‘I Walked off Nearly 150 Pounds—Even Through North Dakota Winters’

My name is Roxanne Mullenberg, and I’m a 42-year-old bank project manager living in Fargo, ND.

As an adult, I’ve always seen 350 pounds or so on the scale. I tried weight loss programs here and there that never worked. This was before apps, and manually counting calories was exhausting and not realistic. I tried a program where I drank shakes, but I never felt full or satisfied, and I actually gained weight. I also tried joining a gym, but I could never focus on nutrition at the same time as exercise; it was one or the other, and I never saw much change.

About two years ago, my office set up a summer walking challenge, and I signed up. My goal: Walk 400 miles by September. Having a concrete challenge really motivated me and gave me a reason to exercise. The accountability was also super helpful. Every week, they sent out an email to everyone with each participant’s mileage recaps, and, heck yeah, I wanted to be one of the top participants! I finished in the top quarter of the group, logging 4 to 5 miles a day.

I’ve kept it up, and I’m still walking 4 miles a day. I wake up and walk in the morning, then do 40 minutes at lunchtime every day, then do another walk at night. I split up my 80 to 90 minutes of activity a day because I would never have that uninterrupted stretch. I even walked a 10k for my 42nd birthday this year.

Fargo’s weather isn’t great for walking year-round, but I didn’t let that stop me. My goal this winter was to walk at least one of my miles outside each day to get some fresh air and make it feel different from all my indoor activity (like walking around the house while on phone calls). Over the winter, that meant forcing myself outside during bitterly cold, 20-below days. I’d put on wool socks, big boots, snow pants, and go, even when there was a no-travel advisory. Whether it’s raining, snowing, sleeting, hailing, minus-20 degrees, or 95 degrees, I’m going to be out there.

Finding a nutrition plan that works for me

Even with walking consistently, the weight wasn’t coming off. I knew I also had to change my eating habits. Coworkers at the bank recommended that I try Profile by Sanford, a health and nutrition program developed by medical experts at Sanford Health, one of the world’s largest healthcare providers. When you join the program, you’re paired with a health coach (that you meet with in-person at one of their retail locations or online) to get a custom meal plan and learn sustainable lifestyle changes. There are essentially three phases for Profile: Reboot, Adapt, and Sustain. Starting with the Reboot stage, I had a protein shake in the morning; another one as a mid-morning snack; a protein shake and 2 cups of veggies and a fat (like avocado or olive oil) for lunch; then, a Profile fiber tea and Profile protein bar as an afternoon snack. For supper, I’d have a protein (like chicken or fish), 2 more cups of veggies, and a fat, followed by another shake. Though I was hesitant about any plan that incorporated shakes because of my past experiences with that being all you ate, these ones tasted great, were in addition to real food, and were perfect for my on-the-go lifestyle, so I didn’t have to stop at a drive-through.

Seeing results and setting new goals

When I started with Profile in February 2020, I was at 358 lbs. Now I’m at 209, so 149 lbs down! I’ve gone down 10 pants sizes—getting a whole new wardrobe is fun! I’ve had other major wins, too. Before, my blood pressure was concerningly high and I was close to requiring medication, and now it’s drastically dropped to a healthy range. I’m feeling more comfortable in my own skin. I have more energy, and as I’m gaining confidence, I’m more willing to try new things.

I used to think runners were crazy—why would you do that unless you were running from something?–but now I think about how much more quickly I would get my steps in and it’s appealing to me, so I might try training for a 5k run next. I have walking down, so now it’s asking my body, What else can I do? These days, I’m up for new challenges, and nothing can slow me down.


By Roxanne Mullenberg, As Told To Sarah Z. Wexler for Prevention©

Source: ‘I Walked off Nearly 150 Pounds’ (prevention.com)

Never Put These 7 Things on Your Resume

Are you preparing a resume? It’s natural to want to tell prospective employers all about yourself — but some things are better left unsaid.

Remember, you have only a limited amount of space to convince someone you would be a good hire. So, avoid including anything that might offend, or cause an employer to question your abilities.

Following are some key things to avoid on your resume.

Criticism of past employers

A sure way to put off a potential employer is to waste space on your resume criticizing past employers or supervisors. You may feel perfectly justified in your criticism, but the purpose of a resume is to showcase talents and abilities, not to air grievances.

Don’t give prospective employers the impression that you are disloyal or generally disgruntled. Instead, write about your positive relationships and accomplishments. Tell people about the good things you can bring to their business if they give you the opportunity.

Excuses for past problems

If you have been laid off or dismissed from a job, you may feel the need to explain the situation in your resume. It’s natural to want to tell your side of the story, especially if you feel that you were not at fault.

However, it’s easy to spend too much time discussing disappointments and missed opportunities. You may give the impression you aren’t taking responsibility for your own mistakes.

A better approach is to write about past successes. If you are called upon to explain a layoff or dismissal in an interview, be honest, but brief. Let people know that your focus is on the future.

Irrelevant skills

When a job applicant lists skills unrelated to job performance, it can appear that he or she has no valuable skills to showcase. Instead, describe things that you’ve learned that have improved your performance on the job. For example:

  • Do you have great internet skills?
  • Did you pursue special training to enhance your contribution in past jobs?
  • Are you attending school to earn an advanced degree or certificate?

Old achievements

Focus on recent achievements in your resume. If something happened 10 or 15 years ago, prospective employers may get the impression your successes are behind you.

So, leave out that Cub Scout merit badge.

Poor grammar and spelling

If you submit a resume with misspellings, typos or grammatical errors, you are unlikely to score a job interview. Even if you are in a field where the proper use of language seems unimportant, most employers want to know that their hires have good communication skills.

Grammatical mistakes on your resume can signal you’re careless and possibly unreliable. A resume free of errors lets recruiters know you’re serious about the job.

Too much information

Recruiters have a limited amount of time to sort through applications. So, keep it brief.

When screening applicants, recruiters look for experience, training and past employment. If you write in great detail about every job you’ve ever had, you may overwhelm. Worse, the information that makes you stand out as an applicant might get overlooked.

In most cases, submitting one or two pages worth of information is adequate. You can expand on your qualifications once you get to the interview stage.

Anything that isn’t true

You may be tempted to exaggerate skills, training or accomplishments. However, doing so always is a mistake. Once you put something in writing, you can’t take it back. Even if it helps you land a job, the lie may resurface years later and damage your reputation or career.

So don’t exaggerate qualifications. If you don’t have a college degree, describe the training you’ve received on the job. The best way to get a resume filled with accomplishments is to do work that you’re proud of.

Article written by Emmet Pierce for moneytalksnews©

Photo credit: ©stock-Asso / Shutterstock.com

Source: Never Put These 7 Things on Your Resume (msn.com)

‘iPhone storage almost full’ after installing iOS 15? Here’s what NOT to do

If you’ve just installed iOS 15 and you’re now seeing a message that says that your ‘iPhone storage almost full,’ then you’re not alone.

In fact, it seems like it’s quite a widespread problem, and the exact cause is unclear.

It’s certainly not a lack of storage space. Some affected users report having tens of gigabytes free.

So, if you’re affected by this ‘iPhone storage almost full’ bug, what should you do?

Do nothing.

Wait it out for a fix from Apple.

What you shouldn’t do is start deleting stuff because:

  1. That doesn’t appear to fix the problem
  2. That’s a path to data loss and more headaches

I’ve spoken to an Apple support agent contact who tells me that Apple is aware of this bug, there’s nothing that support techs can do about it, and that it’s something that Apple will need to fix as part of the iOS 15.x update.

Article by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes for zdnet©

Source: ‘iPhone storage almost full’ after installing iOS 15? Here’s what NOT to do (msn.com)

Classic Chicken Pot Pie: Comfort Food At Its Best!

Soothe your soul with this comfort food favorite! Store-bought crust makes it super easy.

Classic Chicken Pot Pie

A delicious chicken pot pie made from scratch with carrots, peas, and celery for a comfort food classic.

INGREDIENTS  

  • 3 cups  cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken works well), shreddedOne sweet potato, peeled, chopped and steamed until just cookedParsnips, diced
  • 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables–cooked just short of fully cooked according to package directions.
  • 1/3 cup  butter
  • 1/3 cup  onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1 3/4 cups  chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup  milk

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Directions: Preheat oven to 425° F. Place one pie crust in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate.*  In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cooked vegetables, sweet potato and parsnips, and season taste. Set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the onions in the butter until soft and translucent. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat, pour over the chicken and vegetables and mix well. Pour mixture into the prepared pie shell and add top crust. Cut away any excess dough and seal the edges. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

by Susan Shanagan for Farmers Almanac

Source: Classic Chicken Pot Pie: Comfort Food At Its Best! – Farmers’ Almanac (farmersalmanac.com)

This Is The #1 Most Surprising Source of Food Poisoning

When food poisoning strikes, it usually strikes hard and fast—taking you off your feet for at least 24 hours, and in some cases, can lead to a life-threatening illness. According to the CDC, 1 in 6 Americans get sick from contaminated food or beverages and 3,000 die from foodborne illness each year.

In the past, people predominantly considered eggs and raw meat the main offenders of food poisoning. But, in recent years, that’s changed as developments in production methods and widespread distribution are bringing about other culprits. Turns out, vegetables and fruits have become more likely to be contaminated as they move through the supply chain, according to the CDC. For instance, kale and parsley are two products that have recently been recalled due to the presence of listeria and E coli.

What’s more, the same developments in distribution mean a single bad batch of food can make people sick in wide-reaching areas of the country—and sometimes, all over the world. The contaminated parsley, for example, was distributed to retailers and wholesalers in Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

Reigning in a disease that keeps popping up everywhere with no direct source can be hard to do. While the CDC and other organizations are at work monitoring production, issuing recalls, and fixing any issues with the supply chain, the last line of defense will always be you.

What follows are the CDC’s stats on which foods are most likely to cause food poisoning, plus the four simple steps you can take to prevent getting sick when enjoying the foods you love: clean, separate, cook, and chill

1. Vegetables

Vegetables like leafy greens (8% of food-borne illnesses, the CDC says), seeded vegetables (8%), sprouts (2%), herbs (2%), and root vegetables (2%) are by far the #1 most likely food to be contaminated with pathogens—accounting for 22% of all foodborne illnesses, the CDC says. Surprisingly, healthy leafy greens—also a food people tend to eat raw—is at the top of the list. Remember the huge romaine lettuce recall of 2018?

2. Poultry

Chicken (12% of food-borne illnesses) and turkey (8%) can harbor many pathogens and are a huge source of salmonella contamination.

3. Pork and Beef

Pork and beef combined account for 19% of foodborne illnesses. When cooking pork (10%) and beef (9%), follow the same guidelines for cooking poultry and be sure to abide by the minimal temperature guidelines.

4. Seafood

Contaminated seafood causes 9% of food poisoning cases. Again, you need to cook seafood, including shellfish (5%) and fish (4%) to a safe temperature and reheat leftovers.

5. Fruits

Sadly, fruit is responsible for 9% of all foodborne illnesses, the CDC says. Fruits can be contaminated anywhere along the supply chain. We’ve seen it with blueberries, watermelon, peaches, cantaloupe, and especially pre-cut varieties. Try to cut your own fruit and thoroughly wash it before you cut it. (Do this even if you won’t eat the peel because the germs will work their way into the food if you cut through the skin.)

6. Eggs

By now, everyone knows to be careful with eggs, which are responsible for 7% of all foodborne illnesses. They are notorious for harboring salmonella. Be sure to cook your eggs thoroughly and be careful when consuming foods that contain raw eggs—yes, that includes raw cookie dough.

7. Dairy

Raw dairy (5% of foodborne illness cases) is really the issue here. In the U.S. you are unlikely to encounter these products in the supermarket since most are illegal. But still, be cautious and keep your food out of the “danger zone” and use proper preparation techniques. The CDC describes the “danger zone” as between 40°F and 140°F for longer than 2 hours (or 1 hour if it’s hotter than 90°F outside).

8. Grains and beans

Uncooked grains and beans are responsible for 4% of food poisoning cases. The CDC even issued a special warning against eating raw flour. (Seriously, stop eating raw cookie dough!) In terms of beans and other canned food, throw away any cans that are dented and use proper procedures for canning foods at home.

9. Other culprits

This category includes foods that don’t fit in the top 15 categories and other federally regulated items, such as alcohol, coffee, beverages, ice, condiments, and dietary supplements. These account for 7% of foodborne illnesses.

If this is a lot of information to swallow, remember the four actions: clean, separate, cook, and chill.

Eatthis,notthat article by Meaghan Cameron. Photo credit: Eatthis,notthat

Source: This Is The #1 Most Surprising Source of Food Poisoning, CDC Says (msn.com)

Fall Activity Ideas

There are many fun activities to do in the fall. Try some of these ideas with your children:

  • Start a leaf collection
  • Make a wreath with preserved fall leaves
  • Press leaves
  • Visit an apple orchard
  • Learn about Johnny Appleseed
  • Visit a fire station (October is Fire Prevention Month)
  • Visit a farm
  • Go to a pumpkin patch
  • Roast marshmallows or make s’mores around a campfire
  • Learn about how animals that hibernate begin getting ready for winter
  • Start a nature study
  • Go camping
  • Bake together (Try an apple or pumpkin pie since both are associated with autumn.)

Source: Beverly Hernandez for Fall Wordsearch, Vocabulary, Crossword, and More (thoughtco.com)

Here’s How To Get Rid of Ants

a person sitting on the grass

No matter where you live, ants are always uninvited houseguests that somehow manage to keep showing up. A few ants here and there is frustrating, but an entire colony can transfer bacteria, contaminate your food, and even bite, if you’re unlucky enough to have a Fire or Harvester ant infestation. Although they’re most common in the summer, ants can pop up at any time — especially if your counter frequently has crumbs or spills on it. Fortunately, this is a common problem and hence there are plenty of natural and chemical remedies for ants.

Here, we’ve included a guide to both natural and chemical methods of how to get rid of ants in the kitchen and anywhere else. Natural might be a better route to take if you’re worried about pets or kids breathing in toxins, but chemical-based formulas or commercial bait often work more quickly and effectively. Just make sure they don’t get into any of food or dishes you cook with if you’re using them in the kitchen.

There are even a few DIY methods you can employ if you run out of your particular ant remover during an infestation. One common home remedy is citrus. Bitter or sour ingredients keep ants away, so consider adding lemon peels to ant hot spots, or squeeze some juice in the area. Orange will also work. You can also make a lemon-based cleaner, or purchase one — we’ve included a few in our round-up.

Here’s how to get rid of ants and all the chaos they can cause in your home with the very best remedies on the market right now.

1. TERRO Indoor Liquid Ant Killer Baits

These pre-filled ant baits come in a pack of six, using borax to swiftly attract and kill ants. The sugary liquid works to disrupt the ant’s digestive system, but before it’s killed, it has time to return to the colony and share the mixture with them. Consider placing them around baseboards or on counters, but be sure to clean these surfaces of crumbs or any other sources of food before placing your bait station there. If you’re looking to avoid spray pesticides, these non-intrusive traps get to work immediately.

2. Raid Ant & Roach Killer Fragrance-Free Spray

If you’re looking for an aerosol-based way to get rid of ants, Raid offers a foolproof remedy that’s helped millions get rid of those pesky pests. This value pack comes with two cans and is completely fragrance-free, so you don’t have to worry about any lingering scents in your home. With a single spray, its unique formula doesn’t just kill on contact — it keeps being effective for up to four weeks, and also works on roaches, crickets and household spiders.

3. Eliminator Ant, Flea & Tick Killer Plus Granules

Another popular way to take care of ants staying past their welcome? Granules. This ant, flea and tick killer uses small grains that you scatter around your home’s perimeter, both indoors and outdoors on your lawn or to protect your garden. You can do this manually or with a handheld broadcast spreader. Just one bag can cover a whopping 16,000 square feet, so if you don’t want to waste money on restocking, Eliminator’s option is an affordable investment for value-minded folks.

4. Ortho Orthene Fire Ant Killer

If fire ants are more of an issue than sugar ants in your home, go for this treatment, which can take care of up to 164 mounds with just one bottle. Just sprinkle the formula over the mound and watch it start working within an hour — no water required. This solution is ideal if your ant issue is mostly outdoors or surrounding ornamental plants, but if you’re an apartment dweller, it also works if you place it around your doors, baseboards, or balcony doors.

5. Syngenta Optigard Ant Bait Gel

Besides sprays and granulated beads, a gel is an effective method of getting rid of ants. This Syngenta gel bait comes in the form of a tube with a plunger, using a potent active ingredient to take care of all ant species indoors and outdoors. The thickness of the gel works to stick onto countertop edges, under ceilings, and more. One buyer says, “After squeezing out drops in a bunch of spots we saw an almost total drop in ant sightings.”

6. Aunt Fannie’s Ant Remedy

Wondering how to get rid of ants without toxic compounds? Consider Aunt Fannie’s sprayable Ant Remedy, which kills ants on contact without any overwhelming chemical smells. For this reason, more buyers feel safe using this product in their kitchen or around pets and children. Others use it to get ants out of their bird feeder without harming the birds. However, it’s worth noting that a customer mentions, “It does leave oil on any surface once it dries so it does need to be cleaned up afterward instead of spray and go.”

7. Mighty Mint Insect and Pest Control Peppermint Oil Spray

Many DIY’er place drops of peppermint essential oil around their house, since mint is a natural deterrent for ants. This Might Mint formula is still all-natural, but comes in the form of an easy-to-use spray bottle rather than leaving oily little drops all over your home. All of the bug-fighting ingredients are derived from plants, with the star being a 4% peppermint oil solution. Unlike diluted or manufactured synthetic oils, this product comes straight from the farmer, so you can rest easy.

8. Heinz Distilled White Vinegar

White vinegar both kills and repels ants naturally. This affordable method involves either creating a diluted vinegar solution mixed with water or using straight vinegar if you can handle the scent. Create a spray solution or wipe directly on a damp cloth. You can also use this naturally bacteria-fighting solution to clean your countertops and floors, which can help keep ants away for the foreseeable future. Don’t worry — after vinegar dries, the scent becomes unnoticeable for most people.

Article by Naima Karp. Photo credit: Home Depot.

Source: Don’t Let Pests Ant-Agonize You — Here’s How To Get Rid of Ants (msn.com)