from birth-related complications such as Gestational diabetes.

As you can see, a probiotic is not something you want to slough off and take lightly. It is a must-have in any diet plan aiming to keep you as healthy as possible.

Things You Should Do When Getting Pharmaceutical Supplies

The health industry is one of the most sensitive. It is supposed to extend solutions to improve health and the slightest overlook could be the thin line between life and death. Pharmaceutical supplies are important and they should be handled with the seriousness they deserve. If you are a supplier you will only manage to create a good reputation in the market only with quality products that are approved by the right bodies.

This is something that you should be able to do by taking the right measures when getting your supplies, especially when dealing with manufacturers offering the supplies online. There is more emphasis on checking out the credibility of the manufacturer or supplier before trusting them with your orders and any other medical supply needs you may have.

Find out whether the manufacturer adheres to good manufacturing practice

There are set standards when it comes to manufacturing pharmaceutical products and your manufacturer should be compliant in every sense. The GMP requirements should not only be met in the manufacturing plant, but also with the products that the company produces. With such requirements being met, you at least have assurance that you can trust in the quality of your products.

Find out whether the manufacturer works with a product line you are interested in

Health products are numerous and come in different categories. Whether you are looking for specific drugs, supplements or steroids and hormonal products, you want to be sure that your manufacturer does produce them and can meet with your requirements. Some manufacturers may specialize in one category, whereas others may deal with more than one product. Choose a manufacturer you can trust with your current supply needs as well as any future needs that you may have.

Ensure the products are cleared and approved by the relevant health bodies

FDA seems to be the most recognized body and only high quality products that meet global standards are approved and cleared. It is actually very important even for consumers to ensure that they buy only health products that have been approved by this body or any other relevant body depending on where they are located. You do not want to put the health of others at risk by getting products whose quality is unknown.

Make queries about the product you are about to buy

Finding out as much as you can about a product is important, especially if it is a product you are not very familiar with. From the information given by the supplier or manufacturer, you will be able to make an informed decision that you won’t regret. You should also not forget to check dates, especially the expiry date so you know the shelf-life of the products you are buying. If you are a patient trying to buy your products directly from manufacturers it is best that you get some insight from your doctor. Doctors are among the first to know about new health care products and may prove beneficial guiding you to the right ones.

Vet Costs: The Top 5 Secrets To Dramatically Lower Them

Veterinary Care is expensive. I should know, for I am a Veterinarian who owned a Veterinary Hospital for nearly 15 years. Veterinary Medicine has changed dramatically in the last 30 years; gone are the days of James Herriot when vets treated every type of animal, and regularly made house calls. This article will give you an understanding of why veterinary charges have gone up so much, and the top 5 things you can do to lower your vet costs.

As veterinarians can offer more advance diagnostics and treatment, veterinary fees have risen accordingly. Vet visits and surgery cost dog owners almost $800 and cat owners $500 last year, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. If your pet becomes seriously ill, you can easily spend thousands. Knee surgery in dogs can easily cost over $5,000; a pet with cancer can have radiation therapy and chemotherapy costing in excess of $7,000.

Veterinarians are charging more to make their practices profitable, and obviously make more money. Veterinary clinics have escalating costs of staff salaries, higher expenses for the diagnostic equipment, yet also seeing decreases in new clients. For a clinic to financially profit, it means charging more per client, and having the clients come into the practice more often. This combination of higher salaries, expenses, but no real new clients means the only way for most practices to make more money is to charge more per client; hence higher vet costs.

My first suggestion is to price shop. Prices at animal hospitals can vary widely. In my small town of Nelson, I charged the least of all the practices, but many clients didn’t know that. Make sure you get recommendations from other pet owners first. There is a misconception that the higher priced practices give a better quality of care – but this is often not true. Ask about the common procedures, like vaccines, checkups, neutering and spaying. In addition, do not forget to ask for discounts from your vet. If clients ask, they will often get a discount. Some vets offer multiple pet discounts as well as discounts for seniors.

Be wary of the business practice popularized by McDonald’s, ‘The Upsell’. Examples of this include your veterinarian suggesting ‘preventive’ diagnostic tests during a check up, or in many cases advising having a dental cleaning. You should be asking and questioning why? Just how bad are the teeth; is the degree of dental disease really that significant? One of the major veterinary associations is advising that any pet with Grade 1 gingivitis (mild gum inflammation) have a dental scale and polish. This procedure is at least 300 dollars. This has risks for your pet would need to be under general anesthetic. It has high profit margins as the Animal Health Technician or Assistant usually does all the work. However in my opinion, a pet with mild gum disease does not need this done. You can begin preventive care at home. You could begin to brush your pet’s teeth. You could feed a diet designed to break off some of the plaque and tartar.This is only one example, although it is the biggest up-sell in Veterinary Medicine today.

Hospitalization fees are another often avoidable expense. Your Vet will make a lot more money if he (or she) can keep your pet in the veterinary hospital. They can charge a fee for the day of hospitalization, plus a fee for re-examining your pet in the morning. Ask to have the Procedure performed while you are there. Let’s use X-Rays as an example. Get the practice to schedule this while you are there and waiting – it doesn’t take long to perform X-Rays. They will likely comply if you only ask. By being a little bit of a ‘pain in the butt’, you will get better service at a lower price.

Medication is expensive, and it’s marked up a lot at your vet. The markups range from 50% to 125% plus the prescription fee. There are many ways to save money on pet medications. First, ask your vet about a drug’s cost and find out if it is available through pharmacies. Your local drug store may offer it at a much cheaper price. Also, ask your vet about lower-priced generic medications that would be appropriate. In addition to your local pharmacy, check veterinary-medication prices at DrsFosterSmith.com, 1800PetMeds.com, and PetCareRx.com. You have the right to ask your veterinarian for prescriptions that you can fill elsewhere, and save yourself unnecessary expenses.

The biggest key to lowering your veterinary fees is by being an involved and empowered pet owner. Take charge of your pet’s health care. You know your pet better that anyone else. How well do you think a Veterinarian can get to know your pet with a 15 minute visit once a year? Educate yourself on basic at home veterinary care, and use many of the inexpensive natural remedies. Let’s use allergies as an example, for many of you have allergic pets. You can either continue to use expensive prescription medication from your vet, or start with some natural remedies. These include therapeutic doses of essential fatty acids, being 1000mg per 10lbs of body weight daily. Or it can be using a herbal remedy called Licorice to stop the itching. This is only one small example, but do you see how you can take charge of your pet’s health care and have a happier healthier pet?

You should now have an understanding of why veterinary costs are rapidly rising, but more important what you can do about it. You can price shop, avoid the common veterinary up-sells, avoid hospitalization fees, get less expensive prescription medication, and take charge of your pet’s health care by using inexpensive at home remedies. I encourage you to at least use some of these suggestions to start saving money immediately on your vet costs.

The Diet of Prehistoric Humans

Even though there was a complete lack of scientific evidence to support Mr. Key’s saturated fat/cholesterol theory of heart disease, the government and professional medical associations eventually agreed that Americans should eat less red meat, whole dairy products, eggs and all other foods high in saturated fat. And although since then, 50 years and millions of dollars have been spent on scientific studies trying to link consumption of animal fat with increased rates of heart disease, all studies show there is no such link.

Perhaps it was the failure of scientists to demonstrate a link between consumption of animal fat and heart disease that many other arguments have been made in favor of diets that limit the amount of meat in the diet. Many go far beyond health and nutrition and include a wide range of topics such as the environmental impact of feeding a population on meat, or the suffering of animals.

One of the most obviously flawed of these arguments is the claim that our early ancestors ate very little meat.

If you’re of European descent, your early ancestors were almost entirely dependent upon the consumption of animal flesh for about half of the year.

Before the advent of agriculture, human beings were hunter-gatherers. They depended on gathering food from their wild habitat.

For the ancient hunter-gatherers of Europe, the first frosts of autumn brought an end to the supply of fresh fruits and vegetables. Nuts and seeds would have been plentiful in the autumn season. However, these foods are soon depleted by rodents, birds and other mammals in stiff competition for food when cold weather causes foods of plant and insect origin to disappear from the landscape.

Not only is it nearly impossible to obtain foods of plant origin during cold winter months when the snow covered ground is frozen solid and streams are covered by a thick layer of ice, but also, early spring is the most difficult time of year to obtain food from plants because all nuts and seeds have been thoroughly depleted and sporadic freezes delay the onset of the growing season. After the ground thaws, roots can be dug and some edible sprouts grow rapidly in mid spring, but most fruits aren’t available until at least early summer.

The importance of the hunt for large mammals by our early ancestors is clearly supported in the archaeological evidence they left behind. One of the most common images left on the walls inside caves of prehistoric man is that of the hunt of deer, bison, mammoth and other large mammals.

The hunt for large mammals took on a religious tone. This is the natural result of a people who depend heavily upon animals for their own lives. They depended upon these large animals for food, depended upon their hides for warm clothing, used the bones of animals for tools, and even used animal parts as ornaments to grace their bodies.

The same religious tones surrounding the hunt for mammals is evident in the aboriginal peoples of Northern Asia, Australia, Africa, the Americas and other prehistoric peoples around the globe.

Meat and the flesh of other animals was one of the primary, and for some prehistoric cultures, the only plentiful source of food. So the claim that the diet of our prehistoric ancestors consisted of little meat and saturated fat is simply ridiculous. For thousands of years humans depended upon meat for nourishment, often eating nothing else for months at a time.

The next claim grain pushers make is that the meat of wild animals eaten by prehistoric people was very lean, and did not provide large amounts of fat, like modern cows.

But the truth is that among prehistoric human cultures, both the fat and high cholesterol liver were highly prized parts of animals they hunted. They ate the liver raw soon after the kill. And they removed every last bit of fat from the animal and rationed it, adding it to all meals, even meals of vegetable origin. Unlike most people in modern America, they knew the value of animal fat and the important role it played in human nutrition. The leanest cuts of meat became food for their dogs.

As an example of the extra effort they put into getting plenty of animal fat in the diet, the Inuit of North America made pemmican. They dried and crushed the lean meat and added fat in a fifty-fifty mix so that every mouth-full included as much fat as it did lean meat.

Every one of the thousands of large animal bones I ever found while digging on sites occupied by prehistoric humans, had been cracked open to remove the fat in the bone marrow. This fat was part of the ingredients of pemmican.

We are the first culture of people that ever intentionally avoided animal fat, the first people to trim fat off meat and discard it. Ancient people and those living traditional cultures would have thought you had gone mad if they saw you cut the fat off meat and throw it away.

Throughout history and around the world, all previous cultures prized animal fat as a vital part of the diet. To improve the nutritional value of food, they added animal fat to many foods that didn’t have animal fat to begin with.

Furthermore, the tradition of adding animal fat to foods continued right up until the 1980’s when they put the final touches on the process of replacing expensive animal fat with cheaply produced vegetable oil, a process that began in the beginning of the 1900’s, a process that is directly correlated with increasing rates of heart disease.

Not only did our hunter-gatherer prehistoric ancestors know more about which natural foods provide optimum health than we do today, even wild animals know more about which natural foods are most healthful to their bodies.

We’re out-of-touch with nature and out-of-touch with our bodies. And we’re causing misery to both.

Modern medicine has increased the average life expectancy by heroics that enable most babies, no matter how weak and sickly, and no matter how badly deformed at birth, to live at least into middle age. Using antibiotics, it has eliminated millions of deaths caused by virus and bacteria. Moreover, using modern techniques, they can keep the sick and dying alive for decades, even if they have to hook them up to tubes and machines. But heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and even tooth decay were practically nonexistent in ancient humans, largely because the diet of prehistoric humans was far more nutritious than the diet of most people today.

The truth is that the unnatural high carbohydrate(sugar) diet was born with the invention of agriculture and the development of grain. And the reason grain became the primary source of food for the masses is that grain madepossible the formation of large and powerful centers of human population called civilization.

Civilization was impossible when humans were hunter-gatherers because local wild plants and animals were soon depleted. Once depleted, the group had to move to a new location for food. The larger the group of

people, the more often they were forced to move to new lands in search of food. Therefore, large and powerful groups of people living the hunter-gatherer life style were impossible.

But grain not only made it possible for the development of large powerful centers of human population, grain also ushered in obesity, osteoporosis, cancer, and the other “Diseases of Civilization”. (And ushered out freedom of the individual and family group)

This isn’t theory and conjecture. Introduction of these diseases to remote traditional cultures around the globe was well documented by Dr. David Livingston, Dr. Weston Price, and many other doctors in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

Before grain became a large part of the diet, even though these remote traditional cultures had never even seen a tooth brush, most people never had a single dental cavity.

One by one, remote disease-free healthy peoples living traditional cultures on every continent and the islands were introduced to the high carbohydrate(sugar) grain based diet. And within a decade, obesity, osteoporosis, cancer, tooth decay and the other “Diseases of Civilization” became part of the culture.

Organic Interior Designs

Organic design of interiors uses natural elements for creating those designs by minimal usage of synthetic materials. An organic decorator should be aware of the type of natural elements available in the market and in nature which can be used to replace those synthetic decorators. It will be quite challenging for usual indoor decorators to turn to eco-friendly interior decorators.

Now a days green or organic interior decoration is not very much accepted by the people around the world. But more than 70% of the people around the world would like to live a life which is close to nature. The reason i am telling is because, when looking the travel statistics around the world people are choosing destinations which are close to nature for their holidays. People love nature and likes to have fresh intake of oxygen. Fresh air is not available in big cities and in artificially ventilated interiors. So people are traveling to those ecological and nature friendly places spend at least some days in a year. Which type of room would you love to live in through out your lifespan whether it is an artificially created room or in a room which is filled with natural light and with a breeze of natural air.

Many people think that green interior decorating is being utilized by those who don’t want to spend much money on their interiors. People who are willing to spend much money on their interiors think that their interior will feel unusual if their turn to organic interior decorating. It is a fact that people used to return to those indoors which are organically designed than those with synthetically designed indoors. Moreover people living inside organic designed interiors have got less friction and differences among them when compared to people living in synthetically designed interiors. Organic interior design can create that ambience inside a room which can create a sense of tranquility and serenity inside the rooms.With some simple measures and changes synthetically designed rooms can be changed to organic. Organically designed interiors are decorated in such a way that it should provide that much need calm and rejuvenation for mind and soul. After all what we need for our homes or office interiors is peace of mind.

Organic interior design has become relevant in today’s world because of the amount of pollution happening in our cities. Every day people are adding more air conditioners to their rooms. Many research have proved that emissions from these air conditioners is one of the reason for climate change. Organic interior decorators around the world are having the opinion that people are gradually thinking about organic interior designs for their rooms.

Inviting Mother Nature into the home through home design is an exceptional way to get back to basics while infusing a house with warmth, color, purpose and practicality. We were originally organic to begin with, so why not keep up the tradition of peace, harmony and health.

Allure the pacifying Mother Nature into your indoors through organic interior design is an exceptional way to get back to basics while incorporating a home or office interior with warmth, color, purpose and practicality. Our ancestors lived an organic life, so why not keep up the tradition of peace, harmony and health.