We finally have a pool! It turns out that the contractor installing the new liner was on the crew that originally installed the pool, and then he reinstalled a new liner 10 years later. When we were discussing the pool, he asked me, “How much do you know about pool maintenance?” to which I replied, “Only that I will be writing a bunch of checks!” Apparently, our blind cat, Charlie, was the first one to use the pool. When I left the house to run an errand, the back door did not close fully. Penny yelled at me when I got home that Sake, our dog, had gotten out of the house. A couple of hours later, Penny realized that she hadn’t seen Charlie and panicked because he had gotten out. Well, lucky for me, Charlie comes when you call his name (mainly, because he’s expecting treats). He then comes trotting out from behind the neighbor’s house, looking like he’d been bobbing for fish. Maybe he also tried the neighbor’s pool ... FROM THE DESK OF Bob

HOT ANDBOTHERED S ome T rends , T ruths , and T enets of the M odern Y oga E ra

For many people, no matter how trendy yoga becomes, the idea of testing the limits of their flexibility still sounds less than appealing. A fair number of first-time yoga-goers report unpleasant and distressing experiences, inwardly cringing as they watch seasoned practitioners bend into pretzels while they sit on their brand-new mats, barely able to reach their tippy toes. Take this initial discomfort and add 105-degree temperatures, and the experience goes from bad to mortifying. No matter who you are, the first time you try hot yoga, it’s likely to feel unpleasant, and this feeling may stem from the unfamiliarity of the poses as much as the sweltering heat. If you are practicing traditional hot yoga, the temperature will be set between 90 and 105 degrees. Ask 10 people the reason behind the high temperature, and you’ll get 10 different answers. Some seasoned yogis tout the health benefits of this sauna-like practice, claiming that the sheer amount of sweat pouring off one’s body helps remove unwanted or unhealthy toxins. According to Yoga International, this claim couldn’t be further from the truth. While exercising in the hot room definitely increases circulation, relaxes muscles, and promotes flexibility, the notion that it creates a physical purification system is false. What are some scientifically grounded benefits of hot yoga? Well, biomedical researchers are exploring whether or not a natural antibiotic in one’s sweat called dermcidin can be used as a treatment for superbugs like tuberculosis and MRSA. Additionally, these researchers are studying hyperthermic conditioning, or exercising in the heat, to see how it boosts the production of the human growth hormone and ameliorates heat shock proteins, both of which can cause elevated muscle growth and promote healing properties. Healthwise,

-Bob Norton

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Cover story, continued ...

there are a lot of benefits to hot yoga, but they just don’t provide the same functions as the kidney or liver, organs that exist to rid the body of bad toxins. In addition to these physical benefits, many yoga-goers boast mental perks from being in the hot room that are grounded in the practice of asceticism, a way to transcend suffering through intentional discomfort. Contemporary practitioners might think of this as an exercise in mind over matter, perseverance, or grit. The tried and true benefits of hot yoga rely on the poses as much as the heat. The most popular posture sequence in a hot yoga class is made up of 26 poses, and instructors usually have their students complete each pose twice. This specific series has been circulating for nearly half a century, starting with a yogi named Bikram Choudhury, who was the household name in hot yoga in the U.S. until 2013, when two sexual assault lawsuits were waged against him. Since then, many practitioners of hot yoga are creating new ways to continue the practice while distancing themselves from the infamy of the man who created it.

Some of these new sessions rely on traditional yoga sequences that are more than 5,000 years old, while others incorporate fun, original ideas like yoga with goats, cats, or beer. Yes, there are real classes where you can perfect your downward dog while hanging out with baby goats. Of course, in the classes that contain farm animals or alcohol, the temperatures are kept cool for safety reasons. The popularity of these nontraditional classes emphasizes the exponential growth in the yoga industry in the last decade. In fact, there are a slew of yoga Instagram influencers whose financial livelihoods depend on creating sponsored advertisements for thousands of followers. The trend has also captured the attention of many famous actors, politicians, and musicians, including Ellen DeGeneres, Barack Obama, Jennifer Aniston, and Matthew McConaughey. Yoga wasn’t intended to be an embarrassing or a painful experience, but as with any new activity, there is always a learning curve. Reaching your own nirvana takes time and repetition, and in some cases, beer and cute animals. If you tried a hot yoga class and were absolutely miserable, you are not alone. The

unpleasantness usually dissipates over time, but if you find that hot yoga isn’t for you, look up yoga classes with goats or cats instead; they might even smell better than all the sweat anyway.

FIND THE RIGHT FOOD BALANCE Foods That Cause and Reduce Inflammation

The food you eat plays a major role in how your body functions on the cellular level. Some foods can wreak havoc on your body, while others can make you feel great. This is especially true when it comes to that all-too-common ailment, inflammation.

NOW, FOR THE GOOD STUFF. EAT THESE FOODS TO REDUCE INFLAMMATION: BLUEBERRIES: Many studies call blueberries one of the best fruits you can eat to ease symptoms of inflammation. These blue orbs of goodness are packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, polyphenols, and somuchmore. Eat a handful every day! SALMON: As a source of healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is one of the best protein choices for people with inflammatory conditions, or for those who want to keep inflammation at bay. BROCCOLI: One of the most nutritious and easily accessible vegetables around, the little green buds that cover the tops of broccoli are loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds.

HERE ARE A FEW EXAMPLES OF FOODS THAT LEAD TO INFLAMMATION: SUGAR: One of the biggest culprits behind inflammation, sugar is far worse than eating fatty foods. It’s best to skip foods that have added sugar (and this includes sugar of any kind, including corn syrup, fructose, and sucrose). Many manufacturers now label food with more specific kinds of sugar to hide the fact that they added sugar to their product. Be sure to read labels carefully! REFINED CARBS: Basically anything made from white flour falls into this category,

including bread, pasta, baked goods, and cereals. Research suggests that refined carbs may be a bigger contributing factor than fat in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. ALCOHOL: Too much alcohol puts a burden on your liver, an organ that helps flush toxins out of the body. You know all of those detox diets? They don’t work. In fact, the only way to detox is to let your liver do its job. When you consume alcohol, it’s harder for the liver to pump out the toxins in your body. When it can’t do its job properly, the result is inflammation.

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Easy Rider


Long commutes will always be a pain in the neck, but the discomfort doesn’t have to be literal. Developing stiffness or soreness in your upper back and neck is all too common in the driver’s seat. It’s annoying at the time, and repeated incidents can lead to more chronic problems down the road. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent this pain from developing behind the wheel. MAKE ADJUSTMENTS If you frequently experience neck pain while driving, the position of your seat and mirrors may be the issue. Ideally, you want the back of your driver’s seat to be almost straight, at about a 100 degree angle to the seat. If you find yourself leaning forward to reach the steering wheel from this position, shift the whole seat forward. In older cars without built-in lower back support, it’s a good idea to slide a small pillow between your back and the lower part of the seat. After you have your sitting position figured out, make the necessary adjustments to your mirrors. You should be able to glance at each with minimal head movement. Constantly bobbing or craning your neck to see what’s behind you is a surefire way to develop neck and shoulder pain. STAY IN THE CLEAR A dirty windshield can be just as bad as poorly adjusted mirrors. Having to lean forward to see when sun and dust cut your visibility causes stress

as your neck muscles accommodate. In general, poor vision is a consistent source of these sorts of aches and pains, so it’s a good idea to ensure you have the right pair of glasses (including shades) every time you drive. LET OFF THE GAS Normally, good sitting posture entails having both feet firmly planted on the floor. Drivers don’t normally have that option unless they literally put the pedal to the metal. During long drives on the highway, cruise control is a great option to give your feet a welcome rest. Otherwise, pull over to take a break and stretch your legs if you feel your neck beginning to tense up. There are also preventative measures you can take to avoid pain and discomfort before your next road trip or traffic jam. If you find yourself haunted by chronic neck, back, or shoulder pain no matter how long you drive, it may be time to contact a trusted physical therapist. These may be signs of more serious issues, but physical therapy can help you live and drive pain-free again.

Take a Break!



8 slices of bread (Pullman works best)

8 ounces ham, thinly sliced

1/2 pound Swiss cheese, sliced

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano)

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/4 cup apricot preserves


1. Butter each slice of bread on the outsides and sprinkle with Parmesan. 2. Layer ham and cheese evenly on top of 4 slices of bread. 3. Spread apricot preserves and mustard across the other 4 slices. Press sandwiches together.

4. In a cast iron skillet or large sauté pan over medium heat, grill sandwiches until golden, about 3 minutes per side. 5. Cut in half and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Food and Wine Magazine

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Bob Norton Consulting, APC


THE REAL ESTATE TAX PRO ™ 877-799-3736

1527 Gause Blvd. Ste. 132 Slidell, LA 70458

INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Bob PAGE 1 Have You Tried Hot Yoga? PAGE 1 The Best andWorst Foods for Inflammation PAGE 2 3 Steps to Staying Pain-Free in the Car PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Inside-Out Grilled Ham and Cheese PAGE 3 The Secret to Lead Conversion PAGE 4 In the business classic “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” Dale Carnegie showed us that the secret to sales success builds on showing a genuine interest in other people and rests in the relationship that develops from there. The concept may not be much of a secret anymore, but it’s as important as ever in the sales cycle — and too many people aren’t following through on it. It turns out that Carnegie was onto something. Did you know that just 2 percent of sales happen during the first touch? Two percent. Let that sink in. That means 98 percent of sales happen sometime after that first touch. In fact, ample research supports that 80 percent of sales happen after the fifth follow-up. If your sales team isn’t following up past that first touch with a prospect, there’s a slim chance they’ll convert.

THE SECRET TO LEAD CONVERSION It’s All About the Relationship

IMPLEMENT A SYSTEM The habit of nurturing leads stems partly from company culture and partly from systems and processes — it’s something of a chicken-

to follow up and nurture relationships with leads. We can look back to our good friend Dale Carnegie and thank him for sharing his wisdom about relationships. If you want to nurture and convert your leads, you’ll want to instill Carnegie’s principles into your sales team. Considering how many quality leads get away, there’s always room for improvement in developing relationships. How can you start building that lead relationship today? FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP It’s all about the follow-up — or lack of follow- up, if you’re wondering why your leads aren’t converting. You’ve probably experienced it yourself: You have a great interaction with a company and express interest in their product, but then you never hear from them again. That company just lost you, a hot lead. You can’t buy if you’re not presented with the opportunity to do so. Make it easy on your consumer base by implementing a follow-up system.

egg situation. If you don’t have systems in place to make follow-up part of your sales process, it’s not going to be a priority for your team. And if you don’t have a culture of determination and relationship-building in place, the systems and processes don’t matter. Entrepreneur and business transformer Robert Clay recommends a five-no strategy — follow up with a lead until you’ve heard no at least five times.

With the direct correlation between touches and conversion, it’s clear how important it is

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