Monday, June 29, 2015

Are You Really Eating Healthy?

To buy healthy food, you look at the Nutrition Facts labels on food products. But do you understand what Percent Daily Value (%DV) next to a nutrient really means? The percentage is based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet for adults, and it can help you determine if a food is high or low in a specific nutrient. For example, 18% for “Total Fat” means one serving furnishes 18% of the total amount of fat you should eat in a day. The general guideline for any one food is 5% or less of a nutrient is low; 20% or more is high. Here are the recommended daily values: Nutrient Ideal DV %DV Total Fat Eat Less Than 65g =100% Saturated Fat Eat Less Than 20g =100% Cholesterol Eat Less Than 300mg =100% Sodium Eat Less Than 2400mg =100% BONUS TIP: When comparing two products, make sure “serving size” is similar. For example, if two jars of peanut butter claim to have “reduced fat,” compare the %DVs for “Total Fat” on each label.

Monday, June 22, 2015

We’re getting ready to remodel our home. What’s the best way to find a reputable contractor?

Complaints about home improvement contractors are one of the most frequent grievances received by the Better Business Bureau and the office of state attorneys general. So you are wise to ask this question. Here are five ways you can improve your chances of finding a reputable contractor: 1. Get referrals from other building professionals. Ask professionals who you know. For example, ask your plumber, roofer, painter for recommendations. Since they work with other contractors on other jobs, they know who’s good and who is not. 2. Get references. Get three customer references from the contractor for similar projects that were completed in the past two years. Check these references carefully, and maybe even see the work that was done. Ask them if they would hire the contractor again. 3. Check the contractor’s license, insurance, and permits. Make sure they are in order. Contact the Registrar of Contractors in your area. 4. Get a written cost estimate with specific details, schedule, and the projected completion date. This is one of the most important aspects, just remember if you request changes when the work is being completed it will cost more and you should get those changes in writing as well.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s research is a hot topic, and could have a big impact on your life. There’s an estimated 4.5 million cases in the U.S. reports the Alzheimer’s Association, and that number is growing. But there’s hope! You may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by taking two important vitamins, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Vitamins C and E are the focus of many research studies, which indicate they may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have found that antioxidants may absorb damaging free radicals in the brain and prevent cell damage. A Johns Hopkins study found that people taking both Vitamins C and E were 64% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease four years later. The recommended daily doses for Vitamin C are 500 to 1,500 mg, and 400 to 1,000 IU of Vitamin E daily. Be sure you check with your doctor to determine which dose is best for you.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What’s involved in a home inspection, and is it mandatory when buying a house?

A home inspection is not mandatory when you purchase a house, but I recommend that you have any home you’re planning on buying inspected by a licensed inspector. In fact, I’d insist upon it. A home inspector has the training and expertise to provide an objective opinion about the condition of the home. The inspector will carefully examine the home’s structure, roof, plumbing, electrical wiring, heating and cooling system, and appliances. He or she will provide a written assessment of the house’s condition. The inspection will tell you what repairs might need to be made before buying. The inspection can alert you to any serious problems the house may have—before you buy the house. There’s a period after a contract is accepted when you can have the inspection completed. Fees are paid to the inspector by the buyer. If there are problems or repairs that need to made, you can request in writing during the specified period that these repairs be made as a condition of the sale. If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home and need competent and caring representation, please call me at 206-226-0565.