Entrepreneurs: The Outdoors Might Be Your Best Teacher

By Camille Johnson of Bereaver.com

There are few things more relaxing than spending time in the open air. Being outside, whether you are hiking, biking, camping, or gardening, is great for your health and can improve your mental well-being. Surprisingly, your time in nature can also teach you a lot about yourself and the world so that you can be a better entrepreneur, whether you’ve been in business for many years or are just getting started. Today, StaceyNaito.com covers a few of these lessons and offers insight on how to get the most out of your outside excursions.

Planning Ahead

Before you set out for an adventure, get your business prepared to run without you. Tips here include:

  • Hire the right staff. If you’re just planning a night or two over the weekend, you can probably skip this step. However, to get the most out of your time, you’ll want to be immersed in a natural environment for at least a week. Find the right staff to keep your business running even when you are unavailable. This begins by determining what functions need to be filled and thoroughly reviewing applicants. While most experts will recommend choosing only the most qualified applicant, don’t count out those eager to learn your industry.
  • Streamline your invoicing processes. Don’t leave town without making sure that you can send invoices and get paid on time. If you have not already, invest in a cloud-based invoicing tool that lets you send bills from anywhere. This is helpful if you do not yet trust your employees with sensitive information, such as customer credit card numbers. If you have recurrent invoices, look for software that will let you schedule your billing ahead of time and will also ping you when payments are made. Utilizing cloud technology also allows you to stay involved as long as you have an internet connection.
  • Make sure you’re available at least some of the time. Speaking of staying involved, set aside a couple of hours each day to field questions or handle tasks that your employees cannot. For this, you want to make sure to pack your laptop (Quantum Technologies recommends traveling with a locked case), a Wi-Fi hotspot, and an additional battery backup as you may not be able to charge your phone or devices.

You’ll also need to prioritize safety, especially if you’ve never been much of an outdoorsman before. Things you can do to keep yourself and your travel party safe are:

  • Let someone else know where you are going. Even if you’re planning to travel with a group, let somebody know where you are and when you are expected back.
  • Pack appropriately. While you do need to pack some of your professional essentials, make sure that you have room for all of the equipment you’ll need to stay safe and healthy while you travel. If you’re camping, for example, REI suggests making sure that you have a tent, pillows, sleeping pads, and a camp table if no picnic facilities are available. Further, pay close attention to the weather and dress in layers if significant temperature spikes are expected.
  • Know your destination. Even if you already know where you are going, spend some time really getting to know the area before you go. While this isn’t so important if you plan to stay close to home, when you’re traveling outside of your comfort zone, you’ll want to know everything from the location of the local police station to exit routes on your hiking excursion if you need to turn back.

What The Outdoors Can Do For You

Now that you are prepared to go, it’s time to take a look at the benefits of being outdoors. Obviously, it’s great exercise and a fun way to vacation. But, spending time in nature can also equip you to be a better business owner by teaching:

  • Patience. If you’ve ever talked to a child that went to summer camp, you know that a nature-centric experience can teach patience as these kids have to learn how to wait for the bathroom or to help with younger peers. As an adult, you will learn patience by having to wait out the weather, wildlife, or slower members of your party.
  • Team-building. There are plenty of outdoor team-building activities that can help you be a better boss and team player. Activities like swimming relays, target practice, and sailing are great ways to get your team to learn how to work together more effectively. Two other significant benefits of team building outdoors are learning to identify stronger potential leaders and establishing trust between your employees.
  • Preparedness. Anytime you’re outdoors, you have to be prepared for everything from rain to wild animals. As such, your adventures can also teach you how to prepare for all situations and to adapt if you’re not prepared. Things, like knowing which medical supplies to pack or having an additional set of oars available if you’re kayaking, might seem like insignificant touches, but if you need them, they can be lifesavers. You can apply the same set of principles at the office by having a plan in place in case an employee leaves, a vendor is late, or a high-value customer pulls their business.
  • Conservation. When you first step out into the big wide world, it’s easy to believe that the resources you see are infinite. They are not, and it is up to us to preserve the world around us for future generations. Air, soil, and water pollution, all of which are the direct result of human activity, take a toll on the natural world. As you get deeper into your adventures, you may notice things that you did not before, such as plastic bottles along the lake shore or animals looking for a home as deforestation drives them out of their natural environment. This can help you be a more responsible business owner by reminding you to preserve what you have and to be less wasteful every day.
  • Your own backyard. You don’t have to travel to take in the outdoors – just look out the window of your home. Consider creating an outdoor getaway in your own backyard. Remove tired landscaping and dead trees, install a deck or patio if you don’t already have one, and make a paradise of your very own. Some projects are best left to the pros, however, so bring them on to get the job done right. For instance, removal of a tree stump is no easy task, so go online and search service directories to find local contractors. The typical cost for such work ranges from $170 to $522, a worthy investment for hiring a company with the right equipment and experience.

There are many benefits of being outside, whether you’re planting a garden, spending a month-long sabbatical hiking the Appalachian Trail, or enjoying a week-long camping vacation. But, don’t forget to pay attention to the lessons that you learn that can help you as a business owner. You also want to make sure that you plan ahead by hiring the right staff and making sure that you can continue to get paid so that you can enjoy and make the most of your time outdoors.

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Dr. Stacey Naito of StaceyNaito.com offers customized meal plans, exercise regimens, and natural hormone balance to people who don’t want to compete but just want to lose weight, gain weight, or get toned. Contact Stacey today for more info!

The Best Ways to Boost Your Confidence Today



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Here is another outstanding and motivating article from Karen Weeks of elderwellness.net which you will enjoy reading!

Are you struggling with your confidence? Signs of low self-esteem include being overly sensitive to criticism, having anxiety, lashing out, and being socially withdrawn. These tips, courtesy of Dr. Stacey Naito’s Blog, can help you boost your confidence.

Start Exercising

Exercise helps boost your confidence in different ways. Your improved health, strength, and appearance make you feel good about yourself. Working out gets your endorphins going, which boosts your mood. Feeling happier and improving your mental health can help you feel confident. Plan to fit in the recommended minimum of 150 minutes of exercise weekly.

Improve Your Nutrition

What you eat can affect your attitude and how you feel about yourself. Pay attention to how different foods impact your mood and enjoy more of the healthy foods that improve your outlook. Filling your diet with nutritious, whole foods also helps you stay healthier and either lose or maintain your weight, which can boost your confidence in your physical appearance.

Change Your Career and Update Your Resume

Millennials held an average of six different jobs by reaching the age of 26, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Whether you’re on track to reach that number or you’ve been in your current job your entire career, looking for something new can help with your confidence if your job is stressful or you deal with difficult coworkers. 

Before seeking a new position, you can create a slick and professional-looking resume by utilizing an online resume creator. You can choose from a library of professionally designed resume templates, and then add your own copy, photos, colors, and images. What’s more, this tool is free to use and a resume can be created in minutes.

Master Positive Self-Talk

Negative self-talk about the things that make you different chips away at your confidence. You might tell yourself that you’re too nerdy, aren’t worthy, or don’t fit in. You may not even realize you’re saying these things to yourself. Realizing you’re using negative self-talk and switching to a positive internal voice can boost your confidence. It might seem awkward at first, but keep saying positive things about yourself to change your thoughts and grow your confidence.

Learn to Relax

A survey from the American Psychological Association shows that 49% of people surveyed had negative effects on their behavior due to stress, including tension, getting angry, and yelling. Feeling constantly stressed can interfere with your confidence. Make time for self-care, try yoga, do breathing techniques, or meditate to relax. 

Volunteer

One of the benefits of volunteering is enhanced self-confidence. Feeling good about helping others can improve how you see yourself. You might also discover new skills and talents as you volunteer. Look for a cause that speaks to you and find ways to help. 

Improve Your Circle

Surrounding yourself with people who make you feel better about yourself can help your confidence. If your friend circle constantly breaks you down, it’s difficult to overcome your insecurities. Find a group that accepts you as you are and has a positive attitude to uplift you. If you want to meet new people, check Meetup for groups in your area that match your interests.

Boost Your Confidence

Little changes add up to increased confidence. With the tips above – including sticking to an exercise regimen, eating nutritiously, switching up your career and updating your resume, and learning to relax – you’ll be able to improve your self-esteem. 

Dr. Stacey Naito’s Blog is as varied as the blogger herself, who works as a physician, certified nutrition coach, body transformation coach, fitness trainer, model, writer, researcher, and sponsored athlete. Read more informative articles today!

What To Do When Your Parents Need Different Types of Senior Care

Written by Julia Merril of befriendyourdoc.org

Dr. Stacey Naito of Dr. Stacey Naito’s Blog is a board-certified family practice physician with a wide range of interests that she shares with readers. Read more informative articles today!


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What To Do When Your Parents Need Different Types of Senior Care

As your parents age, they may need help finding senior care or an alternative living situation. When that time comes, you may be faced with an unexpected challenge — figuring out what to do when only one parent needs to move into a nursing home. Dr. Stacey Naito of Dr. Stacey Naito’s Blog explains that by involving your parents and handling the process with compassion, you can create a smooth, loving transition.

Choosing a Nursing Home

The right nursing home is essential for your parents’ comfort, health, and financial stability. As you choose a facility, follow these steps:

  • Verify insurance coverage. Find out how much your parents’ plan will pay each month.
  • Identify appropriate facilities. Find nursing homes that accept your parents’ insurance and fulfill their care requirements. Go online to find the facilities in your area and read up on pricing information, payment options, and reviews. You’ll find nearly 80 assisted living communities in Los Angeles.
  • Determine excess costs. Calculate the extra monthly costs for each facility.
  • Make a short list. Select facilities that fit your budget, care, and location preferences.
  • Read reviews. Look into the reputation, quality of care, and services at each facility.
  • Visit facilities. Bring both of your parents to check out your top 3-5 nursing homes. Look at factors such as cleanliness, activities, and interpersonal relationships.
  • Ask about openings. Find out when a room or bed will open.

Paying for a Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facility

In the United States, US News & World Report notes that the average room in a nursing home costs more than $100,000 per year. For a shared room, you can expect costs of more than $93,000 per year. Some ways to cover nursing home costs are:

  • Medicaid
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Savings and retirement income
  • Family contributions

Keep in mind that costs can vary significantly between states and cities. If you live in a different city, you might save money by moving your parents to a nursing home near you.

Helping Your Other Parent Downsize

Maintaining a home is a big job; when one parent moves into a nursing home, your other parent may want to move as well. Some options are:

  • Move the parent in with you or a sibling
  • Find a smaller apartment or condo near the nursing home
  • Rent a room in an assisted living facility

When your parents are moving to different places, you’ll need to deal with two moves. A moving company can make the transition easier for everyone; they can handle the packing and the heavy lifting so you can focus on your parents. For safety and security, choose a trusted company by reading moving company reviews online and selecting the best one. Ideally, the moving company you choose has experience with senior moves. 

Providing Compassionate Help to Aging Parents

Moving your parents into separate homes can be emotional and exhausting for everyone involved. As an adult child, DailyCaring points out that all of the stress can make it harder to remain compassionate. To ease the process, you can:

  • Hire a senior move manager. They’ll help with sorting, organizing, and selling belongings during the downsizing process.
  • Take personal time. Make time for your friends and favorite activities.
  • Ask relatives for help. Don’t be afraid to lean on siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
  • Get support. Join a support group to express your emotions in a safe place.

Managing the Senior Care Process

With patience and compassion, you can help both of your parents settle into new homes. Remember to put a lot thought into choosing the right senior living facility, paying for continued care, helping with downsizing, and providing all the care you can. 

5 Ways to Find the Upside of a Midlife Crisis

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Are you in a midlife rut? Then this fantastic article written by Camille Johnson of bereaver.com is for you!

You’re not sure what set it off, but you feel like you’re stuck in a midlife crisis. You might be unsatisfied with your job, mourning a dream you never accomplished, or feeling unfulfilled in your relationship. With the help of a trainer like Stacey Naito, you can finally start working towards the goals you previously pushed to the back burner. Furthermore, these tips will help you figure out where to live, how to outfit your home, and which lifestyle changes you should implement.

Move Somewhere New

You might feel like you can’t turn over a new leaf if you continue living in the same city. Maybe you’re looking for opportunities that aren’t available locally, or maybe you’ve trying to get out of a toxic environment. Either way, it may be time to move to a new city. If you plan to buy a home in a different area, you’ll need to research current Pennymac mortgage rates and determine which type of mortgage is right for you. Your lender can help you determine whether you would be qualified for a conventional, FHA, or VA loan.

Focus on Your Health

Perhaps you’ve noticed that you don’t feel as energetic and lively as you once did. You might assume that your mental health is suffering because you’ve reached a turning point in life – but it could be because you’ve been neglecting your physical health. You may want to invest in a few items for a basic home gym, such as an exercise mat, resistance bands, a stability ball, and dumbbells. To enhance your home cooking skills, you could pick up an immersion blender, a vegetable spiralizer, a slow cooker, and meal prep containers.

When you’re buying new products, especially ones that the whole family will use, it’s important to spend your money wisely. Therefore, before you buy anything, make sure to go over product reviews from a few unbiased sources. That way, you can feel confident in your purchases.

Write in a Journal

Writing in a journal can help you decide which steps you want to take next in life. It can be tough to choose a direction, but when you write about your feelings in your journal, you can gain some clarity. PsychCentral states that journaling can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression and even help people process traumatic experiences.

Prioritize Traveling

What if you feel like you need to break out of your routine for a while? You could book a trip to a destination you’ve always wanted to visit! Travel can be a boon for your mental health, and spending some time in an unfamiliar place can help you shake off feelings of stagnation. Everyday Health states that traveling can make you feel more creative, relieve your stress, and even strengthen your relationships with your family and friends back home.

Challenge Yourself

You might be experiencing a midlife crisis because you haven’t achieved some lifelong goals, and you’re wondering if you’re really capable of becoming the person you want to be. Taking on challenges – and overcoming them – can shift your mindset. Whether you want to challenge yourself physically or intellectually, now is the time to do it. From learning a new skill to volunteering in your community, there are lots of ways to challenge yourself and change for the better.

Going through a midlife crisis isn’t easy – but with the right outlook, you can make it to the other side and come out stronger. A midlife crisis can actually mark the start of an exciting new chapter. By following these tips, you can move to a welcoming place, choose the best products for your home, and focus on self-care.


Ready to focus on fitness? Start training with Stacey Naito! Check out our website today to learn more about our training services.

Regular Self-Care Activities Boost Your Mental and Physical Health


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By Karen Weeks

When you commit and devote the time to care for yourself, your body feels better. You radiate health and energy and can operate at your peak physical performance level. But all those self-care activities also benefit your mind. Here is a look at how healthy living boosts your mental health, presented to you below by Dr. Stacey Naito’s Blog.

Eat Nutritious Food

A focus on healthy eating gives your body the nutrients and calories needed to thrive. Fill your plate with colorful fruit and vegetables and add a small portion of lean protein, such as salmon, chicken, sirloin, eggs, or turkey. Also, focus on consuming whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and low-fat dairy products. Eating these foods keeps your blood sugar steady to prevent mood swings

Don’t forget your snacks! When the afternoon slump kicks in, choose a smoothie, fruit, or a handful of nuts instead of a bag of chips or a sugary soda. Then your hunger will be taken care of, and you’ll also get a burst of energy to help you mentally focus for the rest of the afternoon.

Do Exercise You Enjoy

Exercise doesn’t have to feel like work when you do an activity you love. Besides keeping your body in shape, research has shown exercise reduces anxiety, alleviates depression, and improves your sense of well-being and self-esteem. Do whatever activity you enjoy, such as brisk walking, swimming, cycling, jogging, or dancing.

Create a Healthy Home Environment

Is your home a relaxing place that you enjoy being in, or does your family argue, complain and make overly critical comments about the house? The fix may be more straightforward than you think. A dirty and cluttered home is unpleasant to look at and impacts your mental health by limiting your ability to focus, increasing your stress levels, and can cause conflict in relationships. Declutter and clean your house to transform your home into a vibrant and fresh space. Open up the windows to let some fresh air in as well. You’ll be surprised what a difference a clean and tidy home makes for you and your family.

If you have items that you want to keep but you simply don’t have room to store in your house, look for storage options outside the home. Storage units are affordable ways to securely stash items (big or small) until you decide what, exactly, you want to do with them. Use websites designed to help you with finding self storage in Los Angeles. With over 130 different storage options in LA, chances are you can find something near your home.

Seek Counseling

If you’re experiencing issues with anxiety or depression, a mental health counselor can help you feel better. The therapist can help you create healthy and productive coping mechanisms and tools to help you manage your emotions.

Don’t let your packed schedule or dread of an office visit turn you off from seeking the help you need. A great and popular new alternative is online therapy. Various telehealth online platforms are available, offering a variety of licensed therapists for you to connect with for assistance. You may even be able to secure a same-day appointment. In addition, telehealth therapists accept most insurance plans, keep out-of-pocket costs manageable, and offer more affordable co-pays than an in-office counselor. 

Take a Trip

Traveling to a new destination takes you out of your routine and immerses you in new sights and experiences. A pleasure trip can reduce your stress and lift your spirits. It can also heal your job burnout caused by working too many hours for a lengthy period. For the ultimate in self-care travel, book a wellness retreat in a location you’ve always wanted to visit.

You probably already noticed how your self-care activities keep you physically healthy. Take steps to declutter your home (and store away anything you want to keep), start exercising, and book a relaxing self-care trip. Now you know the mental health benefits you gain as well.

Tech Tools for Managing Your Health When You Have Diabetes

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Please check out this informative and excellent article by Karen Weeks of Elderwellness.net which has great tips for managing your overall health if you have diabetes.

Managing diabetes is a full-time job that can interfere with your life in more ways than one. But this common disease doesn’t have to rob you of a healthy, active lifestyle. Adopting healthy habits is essential for managing diabetes, preventing complications, and giving you better control over your life—and you don’t have to spend a fortune to do it! If you’re looking for new ways to improve your health, check out the tips below presented by Stacey Naito.

Get Moving to Lose Weight

Weight loss is a crucial element of any diabetes management plan. Carrying excess weight can increase insulin resistance and make it harder for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar. However, a recent trial reported by Medical News Today found that losing weight may reverse the effects of early type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, aerobic exercise is a very effective weight-loss tool! Also see if you can find ways to keep moving at the office. Many of us are sedentary at work, so see how often you can take the stairs or stand during a meeting.

Fitness trackers are affordable, user-friendly devices that can help you get moving and shed those pounds safely. There are several models to choose from with different features to meet a variety of health and fitness needs. For example, some fitness trackers include heart rate monitors, while others are capable of tracking your sleep stages. Take a look at your options from stores like Dicks Sporting Goods, Academy, or Walmart. 

Lastly, don’t hesitate to add some music to the mix! Sometimes, listening to music—or even a podcast—can provide you with the motivation you need to push through your exercise routine. You can invest in a speaker to add some quality to your tunes, as well as a stand that can keep your phone upright if you’re using it to watch something as you work out. Do what works best for you. Find what motivates you and work it into your routine.

Eat Clean

Adopting a nutritious diet is another effective way to lose weight and keep diabetes under control. EatingWell recommends developing a low-calorie, nutrient-packed meal plan full of complex carbohydrates, fresh veggies, healthy fats, and lean protein. There are many free apps out there that can help you develop healthy meal plans on any budget. For example, Mealime is great for finding personalized recipes and generating shopping lists. Similarly, Meal Planner Pro offers budget-friendly meal planning for people with a variety of conditions, including diabetes.

Keep Your Blood Pressure Under Control

Many complications can arise if you don’t keep your blood pressure in check. Unfortunately, high blood pressure is exceedingly common in people with diabetes, since this disease causes damage to the arteries. Alarmingly, constant high blood pressure can lead to everything from kidney failure to a heart attack. Keeping your blood pressure down might lessen your chances of peripheral vascular disease and stroke. The good news here is that blood pressure monitors are affordable and easy to use. Take a reading often, and contact your doctor if your numbers are consistently high.

Learn About Your Body

You can also try free and low-cost apps to learn how different foods affect your body. Use diabetes apps and food trackers to log what you eat and when, so you can learn how different foods affect your blood sugar levels. With these apps, you’ll be able to monitor long-term trends and identify the foods and activities that make you feel your best.

Your doctor can be a great resource for diabetes-related information and questions. And if getting to the doctor’s office is a challenge, you can try finding online doctors. Once you’ve found a great fit, you can do video appointments and pick up prescribed medications at your convenience, and most accept a variety of insurance options.

Manage Stress

Did you know that stress can worsen your diabetes? Stress increases blood sugar levels, raises blood pressure, increases insulin resistance, impairs sleep, and promotes emotional eating. If you’re struggling with stress, use mindfulness apps like Headspace and Pacifica to calm your mind and learn how to manage anxiety throughout your day. Other apps, like Relax Melodies and Calm, use gentle music and sounds to promote relaxation—these are great if you have trouble sleeping! Most of these apps include free versions and offer affordable subscription options to unlock more features.

Living with diabetes can be tough, to say the least. Fortunately, a variety of low-cost apps and tech devices can make it easier to adopt healthy habits and enjoy the life you want. Use all of the tools at your disposal for guidance and motivation, so you don’t have to face diabetes alone.

Dr. Stacey Naito is passionate about feeling and looking good. Her blog is full of helpful resources on eating well, getting active, and living your best life.

Saving Money While Living a Healthy Lifestyle

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Karen Weeks does it again with another excellent article, this time tackling the subject of saving money while staying on track with healthy foods. Please be sure to check her out at Elderwellness.net

It’s important to think about how we can manage our spending and save money on healthy food and lifestyle as well. There are many ways we can cut down on the cost of eating healthy, from switching to a more affordable brand of canned food to making more nutritious meals at home.

Eat at Home

There’s no question that eating at home is a more affordable option than eating out. The convenience of being able to prepare and store a large portion of your food at home is one big benefit. 

You’re also likely to find a cheaper price on ingredients. You’ll also have more control over what you’re eating. Not only can you choose exactly what you want to eat, but you can also control portion sizes and food quality. 

Make Meal Prep a Priority

Many people think of meal planning as a way to save money. It is, but it’s also a lifestyle change that helps you save money on healthy food and lifestyle. Meal planning is a great way to cut down on the cost of healthy food

Plan Meals in Advance

Planning your meals in advance is a great way to reduce the cost of healthy food. It allows you to make certain meals at a certain time of the week that cost less. Planning in advance also helps you create healthy habits by making healthy eating a routine

Enjoy Lower Health Insurance Premiums

Health insurance premiums have risen significantly over the last decade. As people become more aware of the value of a healthy lifestyle, they are looking for ways to improve their health and lower their premiums

Healthy lifestyle habits, including eating a healthy diet and getting regular physical activity, can make a huge difference in your health. By leading a healthy lifestyle, you can help reduce your chances of developing health conditions, such as heart disease and cancer.

Take Advantage of Employee Wellness Programs

Healthy lifestyle habits can help you lower your healthcare costs and take advantage of employee wellness programs. Some companies offer wellness programs that encourage employees to adopt healthy habits, such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. 

How to Monetize Your Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy lifestyle habits can help you lower your healthcare costs and take advantage of employee wellness programs. In addition to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, you can also monetize your healthy lifestyle. 

Start a Health Blog

Healthy lifestyle habits can help you monetize your healthy lifestyle. Many people are interested in healthy lifestyle blogs. This is especially true of younger people who are looking for ways to improve their health. 

If you have decided to start a health blog, you can monetize it quickly and easily. All you have to do is create a free WordPress website, add a blog feed, and start blogging. You can also monetize your health blog with an affiliate program. 

Open a Store Selling Sports Gear

Healthy lifestyle habits can help you monetize your healthy lifestyle and take advantage of employee wellness programs. If you are interested in starting a business that sells sports gear, healthy lifestyle habits can help you monetize your healthy lifestyle and make a profit.

In starting your own business, be sure to use a logo maker to create an attractive and attention-grabbing branded logo for your products. Creating an eye-catching logo for your brand is simple if you take advantage of a free logo design tool. The right tool offers great templates that you can then customize to make sure it beautifully represents your brand.

Are White Foods Making You Sick?

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If you have any tendency to hit the bread basket at dinner, or you have a penchant for plates of regular pasta or sweet treats like cookies, you are consuming white foods which can have a deleterious impact on your health. Some white foods are actually quite healthy for the most part, such as eggs, cauliflower, onions and turnips. However, white foods which are highly processed and refined wreak havoc on our bodies, and should be eliminated from our diets. Not only do they adversely affect digestion, they cause spikes in blood sugar, diminish the collagen and elastin in our skin, and lead to heart and kidney disease.

Not sure what constitutes the white foods I am referring to? Here’s a list:

Enriched White Flour
White Rice
White Pasta
White Bread
Crackers
Table Sugar
Refined Salt

One of the reasons why the flour which is used in processed foods is usually enriched is because fiber, vitamins and minerals are stripped during the refining process of the grain. In addition, processed grains and table sugar are absorbed very rapidly, causing a sharp increase in insulin release with a corresponding crash, resulting in hunger pangs and cravings, not to mention adversely affecting one’s health over the course of time. In case you didn’t know, the average carbonated soda has 10 to 12 teaspoons of table sugar. According to the American Heart Association, an average of 22 teaspoons of sugar is consumed daily by the average American. Sugar in any form provides very few nutrients, and that is why it is described as providing “empty” calories.

Another white food which could be added to the do-not-eat list is dairy. The dairy industry often uses hormones and antibiotics in raising the cows, which then can cause weight gain, hormonal imbalance, inflammation, allergies and digestive issues in humans. I have seen a fair number of patients who dealt with chronic pain and inflammation which abated once they eliminated dairy products from their diets.

I honestly believe that everyone should examine all foods which are currently in the pantry or elsewhere in the kitchen, disposing of any processed foods. Once this purge is completed, it is critical to read nutrition labels when shopping at the grocery store and to avoid purchasing foods which have ingredients on the above list. I discovered that I have a severe intolerance to barley and I also have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Because of this, I have cut gluten out of my diet, which means that I avoid bread, crackers, and pasta which are made with wheat flour or any other glutinous grain. However, this doesn’t mean that gluten free bread products are the answer either, especially because they are also processed foods. I only consume gluten free pastas, breads or cookies a few times per year, and I truly have cravings for healthy foods. For example, when I want a crunchy snack, I opt for a bowl of raw veggies like radishes (my favorite), cucumber, and fresh raw mushrooms, while others might reach for a bag of potato chips. My palate is so conditioned to like clean foods that I actually crave things like radishes, arugula, and lean cuts of turkey and seafood.

If you stick to fresh vegetables, lean meat, and incorporate healthy fats like avocado into your regimen, the fresh flavors will hopefully break you out of your refined food habits and lead you to healthy eating habits.

Remove Your Shoes Please!

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I grew up in a shoes-off household, which meant that as soon as anyone stepped into my home, they had to remove their shoes and leave them at the front door. Throughout my childhood, I noticed that none of my friends removed their shoes while in their homes, but then again, none of whom were Asian. In stark contrast, I noticed that the habit of removing shoes, sandals, and boots was always followed by my mom’s Asian friends, as well as by my relatives (also Asian) in Hawaii. I soon noticed that the floors in my friends’ homes didn’t feel nearly as clean on my bare feet as the ones in my own apartment, since they didn’t practice the same ritual my Japanese-American mother and I did. What I ended up doing in my friends’ homes was either keep my shoes on, or I would keep my socks on if I was wearing any when I visited them. To be honest, I always felt that it was so much cleaner to be in the habit of removing shoes once entering a residence, and this is something I continue to practice to this day. Since I am also the person who usually cleans the floors, rugs and carpets in my house, I have become a stickler for ensuring that no one enters in shoes which have traversed sidewalks, driveways, lawns which are teeming with all kinds of nasty gunk.

These days, I even go so far as to ask service technicians who enter my home to either remove their work boots, or to wear shoe covers, if they intend to conduct work inside the house. Before you accuse me of being extreme in my desire to keep my abode clean, keep in mind that back in July of 2021, a central air service technician tracked so much dirt and oil into my bedroom that it took me two sessions to remove all the stains from my bedroom carpet. Shortly after that, I ordered disposable shoe covers and have them right at the foyer for convenience.

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Even with the shoes-off policy in my home, I still notice dust and dirt on my floors, and since I have pets, there is also the issue of shedding hair which accumulates. The last thing I want is to worry about when I clean the floors every week is chemicals, dog feces, and various microbes being introduced to my house via outdoor footwear. A study conducted by the University of Arizona discovered that 96% of soles of shoes were found to harbor fecal matter, which is picked up from the floors of public restrooms, as well as bird droppings and dog feces from asphalt, concrete, grass and soil. When you wear your shoes inside your house, you are spreading all of that bacteria, most notably E. coli, over all of your floors. Not only do you have to worry about germs, you also need to be aware of how many chemicals we track into our homes with our shoes, from gasoline which we pick up while pumping gas at a gas station, to carcinogenic chemicals which are used on lawns, and the list goes on.

Why not improve your indoor environment with a simple step and implement a no-shoes policy when you are inside your house? You’ll be rewarded with a cleaner home and will decrease your exposure to potentially harmful substances.