Make Eating Healthy Easy with These 5 Tips

Whether you’re working from home, on the road, or in the office, eating healthy during the work week can be tough. It often seems easier, and cheaper, to grab a bag of chips or order fast food. But with a few small adjustments to your routine eating healthy during the work week will be easier than you think. Here are five simple tips to get you on the right track toward making healthy choices:

Prep your meals at home the night before. Prepping meals allows you to plan and control what you pack. Stock your fridge with individual-serving size yogurts, chopped veggies, or fruit for some simple side dishes. Make extra salad at dinner and throw it in a container with some protein like grilled chicken or tuna. It may take a few extra minutes to prep and pack your food the night before, but it’s worth it.

Keep healthy snacks in the office. Stock your drawers and office fridge with healthy snacks like veggies and hummus, fresh fruit, protein shakes, nuts, or trail mix. If you have easy access to the healthy stuff, you won’t be as inclined to dig into the candy jar sitting on the front office desk.

Pay a little extra for convenience. Our first tip, prepping your meals for the week, can be time consuming. If you don’t have the time to follow that tip, try picking up some prepared salads, wraps, fruits and vegetables, etc. at your favorite grocery store. It costs a little bit more, but it’s your next best option to have the healthy stuff on hand.

Choose healthier options at restaurants. Depending on your job, there may be times when you must eat out. The key to eating healthier when eating out is to stay away from fried foods and steer yourself towards fresh produce and lean protein. Most fast food restaurants these days have at least a few healthy options, such as a salad with grilled chicken. Just be wary of the extra items like nacho strips or loads of dressing that negate the healthy aspect of the salad.

Drink water. Always have a water bottle at your fingertips. Staying hydrated during the day is important for your overall health and keeps hunger cravings at bay.

Ultimately, the secret to eating healthy during the work week is to tweak your thought process by establishing healthy habits, and once you’ve done that, you’re on your way to a healthy life! By making wise choices about what you eat, and planning ahead, you’ll fuel your tank to power through your work day.

Five Reasons Why You Should Write a Cover Letter

Many people view writing a cover letter as a chore. You draft your resume, translating your skills into marketable bullet points, and feel accomplished. Then, you realize the job opportunity you are scoping out requires a cover letter. What? More writing?

Yes. It’s worth it. There are several reasons why you should include a cover letter with your resume when you apply for any job. Below we’ve outlined five of them.

  1. It provides an opportunity to present your position-related skillsets. In your cover letter, you can highlight your previous accomplishments and how they align with aspects of the position you’re applying for. Make sure you reference the position description to show your unique qualifications and keep your cover letter from feeling generic.
  1. It includes information that might be out of place on a resume. Resumes usually follow a standard format and often there are points you may wish to make about yourself that won’t fit neatly into the template. As career expert Heather Huhman notes, “Cover letters allow you – in narrative form – to tell the employer exactly why hiring you, instead of the numerous other candidates, is a good decision.”
  1. Its demonstrates an additional level of effort that you didn’t necessarily have to make. Although it may seem insignificant, the fact that you took the time to write a unique cover letter shows you care about getting a job just a bit more than someone who doesn’t write one. It shows you’re willing to take that extra step to succeed.
  1. It adds a personal touch. Your cover letter helps set your resume apart from others by giving an employer a better sense of who you are and what your personality is. It can give some life to your resume.
  1. It demonstrates your writing ability. Almost all employers want employees to be able to write. A cover letter is written in a personal, narrative form instead of a series of short phrases and bullets like a resume, so it provides an added dimension to your writing ability.

Ultimately, a well-written cover letter will strengthen your resume and increase your chances of getting an interview and eventually a job. It’s worth the time and effort it takes.

Fuel Happiness with Random Acts of Kindness

We all want to be happy. According to the wise ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”

Sometimes the smallest things can brighten your day: the sales clerk that gives you a warm smile and asks how your day is going; the kind driver who lets you into a long line of cars; or the fresh bouquet of flowers you find on your front doorstep, just because.

Being the recipient of kindness is wonderful, but what’s even more satisfying is being responsible for it. Aristotle had a word for this too. When he described the four levels of happiness that humans seek to achieve, the first two, Laetus and Felix, are self-centered; the third level, Beatitudo, is the happiness one feels from doing good for others and making the world a better place.

We recently experienced this third level of happiness at Three Wire when we celebrated our own “Random Acts of Kindness Week” in each of our offices. Each day, for five days, we challenged employees to carry out five “nice” things that would benefit someone else.

If you want to try it, and spread happiness, look at our list of “random act” recommendations below. For about fifteen minutes out of your day, you can make an incredible impact on someone else in this world and hope that they too decide to pay it forward.

Day One: Leave a nice note for a friend, loved one, co-worker, or even a stranger.

Day Two: Write a letter of encouragement to a stranger who needs it.

Day Three: Register to become a bone marrow donor at https://www.giftoflife.org/page/content/steps-to-donation. If you are already registered, or can’t/don’t want to become a donor, donate to this or another cause that you feel connected to.

Day Four: Go to Free Rice and spend 10 minutes answering questions. This is a United Nations Food Program that will donate rice to hungry people for every question you get right.

Day Five: Purchase a five dollar gift card to a store or restaurant and give it to someone who could use a bit of a perk.

Five Things to Consider When Buying a New Vehicle

Whether you’re shopping for a new vehicle because you want to or because you must, shop in a smart and efficient way. You want to feel good about your investment. Feel confident that you got the best deal possible and that your new vehicle will get you safely from point A to point B.

The process of buying a vehicle can be daunting because there are so many things to consider. Sometimes it’s hard enough to decide what you want, let alone the price you want to pay; but the following five important tips will help you feel more confident about the purchase you make.

Shop Around. Take time to shop around at various banks for your loan. In addition to finding the most competitive rates and fees, shopping around will give you a more balanced idea about how much of a loan you qualify for. Understanding what you can afford is a great place to start.

Completing a “prequalification” with a lender is different than a “pre-approval.” Both refer to an assessment that precedes a loan application and neither one guarantees a loan, but prequalification requires less information from you, is a fairly quick and simple process, doesn’t cost anything, and gives you a good idea of how much of a loan you will qualify for.

Research Prices. Once you know your price range, research prices on at least two different vehicles that you are interested in, considering the year and amount of mileage on the vehicle. Knowledge is power and comes in handy when you’re negotiating with the salesperson.

Read Reviews. Take time to read reviews and watch YouTube videos that evaluate the vehicles you’re considering. This will give you a better idea of what to pay attention to during your test drive and what questions to ask the salesperson.

Never Buy on Impulse. Don’t allow your emotions to cloud your decisions, especially when you see something you want. Use the strongest power you have for a great deal: the power to walk away and leave the dealership! You might be surprised at how much they are willing to negotiate when they see a sale slipping away.

Use Car-Buying Services. Take advantage of car-buying services that are offered by companies such as USAA. These can take some of the stress out of buying a car— use their corporate knowledge and experience to steer you in the right direction and give you confidence in the decision you make.

Fitness and Stress Management

Stress and physical activity are things that we deal with daily, but you may be surprised at how related they are. Even a small amount of physical fitness can boost your “feel good” endorphins and act as a distraction from day-to-day worries and stressors. If you find yourself stressed on a regular basis, exercise could be a healthy form of stress management.

Exercise and physical activity increases neurotransmitters called endorphins. If you have ever heard anyone talk about a “runner’s high,” they are actually referring to the increase in endorphins they experience from the act of physical activity. Endorphins trigger positive feelings in the body similar to morphine without the negative effects of drug use/abuse. Endorphins are also known to act as analgesic, which means they diminish the perception of pain. They also act as a sedative and can increase healthy sleep patterns, which are directly related to stress, anxiety, and depression.

While involved in a high paced activity, you will often find yourself concentrating on your bodily movements, rather than concentrating on the day-to-day irritations and stressors. As a result, many find themselves able to focus on tasks better, tackle projects with increased energy and enthusiasm, and have a more optimistic attitude in general.

Even if exercise has not been a word in your vocabulary for quite some time, building up levels of physical activity can have immediate positive effects on your overall wellbeing. If it has been awhile, start slow and increase as you go along. It helps to choose activities that you already find enjoyable.

Also, pencil in some physical activity on your weekly agenda; this will help you stick with goals you set for yourself. Exercise is worth the time slot in your schedule as regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress levels, boost self-esteem, ward off anxiety and depression, and improve sleep.