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April 2012 Archives

Honoring Louisiana's 200th Birthday

Today being the 200th anniversary of the day Louisiana officially became an American state, we should probably all take a few seconds to reflect on what a long, amazing, strange journey our state has been on since that day. In 1850, New Orleans was the third-largest city in the country, and Louisiana was the heart and center of the South. Before and since, it's seen a history rich with colorful characters like Huey Long and a splendid mixture of people and cultures unrivaled anywhere else in the world. We've faced tragedy and triumph, and we continue on strong, grateful to live in a place unlike any other. So from Shreveport to Monroe to Lake Charles to New Orleans, and all points in between, if you're a Louisianian, take some time to be proud of your 200-year old home.

A Conversation With Raul De Molina, a.k.a. "El Gordo"

I was recently fortunate enough to sit down for a few minutes of conversation with Raúl de Molina, a.k.a. El Gordo. Raúl is known internationally as the star of El Gordo y La Flaca, Univision's number one-rated entertainment news show. Raúl is a multiple Emmy winner, a frequent contributor at The Huffington Post, a bestsellling author, and a judge in the 2012 Miss America pageant.

Guest Blog: A Peak Inside My Cluttered Mind

A Peak inside my cluttered mind.jpgJust like last spring, you've probably started packing away your winter clothes, cleaning closets, organizing your clutter, and making those last minute tax deductible donations to your local charity. Too often, we forget about the clutter that we carry around with us inside of our minds. We forget because it's cluttered in there, so while we are in the cleaning and clearing mode, let's take care of inside our heads as well as outside.
So you forgot where you put your car keys... no big deal, it happens. But does it have to?
Little things like arriving at the grocery and having no idea what you went for, looking for your glasses while wearing them, finding only one shoe in your closet when you have two feet, often makes us start to worry about losing our minds. These things are often nothing more than having a cluttered mind. There is not a reason to worry about memory loss just because you forgot something. It happens, we're only human (at least most of us are). If you are getting older, and you are worried about your mental health, please see your doctor. There are many simple tests that can rule out serious problems. In most cases, however, the culprit isn't Alzheimer's disease or a similar condition. Instead, most experts consider these temporary lapses to be a normal age-related change in memory function.
It is suggested that focusing and reducing 'mental clutter' may help. 'Reduce clutter. If you don't, you may not get anything done.'
Here are five techniques to try:
Practice 'mindfulness.' Take a class in meditation, listen to a relaxation tape, or try yoga or tai chi. These techniques can help even chronic multi-taskers focus better on one thought at a time.
Turn off your gadgets. Nothing overloads our brains so much as our little electronic leashes that interrupt us in the middle of one task to focus on another. Go ahead, power down your smartphone for an hour - you'll survive! And unless you are really paying attention, turn off the TV and radio talk shows. There is no use in adding a competing information stream.
Listen to music. Though music can be distracting if you are trying to concentrate, it also can help banish unwanted thoughts. To promote a tranquil state of mind, pick music that is calming and soothing. No matter what type of music you like, there are choices that will help you unwind.
Write things down and put them aside. Are you fretting about tomorrow's tasks even though there is nothing you can do about them today? Do you work problems over and over in your mind, obsess about past events, or compile an ever-growing mental 'to-do' list? Keep a notebook where you can write down the thoughts that are swirling around in your head. The list will still be there when you need it.
Get some exercise and spend some time in nature. Physical activity is a great way to clear the mind, and spending time in green spaces provides a calming sense of perspective.
With a little practice, you'll be able to move some of that useless clutter out of your mind, leaving room for things you really need.
[excerpts from CaringNews.com]

A Conversation with Raul de Molina, El Gordo

I was recently fortunate enough to sit down for a few minutes of conversation with Raúl de Molina, a.k.a. El Gordo. Raúl is known internationally as the star of El Gordo y La Flaca, Univision's number one-rated entertainment news show. Raúl is a multiple Emmy winner, a frequent contributor at The Huffington Post, a bestsellling author, and a judge in the 2012 Miss America pageant. In our interview below, Raúl talks to me about his love for the city of New Orleans and its food, as well as the important role of the Hispanic community in the rebuilding of New Orleans and the Gulf South. 

Guest Blog: Healthy Cookie

Healthy-Cookie.jpgCuckoo for coconut... oil!
Have you heard the latest craze about "healthy oils"? Well in case you haven't, doctors and health professionals have recommended a daily intake of two servings of "healthy" oils every day. These oils include common ones such as olive oil and canola oil, but there are also less popular ones like grape seed and coconut oil. One of my friends has started to carry around coconut oil in her purse. She swears by it, so I decided to see what all the fuss was about and picked up two jars of it at my local Whole Foods. Why two? One for the kitchen and one for the body.
Coconut Oil for the Body:
It's pretty much become my go-to for just about everything. I slather it on for the following:

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