IzLegal Illustrated ARE YOUR ‘HEALTHY’ NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS DOOMED TO FAIL? How to Upgrade Your Goals for 2020
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 that 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!
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. 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. 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 eat less. DO resolve to eat more veggies.
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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CTRL, ALT, DELETE YOUR CLUTTER Tips for National Clean Up Your Computer Month
never really goes away. Teach them to be smart with their decisions. Connect with them on social media if it helps you keep an eye on things. CONSTRUCT A ‘MEDIA DIET’ Take an active role in what your children watch by co-viewing programs with them. You’ll have a better sense of what they’re seeing and can point them toward the programming that’s right for them. Look for educational media choices that teach good values. There are a lot of great educational opportunities on the internet, but there’s also a lot of room for negative exposure. If this is a concern, keep the family computer in a public part of your home so you can see what they’re accessing online. It’s important to educate your children about proper media health, but it’s even more important to encourage your kids to be healthy in other ways. Beyond the tips mentioned above, encourage them to play outdoors and read physical books so they can participate more actively in the real world. 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 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. CLEAN UP SPACE 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.
particulates. If the fans or filters are too dirty, you can remove them from the tower to clean 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. ORGANIZE YOUR FILES 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.
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. 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
SCREEN-TIME STRATEGIES HOW TO SET A FAMILY MEDIA USE PLAN
With 24/7 media exposure from TVs, computers, and smartphones, it feels like life is dominated by screens. Consider implementing a media use plan for your family so they don’t miss out on the real world. SET A CURFEW Limiting the time your children spend staring at a screen is good for their health. Try to keep screen- time usage to under two hours per day. Implement a rule for no screens at mealtimes, and keep all screens out of bedrooms at night. Keep track of the devices by having a communal charging dock in a shared area where you can make sure everything is plugged in for the night. HAVE A CHAT Don’t shy away from warning your kids about what exists in the digital world. Explain to them that certain content isn’t age-appropriate, and teach them what movie and TV ratings mean. Remind them to be careful about what they put on the internet because anything they upload
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GET YOUR LIFE IN ORDER Use the Start of the Year Wisely
EXPUNGEMENT OF YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD Too often, people are unaware they have a criminal record. A person who was found not guilty (or had charges dropped) for driving under the influence or reckless driving may still have the misdemeanor on their record. Past charges can haunt people and cast unfair reflections on them as they attempt to find a job or a place to rent. This new year, wipe your slate clean. you’re running out of time. Florida’s civil statute of limitations states that after an accident occurs, you have 2–4 years to file your claim. Once you’ve exceeded this time limit, you’ll have no chance to receive compensation for the injuries you suffered. After receiving medical treatment, paying bills, and trying to get your life back to where it was, 2–4 years can pass quickly. TIMELINES FOR PERSONAL INJURY CASES If you were injured recently and haven’t filed a claim,
New year, new goals! This time of year, everyone makes an effort to get in shape and eat healthier. While these goals are important, they’re not the only things you should be working on as you progress into 2020. In addition, use this time to go through legal documents and paperwork that you might otherwise put off. Don’t wait any longer to get this done. GETTING YOUR ESTATE PLAN IN ORDER An estate plan is essential, and no matter how old you are, you need one. If you want to ensure your possessions are passed down to the right people or if you have people depending on you, then an estate plan protects and enforces your wishes. Take some time this year to create an estate plan for yourself. If you already have an estate plan and haven’t looked at it for a few years, now is the time to update it. People change over the years, and what might have been true five years ago is not necessarily the same today.
If you have any questions or are unsure of where to start with particular goals, call the Izquierdo Law Firm at (305) 707-7345 to speak to one of our team members.
Laugh Out Loud
HOPPIN’ JOHN A traditional New Year’s favorite in the South, Hoppin’ John includes black-eyed peas that are said to represent coins, a sign of prosperity for the coming year. It’s usually served alongside collard greens, which represent cash. Ingredients
1 smoked ham hock
1 cup dried black-eyed peas
1 medium onion, diced
5–6 cups water
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 dried hot pepper, optional (arbol and Calabrian are great options)
4. Add rice, cover, drop heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, undisturbed. 5. Remove from heat and let steam for an additional 10 minutes, still covered. 6. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and serve.
1. Wash and sort peas. 2. In a saucepan, cover peas with water, discarding any that float. 3. Add pepper, ham hock, and onion. Gently boil and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peas are just tender, about 90 minutes. At this point, you should have about 2 cups of liquid remaining.
Inspired by Epicurious
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INSIDE this issue
How to Upgrade Your New Year’s Resolutions
Enter 2020 With an Organized Computer Tips to Establish a Family Media Use Plan Look Beyond Regular New Year’s Resolutions Hoppin’ John
The Sweetest Crime in History
The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist HISTORY’S SWEETEST THEFT
Maple syrup holds a proud place in the history and culture of Quebec, Canada. It’s also a big part of Quebec’s economy, with 72% of the world’s maple syrup produced in Quebec alone. Due to tactics employed by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ), the NPR-backed podcast “The Indicator” estimates that maple syrup is valued at approximately $1,300 per barrel — over 20 times more than crude oil. The FPAQ controls the available syrup supply, never releasing enough maple syrup to meet demand, which increases the price. As a result, most of the world’s maple syrup is stored in various reserves.
returned the barrels to the facility. The stolen syrup was then trucked east to New Brunswick and south across the border into Vermont. Wisely, the thieves sold their ill-gotten goods in small batches, avoiding suspicion from legitimate syrup distributors. In what is now known as the Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist, thieves made off with 10,000 barrels of maple syrup valued at $18.7 million. This remains one of the most costly heists in Canadian history. Vallières himself became a millionaire and took his family on three tropical vacations in one year.
Between 2011 and 2012, a group of thieves decided to liberate the syrup from an FPAQ facility in Saint- Louis-de-Blandford, Quebec. Stealing syrup from Canada doesn’t sound as glamorous as stealing cash from a Vegas casino, but their plan could rival the plot of “Ocean’s Eleven.” At the FPAQ facility, syrup was stored in unmarked metal barrels and only inspected once a year. The heist, led by a man named Richard Vallières, involved transporting the barrels to a remote sugar shack in the Canadian wilderness, where they siphoned off the maple syrup, refilled the barrels with water, and
Unfortunately, the thieves got sloppy and stopped refilling the barrels with water. When an FPAQ inspector visited the targeted facility in the fall of 2012, he accidentally knocked over one of the empty barrels. The inspector alerted the police, who would go on to arrest 17 men in connection to the theft, including Vallières himself. Police were then able to recover hundreds of barrels of the stolen syrup, but most of it was never recovered — likely lost to pancake breakfasts far away.
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