Friday, March 29, 2019

Reduce Your Diabetes Risk

You may not be able to totally prevent type 2 diabetes, but there are steps you can take to lower your chances of getting the disease. • Talk to your doctor about your personal risk factors, such as age, weight, cholesterol level, blood pressure and family history. Make a personal lifestyle plan. • Choose healthier foods. Add these foods to your diet: broccoli, fish, blueberries, olive oil, spinach, walnuts, and dairy. For details, search for “Top 10 Super-foods For Type 2 Diabetes” at • Avoid sugary beverages, including soda and energy drinks. One 12-ounce can of regular soda has 150 calories and 40 grams of carbs. That’s the same amount of carbs in 10 teaspoons of sugar! • Exercise every day. Everything counts: walking, swimming, gardening. Just keep moving.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Reading Bingo For Kids

Create a checklist of fun reading “assignments” on a bingo card and offer rewards for completing it. Here are a few ideas for the boxes: • Read something written the year you were born. • Read a poem. • Read every article in one magazine. • Read a few pages to your parents from your favorite book. • Read while wearing a swimsuit. • Read on the floor of your local library. Read something a favorite teacher read when he/she was your age

Monday, March 25, 2019

What You Eat Can Profoundly Affect Your Sleep!

Your daily diet can have a great impact on your night’s sleep. First, be sure you are getting enough calcium and magnesium. You can get it by eating milk, yogurt, beans, dark green vegetables, or a taking vitamin supplement (1,000 mg. to 1,300 mg. are recommended as a daily target for calcium consumption). Along with calcium, pay attention to consumption of these foods before bedtime:  Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Of course caffeine is a stimulant and even though alcohol is a relaxant, it will switch gears in the middle night and wake you up when it wears off.  Choose a good evening snack. These would be yogurt, bananas, figs, nuts, turkey, tuna, and whole-grain crackers. These foods are rich in trytophan, an amino acid the brain uses to produce the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is critical for a normal night’s sleep.  Evening snacks you definitely should avoid. Bacon, cheese, chocolate, ham, potatoes, sugar, sausage, tomatoes, and wine are the foods to skip if you want a restful night’s sleep. They all contain high levels of tyramine, which increases release of the stimulant norepinephrine into the brain. If diet changes don’t work, try an occasional herbal sleep aid like Valerian or the excellent homeopathic sleep remedy Calms Forte – formulated from safe minerals and herbs.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Alternatives to Bottled Water

You’ve likely heard that bottled water has major environmental consequences, but how bad is the problem? Here are a few facts from that illustrate the severity of the situation: • Approximately 80% of single-use water bottles in the U.S. become “litter,” and one bottle takes more than 1,000 years to bio-degrade. • U.S. landfills have two million tons of discarded water bottles in them. • It takes three liters of water to package one liter of bottled water. In response to the bottled water problem, some cities and businesses have banned it, but what can you do? • Skip the single-use water bottle, and invest in a reusable water bottle. If you forget it, buy multiples to keep in vehicles, the office, and your gym bag. • Drink tap water. Several studies have been done to show municipal tap water is usually just as safe as bottled water. • Refrigerate water. Cooling tap water helps remove the chlorine taste many people feel is in tap water. • Boil water if you are concerned water might be contaminated.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Detecting “Unwanted” Visitors

Could you be sharing your home with uninvited visitors – like mice, squirrels, birds, or even termites? Pests are a common problem for everyone, so here are a few tips to spot them and what to do: Where you might find them. Look for animal droppings, signs of chewing, and odor in your kitchen, basement, closets, and attic. Check any moist areas like around air conditioning units. In the case of termites, look for “dirt tubes” around your home’s perimeter. What to do. You know how to trap mice in the kitchen. After you trap them, be sure to clean up crumbs and keep food sealed up. When it comes to larger animals, like squirrels, birds, or snakes, don’t try to remove them yourself. They can be dangerous when cornered. If you suspect you have the larger visitors or tiny bugs like termites, hire a professional animal catcher or pest control company.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Overcoming Retirement Financial Fears

You’ve worked tirelessly your entire life, and retirement is your time to finally and fully enjoy that hard-earned rest and relaxation. Unfortunately, not being able to afford retirement is a fear many people have. Get ahead of the game so you can rest easy.  Start saving now, at your current age. Establish a monthly budget that includes tucking money away for retirement.  Stick to the retirement plan. Do not withdraw money early for expenses if you have any other options.  Avoid borrowing money, and keep debt to a minimum.  Use a 401(k) plan to boost retirement savings. These plans allow funds to be invested directly from a paycheck before they’re subject to taxes.  Take advantage of company matching opportunities for retirement contributions.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Passport Facts

How much do you know about your passport? The International Civil Aviation Organization has outlined the following rules about these little books:  Made of a material that bends rather than creases.  Stable in temperatures between 14F-122F degrees.  Readable in humidity conditions between 5%-95%. However, there are no stipulations about typeface, type size, font, and cover color, yet all countries have chosen shades of red, blue, green, and black for cover colors.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Easy Ways To Add Curb Appeal

The first impression of your house is from the street. If you want to sell or just add some new style, try these ideas: Focus on your front door with a new color, updated light fixtures and easy-to-read house numbers. For more charm, add window flower boxes or shutters around the windows. Learn to build a window box on Clean out the clutter, and trim the overgrown bushes and trees (this also makes your home safer). For quick color, add container gardens. You can buy them pre-planted. Add lighting accents to trees or to illuminate the pathway (another safety feature). You can go solar to eliminate wires. Pressure-wash the exterior. If it doesn’t look better, consider new paint or siding. Don’t forget the garage door. Repair it, paint it or replace it to make your house look like new.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

4 Tips When Booking a Cruise

Planning a cruise trip involves more research than you might think. Here are some important things to know before you book your cruise. 1. Pick the Right Cruise Line – Know which cruise lines have a party atmosphere, and which are more geared to peace and quiet. (Depending on your preference!) Try a site like to help you decide. 2. Read the Fine Print – It might be boring, but the fine print could have information about what’s non-refundable, what’s included in the beverage package, if your cabin is chosen for you, and more. 3. Choose the Right Cabin – An interior cabin might make you feel claustrophobic. A cabin next to a nightclub, an elevator shaft, or the anchor means noise at potentially odd hours. A cabin near the front or back of the ship, or higher up on the ship, are where seasickness is most likely. 4. Look at a Detailed Itinerary – Know how long you’ve got in each port, and how long it takes to get from the port to the areas you want to visit. Just because it indicates that you have “one day” in port doesn’t mean you’ve got 12 hours to explore.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Detergent Secret…

Detergent makers recommend that consumers use more of their product than necessary. Here’s a quick tip: Use only half as much detergent in your laundry and dishwasher. You’ll save money and your clothes and dishes will be just as clean – maybe even cleaner!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Help Your Pet Live A Long And Healthy Life

Most pet owners would say that pets are important members of the family. We welcome them into our lives knowing we’ll most likely outlive them- but we can help them have the best possible life. Here are some tips for giving your critter a long, happy life:  Maintain a healthy weight. Feed pets the proper type and amount of food. Avoid feeding fatty human foods to your furry friends.  Exercise regularly. Dogs need regular walks every day, and time to run around. Indoor cats live longer than outdoor cats, but they should have stimulating toys and room to play and exercise too.  Schedule regular vet visits. Regular health screenings (at least once a year for healthy adult animals) allow vets to detect and manage diseases early. Keep vaccinations updated.  Keep teeth clean. Tartar, gingivitis, plaque, and other problems with teeth and gums can lead to other health problems. Brush dogs’ teeth at least a couple times a week. Try making your own toothpaste with coconut oil and baking soda, and your dog will enjoy his brushing time. The Veterinary Oral Health Council publishes a list of accepted oral health products to help with dental care as well (  Note behavioral changes. If pets aren’t following their normal routines, this may be a sign that something isn’t right. Don’t wait too long before checking with a vet about abnormal behavior.  Chill out. Even pets need time and space on their own, so make sure they have at least a couple hours a day to relax.