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4 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

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Intermittent fasting is currently getting a lot of attention because of its power to help people lose weight. But, it turns out that there are more benefits to intermittent fasting than just weight loss

What is IF?

Intermittent fasting—also abbreviated as ‘IF’—is a method of restricting caloric intake not by the number of calories you take in, but when you take them in. More and more studies are showing that when the body is deprived of food for short stretches of time, it responds in some very interesting, and beneficial, ways. 

One of the more common formats of IF is called the ‘16/8’ format. This means that the fast lasts for 16 hours and allows for an 8-hour feeding window. There are also ‘20/4’ and ‘17/7’ variations, but 16/8 seems to be the most popular. 

When you undergo an intermittent fast, here are four things the body does in response:

#1: Initiation of cellular autophagy

Autophagy refers to what cells do to ‘clean house’. During a fast, cells consume dead or dying particles around them, something that doesn’t happen as often when there is food to digest in the body. 

#2: Increased production of hormones

Hormone production in the body bursts into action during a fast. This includes hormones like Human Growth Hormone and Testosterone. 

#3: Fat stores are used for energy

When the body doesn’t have food to digest for glycogen—the fuel your cells need to do their jobs—it looks to fat. This is why intermittent fasting is so helpful for those looking to lose weight. 

#4: Insulin sensitivity is improved

When there is no food to digest in the G.I. tract, the pancreas gets to take a break. This means lower levels of insulin in the blood. This can be helpful to provide a ‘reset’ for the body as a whole. 

A Few Precautions

Remember that intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone. Those with renal problems (kidney problems) or who are diabetic are probably not well suited for fasting in general. Also, individuals who are older (65+) may not have the physical constitution to withstand a sudden fast. The same goes for those with autoimmune diseases. 

Lastly, as with any significant change in diet you consider, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before beginning.

If you do choose to start intermittent fasting, good luck! And, be sure to come back here and tell us how it goes! 

Ohio Man Sentenced for 17th DUI Conviction

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    DUI in court

    Most people would agree that those who have committed crimes or make mistakes deserve a second chance. We all make mistakes, so it’s difficult to argue against a second chance, and sometimes even a third, but how about a 17th time? Not when it comes to driving under the influence (DUI.)

    It’s difficult to believe that someone can get to such a high number of DUIs, but Timothy Jones, 54, will now be sent to 36 months in prison for his 17 Operating Under the Influence (OVI) convictions and will have his driving privileges revoked for life after his license has been suspended 42 times. Thirty-six months is the maximum allowable prison sentence for DUI in the state of Ohio.

    The kicker? Mr. Jones is facing an additional 3 DUI charges in Franklin County, Ohio. Jones was convicted of the 17th DUI this past Monday, May 8. Jones admitted guilt to the offense in county court, and then plead guilty to a bill of information.

    Jones’s defense argues that there was no accident nor an enhanced field test leading up to his latest conviction, though Belmont County Judge Frank Fregiato has tossed all that those complaints due to the sheer number of prior OVI convictions.

    “I believe there’s absolutely no one in this courtroom who has any doubt that if this defendant was permitted to walk out of this courtroom, that he would drink and drive today and tomorrow and the next day and every day after that,” Fregiato said. “Seventeen DUI convictions is more than a mind can grapple with.”

    Fregiato continued, calling Jones an incredible risk to not just Belmont County, but for the entire state of Ohio.

    Fregiato’s sentence comes as more areas are stepping up the penalties for DUI, they dissuade people from ever getting behind the wheel when they’ve had one too many.

    Colorado recently made a 4th DUI charge an automatic felony, and many other states have imposed stricter penalties for first-time offenders as well. The hope is that the new types of charges will keep people like Timothy Jones from putting the danger in public.

    Thank you Matthew Martin for sharing this news story with us.

    How to Befriend the Parent of an Autistic Child

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    How to Befriend the Parent of an Autistic Child

    Let us stop for a moment and appreciate parents who are challenged every day with the responsibilities that come with raising a special needs child.

    Parents of children with developmental disabilities like autism, aspergers, and similar conditions, need to be on a constant vigil. They are sometimes never given a break for themselves throughout the course of the day, which can make forging friendships with them very difficult.

    So, how can you befriend the parent of an autistic child? Are there things you can do to genuinely make that parent’s life better?

    Yes. Yes, there are.

    #1: Most of the time, it’s perfectly acceptable for you to just be there for them.

    Parents of children with autism can be constantly tapped of their resources—emotionally, financially, and otherwise. This constant depletion means they may not have the time or energy to give to you, someone they’d love to be friends with, if they could.

    Instead of viewing yourself as someone who might help them deal with their struggles, give yourself permission to just be there for them, and let that be enough. You might be surprised to see how much of a difference it makes for them.

    #2: Put yourself in their shoes.

    If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the vicarious stress that can come with befriending a parent of an autistic child, know that you’re only experiencing a sliver of what the parent him or herself has to manage on a daily basis. Maintaining a consistent empathy for what they’re dealing with will give you more tolerance in handling your own level of stress surrounding it.

    Also, many parents of autistic children view their role as parents to be something of a journey. Many perspectives are that parenting a special needs son or daughter is as much about raising the child as it is about self-discovery for the mom or dad.

    #3: Celebrate the little achievements.

    Even as hard as life can be as the parent of an autistic child, there are always little wins. Things like school achievements, language goals being met, and other bright spots are all great occasions for celebration. Being a good friend means uplifting the parent in their times of struggle; that’s granted. But it also means standing beside them and cheering with them when things go well.

    Integrate these three tips into your life, and we think you’ll find that your friendships will blossom in a natural, organic way.

    How to Publish Your First eBook

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    Working on outlining and writing an ebook

    How many times have you thrown the idea of putting your words into an eBook out of the window because you don’t know how to go about it? Or, how about the thought of trying to subject your ideas to the hands of an agent that would consider helping you through the process? No thanks; too tedious.

    Truthfully, there is nothing worse than having these issues stand in your way of becoming an accomplished writer. The good news is that you could very well get your ideas out there without as much as consulting an agent.

    Yes, you could be your agent and publisher with the next few steps and trust me; it’s not as tedious as you thought. So now that you’ve got this brilliant e-book idea to let’s publish one.

    Create, Design and Choose a Format

    The first step to publishing an e-book is writing one. It is important to note that when writing, you must:

    • Have a target audience in mind
    • Make it as short and impactful as possible
    • Proofread and try your hand at visuals for easy readability

    Then, the next step is to choose a professional, eye-catching design for the cover of the e-book. This helps attract readers to the book quickly. You should consider the color, the format, and the fonts used.

    Carefully choose your format. Currently, some of the most commonly used formats include EPUB, MOBI, PDF, AZW, and TXT. You should note that these formats are image, font and DRM protection-sensitive. So, when choosing the format, consider your writing style and target audience.

    Pricing

    Of course, you could choose to let people read your e-book for free. However, if you’d like to earn money from it, you might as well consider pricing. This, though, is not as straightforward as it seems, because you have to consider numerous factors.

    These include your book’s length, its quality, genre, delivery costs and most importantly, book royalty percentage, which is a percentage of the book’s retail price, dependent on costs and the retailer.

    Ready, Set, Publish!

    You have to note that apart from self-publishing, you could still opt for an e-book aggregator or an agent to take the extra load of formatting, publishing, and distribution off you. Regardless of which option you would like to go for, it is important to ask the what, where and how questions.

    And so, the first three questions should be what option is more cost-efficient, where to start the distribution process and how much you want to earn after all. If you’d like an agent, you could try out Smashwords or Draft2Digital; though I must warn you that their services come at a price.

    If self-publishing is the way to go, you can start publishing with some of the top players in the retail e-book market: Apple, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, and Barnes & Noble Press.

    For Apple iBooks Author, you have to download the app simply; set up iTunes Connect for iBooks and then, iTunes Producer. Make sure you read their terms and conditions for the right format and other distribution requirements.

    Amazon Kindle Publishing simply requires that you sign in in your Amazon account or create one if you don’t have one already. Then, go through their KDP platform, read through their terms and conditions and, finally, upload your books in the right format.
    You can do the same for Barnes and Nobles by signing up for an account on the website and going through their terms to publish.

    Good luck, and happy publishing!

    5 Hidden Truths About Freelance Writing

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    Freelance writing as a job

    Are you considering a career as a freelance writer? Perhaps you’ve heard about all the wonderful things that come along with this line of work, including the flexibility to set your work schedule and use your ability as a writer to earn a solid income. But, do you know what life as a freelance writer is like?

    In this article, we’ll be detailing five of the most overlooked aspects of working as a freelance writer. Take these to heart if you’re thinking about leaping into writing for a living!

    Freelance Writing: Hidden Truths You Should Know

    Hidden Truth #1: The world doesn’t suddenly drop work into your lap once you decide you’re a freelancer.

    This truth holds to virtually all kinds of freelance work, not just writing. When you choose to become a freelancer, you’re essentially putting the responsibility of finding the work, doing the work, and getting paid for the work all squarely on your shoulders. Gone are the comfy salary and the bi-weekly paycheck.

    Hidden Truth #2: Some months can be great. Other months can be embarrassingly bad.

    Many freelance writers will attest to this: writing gigs come, and writing gigs go. There’s so much unpredictability in freelance writing that it can get to be a bit too much for those who are new to it. The secret is to be smart about how you manage your money so that you can stand to go a month or two without much income and still survive.

    Hidden Truth #3: It’s possible that you could end up paying more in taxes as a freelancer.

    When you work for an employer that isn’t yourself, that employer generally pays for half of your social security tax for you. When you’re self-employed, you’re responsible for paying both halves of the social security tax, unless you happen to be above retirement age. Also, keeping track of your expenses and setting aside money to pay taxes at the end of the year become new priorities.

    Hidden Truth #4: Not every client pays on time, and some don’t pay at all.

    No matter how good you are at writing, you’re going to inevitably end up writing for a client that isn’t going to pay you. It may be because they suddenly run out of money for their project, or it could just be because they’re flaky. Regardless, freelancers end up writing off somewhere between 2-8% of their income simply due to bad debt.

    Hidden Truth #5: There is no annual raise, performance-based bonuses, or employee achievement award.

    When you’re a freelance writer, there are exactly two parties involved in your company: you, and your client. There is no middle management. There is no Human Resources department. It’s all you, and you need to be OK with this to thrive.

    So, now that you’ve been informed on these five hidden truths about freelance writing are you still up for it? If so, go ahead and make the leap; don’t say we didn’t warn you!

    Don’t Be a Jerk When Catering Food for Your Office

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    Don't be a jerk when ordering catering

    How many times have you been in a restaurant and watched people act like fools? Have you been at the drive-thru ordering something and the people ahead of you are arguing over free sauce? Have you ever placed a large order at Starbucks and felt bad about it? Avoid being a jerk when ordering catering, at a restaurant, or elsewhere with these three tips from Encore Catering.

    3 Tips for Not Being a Jerk When Catering Food for Your Office

    Order Ahead of Time, At Least a Day Ahead

    Most catering companies and restaurants need at least 24-hour notice to place a large order, typically ten or more people. Some places require even more notice. Make sure to do this research ahead of time. If you know you need a catered meal at the office, order as far ahead as possible to avoid any issues the day you need the food. If you have any changes or something comes up, call the catering Denver company or restaurant and let them know. It’s easier for them to accommodate changes than to take a large order last minute.

    Be Specific with the Order

    When placing your order online or over the phone, be as specific as possible with what you want or if people you work with have food allergies. While online ordering has become much better than in years past, not all online ordering systems can accommodate notes. If that’s the case, just call and place your order the old-fashioned way to ensure everyone’s needs are taken care of and everything is in order.

    Bonus Tip: Most online ordering systems charge the restaurant a fee or percentage of the meal being placed. For catered meals, this may be a significant portion of the overall order. They appreciate when you call in so they can avoid paying that fee.

    Don’t Complain If Something Goes Wrong

    Mistakes happen. Don’t sweat it. With large orders, they seem to happen a bit more frequently than they should. While we’d all like everything in life to go off without a hitch, that isn’t always the case. If you notice an issue, speak up but be polite and firm about it. The catering company you’re using doesn’t want to deal with issues either so they will do what they can to fix it and make it right. Give them the chance to do it and you’ll see what good customer service is about.

    Don’t be a jerk about catering a large meal or ordering a lot of food. While places are equipped to deal with these types of orders, they just need some time, patience, and understanding from you as a customer.

    Could Plumbers have the most in demand job in 2018?

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    Buckle up! Today might be the perfect day for you to consider becoming a plumber. According to the Beauru of Labor Statistics, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters could be in significant demand in 2018.

    According to Jon Maclinmeyer of Denver Plumbing, the growth in segmented markets like Denver, Colorado have resulted in skyrocketing demand for both residential and commercial plumbing services. Additional markets that appear to have strong growth potential include drain cleaning and HVAC.

    “Everyday is a great day to become a plumber. With an average salary of over $51,000 per year, plumbers not only get paid well, they have an opporutnity to move up quickly, and be compensated even more,” added Will Buckingham of The Plumbers University Exam Center.

    4 Important Points on Finishing the Interior of Your Steel Building

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    Steel buildings offer strength, durability, eco- and econ-friendly options for your home, office, storage and workshops… only to name a few benefits on the matter!  You may as well finish the interior to your liking while you’re at it and simply enjoy living out the purpose for which you intended it for.

    Structural Choices Before Building Purchase

    When you know for sure that you will be finishing the interior, say with plywood or drywall sheets, you will want to order your rigid mainframes to be straight columns, rather than the less expensive tapered.  Tapered columns are wide at the eave height, and taper narrower to meet the foundation.  These offer more foot space plus cost less.  But that won’t work for interior wall sheeting.

    Most metal building brokers with integrity will assume the most cost-efficient tapered columns as the default, unless you request, “Straight columns, please, for I intend to apply interior wall finishes!”  Be sure to thank your broker for being considerate of your budget.

    “Of course, if you buy your steel building wholesale,” reminds John Barber, owner of Factory Steel Overstock, “the public will always get more for less.”  Be sure to come to the call educated, and communicate exactly what you want to your broker so that they know how to guide the purchase order.”

    Applying ‘hat channel’ to the secondary supports, called girts, allows you to screw in the interior wall surfaces.  A tapered column, however, would result in walls slanted inward at the floor.  Now, unless you’re building a fun-house…

    Insulation, Insulation, Insulation

    Did I mention you will need to insulate your steel building structure?  Metal is highly conducive to heat.  It will release your heated interior space to the out of doors–poor energy efficiency on winter days–as well as bake your innards on hot summer days.  And we all know that when warm air touches a cool metal surface, such as humidity inside on a cool day outside, or humidity inside while the AC is running… condensation forms.  (By the way, if you’re breathing, there is humidity in the air.)  Water next to finished interior finishes not only invites rusting but decomposes your beautiful interior construction choices.  That said, INSULATE…

    Protective Finishes and Primers

    In addition to insulation, be sure to choose flame retardant primers and paints for your interior surfaces.  Check with your local building department regarding codes and requirements.  You definitely want peace of mind for the long living hours you will be dedicated to your new steel building.  I can’t say enough on this subject…

    Interior Wall Sheeting Choices

    Whether you are choosing to install drywall or plywood, be sure that your bottom edges are kept clear of the floor.  You won’t want any future spills to be wicked up into the walls and cause damage.  Apply the appropriate metal channels to affix your chosen material too.  ¾” tongue-in-groove plywood offers a sturdier option than drywall.  Be sure it’s flame-retardant primed to meet fire codes.  This option has greater tolerance to wear and tear, plus you are not searching high and low for a wall stud to hang your favorite picture, as you may be with drywall.  When you weigh out the price comparison, in addition to lower-maintenance over the years, it’s not far off from the less expensive drywall; remember you will need the necessary 2×4’s, taping, etc. required for drywall install.  You may want your interior design finishes to be as durable as the steel building housing it all.  Enjoy!

    How to find a trustworthy metal building broker

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    Are There Trustworthy Customer Reviews?

    With so much being slurred across social media and search engine reviews, it’s important to focus attention on reputable sources. ALWAYS check with the Better Business Bureau when searching for a trustworthy metal building broker, as these are customers who actually did business with the company, as opposed to someone having a bad day and venting on, say, a Google review or the like. Be aware that there are many fictitious sites posting false reviews in order to make a few thousand bucks for companies to pay for the removal of fake negative reviews.

    As well, sad to say, competitors may be making it difficult for one another in any particular industry by posting negative false reviews on various sites. All in all, while we would love to believe in the positive testimonials posted to the actual company website, it’s difficult to say what is truly legit. One may never know. Again, the BBB is often the best route for researching the track record of any company.

    A great indicator of a trustworthy steel building broker is the percentage of customers who are return customers, as well as are referring friends and family to the firm. Again, it’s difficult to know for sure what information is legit and what has been fabricated for the sake of looking good. I can’t stress enough that the Better Business Bureau is the best indicator.

    Transparency in Pricing

    Note which companies actually post their steel building prices online with nothing to hide. When you have access to the data and are able to self-quote directly from the website, there isn’t much to second guess. Companies willing to reveal all costs, not to mention the profit, are open and willing to put the customer’s savings first. When you get to a website that only wants to capture a lead before offering steel building prices to the prospective customer, one is justified in becoming wary right off the bat as to what is there to hide…

    Everyone purchasing I-Beam Steel Buildings is ultimately purchasing there steel building from 3 major corporations trickled down to a great number of subsidiaries and brokers. It’s all a matter of who is getting the most commissions and profiting through markups of building materials and accessories. With increased regulations and standards in the industry, you’ll get the same quality almost everywhere. “How much do you wish to overpay? That’s really the only question,” warns John Barber, key principal at Factory Steel Overstock. “It’s that simple.”

    Legitimate Marketing

    Speaking of overstock, and terms of the like, let’s not be misled by sales gimmicks. I-Beam steel buildings are fabricated upon order. It’s highly unlikely that there would be a warehouse full of pre-fabricated I-Beam steel buildings sitting around to go on clearance anywhere. These are simply terms made to get the public’s attention because we are conditioned to then meaning, at least for other products, that there is a great deal to be had on these surplus metal buildings for sale. This is not to say that we can’t just have some game in the industry, but simply be aware of what’s revealed and what remains hidden in pricing.