Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Healthy Habits: Food Items to avoid while Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can be the best gift that any mom can give to their babies. Breastfeeding is so precious and most moms are proud of their experience with the babies. They are proud as moms who gave the best gift for their kids with lot of sacrifices. However, breastfeeding is not that easy and smooth. If you breastfeed your kid, then you need to take care of your food intake too. While healthy food choices are always a must, you need to know the food that should avoid during breastfeeding.
Many nursing moms think that they can eat whatever they like. It is true that strong flavors in the food may change the taste of breast milk, but most babies are found to enjoy different flavors in the breast milk. Some dominant flavors of diet such as soy sauce or chili peppers were in the amniotic fluid and fetuses swallow a good amount of fluid before birth. So, they easily adapt to those flavors in your breast milk.
Babies may be fussy at the breast or gassy when you eat a specific food. If you find the pattern, avoid that particular food for a few days. To ensure whether that food was the real cause, have it once and see if there is an effect on your baby.
Foods to avoid
Mothers claim that their babies most often object to breast milk after they have these foods;
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruits and their juices such as limes, lemons, oranges and grapefruit
  • Spices like garlic, cinnamon, chili pepper and curry
  • Fruits like strawberry, pineapple and kiwifruit
  • Gassy vegetables like cabbage, onion, cauliflower, cucumber, garlic and broccoli.
  • Fruits that have laxative effect such as prunes and cherries
Breastfeeding mothers can take one or two cup of coffee in a day but taking too much caffeine can interfere with your infant’s sleep or make her fussy. Caffeine is also present in some sodas, teas and OTC medicines. Alcohol is another important drink that you should avoid while breastfeeding. Occasional alcohol drink is fine but having more than one drink can increase your blood level to the point that alcohol gets into the milk.
Above are some the food that you should avoid during the breastfeeding period. I hope these tips are helpful for you to enjoy successful breastfeeding time with your infant!
About the Author:
Amila Wickramarachchi is a mom who breastfed her kid for more than 2 years. She is also a blogger and writes Diary of a New Mom which is a Parenting and lifestyle blog.

Website Spotlight: DriveWealth

Always thought there should be a subscription service for investing?! Well now there is with DriveWealth Unlimited!

DriveWealth has already redefined investing by allowing investors to buy fractions of company shares and own what they love.  Our traditional commission structure, which they now refer to as “DriveWealth Classic” is just $2.99/trade or $0.99/fractioanl share trade..” DriveWealth Unlimited, just launched and provides investors with a subscription based model (similar to Amazon Prime, Netflix, Spotify, etc.) to start investing. For just $5.99/month users can invest as often as they want for $0.01/share. This structure eliminates the worry of expensive transaction fees.

Additional benefits to becoming a DriveWealth Unlimited member include the below: 
  • Access to real-time margin at a lower rate than Classic users
  • Unlimited trading at $0.01/share versus Classic commission structure of  $2.99/trade for whole shares and $0.99/trade for fractional shares
  • Frictionless trading 
  • Affordable, making it possible to diversify your portfolio 
  • $5 worth of stock for their birthday 
  • COMING IN 2017 – partnering with an advisor to provide education materials and further guidance on investing  
DriveWealth Unlimited caters to the new investors (especially millennials); making it simpler to investsave and diversify!

Amazing Apps: Simon Paperless Payroll App for Small Businesses

According to the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016 there were 2,857,000 businesses with fewer than five employees and 981,000 businesses with five through nine employees. That makes 3,838,000 out of 5,134,000 total registered businesses, each of which is required to pay their employee(s) on a regular basis.
Most of the products on the market – and there are some excellent ones out there – focus on the larger companies.  After all, large corporations are far more appealing targets for such payroll service entities.  But what of those 3.8 million companies with 10 or fewer employees?  Most simply cannot afford the high fees charged by payroll companies while many also don’t require the full slate of products and services offered.  A very large number of organizations that fall into the category of “micro companies” are typically left on their own to figure out payroll, often resulting in stressful errors and costly IRS penalties.
Until now…
GetPayrollTM, founded in 1991 by Certified Public Accountant Charles Read, has developed a simple Three-Click Paperless mobile app-driven product called SIMON designed to provide micro-business owners and young entrepreneurs with all the necessary tools to easily and efficiently facilitate their company’s payroll, regardless of the organization’s parameters.
Set to launch on Sunday, March 12 at SXSW 2017 in Austin, TX, SIMON is a complete payroll portal app available on a user’s iPhone and Android with an option for use on an iPad and laptop as well. With SIMON’s exclusively designed SmartPay system, companies with 10 or fewer employees can facilitate payroll with three simple clicks on their smartphone. Starting at only $20 all-inclusive per pay period, there are no additional processing fees and no monthly fees of any kind. It’s free until you use it! The only truly paperless payroll system on the market, SIMON is free to download.
“It is ridiculous, that in our economy where millennial micro-businesses with fewer than 10 employees – comprising the largest workforce in our country – are essentially ignored in the world of payroll processing,” says Chris Boyce, Payroll Operations Manager at SIMON/GetPayroll.
According to Boyce, the process is simple.  Basic information is entered into the system by the company and – with a simple tap on the app – an email is dispatched to each new employee who completes the self-onboarding process himself, inclusive of W-4 and I-9 forms. The administrator then sits back and waits to receive a text notification that the employee has completed his onboarding. Next step? Pay the employee. It’s really that simple. You just saved hours of work with SIMON.
“We set out with a single focus – to provide millennial micro-business owners with an easy, affordable and quick method for processing their payroll,” says Charles Read, President, Founder and CEO of SIMON/GetPayroll. “It’s our goal to take payroll to a new level, focus on the largest part of the business industry, micro-businesses, and give them peace-of-mind in managing their payroll.”
Following in the footsteps of several other startup entities, GetPayroll plans to use SXSW as a focal point through which to launch their product.
For additional information on GetPayroll and SIMON, please visit

Thrifty Thinking: Myths and Truths About Investing in Diamonds

Many people are concerned about investing their money in the stock market. Not only do they not trust it, many don’t understand how it works. Even those that do are concerned about putting all of their money into paper. Increasingly, people are looking for alternative assets to save and invest for their future. One tangible asset that is gaining traction and getting second looks is diamonds. But there are many myths about investment diamonds.
“Many have heard statements like, diamonds are controlled by a cartel, and diamonds are complicated and difficult to understand,” explains Sean Cohen, president of Van Zwam, the home of Defined Value Diamonds (DVDs). “That’s one of the reasons we developed the DVD diamond, a diamond investing program that is easy to understand and accessible to everyone.”
Over decades, diamonds have had a track record as a solid investment, as financial insurance, and compact tangible wealth. For these reasons, many people are now taking a hard look at them for reasons beyond jewelry. Today people are increasingly investing in diamonds to have a tangible and resalable asset that is in their physical possession. It’s something they can hold and secure right in their home or pass on to family.
Here are 7 of the most common myths and truths regarding diamond investing:
Myth - Diamonds are controlled by a cartel.
Truth - Since 1991, under EU and US law the De Beers stronghold on the diamond industry was dissolved. Diamond pricing today is purely a function of available supply and demand.
Myth - Diamonds are not rare.
Truth - All diamonds mined are sold, there are no major stockpiles and their price is a pure supply demand market price.. . According to recent McKinsey studies, diamond mining production is slowly dropping and there are no new major mines on the horizon for the next decade or more. All while global wealth and engagements are increasing.
Myth - Diamonds are not a good investment to consider.
Truth - Diamonds have been a solid and enduring investment since the dawn of human civilization. Many wealthy investors have already acted on this. In 2013, Bloomberg announced that diamond prices were expected to increase 6% per year to 2020. Going back a decade or more, including the great recession, DVD quality diamonds have risen, on average 5% per year.
Myth - It takes a lot of money to invest in diamonds.
Truth - Most people can afford investment grade diamonds. With the DVD program, people can invest the amount that they are comfortable with. DVD diamond discs, which range in price from $1,000 to over $500,000, offer many people a discreet way to invest and retain wealth.
Myth - People should be diamond experts to invest in them.
Truth - You don’t need to be a diamond expert to understand a diamonds value, nor to obtain a DVD diamond and secure it for the future. The DVD program allows people to purchase high quality investment-grade diamonds at market wholesale price (PTP), set in an elegant, lightweight stainless steel and glass display discs. Investors can choose the size and value of each diamond, ranging from .50 carat to 3 carats. DVD diamond discs holds up to three diamonds. Each DVD diamonds value characteristics including its Triple Excellent cut grade are fully vetted in its GIA grading report. Each also comes with its Gemprint ID, the unique fingerprint for that diamond.
Myth - It is difficult to determine the current value of the diamonds and keep up on it.
Truth - Each DVD has a serial number that identifies its diamonds. Investors can call the toll-free number at any time to get an up-to-date valuation of their diamonds.
Myth - There are better things to invest in.
Truth - The safest way to invest is to diversify, and investing in diamonds does exactly that. Plus, rather than having all an investor’s money tied up in something they can’t touch, diamonds are tangible and at their fingertips, available as soon as they may need them. They are also indestructible, so investors don’t have to worry about losing their money, like what can happen in the stock market and bank.
“Diamond investing is increasingly becoming more popular, because it’s a low risk option and one that nearly everyone can get into,” added Cohen. “No longer are diamonds just a girl’s best friend, they are now becoming an investor’s best friend, too.”
The majority of DVD customers purchase them to give as heirlooms and gifts to their spouses, children and grandchildren. DVDs makes for an unparalleled gift, because giving the gift of an investment grade DVD diamond not only expresses love and brings them joy, but provides them with a secure investment for many years to come.
All DVD diamonds are ethical diamonds and inspected to meet a higher standard of quality than the GIAs. Each diamond is hand-selected to ensure that it is the size, quality and type in constant global demand, highly stable, high quality, and of great value. The price of DVD diamonds are the global PTP, the same price top-end retailer’s pay, which is up to 60 percent less than the price of the same diamonds in jewelry. For more information on the Defined Value Diamonds asset, visit their site at:
About Van Zwam
As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rand Diamond whose principals have collectively bought and sold over $1billion dollars’ worth of diamonds, Van Zwam developed Defined Value Diamonds to be a secure tangible asset investment opportunity, enabling people to invest in diamonds with the guesswork eliminated. Investors select the weight and number of diamonds they want to invest in, displayed in an attractive, protective case. Rand Diamond is a primary supplier to high-end retailers of ethical diamonds. For more information on investing in diamonds, visit the site at:

Book Nook: Attend

Modern life and technology can make it quite difficult to focus on our spiritual health. in fact, I'm part of a group of women and men who are challenging each other with health-related goals, and each of us picks one mental/spiritual health goal, because it is an important, although often overlooked, part of overall health.
In ATTEND, Christian writer Laura Davis Werezak provides a practical guide and list of beautifully written exercises for encountering God in our frantically busy world. With each reminder and devotion, readers will begin to appreciate God’s presence a little bit more each day.
Reading the book can take as much or as little time each day as you have. If you only have a few minutes, you can get a quick reminder of God's presence. If you have longer, you can really dive deep into the exercises and revel more fully in who God is. Either way, spending some time focusing on God each day can have a significant impact on your spiritual health - which will, in turn, improve other areas as well!

Soul Sustenance: 8 Steps That Can Lead You To A More Fulfilling Life

There’s a reason people love the start of a New Year – or the first day of spring, or maybe the first day of school.
The idea of a clean slate – of making changes or starting over fresh – can be exhilarating.
“It isn’t necessarily that you don’t like the life you live,” says John C. Neyland, author of How to Live the Life You’ve Yet to Dream ( “It’s just that you suspect there’s something you’re missing – something more fulfilling.”
The truth is, those possibilities are always within your reach, Neyland says. “But to have the life you want means you have to change course.”
Here are some ways to make that turn in your life, using what Neyland refers to as “pivots”:
• Put fear in its place and understand it. Fear has no power unless you lend it power. It doesn’t change the end result, and often it causes more damage than whatever it was you were so worried about. Neyland suggests you think about the biggest fear you’ve ever had. What was the outcome and did you recover? Chances are you came out the other end just fine.
• Courage is not the lack of fear but going forward in the face of it. Courage is like exercise: The more you use it, the easier it becomes – and the more you benefit. We are taught to avoid pain and danger. You have to choose to face life with courage – but in the end, it’s how you handle fear and how you respond to it that can change your course.
• Compromise is a dirty word. It can steal your life and dreams. To work for or spend time with someone who doesn’t share your values is a compromise, Neyland says, and compromise robs your energy and affects your momentum.
• There is great value in having mentors. It’s less painful and more efficient to learn from the mistakes and successes of others: a family member, teacher or business leader you admire. Learn from them and emulate them in your everyday life.
• Dream without restraint. Thinking about what you want to do only in the context of what you know you can do is more of a nightmare than a dream. Pursue your goals with all you have.  Don’t be concerned with failing. “The journey and the struggle can be extremely satisfying,” Neyland says. “It rivals the attainment of a goal.
• Be honest with yourself. Many people lie to themselves about whom or what is most important to them. Lying sets off a chain reaction that stalls momentum and makes your life a little less than what it should be. Even small lies chip away at the person you want to be.
• Be impatiently focused. We have a limited a number of breaths to build the world around us. Focus on a goal and don’t wait for the right moment or perfect conditions to go for it. Time matters.
• Control what you can control and forget about the rest. Every moment you spend lamenting a situation you couldn’t control, you’re stealing from yourself. Direct your energy and momentum to something you can manage instead.
Before you start over, spend some time revisiting what matters most to you, Neyland says. What are your values? What are your likes and dislikes? What do you want to do with your life?
“Make a list of all these things,” he says. “Then dream boldly and take action.”
About John C. Neyland
John C. Neyland, president and Investment Advisor Representative at JCN Financial & Tax Planning Group, is the author of How to Live the Life You’ve Yet to Dream (, which is part memoir and part blueprint for readers who want to get more out of life and leave a positive mark on the world.

Book Nook: The Hum of Angels

I recently had a chance to review The Hum of Angels: Listening for the Messengers of God Around Us. Although it's categorized as "youth ministry," it's really relevant for anyone who is trying to see more evidence of God's tangible work in our lives.

Too often it's easy to think of God as a faraway being who doesn't really care. But angels do work in our daily lives, often without us knowing it. There are Biblical examples of people dealing with God's messengers without realizing it at first. Hebrews 13:2 even speaks to this, encouraging kindness to strangers. I myself have had an interaction with a person who I believe was a messenger from God - and I'm not the only one, as this woman joined our church's women's retreat, even though none of us had ever met her before the first time she showed up at our church two weeks before the retreat, and then disappeared without a trace after the retreat, leaving no contact info, but profound impacts on many of us who attended that retreat.

Scot McKnight does a good job of tackling a variety of questions about angels: hierarchy, appearance, types, how they communicate with us, and more. The work is rooted in Scripture, with clear references and justifications for his definitions and claims about these angelic messengers. It's a good read, whether or not you've had an angelic experience, and will help open your mind up to look for evidence of God's messengers at work in your life.

Scot McKnight is the author of more than fifty books, including The Jesus Creed and The Heaven Promise. A popular speaker at events such as Catalyst and Q Conference, Scot is professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. His blog, Jesus Creed, has 3 million page views annually. He and his wife, Kris, live in the Chicago suburbs. @ScotMcKnight

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Book Nook: Stretch - Unlock the Power of Less

Like many people, I'm always looking for ways to simplify my life while still doing what I love. I was intrigued by the premise of STRETCH: Unlock the Power of Less—and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined by Scott Sonenshein. In the book Scott combines real-life examples and explanations to show how more isn't always better - and sometimes we can have more by focusing on less. It's an easy read that really helps people explore the idea of being resourceful and adaptive, instead of trying to acquire more stuff for success. I had a chance to interview Scott to learn more:

Why did you choose the word "stretch?"

Many of us are focused on the wrong approach to reach our goals and improve our lives. We think the answers rest with getting more: more time, money, or other resources. Most of us miss this critical point: We often overlook the value of what’s already in hand. When we stretch, we’re being resourceful with whatever we have by activating our creativity and engaging with what’s around. We also stretch ourselves – by putting ourselves in different situations that help us see our resources in new ways. So we’re not just stretching our resources, we’re also stressing ourselves when we learn to adapt whatever we have to meet our needs.

How can someone get started with stretching?

It doesn’t take a lot – start small. First, stop comparing what you have to others. That leads to what I call chasing, which makes us focus on the wrong goals. Second, warm up your stretch. Look around for an item and find three unconventional uses for it. It’s often easier to see how to stretch a physical resource than an intangible one such as time. Third, try some of these ideas out: Go a day without pre-planning how you’ll spend your time. Read something new. Do something mindless to recharge and spark creativity. Be grateful — and tell someone why. Stretching is all about activating what we already have and creative days – it’s hard to do that if we’re sitting still.


What are some pitfalls with trying to stretch more?

It is possible to over-stretch. Money is one example. There’s an important difference between being cheap where your pained to spend money, and being frugal, where you take pleasure in saving money. When you’re cheap, you miss opportunities to do things you want.


It’s also critical to learn how to calibrate our stretch. I recommend people get comfortable without planning everything and use improvisation to adapt to our very changing world. But if you’re not learning, you’re just flying by the seat of your pants.


How can stretching help in our family relationships?

Recognize that the quality of a relationship is not based on the amount of resources invested – the cost of a birthday present, the amount of time you spend with a child, and so on. It’s what you do with those resources that matter. Oftentimes, the most meaningful gifts are things you make that show the love and care that went into them. My wife rarely buys me anything for special occasions but she gives me the most remarkable and creative gifts. One of my favorites: a scroll to commemorate my 30th birthday where she traced all 30 years of my life by interviewing people who knew me (family, teachers, friends, colleagues) at different stages and then had them written on parchment.

Stretching also teaches us to avoid comparisons to others. Stop worrying what other parents are doing with their kids – whether it be extravagant gifts, overscheduled activities, or lots of tutoring when your child is already performing well in school. Step back and ask what your real goals are. My guess is that lots of decisions we make are driven by keeping up with others and not our real goals.

When we’re stretching, we’re also acting resourcefully to try to make the most out of what we have. Both my wife and I have demanding jobs. That’s why when we spend time with our children, it’s quality time. A ten-minute walk in to school for our daughter is more valuable than 45 minutes of disengaged time when we’re both on iPads. 

Thrifty Thinking: Bitcoin

© Bitcoin Trading

Thrifty Thinking: Where's My Tax Refund?

by John Breyault, NCL vice president, public policy, telecommunications and fraud
The law requiring the IRS to delay issuing refunds for certain taxpayers has caused a lot of uncertainty this tax season. In fact, it is believed that this delay, which impacts those claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), is partially responsible for up to a 78 percent drop in refunds compared to this time last year. This has left many wondering when they can expect their refund in their bank account.
The long wait is almost over. The IRS will begin issuing refunds to those impacted today. While this means that many consumers are one step closer to a refund, the National Consumer League is warning consumers to be prepared to wait an additional two weeks. Due to processing times and the Presidents’ Day holiday, consumers may not receive their refunds until the week of February 27.
For those worried about the status of their refund, we encourage the following:
  • Visit or the official IRS2Go mobile app. These remain the best ways to check the status of a refund. The official IRS2Go smartphone app is available in both English and Spanish on the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Amazon. 
The IRS will update their projected deposit dates for early EITC and ACTC refund filers a few days after Feb 15. Until then, taxpayers will not see a refund date on or the official IRS2Go mobile app. While checking online won’t speed up the arrival of a refund check, these resources can help consumers better plan for any cash shortfall a refund delay causes.
To read the full blog, click here