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THE POWER OF FAMILY DINNER WHETHER IT’S GRILLING SEASON OR NOT
“I don’t think there’s one thing more important you can do for your kids than have family dinner.”
–Ruth Reichl, author and former New York Times food critic
Memorial Day officially kicks off grilling season, but there’s not a month that goes by when we don’t fire up the grill at our house. Even in the depths of the Michigan winter, when we have to shovel a path from the house to the grill, you can find me out there flipping steaks, pork chops, and the like. I’m not a world-class chef by any means, but I like to think I’ve become pretty good with a pair of tongs in my hand. Part of the reason you can find me firing up the grill no matter the weather is because I’ve eaten a pretty strict paleo diet for the past decade. For those of you who don’t know, a paleo diet attempts to replicate the meal plan of our prehistoric ancestors. It’s heavy on meat, nuts, fruits, and vegetables while shunning processed foods, dairy, and grains. Originally, I was drawn to the diet because it still allowed me to enjoy a juicy steak. Once I adopted the diet, however, I realized it worked for me. Adhering
to a 100-percent paleo diet, I lost 50 pounds in a year. These days, I eat paleo about 80 percent of the time, sneaking in some bread and cheese on rare occasions. While I adopted the diet before Rochelle and I had kids, I enjoy sharing a healthy lifestyle with my family. A lot of people find it difficult to forgo the convenience of modern fast food for the pleasures of a home-cooked meal, but I’ll tell you it’s even harder to switch back. Rochelle and I shop around the perimeter of the grocery store, steering clear of the items in the middle with ingredient lists longer than a legal brief. She’s a better chef than I am, but we trade cooking duties. When one of us is busy working out, the other is preparing dinner. Delicious, healthy food is just one benefit of eating at home. Our dinner table is a place of conversation where we can simply get together as a family and talk. We like to start our meals off with each family member sharing their “positive focus” for the day. This doesn’t have to be anything huge, just something that
made them smile or feel good. Beginning our meal with a positive focus raises everyone’s spirits and is often the starting point of a lively discussion. Having these daily conversations over a warm meal has created an environment where open communication is encouraged. When I speak with clients, I often discover that they’ve never brought up elder-care or estate concerns with their families. These aren’t subjects that come up regularly at the dinner table, but I firmly believe that having a regular dialogue with your loved ones makes it easier to address these sensitive topics. Making the effort to begin these conversations early will make a big difference. Clearly expressed wishes allow your loved ones to ensure you get the care you want and leave a legacy on your own terms. Who knows? Maybe a freshly grilled (and well-rested) steak is just the thing to begin the discussion. – Christopher J. Berry
Delicious, healthy food is just one benefit of eating at home. Our dinner table is a place of conversation where we can simply get together as a family and talk.
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We could all use a vacation, and if you’re looking to bond with your grandkids, a trip might be the perfect answer. It’s fun for you, and getting away from Mom and Dad for a while is thrilling for any kid. But before you board a plane to Italy with your granddaughter or rent an RV for a trip to Yellowstone with your grandsons, there are a few things you need to check off your to-do list. DON’T LET THE PARENTS WORRY Letting their kids go on a trip without them can be nerve-wracking for parents. Don’t view parental worries as an implication that you are an irresponsible grandparent. Instead, think about how you felt when your own children were young, and take steps to alleviate the parents’ concerns. If your daughter asks you not to be on your phone while in crowded public places because she’s concerned you might lose sight of her child, promise to keep the phone in your pocket. If your son-in-law wants regular updates, make time before bed for your grandchild to call home and tell her father about all the fun she’s having. A little compromise can lead to less stress and more fun for everyone. PACK NECESSARY DOCUMENTS You need to have some form of ID for your grandkids. Older kids can use a driver’s license, but if you’re traveling with little ones, find a copy of their birth certificates. You also need copies of insurance and prescription cards and a TRAVELING WITH THE GRANDKIDS? 3 Things to Do Before the Trip
notarized letter from the parents granting you permission to authorize medical care in case of an emergency. It’s also a good idea to have a letter of permission for your grandkids to travel with you. Make sure the letter is signed by all legal guardians, especially if your grandchild’s parents are divorced. You don’t want to accidentally cause a custody dispute. PLAN A TRIP YOU’LL BOTH LOVE When planning your itinerary, ask yourself if your grandkids will have fun, too. You might be excited to visit an art museum, but a younger child might not appreciate it as much. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit museums or historical sites! In fact, most of these places offer kid-centric activities, like scavenger hunts, that can help a younger audience engage with the environment. Just be sure to think of your grandchild first when planning. There’s nothing like the adventure of travel to bring generations closer together and create lasting memories. These tips will help you ensure those memories are good ones. Happy travels!
SPOTLIGHT ON DAVID STIMAC
just say, ‘You should use a castle trust.’ Every suggestion had a reason behind it, and the team answered all of our questions.” David received a detailed snapshot of estate planning and elder law from our team, but he knows more than we ever could about taking pictures of his own. He is a professional photographer with a focus on nature and avian life. His work has been featured in magazines like Ducks Unlimited and Delta Waterfowl. He occasionally travels for work, but the majority of the incredible images he’s been able to capture are from right here in Michigan. The photos accompanying this article are David’s. To see more of his work, go to davidstimac.com. And if you need the same personalized care that Richard Stimac and his family received, be sure to give us a call. A World-Class Photographer and Son
When David Stimac’s father, Richard, needed to create an estate plan, he turned to the team at The Elder Care Firm. “He attended a few of Chris’ seminars and found them to be very informative,” David recalls. “It also provided a great introduction to the estate planning process.” Once Richard was ready to tackle the planning of his own estate, he decided to involve his children in the process. As a result of this collaboration between generations, David played an active role in the process, interacting with The Elder Care Firm team regularly. “To be totally honest, I didn’t know the first thing about estate planning,” David notes. “I mean, I knew what a trust was, but that was about it. Chris and his team did a great job explaining my dad’s options to us. They never pressured us into anything. They genuinely care about doing right by their clients. For example, they didn’t
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It’s not often that currency is the hot topic around the watercooler, but that’s exactly what has happened with bitcoin. Whether you think it’s the future of currency or a flash in the pan, there’s no denying that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are a huge industry. According to Nerdwallet, the industry is currently valued in excess of $700 billion. Amid all the hoopla over bitcoin millionaires and wild fluctuations, there’s one question that few people seem capable of answering: What the heck is bitcoin? In short, it is the most well-known type of cryptocurrency — a digital or virtual currency. Cryptocurrency functions much like dollars, pounds, or euros, but it’s not controlled by a governing body. Instead, cryptocurrencies are decentralized. A technology called Blockchain allows the currency to exist across thousands of locations rather than in one place. Blockchain technology offers unprecedented security, as it is essentially impossible to hack. Bitcoin is far from the only cryptocurrency. There are thousands of cryptocurrencies, and more are emerging all the time. Startups are now opting to use initial coin offerings (ICOs) as a method of fundraising. ICOs work similarly to stock offerings, except they don’t require your company to be huge to offer them. ABeginner’s Guide to Cryptocurrency WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH BITCOIN?
and the lack of a central banking authority as prominent features. Critics note the instability inherent with cryptocurrencies, especially as the market is largely speculative. There may come a time when you can use cryptocurrency at your local grocery store, but that’s probably a long way off. In terms of regulation, cryptocurrencies are reminiscent of the Wild West. Agencies like the IRS and SEC are still figuring out how to monitor and regulate their use. Investors involved in cryptocurrency should maintain detailed records about their holdings, losses, and gains for tax purposes. Untangling the complexities of cryptocurrency is no easy matter. Whether you’ve already invested in them or are thinking of doing so, it’s wise to seek out the advice of an expert before finalizing any decisions.
As with any emerging market, cryptocurrency is the subject of much speculation but very little established fact. Proponents point to the security, the anonymity,
Chris’ Paleo Corner:
LAMB VEGGIE STEW
Adapted from ultimatepaleoguide.com
For us to be able to help family and friends just like you, we depend on referrals.
1. Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add vegetables, and cook until softened. Add Italian seasoning and lamb, and cook until lamb is browned. Stir in broth, and bring to a boil. 2. Reduce heat, and simmer until lamb is tender. Serve topped with chopped parsley.
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• 2 tablespoons olive oil • 1 onion, sliced • 1 carrot, sliced • 1 zucchini, sliced • 1 green pepper, sliced • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• 1 pound lamb, cubed • 4 cups chicken broth • Fresh chopped parsley
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INSIDE This Issue
Dinner-Table Talk PAGE 1
Secrets to a Great Family Vacation PAGE 2 David Stimac’s Elder Care Experience PAGE 2
How to Make Sense of Bitcoin PAGE 3
Lamb Veggie Stew PAGE 3
3 of the Most Formidable Moms in History PAGE 4
MOTHERS SHAPE THE WORLD
3 of History’s Bravest Moms
IRENA SENDLER (1910–2008)
Moms make the world go round. After running the gauntlet of childbirth, they raise and guide us throughout our lives, shouldering the tremendous burden and responsibility of motherhood. Mothers are in turn formidable, kind, powerful, gentle, wise, fierce, patient, supportive, empathetic, driven, and full of love. In honor of Mother’s Day, here are three historic moms who never stopped fighting for what they believed in.
When the Nazis invaded Warsaw in September of 1939, Irena Sendler, a 29-year-old social worker and mother of two, hatched a scheme to rescue Jewish children from the brutal ghettos. Along with many friends and colleagues, she smuggled out nearly 2,500 Jewish orphans, hiding infants on trams and garbage wagons and guiding kids through a labyrinth of secret passageways beneath the city. Despite being a wife and the mother of five children — two of whom died tragically young — Emmeline Pankhurst became one of the fiercest advocates for women’s suffrage in the late 19th century. After founding the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1903, she and her cohorts adopted an aggressive strategy to raise awareness EMMELINE PANKHURST (1858–1928)
SOJOURNER TRUTH (1797–1883)
Before she escaped from New York slaveholder John Dumont, Sojourner Truth had at least three of her children sold away from her. When Dumont went back on his promise to emancipate Truth and her infant daughter in 1826, she took the girl and fled to an abolitionist Quaker family, but she was forced to leave her other daughter and her 5-year-old son, Peter, behind. Soon after, she learned that Peter had been illegally sold by Dumont to a slaveholder in Alabama, so she went to court and secured his safe return. It
was the first successful case brought by a black woman against a white man in American history. Truth went on to become a prominent abolitionist and a speaker for women’s rights, delivering her famous impromptu speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?” in May of 1851.
for the issue; they began by buttonholing politicians and staging rallies, then progressed to vandalism, window smashing, and arson. She was instrumental in the movement. Pankhurst lived to see women gain the right to vote in 1928.
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