Houston & Alexander, PLLC - December/January 2020

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DECEMBER/JANUARY 2020

CALL US: 423-267-6715

DEFENSE DOCKET

ARE YOUR ‘HEALTHY’ NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS DOOMED TO FAIL? HOW TO UPGRADE YOUR GOALS FOR 2020

When January hits, it’s easy to tell yourself that last year’s holiday treats and days of sitting on the couch marathoning Hallmark Christmas movies are things of the past. Every time a new year arrives, a fresh start comes with it, which is probably why New Year’s resolutions are so popular, particularly for health and fitness. That said, it’s hard to ignore the dismal statistics. According to U.S. News & World Report, a heartbreaking 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. So, what are we doing wrong? Diet and exercise experts suggest it might not be the concept of making resolutions that’s faulty, but the particular resolutions we choose. To set yourself up for success in 2020, check out these smart resolution swaps below. DON’T RESOLVE TO EAT LESS. DO RESOLVE TO EAT MORE VEGGIES. The goal to “eat less” is not only vague (where does one start?) but it can also lead to disordered eating when taken too far. Instead, try setting yourself up for a healthy long- term diet by eating more of a nutrient-dense food group. Your vitamin intake will go up, and you’ll be too full to eat that second slice of cake. “We’re big fans of goals that start with ‘eat more,’” Lauren Slayton, the director of the nutrition counseling service Foodtrainers, told TheHealthy.com. If you already have plenty of vegetables in your diet but are still struggling to eat healthily, try resolving to eat more fruit and probiotic foods, or drink more water. DON’T RESOLVE TO LOSE WEIGHT. DO RESOLVE TO REACH A HEALTHY BODY FAT PERCENTAGE. As the body-positivity movement is constantly reminding us, there is no one-size-fits-all number on the scale we should strive for. Depending on factors like age, gender, and height, one person’s healthy, ideal weight can be another person’s underweight or overweight. Instead of resolving

to lose a set number of pounds this year, aim to bring your body fat percentage into the “fitness” range for your gender and age group. Websites like BMI-Calories.com can help you calculate your current body fat and give you a reasonable goal to shoot for. DON’T RESOLVE TO GET 8 HOURS OF SLEEP. DO RESOLVE TO GO TO BED 15 MINUTES EARLIER. It’s hard to change a habit, which is why most people who set ambitious sleep goals are doomed to fail. If you normally go to bed at midnight but need to hit the sack at 10 p.m. in order to get your full eight hours, it will be extremely difficult to shift your routine overnight to make that happen. Instead, try resolving to go to bed just 15 minutes earlier. Such a small change to your routine should be easier to stick to, and once you have a streak going, you can move your goal back another 15 minutes until you reach the ideal amount of rest! DON’T RESOLVE TO BE MORE ORGANIZED. DO RESOLVE TO MEDITATE EVERY DAY. Resolving to get organized without a road map to get there is setting yourself up for failure. If you’ve always been prone to clutter and procrastination, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to change your decades-long habits and become a neat freak all

at once. Instead, focus on one area of your life you want to organize, like keeping your desk mess-free, or resolve to change your mindset by adding meditation to your daily routine. According to psychology professor Susan K. Whitbourne, mental and physical clutter are psychologically linked. If you can get your mind organized with a few minutes of peaceful meditation

each day, it will be easier to manage the rest of your life.

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Natural Remedies for Stuffy Noses DON’T LET CONGESTION GET THE BEST OF YOU

Nasal congestion can have many different causes, including allergies, colds, or the flu, but the symptoms are often very similar: sinus pressure, headaches, and a stuffed-up nose. This is the result of membranes in your nasal passage becoming irritated and your body responding by producing mucus to try and flush out the irritants. Unfortunately, that response also causes nasal congestion. This is intensified by winter weather when dry air and heaters can further dry out your already irritated nasal passage. So, what is the best way to ease nasal congestion and sinus pressure? Try these at-home remedies that focus on moistening your nasal passage.

pot or other nasal irrigator, always use sterile, distilled water or water that has been boiled and cooled.

MAINTAIN MOISTURE

Humidifiers add moisture into the air, creating a more humid environment, and can be especially helpful if you have a forced-air

heating system. Try using a humidifier or vaporizer when you sleep. You may also find a warm compress helps ease congestion: Soak a washcloth in warm water mixed with a couple of drops of eucalyptus essential oil (consult the oil distributor for the exact ratio), then place the washcloth over your nose and cheeks for several minutes. Drinking plenty of water and sleeping upright at night can also help ease further congestion. While over-the-counter decongestants can temporarily help ease congestion, they are not intended for long-term use and may further dry out the nasal passage. Adding and maintaining moisture is the best way to prevent or ease sinus congestion. If the problem persists, talk to your doctor.

FLUSH YOUR NASAL PASSAGE

Use a saline nasal spray or a nasal irrigator, like a neti pot, to flush and moisturize your nasal passage. These devices flush out allergens and keep your nasal passage moist, easing congestion and preventing further buildup. When using a neti

You Are What You Eat 3 Beauty Benefits of a Healthy Diet

People can take a thousand different things into consideration when choosing their diet. Maybe they have allergies, need to control a health condition, or need to gain or lose weight — or maybe they just want clear skin, bright eyes, and healthy hair. That’s right: What you eat impacts not only your health and weight but also your features! The starting line for both health and beauty is your plate, and it’s possible to eat your way to victory (or, at the very least, a vast improvement). To set yourself up for beautiful skin, eyes, and hair, check out the diet advice below.

foods and less dairy can help reduce acne. Some evidence shows that during

of Ophthalmology (AAO) rely, nutrient-dense foods are key for bright, healthy eyes. Nine foods in particular top the list: fish, nuts and legumes, seeds, citrus fruits, leafy greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, beef, and eggs. Of course, drinking plenty of water is recommended too!

puberty, acne is more common because our

bodies produce more of the growth factor IGF-1. Unfortunately, many dairy products and quick-digesting, high-glycemic-index foods,

LUSTROUS LOCKS

like sweet cereals, white breads, and enriched pastas, also raise the level of IGF-1 in the body. However, foods with plenty of omega-3s — like fish, nuts, wild rice, spinach, and kale — can reduce inflammation and help calm breakouts.

Your hair’s appearance and how fast it grows do depend on age and genetics, but diet also plays a role. According to HealthLine.com, protein, biotin, and antioxidants all help hair grow and/or safeguard your follicles. Try adding more eggs, berries, spinach, fatty fish, sweet potatoes, avocados, nuts, seeds, sweet peppers, oysters, shrimp, soybeans, and lean red meats to your diet to reap those benefits.

CLEAR SKIN

BRIGHT EYES

Research on the topic is still underway, but Medical News Today reports mounting evidence that eating more omega-3 fatty acids and slow-digesting

According to the Age-Related Eye Disease Study, upon which both the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the American Academy

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Ctrl, Alt, Delete Your Clutter TIPS FOR NATIONAL CLEAN UP YOUR COMPUTER MONTH

Everyone relies on technology. Computers, laptops, tablets, and phones are staples of modern life. However, it’s easy for these devices to become cluttered with old photos, files, and general disorganization. Luckily, January is National Clean Up Your Computer Month and an excellent time to get your technology in order.

them better. If you use water or liquid cleaning products on them, be sure they are completely dry before placing them back into your computer.

delete something you didn’t mean to. Additionally, consider installing a second hard drive. The extra space can help with storing important files without having to worry about how much room is left.

ORGANIZE YOUR FILES

CLEAN UP SPACE

Naming and arranging the files on your computer in such a way that they’re easy for you to find can end up saving you a lot of time. Declutter your workspace by creating one file for pictures, one for Word documents, one for spreadsheets, and one for programs to eliminate the hassle of frantically searching for the files you need.

Any files you’ll never use again should be deleted. Likewise, any programs you haven’t used in a while should be uninstalled. Check your hard drive for files that might be taking up unintended space on your computer. And remember to empty the recycling bin — it’s easy to forget just how much goes in there.

START BY DUSTING

Over time, computer towers can become clogged with dust, which

creates additional, unwanted heat within your computer. Regular cleanings will increase the lifespan of your computer and protect its essential components. Compressed air is great for removing most of the dust and other particulates. If the fans or filters are too dirty, you can remove them from the tower to clean

BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER

Be sure to back up your computer before you start deleting things. This acts as a safety net in case you

Client Testimony

How to Make Your Own Sauerkraut

Inspired by NourishedKitchen.com

• 2 lbs cabbage Ingredients Equipment • Jar • Lid with airlock Directions

“I found myself in a difficult situation and was terrified because I had never been in trouble before in my life. After calling Johnny, he immediately took time out of his busy schedule and allowed me to come in for a consultation. I was terrified at first but was relieved after speaking with Johnny. He and his staff made me feel at home — and he treated me as a friend, not just a client. After my consultation, Johnny kept in touch on a regular basis and made sure that I wasn’t too stressed until my court date. Everything was dismissed. Johnny went out of his way to help me; I couldn’t have asked for a better attorney. I am very thankful for Johnny and his help — without a doubt he and his staff are the best! If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need the best, there is no one better for the job! Thank you, Johnny!”

• 4 tsp fine sea salt

• Something to weigh down cabbage, ideally made of a

nonreactive material like glass

1. Remove outer leaves from cabbage. Slice very thinly. 2. In a large bowl, combine cabbage and salt. Let stand for 20 minutes. 3. Squeeze cabbage to release juices. Let the cabbage continue to soak and release juices for another 20 minutes. 4. Transfer to a jar and press down cabbage until completely submerged in its juices. Weigh down cabbage. 5. Seal jar with airlock. Let cabbage sit at room temperature and away from sunlight for one month. Once fermented, transfer to the fridge. Sauerkraut will keep for six months to one year.

–Reese

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE How to Upgrade Your New Year’s Resolutions PAGE 1

Natural Ways to Ease Sinus Congestion

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3 Ways a Healthy Diet Can Improve Your Looks

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Enter 2020 With an Organized Computer

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How to Make Your Own Sauerkraut

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Helping Your Kids Make New Year’s Resolutions

Help Your Kids Achieve More This Year With Simple, Actionable Goals

DON’T DO ALL THE WORK FOR THEM.

With every new year comes an opportunity to reinvent ourselves or start down a new path toward self- improvement. Making resolutions is a big part of many families’ New Year’s traditions, and parents often have a desire for their kids to take part in that tradition when they’re old enough. Following through on resolutions is tough, especially for young children, but with your help, they can achieve their goals. PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH. You are your children’s role model for almost everything, including following through on New Year’s resolutions. So, ask yourself if you follow through on your own resolutions. When you proclaim that you will read more books or finally get a gym membership, do you actually try to do it? Your kids will assign as much importance to New

Year’s resolutions as you do, so by sticking to your own commitments, you can help them stay on track, too. KEEP THINGS SIMPLE AND ACHIEVABLE. When your kids are forming their resolutions, their first attempts will probably be very broad. Statements like “I want to be more kind” or “I will try to help more around the

While it’s important for you to help your kids formulate their goals, be sure that you aren’t taking over. If they’re ultimately responsible for their resolutions, they’ll feel more compelled to keep them. Instead, suggest different goal areas they could improve, such as home, school, or sports, and let them elaborate.

house” incorporate good values but don’t include any actionable steps. Help your kids think of tangible ways to act on those goals. For example, if they want to be tidier, a good resolution might be for them to clean their room once a week or take responsibility for one household chore every day.

When it comes to creating habits, nobody is perfect, so even if your kids falter on their goals in the middle of February, don’t worry. The important thing

is that you continue to encourage them every step of the way.

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