Welcome to Healthy Living Week at OnMilwaukee.com! The resolutions are made, now the real work begins. But we're here to help get you – and keep you – on track with stories about medicine, diet, exercise, spiritual and emotional health, and more. Healthy Living Week is brought to you by Pairdd: easy gluten-free cooking at your fingertips.
This week, we will tell you all about healthy choices, and this is a good thing. I’m chiming in later this week with an article about going gluten-free and how well it worked for me.
But for the good choices I’ve made – running a half marathon in 2012, hiking up a small mountain or two or going gluten-free – I’ve made many, many more unhealthy choices.
For example, it only took me a minute to come up with the six worst dining decisions in my life:
Competitive eating contest (cheeseburgers): It seemed like a good idea -- or at least, not a horrible idea -- when our friends at Potawatomi invited us to try their new promotion, the "Home Run Challenge" at the Fire Pit Sports Bar & Grill in 2010. The challenge was to eat four cheeseburgers, each with four ¼-pound patties, topped with American cheese, pickles and a side of fries, in one hour. If you "win," your meal is free, you get a commemorative shirt and a photo of your bloated mug on the restaurant's wall. That didn’t happen. I ate all my pickles, most of my fries and finished almost two giant burgers before surrendering in 45 minutes. I went back to work and fell asleep on my office futon.
Competitive eating contest (cream puffs): It was the 2010 State Fair, and I didn’t want to participate in this contest. I didn't know what to expect, really, when I sat down at a long table with 17 of my competitors, mostly TV and radio people, as well the Wisconsin Honey Queen, Alice in Dairyland and the Fairest of the Fairs. It was smoking hot by the time the 11:45 a.m. contest began, and looking out at the stands of people, I did get a little nervous. Honestly, it wasn't just the humidity that had me drenched in sweat. As the minutes passed by, I methodically gobbled off the three tops, lapped up and sucked out the creamy middles, and popped my head up occasionally for air. I didn’t win. I didn’t care.
Competitive eating contest (baked potato contest): I didn't head into the 2011 baked potato eating contest at the Wisconsin State Fair thinking I'd win. My main goal, really, was to avoid choking or throwing up. With eight other contestants, including my speedy eating co-worker, Bobby Tanzilo, at the table, I had low expectations. So when they said "go," I just dug in and started eating. I wasn't timing myself, but the first half of the potato, smothered in cheddar cheese, slid down easily. Then, I slowed a bit to swallow, and finished the rest, with just a few pieces of refuse falling outside my Styrofoam container, and oddly enough, not all over my shirt. So, I stood up, chugged my glass of water, and said, as ordered, "I love Wisconsin potatoes." I won.
Kool-Aid and Twinkies dinner: I ate horribly in college – who didn’t? But only a few atrocious dining decisions stick out, like the time as a junior, I didn’t have any groceries at all. I settled for a dinner of Kool-Aid and a box of Twinkies. I’m surprised I lived to tell this story.
Banana split breakfast: One other meal I remember. Near the end of college, after taking a final exam, I ordered a huge banana split for breakfast at the campus mall. Which is still probably healthier than the awesome Napoleon Dynamite at Cafe Centraal.
Wonder Bread lunch: Back in high school, right after I learned to drive, I took my little sister to the grocery store. There I bought a loaf of Wonder Bread and ate the entire thing on the ride home, much to her horror. In retrospect, I think I did this for the shock value. Because that’s the kind of sense of humor I had when I was 16.
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published Dec. 22, 2014
I remember vividly how hard school was. Not just the homework, but the routine of waking up early, navigating its social intricacies. Granted, my daughter is only in K5, but still, she works hard - so I like to reward her with plenty of family fun when seasonal school vacations come around.
Published Dec. 17, 2014
Yesterday, I walked around Packard Avenue in Cudahy for the first time in a long time. I mean, I drive through or around Cudahy all the time, but yesterday was different. I stopped to smell the roses. Every real Milwaukeeans should pay a visit to downtown Cudahy every now and then. It's like a window into our past, and it's still alive and kicking today.
Published Dec. 11, 2014
We all had a good laugh when the word spilled that Scott Walker substituted "Molotov" for "Mazel Tov" in his Hanukkah letter to Frank Gimbel. But you know that Gov. Walker didn't write that letter, right? He didn't even sign it.
Published Dec. 2, 2014
Black Friday and Cyber Monday were good fun, but Giving Tuesday is all about giving back to our community. It's a relatively new concept, but several Milwaukee nonprofits participate, including Discovery World, UPAF and Pathfinders. One local organization, Penfield Children's Center, is making Giving Tuesday work through crowdsourcing.
Published Dec. 1, 2014
I'm going to beat the Milwaukee winter. I will not be cold again. I will laugh in the face of Snowmageddon. I will be toasty warm when the temperatures drop well below zero. Here's how.
Published Nov. 18, 2014
Take it for what its worth, but Playboy Magazine has Blue's Egg as one of its 101 best breakfasts in America (don't worry, the link is reasonably safe for work). The restaurant at 317 N. 76th St. came in 21st place out of 23 Midwest selections, just behind Mickie's Dairy Bar in Madison.
Published Nov. 11, 2014
Can you imagine how social media would've melted down exactly 101 years ago? Nov. 11, 2013 was the end of the "Big Blow," the "Freshwater Fury" or the "White Hurricane," a hurricane-force blizzard that killed more than 250 people and and destroyed 19 ships.
Published Oct. 28, 2014
I really didn't have any hope left after 25 days. As we entered the fourth week without our sweet, kind, missing cat, Jabie, I was beginning to come to peace with the reality that I'd never see her again. Then, yesterday, less than four blocks from home, a woman called my wife and said she had cajoled a black cat into her basement. My wife bolted home from work and immediately recognized Jabie coming up the stairs. Just to be sure, she took her to the closest vet to scan her microchip. And it came back as a match from Elmbrook Humane Society.
Published Oct. 22, 2014
Apple's new killer app, Apple Pay, may indeed someday change global commerce for good. That day isn't here yet, however. Three days after launch, my experiences with the NFC-based payment / tap to pay system show that Apple Pay is still very, very beta. At this point, you may find yourself using it barely at all.
Published Oct. 21, 2014
Mazen Muna, the owner of the Dogg Haus group of restaurants, shared his plans today to launch PhantomBar this spring at 780 N. Jefferson St. in Cathedral Square. The bar is under the umbrella of his new 12AM Management Group, which Muna says he founded to house "the new wave of businesses being added to the portfolio."