Tag Archives: Food

Smokin’ Hot Surgeons Calling the Kettle Black

Image result for hynes convention center

Image result for Heart Surgeon

To start today’s post, I have an interesting story to share:  I was staffing for an event at the Hynes Convention Center this past weekend.  The event was catered to the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (in English, heart surgery).  My role at the event was line monitor, which was to monitor the pre-registration line to make sure things were running smoothly.

Once the line quieted down, I got to take a 15-minute break.  With my CBD vaporizer at hand, I went for a stroll outside.  What I saw outside was absolutely baffling to me.  I went out the doors to see members of the event…smoking cigarettes.

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Image result for Nurse Smoking Cigarette

Seriously guys…I was watching PROFESSIONAL heart surgeons smoking cigarettes outside of the Hynes Convention Center.  Some members smoked typical cigarettes while others smoked a cigar.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I witnessed surgeons having a smoke before heading back to their class.

Image result for Nurse Smoking Cigarette

Image result for Nurse Smoking Cigarette

Think about this for a minute:  these are licensed surgeons that work fixing the human heart to prevent it from stopping.  They were admitted into medical school for over TEN years studying everything they needed to know about heart surgery.  Ten years of studying, labs, homework, papers, and other school work and yet some of them smoke cigarettes during their break.  Cigarettes are the #1 cause of many heart problems in America and there are actually heart surgeons who smoke.  This observation was absolutely MIND-BLOWING to witness.  How do we have heart surgeons smoking cigarettes?  What happened?

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What happened?  AMERICA happened!  But in all seriousness, this is an interesting topic to discuss.  Employees in the medical field always caution us about smoking cigarettes every year.  Doctors and nurses ask us things like how much alcohol we drink, how much cigarettes do we smoke, do we smoke cannabis (if so, how much), and if we consume any other drugs.  Our doctors can only inform us about what’s causing the problem (there WERE doctors that advertised cigarettes on television, but that’s for another discussion!).

Image result for Medical Professional Smoking

In a surprising study, less than a quarter of doctors smoke cigarettes while nurses smoke twice as much.  While these numbers aren’t so high, it’s still alarming to hear of medical professionals smoking cigarettes during their break time.  The irony around this is that doctors/nurses advise us against smoking cigarettes, yet there are some that smoke during their free time.

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Image result for Obese Nurse

If we want to better understand this strange phenomenon, let’s shift gears from cigarettes to the obesity crisis.  Over two-thirds of Americans are considered overweight and about a quarter of people are obese.  Doctors and nurses always advise us to exercise on a daily basis as well as eating healthy food each week.  In a surprising twist, some of these doctors/nurses are overweight themselves (FYI, there are MORE overweight nurses than doctors!).  So not only do we have medical professionals smoking cigarettes, but now there’s some that are overweight or obese!

Image result for Moral/ethics code medical

Public Relations deals with the reputation of a company or businesses.  Medical professionals have a serious moral/ethics code to abide by and keeping a clean record is a serious deal.  One misstep and they could jeopardize their entire careers to the point where they lose their medical license.  Are cigarette smoking and weight issues part of the moral and ethics code that doctors/nurses abide by?  If not, then those destructive behaviors should definitely be added into the list.

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Image result for Grey's Anatomy McSteamy gif

I’m not saying that every doctor needs to look like McSteamy or McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy (although that would be a perfect world to live in!), but they should consider what kind of example they are setting for their patients.  Patients will learn through EXAMPLES set by doctors or nurses that tell them how they can lose weight or what steps to take on quitting cigarettes.  If I were an overweight/obese patient coming in for a physical check-up, I wouldn’t be motivated to lose weight if my doctor or nurse wasn’t physically healthy.  How can doctors/patients expect us to be healthy if they can’t take care of themselves?

Image result for Police Cop smoking weed

Image result for Police Cop doing coke

Here’s another analogy to consider:  police cops are always advising us against drunk driving or doing drugs in this country.  They come into grammar schools to teach kids the dangers of drugs (cocaine, meth, alcohol, heroin, etc) and how they destroy your life.  It would be EXTREMELY unprofessional if those cops were to snort some blow or inject heroin after the lessons.  Kids aren’t going to listen to you once they catch you with that joint or needle you were about to use.  Doctors/nurses who smoke that advise us against smoking is the same as cops doing drugs while telling people to not do coke or smoke crystal methamphetamine.

Image result for Obese America

Image result for Obese America

Image result for Obese America

One last thing to consider with this ironic tale:  what if the problem was us?  What if the overall health in America has gone so downhill that medical professionals have turned to smoking to combat the stress of treating their patients?  Could the stress of so many unhealthy patients have created a snowball effect where doctors/nurses have given up on teaching us how to stay healthy?  Have we lowered the bar so far down that doctors have to smoke a pack (or two) of cigarettes to get through the day?  Is this what American healthcare has come to?  If doctors/nurses can’t set the right example for living a healthy lifestyle, than who can?

Image result for Healthy man

Image result for Healthy man

As a human being, I have very little health problems I deal with.  I eat right each week and I exercise every now and then (when I’m not at the gym, I am walking around Boston or doing some cardio exercise).  While I don’t smoke cigarettes myself, I do consume cannabis as well as vape CBD oil on a daily basis.  My doctor isn’t overweight/obese and I’m unsure if he smokes cigarettes during his free time.  I wouldn’t consider myself overweight (although I could lose some of that belly fat!), but I am well aware of many health problems going on in America.

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With that, hearing about doctors/nurses smoking cigarettes sends an eerie message to us patients.  If the rate of medical professionals consuming cigarettes or are overweight is increasing, then we really need to do a double-take on America’s healthcare system.  We don’t need to force every doctor to look like something out of General Hospital, but they should consider what kind of message they are sending to us.  An overweight doctor won’t motivate me to cut back on the pizzas and fried calamari if that’s all he eats every week.

Image result for mcdreamy and mcsteamy

And as far as people’s health goes, maybe we need to stop our bitching and do the hard work necessary to live a longer life.  You and ONLY you can take the steps necessary to be healthier.  No doctor/nurse will provide you with some magic pill that will make you become just like them.  They follow the same diet/exercise routine just like everyone else.  Here are some tips if you want to look like McSteamy/McDreamy:  cut back on smoking cigarettes, exercise daily, and eat healthier every day.

Don’t Panic, the Food’s Organic!

Yesterday was the second time in a week that I dined at an organic café.  After getting a haircut and shave in Beverly, I decided to check out the Organic Garden Café on 294 Cabot Street.  I wandered into what looked like a hippie-style atmosphere that had colorful paintings hanging up on the wall.  The menu itself provided food items that I rarely come across in normal restaurants.  Various dishes contained food such as beets, sprouts, kale, avocado, spinach, bay leaves, mushrooms, and other toppings.

I decided to go for the Monk Bowl with lettuce, brown rice, and vegetarian chili.  My meal featured a colorful array of fresh veggies covering over the brown rice underneath.  The meal itself…was absolutely delicious!  Not only was this the healthiest meal I had, but it wasn’t filling where I was too full to eat anything else.  After I got home from eating at Organic Café, I was still feeling hungry for the pizza I had for dinner.

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These vegetarian organic cafés have become my new favorite trend since last week.  My first trip to an organic cafe was when my friend took me to Life Alive in Salem.  I had no idea what to expect when walking in, but it had a cool hippie vibe to it.  The employees dressed in tie-dye fashion and the place smelled of steamed vegetables that were cooking in the kitchen.  Once I got in line, I got The Lover Bowl and a Hive Alive drink.

Even though there were some food items I haven’t had before, The Lover Bowl was absolutely amazing.  It featured carrots, beets, mushrooms kale, broccoli, brown rice, and ginger nama shoyu sauce.  I finished the whole bowl and could not believe how delicious it was.  Life Alive is definitely a restaurant I would go back to if I were in Salem again.

So what I’m trying to get at with my random rambling is that you should definitely check out an organic café if you’re looking to eat some real healthy foods.  Eating a side salad at a regular restaurant is great, but organic cafés contain meals that are out of this world.  The meals are less filling and you’ll feel more energized after walking out of the place.  Life Alive and the Organic Garden Café are the only restaurants I know of within my area, but I’m sure that there are plenty of organic cafés within the Boston area (there’s a Life Alive in Cambridge, so there’s that!).

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As a health-conscious young man, I’m always searching for the latest health food trends around Boston.  Organic cafés like Life Alive are vital for people that conscious about the food they eat daily.  Regular restaurants are great, but I do crave healthy foods to keep my mind and body energized for the week.  They say a healthy mind is a healthy body (and vice-versa), so it’s important to keep them working properly as you get older.

In the end, I recommend checking out an organic café the next time you’re looking for something unique to eat.  Not only do these meals taste delicious, but they will leave you even more healthier than before.  Now you’ll remember why your parents always persuaded you to eat your veggies!

Pass the Heinz – Advertisement By Don Draper!

Welcome back folks!  It’s been an interesting week so far, what with the 1-year anniversary of MakeSandcastlesNotWar and the recent post about the ‘medical-grade’ cannabis the government has been studying with (you know, that mutated bird shit covered with stems and dirt!).  We’re done gagging over that god-awful cannabis, so now it’s time to shift gears to something more appetizing…and it originated from an award-winning TV series about advertising!

On the sixth season of Mad Men, Don Draper was asked to generate ideas for Heinz’s new advertising campaign.  The concept was simple: three different pictures of food products with the slogan ‘Pass the Heinz’ hovering over the food.  Heinz representatives disliked the idea because the Heinz ketchup bottle wasn’t featured in the images.  In Don’s perspective, he believed that the ads were “clean, simple, and incomplete” and that the consumer would immediately know what was missing — the ketchup.  Nevertheless, Heinz shot down the idea and decided to move along with another concept.

While Mad Men was just a periodical fiction drama TV series, some of their storyline is based off of real advertisements from the 60s-70s (like the Coca-Cola song on the series finale, for example!).  Some advertising ideas took off while others were set on the shelf for another time.  While it’s been almost 50 years since Don Draper pitched that idea, Heinz decided to take it off the shelf for their next advertising campaign.

Heinz decided to greenlight Don Draper’s ad idea, running almost exactly as he intended.  This ad campaign is partly a PR stunt and partly just on-brand communications that will surely delight fans of Mad Men.  AMC’s most popular periodic drama is celebrating its 10th year anniversary on July.  As a bonus, the ads will be credited to Heinz’s current agency David Miami as well as Don’s fictional firm Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.  It’s a classic ad idea that couldn’t be any relevant than today.

I thought it was SO cool to hear that one of Don Draper’s ideas will become a REAL advertising idea for Heinz!  I loved Mad Men when I binged-watch the series a few years ago and always rooted for Don Draper each episode.  Don was one of the most creative characters I ever had the pleasure of watching.  Coming from such a broken background, he came up with some really creative advertisements and he explained the premise behind each one.  Advertising may not be my biggest passion, but I truly enjoyed seeing what the advertising world was like.

This is a win-win scenario for advertising as well as public relations.  Mad Men was one of the most popular series on AMC and what better way to celebrate its upcoming 10-year anniversary than featuring Don’s original pitch to Heinz.  It’s interesting how television can spur up intriguing ideas that we would have never drawn up until we actually watch the series.  Sometimes the most creative concepts can be seen from our very own television sets.

Kudos to Don Draper for his pitch to Heinz over 50 years ago!  This campaign will give him the credit he deserved for the idea.  Who knows what other classic ideas will be pulled off the shelf to use in the future.  For right now, let’s enjoy Heinz’s newest ad campaign that was originally pitched by Don Draper!

Driving Through the Future of Pot Shop Drive-Thrus

There’s nothing more American than using the drive-thru service.  From restaurants to banks, many industries established a drive-thru option for better-quality service at a faster rate.  The first bank that utilized a drive-thru window teller was from the Grand National Bank in Saint Louis, MI in 1930.  Only deposits were allowed at the time, but it pioneered what would be a revolutionary way of completing business.

As a kid, nothing was more exciting than being taken into a drive-thru service for food.  My parents would drive me to the McDonald’s for some lunch after finishing some errands.  The concept was pure and simple:  you drove up to the microphone to place in your order (my order was usually the Quarter Pounder meal with fries and a Coke!).  Once you place your order, you drove up to the window where you pay for your meal.  After you pay for your meal, you grab your food/drinks and head home to eat.

McDonald’s is just one of many companies that embraced the drive-thru concept in America.  With more unique industries springing up each year, the need for more drive-thru services becomes more important than ever.  After last year’s elections, one industry that is looking to push out their drive-thru service is the cannabis industry.

Parachute, a small town in western Colorado, has given the go-ahead for a business to open the state’s first drive-thru cannabis dispensary.  Last Thursday the Board of Trustees voted to approve the annual renewal of the business license for Tumbleweed Express, which will clear the final legal to opening the drive-thru pot shop. The Tumbleweed Dispensary is expecting to open up the Tumbleweed Express Drive-Thru sometime next month.  This unique drive-thru service will open up in a former car wash that is located just across the street from the store’s location.

Here are a few rules that would be established for the drive-thru:  you have to be 21 or older to order from the drive-thru (that includes backseat passengers as well!).  Security and surveillance will be set around the drive-thru while business is operating.  The last thing is ensuring that no orders are visible from outside the licensed premises.  You can consume your order after you purchase it, but it can’t be done on Tumbleweed Express.

Tumbleweed Express will set the stage for what will be Colorado’s first drive-thru cannabis store.  It will be a similar concept to ordering a Quarter Pounder at McDonald’s, except you will be able to order cannabis products instead.  Oregon already became the first state to open the nation’s first drive-thru shop in Gold Beach, but it quickly shut down due to being close to two schools.  Colorado will have to work hard to prove that this familiar business concept can work for the cannabis industry without causing any major hiccups in the process.

This would be an interesting concept for the cannabis industry!  The drive-thru concept helped flourish many businesses and it could definitely give the industry leg-up for its competitors.  Hopefully Colorado will get things situated in order for the drive-thru to work properly.  If all goes well, then it could mean major changes for how the industry conducts business in the next five years.

With new industries making waves in America, so does the demand for different ways to conduct business (and vice-versa!).  The slow cultural shift towards legalization has prompted businesses to stay ahead of the curve in order to understand their audiences better.  Drive-thru may help flourish the cannabis industry, but a new business trend could be right around the corner.

If all runs smoothly, then we may see a future where we purchase a Quarter Pounder meal with a quarter pound of cannabis.

Saugus Hilltop Community: Shop, Dine, Live!

One special landmark I’ve been to plenty of times was the Hilltop Steak House.  Located in Route 1 of Saugus, the Hilltop Steak House was a landmark restaurant in the Greater Boston area.  People came in to check out their steaks, chicken, and even seafood entrees that the restaurant served.  I remember coming into the Hilltop Steak House a few times with my family and the food was absolutely delicious!

Unfortunately, the Hilltop Steak House closed its doors in 2013.  The decline of their business was due to increased competition, a continued change of demographic in the town of Saugus, and increased costs to run the restaurant.  It was amazing restaurant while it lasted, but time and money became the main factors in its decline.  Everything within the landmark has been torn down, except the Hilltop cactus.

So what does the new chapter hold for the Hilltop Steak House area?  What kind of development will we see in the future?  Could this new entry improve the deserted area that used to be the infamous Hilltop Steak House restaurant?

Well there actually is going to be a restaurant developed in the designated area…multiple restaurants that is!  Senior vice president of Boston development for AvalonBay Communities Michael Roberts plans to transform the former restaurant into a housing and retail outlet.  The infamous cactus sign will continue to stay up, but new lighting and other renovations will be made to coincide with the brand’s new identity in Saugus.

AvalonBay Communities is looking to build about 24,000 square feet of retail space that would be built near the front of the 14-acre site, with 280 residential units placed towards the back.  Roberts remarked that retail space would fit between three and six retailers, depending on their size.  Their hoping to find tenants with background experience in both the restaurant and coffee shop industry.  These presentations were announced yesterday at a public meeting and it will still need town approvals to move ahead with the projects.

No other information has been spread about what kind of businesses will open, but they’re looking to add a few restaurants in the mix.  They should definitely consider opening a new steak house (to continue the Hilltop Steak House spirit that is!).  It’ll be interesting to see what type of restaurants will be opening that would appeal with the ever-changing demographic in Saugus.  If not restaurants, there’s definitely some opportunity to provide new businesses/services in the area (how about a recreational cannabis dispensary?  It wouldn’t be close to the schools and it would generate more foot traffic within that area again!).

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what’s in stores for the Hilltop Steak House area.  Restaurants are always great, but it would be nice to see some other businesses operating as well.  Hopefully we’ll see some attractions that will persuade people to roam around Saugus sometime.

I’m hoping for some great restaurants to operate in the Hilltop Steak House area.  The Hilltop Steak House was an amazing restaurant and it would be an insult to NOT provide any steakhouses there!  These plans won’t be kicking in anytime soon, but it is interesting to see what developers are thinking about to help the town of Saugus.

This is more than just about some historic steakhouse; it’s about developers brainstorming ways to transform a deserted landmark into a goldmine for Saugus.  Saugus took a pretty big hit with the Hilltop Steak House closing and now their new scenario deals with keeping the old audiences while staying on top of the latest trends to rake in the new demographics.  Could a new steakhouse be the solution to Saugus’s scenario?  Would the ever-changing demographics even be satisfied with the Avalon Bay Communities new plans?

We’ll have to wait and see if these development plans will be put into place in the near future.  For now, let’s take this moment to reminisce on an amazing steakhouse restaurant on Route 1 of Saugus that once was the Hilltop Steakhouse.