Quick Hits

To prevent unwanted sexual advances at company holiday parties this year, some choose to cutback on alcohol being served.  11% of companies are ditching the holiday party altogether.  The number of companies serving alcohol at their holiday gatherings this year is expected to drop to 49.7% from 62% last year.  Corporations across all industries are cutting down on holiday shindigs as a way to prevent potential bad behavior.

Source: New York Post

Living below your means doesn’t mean you have to "live without." There are plenty of ways to live small and enjoy yourself. Here are ten ways "USA Today" suggests you can live below your means and save for the future.

  1. Focus on the benefits: Having a financial reserve helps to prepare for unexpected expenses like car repairs. “Being frugal doesn’t mean you’re cheap. It means you want to invest your money in things that really matter,” says Lydia Senn, a lifestyle blogger at Frugal, Debt-Free Life.
  2. Be your money’s boss: “Make financial choices for the month in the quiet of your own head, or with your partner, in advance — not in the moment. That way you can feel great about your spending,” says Charlie Bolognino, a certified financial planner in Plymouth, Minnesota.
  3. Save off the top: Take money and invest before you have a chance to spend it, like a 401K or savings plan. Leon LaBrecque, CEO of LJPR Financial Advisors suggests, “Start small and add a percent or two every time your income goes up."
  4. Pay yourself: Once you pay something off, like a college loan, continue to make those payments to yourself. You can put them into an interest bearing savings account.
  5. Live off one income: Most dual-income households’ base needs on a dual-income. Try restructuring to one, and use the second income to max-out retirement plans.
  6. Cut meaningless expenses: Eliminating costs you don’t care about can free up money. Look at how often you eat out, buy coffee out, spend on cable channels you don’t watch.
  7. Write down what you value in life: Then look at your financial statements and see if you’re spending on things that matter. “There are usually many things we could go without, but we buy them without even thinking,” says certified financial planner Jared Paul.
  8. Right-size your home: “Hold back from buying the most expensive house the bank says you can afford. Instead, buy the small fixer-upper and make the house your own,” says Diane Manuel, a certified financial planner in El Segundo, California.
  9. Drive used: “Remember, your car is only transportation. Used cars from rental agencies are good” to buy, Manuel says — “low mileage and under warranty.”
  10. Pay less interest: If you’re carrying balances on high-interest rate credit cards consider consolidating or transferring to lower interest rate cards.

Source: USA Today

Brain chemistry of adolescents who were addicted to smartphones and the Internet was different from non-dependent peers.  Researchers in South Korea used magnetic resonance spectroscopy — a scan to measure biochemical changes in the brain on teenagers addicted to smartphones.  The study involved 38 teenagers half addicted to phones the other half not.  Cognitive therapy can correct the problem.

Source: New York Daily News

There are always new health trends making there way into the market. So some of 2017's overrated trends, healthy or not, are going extinct in the New Year.

Some will be harder to give up, especially if you’ve acquired a taste for avocado, but if you haven’t and you’re ready to move on, then you now have permission.

These five health trends are about to say goodbye with 2017...

  1. Expensive Wellness Retreats. Wellness and fitness retreats saw a boom in 2017, but as we head into a more uncertain year with 2018, it’s less likely people will spend the money on them.
  2. Slime For Stress Relief. The popular DIY slime for stress relief included videos on how to make your own and incorporate scented oils. This fad is slowly coming to an end.
  3. Avocado Toast. Avocado toast may have reached peak popularity this year, as it also received a serious beating when people used it as a symbol for the millennial housing crisis. Avocados have since seen their way off grocery lists.
  4. Soy Milk. Soymilk has been in less demand since replacements like Almond Milk and Hemp Milk have found their way into the market place. Plus there’s been less demand due to the GMO’s associated with it.
  5. Activated Charcoal. From toothpaste to ice-cream, activated charcoal was everywhere this year. However, if you drink or eat charcoal within hours of eating or taking medication, it will strip your body of those nutrients or the medication itself. Leaving charcoal to find it’s way out in the New Year.

Source: Elite Daily

Want to eat healthier next year? Here’s what registered dietitians would like to see us eat less of in 2018.

  • Diet soda - The artificial sweeteners in diet sodas may be linked to reduced sensitivity to sweets and could lead to more cravings for them.
  • Artificially-colored foods - Some of the beautiful, colorful foods that went viral this year have artificial colors in them, like FD&C Yellow Number five which can trigger itching and hives in some people, according to the FDA. Colorful food is healthy, but it needs to be naturally colored.
  • Veggie chips - Registered dietitian Keri Glassman warns that a lot of these veggie snacks we think are healthier than potato chips still contain potatoes, so they’re not that much better for us.
  • Acai Bowls - Acai berries are full of antioxidants, but the bowls are usually made with sweeteners like agave and honey and topped with granola, so the bowls have too much sugar and not enough healthy fats and protein to keep you full for long.
  • "Light” ice creams - Frozen desserts made with less sugar and more protein can also have artificial sweeteners like erythritol [[IRR-rith-ri-tol]], which can leave you bloated because they’re harder to fully digest.
  • Protein-enhanced foods - Adding protein to foods like pancake mixes and cereal doesn’t make them healthier, Glassman explains.
  • Seasonal coffee drinks - We love our limited-edition lattes, but they’re loaded with sugary syrups and they can contribute to an energy crash later.
  • Pressed juices - When you juice the fruits and veggies, you’re taking a lot of the necessary dietary fiber, so eating the produce whole instead of drinking it is more filling and satisfying.
  • Cauliflower pizza crust - They can be made with added ingredients like mozzarella cheese or different kinds of flour, so unless you can’t eat gluten or just really like the taste, there’s not much reason to swap a regular pizza crust for this one.

Source: Delish

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