Free Advice From a Certified Water Technologist

Written by a certified-water treatment expert and an advocate for NY Safety.

As you may already be aware, the NY State is requiring (by law) that all building owners with a cooling tower to evaluate / inspect their current chemical water treatment (WT) program and cooling tower every 90 days. Since these inspections are similar to report cards for your current water treatment (WT) vendor, it will prove less of a liability to have an external third party / vendor / certified water technologist to inspect your buildings' current WT program and cooling tower.

The following analogies should help explain and convince why a building owner / property manager / hotel manager would benefit from investing in a consulting firm / consultant rather than in their current WT vendor for their cooling tower inspections:

  • Would you allow your employees to conduct their OWN job performance evaluations? I would hope not, because this would be concerning for your company; All of your employees would get close to perfect job performance evaluations.
  • Would you allow your building's elevator (maintenance) service company to inspect their OWN work / service repairs? I would hope not, this would be a conflict of interest.

IMPORTANT: The act of having your current, cooling tower – WT vendor conduct their OWN cooling tower inspections for the NY State is very similar to the above noted scenarios.

In the past few years, I have trained hundreds of WT service technicians and WT account executive / managers. And, it was always worrying to see that the majority of new employees in WT companies had no prior experience or knowledge of WT and, even worse, companies had no desire to hire professional water treatment. To prove this, call your WT vendor's account manager and ask him / her where they worked last year or the year before that. They will probably say something like Kohls, Verizon, or even a delivery truck driver. Can someone please explain to me how working for any of the above noted businesses qualifies a person to assist people with Legionella issues? I know … I know … it does not.

After years of working for multi-million dollar WT companies, I understand now that neither geography nor size dictates excellence in the WT field. Only the human mind, passion, dedication, and hands-on experience do. This statement speaks volumes when choosing your vendor to protect your building's tenants from contracting Legionella.

According to the NY State DOHMH, only a "QUALIFIED PERSON" may inspect your cooling tower. The NY State defines a qualified person as a certified water technologist with training and experience developing management plans and performing inspections in accordance with current standard industry protocols including, but not limited to ANSI / ASHRAE 188-2015; A New York State licensed and registered professional engineer; A certified industrial hygienist; Or an environmental consultant who has at least two (2) years of operational experience in water management planning and operation.

IMPORTANT: The majority of Water treatment technicians do not meet these requirements. Ask your WT vendor 's representative if they meet these requirements.

PLEASE NOTE: These cooling tower inspections are hindrances to WT companies, because these companies are already swamped with all of their clients and associated problems. In many regards, they struggle to take care and support their clients. Even worse, some WT companies have a tendency to only provide the bare minimum and, at times, clients do not get serviced for 2 to 3 months. As a direct consequence, WT companies lose many accounts (cancellation of services). However, by the time that they would lose an account, another company would sign up with them. This is what we call in the WT world … A WASH.

In NY, some WT companies are simply too large for themselves and the people who are overseeing the whole operation typically have no formal training in water treatment. Sadly, it is all about being a quantity driven company rather than being what they claim … a quality driven water treatment company.

There are only a few independent NYC / NJ WT consulting firms that can really help secure your tenants from contracting Legionella. These are the experts … these are the certified water technologists of the world … these are the people in water treatment consulting / cooling tower inspection firms. The difference in expertise between a certified water technologist and your regular WT technician who gets minimum wage is tremendous. More specifically, WT technicians struggle with programming water treatment controllers and even worse have no idea how to calculate how much chemical to put into your water system. When technicians need calculations to be made on site they call their company's certified water technologist or make the dose based on some calculation that a certified water technologist has provided them.

In a nutshell, be safe and choose wisely who will inspect your cooling tower and overall WT program. In essence, the only way to avoid unnecessary fines from the NY DOHMH is to hire a water treatment expert.

Here are some questions you should ask during this screening process:

1. Is your cooling tower inspector qualified to inspect a cooling tower (demand proof / documentation).

2. Does your cooling tower inspector understand the intricacies within a NY State Cooling Tower Inspections?

3. Does your cooling tower inspector know how to maneuver through the programming of the water treatment controller?

4. Does your cooling tower inspector know how to actuate chemical metering pumps and different types of water treatment devices via the water treatment controller?

5. Does your cooling tower inspector understand a cooling tower's critical risk points and how to troubleshoot problems once they see them. Are they making the appropriate recommendations?

*** A third party expert and / or outside vendor will prove less of a liability to hire for these new NY State Cooling Tower Inspections. ***

Options for Storing Water In Your Bug Out Vehicle

Water: It’s one of the things you should always have in your bug out vehicle. It has so many uses – drinking, washing hands, cleaning wounds (be careful here), filling up the radiator, cleaning car windows, etc. The general rule is 1 gallon per person, per day, although people can survive with less if physical activity and food intake are minimized (digestion requires water). Here are some options for keeping water in your car, with advantages and disadvantages for each (disadvantages are in italics).

Bottled water – Scalable: you can keep as few or as many bottles as you want. Divisible and portable: you can give out bottles to other people in an emergency situation, or take as many as you need if you have to leave your car. Discrete: you won’t look like a survivalist fanatic if you have a few extra water bottles lying around Reusable: you can re-use plastic bottles if you’re not afraid of chemicals from the plastic leaching into the water over time. Wasteful: Bottled water is relatively expensive, hard on the environment, and the bottles themselves may cost you if you live in a state that charges for them. The ratio of water you have to plastic you have to deal with is inconvenient

Large containers of water (1 gal and up) – Efficient: you can carry much more water with fewer containers to deal with. Contamination: if the water in your big container gets contaminated or lost, you lose your water supply.This is much less of a problem with small bottles. To avoid bacterial contamination, drink from the bottle without touching it to your mouth. I once had a gallon container that I drank from regularly before I knew this. After a while, I started noticing a funny taste and stopped drinking it. I realized that bacteria from my mouth had entered the water and been incubating in the warm car for days. After I adopted the “waterfall” style, this hasn’t been a problem. Bulk: Big containers can be inconvenient to store in a vehicle because of their size.

Filters/Water purification technology/iodine tablets – Filters allow you to use water that is around you without having to carry much of it in the vehicle – Capacity: some bottles can filter a hundred or more gallons. This is definitely better than carrying 100 gallons of water in your car! – If the filter breaks or you lose your tablets, you have to risk drinking bad water – If you’re in a place that doesn’t have water, filters and tablets are mostly useless.

Tips: -keep more than one type of container, and preferably at least one metal one to boil water if it ever comes down to that. In extremely cold weather, water freezes and expands. Empty the bottles a bit so that it has somewhere to expand to.

10 Changes You NEED to Make to Lose Stubborn Belly Fat

Belly fat. Stubborn, annoying and seemingly impossible to get rid of. Everyone wants to lose it but only few seem to succeed. What's the secret? Fat burning pills? Drinking 10 cups of tea everyday? Detox smoothies? Nope, none of that. I'm about to tell you the reality behind losing stubborn belly fat and if you make these 10 changes you will lose your belly fat and the love handles that come along with it.

During my years of experience as a personal trainer I've noticed that all of my clients who had trouble losing belly fat had various things in common that were preventing them from losing the fat.

I've also noticed in my personal experience of leaning out to a lower body fat (cutting) for summer that there are certain things that helped me lose belly fat really quickly while other things actually seemed to prevent it.

I'm about to share with you my findings. I'll be providing you with 10 problems that are most likely the reasons preventing you from losing belly fat and 10 solutions to these problems.

Pay close attention to these 10 critical changes you need to be making in order to lose your stubborn belly fat and love handles.

1. Workout Routine

Problem: Your workout routine is not effective for fat loss

Chances are if you're not succeeding in burning fat then you're most likely doing the wrong workout to lose stubborn belly fat. When it comes to fat loss (belly fat in particular) most people seem to think that 30 minutes on the elliptical and a few ab exercises is the way to go. Well guess what? Not only is this one of the least effective workouts you can do for fat loss, it's also boring as hell and not very challenging!

The secret to getting abs is simple; Everyone has them they're just covered in fat.

All you have to do is get rid of the fat covering them, and sorry to burst your bubble but hours of just ab exercises and low intensity cardio will definitely not help with that. However, certain abdominal exercises can help you bring your abs out a little more (more relevant to guys) by using weighed ab exercises but if you are not losing the fat covering them then you will still never see them.

Another big misconception especially for women is that weightlifting will get you bulky and too muscular. This is full of crap! I'm glad that women are finally starting to realize that weight training will help you lose stubborn belly fat and boost your metabolism. Compound movements are the best exercises to help you burn off fat because they allow you to burn a lot of calories as well as boost your testosterone. The best compound exercises include squats, deadlifts, rows, and presses all with heavy weight (ensure that you're performing them correctly to avoid injury).

Simply put, you need to change your workout routine. The best type of training routine for fat loss is a mix of weight training and HIIT circuits. If you do not know what HIIT circuits are, then head over to my article on my blog explaining HIIT workouts where you can find more information and some sample circuits you can use. If these are a little too advanced for you then you can use my beginner workout routine also on my blog as a replacement for your HIIT circuit.

Solution: You need to do more weight training and HIIT circuits.

Now you¡¯re probably wondering what exactly you need to do for your workouts to lose your stubborn belly fat.

I would recommend following a weight training routine that requires you to weight lift for 3-5 days a week (lower body splits are good to start), and incorporate an HIIT circuit 2 times a week and slowly progress to doing it 3- 4 times a week.

For the weight lifting part of it there are several good routines you can do so just use a basic weight lifting split off the web.

Here's an example overall workout plan you can follow. The other two days of the week will be rest days.

Day 1 – Weight training

Day 2 – HIIT training

Day 3 – Weight training

Day 4 – HIIT training

Day 5 – Weight training

2. Food Intake

Problem: You're either eating too much or too little.

Chances are, you are not eating the right amount of food to burn off that unwanted belly fat.

You can either be eating too much or too little. Either way you're preventing your body from getting into its fat burning mode and causing it to hold on to your stubborn fat no matter what you do.

This has to do with the energy balance equation. Everyone has a certain amount of calories that their body burns a day and this depends on a variety of factors such as weight, activity level and overall metabolism.

Regardless of what workouts you're doing, if you're eating more calories than you're burning everyday then there's no way you're going to lose weight and burn fat!

You will either put on more fat (or muscle) depending on how much more you¡¯re eating and the types of calories you're eating.

On the other hand, if you're eating too little this puts your body into starvation mode which will lower your metabolism, cause a decrease in muscle mass and extremely prevent you from losing fat. A common recommendation is to not eat less than 1200 calories daily, as this is the minimum amount of calories that your body needs to get all of its vital nutrients.

Solution: Eat the proper amount of food according to your goals and lifestyle.

How many calories should you eat? Well that's another tough question. This varies for everyone, but there are a few tools that you can use to get a rough estimate as to how much you should be eating.

You can use the calorie calculator that's in the sidebar of my blog, or you can use other calorie calculators online which will do a much more accurate job since it takes into account your activity level . These will both give you an estimate as to how many calories you should be eating in order to lose fat. The more activity you do everyday, the more calories you'll need to be eating. A great mobile app that you can use to track how many calories you're eating is MyFitnessPal. It has a food database showing the calories of pretty much any food and packaged food you can think of, and you can vary the portions.

Now I'm not saying that you should count your calories everyday to the tee.

What I recommend is find out how many calories you need to lose fat according to the calculator above, and then try to track how many calories you're actually eating for a day. If it's above this or below this, then make proper adjustments and try to stick around this range. It's as simple as that and if you stay consistent then you will see results!

NOTE: The maximum amount of weight I recommend you lose is 2 lbs per week (1 lb per week is ideal) as you want to maintain your muscle and keep your hormones in balance. Stick with trying to lose 1 lb per week. If you're not losing enough you can slightly lower your calorie intake, and if you're losing too much then you can increase your calorie intake.

3. Processed Foods

Problem: You're eating too many processed foods.

Eating a lot of processed foods is one of the worst things you can do for your body.

It messes up your hormones, bringing your metabolism to a halt, and causes weight gain. Processed foods do not come from nature, they come from factories. Common processed foods include candy, beverages such as soft drinks, potato chips, most fast food, sugary cereal (you get the point).

You'll notice that as soon as you cut back on processed foods and start eating more natural foods you will feel more energetic, happier, and crave junk food less.

Some tips to help you avoid processed food include:

  • Reading the ingredients label before buying anything
  • Buy your bread from a local bakery
  • When selecting foods like pastas, cereal, rice and crackers always go for the whole-grain option
  • Avoid store-bought products containing high-fructose corn syrup
  • Visit your local farmer's market

Solution: Eat more whole, natural foods.

Now you're probably wondering what foods you should be eating.

Here's a list of whole, natural foods you should be eating courtesy of 100daysofrealfood:

  1. Whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry.
  2. Lots of fruits and vegetables.
  3. Dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs and cheese.
  4. Whole-wheat and whole-grains.
  5. Seafood
  6. Locally raised meats
  7. Limit beverages to water, milk, naturally sweetened coffee and tea.
  8. Snacks like seeds, nuts, and fruit.

4. Sugar Intake

Problem: Your sugar intake is too high.

This problem I've seen in the majority of my clients and is honestly probably going to be the hardest thing for you to change.

But if you take it slow and make small changes daily, I guarantee that you can easily make this change. Let's take a look at why exactly sugar causes gain and what we can do about it.

Sugar is composed of two molecules: glucose and fructose. Fructose is not a natural part of metabolism and in fact very few cells in the body can utilize it except for liver cells. When we eat a lot of sugar, most of the fructose gets metabolized by the liver. There it gets turned into fat, which is then secreted into the blood (causing your stubborn belly fat).

Fructose can also cause insulin resistance. Our blood glucose levels are monitored by insulin. When our glucose levels are too high (which can be toxic), insulin is sent out to allow glucose to be used by our cells in order to lower our blood glucose levels.

If we did not have insulin or it was not working properly, our blood glucose would reach toxic levels. In healthy people this mechanism works well and allows us to eat high carbohydrates meals without our blood glucose skyrocketing.

Insulin also has other functions, and one of them is sending signals to our fat cells to pick up fat from the blood stream, store it and to avoid burning the fat that they already carry (our stubborn belly fat for example).

Excess fructose consumption is a known cause of insulin resistance and elevated insulin levels, so preventing us to melt off our belly fat despite all of our hard work.

Solution: Limit your sugar intake.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends that you decrease consumption of added sugar to no more than 10 percent of your total daily calories.

This does not include sugar that occurs naturally in fruit, vegetables, milk, grains and other foods.

To put this in perspective, for an average 2,000 calorie a day diet this would mean that you should not have more than 48 grams, or 12 teaspoons of sugar.

One can of pop already contains about 85% of the daily added sugar limit!

A tip if you're struggling to use natural sugar replacements (my favorite is Stevia) which may taste a little different at first but are definitely worth the change.

Some other tips are to cook at home more often, choose cereals low in sugar, stay away form sugary lattes / coffees, and naturally flavor your water with fruits instead of drinking sugary soft drinks.

5. Protein Intake

Problem: Your protein intake is too low.

Usually when women (and sometimes men) think of weight loss, they immediately think of reducing their calories mainly from their carbohydrates intake.

Although you should slightly lower you carbohydrates intake for fat loss, you also need to make sure that you're protein intake is adequate.

Many think that adding more protein to their diet will just lead to more weight gain. However, according to new research, increasing your protein intake can help you lose weight while maintaining your fat-burning muscle along with keeping you full for longer.

Although the main factor regarding weight gain and weight loss is your calorie intake, the type of calories you take in will affect what type of weight you are gaining or losing.

Higher protein diets seem to be more effective at burning fat while maintaining or even gaining muscle (which is exactly what you want!) Than low protein diets.

Solution: Eat more protein !!

So how much protein should you be eating? Well, the answer depends on many factors.

Here's a great table courty of a calorie counter showing you how much protein you should be eating daily depending on your goal.

Person, Situation & Goals

Ideal Daily Protein Intake

Average healthy sedentary adult (male or female) that does not work out or have any related goals. This is just what I consider to be a good minimum daily protein intake for general health / function.

0.5-0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

Average healthy adult (male or female) that IS doing some form of exercise regularly or IS trying to improve their body (lose fat, build muscle, etc.). This is the minimum I'd recommend in this case.

0.8-1 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

Average healthy adult FEMALE what primary goal is building muscle, getting "toned," maintaining muscle while losing fat, increasing strength or improving performance.

1-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

Average healthy adult MALE whose primary goal is building muscle, getting "toned," maintaining muscle while losing fat, increasing strength or improving performance.

1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

If you're not sure where you fit in, then you can use the general fitness recommendation of 1 gram per pound of body weight.

And if you're a little confused, here's a sample calculation:

Let's say I'm a 140lb woman looking to lose fat while maintaining or building muscle. She would very simply multiply 140 by 1-1.2 and get a daily protein intake of between 140-168 grams per day.

Some foods high in protein and low in saturated fat include chicken breast, turkey, extra lean beef, fish, tofu, whey protein, and many more.

NOTE: In the case of people who are obese or very overweight, your ideal protein intake should be calculated using your target body weight since it will be awkward be overestimated due to the excessive amount of fat on your body. For example, a 300lb man looking to get down to 200lbs would use 200lbs as their weight when calculating how much protein they should eat per day.

6. Carb Intake

Problem: Your carb intake is too high for fat loss

For the past couple decades health entities have recommended that we eat a calorie restricted, low-fat diet. The problem with this diet is that it simply does not work.

Studies show that low-carb diets reduce your appetite and make you eat less calories which makes you lose weight pretty much effortlessly, as long as you manage to keep the carbs down.

Diets low in carbohydrates have been proven to be superior for fat loss. It's common for people to lose 5-10 pounds in the first week of a low-carb diet due to losing a lot of water weight. After this, weight loss will slow down but this time the fat will be coming from your fat stores.

However, you're body still needs carbohydrates daily for energy and to keep it in it's fat-burning state. Eat too little carbohydrates and you'll notice that you will not have any energy to workout!

Solution: Keep your carb intake at around 10-30% total intake

A good guideline is to keep your carb take around 10-30% of your total caloric intake.

Use the number of calories you calculated in point 2 for your total caloric intake. For example, let's say I need to eat 2000 calories a day to lose weight. This means that 10-30% of this should come from carbohydrates, which would be 200-600 calories. If you're more active then stay at the higher range of this and if you're less active then towards the lower end of this range.

I recommend that you eat almost all of your carbohydrates during your post-workout meal as this is when your body needs it the most. You can save a little bit of your carbohydrates for a pre-workout meal for energy but keep the major of it for after your workout. On your rest days you can lower your carbohydrates intake even more since your body will not need them for recovery.

Unfortunately, after several weeks or months of a low carb diet your body will start to understand what you're trying to do and lower its metabolism to counteract this.

What you can do if it sees as if you've plateaued and can not lose anything fat is starting doing refeed days. These are days where you bump up your carbohydrate intake substantively and eat back at your caloric maintenance level or even a little over this. On these days, lower your fat intake and increase your carbohydrates intake. You can start by having one reseed day every two weeks once you've plateaued and eventually do them once a week. Refeed days will help you reset your metabolism and is one of the secrets to losing that last bit of stubborn belly fat that will not come off.

Carb cycling is another option you can use which consist of low carb days and high carb days to keep your metabolism revved up and your body in fat burning mode.

7. Alcohol

Problem: You're getting hammered too often

Unlike carbohydrates, proteins and fats, alcohol is what nutritionists refer to as empty calories: calories without any nutritional value.

To make matters worse, it is the first fuel to be used when combined with carbohydrates, fats or proteins which means that food you eat while drinking alcohol will have a greater tenderness to be stored as fat. Alcohol also contains 7 calories / gram, which makes it more calorie density than carbohydrates and proteins (both at 4 calories / gram) and only 2 calories / gram less than fat (at 9 calories / gram).

Alcohol also damages the stomach, kidneys, and the liver and has been proven to lower testosterone which is one of the main hormones for fat loss and lean muscle mass.

To put it in perspective:

  • A one ounce shot of vodka (40% alcohol) contains around 64 calories
  • One glass of red wine contains around 123 calories
  • One can of regular 4-5% alcohol beer contains 153 calories.

Plain and simple, binge drinking is a recipe for weight gain!

Solution: Drink wisely

I'm not going to tell you to stop drinking – it's fun and I believe in moderation. Here are some tips you can use during your night outs:

– Drink alcohol with a lower caloric value, and a higher alcohol percentage (vodka for example). Less will be consumed, meaning lower overall calorie consumption.

– Avoid high-calorie liqueurs. These are extremely deceptive (they taste so good) and will add clearly to overall caloric content.

– Try not to binge eat junk food while drinking. As mentioned, drinking will relax the inhibitions and cause one to compromise their nutritional habits.

– If drinking beer, try a lower calorie alternative. Also, drink diet sodas with various spirits to significantly lower the calorie content of these drinks.

– Drink water between alcoholic drinks. This will increase feelings of fullness and may help to prevent over consumption of alcohol.

– If using chase, try and use less sugary options or carbonated water instead of soda drinks

8. Sodium Intake

Problem: Your sodium intake is too high.

Although sodium does not case gain gain directly, too much sodium intake can cause bloating and water retention which will make your stomach look bigger than it really is (and full of gas).

Not only can it cause bloating, it also contributes to hypertension (high blood pressure). Common foods that are high in sodium include processed meats, many canned foods, cheeses, exports, cereals, sauces, pickled foods and most pre-packaged foods.

Solution: Keep your sodium intake below the recommended limit.

According to Health Canada, people should eat at least 1,500 mg of sodium a day and not exceed 2,300 mg. You'll probably notice that as soon as you keep your sodium intake within the recommended limit that your stomach will look a little flatter and less bloated.

There are some low-sodium alternatives that you can use to lower your overall sodium intake.

Instead of your traditional table salt, you can use potassium chloride (a popular salt substitute) which tastes remarkably similar to salt. However, potassium chloride-based salt substitutes are not recommended for people with kidney problems. Low-sodium soy sauce, unsalted butter and low sodium seasonings (Flavor God, Mrs. Dash, etc.) are some other alternatives that you can use to lower your sodium intake.

Some other ways to reduce water retention and bloating highlights reducing your sodium intake include drinking more water, eating more fiber and drinking certain teas such as peppermint tea or green tea.

9. Sodium Intake

Problem: You're not getting enough sleep

Many of us (especially students) take sleep for granted. But watch out, all of your all-nighters and late night cramming for school can actually cause weight gain and contribute to your stubborn belly fat.

When you have not enough enough sleep, it's easy to count on a large sugary latte to get you moving and you may even be tempted to skip exercise and get some takeout for dinner. However the relationship between sleep and weight gain goes beyond this. Experts agree that getting enough sleep is just as important to health, well-being and weight loss as diet and exercise.

Here's Why:

In simple terms, skimping on sleep encourages your brain to make bad decisions. It actually dulls the frontal lobe activity in your brain which is responsible for decision-making and impulse control. This is what causes you to make bad decisions.

Also, when you're overtired your brain's reward incomes rev up to look for something that feels good. You may have been able to say no to your food cravings when you were well rested, but you may have some trouble squashing these cravings with a sleep-driven brain.

According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people tended to eat more late-night snacks and were more likely to choose high-carb snacks when they were deprived of sleep.

A second study showed that sleeping too little prompts people to eat larger portions of food which extremely leads to weight gain. And in a review of 18 studies, researchers actually found that a lack of sleep led to increased cravings for energy-dense, high-carbohydrate foods.

Basically, a sleepy brain appears to crave junk food with the lack of control to say no. A perfect recipe for weight gain!

Think of sleep as nutrition for the brain. Majority of people need between 7-9 hours every night. Any less than that, and your body can react in ways that lead even the most strict dieter straight to a tub of ice cream.

Sleep has also been proven to make you less hungry, decrease daytime stress levels, increase the body's ability to burn calories and actually increase muscle mass.

Solution: Get some damn sleep!

Now that you know all the benefits of sleep and how it can help you lose fat, I hope that you hit the sack tonight and get your 7-9 hours of beauty sleep.

Some tips that can help you fall sleep faster include turning off all your electronics, keep your room dark, read / write before bed and reduce unwanted noise. Oh, and no late night energy drinks and coffee would help too!

10. Patience

Problem: You're not patient enough.

There's a reason why belly fat is the hardest place for you to lose fat. Your body tends to lose fat in the last place you earned it.

Why exactly is stubborn belly fat so stubborn? Well typically people will gain fat first in their stomach and then through the rest of your body. This means that in order for you to lose that belly fat, you'll first have to lose the fat on your face / arms / shoulders / chest and everywhere else before the fat you lose starts to come from your belly.

When you start burning fat off your belly, it will come off from the top of your abs first and then slowly towards the bottom. This is why the lower part of your abs is the most difficult place to lose fat.

Solution: Be patient and stay consistent.

It may be hard to stay motivated when you're not losing too much off of your belly at first. But consistency and being persistent is key! It takes a lot of time and a lot of hard work but it's definitely wroth it. Once you start seeing fat coming off of your neck and arms it'll only motivate you more to stay consistent so that it starts coming off your stubborn belly!

There's no set timeline as to how long it takes for you to lose your belly fat, but if you stay consistent with these 10 changes then suddenly you will succeed!

Take Action and Lose that Stubborn Belly Fat!

Now that I've shown you exactly how to lose stubborn belly fat with these 10 changes, put them into action and you'll see amazing results! The key points I want you to remember is push yourself in your workouts, eat good whole foods, eat the right amount of food, and allow yourself to rest and recover. It will take a lot of hard work but you'll feel so much better and look so much better that you'll totally forget about all the blood, sweat and tears.

5-Second Rule – Pick It Up, Blow It Off, and Eat It

"The 5-second rule for food dropped on the ground does not work if you have a 2-second dog!"

Studies have been done. The myth, long held in families, that food dropped on the ground scooped up within 5-seconds, is safe to eat. The idea being, it must be picked up within 5-seconds.

Have not we all been faced with that snap decision of whether to eat or discard? How many of us blow off the morsel and eat it anyway? I think even us germaphobes have had it flit through our minds that maybe this time I'll take a chance!

Is it truly safe to eat food that has dropped onto the floor?

As one of my women friends replied when I asked if they did this, "Of course I eat it." I have not died yet! We all chuckled as she said this. Each of us knows we too have snapped up something and ateen it anyway!

Is the myth true? Unfortunately, for that tasty morsel that ends up on the ground, science has disproved the 5-second rule (read more about the study if you wish). We are at risk of foodborne contamination.

But what does this have to do with money, money behavior, or your creative endeavors?

Plenty. And, let me share how it relates.

Let's apply the 5-second rule to something else. Let's apply it to those crazy ideas that pop into your head.

You know, those things that make our breath quicken, hearts race, and pump us up. Those ideas that crop up seemingly uninvited. The urges that excite or scare us.

Creative ideas, juicy thoughts, career or business shifts, life changes, or anything that pops up in your mind. It does not have to be life altering necessarily – just attention getting.

How often do you let them pass through and do nothing with them?

All of us have done this – gotten a great idea, or a crazy one, and tossed it off as unimportant. Ignored it as pie-in-the-sky. Decided it was just wishful thinking. Or, decided you'll get back to it later when you have time to deal with it.

There's the big mistake. There's where the 5-second rule applies.

You must, within 5-seconds, grab it and take action. Or, it merrily floats on by, gone forever or lands on someone else to experience or create it.

No kidding. This is serious stuff. At least for those of you who wish to capture your inner most urges, those things that you are meant to be, do, have, or experience.

I almost let Mr. Uppity Frog slip on by. He showed up in a waking dream, a waking message. I get most of my guidance during my first waking awareness. I'm not quite asleep, yet not fully awake either. It's when I'm in a place of open allowance.

And the knowing comes. The message arrives.

In the past, I have often let those float away. I would believe I'd remember once I was really awake. I would convince myself that my rest was more important in that moment, and drifting off without capturing the gift. I've lost many gifts in that way.

Not this time. A voice spoke to me, out loud. Three words were shared with me … THE UPPITY FROG. Say what? I turned over to ignore it.

Once again, only louder … THE UPPITY FROG.

Okay, I got it. Wait! No I do not. Let me immediately write this down. I sat up, pulled out paper from my bedside table and wrote this down. Then came a few more … The Lonely Lobster. The Silent Cougar.

Since that time, I have tried numerous times to just table. Uppity Frog (he did make it known he is a mister!). Thankfully he's pretty darned persistent, even a bit pushy, and will not let him pass me by. His messages are meant to be spoken and taught through me.

Why me? Who knows. I just know that he taught me a valuable lesson. He taught me the value of the 5-second rule.

How about you? Is there something that has nudged you, pushed you, kicked you in the butt, and asked you to pay attention and you have not? Have you tabled that insane idea, a scary one, or one that seems impossible?

Maybe it's time to apply the 5-second rule? Apply it to something other than food. Do not let it pass you by. Pick it up. Run with it. Take an action to say "YES, I hear you!"

I promise you will not regret it. I certainly have not as I continue on the crazy path, yet profound one, of Mr. Uppity Frog. It's nice to have a partner in business – especially a wise frog!

Creativity As a Key to Success: Cultivating and Tapping Into the Spirit Within

I believe that creativity is an attribute that many leaders desire, fewer leaders believe they have, and in reality, even fewer leaders exercise in practice. Creativity, as an intentional process that can lead to doing or producing new things and current things differently in the future, is a key ingredient to success. Moreover, I believe that each of us has an outlet for creativity to come to life, kindle, and burn.

The brilliance in the documented history of society’s geniuses is found at the crossroads of the art and science of the phenomenon in which they are studying. The fact that the boundary pushers and creative destroyers of our past and present have been equally concerned with the art and science of the problem they are addressing demonstrates their seemingly innate appreciation and comfort with the unknown.

For example, on their pursuit of man-powered flight, the Wright brothers spent as much time studying books on ornithology (the scientific and empirical study of birds) and observing soaring birds as they did studying texts on aviation, mechanical engineering, and man-powered flight. Moreover, it was their obsession with and courage to invest their time observing soaring birds in flight that inspired them to develop the core element associated with their 1903 flier’s success – the patented hip cradle system. Simply stated, the hip cradle system provided the opportunity for the pilot to literally roll left and right and by doing so flexing the tips of the left and right (top and bottom) wings of the flier in order to respond to the ever-changing winds and unpredictable drafts (McCullough, 2015).

This changed the game of man-powered flight and was directly inspired by their observation of soaring birds (e.g., eagles, buzzards, falcons, sea gulls, etc.). In turn, this informed the way they designed their flier and reframed their appreciation for flexibility in their approach and in their actual design (McCullough, 2015). Finally, it was their commitment to respecting and taking pause at the crossroads between the art and science of their field that led to their world changing ideas. To think that the key to understanding a fundamental aspect of man-powered flight had always been there for all aviators and innovators to observe and re-engineer is both confounding and inspiring.

As we begin to think practically about what this means to us as creators, innovators, and ideators it is important to consider where we might start. For me, the creative process follows these five practical, applicable, and transferable steps:

1. Stop and observe the world within your immediate surroundings around you with a heightened sense of awareness. This can include asking questions, making observations, and reviewing artifacts in order to inform, complement, or contrast with what you think about the world. Lead with the question: what do I care enough about to do something about in this world?

2. Intentionally decide to find comfort in and understand the borders and ambiguity of a blank canvas. Lead with the question: how have my observations shaped or framed the way I view this particular challenge or topic?

3. Adopting and applying divergent thought practices to generate ideas by exploring various explanations and opportunities in a free-flowing, deviating manner (e.g., list concepts, ideas, and responses). Lead with the question: in what theoretical ways can we address this topic?

4. Adopting and applying convergent thought practices to refine ideas from a free-flowing divergent exploratory process into the criteria-driven narrowing and joining of ideas to address a challenge or topic. Lead with the question: of the ideas or responses generated, which seem to fit and directly support the challenge or topic being addressed?

5. Post-convergence, develop a plan that includes a simple project statement, which includes scope, schedule, and resources needed. Lead with the question: now that I have an idea how will I pursue and achieve it?

Perhaps most important is that each of us, as leaders – not as human beings – realize that we have access to reservoirs of creativity and innovation. It is up to us to find ways to tap into that creativity and convert it into transformational initiatives. Go for it, find yourself, tap into your creativity, and transform the world you live in for the better!

Anti Aging – Choosing The Right Product

There are a great many vitamins, minerals, etc to consider when choosing a skin care product – especially when your aim is to reduce the signs of aging on your skin. From year to year the advice changes, one year it’s all about chemical peels and the next it’s all about microderm abrasion, and when it comes to creams it can seem a little overwhelming.

There are 2 important things to consider when deciding on an anti aging product. Firstly, the price and secondly the ingredients…

It’s no secret that the cosmetics companies make large amounts of money from sales of their products but ultimately we have to look at the price/value relationship. Many products nowadays charge premium prices but offer little in the way of value.

It came as quite a surprise to me when I first began designing our cream. I couldn’t believe that companies were either charging so little and offering so many ingredients (they were either being creative with their ingredient list, using a fraction of the ingredient instead of the most beneficial amount, or using sub-standard quality ingredients), or they were charging so much and offering so little in the way of ingredients.

I faced an important decision early on about how I would like Sezeur to develop. I believe that it’s vitally important to manufacture the best possible product and then work out the price from there. Our specialist chemists asked us how high we wanted the quality of our cream and we asked them to use only the highest quality ingredients available.

As the owner of a cosmetic company which specialises in anti aging cream, I’m inclined to believe 2 things. When it comes to budget creams, you definitely get what you pay for. When you begin to look at more expensive products I would suggest looking at the list of ingredients and also client testimonials.

Any company serious about its future understands that in order to survive and prosper it needs to have repeat sales from its clients. This is only possible if you have made a high quality product, and providing people feel they’ve received value for money they will talk about it positively.

High quality ingredients aren’t cheap and if you’re considering a product with 4 or 5 ingredients but it’s priced cheaply then be alert. It could be that the company is inexperienced and not charging enough in order to cover its manufacturing and marketing expenses, in which case it will either go bankrupt or raise its prices sharply, or it’s possible that it’s misleading you with the ingredient list.

Similarly, a product with only 1 or 2 ingredients and a premium price tag may be assuming that you don’t know too much about the industry and may be asking you to pay for the privilege of telling your friends you use ‘Brand X’.

I would recommend always looking at the price vs the number of ingredients offered. Where you personally feel comfortable on that scale is down to you. Some people only want budget products and are happy to trade a bit of quality for that whilst others may want only the most expensive product without caring so much about its effectiveness because they love being able to tell their friends ‘they use only the best’ (ie most expensive).

A discerning mind will stand you in good stead when making your decision to purchase the right anti aging product for you. Hopefully, you now have a little more insight into this field from an owner’s viewpoint.

Copyright 2006 Sezeur Skincare

Fitness After Pregnancy – How to Get Your Body Back

How does one define fitness after pregnancy? Is it the slimmer body shape that is more often than not the basis of beauty? Or is it a well-functional and able body that can defy many debilitating illnesses? Or is it both?

I would like to think women are after fitness after pregnancy because of the second one or both and not just the first one alone. Because if you set sights on a healthier body inside and out, you can never go wrong.

Making the Right Food Decisions
If you are given the option of choosing between roasted chicken and T bone steak, which one would you choose? Would you rather choose scrambled egg white for breakfast or a bacon sandwich? Losing weight does not mean sacrificing on the food you are eating before but making better decisions.

You should consider which one is healthier for you and what would give more sustenance to your body. Lean meat and healthy proteins are better in comparison to red meat prepared with a lot of calorie-laden gravy and oil. Start choosing the better alternative. Instead of making mayo-packed ham and cheese sandwich with white bread, go for whole grain bread with chicken or tuna filling instead and choose low-fat dairy products. Start reading the back labels as to what has more saturated fat.

Being More Active
One of the biggest mistakes committed is the lack of physical activity. Dieting alone does not cut it. You should incorporate physical fitness activities as well. The good news is, you don’t have to enrol in a gym. What you can do in your own little way helps you big time.

Walking to the convenience store close to your office or home instead of taking a cab already burns calories. Playing upbeat music as soon as you wake up jumpstarts your energy level. You can groove to its beat while preparing breakfast. You can take the stairs instead of the elevator or the escalator. You can also go for a walk in the park every afternoon. Just allot a minimum of 30 minutes everyday for physical fitness.

Have a positive outlook
You should not concentrate just on looking better. There are also other things that are far more gratifying such as taking care of your baby. Juggle this together with you workout and diet routine and you will feel less of the stress evoked by losing weight.

Fitness after pregnancy involves dedication and a lot of hard work. Give yourself time to see the changes in your body.

Why We Need to Find Alternative Fuel Sources

Like any other perishable commodities on the Earth, fossil fuels also have a limited life span. You use them without thinking today, but one day all the fossil fuels will be depleted. Experts have already set a date when this planet will have no fuel left to run cars. Without fossil fuels, owning a Lamborghini, Jaguar or a Mercedes will not matter. Considering this it becomes important to iron out all glitches on alternative fuels arrangements that have been invented over the years.

In anticipation of the day when natural fuels will perish, other sources have been found but their full potential is yet to be tapped. These alternative fuels when used can prove to relieve the worries of the entire global community and also be easier on the pocket unlike fossil fuels. There may have to be minor re-arrangements made to our machines but it will prove to be an advantage in the long run. Some of the options already in use are:

Biodiesel

Biodiesel also know as green fuel is extracted from vegetable oils and animal fats. Soybean oil is the most widely used oil for extraction as any by-products can also be effectively used and the items used are very much cost-effective. A blend of biodiesel and petroleum in the right quantities can be used to power your diesel engine with and without modifications to it. Biodiesel is an excellent contender for alternative fuels.

Ethanol

Ethanol is produced from sugar and crops like barley, wheat and corn. It can become an ideal source of energy because it is produced from wood by-products and biomass, the stuff which is normally not thought to be useful. A blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline is commonly used to run Flexible Fuel Vehicles. This blend which is called E85 is odorless and helps to lengthen the engine life.

Solar Power

Solar power can be harvested using solar cells. Solar cells convert this energy into electricity. Solar panels can also be used to power machines. Although these can prove to be a great source of alternative fuels, they are far from perfect. The abundant power of the sun needs to be tapped properly to get an ideal alternative for fossil fuels.

Wind Power

Wind turbines can convert the tremendous power of wind into electricity. This electricity can be used to power a number of homes. Wind power is inching its way up to be considered the number one source after fossil fuels. It is clean and freely available to anyone who is able to harvest it.

Conclusion

There are also a few other options available which can be considered to be alternate fuels. With so many choices it is possible to reduce the dependency of the global community on gasoline. These can be produce internally by any country with the raw materials to do it at-hand. It can be used without worrying about the sky-rocketing costs and how the by-products might be affecting the climate causing global warming.

The Wrong Kind of Power

Davia had been to a firewalking ceremony, and was now hearing things and seeing shadowy figures in the corners of her eye. The experience had opened up something within her, something that had become frightening and hard to manage. “Can you take it away from me?” she pleaded. “I don’t want to have this power anymore.”

I know many people who have gone on weekend spiritual retreats that included meditation and a firewalk, and they’d found the experience fun and empowering. Though I wasn’t familiar with the group that sponsored Davia’s retreat, I’d seen their ads on the Internet, and had met several shamans whose names were associated with the event.

“Davia, tell me what you’re experiencing,” I said.

“It’s like I’ve become oversensitive,” she explained. “I feel like the spirit world is squeezing me. It’s difficult to go to the mall now, or anyplace that’s crowded. I start hearing people’s thoughts.”

I recommended Psychic Protection by William Bloom, an intriguing book that’s helped several of my students when they felt overwhelmed after opening their third eye for the first time. Davia dismissed my suggestion.

“That’s not what I’m looking for,” she said. “I need someone to take this thing away. It’s like a curse.”

My lips pursed when I heard that word: “curse.” I don’t believe in curses. People have the power to create their own reality, and those who believe they’re cursed do so because it’s easier to blame someone else – or something outside themselves – for their troubles.

“Perhaps what’s happened,” I began, “is that the meditation and firewalk has stimulated your psychic center, which is something new for you. You might want to think about opening your intuitive abilities more slowly and gently. Why don’t you go to meetup.com and see if there’s a meditation group near you to join? I’m sure you’ll feel more secure around like-minded people who’d like to help you.”

“No,” she said, “that’s not for me.” She sounded a bit angry. “Isn’t there something you can do right now?”

I sighed and sat back in my chair. I thought of Jane Roberts’ series of books where she channelled Seth, an ascended master. In one book, she related stories of people calling with requests to interpret their dreams or solve their problems. One man who began meditating said he was contacted by an entity who ordered him to kneel and bow in his presence. Another fellow said Plato materialized on his bedroom ceiling and he felt compelled to become Plato’s slave.

Anyone was works with spirit knows that the spirit world doesn’t make harsh or ridiculous demands on us. If anything, spirit encourages us to keep love in our hearts and, in the words of Ellen DeGeneres, “Be kind to one another.” Spirit doesn’t want power over us – it wants us to discover the power within ourselves. Nothing is stronger than self-empowerment – which is why I don’t believe in curses.

So, sadly, I knew what Davia wanted – she wanted me to solve her problem. She wanted me to snap my fingers, mumble some words and poof all her troubles away. Sorry, Davia, I thought, but I don’t do magic spells.

“If you want to explore what might be happening to you, I still believe your best path is to join a meditation group,” I said. “If you want to stop negative thoughts, then stop giving energy to them, and stop letting them rule your life.”

“That’s not what I want,” she said.

“Then I wish you peace,” I said, “and I hope you find what you’re looking for.”

She hung up. I spoke a healing prayer that I hoped might help Davia, and then hoped that she wouldn’t look for a solution to her dilemma outside of herself, like contacting a psychic scammer who’d promise to remove her “curse” for a few thousand dollars.

Shine Hardwood Floor Like a Pro – DIY

For hardwood flooring, usually oak is employed. It brings a natural shine to the whole place actually. It is durable and the maintenance of this floor is really not a challenge. In this article we would like to share with you some of the tips and instructions, by following which you can definitely ensure that your hardwood floor shines like a pro DIY.

You must always employ a soft bristled brush with which you can clean the floor and at the same time avoid scratch marks over the floor. Place rugs at the entrance and the areas where the traffic is really high. This would ensure that the debris of dust and sand particles that you have a chance of collecting while you come back home from some other place. But the best solution would any day be to remove your shoes since even after brushing it over the mattress there are chances of dust particles being collected on the surface of the shoe. And one of the simplest tricks of keeping your floor clean is to simply avoid sprinkling water over the floor. This would really spoil the texture and look of the floor and it would be damaged to such an amount that you can be rest assured that it would be beyond repair.

Now if you wish to do deep cleaning of your floor then you must ensure that you are removing all the furniture and cupboards placed on the floor. After that you can use the special attachments that are usually found with a vacuum cleaner. With that you can afford to have your hardwood floor cleaned. Apart from that Murphy's oil solution is also very good for this purpose. Follow the instructions given by the manufacturer in this regard as to how much should be the concentration of the solution in water. And apart from that always make sure that you are having a nice mop along with you. Keep it damp but dry and free of trickling water so that you can immediately clean any area where water must have trickled by mistake. And when you are using any solution, make sure that you have it tested at a small place in the floor. Rub it and see whether the texture of the floor is changing or not. If you find that it is harming the region where you had it daubed then avoid that solution being applied anywhere else.

Another thing that you can do in order to ensure the shiny look of your hardwood floor is to have it covered with a layer of polyurethane. Squeaky floor cleaning systems can be used to maintain this layer in future. Many times we do hear that these products are far better than the Murphy's oil solution. Swifter wet jet is another product that can be jolly well used for this purpose actually. But do make sure that you are not using them if you do not have this coat of polyurethane.

How to Get the Right Garden Bridge For Your Landscaping

The best thing that you can do for yourself is to find out, first of all, what size bridge you want. This will depend on the budget you have and the size of garden you have. Most of all the type of bridge you get depends on the theme you will have in your back or front yard. Will you have a pond under it? Will you have running water under it fish swimming in? Will it be in the sun for long times, so you will have to know if you will be installing a cover in the yard the bridge will be going. There are many different types of garden bridges that you could choose from, there are wood bridges, wooden footbridges, landscaping bridges, pond bridges, foot bridges, wooden garden bridges, Japanese garden bridges, Japanese bridges, red wood garden bridges, curved rail bridges , Short post bridges and so much more that you can choose from. If you are looking for a garden bridge it is very easy to get confused as to what you want to choose.

When you are looking to install a redwood bridge in your garden there are many things that you will have to take into account, like the weather for instance. Does it rain in your area a lot? Does the sun shine a lot? Will it be damp most of the time because you have a water feature in your back yard or even a running stream pond? Will you have a cover? This all answers how our wood will be treated. So before you make that first step to buying your garden foot bridge, you will have to do a lot of thinking

There is something about having a great garden. These days you will find that many gardens in the country keep getting smaller and smaller. The newer the house the smaller the garden, it is a fact in the real estate industry. If you want a big garden when you by a house it is most important that you by a house built years ago. There are many reasons for a person to have a big garden and there are many reasons for a person to want a big garden. It is all good for all of us to want a big garden, but it depends on where your house is located and what you paid for the house when you bought it. If you where one of the unlucky ones and bought a house with a small garden then there is really nothing you can do to make it bigger, unless you want to buy the plot next to yours and break down the wall separating the two plots, or If you want to make your house smaller so you can have a bigger garden. The choice is yours, because it is advised that you look for a house with a big garden to begin with, this way you will be able to fit your garden bridge right where you would like it.

Illustrative Speaking in Your Promotional Oral Interview

Certainly one of the primary performance objectives in the oral interview is to be distinct and disunited from the assembly line of others who are competing for your promotion. Panel members are looking for a diamond amongst a pile of rocks.

A very powerful technique, often overlooked or underused, is illustrative speaking. Reciting a memorized definition of leadership; describing pre-scripted motivation techniques; or discussing supervisory styles are fine, however such average descriptions pale in comparison when they are exemplified through real-life examples or verbal pictures so lucid that the panel can see what you saw or feel what you felt.

Using ethics as an example, most candidates might describe integrity by using the cliché; “Integrity is doing the right thing when nobody else is watching”. This is a nice statement, but does it really define integrity? Others will define integrity with other ethical descriptors such as being honest, having high morals, or possessing strong values; all of which help to describe integrity, but even collectively, cannot define it.

Using illustrative speaking, integrity might be defined as a gun safe that can never be breached or compromised; it’s a nuclear submarine with no crush depth and no crack will breach the hull, no nut will fail under the pressure, and no water will compromise the sub’s interior; it’s a line of police officers standing shoulder to shoulder linked holding back a riotous mob, none of whom can get through the integrity of the line. Illustrations such as these are followed by a concise definition; Integrity is uncompromising completeness and wholeness that cannot be breached.

Now, instead of the panel members merely hearing the words honesty, doing the right thing, principles, and values, they are visualizing a sturdy gun safe; they are seeing a submarine deep below the ocean’s surface prevailing against the great pressure; they are remembering when they were once shoulder to shoulder with other officers during civil unrest or that large party call that turned violent. Panel members are not only hearing what you say, they are seeing it as well and that is powerful communication and this technique can be used with any subject.

Equally effective to illustrative speaking-the use of metaphors and analogies-are the use of real-life examples. For example a candidate may respond to a question about motivation by not only defining it, but also describing in specific detail how he used several techniques to successfully motivate others in the past. This represents a candidate who has been there and done that and illustrates tangible experience. Lastly, the candidate might identify this experience as a valuable and needed characteristic of the position he or she is competing for.

Illustrative speaking, used correctly, can be very powerful and it allows the candidate’s words and descriptions to come to life, enabling the panel to see the answer as well as hear it. Compare an interview response that provides only a definition to one that offers a descriptive illustration, followed by a concise definition, and then supported by a true-life example and the choice is clear. Test well!

The Billionaire Bears Club

I never had the privilege to interview the famous investor Sir John Templeton. But one of my own financial mentors did.

Some of you may remember the name of Paul Kangas. For three decades, he was basically the “Walter Cronkite” of financial television… long before CNBC, Fox Business and Bloomberg joined the game.

I remember Paul flying out with a camera crew to interview Templeton at his home in The Bahamas, right at the height of the runaway housing boom. Asked his opinion of the U.S. stock market, Templeton said it was on “dangerous ground.”

How right he was.

Templeton was no perma-bear. His success as an investor was well-known; his growth mutual fund compiled an average return of 14.5% between 1954 and 1992 when he retired. Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t recite his adage to “buy at the point of maximum pessimism.”

But Templeton was no perma-bull either. I keep in mind what Templeton said in that 2005 interview: “When the crowd is overenthusiastically trying to buy, help them – and sell.”

Today, it looks like a growing crop of billionaires is doing just that…

Let’s call them the “billionaire bears club.”

Until a few weeks ago, George Soros (net worth $24 billion) was more famous to a younger generation of Wall Street traders for his political utterances than his trading feats. His most well-known investments, like “breaking the Bank of England” by betting against the pound, are decades past.

No more. The Wall Street Journal tells us Soros is coming out of retirement to make hugely bearish bets against the S&P 500 (and bullish bets for gold and gold mining companies).

Then there’s Carl Icahn (net worth $20.5 billion) who turned bearish last year. Icahn recently told CNBC: “I don’t think you can have [near] zero interest rates for much longer without having these bubbles explode on you.”

Likewise, Soros’ old hedge fund partner Stanley Druckenmiller (net worth $2 billion) started buying gold last year, and remains über bearish on the stock market.

Paul Singer, another billionaire hedge fund manager, is probably the least well-known among the “club” members. But he told Institutional Investor in May that developed countries such as the U.S. suffer from “monetary extremism” alongside a dangerously overinflated stock market.

Regardless of the billionaire bears club, Templeton’s “crowd” remains overenthusiastic indeed.

Maximum Optimism?

As of this morning, the S&P 500 remains within three percentage points of all-time highs. And don’t be surprised if we break out to new all-time highs yet again before it’s all over. It’s just the perverse nature of the stock market, doing its utmost to confuse the largest number of people at critical junctures.

Then there’s the activity in the most speculative end of the market – small-cap stocks. Again, it’s a classic sign of investors throwing caution to the wind. The Russell 2000 Index of small-capitalization stocks is up more than 20% since its February lows – nearly double the performance of the S&P 500.

Are we seeing a repeat of last year’s “late to the party” behavior, setting everyone up for a stock market “cliff jump” into the abyss?

Between October 2014 and May 2015, the Russell 2000 notched an 18% gain. What followed was a steep 14% swoon for the blue-chip index, while the small caps fell 24% into this year’s February lows.

Finally, various short-term sentiment indicators point to investors’ mounting disregard for risk. From the CBOE put/call ratio (which measures pessimism versus optimism among option players) to the McClellan Summation Index (which measures volume within ascending stocks versus descending ones), all are at bullish extremes.

CNN’s financial web editors keep a nifty “Fear & Greed Index,” which tracks these and five other well-known gauges of investor opinion. The individual components, each measured in equal amounts, are then put together for the index reading.

The current reading? “Extreme greed.”

The last time this particular index hit this level or higher was in mid-2014. The S&P 500 went on to plunge more than 7% in September that year.

Heading for the Stock Market Exits

It’s not just the billionaire investors like Soros. Last week, Bloomberg noted that investors outside the United States sold a record $128 billion worth of U.S. stocks in the past 12 months.

What do they see that today’s bullish investors don’t?

International investors see the same things that we’ve has pointed out numerous times – the U.S. stock market is overpriced. The best values lie offshore. And, no surprise here, there’s little actual growth among the swath of large companies that contribute the lion’s share of economic activity in this country.

Certain billionaires see it. International investors are starting to see it. The big question is when will Templeton’s “crowd” start to recognize the same trend?

Interesting Facts About Bolivia’s Sports

Did You Know…

Like Un Yong Kim (South Korea), Sheik Fahad Al-Sabah (Kuwait) and Joao Havelange (Brazil), José Gamarra Zorrilla was one of the best Olympic leaders in the Third World. He played a major role in promoting the values of sports in Bolivia and Latin America. José dedicated his life to fight against indifference to sports and the deplorable condition of the athletes in Bolivia. His country is one of the Third World`s poorest countries. Furthermore, Bolivia has had a record 194 attempted coups. However, under his leadership, several international congress and events were organized in La Paz, Cochabamba, Oruro and Santa Cruz de la Sierra. José was president of the Organizing Committee of the La Paz Bolivarian Games (1977) and for the South American Games in Bolivia (1978). As president of the Bolivian Olympic Committee (1970-1982), he led Bolivia to the best result ever in its history: 106 medals in the South American Games. He headed the Bolivian delegation at the Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. Many South Americans consider José Gamarra Zorrilla as the greatest South American Olympic leader of the 20th century.

This country had great sportspersons: Mario Martinez (tennis), Alan Saunders (nordic skiing), Milton Coimbra (football), Maria Ortuno (basketball), Giovanna Morejon Irusta (athletics), Ramiro Benavides (tennis), Anthony Iglesias (diving), Johnny Pérez (athletics), Scott Sanchez Saunders (nordic skiing), Oswaldo Morejon (track and field), William Arencibia (taekwondo), Erwin Sánchez (football), Ricardo Ramos (nordic skiing), Guadalupe Yañez (basketball), Betty Saavedra (basketball), Juan Rodrigo Camacho (athletics), Marco Etcheverry (football), Katherine Moreno (swimming), Roberto Nielsen Reyes (equestrian) and Billy Farwing Aranoa (nordic skiing).

Bolivia sent 7 sportspeople to the Winter Olympic Games in 1988. The South American skiers were Manuel Aramayo, Guillermo Avila Paz, Jaime Bascon, Jorge Bejarano, Enrique Montaño, Pedro Tichaver and Luis Vizcarra.

Julia Iriarte is the greatest Bolivian athlete of all time. Why? She won 5 gold and 3 silver medals at the 1947 Bolivarian Games in Lima, Peru. She became the star of the Games. Her gold medals were in the 80m hurdles, discus throw, shot put, long jump and high jump. Her homecoming was a huge success . After she was invited by president Enrrique Hertzog to the Government Palace (Palacio Quemado). She also won five gold medals in the South American Athletics Championships in La Paz in 1948. Under her coach, George Voeg , she broke several national records during the 1940s. Unfortunately, she did not compete at the 1948 Olympic Games in Helsinki (Finland). She was born in Cochabamba, Bolivia on December 20, 1919 to Placido Iriarte and Clara Velasco.

Bolivia participated at the 1979 Spartakiade of the Nations of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

From 1980 to 1984, the Bolivian government destroyed the sport. The South American athletes were not allowed to compete in the Olympics in 1980. Many sportspeople who had trained for years for the Games felt great frustration. Among these athletes were: Johnny Pérez (track and field), Luis Dario Vasquez (fencing), Mary Rojas (athletics), Walter Quiroga (shooting), Linda Spents (track and field), Isidro Guarachi (boxing), Walter Quispe (boxing), Edgar Cueto (cycling), Jean Young Kim Song (judo) and Antonieta Arizaga (swimming). Ironically, the USSR -host Olympic nation- subsidized Third World’s Olympic teams (Tanzania -one of the Africa`s poorest countries- sent 41 sportspersons). For political reasons, Bolivia also did not participate in the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas (Venezuela). For the first time since 1971, athletes from Bolivia did not took part in a Pan American. Unlike athletes from Haiti, Nicaragua, Chad and Sierra Leone ,Bolivian athletes had problems to go to Olympics Games in 1984.

Johnny Perez took part in the 1978 South American Games in La Paz, Bolivia, winning three gold medals in athletics, in 1,500m, 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase.

The La Paz Olympic Stadium is one of the most modern in Latin America and the Caribbean. Among the athletes who have competed in the Olympic Stadium are Romario de Souza Faria (soccer/ Brazil), Joao Carlos de Oliveira (athletics /Brazil), José Luis Chilavert (soccer /Paraguay), Tito Stenier (athletics /Argentina), Edith Noeding (track and field/ Peru) and Carlos Caetano Bledron Verri (soccer/ Brazil).

Giovanna Morejon Irusta finished 16th in the 20-kilometer walk at the 2003 World Athletics Championships in Paris, France.

Katherine Moreno was one of the youngest swimmers at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.

The Bolivian team won the silver medal at the South American Basketball Championship and qualified for the World Women’s Basketball Championship in 1978 in Seoul (South Korea). Bolivia qualified for a world tournament for the first time.The heroines were: Janeth Blanco Saavedra, Betty Saavedra Zaconeta, Daysy Chucatini Torrico, Liceo Rojas Arteaga, Norma Zambrano Siles, Elizabeth Navia Ledesma, Guadalupe Yañez Heredia, Tania Claros Vargas, Antonieta Gudmanson Torres, Judith Quiñones Miranda and Vania Claros de Justinino.

Bolivia sent only one athlete (Fernando Inchauste Montalvo/ kayak) to the Summer Olympics in 1960.

From 1971 to 1979, 500 Bolivian athletes participated in international tournaments and competitions.

Like Hortencia Maria de Fatima Marcari (Brazil) and Carol Turney (Canada), Guadalupe Yañez was one of the best basketball players in the 1979 Pan American Games in San Juan de Puerto Rico.

Erwin Sanchez was one of the most important football players in Bolivia in the 1990s.

From 1975 to 1977, more than 25 foreign coaches helped to train Bolivian sportspeople in preparation for the international competitions (Olympic Games, Bolivarian Games, Pan American Games and South American Games). The coaches were: Bornj Wangemann (athletics/ West Germany), Mike Lucero (basketball/ USA), Paul Gonzalez (basketball/ USA), Stanislav Golubkov (boxing/ USSR), Heriberto Diaz (cycling/ Mexico), Pedro Escobar (equestrian / Chile), Stanislav Spyra (fencing/ Poland), Walter Madel (fencing/ West Germany), Eduardo Virba (football/ West Germany), Dale Cutler (gymnastics/ USA), Donald Howorth (gymnastics/ USA), Pedro Ortega (gymnastics/ Mexico), Jasuhido Takasuka (judo/ Japan), Benigno Marquez (wrestling/ Venezuela), Karol Czarkoswki (weightlifting/ Poland), Wu Yu Yung (swimming/ Taiwan), Yadwiga Czarkoswka (swimming/ Poland), Adolfo Coronado (swimming/ Ecuador), Francis Conway (shooting/ USA), Nicolay Durnev (shooting/ USSR), Cselaw Gajdamovicz (volleyball/ Poland), Tien Heing Hisch (volleyball/ China), Chiu Chiao Chi (volleyball/ Taiwan) and Lin Chou Nou (volleyball/ China).

How to Lose a Belly by Correcting Your Posture

The human body is something marvelous. It is designed in a way that everything is connected, everything you do in one part influences the other. You can’t separate them because the human body is a whole. This way you’ll understand how correcting the posture on your back determines the way your belly looks. Just by changing your posture to a correct form you can in fact look slimmer and fit. Here are a few tips you must keep in mind in order to achieve what I have just told you.

Stand Up Straight

Well don’t just stand straight, sit straight as well! Slouching will make your stomach look bigger, so by straightening your spine you’ll look much slimmer. You may find it difficult to remain in a correct posture at all times, this is because your back muscles need to adapt to the correct posture. So what is happening here? You are also working the muscles of your back. This brings another butterfly effect, which are less back pain and problems.

Back pain is one of the reasons people stop exercising. I all start with a bad posture and from that you need to work. So it is simple this advice, yet you have to keep it in mind at all times. I recommend you write it on a small paper just to remind you.

Do Back Extensions

If you’ve read my other articles, you know the crunchless crunch. This is a similar movement but backwards.

1. Lie on your stomach, forehead on the floor.

2. Put your arms on the sides with your palms facing the ceiling.

3. Contract your back muscles to lift your torso off the floor, and hold the contraction briefly.

4. Slowly and with control, lower back your torso down to the floor, repeat for a set.

Following this simple advice in the article will do wonders for both your posture and your belly. Back muscles are as important as stomach muscles so I recommend you to keep working on them but with care and the help of a professional, since a back injury is terrible. You can also work some Pilates exercises which are all designed to strengthen your core area (abs and back). Good luck!