Friday, February 19, 2016

Friends and the Workplace

Many often hear "you're not at work to make friends, you're there to work."  I find this to be the opposite.

I have worked at many places, many jobs over the past two decades. One thing I will tell you is this: making and having good friends and connections on the job often made it more fun and enjoyable. This was even the cases for jobs and companies I didn't care for. The support and comaderie of the people made my experiences much better.

I still keep in touch with not only many former coworkers but also former managers and employers. It's a good and balanced professional and personal relationship.

Think about this when you're at work, some of the best times are hanging around the break area or water cooler, going to lunch with your coworkers, and simply working hard together to achieve a common goal. Also, you're around them more than your own family. Many folks take a job and/or stay on one based on their connections.

This has fueled our economic recovery the past few years. There were those trying to keep their jobs, and other trying to find ones. Either way, having good friends in their corner helped in achieving both ends. It has also been the case for me. I have mentioned before about networking. Well, that extends inside the workplace as well. Get along with as many people as possible, from the CEO, to the custodial staff. They can make your job Heaven or Hell. Just as with the actual places, the choice is yours.

I have felt blessed to get along with most of the folks I have worked alongside. You watch each other laugh, complain and cry. You see their children grow up. You attend their weddings. All of you are sociable outside of the company grounds.

Now this isn't always the case for everyone or every company. However, having people around you that you genuinely like and enjoy can make any job better and more fulfilling.

How important do you think it is to get along with your colleagues? Do you get along with past and current coworkers?

Cleanses vs Fasts: Which is Better?

The New Year's weight loss craze continues as Lent is in its second week. I have written previously about both topics.

Many do other fasts during the year that aren't Lent. The Daniel Fast is growing popular: I did that one earlier this year. It's a good way to clean your system out following the December holidays.

And this brings me to cleanses. People love these for their quick results and convenience.

Anyone who knows me knows I don't believe in quick fixes, especially when it comes to weight loss. Clean eating and even the occasional fast are more much effective long term and here's why.

1. When you are fasting, you are typically giving up something that you can easily do without, or replace. You often still get your popular nutrients. Cleanses often do not give you the proper nutrients and vitamins you need.

2. Cleanses became popular in 2006 when singer/actress Beyonce' announced how she dropped weight when she played Effie in "Dreamgirls". She did a lemon juice fast, one that many have duplicated. Bey probably did this one longer than one should, for over 10 days. Cleansing the body can be healthy and effective. However, one should not go more than 3 days without proper nutrition, proteins, and the like. Cleanses can damage the body long term as many do them often too much. Fasts have the opposite effect. They are a healthier, more balanced sacrifice.

3. Cleanses are often used out of desperation and even as a crutch. Fasts and clean eating take longer, but they promote a more healthy lifestyle. This should be the aim of fitness anyways: a healthy, consistent lifestyle. Most everyone falls off a bit. Having an effective plan can keep you from resorting to anything that's not built to last long term.

4. There are many other simpler, healthier methods for cleaning out your body and removing unhealthy toxins. You can simply concentrate on fruits, vegetables, water, lots of greens and no meats for example, simply lean proteins. Fruits and veggies rarely have a limit so load up. Keep the complex carbs and proteins in your regimen and you will get clean even better than any cleanse on the market.

Try one of my favorite sites,,and do your own research. I would discourage anyone from depending upon cleanses heavily. Building a lifestyle always yields better and longer results.

Do you prefer cleanses over fasts? If so, have you researched the pros and cons of both?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Food, Friends and Fun

McDonald's had a slogan in the 90s: food, folks, and fun. I thought I would put a spin on this with the title.

We often bond with friends, family and our significant others well over a hot cooked meal. Mainly because we all have to eat and especially in the South where most of us enjoy a good meal, it is a good way to relax and unwind from any busy work and such.

The family meal used to be a staple for years. Families would gather in front of the dining room table at dinnertime and talk about their day. Amazing, isn't it? You have some families (and even groups of friends) that go to lunch and/or dinner together at least once/week. Heck in my area, there are certain spots that are perfect for this. You have Chuck E Cheese for the younger folks, and places such as Broncos Mexican Restaurant for the adults.

I remember as a boy, my mom would take us to dinner at least a couple of times per week. During the week it was mostly fast food (unless we were going to Pizza Hut to cash in rewards from the Book It program) and on weekends it was the local fish camp or steakhouse. We loved to eat and it was a perfect bonding experience.

This weekend, restaurants have been jam packed due to tax season and Valentine's Day. Many friends and family have more disposable cash to go out for drinks and food. Also, this weekend is the perfect time for lovers to express themselves and this amour towards one another. It's a simple but effective way of spending time together.

I have found out that if you want people to show up anywhere, have food available. Once again, we all have to eat. I have met friends numerous times over meals, big and small. It is an awesome way to stay in touch.

How often do you and your friends/family go out to eat together? Where are some of your favorite meeting spots?