Medlin Law Firm - April 2021

The Medl in News

APRIL 2021

I’ll admit: I’m not a prankster. So, instead of telling you the best prank that I’ve ever done (which is none), let me tell you the best prank that was ever pulled on me. My nephew and his wife were expecting a new baby a couple years ago, and on April 1, 2019, my nephew sent me an email saying that the baby was born. Naturally, considering the date, I was a little cautious – but my nephew had pictures of his family and their new infant to prove it. As it turned out, the baby was actually born. Then, my nephew told me that their son’s name was Peter Piper. And you know what? I didn’t question it. At least he had a guaranteed career of pickling peppers waiting for him. Also, with my nephew’s firstborn daughter being named Pepper, I wouldn’t have put it past my nephew to name his son after the nursery rhyme. I had a good laugh when I talked to the family and found out the real name was Rowan. Although I’ve learned to take nothing seriously on April 1 (even from my expecting family members), there is one holiday that I always take seriously: Earth Day. Climate change has always been a concern of mine. I know it’s been politicized in recent times, but I truly don’t think of it in those terms. I’ve mentioned in previous newsletters how spending time being active outdoors is a huge part of my life, despite my injuries. In the end, we only have one planet, so climate change is an urgent matter we need to deal with today — not tomorrow. THE ONLY THING I TAKE SERIOUSLY IN APRIL Fight Climate Change, One Change at a Time

At my home, we try to waste as little water as possible. We don’t water our yard at all, which isn’t necessarily good for our plants these past few years. We have the least green yard in the neighborhood, but I can definitely live with that. Power is another way we save as much energy as possible. About half of our cars have been hybrid or electric, and we try to get our electricity from wind power whenever possible. Not a lot of people associate progressive climate initiatives with Texas, but you’ll be surprised by the amount of wind power available to you here. Use a power company that gets their electricity mainly from wind power, and you can prevent a lot of resources from being wasted at power factories. At the time of writing this, I can’t wait for April and Earth Day to get here. It’s early February and, in my area of Texas, we’ve been having one of our coldest spells in a long time, as low as 5 degrees F on some nights. The last time I can remember chills in the single digits was in the ‘90s. I’ll be thrilled for warmer spring weather and a chance to visit some national parks again.

Thanks so much for reading, friends. I’ll catch you next month.

– Gary L. Medlin, Esq.

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HOW INTUITIVE EATING CAN HELP YOU QUIT DIET CULTURE

The concept of mindfulness has ful ly saturated mains tream culture at this point. Though it’s more likely to conjure up an image of someone sitting cross-legged with closed eyes than sitting at a table looking wide-eyed at mealtime, it’ll serve you just as well on your dinner plate as it will on your yoga mat.

While this may feel … intuitive ... it’s easier said than done in a culture with consistent and often confusing messaging around what constitutes healthy eating. Even the tried-and-true method of calorie counting has raised doubts in recent years due to inaccuracies in calorie calculations for the nutrition labels and research on how calorie restriction can backfire by changing your hormone levels and even slowing down your metabolism. Kristen Smith, a registered dietitian and the spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says it’s also linked to disordered eating habits. Intuitive eating may just be the antidote. Singer Demi Lovato, who has been open about her struggles with an eating disorder and body-image issues, credits a more mindful approach to eating with helping her overcome harmful eating patterns. How does it lead to better health outcomes? Having a regular exercise routine and eating well have long been known as the two pillars of physical health. When it comes to the latter, intuitive eating helps you create healthy and sustainable eating habits. The upshot is that when you eat better, you’ll feel better. Being attuned to that connection is the foundation of mindful eating. Most of us know that we should eat whole foods, including lots of fruits and vegetables, but feeling the outcome of increased consumption of these foods will help you stick with and build the habit.

What is intuitive eating? Eating mindfully, also known as intuitive eating, is trending in the health and wellness world. But it couldn’t be more different from fad diets or other trends like fasting and cleanses, which have restrictive lists of rules and foods to eat or avoid. Intuitive eating starts by simply tuning in to your body’s needs and cues, but it goes further than that. As a Harvard Medical School article put it, “In essence, mindful eating means being fully attentive to your food — as you buy, prepare, serve, and consume it.” And that includes focusing on how different foods and eating habits make you feel, both physically and mentally.

5 EASY IDEAS FOR A MORE SUSTAINABLE (AND AFFORDABLE) LIFESTYLE

If you want your lifestyle to feel a little more sustainable for your wallet and the environment, there are lots of ways to cut back without doing much extra work! It might even save you time in the long run. Here are a few ideas to get you started! 1:Haveanofficialgrocerylist forfamilymembers toaddto. Every time you run out of a food item in the house, have your familywrite it down on the official grocery list. This will cut down on food costs (i.e. overbuying groceries that you already have), avoid multiple trips, and make for faster grocery shopping overall, whether you’re running into the store yourself or planning a delivery. 2: Save peels, stems, and ends to make vegetable stock. Want to flavor bomb your quinoa, rice, or pasta? Boil it in your own nutritious vegetable stock that you can produce for mere cents per liter. All you need to do is freeze your carrot and onion peels, garlic stems, beet tops, celery ends, and more to throw into water and gently simmer (not boil) for an hour or two. 3: Save water for your plants! Do you have house plants? While you’re waiting for the shower to warm up, use a bucket to catch all that spare

cold water and use it to water your plants. You’ll help your local water facilities spend fewer resources filtering water. And, ultimately, showering might be the useful reminder you need to water your plants every day! 4: Keep reusable straws around your car and home. Do you dislike the strawless cup covers that restaurants are adding nowadays? Keep your own reusable straws around! Whether they’re stainless steel or thicker plastic, enjoy some easy sipping while preventing straws from polluting the environment. 5: Go for Meatless Mondays! Cows and other animals use a massive amount of resources in the United States, as well as release an unsustainable amount of carbon dioxide. To help decrease demand, you don’t need to be vegetarian for life, just once a week! Feel free to increase the number of days if it suits you.

We hope this inspires you to make your family’s lifestyle a little more sustainable! Have a wonderful April, friends.

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ARE ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMS AVAILABLE FOR FIRST-TIME OFFENDERS IN TEXAS?

If you’re a first-time offender, you probably think that your status gives you a slight advantage and flexibility in terms of your sentence. For the most part, that’s true! However, it may depend on the jurisdiction. Many jurisdictions — Tarrant County in particular — have diversion programs. These programs are not through the court. They do not result in any type of record, and they put you in the position to be able to expunge it from your record after completion. There are also deferred prosecution programs. In some jurisdictions, they can be run by the district attorney’s office, and the person is placed on an informal probation outside of court. If you complete that program, the case can be expunged from your record. There are other similar programs, sometimes called direct programs or direct court programs, that can also result in cases being dismissed and being eligible to be expunged from the record. An expunction lawsuit causes the records to be erased, destroyed, and deleted from computers, so there is no record of

arrest; it does not show up on a background check; and it legally authorizes you to say it never happened.

It gets you back to normal life so it does not affect your future and does not result in a criminal record.

If expungement isn’t an option, it isn’t the end of the road. With the right legal help, criminal charges can often be dropped, dismissed, or reduced. Often, there are legal issues surrounding whether or not the police acted within the confines of the law. Also, first-time offenses are typically minor, and the prosecutor can be convinced that with the positive steps the person has taken — maybe community service hours or some type of counseling program — the case should be dismissed. Medlin Law doesn’t just specialize in criminal law; we specialize in ensuring a better future for you. If you need our expert legal help today, please don’t hesitate to give our office a call.

Sheet Pan Chicken Dinner

PUZZLE TIME

Ingredients

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp honey

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tbsp canola oil

1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets

1 tbsp soy sauce

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. 2. On a large baking sheet, combine chicken, sweet potatoes, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. 3. Bake for 15 minutes. In the

4. Remove pan from oven and use a spatula to flip the chicken and potatoes, then add broccoli florets. 5. Drizzle sauce evenly over top and return to the oven to bake for an additional 15 minutes or until chicken has an internal temperature of 165 F and vegetables are fork-tender.

meantime, make the sauce by combining the soy sauce, lemon juice, honey, and cayenne pepper.

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Inspired by TheSpruceEats.com

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1. Fight Climate Change, One Change at a Time

2. What Is Intuitive Eating?

5 Easy Ideas for a More Sustainable Lifestyle

3. Are Alternative Programs Available for First-Time Offenders in Texas?

Sheet Pan Chicken Dinner

4. Caring for Pets Brings Health and Happiness

FELINE FRIENDS OR CANINE COMRADES How Pets Improve Our Health and Happiness

As people grow older, they’re more likely to find themselves at home with less company. If your family members live far away or you have physical limitations that make it difficult to leave the house, you may be at an increased risk of experiencing loneliness. This is why adopting an animal can be so helpful. Pets offer comfort and love, and many encourage physical activity. Integrating a pet into your life as you grow older can be just what you need to lift your spirit and keep you healthy. The Benefits of Pet Ownership A lack of purpose can take a significant toll, but the sense of duty pet owners have around caring for their animals helps them avoid this. The daily tasks of feeding, playing with, and walking your animal can help provide structure and bring meaning to your life. They also give you something to look forward to each day. What’s better than waking up or coming home to a wagging tail or loud meow? This is how pets help improve their owners’ mental and physical health. Studies also show that those who care for pets have less stress and lower blood pressure and cholesterol than their petless counterparts. You’re also more likely to maintain a daily exercise routine.

Humans have an innate need to be social, and without someone to talk to regularly, our mental well-being can start to deteriorate. Pets may not be the best conversation partners, but they may increase your social activity. Walking a dog to a local park every day, for example, can provide an opportunity for you to interact with other people. If you live alone, this simple activity can increase your social circle and improve your mental health. Find the Right Pet Before taking advantage of the many benefits pets offer, it’s crucial to consider which pet is right for you. Doing research can help answer important questions about which animals might be a good fit for you and your lifestyle and which aren’t. Finding a perfect match may take some time, but once that connection is made, there is nothing that will bring more joy into both of your lives. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a list of questions that will help guide you to the perfect pet. Take a look at CDC.gov/healthypets.

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