shopping raven
shopping raven

There Are Many Different Kinds Of Friends

October 15th, 2018

“People are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.”

I don’t remember if I read this on a greeting card, a meme or what but it has really stuck with me and helped me understand so much. For most of my younger life I wandered around wondering why friends I thought would be friends for life were no longer there for me. I had this idea in my head that if someone was truly a friend they would be there for life.

The fact is there are many different levels of friendships and relationships and if people were more accepting of this fact they would ultimately be much happier. If people would be more honest with one another and more clearly define what their relationship was it would save a lot of misunderstanding and heartache. If people would learn to move on from a relationship that was over they would be better off; learn what there was to learn from it but move on.

All the people that come into your life just are not going to be friends for your whole life and that is OK. Those kind of friendships are rare. If you have one person in your life that is friends with you for life you are truly blessed. Those types of friendships are usually between a married couple who stay together for life.

Know the value of just being a friend. Why is it that every opposite sex relationship thinks they have to be boyfriend/girlfriend? Why can’t we just have guys that are good friends and girls that are good friends? Even a marriage relationship needs to have a strong foundation of friendship. What is a friend anyway? Well, it is a person you know and with whom you have a bond of mutual affection. Friendship is exclusive of sexual or family relations. Although your spouse should be your best friend, still your friendship should have nothing to do with sexual relations. And as far as family, yes, you may have a friend who is also related to you but even then your friendship should not have anything to do with being related to them. These two explanations are what I mean by ‘Friendship is exclusive of sexual or family relations’. Don’t undervalue friendship, both having friends and being a good friend.

Let’s look at the different kinds of friendships:

• THE SOCIAL FRIEND: This is the kind of friend that most people have most of. This kind of friend is not someone who you hang out with all the time or live with but you know them and associate with them at a bar, church, store or some other public place. Friends you have that have moved far way fall under this category. They are nice to talk to when you see them and are usually good for a laugh. They are not good for sharing a problem with. Sometimes you leave wishing you hung around together more but that just isn’t this kind of friend. Just accept your relationship for what it is.

• THE COUNSELOR: This is a friend you go to when you need advice or just someone to listen. You value their wisdom or at least the fact that they are good listeners and empathize with you. You can tell this kind of friend almost anything without fear of gossip or condemnation. They are the kind of friend you can trust but you just don’t hang out together, unless you want to talk about something important.

• FUN BOY/GIRL: This kind of friend can usually be counted on to go somewhere with you at a moment’s notice. They like hanging out with you whether it is going to the store or a bar or whatever. They are good tension relievers because you know you are just going to have a good time, let your hair down, maybe even be a little crazy. This kind of friend is not the kind of friend you go to for advice; in fact you should not put a damper on your relationship by getting serious with them about something. They are trustworthy and you know they aren’t going to gossip about what you do together. Don’t expect anything else from this kind of friend; just have a good time.

• SPIRITUAL BROTHER/SISTER: This kind of friend is most often found in churches but not always. This kind of friend is someone that is fun to be around but not like Fun Boy/Girl. It is a more laid back relationship that you can sit around with them at home and talk about God, family or spiritual matters. This kind of friend will pray for you and even help you out on a project or a loan or something. You can’t really cut loose like you can with Fun Boy/Girl but it is good to have this kind of friend when you just don’t want to be too wild but want to have a good time. This is the kind of friend that you just leave with a ‘warm, fuzzy feeling’. This friend leaves you with a fulfilled feeling. They make you feel good about yourself. They are sometimes good for sharing things with like The Counselor but usually they just are a pleasure to know.

• WORK FRIEND: This is the friends that you have at work. You interact at work only. This may include going to break together, maybe even shopping with them or running an errand during lunch or after work. They are usually not good to get advice from but on some occasions things might be discussed and you give each other advice. Mostly though you talk about the job, family and other friends.

• LIFETIME FRIEND: This friendship is very rare and as I said usually is found in marriage relationships they stay together for life. This friend is all the above all rolled up in one.

The Bible has this to say about friendship: “A good friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity.”(Proverbs 17:17). These are the type of human relations we should desire on all levels whether friend or spouse. Look at what the Word has to say about the value of friendship: “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs 27:6) “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17). 1 Samuel 18:1 describes the friendship of Jonathan and David being so strong that their ‘souls were knit together’.

By Benjamin ‘Raven’ Pressley

The Twenty Percent Rule!

October 13th, 2018

We all know not to go shopping when we are hungry; make sure to eat something before you go or even a Twinkie will look good if you are ravenous. Most people know to shop the perimeter of the store – that is where most of the unprocessed foods are located (think vegetables, meat, cheese, etc.). However, how many of you know the 20% Rule?

Setting your sites on the unprocessed foods will help you make better choices when it comes to carbohydrates. Unfortunately, we often choose to eat some processed foods as most of us realize that they are not all that bad. So, how do we determine if a carbohydrate is deemed “fit for consumption?” “The 20% Rule” is your answer.

Since not all carbohydrates cause blood glucose levels to rise in the same way, it is recommended to avoid eating anything where sugar is greater than 20% of the total carbohydrates. DO NOT look at the percent daily values (% Daily Value) listed on labels (usually the column of numbers on the far right) as these only illustrate what percentage of a 2000 calorie diet a particular food represents. If you are not on a 2000 calorie meal plan, (and most of us ARE NOT), those values do not apply.

To follow the 20% Rule, all you need to do is look at the line listing the Total Carbohydrates and see how many grams are listed. This is easy to find as it usually is listed in bold black letters. You then figure out twenty percent of that number and check it against the grams of sugar. If the grams of sugar are greater than the number you just calculated, this is a food to be avoided.

As an example, let’s look at an English muffin where the Total Carbohydrates are 31 grams. The easiest way to calculate 20% is to first calculate 10% (very easy because all you have to do is move the decimal point one space to the left) and double that number. In our English muffin example, ten percent of 31 would be 3.1, and twenty percent would be 6.2. When we read our English muffin label and find out it has 2 grams of sugar, since 2 is less than or smaller than 6.2, the English muffin would be a great food choice. It’s that simple!

On the other hand, one cup of orange juice has 29 grams of Total Carbohydrates and 28g of sugar. No need to even do the math, no matter how “natural” it may be, orange juice is NOT a good choice thanks to the 20% rule. Only apply this rule when deciding if a carbohydrate is a good food choice. Exempt from this rule would be milk & dairy products such as cottage cheese as the sugar they contain is lactose, which is a complex sugar; unfortunately, soy milk, unless the unsweetened type, always fails the 20% rule because of its high sugar content.

So, the next time you go grocery shopping, be prepared to read the labels and use The 20% Rule. Just wait until you go down the cereal isle, and you will really see the wonders of Cheerios!

Keep the Green in Your Jeans: How to Stay Healthy on a Budget

October 12th, 2018

As the gas prices rise, the green in your pocket seems to elude you like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. At times like this, I’m often told that it’s too expensive to eat healthy. It was years ago when I used to say the same thing myself.

But, have you ever found yourself rushing home from work in a big panic because you don’t know what to make for dinner, your household is ravenous, and there aren’t any ingredients to make anything? So right back out the door you march to forage for food. Whether you end up at a restaurant or in the fast-food drive through, with your blood pressure now through the roof and your blood sugar plummeting, you’ll end up spending much more money eating poor quality food while spending the same amount of time it would have taken to prepare something nutritious at home with nothing more than just a little pre-planning.

Here are a few tried and true tips to help you stay healthy on a budget and reasons why choosing a healthier way of life will actually save you money.

Save Money by Preparing Meals at Home

Cost per serving, it’s actually much more expensive to dine out than it is to prepare meals at home. You can expect to pay on average $5-$10 more per serving on restaurant food before adding in tax and gratuity. Restaurant food is laden with trans fat and chemical preservatives so it’s not only more expensive monetarily, it’s also much more costly to your health.

Try these time-saving menu planning and grocery tips to help you plan healthy meals at home:

Schedule a little time each week to plan a 7-day menu along with a shopping list that has the needed ingredients for the menu items planned that week. By planning meals for each night of the week, you’ll know what ingredients you need on hand ahead of time. This will save you from last-minute trips to the store which can quickly add extra expense from less-healthy impulse buys.


Plan a portion of your menu around the weekly ads. Not only will you capitalize on the weekly specials, it will also help with fresh ideas for meals you may not have had in a while. Use easy recipes with simple ingredients from a healthy-eating cookbook or magazine to design your weekly menu. Remember to include a lean protein a green vegetable with every meal. Post the menu on the refrigerator so the whole family will know what to expect and it will remind you if you need to defrost meat. If you know you have to work late or you have an event scheduled on a particular night, select a 15-minute meal or something you can throw in the crock pot.

Shopping List

Create a personalized grocery list on the computer and keep copies of it in the kitchen so when you run out of items, you can circle or check it. Separate it by sections in your store (example: produce, staples, frozen, dairy, paper). List the items in each department that you will be buying on a regular basis (example: PRODUCE: spinach, bell peppers, onions, avocado, tomato, lemons, apples… etc). This will help to remind you of items you need to buy each week and also saves you time from having to write out a hand-written list each week. It’s as simple as checking the box!

Grocery Store

Be sure to eat a healthy snack before heading to the market. This will allow you to focus on the task at hand rather than the scent from the bakery filling your nose.

Stick to your list. If it’s not on the list, you don’t need it.

Perimeter shop. Stay away from the center isles except for frozen vegetables, personal care items, and paper products. Avoid ever buying frozen entrees, items in crinkly bags, and convenience foods. They’re budget busters and belly busters.

Don’t ever buy cookies, crackers, sweets, treats, chips, ice cream, or candy. They cost money but they don’t nourish your body. Instead, stock up on nutritious staples like fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, eggs, chicken breasts, tuna, oats, brown rice, low-fat plain yogurt, and nuts. If you keep these items continually stocked, you’ll never find yourself in a position to grab the keys and head out to fast-food.

Other ways to save money and stay healthy:

  1. Save money by cutting out sodas, juice, and alcohol. They only add expense to your bills and do nothing nutritionally to aid in making a healthy body. Drink purified water with lemon instead. It helps to transport nutrients to the body’s cells, lubricates joints & muscles, aids in digestion, and balances your pH.
  2. Save money by watching your portion sizes. This is important whether you’re at home or dining out, but serving sizes in restaurants are usually 2-4 times the normal amount with average calories easily topping 1200 per entree and over 600 for a “light” version! YIKES! When eating out, cut those calories in half by sharing an entre with a friend.
  3. Save money on prescription drugs by adopting a lifestyle that supports your health: regular exercise, nutritious home-cooked meals, proper hydration, nutrient supplementation, stress reduction, and adequate rest. Medication dosages can usually be reduced or eliminated all together with these proper preventative measures. As always, be sure to check with your doctor first before making any changes in your medications.
  4. Save money by losing weight. Studies show that overweight people miss more days of work than healthy weight people and spend more money on medications & insurance for weight-related health disorders. Economists at George Washington University have tabulated the cost of obesity and say that not only do obese men rack up an extra $2,264 annually in expenses, but obese women pay nearly double that – $4,879.

The thought and preparation going into these choices is guaranteed to keep the green in your jeans, but more importantly, it may just save your life. You can do this! Your health is priceless!