College Is Not Always The Right Answer

My topic for today’s post is education and a success story from the church youth group I volunteer at. The title of this post may seem strange to some because as a lawyer I spent a lot of time at college. But with many of the kids that I work with there are numerous reasons why they fail to get to college in the first place. Many times it is down to a mixture of the poor quality high schools available to them and a lack of money to pay for a college education.

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5 Tips For A Healthy Family

As a family man and a volunteer coach I spend a lot of my free time with kids. One thing I have seen a lot is how easy it is for families to get into habits that are really bad for their health. In many ways you can understand how this happens so quickly with parents having very busy jobs and their parenting takes a lot of energy too. But I have come up with some tips that I want to pass on today.

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Family Retreat To Florida

I have spent a lot of time in Florida where I spent a year in college when I was a lot younger. It has always been a favorite destination for me and over the years I have gone back on numerous occasions. Of course, one of the main attractions is the weather, which is pretty good all year round. But I have also found lots of great Christian retreats that I have gone to regularly.

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Educational Success Story

Most of the kids I work with come from broken families and this is usually one of the biggest burdens they face in trying to move forward in their lives and escape poverty. Without discipline at home and with a school system that leaves so many behind, the situation for many kids is really bleak.

But I never give up on the kids and through my coaching I am able to give them at least little bit of discipline. While they are in the training sessions with me there are very strict rules that I impose. This is really the only way to control a group of mainly boys at a difficult age, with a lot of baggage.

Wherever I can I also provide these kids with some life coaching. This often includes talking to teachers and giving them advice on how to avoid drugs and crime. I always wonder how much of an effect I actually have on these kids when they become older and no longer come to my coaching sessions.

One of my biggest success stories always chokes me up a bit as practically everyone had given up James, a kid I first encountered when he was just 14 years old. Drugs were a big problem in his family and 2 of his 3 older brothers were in jail, leaving him to raise his two younger sisters. Miraculously he had developed a hatred for drugs and never was tempted to take or sell them.

But James’ problems also extended to school. He had missed many classes as he was trying to care for his family and he was diagnosed as being dyslexic in a school that had no support for him.

When I first started working with him we tried to work on some of his school work, but as a lawyer I am not the best suited to be teaching a teenage boy. Thankfully one of my friends was willing to help out and a few years later we managed to get James to finish High School.

Because of his very caring personality James figured that becoming a paramedic was probably something he would love and at the same time would provide him with the income to help his sisters get through high school.

So, I managed to hook him up with one of the best EMT training providers in CT. He flew through training with flying colors as his dyslexia was not that big a problem in a more practical learning environment. 5 years later and James is a fully qualified Paramedic with a college degree and aspirations of becoming involved in starting an EMT training academy in the neighborhood he grew up in.

Also, one of his sisters has become an EMT and the second is just finishing high school. I meet with them about once a year and it is so rewarding to see the little bit of help I provided may have resulted in 3 young lives not going down the wrong roads.

Should you be interested in a similar career, then I suggest you check out the state specific data on the EMT Training USA website.

 

Preparing Your Home for Travel

As a traveling lawyer, I know all too well the necessary and important steps of preparing to leave your home for a period of time. There are many things we can do to protect our homes in our absence which reach far beyond just locking the doors and windows, and making a check list of some simple steps is a start towards protecting our valuables and our home from intrusion.

One very often overlooked little detail is very telling to would be marauders of your castle, trash day. Ask a neighbor to put some of their trash where yours is always placed for pick up, and then take the bins or cans away; it helps ensure your house looks lived in. Also, if you are going to be away for more than a week arrange for lawn and yard care, so your property doesn’t look overgrown, and don’t forget an outside sprinkler system on a timer helps make your home look occupied. Taking care of your yard also will help prevent squirrels from making your home their home (PestKilled).

Remember to adjust your thermostat, and unplug all unnecessary appliances to help prevent fire hazards in your absence. If your community has a police watch, give them a call and ask them to sweep by to check on your home. Don’t forget to make sure your homeowners insurance is up to date, and secure your computers as well as your other valuable to prevent identity theft. Identity theft is a growing concern, and it can cause more lasting damage to you than a burglary. Don’t announce your coming trip on internet social sites like Twitter or Facebook and give the intruders a heads up on your vacation plans. In today’s world the bad guys troll these sites in hopes of finding homes that are vulnerable to their nefarious plans when the unsuspecting innocent homeowners are away.

Other simple steps to list are stopping the newspapers and your mail. The pile up of newspapers and mail are red flags for intruders signaling your absence in the home. Set lights up on timers both inside and out. Don’t close all the blinds either, so it appears that everyday life is going on in a natural way inside your house. Ask a neighbor or friend to visit your home, and go inside and spend a little time so the house appears occupied, and be sure to ask that friend, neighbor or house sitter to clean up any flyers or menus dropped there by local services. Take care to check your phone messages, or if you can’t, ask family or a friend to do it for you. Also, make sure a friend, neighbor or a family member has your itinerary, and that they are able to contact you in case of emergency.

Make your list and place it where you won’t forget it, and remember to check off each step as you go. With a little care, and forethought you can secure your home, relax on your time away, and then come home to a welcoming and safe home.

 

How Good Food Can Lead to a Healthy Life

If there’s one thing that will greatly affect your health, it’s what you consume on a daily basis. Foods that you eat along with how much you take in, and how you prepare them, has a direct connection to your body’s overall health. A majority of the time, we take our health for granted, and we end up eating what prefer and want, or what’s around at the time without thinking ahead of the consequences. We would like to thank our friend Suzy from CulinaryDreaming.com for her help with this article.

Eating for the Sake of Convenience

It’s important to stop thinking about making convenience a guide or excuse for the food that you eat. You’ll find that consuming what is quick to make or easiest to acquire is really not the healthiest choice. Sometimes, it’s fine to simply gain hold of whatever is available wherever you are. But the problem happen this way of eating turns into a regular habit. Eating healthy food will end up taking the back seat for food that’s easy to attain and quick to make. Once you eliminate this kind of idealism, you can eradicate the habit of eating whatever is convenient, and make your way to eating and living a healthy lifestyle.

Even though I’m not the best at eating habits, I worked with a personal chef for a bit to find a few quick meals that I though tasted good so that I could get rid of the issue I was having with eating whatever could be ready fastest.

When you’ve finally eradicated your need to constantly eat whatever is available or quickest to prepare (where the heart of the problem is), then you can make it a lot easier for you to go the healthy route.

Packaged and Canned Meals

When you consume packaged meals from the grocery store, or food that has been canned all the time, you’ll find that such food tend to possess high sodium content, which is typically made to preserve food. By avoiding these foods from your diet and opting for good food, you’ll likely reduce your chances for developing hypertension and chronic heart disease.

Benefits of Good Food

The benefits that you can enjoy from healthy and wholesome food is that you when you eat them frequently, your mood will be enhanced, your body will feel a lot better, and you’ll be healthier than you’ve ever been. Consuming healthy food equates to healthy living, so don’t make it a habit to wait until it’s too late. By eating good food, not only will you feel good, but you’ll see an improvement on the outside. Having a balanced diet can help you and your body go a long way. If you cut down on processed foods and get rid of preservatives and additives they have then you’ll see remarkable improvement in your life.

 

Changing the World One Step…or One Kick at a Time

While I was still studying law, the professors in one of my subjects asked us why we are in law school. When it was my turn, I uttered the most obvious answer, which is ‘I wanted to become a lawyer’. I think my professor was quite irritated upon hearing what I said but I couldn’t care less. My reason was very personal and I couldn’t, for the life of me, tell a room full of people I barely know the reason why I decided to study law. Years after, after successfully passing the bar, I finally found the courage to tell people why.

Rewinding back to my fourth year in high school, a teacher of mine made our whole class watch a documentary about child laborers. Instead of going to school, the children voluntarily worked (or were made to?) in order to help their families. I was honestly saddened by what I saw, thinking that this should not be how children spend their early years. They should be playing with their friends. They should be going to school. They should be doing what kids in a normal setting should do. They shouldn’t be working, thinking about what to feed their parents and the rest of their sibling come dinner time. But as many of us know, things do not always go the way we want and the way we think they should. And so I thought, what now? I see the problem. What then should I do? At that particular point in my life, I decided that I will become a lawyer in order to help those children, or other kids under a similar situation. You must be asking, why a lawyer? Well, naïve that I was, I thought that being a lawyer was the only way that I could help those kids. It was only years after that I could have chosen other careers more suited for my desire to help. Still, I did not regret my choice because I do love being a lawyer.

In order to follow through with my promise to help, I travelled the world and met a lot of kids from different cultures and circumstances. In my own little way, I tried to encourage them to dream big. I told them that there will always be ways to achieve what they want in life as long as they know how and where to find them. I teach kids how to play football. I ask for donations from other people, specifically toys, which I could later on give to the children I meet during my travels. I remember that one fateful day when I received a particularly creepy doll, Robert the doll. I didn’t know what to do with it but would you believe that a child was still happy to play with it? If you want to know how creepy Robert the doll is then check out Play with Death. That was when I was able to prove that you do not have to be rich or powerful to be able to help other people. As long as you have the sincerity, people would be more than glad to accept what you have to offer.

 

Easy Ways For Successful Weight Loss

Losing weight can be such an uphill battle, and sometimes it seems like you will never reach your goals. At the beginning of a weight loss journey it is easy to be enthusiastic, but after a few days or weeks you can lose motivation. How are people able to keep the weight off? What do they know about weight loss that you don’t?

Although it is not generally recommended to lose 15 pounds in a month, it is possible, provided you have a substantial amount of weight to lose. As healthy weight loss normally equals 1 to 2 pounds a week, you should talk to your doctor before you attempt to lose weight this quickly. If this type of weight loss is suitable for your condition, it will take a lot of self-discipline and determination to lose 15 pounds in a month. You will have to follow a low-calorie food plan in which you restrict your portions, while still feeding yourself essential vitamins and nutrients.

Setting goals and understanding your motivations will help you stick to your routine. Do you want to change your weight significantly, or do you just want to look trimmer? Are you hoping that regularly workouts will give you more energy? What is your final goal for your fitness level?

Keep a weekly record of your weight loss. Maintain a diary which will allow you to track your weight loss progress each week. In another section of the same book, keep a journal of the food that you are eating. Writing down your daily food intake helps keep you accountable for what you eat. Having to get out your diary, find a pen, and write it down may make you less likely to want to eat a certain food items.

If you don’t nip hunger in the bud, you’re far more likely to make bad food choices as your hunger takes over. Avoid making poor food choices by always have a collection of healthful snacks packed and ready whenever you are out. You can avoid eating out by packing your own lunch. When you bring your lunch, you have complete control over your calorie consumption. Additionally, you will avoid the temptations you might face in a restaurant. In addition to cutting back on calories, bagged lunches are also cheaper than eating out. So many people have not understand what calories really are. They just see or hear it in the TV and say, “Hey, I need to cut back on that, too.” Without even realizing what it is really that they need to cut back on.

Eating healthy foods is not the only thing that is important to lose weight; exercise is also a needed element for any weight loss plan. You need to keep up your healthy eating plan and exercise regularly in order to keep losing weight, so don’t hesitate to combine working out and having fun. Get a friend to exercise with you if you don’t have the willpower to exercise on your own. Turn your exercise routine into a family affair, whether it’s a jog through a park or a scenic bike ride. You won’t even be aware that you are getting exercise!

If your home is full of bad food options, it can be difficult to cease consuming them. This works the other way around, though: keeping your home filled with healthy foods means you will go for them first. Be sure to have plenty of healthy options available, such as veggies, fruits and nutritious snacks. In order to ensure you do not consume junk, do not buy it. Eliminating these junk foods from your pantry and replacing them with healthy choices will help you stop making unhealthy choices.

One of my best friends, Charlie, has lost a lot of weight by following the advice I’ve given him. He owns a plumbing business And we all know that when you own a business, it’s pretty hard to keep track of your health, and your weight. You’re running a business, and you’re pretty busy all the time. Who has time for a weight loss activity, right? But he did follow my instructions and he has lost over 163 pounds and has kept it offer for 2 months.

God revealed to me that a poor relationship with food is a symptom, not a cause. To truly resolve the problem I had to allow him to help with the causes that were leading to the symptom of overeating and consequent weight gain. It was like any illness in the body. A runny nose, headache and sore throat are symptoms of a cold, but not the cause. The cause is a virus or bacterium. We can take all the remedies and painkillers in the world to stop our noses running and heads and throats hurting, but the infection will still be there. It will only be cured when the body’s defenses defeat the virus or bacterium.

God wanted to cure us. He wanted a permanent solution, not a temporary painkiller. Over a period of seven weeks, God revealed to me on a daily basis the issues I had to deal with to cure the problem. Now I want to pass this on to you, to help you lose weight. I feel so blessed that God cares for me so much and that he has been prepared to invest so much time and effort in helping me. God does not play favorites; he will do the same for you.

It is my prayer that this course will speak into your own life and that you will be as blessed as I have been.

 

Fantastic trip to Rome with carry-on problems


Finally back from my last trip. Why do I say “finally” ? Because I had some problems getting back home. But more details about that later. First I’ll tell you all about my trip.

My blog fans who often read what I post here probably already knew it, but I went to Italy on this last trip. It has all you need: sunny weather, good-looking men and it’s the centre for design & fashion. Needless to say I was very happy spending time there. I’ll go through my trip below.

On day 1 I arrived after many hours flying at the airport of Rome. The direct flight from New York to Rome went smooth. I can’t complain about that.

The first thing I noticed was the sunny weather and a lot of people with sun glasses. It seems Italians like to wear those even when it’s not sunny necessary. From the airport I took a cab and some 20 minutes later I arrived at the hotel I was staying.

It was a good place to discover this great city from according to http://www.rome.info. The first thing on my list of things to visit was Vatican City. For those who don’t know the Vatican City it is the home of the pope and the smallest state in the whole world. So it’s something special which is certainly worth visiting. Once there I visited the Sistine Chapel where I admired the work of Michelangelo. I also took a look at the masterpieces in the Vatican Museum.

Rome is one of the most ancient cities in Europe. It dates back to 2700 years. It has been the headquarters of the Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church. It has also had an influence on European languages. Most of them are based on the Latin alphabet. Today Rome is renowned for its open-air museums, the good weather and tasty Italian food.

I had booked a hotel near the colosseum and this was a fantastic choice. There were lights shining on it by night and thus the view from the balcony was phenomenal.

Another thing I visited was the Trevi fountain. It’s in the middle of the Italian capital and it’s a hotspot for tourists. So I couldn’t miss this one.

During my trip I also went to the Tower of Pisa. It seems a lot of people wrongly assume this is in Rome, but how? I mean it says Pisa. For this I took the local bus and it was only 1 hour drive to get there.

After a satisfying week I was eager to get back to my home country. I flew back with Air Italia to the States. However this was a real nightmare. It started with checking in. It seems that the carry-on luggage limits differ from those in the US. So I had to check it in for the cargo hold. So the first thing I’ll be doing know is getting a new carry on bag like one of these. The dimensions are mentioned, so I’ll choose one that complies with European standards. Next time I should have no problems anymore with my luggage and can enjoy traveling even more than I did this time.

 

Top 5 Gadgets for the Healthy Traveler

Staying healthy even in the most favorable conditions can be troublesome. When you are touring the world, it becomes so much harder. It does not matter if you are planning on backpacking through parts of the world that are unknown or taking a ride down Route 66 in some classic American muscle, you need to make sure that your immune system and body are in top notch condition.

It is always best to use common sense when traveling, especially when it comes to eating things that you or the vendor selling them cannot pronounce. This list contains some of the handiest gadgets for the tech-savvy and health conscious wanders. They will assist you in keeping your mind, body, and soul awake and ready to handle even your wildest traveling desires.

Virus Zero Portable Air Purifier

This tiny machine packs a punch, and with all of the health anxieties you face when traveling, it is without doubt a piece of equipment you will want in your bag. The small, but efficient device can clean areas of up to 230 feet. Samsung, the creator of this innovative product, claims that it will rid of up to 99.7% of the impurities in the air including allergens, bacteria, and viruses like H1N1. You can read some air purifier reviews at HealthyAirLab.com.

Satechi Portable USB Humidifier

This simple looking piece of travel gear will create a relaxing setting, together with a faint azure light to set the mood. This humidifier can help to relieve symptoms of the common cold and flu as well as clean congested sinuses and provide relief from itchy, dry skin. All you need to do is screw the portable humidifier onto virtually any water bottle and plug it into the closest USB outlet. You can even add some scented oils to build a romantic or healing ambiance.

Nano-UV Disinfection Scanner

If you want to rid of the potentially dangerous bacteria on the bedding or in the carpet at that discounted hostel in Amsterdam, then you need to invest in this germ killing ninja. The manufacturer claims that it will kill 99.9% of the targeted bacteria, like Salmonella, E. coli, and the dreaded H1N1 in a sixth of a minute. It is also dangerous to dust mite eggs lurking in pillows and other bedding. You will unquestionably find uses for this magic wand at home as well.

SteriPen Portable Water Purifier

The smallest and lightest UV water purifier on the market today is the SteriPen Freedom. It features an internal battery that is USB rechargeable, so you can power up anywhere. The lightweight and efficient purifier allows the sun to work for you, and we all know that if you want to stay in good physical shape and content on the road, you need to stay hydrated.

LumoBack Posture Sensor

If anyone has ever told you not to slouch, then this one machine will help improve your posture as well as make your mother pleased. The device discreetly goes around your waist similar to a belt and you are remind in the fashion of Pavlov’s dogs that you are slouching with a noticeable vibration. You can also download an app from LumoBack to see how you are improving your posture and it tracks the number of steps you have walked.

 

A Bible Verse Fit for a Gym

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.”

This is one of the verses I have on my wall in my house – and it always encourages me to eat healthier and to exercise often. At first I put it up on the wall in my gym, right above my treadmill to give me focus as I ran. But I soon found out that I wasn’t reading it often enough, because I was spending much too little time in the gym! So instead I moved it into my living room, where it is on the wall above my TV. Now I see it every time I’m lounging around, and it challenges me to ask myself “Am I eating healthily today? Have I exercised today?” Since I moved the verse out of my gym and into my living room, I’ve spent much more time in the gym! And what did I put in the newly black space in front of my treadmill? A little TV! 😉 I figured its ok to watch a little TV while I’m doing a run! I’m sure I’ll be forgiven for that one!

Today as I write this, I have just received the verse again in the mail (Just to clarify, it is the verse written in cursive on a decorative, worn piece of varnished wood – absolutely beautiful). And where am I going to put this one? Well, I am glad you asked.

Some of you may know that I have been working on a little project with our local YMCA – they are allowing my and some of my colleagues access to some of their health and exercise facilities for the local sports teams I volunteer with (basketball and soccer). A lot of these kids don’t have access to any gym or exercise equipment, so we have all been working together to renovate and update their ‘gym’ into a proper, clean and modern exercise suite. We’ve been working, painting, fundraising and all chipping in and the gym is almost complete. This bible verse is one of the last pieces to go in. I want to thank everyone who came down to help us out with the manual labour, and also a big thanks to everyone who donated and helped us raise the money we needed to buy our equipment.

We were able to purchase the following equipment:

Precor 946i Treadmill
Schwinn 430 Elliptical
Practica MultiGym

I could never show enough gratitude that we were able to get together enough faith and love (as well as money!) to afford these (all 2nd hand, but still in great condition), and with all the other bits and pieces (skipping ropes, yoga mats, punch bags) we are going to be providing some real health benefits to some very blessed youngsters.

The only thing that remains to be done is for one of my soccer or basketball teams to actually go out and win a game one of these days! For that, we really will need a miracle!
Thank you all so much.

God Bless you all.

 

My Healthy Lifestyle Changes

I’d like to take this opportunity to get personal for a bit.  Today is the 3 year anniversary of when I decided to be mindful of my body.  My goal was to get fit and strong and like who I saw in the mirror.  Now, at almost 50 pounds lost and an entire blog chock full of lifestyle changes, I am truly blessed to see the transformation.  I am only so lucky that I have a sister who is as awesome as herself to help me through this change in my life, not only via working out and eating healthily, but by adding to our blog.

I don’t think I’ve ever explained my epiphany moment of when I knew I needed a drastic change that would lead me to a healthier lifestyle.  For those of you who don’t know, I used to have a career in medical billing and coding.  After I graduated college with a biology degree, the only job I could really secure closest to my field was as a receptionist at a doctor’s office.  Dr. Hart, my boss, was a lovely woman.  She encouraged me to get my medical billing and coding certificate, as she knew it would offer me more money and more independence at work until I figured out my next steps along the way.  She was insightful enough to know that I wouldn’t be working at a doctor’s office forever!

Medical billing and coding was nice in its own ways, but it is at its core a desk job.  I spent 8-9 hours a day, in front of the computer, in a desk chair.  Most days, I skipped lunch or ate it right in front of the computer.  Red Bull became my go to drink, instead of water.  I snacked like you cannot even believe.  Dr. Hart told me she was concerned, as she had seen my demeanor change from bubbly to more reserved over the year or so that I had worked for her in medical billing and coding.  I brushed it off and chalked it up to the fact that I had more responsibility, so I kept a more professional demeanor.

In reality, I was slowly picking up bad habits.  I would come home from work exhausted because I had not properly fueled my body throughout the day.  I began to crave sugar.  My stress level was out of control.  Exercising became a thing of the past because I stopped scheduling it into my day.  I made excuses and justifications as to why my clothes suddenly stopped fitting correctly, or how I became so tired after taking a couple flights of stairs.

Then one day, as I banged the vending machine in rage for not dispensing my Almond Joy, I took a mental inventory and realized I did not like who I was becoming, or the road I was on.  Dr. Hart was right! My personality had changed, just as everything else had in my life.  I had become too work centric and was even putting it before my own wellbeing.  I knew I had to formulate a plan to get myself on the right track, and Dr. Hart helped me make little goals for my health recovery.

If your story sounds similar to mind, please continue to keep reading this blog and gain as much insight as you can about healthy lifestyle changes.  It will save your life and I promise you, just like me 3 years later you will be the happiest person for it.  Thanks for sharing this journey with me!

 

Find Creative Ways to be of Help to Less Fortunate Members of the Community

When it comes to charity or giving help to other people, a lot of us would say no and reason out that we also got nothing for ourselves to begin with. However, this is not really an excuse. Our Christian faith teaches us to give even we don’t have much for ourselves. The person who only has a penny and donates it to others has more value in heaven that those who have a lot and only donate a part of what they have to others. Thus, you have no excuse in helping out.

Of course, you are not expected to give hundreds of dollars to poor people. However, you can always make the most of your creativity, skills and talents in order to give back to others. In fact, all you need to do is to organize a fund raising activity and you are good to go.

Advertise online

With the power of social media, you can now make the most out of your close friends and their friends. You can talk about what your plans are to help others. You can also advertise how they can donate or how they can volunteer. You may organize an event that would require volunteers such as medical mission or tutorial day. When you need people to come, then you can advertise online. You can also ask for sponsorship to ensure that you have enough funds for those activities.

Organize fund raisers

You might also want to do activities to raise funds and give the said funds to those who are in need. The most common fund raising activity is a rock concert. This involves the youth as well. You might also want to organize a raffle draw so you can sell tickets and give rewards to winners. The best fund raiser is in a form of a competition. You can invite people to come and watch so you can sell tickets. At the same time, you involve other people to compete and they become useful members of the society as well. If you can’t think of any competition, then organize archery tournament.

This has become very popular these days. A lot of people are into archery already. You can invite a local club to help out. They can take part in the competition and win prizes too. If you get more people to join, then it becomes more exciting. You can sell more tickets and get a lot more funds as well. This is very unique, but worth the try. You can also invest on the best crossbow from this site. You should also buy the best crossbow bolt at http://www.astraightarrow.com/best-crossbow-bolt-reviews/. By then, you are assured of a quality tournament.

A reward in heaven

Once you have raised the necessary funds and have the money donated to the people in need, then it becomes very satisfying. You will feel like you have done something very useful to the society. Rest assured that even if you don’t get that much here on earth, you will get a lot more in heaven.