Home-Based Business Archives

Diabetes: Know Your Numbers


George Washington University Hospital

Last week I attended an informative seminar at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC on “Living with Diabetes.” It was presented by Dr. Joshua Cohen, an endocrinologist at the George Washington University School of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism Diabetes Center.

He said that health is the #1 concern on the Internet and within health, diabetes is #1. He defined diabetes as a group of diseases characterized by high levels of blood glucose sugar. Diabetes is also closely related to obesity. In 1990, the obesity trend was 10 to 15%. In 2001, it was greater than 25%. Furthermore, children born today have a 30 to 50% chance of developing diabetes!

The danger of diabetes, of course, is the resulting complications that occur on the macro vascular level and the micro vascular level. Vascular refers to the vessels of the body, especially the arteries and veins, that carry blood and lymph.

On the macro vascular level, there are atherosclerosis complications (deposits of fat causing the walls of arteries to thicken) such as coronary heart disease and stroke. On the micro vascular level, it can affect the eyes, kidneys, and nerves leading to blindness, kidney failure, and limb amputation, respectively.

As a knowledgeable patient, Dr. Cohen says you need to know your numbers.

  • Hemoglobin A1C
  • Blood pressure and lipid levels (triglycerides, cholesterol — LDL, HDL — remember “L” for lousy and “H” for happy)
  • C-reactive protein (CRP) which measures the level of inflammation in the body and is a determinant of your risk of heart disease

The hemoglobin A1C is the average glucose level over a two to three month period. Just a 1% reduction can significantly reduce diabetic complications. The number should be less than 7%. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) says blood pressure numbers should be:

  • Healthy blood pressure: below 120/80
  • Early high blood pressure: between 120/80 and 140/90
  • High blood pressure: 140/90 or higher

The ADA says the LDL, HDL and triglycerides numbers you should aim for are:

  • LDL Cholesterol: Less than 100 mg/dL
  • HDL Cholesterol: Greater than 60 mg/dL
  • Triglycerides: Less than 150 mg/dL

The American Heart Association says

  • You are at low risk of developing cardiovascular disease if your hs-CRP level is lower than 1.0mg/L
  • You are at average risk of developing cardiovascular disease if your levels are between 1.0 and 3.0 mg/L
  • You are at high risk for cardiovascular disease if your hs-CRP level is higher than 3.0 mg/L

Dr. Cohen stressed the importance of having a treatment plan. If your body needs insulin, it is not a narcotic. If your body can’t produce it, you risk hypoglycemia. Take a glass of milk or juice immediately. More than previously thought, your whole gastrointestinal (G/I) system plays a role.

Personally, I do not have diabetes, nor am I a pre-diabetic. However, most of my very close friends do have diabetes and considering the complications as noted in my previous post, it is something that I’m very interested in. Help educate your friends if they have any of the following symptoms. Early detection can decrease complications.

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Increased fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurry vision

Some people prefer to stay on diabetes medication to control their blood sugar level, but most prefer to do it naturally through diet and lifestyle changes. If you’re interested in lowering your blood sugar naturally, read about how GluCare helps you maintain a healthy blood sugar level.

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Home-Based Business and Taxes

Today my husband and I made our annual trek to our accountant’s office to bring our tax papers. What a good feeling to have that project completed. In a couple of weeks or so, we’ll get the news … good or bad … but for us, it would be a lot worse without a home-based business.

Did you know that Hewlett-Packard started as a  home-based business? They set up shop in a one-car garage behind David Packard’s Palo Alto house. They flipped a coin to decide the company name and because William Hewlett won, the company was named Hewlett-Packard.

Coca-Cola was created by pharmacist Dr. John Styth Pemberton in his back yard on May 8, 1886. In 1976, Martha Stewart started a catering business with a friend in her basement. A decade later, Michael Dell started to build Dell Inc. from his dormitory.

Your 401(k), pension, IRA or whatever you were depending on for retirement may be smaller than expected. Even Social Security may run into problems if the number of retirees drawing benefits outnumber workers paying the Social Security tax. Today’s Washington Post reported that in my tri-state area of Maryland, Virginia, and DC, pension plans for local and state workers have lost more than $28 billion since last summer.

What’s the biggest benefit of a home-based business? It allows you to take the same kinds of deductions available to big corporations. The deductions will then allow you to decrease the amount of taxes that you pay. If you would like to read more about the tax benefits of a home-based business, I offer to my United States senior readers above 55 years old, a small paper called, “The Tax Times.” I have only a limited number of copies, so it will be mailed to the first 25 that request it. You need to e-mail me at nora@noranagatani.com. Please include your name and mailing address.

Happy filing!

Grandmother Starts a Business

Sonia and her date-nut bars

Sonia and her date-nut bars

Since the start of this blog late last year, I have been “hammering” the need to start a part-time home-based business. Recently, I met a woman who practically lives in my back yard and is putting her passion to work. We met when she attended the networking luncheon I host monthly for professional women in business.

Sonia Sidhwaney has a passion for dates (the fruit) and creates date-nut bars. By day, she’s a programmer with many initials after her name including an MS degree in Computer Science from Bowling Green State University. But at night and on weekends, she’s busy making her date-nut bars. She’s pictured on the left with her bars before they are cut. She was on a quest for healthy snacks for her family and now she has the recipe perfected.  As a businesswoman, she’s now working on the marketing aspect of her business.

Her energy bars are vegan, soy free, dairy free, gluten free, and no sugar has been added. Additionally, no chemicals and preservatives have been added, but they have a long shelf life. Her company is called Nuts About Dates and more information is available at her website, www.date-nut.com. Most importantly, the date-nut bars are delicious and her granddaughter would concur!

Personally, I prefer the network marketing business model because the income is residual. For an explanation of the difference between residual and linear income, please view my video explanation. But in these tough economic times, it’s getting started on something of importance to you that is foremost.

First Video and Smallest Camcorder

We are slowly thawing out of our first major snowstorm in the Washington, DC area. Malia and Sasha Obama were surprised that schools were closed. Their father, our President of the United States, thought it was humorous; DC officials did not. In this area, we actually have some hilly terrain in the suburbs and school busses have a difficult time. This time, though, we were not only dealing with snow, but freezing rain that had fallen overnight causing a lot of problems. Today, however, we welcome the sun and above freezing temperatures.

So what happened when I chose to stay off the streets? I uploaded my first video to YouTube! I purchased a Flip Mino HD (the commercial tells you it’s the world’s smallest camcorder) which is about the size of an iPod. I love it! It’s something every grandparent should own not only to capture those Kodak moments, but to video those everyday scenes like I did when I was visiting my then 4-month old granddaughter. As she awakened every morning, she’d coo and smile and I was able to video those precious moments. Parents are generally too busy and forget, but I think that we as grandparents have more time and because my husband and I don’t live close to our granddaughter, every moment was valuable.

As most of us seniors know, our bodies begin to ache as we age and carrying a camcorder could be a problem. But the Flip camera is so small, grandpa can pop it in his shirt pocket and it will not add much weight to grandma’s purse.

So please visit me at www.youtube.com/noranagatani and enjoy. I share with you why I have a home-based business that I can pass on to future generations.

Giving Part I

Happy New Year!

‘Tis the season to be giving. But what if you’re retired and on a limited budget. What if you’re ready to retire and your stocks have plummeted? Your mailbox is full of organizations asking for your money; your phone is ringing with organizations also asking for your monetary help. Now that I’m retired from a J.O.B. and no longer need my suits, I’ve donated many of them to an organization called Suited for Change, which helps low-income women with their wardrobe and professional skills, but even they are now saying that their boutique is full and they need money.

If you need ideas as to how you can make more money (like I did), I’m offering my United States readers a gift, How to Get Rich without Winning the Lottery. Simply send an e-mail to me – nora@noranagatani.com — with your name, mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number and I will mail you the booklet. Please put “Booklet” in the subject line. This booklet may help you decide how to supplement your income.

Next, I will discuss other ways you can give.

Breathe After the Shock

December is here. It’s a time of joy and merriment, but this year in particular, it is also a time of chaos and shock. What with all of the dismal news of the economy and millions getting laid off … half a million just last month … and commercials and advertisements bombarding the air waves and traditional print publications telling us to buy this or buy that and holiday decorations everywhere, it’s hard to escape all of the hustle and bustle. I was laid off twice when I was younger. Both times it was with builders and because of the cyclical nature of real estate. When it happened, it was a total shock.

When you get closer to retirement and you receive the dreaded pink slip, you become less employable. Companies are no longer willing to pay for all of your years of experience when they can hire someone younger at a lower salary. Although it’s difficult and you’re upset, stop. Clear your mind. Here’s a breathing exercise you can do. I learned this in one of my yoga classes, but since then, I’ve seen it several times in print publications. As you get better, you can increase the numbers. This is also a good exercise to lower your blood pressure, something that seems to rise in many people as we get older. Do this several times a day. Anywhere.

1. Inhale slowly to the count of 4.
2. Exhale slowly to the count of 8.

Getting laid off turns out to be a blessing in disguise for many people. I would not be where I am today had that not happened. Some people say they will never have someone else write their check; they will become their own boss.

Check out this free report. You, too, might decide to go into business for yourself.

Have you ever gotten laid off? Tell us what worked for you after the initial shock.

A Dream and a Home-Based Business

Welcome back! With Thanksgiving over, have you gotten off your ‘hind and started walking? Doesn’t it feel good to just move? Perhaps you’ve noticed things around you that you’ve never noticed before. It doesn’t cost a penny. Have you thanked someone recently? Again, it doesn’t cost a cent.

Your head would have to be buried in the sand to not know that our economy is in a sad state of affairs. Hundreds of thousands of people have been laid off or in some cases offered an early retirement package. Personally, I did not know anyone who lost a job … until last week. And a couple of weeks ago, I lost two friends to cancer … women in pre-retirement and retirement. Women who had a zest for life and had their lives cut short.

Do you have dreams? Or do you just daydream? According to Dream Coach Marcia Wieder, dreams are the aspirations, goals, and hopes that you most want for yourself, your family, friends, and business associates. Achieving your dream, she says, is a three step process:
1. Clarify what you want. What are you passionate about?
2. Write it down.
3. Share your dream with others.

My dream is to establish an educational foundation in memory of my parents: The Mark and Dorothy Murakami Educational Foundation. Its purpose is to give scholarships every year to undergraduate students. One will be in the field of elementary education. Mom wanted to be a third grade teacher, but her family could not afford to send her to college. Dad wanted to be an attorney, but World War II broke out when he was a first year law student and he never went back to law school. Instead, he became an entrepreneur in the field of insurance. Coincidentally, my son recently partnered with another attorney and they opened their own law firm, Hixson Nagatani LLP, and his wife is a third grade teacher.

Unlike many foundations that are funded through donations and fund raisers, this one will be funded via a network marketing business (a.k.a. MLM). It’s taken a lot of research to find a right combination of great products and a great compensation plan. In the process of researching, I came across a group called Mentoring for Free. In my last company, I thought I had chosen a company with great products and I liked the fact that I could understand their compensation plan … until Mentoring for Free asked me the $10K question. That was an eye-opener. Here is the question: How many distributors and customers on autoship do you need to make $10K/month? I was appalled at the huge number. They told me it wasn’t my fault that I wasn’t making any money and they explained the different kinds of compensation plans. What an education that was. So, I decided to join them as a Mentor and Coach and now I help others in any network marketing or direct sales company around the world.

If you are not familiar with the network marketing model, get a free report on why Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki recommend network marketing. And if you are familiar with network marketing, but not achieving the success you had hoped for, download a free e-book called “Success in 10 Steps” and you will find out why it’s not your fault as well as be introduced to many golden nuggets.

What is your dream? I invite you to share it with others.

Happy Thanksgiving!

With this being the week of Thanksgiving, I thought I’d acknowledge people who have come into my business life recently and let them know how grateful I am for all they have done. I want to thank my coach and mentor, Richard Dennis (www.rootsoftrust.com). Because of his care for his team via conference calls, phone calls, and e-mails and his willingness to share information to insure our success, I finally got my blog up and running. I’d taken a course a couple of years ago and have been thinking about it off and on for many months. But now, it’s a reality. Thanks, Richard.

Another person who is always willing to share what she knows is another coach and mentor, Roxanne Green (www.roxannegreen.com). Her brain must be at least quadruple the size of mine — it is a huge storehouse of information. And the best part is, she shares it and helps everyone who asks for help. She is also very logical and whenever I need another opinion, she will help me look on the other side of the coin. Whenever you opt to join a company, it’s the people that make all the difference. Thanks, Roxanne.

I’m a co-founder of the Women’s Network of Springfield (VA). The other co-founder, Paula Adkins (www.youralteregos.com), and I met about three years ago at a BNI (Business Network International) chapter in Arlington, VA. WNS will celebrate its second anniversary in January. The fact that we’ve worked so well has contributed to the growth of our network and the wonderful friends we’ve made and I’m thankful to have such a great and responsive business partner. Contributing to our growth as well is Sonia Gow (www.soniagow.com) whom I met at about the same time through the Capital Express Network, a subsidiary of the American Business Women’s Association. Sonia works behind the scenes for us to produce professional Constant Contact e-mail. Thanks, Paula and Sonia.

Perhaps the person who works hardest and silently behind the scenes is my husband of 38 years, Ron. Although he does not want to be a part of my business, he takes care of many household duties and leaves me free to work my home-based business which is to fund an educational foundation and to help other people with their network marketing business via Mentoring for Free (http://nora.mentoringforfree.com). How many people are lucky enough to have a husband who will ask, “What time would you like to have breakfast?” … “and lunch” … “and dinner”?! Thanks, Ron.

There are so many things and people to be grateful for that this blog would be endless. I have a wonderful family with two married boys and recently a darling granddaughter was born into the family. I am so fortunate to have the perfect business that enables me to work anywhere in the world so that precious visits to see our granddaughter are possible.

I wish all of you a safe and very Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you most thankful for?


Hello World and welcome to my blog!

This blog is dedicated to everyone who is interested in living life to its fullest before and during retirement — away from prescription drugs and money flowing into their mailbox every week.

This is NOT for you if your thinking is, “Why should I take nutritional supplements? My prescription plan pays for my drugs.” It is also not for you if your mantra is, “I can’t afford to retire” or “I’m retired; I can’t afford it.”

Let’s get away from the negatives. If you’re interested in taking control of your own life, financially and healthwise, then welcome and come along for the ride. I will write periodically and will also invite experts to join me.

Isn’t it true that if you have your health, you have everything? When you have your health and you’re feeling in tip top shape, you can do anything you want. So if you’ve retired or about to retire … today is the start of your life! What ONE thing can you do … what baby step can you take toward getting yourself in shape? How ’bout walking? Get off the sofa, get away from that computer … and start walking. Just 10 minutes to start … perhaps three times a day. That’s a total of 30 minutes! Just do it!

The best things in life are free. What a way to get started on your way to health. But only you can take control of your life.

Personally, I wear a small, simple pedometer. My original goal was 10K steps a day and sometimes I do reach that goal, but considering my lifestyle, I decided that 7K steps/day would work best for me. This was something I added and committed to do after reading The Slight Edge: Secret to a Successful Life by Jeff Olson. He says, “If you learn to apply The Slight Edge, your life will become filled with hundreds of thousands of small, seemingly insignificant actions – all of them easy to do, none of them mysterious, complex or difficult. And those actions will create your success.”

Please join me in walking your way to health….