Tag Archives: Lifestyle

How Smart Home Technology Can Help You Eliminate Stress

By StatePoint

Many parents have worries around the back-to-school season, especially if kids will be alone for a portion of the afternoon or in the morning before catching the bus.

What if you could keep a better eye on things when you’re not physically there? Here are some ways to use smart home technology to simplify daily routines and minimize stress knowing the kids are safe.

Start with a Hub

A hub is like the brain of your home tech and connects to your router, allowing devices like locks, thermostats and lighting to communicate with one another. The hub can even send notifications to your mobile phone, so you can monitor and control your home remotely. With hubs such as SmartThings, Wink or Nexia, setting up your devices and customizations is simple. However, you may prefer a hub disguised as security panels, such as ADT Pulse or Vivint, or those that work with popular voice speakers, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Customize

Scenes are an easy way to sync smart devices to perform a series of actions that make life more convenient. For example, you can wake your kids with a “good morning” scene that turns lights on and plays music via an Echo or Google Home.

Worried about energy bills? Keep kids from cranking the air after school with a smart thermostat, which lets you control the temperature throughout the day.

After homework and chores are complete, a voice control assistant will keep kids entertained with music, and a movie scene can lower lights and turn on speakers. Finish the day with a “good night scene,” that shuts off lights, lowers the temperature, locks the doors and arms the security system.

Think Safety

Your smart home can keep a watchful eye on kids. Smart door locks like Schlage or Kwikset eliminate the need for kids to keep track of housekeys, and let you know if they forget to lock the door when they leave. When they get home, you’ll receive a notification letting you know they’ve arrived safely.

Security-focused solutions like the Piper NV camera and hub, or Abode’s DIY security solution alert you when someone enters and exits, and even provide video clips to your phone. Smart sensors, such as those from Aeotec, can notify you whenever a window, door or even a cabinet drawer is opened.

During emergencies, kids can press Fibaro’s Button device to activate an emergency scene that signals an alarm and sends a notification to your phone indicating they need help.

Future-Proof Your Tech

Smart home tech doesn’t have to be expensive; you can start small with a hub and a few devices and add more as your needs change. Just be sure all your devices can talk to one another now and in the future. With Z-Wave technology for example, devices from different manufacturers can communicate, no matter where you bought them, so consider looking for the Z-Wave logo when shopping for smart home technology. For smart home ideas and customer support, visit z-wave.com.

Alleviate back-to-school stress with new tools that help you keep kids safe and streamline your day.

Win the Battle Against Back-to-School Germs

By StatePoint

Did you know that, on average, elementary school children get eight to 12 colds or cases of the flu each school year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? This school year, follow some healthy habits to avoid the back-to-school plague.

First, wash hands and other items that you touch, like cell phones or desks, frequently. Cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats; and school desks have been found to hold 400 times more bacteria than toilets.

Next, pick up school supplies that help fight germs, such as Easy Liner brand shelf liner with Clorox antimicrobial protection. The shelf liner features an antimicrobial

additive to prevent the growth of odor-causing mold and mildew on the liner. Plus, it can be tossed in the wash for easy cleaning. Place it in areas of your home or classroom where school items are stored like floors, counters, desks and shelves. For more information, visit duckbrand.com.

Help stave off colds and flu all school year with great germ-fighting habits.

Back-to-School Tips to Help Reduce Stress

By StatePoint

School can be a stressful place, from finding a seat at lunch to making new friends, but don’t let supplies be one of those stressors. Make life just a bit easier with the right supplies, so students have more time to focus on the important things. To help reduce stress, consider the following tips and tricks.

Lighten the Load

Students are always on the go — shuttling to and from school, attending rehearsals, practices and other extracurricular activities, and moving about from class to class. Managing mobility is crucial toward alleviating physical stress.

Use multifunctional tools that can help them carry less, such as the Five Star Flex Hybrid NoteBinder. It acts like a notebook and works like a binder with flexible, durable rings that open and close, allowing students to add, remove or re-sort their papers. Carrying less means less to worry about.

Further lighten the load by carrying only what is needed. Pack backpacks the night before to avoid bringing textbooks or binders that won’t be used. Another tip is to look for a backpack that features ergonomic straps to help distribute weight evenly and reduce physical stress. A backpack that has this feature is the Five Star Expandable Backpack; not only that, it also has expanding compartments offering extra room when needed. Other things to look for are pockets to help keep small supplies organized and easy to find, and padded sections for holding and protecting technology.

Stay Organized

Being organized can reduce so many headaches. Yet somehow, it’s all too easy to let backpacks, lockers and even bedroom floors get messy. Use effective organizational tools to ensure assignments aren’t misplaced in the shuffle. For example, the Five Star Storage & Organization Divider features mesh storage pockets that are great for smaller school supplies; plus, it can snap into a notebook or be stored in a binder for easy organization of important papers.

Write it Down

Write down assignments as soon as they are given. Being proactive will make sure there are no surprises. A planner is great for accessing information anytime, however you may want to display this crucial information on a wall calendar or planner at home as well.

Remain Balanced

Beyond selecting smart gear, students can help ensure a successful school year by making room in their schedules for activities that help reduce stress, whether that’s listening to music, going for a run or spending time with friends.

Find a few systems that help keep mental and physical stress low, and work hard to keep them in place throughout the year.

 

Shopping Local Can Benefit You and Your Community

By StatePoint

If you have home improvement plans, it’s important to consider where you will be doing your shopping. For many people, the first stores to come to mind are big box retailers because of the widespread assumption that chains can offer better selection and better prices.

Keep in mind, though, that when it comes to items needed for your home projects — whether it be new flooring, paint or a kitchen renovation — more often than not, experts say that your local independent retailer can offer as good or better selection, be competitive with pricing, and provide a superior customer service experience.

What’s more, shopping at local businesses can benefit your household and the community. At a locally owned store, you will be more likely to find interesting items and products that set your home apart. And more of your dollars will stay put when you give them to business owners who pay taxes locally, hire locally and may be more inclined to support community charities and organizations.

You may also find independent retailers that can offer some of the same benefits as a large chain. For example, when small business owners belong to a cooperative, they come together to scale buying power, access goods and services at a lower cost, and create opportunities not available to them as individual businesses. For you, this can mean more and better choices of products and affordability.

In the case of Flooring America for example, this means being able to offer a wide selection of products, including hard surfaces like hardwood, laminate and tile, and soft surface flooring, paint, cabinets for kitchen renovations and even closet organization solutions. Their retailers can be found in local communities throughout the country, with a varying product selection depending on location.

So, if you are looking to make home improvements, check out your local retailers that not only offer great product selection, but also contribute to your community in a positive way.

 

Back-to-School Organization Tips for Busy Families

photo courtesy: fotolia.com

By StatePoint

 

The new school year brings hectic mornings, piles of homework, endless events, practices, games and school conferences. When you’re a busy parent, day-to-day tasks can consume your thoughts and energy. Stay organized and sane by following these simple tips to handle the crush of the school year.

Centralize Communication

Communication is key when it comes to organization. Stay in sync with your family by using a digital calendar. Smartphone apps such as Hub allow multiple users to share to-do and shopping lists, appointments, commitments and more. In addition, many apps have messaging capabilities to ensure users can share specific details and instructions (“Bring treats for the holiday party Tuesday”) and last-minute changes (“Grandma is picking up the kids today”) with one or more family members.

Organization Station

If your family prefers a physical calendar, incorporate it into a complete “home command station” in an area everyone passes, like a nook in the kitchen or a corner in the family room. Build out the space as the central location for organization. Use chalkboard paint to create a reusable messaging wall for daily assignments and appointments. Include a shelf or cubby with an inbox and outbox so permission slips, bills and important documents don’t get lost.

Make this station even more useful by adding a dedicated space for children to do homework. Include a desk, computer, school supplies and a bright desk lamp. Encourage success by posting recent “wins” nearby, like that aced spelling test or impressionist masterpiece. Utilize file cabinets, labeled folders or pouches to separate print materials and USB flash drives by subject, so homework can be handled with less stress.

Modify Meal Prep

Before heading to the market, map out meals for the week that share common ingredients, to increase efficiency and reduce waste; then create a shopping list packed with fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Maintain a consistent supply of fresh, delicious produce with subscription boxes or community-supported agriculture membership.

Prep breakfasts and lunches the night before to save time in the morning and ensure your family consumes healthy, whole foods, versus pre-packaged convenience foods.

Smoothies provide a nutritious breakfast or snack at home or on-the-go. Prepare and freeze individual servings of chopped fruits and vegetables in resealable bags. When you’re ready to use, place the frozen produce into a high-powered blender, such as the Vitamix A3300 Ascent Series blender, add almond milk, soy milk or water and blend on high until the desired consistency is reached.

For lunch, prep power-packed meals with items like almond and seed butters to provide protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Mix unsalted, roasted almonds and canola oil in a high-powered blender to create homemade almond butter; or blend sunflower seeds, flaxseed, sesame seeds and sunflower oil for an allergy-friendly no-nut butter. Pair these delicious spreads with jam on whole-wheat bread for a twist on a traditional lunchbox favorite.

Staying organized is not easy. There might be occasional disarray, but making just a few small changes will help you reap the benefits of a more balanced life this back-to-school season.

Realistic Resolutions for Busy Moms

By StatePoint

Time is perhaps the most coveted thing moms have and it’s crucial to manage it effectively for you and your family.

To help moms everywhere make the most of their precious minutes in 2017, actress, director, producer, entrepreneur, mother-of-three and Nutrisystem ambassador, Melissa Joan Hart reveals her New Year’s Resolutions, crafted from years of juggling different time consuming tasks.

  • Just say “no”: Sometimes you just have to decline requests or pick and choose which ones are doable. And remember, it’s okay to ask for a rain check.
  • Limit screen time: It’s easy to fall into the screen time black hole. Instead, be present — put your phone down and limit your children’s time in front of their screens. Even talk to your spouse!
  • Set aside 20 “Mom Minutes” daily: Do something for yourself for 20 minutes every day– meditate, do a quick workout, call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, or simply do nothing with a cup of coffee in hand.
  • Have one-on-one time with each child: Create no-fuss activities like coloring or playing cards that you can do with each child individually based on his or her personality. Spending quality time separately will feed your soul and theirs.
  • Try to be guilt free: As a working mom, you are doing things for your family even when you are at work, so don’t feel guilty about the time away from loved ones.
  • Make simple healthy changes: Remember that your kids are always watching, so being a good role model when it comes to health and fitness will pay dividends for them and for you. Simple, easy changes in your daily routing can help you with your health goals. For example, drink a nutrient-rich shake for breakfast, such as Nutrisystem Turboshakes, drink more water throughout the day and maintain a consistent exercise schedule.

And if you want to lose weight, as so many do in the New Year, Hart says, “look for a plan that works for you. I chose Nutrisystem because it was simple and fit with my lifestyle. I lost 40 pounds and feel better than ever!”

For a kick start to your New Year, consider Nutrisystem Lean13, a new program designed to help you lose up to 13 pounds and seven inches in your first month. More information can be found at nutrisystem.com.

  • Plan quality couple time: Make time to reignite your romance. Go out to a movie, take a walk together, write each other love notes.

“Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make grand resolutions,” says Hart. “It’s the small resolutions that can make every day just feel better.”

 

Outdoor Fun and Relaxation

Fairmount Park

Photo courtesy: Racine Guajardo

Photo courtesy: Racine Guajardo

By Racine Guajardo  

Riverside- This park features various entertainment for a family filled day such as, two tennis courts, playground, picnic facilities, a rose garden, fishing at Lake Evans and Brown Lake, lawn bowling green, barbecue areas, and a restored historic boathouse that offers pedal boat rentals.

Fairmount Park is located at 2601 Fairmount Blvd. in Riverside. The park lies between the Santa Ana River and Route 60 to the north with an area of 35 acres. If you exit Market Street, the destination is on your right side, which is easy to find!

At the park, there is access to walking trails. Walks around the park and on the bridge also give a nice view to see wild life such as ducks and geese on the Lake.

One man fishing said, “this is one of few places that I enjoy fishing at.” He also said he likes going in the evening time about 5 or 6 p.m. because he caught 4 fish in one day.

A Chino resident, Mary Gonzales says, “ I went two weeks ago (at the concert in the park) it was nice a lot of families having fun enjoying dancing and barbecue. I was also there about 2 months ago for a huge car show that had a DJ and a taco man.”

The bonding experience between parents and kids are memories you won’t forget. Michael Mascarenas says, “I like Fairmount Park mostly because of the environment, its family friendly, they allow pets, my daughter loves to fish in the lakes, and the park itself is big and roomy with nice playgrounds.”

Families enjoy taking the drive to Fairmount to escape the heat. Indio resident Marlena Arcides loves to take her three boys and says, “We always take a walk around the whole park and stop in the rose garden area and finish off at the play ground. Robert said his favorite part is the tank, Isaac said his favorite is the play ground and Damian said he likes everything about it.”

Within Fairmount Park, there is also a service kitchen for banquets and meetings that may be rented through the Park and Recreation Department at (951) 826-2000. Also, there is a nine-hole golf facility that you can go to whether you are new or an experienced golfer. The Fairmount golf course has a lighted driving range with mats or grass hitting areas, 2 practice greens, a meeting facility and snack bar and we are open 365 days a year.

If you would like to know more information, you may visit www.riversideca.gov and look under the Parks, Recreation, & Community Services.

Nearby Places For Summer Fun

Applewhite Picnic Area And Campground

By Racine Guajardo  

Photo courtesy: Racine Guajardo

Photo courtesy: Racine Guajardo

Lytle CreekLooking for family-oriented outdoor fun? Applewhite picnic area and campground is fun for families of all ages.

The Applewhite Picnic and Campground areas are located off the 15 freeway, exiting Sierra and North onto Lytle Creek Road, just three miles north of the Lytle Creek Ranger Station.

You can spend the day in the picnic area by purchasing an Adventure day pass for $5 at the Lytle Creek Ranger Station. They are also available at the gas stations once you exit Sierra.

The picnic area is surrounded by trees, rocks, and refreshing cold water flows in the creek for those hot summer days. They also allow pets as long as they are on a leash. Trash cans and restrooms are provided while urging visitors to clean up after themselves upon leaving. There are 184 available parking spaces and 14 accessible parking spaces. Once filled, the site closes to any other vehicles on busy summer days. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Interested in camping for the night? You may purchase a campsite for $10 or double campsite for $15 at either the Lytle Creek Ranger Station or the self-serve station drop box, which accepts cash or check. By purchasing a campsite, you are free to walk to the picnic area for day use. The campground does not provide dump stations or electronic/water hook-ups. Quiet hours on the site are from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The check-out time is 2 p.m. the following day. No reservations are necessary; it’s all on a first come first serve basis. Campground also allows pets on a leash.

For additional information and rules, you may visit www.fs.usda.gov

 

Cured GERD Preferred

Clarks-Header-WEB

 

 

 

 

Courtesy of C. Doussett MPH, RDN of Clark’s Nutrition

The meal is a gourmand’s fantasy, the drinks are mixed perfectly, and the leather chair fits like a glove. Everything seems idyllic, yet slowly a burning sensation, accompanied by pressure, starts to radiate from the middle of the torso extending upwards into the chest. An uninvited guest in the form of recurrent heartburn snakes its way past the upper stomach, through the normally closed cardiac sphincter, and into the esophagus.

This stranger in a strange land occurs at least once monthly to 60 million Americans and daily to 15 million. While occasional heartburn may not raise any immediate red flags, chronic heartburn has the potential to become something much worse: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition occurs when the contents of the stomach (gastro), including its acid, back up into the esophagus on a regular basis. This backwash (reflux) can create an environment whereby the esophagus may become more susceptible to damage. This damage, although not usually life-threatening, may lead to “Barrett’s Esophagus” (a condition wherein stomach and intestinal cells translocate to the esophagus in 5 percent of sufferers) or may even become precancerous.

Frequent heartburn can lead to vomiting, difficulty swallowing, unexplained weight loss, and interfere with activities of daily living (ADL), in these circumstances it is imperative to inform one’s doctor. Meanwhile, there are many things that can be done to lower one’s risk of experiencing heartburn or to support a diagnosis of GERD.

What to avoid:

  1. Alcohol
  2. Fried, greasy, and spicy foods
  3. Caffeine
  4. Carbonated sodas
  5. Citrus, peppermint, raw onions and tomatoes
  6. Smoking

It may be beneficial to keep a food diary and track which foods (or situations) lead to the occurrence of heartburn. Trigger foods may worsen the effects of heartburn when mixed or at certain times of the day; unfortunately, more than 80% of day-time heartburn sufferers also report poor or compromised sleep quality. This may manifest itself in difficulty falling or staying asleep, frequent awakenings, and coughing fits.

What to emphasize:

  1. Smaller more frequent meals
  2. Melons, red apples, mangos, and bananas (low-acid fruits)
  3. Lean meats and fish
  4. Egg whites
  5. Potatoes and rice
  6. Plenty of vegetables of all colors

While foods play a large role in the occurrence of heartburn, so too can the judicious use of supplements. The following supplements may be beneficial in mitigating the effects of heartburn:

  1. Calcium (acid buffer) – supplemental or as found in dairy products
  2. Digestive enzymes – food lingering too long in the stomach may give rise to prolonged acid-secretion periods
  3. Ginger tea – soothing and reparative to intestinal gastrointestinal mucosa
  4. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) – may improve function and integrity of stomach lining
  5. Melatonin for sleep

Enjoying sumptuous meals and elaborate drinks does not have to be completely off limits, yet heartburn in millions of people is not just a sign of a few rich indulgences. There may be structural or chemical issues present that require a period of evaluation and abstinence. If you experience heartburn more than twice weekly, schedule an appointment with your doctor, and in the interim, utilize the suggestions herein to reduce its effects. As always, “Carpe Salutem”!

Clark’s Nutrition and Natural Foods Market is open every day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. They have a location in Chino, Loma Linda, Rancho Mirage, and Riverside. See their ad on page XX for more information. 

 

Who Do You See In The Mirror?

By Sarah Sanchez

I am a nobody

I will never think

I am worth something,

 

I have no talents

I can’t believe that

I have a purpose,

In this life

 

I am ugly

I will never say

I am beautiful,

 

I am alone

I will never feel that

I belong,

 

God made a mistake

I will never believe

I am good enough to live,

 

The way I feel about myself:

I need to change

 

(Read each line from bottom to top to read the truth)

Modest Is Hottest

Sarah- NEW croppedBy Sarah Sanchez

From shirts that show midriffs to bikini bottoms that only cover half of your bum – has anyone noticed the change in fashion trends? It seems like what’s “in,” is to show more skin.

It’s hard to talk to teens and young adults about going against the trend, but local youth pastor, Chris Kirish, at IgniteVPC, gave it a shot with a modesty-themed sermon last month.

Pastor Kirish talked about how bikinis were invited by French designer, Louis Reard, in 1946. Bathing suits at that time were more modest, only showing a small section of the midriff.   In fact, when the bikini was introduced, it was so scandalous that Reard couldn’t find a model to wear it.  He resorted to having an Exotic dancer being the first woman to ever wear a bikini in public.

Kirish went on to educate the students about a study that was done to determine what men thought of when they saw a woman in a bikini. Men in the study were hooked up to a machine and given a variety of pictures. When they saw women in bikinis or sexually-related clothing, the region of the brain associated with tool use lit up. Therefore, the conclusion of the study indicated that when women wear bikinis or sexually-related clothing, men see them as objects, not a person they can socialize with.

As a woman, I personally thought this study was eye opening on how important it is to dress modestly. Our youth looks up to us, whether we want them to or not. So if we’re wearing a bathing suit that looks like it could be underwear (or smaller than underwear), then our youth will do the same, thinking that it’s okay.

Getting a bad tan line in a modest bathing suit is the rising issue when this topic is discussed with teens. But really, what’s more important: getting a good tan line (that you probably will be the only one seeing), or setting a good example to the youth in your life? Considering there are so many cute bathing suits and clothing that cover up, I believe that we can set a good example and still look fabulous doing so.

Many believe this is a controversial subject, but I believe that “Modest IS Hottest”. Does your wardrobe show where you stand?

We Live In A World

By Sarah Sanchez

 

We live in a world
where we can’t spend time with family
without looking at our phone
We live in a world
where we have thousands of “friends”
yet, we constantly feel alone

We live in a world
where we don’t know the time or directions
without relying on technology
We live in a world
where we’ll say and do everything
BUT actually admit we owe an apology

We live in a world
where we teach kids to speak their minds
but only behind computer screens
We live in a world
where they tell us our sexuality
is determined by our genes

We live in a world
where our kids can be kidnapped
outside the house within our community
We live in a world
where children are starving around us
while we’re calculating server gratuity

We live in a world
where we throw out food and water 
because we feel full
We live in a world
where we take 30 minute showers
while others bathe in a lake or a pool 
 

We live in a world
where people are greedy and selfish
because it is normality
Are you living IN the world
or OF the world?
What’s your reality? 

Cherish The Moment

Sarah- NEW croppedBy Sarah Sanchez

In today’s society, doing things “faster” is always promoted. The latest phone is faster; MapQuest gives us the fastest route; the latest hard-drive is faster than the one before; “get cash fast” emails are constantly sent; we want the weekend to come by faster; we want to know the quickest way to get promoted; we want work/school to end sooner, and on and on.  Basically, we are programmed to think that faster is better.

We are so used to this lifestyle, that we don’t even realize how fast time is really going by. After my niece was born and I was an aunt for the first time in my life, I said, “I can’t wait until she gets older so I can play with her and watch her personality develop.” But now that she’s about seven months old and crawling, giggling when you smile at her, trying to walk, and showing a clear personality, I wish time would slow down. I can’t believe how fast she’s growing, and now I just want her to stop so I can enjoy her at this age. But I remember my first wish was that I wanted her to grow. Do you see the contradictions that we all come across in day to day life?

Society will always tell us to go faster, but I think we just need to take some time away from what society says – away from the busy routines – and just slow down to enjoy what’s happening in front of us.

My husband and I just celebrated our first wedding anniversary and we went on a cruise to Ensenada, where we didn’t have cell phone reception or WIFI. We spent the weekend without phones and without social media. We spent this time talking with each other and enjoying each other’s company. When we came back, we had a new spark in our relationship, which we didn’t even know we needed.

My husband said that before we left, we were too caught up in our routine: work, dinner, sleep, and repeat. We were too caught up and focused on the future: house, future family, careers, etc. We needed time away from the world in order to gain a new perspective. We needed to slow down and appreciate the time we had with each other in the moment.

You may not have an opportunity to take a vacation, but you always have the opportunity to change your perspective. Instead of looking forward to tomorrow, take a moment to appreciate today. Stop, put the phone down, take a look around at your life and your loved ones, and enjoy the time right now. Then, cherish that moment, for these are the moments that make life worth living.

Why Work-Life Balance Is The Wrong Idea

By Brian Mohr

 

The corporate world is susceptible to fads.  Work-life balance, a push to properly prioritize work in relation to lifestyle, features the kind of faddish thinking that can lead gifted people down the wrong path.

Think of those who love their job; for them, it’s not exactly “work” as they exercise their capabilities fully toward a goal that they believe in.

Finding the right fit – whether an organization is searching for leadership or an individual is seeking the right job – is more important than people realize. The problem of work-life balance starts farther upstream. When the appropriate person is aligned with the appropriate goal, balance is natural.

A concept like work-life balance is a claim on how we should prioritize our lives, which, if believed, can be confusing.

  • Don’t buy into the notion of the “work you” as being separate from the “real you.” We spend 8.8 hours of each day working, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics – the largest amount of time spent in any single activity (sleeping is second at 7.6 hours). Work-life balance enforces a strange notion that you are essentially different on the clock than off the clock, which hurts both employers and employees. Who wants this divided personality? Why not be yourself while doing what’s important – providing for your well-being and that of your family? Costumes are for Halloween.  In my line of work, I want to offer a leader who is authentic and not some impostor version of who they really are.
  • Not everyone is working for the weekend. Rather than work-life balance, it’s more helpful to think of your role in a company or nonprofit as work-life symbiosis. Just do the math. Working nearly nine hours in a role that you do not like doesn’t stack up well with two days that quickly pass by (assuming you hate your job). How many years of your life do you want to waste not doing what would make you happier?
  • Most important of all is aligning the right people with the right role. That means aligning the purpose and values of an organization to the purpose and values of the right people. Everyone owes it to themselves to find the right organization.
  • Take a cue from your technology. In today’s world, we simply cannot compartmentalize different areas of our lives like people used to. You can communicate with your spouse at any time and know people better through social media than through real-life interaction. And, for work, most of us carry our work around in our smart phones. If not text messages, then we get emails sent to our phones

Whether through our technology or the software running in our brains, we don’t simply turn off work when we leave the office. We should drop the idea that “work” and “life” are somehow separate. They’re not.

Brian Mohr is co-founder and managing partner for Y Scouts (yscouts.com), a purpose-based leadership search firm that connects organizations with exceptional leaders. Y Scouts operates under the belief that people are the only real competitive advantage in business and the best employer/employee connections start by connecting through a shared sense of purpose and values.

Four Table Legs

By Sarah Sanchez

Sarah- NEW cropped

I work with the youth ministry at our local church, so I’m around teenagers about twice a week, in addition to talking to them almost daily. As I’ve worked with the local youth, I’ve begun to understand that they have a lot more to deal with than when I was in school.

It’s a lot easier for a teenager to feel overwhelmed with the pressures of today’s society. To us adults, their problems don’t seem like a big deal because we know there is so much more to life with so many more responsibilities that our teens haven’t even dealt with yet. But a teenager doesn’t understand that.  When something significant happens, their whole world can feel like its falling apart – which can lead to serious depression or even suicide.

I like to think of a teenager’s life like a table with four legs. If you knock out one leg of the table, it will begin to fall.  In comparison, one leg represents one part of a teenager’s life. When you take a part of it away, their world starts to feel as if it’s falling apart, just like the table. If you knock down all the legs, they can feel as if there is nothing worth living for, which is what triggers the depression and suicidal thoughts. So understanding your teenager’s table legs is crucial to being able to help them.

Based on my experience, a teenager’s world consists of the following four table legs (typically in this order of importance):

Leg #1: Friends/Dating Relationships. I put these two in the same category because it’s usually one or the other. If a teenager is in a relationship, it means they are spending all their time with their boyfriend/girlfriend and aren’t spending much time with their friends. But if they aren’t in a relationship, all their free time goes to their friends. Of course, there are a few exceptions.

If your teenager just got dumped or is being excluded from his/her group of friends, it’s a big deal to them because this is their number one priority in life. They can’t just go off and sit with new friends. Have you seen the movie, “Mean Girls?” (“You can’t sit with us.”).  I remember sitting in the bathroom and eating my lunch by myself when my high school friends were mad at me, because that seemed better than walking up to a group of strangers to eat with. It doesn’t make sense, but a teenager’s brain doesn’t always make sense.

Leg #2: School. This is where your teenager spends most of his/her day, so it’s actually pretty important. If your teenager is a junior or senior, they have a lot of pressure with SATs (these are insanely hard now!), graduation, and college applications.

If that’s not enough, what also falls under the school category is social status, which is everything to a teenager. A lot of my students struggle with self-esteem issues because they care so much about what their peers think of them. And with teenagers on five different social networks at a time (yes, there are now five of them), it’s a lot easier for their life to be made public. If something in their life is posted on social media by a peer, it can not only jeopardize their social status and cause them to be isolated from their peers, but a mistake can even haunt them for the rest of their life (said in the dramatic voice of a teenager).

An example might be if your teenager decides to go drinking with their friends (oh, don’t act surprised; you were a teenager, too), and someone videos them drunk – that video can end up on any or all social media avenues. One click of the “Post” button can share the unfortunate incident with friends, who can share it with their friends, and so on – perhaps even going viral worldwide.  One post can change your teen’s life. Maybe they are even the ones posting the fate of someone else.  The guilt associated with either action can really affect a teenager.

Leg #3: Extra Activities. This category is for anything outside of school and friends, whether its sports, theater, work, or volunteering. These activities are very important to a teenager because they’re spending their free time doing them. So whether they are doing it for fun, money, or for their college applications, they are getting something out of it. But with the perks, comes the stress of succeeding in whatever they are pursuing. And don’t forget the stressful competitive competition that goes along with that.

Leg #4: Family. Yes, sadly, family is usually last on the priority list (it’s nothing personal). With school, activities, and friends taking up most the day, there’s not much time left for family. However, even if you hardly see your teen, they are very aware of what’s going on at home. It’s probably my most popular prayer request: parents fighting, financial struggles, family feuds; the list goes on and on – I’ve heard some crazy stories. So imagine your teenager struggling with friends and the pressure of school or extracurricular activities, and then you top it off with them hearing about your marital or family problems. All this can push them over the edge with stress that they don’t need. If they are around this turmoil enough, it could affect them more than any of the other categories.

It’s important to understand how any of these falling legs can affect your teenager’s life. I suggest that you talk openly with your teens, even share your own experiences with them; and don’t take their depression lightly.

In my group of about 15 girls, almost all of them have admitted to being bullied, eight have suffered from major depression (53.3%), and four have admitted that they have either attempted or thought about suicide (26.6%). These are just freshman girls. They just entered high school and have already struggled with serious issues. Luckily, they are getting professional help now.

Is your teenager suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts, too? Are they receiving the love and help they need? Have you taken a step back from your busy life to notice if they’re handling theirs?

Growing up, my dad used to tell me that no matter what I did, he and my mom would never stop loving me. He said that even if I falsely accused him of something and he ended up in jail for it, he would still love me. He told me this to make sure I knew that there was nothing in this world that was worth committing suicide for because I always had two people who would love me no matter what mistakes I made. That statement meant everything to me. Yes, I still struggled with depression and even suicidal thoughts growing up, but when it came down to it, I knew it wasn’t worth it because my parents would love me no matter what I did.

So, please, try to understand your teenagers (and their table legs) and show them unconditional love.  You never know if one day it might be too late.

My Snow White

Photo Courtesy:  Anthony Villalpando Sylvia Denae Villalpando AKA “Snow White”

Photo Courtesy: Anthony Villalpando
Sylvia Denae Villalpando AKA “Snow White”

By “Tony the Barber”

Anthony Villalpando

 

When I was a boy of about 8 or 9 years old, I thought about what it would be like to be a father one day.  I looked into the sky and asked God how many children he was going to give me, what they were going to look like, and what they were going to become.

I wanted to become a real father, just like Pinocchio wanted to become a real boy – realizing that I had to have a real life, with a wife, and be responsible.

My question to God was, “How do you get a wife?” and he said, “I will bring her to you and you will marry her.”  I thought I heard him chuckling as he said that my wife would tell me the secret of how to have real children.  I smiled to myself and went on my merry way.

Many years later, I was given five healthy and handsome sons.  Being content with my boys, I was quite surprised a few years later when another baby was on the way.  On delivery day when my little girl – Sylvia “Denae” – entered the world, there was no life or movement in her.  I did not want to panic and show her mother that I was fearful and crying in my heart.  I just kept saying to my baby, “Daddy loves you” over and over again – and she came to life.  And from that moment, oh what a bond we have had.

My little girl is now a young lady in high school.  She teaches the children at her church and she tells me, “Dad, I love my kids.”  And those kids love her; in fact, everyone loves my daughter.  She tells me that one day she is going to be a real mom.  Now I’m the one chuckling.

Denae fills our life with laughter, hugs, kisses and unconditional love.  She cooks for us, and likes going places with her brothers.  My son, Dallas, asked me one day how we would manage when Denae goes off to college.  I told him to just enjoy what he has now, and love her every day.

Each night Denae kisses and hugs us all good night.  She never misses her routine, even if she is tired or bogged down with homework.  She is our Snow White, and we are her dwarves.

It has been a privilege to be a father to Jonathan, Brandon, Dallas, Tony Jr., Andrew – and of course my love, my little Snow White.  One day I will let her go, and place her hand in the hand of her real prince.

And one day I will have to let go of her warm and tender heart as I close my eyes and take my last breath to be with my Father in Heaven…but she will always be my Snow White.

Happy Father’s Day!

Eastvale: You Are What You Eat

BY K.P. SANDER

Eastvale — They say, ‘You Are What You Eat’, but what if I don’t want to be Potassium Bromate?  What if Butylated Hydroxyanisol gives me the creeps (after all, “butylated” sounds like “mutilated”)?  In today’s world of high technology and instant gratification, have we microwaved ourselves into a toxic nightmare of diseases, obesity and unhappiness?

The artificial sweeteners, preservatives, dyes and flavor enhancers that have been added to our foods for decades have fattened not only corporate pocket books through prolonged shelf lives and disguised cheaper, sub-standard products, but they have fattened us up as well.  They have created maladies in our bodies including Alzheimer’s, cancers, diabetes and heart disease, and have contributed to emotional disorders in our children – even health concerns for our pets.  A hundred years ago, when you grew your own food and “fast food “ was a chicken on the run from the chopping block, these diseases were rare, and even non-existent.  But with the initiation of processed foods in the second half of the 20th Century, the health of people everywhere has taken a turn for the worse.

The frightening list of additives that infest our foods are helping to make meals to die for; literally.  BHA/BHT, artificial sweeteners, food dyes, high fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate, potassium bromate, sodium nitrate/nitrite sodium sulfite, surfer dioxide and trans-fats are commonly found in everything from breads to meats to yogurts – even chewing gum can be toxic.  And all of these ingredients are associated with some very unpleasant, even deadly, consequences from cancer to chromosomal damage.

And, are the poisons ingested in our bodies the only cause for concern?  Is there more social anxiety prevalent because of social media?  By involving more people in our lives via technology, are we becoming more anti-social by hiding behind it?  Look around you.  The majority of people walking around (and yes, even driving around) aren’t paying attention to where they are going because they are completely focused on their phones:  texting, Facebooking, Instagramming.

I’m guilty of all of it, but I can’t remember the last time I truly felt full of health and vitality and just plain old GOOD.  I wake up to caffeine, drive-thru when I’m rushed, crack open a can of high-fructose corn syrup for energy, and text instead of call.  But I, for one, don’t want to find myself looking a heart attack (or worse) right smack in the face, knowing I contributed directly to it.  I’m going to educate myself, read more labels, and avoid ingredients I can’t pronounce or know to be toxic.  I’m going to buy more organic foods and less processed foods.  I’m going to consider an apple and a handful of almonds “fast food”.  And I’m going to contribute to my general well-being by participating in some actual face time with those I love.  I’m guessing my fitness routines will be enhanced, my body and mind will feel better, and my relationships will benefit.

Food should be a source of joy and nourishment.  The purpose is to fuel your body, and due to the sensory components, it is an opportunity to create a connection with those you love.  Create a meal to live for.  Let “you are what you eat” mean health and vitality for you and your family.

 

Inland Empire: I Wish You Enough

BY JENNIFER MADRIGAL

A few months ago one of my friends shared a sweet story on her Facebook feed.  There was something about the story that really stuck with me as the message of it was so poignant in today’s world.  It seems that we so often have so much more than we really need and yet spend so much of our time trying to acquire more.  What we really need is just enough. Too much, and we don’t realize how good we have it; too little, and we find ourselves consumed with the struggle to keep our heads above water.

This little story called, “I Wish You Enough” (author unknown), has been rewritten countless times.  Sometimes it’s between a mother and son, or a father and daughter, but the message is still the same. The story is paraphrased below.

A mother and a daughter were hugging goodbye at an airport and the mother told the daughter, “I wish you enough.”  The daughter smiled and wished her mother the same. Once her mother had boarded the plane, the stranger that had been observing asked the daughter why she had told her mother that particular wish. What did, “I wish you enough,” actually mean? The daughter explained that they wanted the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them. The daughter then looked at the stranger and said, “I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all you possess, and I wish you enough hellos to prepare you for the final goodbye.”

As both a parent and a child who has lost her mother, I found the message of this story very touching. While all of us want the best for our children, we sometimes give them too much and they can miss the meaning of the “struggle”. Often the best kids come from parents that taught them to be content with “enough” instead of constantly desiring more. This short story reaffirmed my desire to try and teach my boys to be satisfied with enough, and made me appreciate all the “hellos” I shared with my mother before she said her final goodbye.  I hope that this story can serve as a gentle reminder to be happy with what you have and that this year brings you all, “enough”.

Inland Empire: Create A Valentine’s Day To Remember

BY NICOLE GILLES, RD, CDE, CSR

Have you ever wondered what would really make your Valentine happy?  You’ve tried the chaotic restaurant scene in the past, only to leave feeling uncomfortably full, tired, and stressed from the overcrowded restaurant and crazy parking lot.

This Valentine’s Day, show how much you care through actions instead of food.  Skip the busy restaurant and store-bought chocolates.  Instead, schedule some quality time with those you love.  After all, it’s the time we spend together that creates memories, not high fat food and chocolates.  If your loved one is feeling stressed, make time to snuggle up on the couch with their favorite movie.  Or give them a back massage to relieve stress and aching muscles.

Maybe your Valentine would like a meal prepared for them.  Consider making a romantic dinner for two at home with candles and flowers.  Preparing meals at home empowers you to choose healthier foods and smaller portions.  When you make the effort, your Valentine will feel the love in their heart and not on their hips.  After all, food only lasts a second on the lips, but years on the hips.

Has your child already requested Valentine cards to pass out at school?  If so, think about pairing the cards with healthier food options like pretzels instead of candy, or even non-food options like stickers or small toys.  Providing non-food options will subtly show the next generation how we can celebrate without depending on food.  Food should be used to fuel our bodies to keep them healthy and strong, as opposed to making emotional connections to temporarily improve our moods while permanently affecting our health.

The more you separate food from emotions, the happier and healthier you and your family will be.  So give the gift of true love this Valentine’s Day and show your emotions through your actions instead of unhealthy food.

If you would like to slim down this spring, look no further than local Eastvale resident, Nicole Gilles.  Nicole is the owner of Happy and Healthy Nutrition and she is dedicated to helping you achieve your health and weight goals.  As a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Expert, and Certified Specialist in Renal Nutrition, Nicole is qualified to help you learn how to cope with emotional eating and learn to eat for your body’s individual needs.  Happy and Healthy Nutrition members discover when to eat, how to eat, and how to lose weight and keep it off permanently.  Start today, for a happy and healthy tomorrow! 

 Contact Happy and Healthy Nutrition at (909) 816-0977, or www.HandHnutrition.com; and like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/happyandhealthynutrition.nicolegilles.  And see their ad on page XX for a special discount.