10 Things You Should Never Do Before a Doctor Appointment—and 4 Things You Should

© Dima Sobko/Shutterstock

Don’t drink coffee before a blood pressure test

Your blood pressure will be probably be taken at a checkup, so avoid coffee right before your appointment: it could affect the results. “Using coffee or other caffeine such as energy drinks or colas within an hour of having your blood pressure measured can make the number artificially higher,” says James Dewar, MD, vice chairman of family medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). “The same goes for tobacco products and over-the-counter decongestant medications.” Don’t miss everything you should know about coffee and high blood pressure.

Don’t eat a high-fat meal before getting blood drawn

You should also skip the fettucini alfredo before a regular blood workup. “If you wouldn’t normally have a high-fat meal, then don’t do it, so your physician can get an accurate picture of your health,” says Deepa Iyengar, MD, associate professor of family and community medicine at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and an attending physician at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. Unusually large meals could skew test results. In fact, you may need to avoid eating in general. “If your blood work will include a measurement of cholesterol or other fats, it is best to avoid any calories for eight to ten hours before the test is drawn,” says Dr. Dewar. “Your blood sugar and certain fats in the blood called triglycerides can be increased for a bit after you eat.” And you may not have a choice: you’ll probably be told to fast and only drink water before a regular blood workup, says Dr. Iyengar

© Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Do drink lots of water before a physical

In general, it’s a good idea to hydrate before seeing the doc for a checkup. “Being well hydrated at the time of a physical will make your pulse and blood pressure at their best,” Dr. Dewar says. “If you are having blood work or urine testing done, being mildly dehydrated can cause artificial abnormalities in the testing that can confuse the results.” You do want the doctor to picture your normal lifestyle, but you should be drinking lots of water anyways.

Do eat as you normally would before a checkup

You don’t need to change your eating habits before an annual appointment, even if you want to seem healthy. “Your providers would like you to be honest and upfront about your lifestyle and diet so they can have an accurate history of your health and provide you with the best possible care,” says Gregory John Galbreath, MD, a PIH Health physician in Whittier, CA. After all, a few days of healthier eating probably won’t matter. “It takes a long time for a diet to change cholesterol and blood sugar, so a dietary change of a few days or meals isn’t going to do much,” Dr. Dewar says. Changes occur over the long term, so just eat healthy as often as you can. 

Read more about what to do or not do by clicking the link below.

Source Link: 10 Things You Should Never Do Before a Doctor Appointment—and 4 Things You Should (msn.com)

How to address an envelope: Your guide to sending a letter through the US Postal Service

Sending mail can be quite a task.

Maybe you want to put a personal touch on your communication with a handwritten letter to a loved one. After all, 70% of consumers say direct mail is more personal than interacting digitally.

Whatever your reason for sending mail, here’s how to make sure your letter doesn’t get lost in the 143 billion pieces of mail the U.S. Postal Service says it sorts each year.

How to address an envelope to mail within the United States

Even if seems tedious, addressing an envelope is simple.

On the side without the fold tab, write the address to which you’d like to send your mail in the center of the envelope in this format:

  • RECIPIENT NAME
  • STREET ADDRESS
  • APARTMENT/PO BOX NUMBER (if applicable)
  • CITY, STATE, AND ZIP CODE
  • COUNTRY

If you’re sending mail within the United States, it’s not required to put the country, but it never hurts to include this information.

On the same side of the envelope, write your return address with your own information in the top left corner in the same order as the recipient information above.

The Spruce suggests using black or blue ink and not using cursive writing. Print clearly to avoid having your letter go to the wrong address.

Your stamp goes in the top right corner. According to USPS, you can send any envelope weighing 1 ounce or less with just one Forever Stamp. Heavier parcels may require more stamps.

How to address an envelope for a business letter

To address a business envelope, simply add the name of the business between the recipient’s name and the street address, according to The Spruce.

It should look like this:

  • RECIPIENT/DEPARTMENT NAME
  • BUSINESS NAME
  • STREET ADDRESS
  • APARTMENT/PO BOX NUMBER (if applicable)
  • CITY, STATE, AND ZIP CODE
  • COUNTRY

As always, your return address should go in the upper left hand corner of the envelope.

According to Indeed, it is also customary to include your return address, email address and phone number, as well as the recipient’s address, in the top left corner of the letter.

How to address an envelope being sent outside the USA

According to the United States Postal Service, addressing an envelope for international mailing is very similar to mailing domestically. The information should go in this order, in all capital letters, written legibly with a pen or typewritten, according to the USPS.

  • RECIPIENT’S FULL LEGAL NAME
  • STREET ADDRESS OR PO BOX NUMBER
  • CITY/TOWN, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER SUBDIVISION (province, state, county, etc.) AND THE POSTAL CODE IF YOU KNOW IT
  • COUNTRY NAME (in English)

In the top left corner, you need a complete return address in the same format.

This article written by Jacob Livesay, USA TODAY

Source: How to address an envelope: Your guide to sending a letter through the US Postal Service (msn.com)

The Tom Hanks Rule

When Hanks got his first taste of success and offers became streaming in, that the actor says he learned an important lesson- one that can benefit entrepreneurs, freelancers, and other small business owners, as their work and reputations start to grow. He was speaking about how he got to a place where he could make the movies he really wanted to make. To do that, says Hanks, he needed to learn to say a very difficult word to people.

That word was “no.”

© Photo: Getty Images Tom Hanks

“The odd lesson for that is I figured out that’s how you end up making the favorable work you do,” said Hanks in an interview. “Saying yes, then you just work. But saying no means you made the choice of the type of story you wanted to tell and the type of character you want to play.”

There’s a lot of wisdom in these words. When it comes to my own work, they’ve helped teach me to set my own priorities and create a business that helps me to achieve my own personal goals.

I like to call this lesson, the “Tom Hanks Rule.”

Getting more out of work and life means learning to say no

The Tom Hanks rule helps you to develop self-management, a key facet of emotional intelligence. It states simply:

Every time you say yes to something you don’t really want, you’re actually saying no to the things you do.

It’s important to remember this, because it’s easy to get caught up in the moment. You might get in the habit of saying yes to everyone’s request for a favor, just because you want to be helpful. Or, you might accept whatever work comes your way-even if it prevents you from reaching your goals.

When you remember the Tom Hanks rule, you remind yourself that every decision has consequences, and that there is only a certain amount of hours in the day, days in the week, and weeks in the year.

This is especially important to remember as your business becomes more successful. As an owner, you might chafe at the idea of turning down sure work. But part of the beauty of running a successful business is that you can get more picky with how you choose to spend your time.

You don’t have to work with every client; you can focus on the clients you enjoy working with.

You don’t have to spend time on tasks you hate; you can hire others to care for these, and focus on aspects of the business that leverage your strengths.

You don’t have to work sixty or seventy hour weeks if you don’t want to; you can build your work schedule around other things that are just as important to you, if not more so.

Of course, you shouldn’t say no to everything. Part of relationship-building, and likely what helped you build a successful business in the first place, was helping when you can.

But every day, you will be faced with tough choices, about how you’re going to spend your time and energy. When you do, remember the Tom Hanks rule: Keep your emotions in check, and just say “no” to the things that aren’t important to you…so you have more time for the things that are.

Written by Justin Bariso for INC.©

Source: How Emotionally Intelligent People Use the “Tom Hanks Rule” to Get More Out of Work and Life (msn.com)

8 Natural Repellents To Keep Your Home Pest Free

Got silverfish, ants, spiders, and more? Try these natural bug repellents found right in your pantry to keep pests out!

You might be surprised (or even horrified) to learn that there are essentially ten quintillion insects roaming the earth at any one time. That’s more than 200 million bugs for every person on the planet, according to the Smithsonian. This might just be one of those times when ignorance is bliss, but now that you know, these powerful, natural bug repellents might just become your new best friend in the home. Many are found right in your pantry!

Try These Natural Bug Repellents

1. Cream of Tartar For Ant Problems

When the ants come marching in, reach for a common culinary pantry product, cream of tartar. Not only does this acidic salt help stabilize egg whites and whipped cream, but it is a powerful ant repellent. Just place a line of cream of tartar where ants typically enter your home, and they won’t cross the barrier.

2. Vinegar To Repel Crawling Bugs

For crawling bugs, including ants and spiders, vinegar is another household staple that helps deter several kinds of insects. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and wipe down surfaces. Not only will this keep bugs away, but vinegar is a powerful disinfectant. For fruit flies, put cider vinegar and water in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and poke with several small holes using a toothpick to trap the flies. 

3. Cedar For Fleas, Spiders, Silverfish

Small cedar blocks, or sachets filled with cedar chips, work well to deter a number of bugs including fleas, spiders, silverfish, certain ants, moths, cockroaches, termites, and even some flies. Place the cedar in closets, cabinets, drawers, or areas where bugs enter to create a natural bug-free zone.

More natural repellents can be viewed at link below.

Source Link: 8 Natural Repellents To Keep Your Home Bug Free (farmersalmanac.com)

Keeping open body language makes you seem more trustworthy.

Job hunting and interviewing, dating, or just meeting people can leave a wrong impression by doing one thing that implies mistrust or insecurity.

Doing This with Your Hands Makes People Not Trust You, Experts Say

Especially with face masks covering our mouths these days, body language is a huge factor in how we come across. Whether you’re sitting straight up, slouched over, or fidgeting with your pen, people are quick to make judgements based on the little things you do. In fact, experts say that making one common gesture with your hands makes people less likely to trust you. Read on to find out what it is, and for more on why people may be doubting you.

Putting your hands in your pockets makes people not trust you.

If you want to come off as inviting and trustworthy, keep your hands where people can see them, says Susan Trombetti, a relationship expert and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking. “When people keep their hands in their pockets, it appears they are hiding something. And someone is more likely to be lying because they are hiding their hands,” she explains. Concealing your hands comes across as more controlled, which can be interpreted as “deceitful and untrustworthy,” she notes. “People generally consider individuals with their hands in their pockets to be insecure,” explains Girish Shukla, a mental health and psychology expert.

Keeping open body language makes you seem more trustworthy.

According to Trombetti, someone who is telling the truth—or at least, seems to be—is more likely to keep their hands open and palms up. When your hands are visible, “the physical openness of your body language invites trust,” says Lauren Levy, a sales expert who teaches people in the industry how to appear trustworthy.

“Keeping open hands while talking can give others the idea that you can be trusted and that you know what you are talking about,” Shukla says. “Whenever you expose your palms it means that you are not hiding anything.”

Article and photos provided by Best Life.

Source: Doing This With Your Hands Makes People Not Trust You, Experts Say (msn.com)

The #1 Drink the World’s Oldest Woman Has Every Day

Don’t be afraid to treat yourself to your favorite things.

The Guinness World Record is being held by a 118-year-old French nun named Sister André.

So of course, it’s only natural to want to know all about André’s life in case it holds any shocking secrets to longevity, especially because Andre even survived getting COVID-19 in 2021!

Getty Images

However, it seems as though her secrets to a long life lie in the simple things: helping others and enjoying her favorite foods and drinks every day.

Sister André was born as Lucile Randon in 1904, and grew up in the southern region of France. Most of Randon’s life has been dedicated to helping others, especially through her service as a Catholic nun. But according to CNN, before Randon became a nun, she had spent almost 30 years working in a hospital helping orphans and the elderly, which is something that she started during World War II.

And this desire to help others, which became Sister André’s mission in life, has given her a lasting purpose throughout her entire life. She gave a recent interview to reporters from her hospice home in Toulan, where she told them that working hard to help others is one of her secrets to longevity.

“People say that work kills, for me work kept me alive, I kept working until I was 108,” said Sister André. “People should help each other and love each other instead of hating. If we shared all that, things would be a lot better.”

This comes as no surprise if you know anything about the world’s Blue Zones, which are the five regions of the world with the highest concentrations of centenarians. Among the shared list of habits that many people in these regions practice, having a life’s purpose and dedicating yourself to your community ranks high in importance for them.

While serving others is important to Sister André, she also knows a thing or two about indulgence. In fact, one nursing home resident told CNN that André loves eating chocolate and drinking wine and that she treats herself to one glass of wine every single day!

We can definitely learn a lot from Sister André, especially when it comes to a healthy balance. Life doesn’t have to be all about serving or all about indulgence; we can have both. And it seems like this may be a secret to living a longer, more fulfilling life.

By Samantha Boesch for eat this, not that©

Source: The #1 Drink the World’s Oldest Woman Has Every Day — Eat This Not That

Nearly risk-free I-Bonds to deliver a record 9.62% interest for the next six months

KEY POINTS

  • I bonds, an inflation-protected and nearly risk-free investment, will pay 9.62% through October 2022, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced Monday.
  • “It’s a milestone for I bonds,” said Ken Tumin, founder and editor of DepositAccounts.com.
  • However, there are purchase limits, you can’t tap the money for one year and there’s a penalty for selling within five years.
Marko Geber | DigitalVision | Getty Images

If you’re eyeing ways to fight swelling prices, I bonds, an inflation-protected and nearly risk-free asset, may now be even more appealing.

I bonds are paying a 9.62% annual rate through October 2022, the highest yield since being introduced in 1998, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced Monday.

The hike is based on the March consumer price index data, with annual inflation growing by 8.5%, the U.S. Department of Labor reported.

I bonds, backed by the U.S. government, don’t lose value and earn monthly interest based on two parts, a fixed rate and a variable rate, changing every six months.

While the variable rate is 9.62% through October 2022, the fixed rate remains at 0%, according to the Treasury.

The fixed rate stays the same for the 30-year life of the bond, meaning someone who purchased I bonds with a higher fixed rate may beat inflation for at least six months, Tumin said.

Although the fixed rate has been 0% since May 2020, it peaked at 3.6% for six months starting in May 2000.

How to buy I bonds

There are only two ways to purchase these assets: online through TreasuryDirect, limited to $10,000 per calendar year for individuals or using your federal tax refund to buy an extra $5,000 in paper I bonds. There are redemption details for each one here.

You may also buy more I bonds through businesses, trusts or estates. For example, a married couple with separate businesses may each purchase $10,000 per company, plus $10,000 each as individuals, totaling $40,000.

Drawbacks of I bonds

One of the downsides of I bonds is you can’t redeem them for at least one year, said certified financial planner George Gagliardi, founder of Coromandel Wealth Management in Lexington, Massachusetts. And if you cash them in within five years, you’ll lose the previous three months of interest directly before your sale.

“I think it’s decent, but just like anything else, nothing is free,” he said. 

Another possible drawback is lower future returns. The variable portion of I bond rates may adjust downward every six months, and you may prefer higher-paying assets elsewhere, Gagliardi said. But there’s only a one-year commitment with a three-month interest penalty if you decide to cash out early.

Still, I bonds may be worth considering for assets beyond your emergency fund, said Christopher Flis, a CFP and founder of Resilient Asset Management in Memphis, Tennessee.

“I think that the I bond is a wonderful place for people to put the money they don’t need right now,” he said, such as an alternative to a one-year certificate of deposit.

As of May 2, the average savings account yield is under 1%, and most one-year CDs are paying less than 1.5%, according to DepositAccounts.

“But I bonds aren’t a replacement for long-term funds,” Flis added.

By Kate Dore, CFP® for cnbc©

Source: I bonds to deliver a record 9.62% interest for the next six months (cnbc.com)

Nationwide settlement over misleading TurboTax ads

It turns out the Intuit’s TurboTax services weren’t so “free, free, free”

(SHUTTERSTOCK.COM)

As part of a $141 million nationwide settlement announced Wednesday with Intuit, the financial software company behind TurboTax, roughly 370,000 Californians will receive $11.4 million in direct payments.

The agreement, which included 51 attorneys general among others, resolves allegations that TurboTax’s ads for free tax filing services misled consumers and steered low-income taxpayers away from the Internal Revenue Services’ (IRS) Free File Program for which they qualified.

In fact, a 2020 audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that more than 14 million taxpayers paid for tax filing services they could have accessed for free.

RELATED STORIES

Intuit to pay $141 million settlement over ‘free’ TurboTax ads, including restitution to taxpayers

According to a report from the US Government Accountability Office published last week, while 70 percent of taxpayers are eligible for the IRS Free File Program, less than 3 percent use it.

While this is in part attributed to poor outreach and structure on the government’s part, investigations by ProPublica and officials found Intuit to have knowingly played a role in sowing confusion and guiding taxpayers towards its products instead — products that even when advertised as free often require surprise fees or upgrades to file in the end.

This is especially notable given that the Free File Program, a public-private partnership, was born out of a compromise wherein tax prep companies, including Intuit, agreed to provide free tax filing options for low-income taxpayers in exchange for the government staying out of the tax prep and e-filing market.

Intuit admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement, per a post on its blog. The Mountain View company has faced a number of consumer arbitration claims and was also recently sued for deceptive marketing in its ads by the FTC.

Users who paid for tax services that should have been free between 2016 and 2018 will receive about $30 per relevant year. Covered consumers will automatically be notified and sent checks by mail.

The settlement also requires Intuit to emphasize limitations to TurboTax’s “free” services in advertising.

Article by Marisa Endicott

Source: Nationwide settlement over misleading TurboTax ads includes $11.4 million in payouts for Californians (pressdemocrat.com)

Hackers Exploit a Critical Chrome and Edge Vulnerability, Update Now to Fix It

I posted the Chrome story yesterday however, another browser, Edge, is also at risk. Edge is a Chromium-based browser and needs to be updated against new vulnerabilities.

Google, Microsoft

This vulnerability, called CVE-2022-1096, was reported to Google by an anonymous user or researcher. It appears to affect all Chromium-based browsers, including Opera and Brave. Details on the vulnerability are slim, as Google doesn’t want to share any information that may be useful to hackers

Both Chrome and Edge are supposed to update automatically. That said, you should paste chrome://settings/help or edge://settings/help in your address bar to see that you’re running version 99.0.4844.84 of Chrome or version 99.0.1150.55 of Microsoft Edge.

Source: Google via Forbes and reviewgeek.com/

Google Issues Massive Warning To Users Of Chrome

Google confirmed a plethora of vulnerabilities on their Chrome browser Tuesday, many of which pose a “high” threat level to users.

© REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Thirty different security issues were discovered in Chrome, which impact users of Windows, macOS, Linux, and mobile devices, according to a blog post shared Tuesday by Google. A majority of the information on the vulnerabilities is not being shared by the technology company, as is standard practice with the organization, Forbes reported.

Use-After-Free (UAF) attacks appear to be the best method for breaking into Chrome, Forbes continued. A UAF attack is a memory exploit and has broken through Chrome security more than 65 times since the start of the year, the outlet reported.

Chrome is likely vulnerable to a new type of “zero-day” hack, according to Forbes. A zero-day hack means that the vulnerability in a platform is known to hackers before Google, or any company, can deploy a fix. At present, every Chrome user is vulnerable to this type of hack, the outlet noted.

Google is set release an update in the coming days to fix the bugs that make these hacks possible. Users can manually update their browsers by using the setting feature if they don’t want to wait for the update to go through automatically, the outlet continued.

Research on hacking suggests that passwords of any type under seven digits can be broken instantly, the Daily Mail stated. Those passwords with eight characters can typically be guessed in under an hour, the report continued.

Article by Kay Smythe for The Daily Caller©

Source: Google Issues Massive Warning To Users Of Chrome (msn.com)