How To Add a Fitness Area To Your Garage

How To Add a Fitness Area To Your GarageLooking to add a home fitness area to your garage? The process can be quite easy, and relatively inexpensive. From free weights to home gym systems to cardio equipment, you can easily equip your garage and turn it into your own home gym.

One benefit of turning your garage into a fitness area, is that it is typically a large, rectangular area that can be easily freed up for space. Simply park your car outside, clean the floor, and get rid of any extra clutter that you do not need. Then, add these pieces and get your workout started:

Lighting and Flooring

In order to get a good workout and be comfortable at the same time, you need to have the proper lighting.


Home gym machines (like theses), typically called an ‘all-in-one machine' are a great idea for the garage. Typically your garage will have enough room for you to move from one exercise to the next, and complete it correctly, which is important with home gym equipment.

Additionally, a home gym will come with its own resistance, which can save you money in the long run.

Free Weights

Whether you decide to purchase an all-in-one home gym, that comes equipped with multiple stations and weight plates or not, you will still want to have a good, quality set of dumbbells on hand. Free weights can really help you get into great shape quickly.

free-weightsYou will want a set of varying weights, from light to heavy, and you may even choose to purchase an adjustable set, that takes up less space. These are available from companies like Bowflex and Powerblock.

Those who lift very heavy weights will also want a barbell, and plates. A barbell breaks down easily, and can be stored in a corner, with the plates stacking one on top of the other. Great for saving space!

Cardio Equipment

If you have the room in your garage, you might consider purchasing a piece of cardio equipment, such as a stationary bike, a stair stepper or even an elliptical machine. Before investing in one of these, think about what you prefer to do when it comes to cardiovascular exercise: For example, if you hate to run, a treadmill might not be a wise investment. Think about which activity you are most likely to enjoy doing, and enjoy doing several times a week.

Cardio equipment is perfect for those who live in states with extreme cold (or hot) weather, where you cannot get out and run, walk or bike on a daily basis.

Additional Fitness Equipment

stability-ballAnd finally, you will want to round out your fitness area with pieces like a stability ball for abdominal work, a mat for pushups and sits, maybe a pull up bar, and even some resistance tubing for days when you do not want to work out with weights.

If you find that you are doing longer cardio workouts in your garage, mounting a television might be a good idea, too. It will give you something to watch while you work out, or install a stereo or MP3 system in order to play music while you exercise. Motivation is key. You might have the gym, but if you never use it, it will not work for you.

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Why White, Wealthy Americans Probably Disapprove of ObamaCare

obama-careEver since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (more commonly known as ObamaCare) started, a lot of people have benefited. Many did gain access to affordable and quality health insurance, and it was somewhat effective in reducing the growth in healthcare spending. But for some reason many also do not approve of it, in particular the white and wealthy. While it has positively impacted the lives of the unhealthy, it seems to have negative effects on the lives of healthy and well-off Americans. And what's even more interesting is that we don't see much support from those people ObamaCare benefits.

One study

On February 24, 2014, the Urban Institute published the results of an opinion polling with regards to ObamaCare. This is what they discovered – that “Americans most likely to have unfavorable view of the Affordable Care Act are in the middle- and higher-income groups, have private insurance, are in very good/excellent health, are white, and live in rural areas. Those most likely to have no opinion include the groups most likely to benefit from the law – those in fair/poor health, those with lower incomes, the uninsured, nonwhites and Hispanics, high school graduates (or less), and the young.”

Re-distributive process

According to a local insurance agent I talked to, most of the time healthy individuals are those who can afford health insurance, hospital bills and medication, those who are more knowledgeable with regards to healthcare, those who have stable jobs, those who aren't always subject to racism and discrimination. By studying the poll results, it appears that ObamaCare, to some degree, uses a re-distributive process in achieving its goals. And by that it means that it reallocates wealth from healthy individuals to unhealthy citizens. So now you can begin to understand why so many people, especially the healthy and wealthy, always seem to be fussing about the ACA.

Who likes Obamacare?

obama-care-pinMore findings include that “those who said they were affected by at least one of the early benefit provisions of the law had a more favorable opinion of the ACA than those who said they had not been so affected (or were unsure)… Large proportions of uninsured adults, particularly whites and middle-income adults, were more likely to have an unfavorable than a favorable opinion of the law. In addition, the uninsured most likely to benefit from the ACA expressed only weak support for it and were more likely to have no opinion than to have a favorable view.”

Lack of education

So why do people who benefit from ObamaCare seem to be so indifferent and unappreciative of something that has been able to help them out? Well, the problem isn't in the people. The problem is that there is a lack of public education, and those that ACA actually helps don't quite understand it or how to take advantage of it. So rather than praising it, they either have weak opinions of it or no opinion at all. Here's hoping the government was able to spend a bit of their time reading the poll, as it serves as a call for them to reassess and hopefully do a re-branding of the ACA.

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Proper Diet and Exercise Do Wonders For Your Skin

Proper Diet and Exercise Do Wonders For Your SkinExercise and balanced diet can work together to optimize your body and skin health. For most of us, it’s very difficult to balance a fit body and optimal skin appearance over an extended period of time. While body fat does make your face look better, you really need to work hard at lowering it down if you want to get into better shape. Is there a way to stay fit and beautiful at the same time? Being informed of the right nutrition and exercise can give you your best glow ever.

Skin Health and Nutrition

Most people have experienced and struggled with skin conditions at some point in time. Skin problems like acne, rosacea, dark spots, dry skin, and wrinkles are just some of the common issues people of all ages encounter. Where have they gone wrong? Perhaps, imbalanced nutrition is the culprit. Your skin is what you eat. Your food choices directly influence the health and vibrancy of your skin. By making simple changes to your daily diet, you can greatly improve the appearance of your skin.

beautiful skinOne of the most effective ways to treat skin conditions and improve the appearance of your skin is to consume foods rich in nutrients known to play a role in the growth and immunity of one's skin. Having vitamin A in your diet is essential in the treatment of skin conditions like acne, eczema, cold sores, sun burn, psoriasis and ichthyosis. Vitamin A contains retinol, an important nutrient that helps diminish visible signs of aging and complements the skin’s natural process to reduce the appearance of pore size.

Increasing the amount of vitamin C in the diet also contributes to improved skin health and faster healing. Cooking food in a cuisinart pressure cooker is a great way to keep the nutrients in food and improve your skins health. Dark leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, bell pepper, guava, and strawberries are some of the highest sources of vitamin A. Zinc is another essential mineral necessary for the skin's immune function, protein synthesis, DNA synthesis and cell division. Dietary sources of zinc include red meat from beef and lamb, organ meats, seafoods, pumpkin seeds and nuts among others.

Exercise Your Way to a Healthier Skin

exerciseA daily consumption of certain nutrients good for the skin will be put to waste if you didn't circulate them with exercise. Doing regular exercise can make your skin look and feel fantastic. Working up a good sweat dilates your pores and expels trapped dirt and oil from your skin. When you exercise, your skin opens up and allows blood to circulate and deliver nutrients to areas damaged by the sun and environmental pollutants. Because nutrients are delivered efficiently, the collagen producing cells in the skin known as fibroblasts are also able to function fully making you look younger.

Exercise is the best way to achieve increased circulation in your body. If you get up and went for a walk or a run, your heart pumps up more liters of blood per minute. Increased blood flow revs up the immune system because white blood cell production is optimized. This means fewer bacteria and viruses could creep up your system. Lastly, exercise alerts your body to the stress hormone cortisol which enhances sleep. Sleeping better makes your skin fresh and younger looking. Simply put, exercising boosts your skin health and adds a natural glow on your face.

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Health Benefits Associated with Swimming

Health Benefits Associated with SwimmingSwimming is one exercise that can be enjoyed by almost anyone. From infants to the elderly, being in the water offers a variety of therapeutic benefits. Even people who have a debilitating illness that makes movement difficult can benefit from a short period of exercise in the pool. Regular aquatic exercise is extremely beneficial for the heart and circulatory system and can also strengthen other muscle groups within the body.

Reduces the Effects of Gravity

On land, gravity can make it difficult to perform many different kinds of exercise, especially if a person is hindered by limited mobility or excess weight. Pool experts agree that water reduces the affect gravity has on the body and creates a weightless environment to exercise in. A person who is moving in the water, no longer has to fight gravity. Instead, the only thing offering resistance is the water itself.  Exercise, water aerobics and playing pool games are some of the best ways to reduce the effects of gravity.

Being in a weightless state offers the body the ability to move freely. For individuals with disabilities, this freedom of movement provides them the means to exercise in ways there body will permit. Muscle groups are used that normally are not targeted during other types of exercise. Because more muscles are used and there is less gravity to pull on the body, the joints are allowed to move without being stressed.

Burns an Abundance of Calories

Aquatic exercise involves the entire body. Even if one part of the body is not being used, the water surrounding it is pushing it along, providing a modest amount of resistance. If a person is exercising slowly and steadily, they can burn as many as 500 calories per hour. An individual who is exercising vigorously can burn as many as 700 calories in an hour. The main point to be taken from this is that, movement in the water uses all parts of the body in a way exercise on land does not.

Aerobics and other cardio exercises performed outside of the pool only work specific parts of the body. In the water, the entire body receives benefit. The water creates resistance equal to the amount of force used to move the body through it. If a person moves forcefully through the water, the water resists that movement with the same amount of force, burning more calories and increasing muscle strength. Physical endurance is also increased.


Improves Range of Motion and Flexibility

In the weightless environment water provides, joints are able to move without the stress of the body's mass forcing them to move in ways that are uncomfortable. Moving the body through the water, strengthens the muscles without stressing the joints. For individuals with arthritis or other forms of joint and bone disease, swimming is the most beneficial way to exercise. If a condition has progressed to the point where range of motion is limited, exercising in the pool can gradually reverse a portion of the damage.

The more a person swims or exercises in the water, the more range of motion they can achieve. Increasing flexibility is vitally important as a person ages. Many people limit their activity because exercise is painful. Given the opportunity to exercise in a swimming pool offers them a chance to improve their mobility with little to no pain. With regular exercise, they can regain their strength, improve their range of motion and reduce pain and swelling in various parts of the body caused by chronic illness.

With all of the physical benefits swimming has to offer, there are other benefits as well. The soothing feel of the water as a person floats or gently glides across the surface is extremely relaxing. Swimming provides health benefits on a holistic. Every part of the body, mind and spirit can benefits from regular aquatic exercise.



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Cigarettes Will Be Off the Shelves of CVS

Cigarettes Will Be Off the Shelves of CSVPersonally, I do not understand why nearly every drug store in the country sells liquor and tobacco products. That is why I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard that CVS is now removing cigarettes from its shelves. Cigarette smoking, as we all know and as many tend to deny, are related to a whole lot of health conditions. From respiratory problems to cancer, the habit can have negative effects on almost, if not all, every part of the body. And I think other drug stores should follow in CVS’s footsteps.

A study conducted in 2011 found that more than 32% of pharmacies actually condone the sale of tobacco products. And the California Department of Public Health says that if things continue as they are, 15% of all cigarette sales in the country will be from these establishments, which is ridiculous since pharmacy services should be related to health care and not health demise!

A close friend of mine is an injury lawyer in Portland, Oregon. He said that smoking cigarettes results in nearly half a million deaths each year. That is about 1 in 5 deaths! Smoking deaths are more than the sum total of HIV deaths, illegal drugs, alcohol, auto accidents and firearm-related deaths.

obama cvs cigarettesEven President Barack Obama is impressed with the company’s move, saying “As one of the largest retailers and pharmacies in America, CVS Caremark sets a powerful example, and today's decision will help advance my administration's efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease, as well as bring down health care costs — ultimately saving lives and protecting untold numbers of families from pain and heartbreak for years to come.”

Larry J. Merlo cvsIndeed, the company wants to set an example. Larry J. Merlo, the president and CEO of CVS Caremark stated that “Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health. Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

But that’s not all CVS has planned. CNN reports that the company will also be starting a smoking-cessation program which will focus on public health teachings to further increase people’s awareness about the dangers of smoking, as well as offer smokers the help that they need to successfully quit their nicotine addiction. Sure the number of smoker today is now down to just 19% as compared to the 42% in the 1960s, but still the habit has led to over 5 million deaths each year.

Various health associations in the US, such as the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Medical Association, American Lung Association and American Pharmacists Association have long been advocating to stop cigarette sales in retail outlets with pharmaceutical services, and CVS’s decision to cooperate will hopefully inspire other people, establishments and companies to support the cause.

cvs quits for good

“We need an all-hands-on-deck effort to take tobacco products out of the hands of America's young generation, and to help those who are addicted to quit. Today's CVS Caremark announcement helps bring our country closer to achieving a tobacco-free generation. I hope others will follow their lead,” shares Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. However, there still is no news of whether or not other drug stores plan on doing so.

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Is Grass Feed Beef Better for Children?

grassfedbeefAs a health conscious individual, I find myself drawn to organic products. When it comes to meat, I prefer eating grass feed beef as I consider this a great way to enjoy red meat without its evil side. Yes, naturally-raised and organic beef is the better option because it is recognized worldwide for its fantastic taste, fine quality, and health benefits. Many chefs and health experts around the world believe that grass feed beef contains vitamins and antioxidants that are good for the body. Grass feed beef is, therefore better for both adults and children who want to live healthier, longer lives.  But, not all grass is considered equal, check out for a list of the best types of grass seed.

Why Grass Feed Beef is the Better Choice

There’s actually truth to the saying, “You are what you eat”. Studies have shown that people who eat healthy, organic food live longer lives than those who don’t. It’s also the same for animals. Lambs, cows, chickens and goats that are grass fed resulted to more delicious and healthier meat than conventional cattle. Here are the reasons why grass feed beef is great for children and adults.

  • It contains plenty of healthy omega-3 fatty acids
  • It has a lot of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a type of fat that helps reduce the risk for cancer and heart disease.
  • It is rich in vitamins A and E, and antioxidants.
  • It has more lean beef, which means less total fat.
  • It helps reduce bad cholesterol while it increases good cholesterol in the body.

Make Grass Feed Beef a Part of Your Child’s Diet

balanceddietMeat should be part of your child’s balanced diet as it is a great source of protein, calcium, vitamins and nutrients. While most of us have been raised eating conventional meat, recent studies have shown that these types of meat contain toxins and pollutants harmful to the body. Animals raised with the use of antibiotics, artificial food, and genetic engineering contain cancer-causing hormones. When consumed, these chemicals can stay in your child’s living tissues and cause severe problems later on in life. The more unhealthy meat your child eats, the more he/she is at risk for a variety of cancers and many other diseases. One of the greatest gifts that you can give your child is, therefore, grass feed meat.

Be Sure to Check the Label

When buying meat for your family, check the label to make sure that you’re buying certified organic beef, pork, or poultry. These are grass fed animals raised in a much more holistic environment than conventional cattle. Grass fed cattle is also known to be less susceptible to contamination with disease-causing bacteria such as E. coli. Thus, always check the label to make sure that you’re buying genuine organic products.

Choose Restaurants that Serve Grass Feed Beef

There are now a number of restaurants in the US that serve grass feed beef. Evos, Pizza Fusion, Gustorganics and Amanda’s are some restaurants that you and your child can go to. Burgerville and Bareburger are also two burger joints that you can go to as these are places that serve great tasting, juicy, organic burgers.

Grass Feed Beef is Definitely Great for your Child

Raising children may be hard work than it seems, but love is always what matters in the end. Raising your child with grass feed beef means that you care about what they eat, and want them to grow and develop into healthy individuals. Feeding a child with grass feed beef is, therefore, the perfect manifestation of a parent’s love for their child.

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The Secret Ingredient to Baking Healthier Cakes

The Secret Ingredient to Healthier CakesHealth conscious individuals try to avoid eating cakes as much as possible. Why? For one, the flour used in baking cakes lack the vital nutrients. This refined ingredient stimulates the production of insulin which promotes the storage of fats in the body. Same goes with sugar. Two, there's the use of butter and margarine, which is rich in saturated fat. And saturated fat increases the levels of bad cholesterol in our bodies, a huge predisposing factor to heart disease. Margarine is also filled with trans fat, which doesn't just increase LDL, but also lowers HDL (good cholesterol). With all that said, how can one make healthier cakes?

Making healthier cakes

The answer, according to scientists, is replacing the usual flour with finely ground corn bran. But what difference does this make? Well, it can increase the body's fiber intake. With increased intake of dietary fiber, we get to absorb good amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber that is essential in preventing constipation, heart disease, diabetes and obesity, just some of the many side effects of eating a diet made with refined ingredients.

If you are also servering the cake with ice cream, make sure that you also are using the best homemade ice cream maker as well.

Corn Bran in, flour out!

corn-branIn an article published in, Mukti Singh, a food technologist associated with the US Department of Agriculture, shares that corn bran can be a substitute to 20% of flour. In her experiments, she used white cake gold standard test flour approved by the American Association of Cereal Chemists. But why just 20%? According to you still have to consider the qualities that make up white cake, such as color and springness. Furthermore “one slice of an 8-inch, 6-slice, two-layer white cake made with 20% corn bran fiber would provide about 5 grams of fiber,” which is way more than what usual cake flour can give us. The recommended daily intake of dietary fiber is 20 to 35 grams.

Lowering fat and calorie count

Singh has also worked on experiments aimed at lowering fat and calorie content in cakes. The test entailed encapsulating microdroplets of canola oil wity water and flour by a stream jet cooking process. According to her and her colleagues, “the cream-textured mixture that results can then be dried to form a smooth-flowing, shelf stable powder that offers busy bakers the convenience of not having to pour, measure or clean up any oil. Their studies have established a foundation for other researchers to further experiment on creating healthier cakes, bread and possible other pastries. Imagine feeling less guilty while indulging in all those treats.

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Healthier Ways to Deal with Anger

dealingwithangerWe all get mad sometimes, but there are just some people who don’t really know how to manage their anger, and it can lead to a lot of negative effects to your mind, body and soul. For those of you who have anger management issues, it’s high time you learn how to express rage in the right ways, and here are a few tips that should help you out.

Dealing with Anger

Even more tips

Healthier Ways to Deal with Anger

  1.  A good number of people would rather not think about their anger. They will choose to act out different emotions, such as depression or frustration these are less likely to drive people away. However, suppressing your anger just brings more anxiety and an increased likelihood of experiencing physical complaints. That said, it would be best to show anger directly.
  2. Make an appointment for a massage or other type of natural healer. Often times this can alleviate the negative energy that's bottled up inside of you.
  3. Don’t view rage as a bad thing. Many believe this about anger, and they think that if they’re angry there must be something wrong with them. But anger is simply an emotional response telling people that something is wrong and needs to be addressed.
  4. Women in relationships often get angry because they tend to associate anger with hurt. In contrast, men’s anger centers more on different parts of their lives such as work or traffic or politics. So try not to let yourself be vulnerable to hurt feelings. The less vulnerable you feel, the more likely it will be for you to express anger in more constructive ways.
  5. Talk about the anger that you feel with family members or friends. Reach out to them and they may be able to help you sort things out. If you have trouble saying what you feel, then you can always put it in writing. But while doing that, it would be nice if you could practice how to share your anger or how you will be able to speak to the person you’re mad at.
  6. Also try to learn how to calm yourself. This can help you think about what you’re feeling and what you need to do to solve the problem. This will also help you develop the ability to listen to other people’s feeling, instead of both parties having to engage in a heated confrontation.

Even more ways of dealing with anger

For more ideas visit,,20581256,00.html

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No More Excuses – Start with Simple Exercises

girl-joggingAs they watch their favorite celebrities on TV, people often wonder how these stars maintain the perfect body even in their 60′s. Well, if you get off that couch, try to be more active and keep away from junk food (and stop using the best ice cream maker on the market), you can absolutely be just like like. A lot of celebrities work hard for a rockin' body, and so must you. And don't try to make excuses like “i'm too busy” or “it's too expensive. Most of us work 8-hour shifts, and if you have the time to sot in front of the tv a couple of hours, then you definitely have time to exercise.

It doesn't have to be expensive. You don't need to shell out cash every month for plyometrics classes, nor do you need to hire a personal trainer or nutritionist. All you really need is to eat healthy, do exercises that can easily fit into your lifestyle and practice self-discipline. Get familiar with the FDA's food pyramid and be sure to examine the nutritional information on your food labeling. More on food labeling and FDA compliance here.

  • Go for a Run – Cardio workout is essential if you want to achieve a great body and overall health, and going for a run is an excellent for of cardio. Unless you live in a busy city with people walking in the street all the time, there's really no point of going to the gym and hitting the treadmill. You can just start from outside your home and run several blocks and back, or if you live near the beach, you can run the whole stretch of that powdery white sand.
  • Take on Sports – If you love the water, then why not do several laps in the pool. Swimming is an excellent choice of sport, especially for those who live nearby public swimming pools or those with actual pools in their houses. They're not just there for the summer, you know.

But if swimming isn't your thing, then do a sport you're most fond of. It is more encouraging when you're actually doing something you love. If you used to play tennis when you were younger, then it's by time you get back into the sport. If you've always wanted to join your friends in playing volleyball, then you could ask them to teach you what you need to know. There are lots of sports to choose from. You only need to pick one.

  • Meditate – Many don't realize that stress hinders us from achieving overall health. It actually predisposes us to certain medical conditions like a heart attack or stroke and even psychiatric concerns. The easiest way you can counter stress is by taking a minute to meditate. There are many forms of meditation, and you only have to pick one that best helps you relax. And another great thing about meditation – you can do it while at the workplace and in the comfort of your own home.
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Healthy Lunch Alternative at the Workplace

healthy-lunches-for-work-1There is something different going on where I work, and I have to say my co-workers and I are enjoying the change. We all work at Delsea Auto Insurance Agency and there's a lunchroom available to us with a very small cafeteria. We can use the refrigerator located there if we decide to bring in our own lunches, or we can order from the lunchroom staff, but that's not always appealing. It's typically overpriced food that is not really all that palatable. Picture airport food, or something along the lines of hospital cafeteria food and you have the general idea.

Corporate must have noticed we weren't taking advantage of the lunchroom offerings because, out of nowhere, we noticed renovations occurring. For about two weeks, we had to use one of the empty conference rooms as a temporary break room while construction occurred. When the final reveal was presented to the staff, we were dumbstruck. Not only did the lunchroom take on an entirely different look, but we had many more options available to us. We had more tables to dine at, there were more ports for us to plug our devices in to, televisions hung from two corners, there were two more windows (there was only one previously), and soft music played in the background.

We started noticing a change in how we felt immediately. The lunchroom's vending machines filled with candy and soda were replaced with vending machines filled with juices, deli sandwiches, and healthy snacks. Instead of a al carte area where employees could choose microwaved slices of pizza, a hamburger, or some other quick option, higher quality foods were served. Now, we can order from a cold-served gluten-free menu, create salads from a fresh salad bar, and order fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies.

Instead of drinking vending machine coffee, we can also drink premium coffees. This has made a difference because, in addition to tasting better, I don't mind staying in the office longer instead of going out for coffee during breaks. It's so much easier to run down the hall, grab a cup and select from one of the dozens of choices. This is especially true on busy workdays when I know the weather is bad and the last thing I want to do is fight traffic. This is true in the lunchroom, too. Instead of heading out for lunch, most of us decided to utilize the facilities. It's more cost-effective and it's a huge time saver. We could also hit up the lunchroom when we needed to stay late at work and needed a small snack.

I'm so thankful for these changes because before, when the old lunchroom was there, the only options for out of the office lunches were fast food. I don't mind that every once in a while, but that kind of food always makes me feel sluggish. When I feel that way midday, it's so difficult to get through the rest of my work. With healthier food and the ability to run in for a quick snack or good coffee, I feel so much better throughout the day.

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