Exercise in 7 Minutes or Less

Are you making a New Year’s resolutions this year?  Would you be surprised to know that one of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to eat better, exercise more, and lose weight?  You’re NOT surprised?  We didn’t think so.

IF this is one of your resolutions,  here are ways you can squeeze in exercise each day if you only have a handful of minutes to do so.  Lack of time will not be a valid excuse in 2015 as to why you are not exercising and upholding your resolution to exercise more after you read the below.  🙂

7 Minutes:  Free on iTunes is the Johnson & Johnson Official 7 minute work out app. This will guide you through a series of exercises that take only 30 seconds each.  You can tailor the routine to your fitness ability, ensuring the moves aren’t too hard or too easy, or choose a longer routine if you have extra time.

5 Minutes:  All you need is your body but with only 5 minutes, you need to go all out. Each exercise should be done at max intensity for 50 seconds then rest 10 seconds. Combined, this is a total body workout.

4 Minutes:  Take a brisk walk.  Research has found that when it comes to cardio health and weight gain prevention, the intensity of exercise may be more important than duration. The key is to pick up the pace of your walk to the point where you’re able to talk in snippets but not full sentences.

3 Minutes:  Yep – 3 minutes.  See the video here.

1 Minute:  Set a timer and do jumping jacks, jump rope, run in place, run/walk up and down stairs pumping arms or jabbing, touch your elbow to the opposite raised knee, plank. Any activity that will work your upper and lower body at the same time are your best bet.

What other quick workouts can you do in a short amount of time?  Share with us in the comments.

-S.O.
The Patrick O’Brien Agency – Fishers, IN

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American Family Insurance Partners With Colts during Friday Night Football Tour

We were honored to represent American Family Insurance in partnership with the Indianapolis Colts during their Friday Night Football tour.

Prior to kick off at Fisher’s High School’s Friday night game on August 29th, The Patrick O’Brien Agency represented American Family and presented a $1500 donation from AmFam and the Colts to the Fishers High School’s health/wellness program.

It was an honor and a lot of fun participating in the pre-game festivities.

Go, Tigers!

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-S.O.
The Patrick O’Brien Agency – Fishers, IN

Celebrating 10 Years with AmFam & 10 All Americans in Banff, Canada

One the invaluable benefits of being an Agent representing American Family Insurance is the potential to travel to amazing places.

Each year, agents have the opportunity to qualify for the annual All-American trip.  The locations are always no less than spectacular so we work hard to qualify.

This July we were thrilled to attend the All American in Banff, Canada.  It was our 10th year in a row and Pat was honored in front of all of his peers.

The pictures do not convey the beauty of this place.  We stayed at The Fairmont Banff Springs and enjoyed every amenity.  Even going up 7,486 ft above sea level in the gondola on the shoulder of Sulphur Mountain, in the heart of the Canadian Rockies  – and Pat is TERRIFIED of heights.  Poor guy.

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-S.O.
The Patrick O’Brien Agency – Fishers, IN

12 Fruits and Vegetables That Will Help You Eat Healthier this Summer

We are a fruit and veggie lovin’ family.  We genuinely like the taste of most of them – especially in the summer.  We make salads, grill them, snack on them at the park, take to pitch-ins, etc.  We know they’re good for us, but it was eye-opening to learn WHY they are good for us.  Read on to see how you can prepare the following fruits and veggies to maximize their flavor and healthy benefits.

Asparagusfruits and veggies
Lightly grill then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar this summer.  Asparagus is high in fiber, folic acid, potassium, vitamins A and C and glutathione (a phytochemical with antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties).

Avocados
Add to your salad, sandwich or alone on whole wheat toast for breakfast.  One ounce of an avocado contains 20 different vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.  It’s rich in monounsaturated fat, which may lower bad “LDL” cholesterol and reduce risk for heart disease.

Blackberries
Add to salads, smoothies, yogurt and oatmeal.  Blackberries contain antioxidants, are high in vitamin C and the seeds are high in fiber.

Brussel Sprouts
These can be lightly grilled after splitting in half and lightly drizzled with olive oil.  These veggies are high in vitamins A and C, iron, potassium and fiber.

Butternut Squash
Add to pasta dishes, risottos and soups.  It’s rich in complex carbohydrates and vitamins A and C and it’s a good source of beta carotene, magnesium, calcium and potassium.

Figs 
Rich in potassium and fiber, try adding dried figs to trail mix with some almonds and whole-wheat cereal.

Kale 
Use in smoothies or add them to entrees in place of spinach or cabbage.  Kale is packed with vitamins A, C and E.  Kale is high in antioxidants and also includes important minerals manganese, iron, calcium and potassium.

Pomegranate
Toss some of the seeds on your salad this summer.  They are high in antioxidants and rich in potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.

Spinach
Blend into smoothies, saute with garlic and olive oil, or use as your salad base.  Spinach is an excellent source of folate, iron, and vitamins A and K.

Strawberries
Eat alone or on salads or make a fruit kebab with other fruits like grapes and melon.  This fruit is rich in Vitamin C, folic acid and antioxidant flavonoids thought to be protective against stroke and cancer.

Swiss Chard
Use in side dishes, salads and soups.  It’s a blood sugar stabilizer and one of the world’s most nutritious vegetable.  It contains magnesium, vitamins A and C, and can aid as an anti-inflammatory and detoxifyer.

Tomatoes
Sliced on a sandwich, chopped into a salad, added to omelets or skewered and grilled, tomatoes are a summer staple.  Huge in antioxidants and rich in beta carotene, tomatoes also contain vitamin C, manganese and vitamin E.

How many of these items are you already nibbling on this spring?  Which one will you incorporate into your menu this season?

– S.O.
The Patrick O’Brien Agency – Fishers, IN

 

 

 

Clean a Stinky Garbage Disposal

If your kitchen is developing an odor and you’ve taken out the trash, it could be your garbage disposal.  Even if you run your garbage disposal until the last shred of food is gone, and you let the water run the recommended time, you can still wind up with an out-of control science experiment that stinks up your kitchen.

The reason is – some food is going to stick to the inside of the grinding chamber, and it’s going to decay.  You can clean the chamber by grinding ice and lemon rinds, adding baking soda or rinsing with vinegar and water.  Or, you can add commercial cleaners like Disposer Care, which is available at discount stores and most home centers.

garbage disposalIf there is still an odor after cleaning the grinding chamber, you’ll need to attack the underside of the splash guard.  Cleaning the splash guard is easier than you think.  you don’t even have to remove it.  Just clean it with a toothbrush and cleaner as shown.

Dip an old toothbrush in antibacterial grease-cutting kitchen cleaner and lift up one corner of the splash guard.  Scrub off the crud and rinse with cold water.  Repeat with each flap until it’s totally clean and rinsed.

Simple as that!

To prevent future odors and to ensure all the food particles are cleared away, don’t turn off the garbage disposal as soon as the grinding noises stop.  It is better to leave the garbage disposal on (with the water running) for several seconds after the grinding noises subside, as there may still be small particles in the disposal unit which have not yet been cleared away.

– S.O.
The Patrick O’Brien Agency – Fishers, IN

Bone Friendly Foods

Want to boost your bone power?

Healthy bonesAs we get older, the threat of osteoporosis become more and more real.  Nearly 52 million Americans over age 50 have low bone density or osteoporosis according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.  According to them, 1 out of about 2 women and 1 in 4 men will break a bone thanks to osteoporosis.

As with most things, eating right and exercising can prevent osteoporosis but what exact foods and activities really make a difference.

Calcium is crucial but don’t be fooled that you can pop a supplement and up to par with your daily requirement.  Calcium supplements are not well absorbed.  It’s best to get it from food.  Aim to get 1,000 mg a day if you’re under age 50; 1,200 if you’re 50 or over.
–   Yogurt
–   Cheese
–   Soy
–   brocoli, Kale & other leafy greens

Vitamin D is debatable on whether it makes much of a difference in bone health but many experts say you can’t go wrong with taking a vitamin D supplement.  Especially if you live in northern states (like Indiana) where from October to April, you can’t get enough Vitamin D from the sun.  Aim to get 800-1000 IU daily from food and supplements.
–   Fatty Fish
–   Egg Yolk
–   Some types of orange juice
–   Fortified Milk and Cereal
–   Cod Liver Oil

Magnesium is a multipurpose mineral that helps your bones form and regulates vitamin D levels.  According to research, supplements may help to prevent bone loss.  Aim for 320 mg daily.
–   Bananas
–   Almonds
–   Avocados
–   Black beans
–   Whole wheat bread
–   Brown Rice

Vitamin K helps blood clot but it also plays a role in bone health.  BUT, experts don’t recommend taking a supplement.  Instead, aim for 90 mcg daily from food sources.
–   Leafy Greens:  Spinach, Kale, Romaine, & Lettuce
–   brocoli
–   Brussel Sprouts

If you want to tackle two or more of the above with one snack, try spinach.  Just 1/2 cup gives you 122 mg of calcium, plus bone building magnesium and vitamin K.  Also snack on almonds.  Just 1/4 cup offers 94 mg of calcium, filling fiber and healthy fats.

What do you eat to keep your bones strong?  Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with osteoporosis?

– S.O.
POB Agency

Our Nail Biting Agency Photo Shoot

Okay, it wasn’t nail-biting for everyone, maybe just me.

But it did take everyone’s cooperation coordinate schedules, meet at one location and be gussied up for our first ever professional photo shoot.

Pat was pretty chill and knew the pictures would turn out amazing.  Us girls, as to be expected, HAD to approve every picture once it was taken to ensure we looked our best.

The below have our approval for the agency’s new marketing pieces.  😉

-S.O.
The Patrick O’Brien Agency – Fishers, IN

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Can an Insurance Agency Office be “Pretty”?

Pat doesn’t spend a lot of time decorating or thinking about colors and texture.  He’s focused on meeting with customers and tending to the details of their insurance coverage and needs.

However, Pat, Shannon and Edna spend a lot of time at the agency – it’s like home away from home.  Customers and colleagues visit often and we want them to feel comfortable and welcomed when they are in our office.

So after scoring deals from our favorite consignment & bargain stores; accepting a family member’s cast off, and using a little elbow grease, here’s what you’ll see when you visit our office.

We hope you like it!

-S.O.
The Patrick O’Brien Agency – Fishers, IN

Below:  Purple chairs (Shannon’s favorite color), table and flowers from our favorite consignment store, Consigned by Design.  Canvas wall art from Home-goods; Pillows, lamp and vase from Target.

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Below:  A hand me down buffet table paired with decor found at Home-goods (in one whirlwind trip) becomes a space to store industry periodicals and a peg board displaying upcoming events, customer thank you notes, and inspirational messages.

finished table

(Here’s what the table looked like during sanding and after paint).

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painted table

6 Amazing Household Things You Can Do With Salt

morton salt

Salt isn’t just for flavoring your food. Thanks to HGTV magazine, I just learned of 6 amazing ways to use salt around the house to fix some oops and clean a variety of items from tools to body parts.

1.   Remove the stains from a coffee mug

Pour half a teaspoon of salt into a stained coffee cup or teacup, scrub with a dry paper towel, then rinse.  The alkaline in the salt gets rid of discoloration from coffee or tea like magic.

2.   Neutralize a stinky sink

After cooking smelly things like onions and garlic, add a heaping tablespoon of salt to a quart of boiling water, then pour it down the drain to clear away odor-causing grease and bits of food

3.   Lift wine stains

Instead of cleaning a stain with a wet cloth, which can make it spread, blot the area with a dry cloth.  Then pour on a heaping mound of salt to help lift the stain off the fabric.  Let it sit for 30 minutes, then blot clean with cold water and wash.

4.   Eliminate rust

Use a paste of six tablespoons of salt and two tablespoons of lemon or lime juice on a dry cloth to wipe away rust from almost anything metal.  Use on bicycles, outdoor furniture, and tools.  Rinse thoroughly.

5.   Clean a cast iron skillet

Ad a splash of water and a teaspoon of Kosher salt to a cast-iron skillet.  Use a paper towel to wipe off food without causing the pan to lose its seasoning.

6.   Use as a body scrub

There are many exfoliating products for the body on the market but you can make a scrub at home with just a bit of sea salt.  Just mix two parts sea salt and one part grape seed oil and you’ve got a great exfoliating body scrub.

I learned quite a bit from this article in the HGTV April issue.  I think the wine tip and the stinky sink fix will come in especially handy at our house.  Did you learn anything new?  What will you try first?

– S.O.
POB Agency