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A U S T I N S P O T L I G H T JULY 2020


0608 14 18 BRYNNA CONNOR, M.D.

ROAD TRIP HEALTH CARE Tips for staying healthy this summer road t trip season.



What's stopping you from getting organized and ways to overcome the challenges.


ON THE BEATEN PATH 5 great routes to keep your running fresh and intteresting.



These projects will add value to your home without requiring special skills or experience.


26 30 35 38 WILSON HAILEY


The tricks and tips to understanding the taste of that perfect cup of coffee.



Easing the stress on your neck from today's high-tech world.



Helping your dog deal with separation anxiety as he head back to a new normal.



Thinking of going solar? Here are 5 things you should know before you do.

C R E D I T S Photo Credits Sebastian Palomino from Pexels Jorge Saavedra from Unsplash Moxie Space Professional Organizing Deborah Jackson from Pixabay Rodrigo Souza from Pexels Mike Gattorna from Pexels Peter Skitterians from Pixabay Bidvine from Pixabay Dan LeFebvre from Unsplash Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels Camp Bow Wow Creation Hill from Pexels Dominika Roseclay from Pexels Freedom Solar Ulrike Leone from Pixabay Blomst from Pixabay


July is traditionally a month of fun and celebration. Being the first full month of summer along with celebrating the 4th of July usually brings many people together. As we adjust to unprecedented times we are all finding ways to keep pushing forward and keep things as normal as possible. From everyone here we hope you get to celebrate this month in whatever way you can and we look forward to the times we get to celebrate together again.

Troy Schlicker

Road Trip Health Care Road trips are the cure to many an ailment on their own. I have always believed this! Â Fresh air - clear mind - the open road - and nature's bounty - there is so much to see in this country of many cultures and such different scenery from place to place!

However, traveling today comes with new concerns, as during this time we are faced with the need to take certain precautions as well as the specific requirements as we travel from one state to another --Â in these different times, new solutions can be combined with the tried and true from years gone by...

The tried and true: Pack your snacks and food so that you can have nutritious snacks for your drive. By doing this, you can ensure you are maximizing your healthy foods, and you can avoid dining in at a public restaurant. This will not only help you decrease the risk of food borne pathogens but also reduce any possible contamination from restaurant workers and patrons who may be ill. And, you will eat a bit healthier- win-win! Remember to incorporate fresh vegetables and do not forget to hydrate! Get out and stretch! Not only does this reduce driver (and passenger) fatigue, but it increases circulation to the entire body. This is good for mood, circulation, and the ability to think clearly as well. When you get out of your car to stretch every 4 hours or so, this also serves to help prevent blood clots that may develop from sitting for long periods of time.

Clearly, if you have a medical condition that causes you to form clots, this is very important, and you must talk with your doctor prior to your car travel--and, similarly, if you have medications that you take that might increase your risk of clot, please discuss this with your physician prior to travel. And the new solution for the summer of 2020? You need to establish care with a physician who can see you by telemedicine while you are on the road. This way you can be sure that you can be in contact with your physician so that any medical needs that arise can be properly addressed by someone who is familiar with you and your health -even in the comfort of your car. To have someone familiar with practicing medical care remotely is not only possible but absolutely crucial in today's health climate.

Article by Brynna Connor, M.D. Dr. Connor is a physician who specializes in family medicine and anti-aging and regenerative medicine and is board certified in both; she can be reached at 512.382.9500 I


Do you have a corner or a countertop or a whole house that’s become a bit unsightly? Maybe the clutter has piled up for so long you can’t really be sure what it contains anymore, much less what to do with it all. You’re not alone. 54% of Americans admit being overwhelmed with clutter, and an even higher percentage claim they don’t know what to do with it. More often than not, starting a new project - like decluttering - can make you feel defeated before you even begin. Setting yourself up for success is paramount when trying to put order into your home. Your home should be your refuge, not a place that reminds you of all the things left to do. We’ve all experienced that gung-ho energy to tackle a messy desk, only to lose steam somewhere between “This is going to change my life!” and “I have so many incomplete tasks, how will I ever…?!” Decluttering can quickly get uncomfortable. We lose interest,

lose focus, and feel overwhelmed. We leave the half-finished project there only to find it takes zero time for the clutter to come back, somehow bigger and worse than before. What gives?! With a little bit of preparation both mental prep and physical prep - you can avoid falling victim to the clutches of “organizing overwhelm.” Below are my top 3 pitfalls, and how you can come out on top.

1. Unrealistic Goals Decluttering any space will probably take longer than you think. After all, who knows what you could uncover? You might find documents or receipts or that lost book that belongs to your kid’s third-grade teacher, and those can all trigger a follow-up task that actually has nothing to do with your decluttering project. Read: distraction. Or perhaps the pile/room/drawer is deceiving, containing loads more stuff than you initially assumed. You might find yourself knee-deep in chaos,

exhausted, with a family now asking when dinner will be ready? How to win Set a timer before you begin. Turn your phone to “do not disturb” and get to work. Commit to working in a single space until your timer/alarm/Alexa rings, and stop when it does. There’s no need to overdo it the first time around! Tomorrow, repeat. Think more along the lines of “I’m going to declutter for X number of minutes” vs “I’m going to finish this today!”    Pro tip: start with just thirty minutes or an hour. Even a small amount of time will make a big difference.

2. Distractions aplenty Clutter is defined as “a confused mass.” Another way to define clutter: a big, random pile of stuff that doesn’t belong together. When you start to declutter your space, you’ll find lots of things that need to be taken into another room (or another home). Some items will need to be returned to the store from which they came. Other items will feel urgent (it’s important to remember they are most likely not urgent and since they’ve been stuck in this pile for some time, they can likely last another day or two without action). Suddenly, the task of decluttering has created a hundred more tasks! And you

thought decluttering would make you feel good.

How to win Decluttering will feel good, you’ve just got to approach the project strategically. Before you start decluttering, gather a few supplies and spread them out where you’ll be working. You’ll want to gather: a bag for trash, a bag for recycling, and a bag for donations. Also set up 2 more containers: 1 for things that belong in a different room in your home (if you wouldn’t go looking for said item in this space, don’t store it there), and another for things that belong outside your home (that book that belongs to your kid’s school or the pants that need to be returned to the store). Clearly label all of these containers/bags with a sharpie, a post-it, or whatever you have to help you quickly toss the item and keep moving.  Above all: stay in the room/space in which you are decluttering.

3. Emotional Sabotage Consider this: every single item in your home has a story, and you know them all. In fact, as you declutter, those stories will start playing through your head: where the item came from (or from whom), when you got it, why you got it, if you love it or hate it, that time it broke and you never fixed it, etc… The stories go on and on. After time, they will most likely trigger your emotions as they conjure up your memories. You might experience uncomfortable feelings of shame, sadness, or anger as you declutter. Yuck, right?

How to win First, remember that while you are unique, your clutter stories are not. As a professional organizer, I’ve heard it all. I’ve learned from years of helping people declutter that the emotions clutter can stir up inside us are pretty much the same from person to person. We long to keep our memories close, and intact. We really do aspire to finish that craft project. We fear throwing something out only to need it the next day. We hear the loop of others’ voices, shaming us for being wasteful, or insensitive, or neglectful. It’s okay to feel these things, and it’s okay to listen to them. As you declutter, you might get to know a part of yourself that you’ve long forgotten. Try keeping your organizing project a “judgmentfree zone.” Instead of feeling bad for where you are, give yourself a high-five for doing something about it. Your belongings - and what you do with them - do not define who you are at your core. In the end, it’s just stuff.

If I could leave you with a few cheers, here’s what I would say: 1. Keeping something because you feel guilty for getting rid of it is emotional sabotage. Let it go, and vow to do better from here. (This includes gifts from your MIL!)

clothing, aspirational projects, and fancy kitchen gadgets.)

2. Keeping something you haven’t needed in years for fear you’ll need it eventually is usually not worthy of taking up space in your home. If that day ever does arrive, you can buy another copy.

5. Self love goes a real long way here - no matter how big the pile is. The satisfaction you will gain from decluttering is unlike anything else. No retail therapy, yoga class, or double-mocha latte holds a candle next to the relief available to you from finishing an organizing project.

3. Holding onto something that just “isn’t you” anymore is not helping you become who you are meant to become. Let it go. (This includes

4. Deciding “keep” or “don’t keep” actually gets easier the more you practice. Stay with it. Use your timer, and keep flexing your decluttering muscle.

Article by Sara Fritsch Sara is the owner and founder of Moxie Space Professional Organizing, a home organizing company that specializes in systemizing all spaces of the home and unpacking new moves. |

ON THE BEATEN PATH Running during the summer in Austin is brutal. Fact. Add Coronavirus pandemic (race cancellations and running group shutdowns) to the mix and many athletes have suffered from motivation to continue to train and push the body. But, summer training in central Texas is actually a secret gift for faster paces and stronger running in the cooler seasons and COVID has provided many with a schedule that allows for more time to exercise than they had before.

The key is to get it done and mixing up your running route can help add novelty to those mundane neighborhood loops you’re getting

tired of! Here are some of the top places I like to catch a run in Austin to mix it up and keep my routes fresh and interesting.   

summer training as hill running is just speedwork in disguise.

Scenic to Mt. Bonnell

There is a small gravel parking lot just off of 1826 for a gem of a trail nestled in southwest Austin. It is a 5 mile loop of nice single track trail. It isn’t very crowded as it is a bit out of the way for most city dwellers, but the views are unlike the other trails in Austin. You really feel like you’re out in the hill country and on top of the world in some areas on that trail.

Heading west from the Rock on Lake Austin Blvd up Scenic drive provides some nice hills and there are some great views of the lake and Austin skyline. There are also so many beautiful homes in the neighborhood and it is a fairly low traffic neighborhood. Scenic Drive is part of the Run for the Water 10 mile race route and I definitely enjoy it as a training run more than I enjoy those hills during a race. I like to take the neighborhood roads up to 35th street after the view on the top of Scenic Dr. and head northwest to Mt. Bonnell. I always run/walk up the stairs to the top of Mt. Bonnell and catch another fabulous view on the top of Mt. Bonnell. Catching a view and pausing a run or a workout to take it all in is always worth it. These hills in west Austin are great

Slaughter Creek Trail

The trail is super well maintained with signs and mile markers. I especially appreciate that mountain bikers all go clockwise while runners go counterclockwise which means there is never a mountain bike surprise attack from the back and wearing headphones is much safer.       

The Greenbelt Tried and true, the Greenbelt is a staple of Austin trail running. It can get crowded on the weekends so hit the trail early to beat the hikers and families out for the day. Usually in the summer there is water so there are places to cross the creek and get wet feet, but this year it is completely dry with the exception of some water at the far end near the Lost Creek trailhead. I am partial to the Hill of Life trailhead in Westlake because getting a few hill repeats on the hill of life is some of the best hill training for trail runners there is in Austin. There are many routes off the main trail that avoid crowds and I like the trails over by the Moonshadow trailhead in Travis

Country neighborhood as they are wooded, shaded, not crowded at all and quite technical and hilly.       

Shoal Creek Running up and down Shoal Creek road and then the paved bike path south of 35th street is such an easy, pedestrian friendly go-to for some gentle, shaded miles.

The paved path from 35th street south connects to the hike and bike trail and is a beautiful slice of natural beauty as you run along Shoal Creek. North of 35th street up towards Anderson Ln on Shoal Creek Blvd is a well-used segment for running and cycling so there are protected bike lanes and sidewalks the whole way. Southbound is part of the 3M half marathon course and is a nice gentle downhill.

East Austin Running in East Austin is flat and

has become a lot more pedestrian friendly in recent times. Right now Comal St is closed to car traffic (due to COVID-19) and is a great street to run north-south along. I like to do speed loops in the neighborhood just south of Cesar Chavez and East of I-35 as they are shaded and pancake flat. I also like to head north up to the Cherrywood neighborhood to get some hills and run through the park at Mueller. Running in east Austin is a wonderful reprieve from the hills of west Austin and also a great way to scope out new restaurants or bars to check out later.

Article by Jackie Howard Jackie is a writer, teacher, ultra marathoner and is certified as a plant based nutritionist. 512-673-0625 |

9 DIY Improvements to Add Value to Your Home

Whether you are looking for ways to maximize your homes long-term value or prepping it to go on the market, these nine home improvement projects are a great way to add function, beauty and real value to your home. Best of all, once you’ve secured the materials, most of these renovations can be completed over the course of a single weekend plus specialized skills and experience are not required. Grab your toolbox and get ready to boost your home’s appeal AND investment potential!

Spruce Up Your Landscaping Improvements to your homes landscaping can increase the value by 10-12%, but it’s important to understand which outdoor features buyers care about the most. In a recent survey of Realtors, having a healthy lawn was the most important landscaping factor.  If your lawn is lacking consider overseeding or laying new sod.  These investments are extremely

worthwhile as they respectively net an expected return of 417% and 143% on your investment in your home. Flowers are also a great way to highlight your homes curb appeal. Planting a variety of perennials will allow your blooms to return each year.  Planting a tree can bring an even longer-term impact and a mature tree can add up to $10,000 in value to your home.

Clean the Exterior When it comes to making your house shine, a facade that sparkles can be every bit as important as a clean interior. Real estate professionals estimate that washing the outside of a house can increase the homes sales price by as much as $15,000. Renting a pressure washer can can help remove all the built-up dirt, grime and pollen from the walkways, driveway and exterior of your home.  Make sure to read the instructions carefully though and only use it on surfaces that can

withstand the intensity. If you have any doubt a scrub brush and some soapy water can generally get the job done while being more delicate on any sensitive surfaces.

Add a Fresh Coat of Paint Paint can have a significant impact on the appearance as well as the value of a property. Old and worn or outdated paint is not very welcoming; however, a new paint job is one of the most effective ways to revitalize a home’s exterior and update the interior.  The best

part? Painting is relatively simple and an inexpensive project. Getting the maximum return on the investment requires you to stick with a modern but neutral color palette that appeals to the broadest range of buyers.  Home design experts recommend cool neutrals for interior paint colors to use when selling a home.  It is important to factor in a property’s architecture, existing fixtures and regional design preferences as well to ensure your choices fit the home and area.

and heating costs can be cut by 10-20%.

Install Smart Home Technology A recent survey of real estate professionals showed that 78% of buyers were willing to pay more for a home that had smart technology features installed. What were the most requested devices? Smart thermostats (77%) smoke detectors (75%), home security cameras (66%), and locks (63%). Many of these gadgets are fairly easy to install and the best news is some of them, including smart thermostats and light bulbs, will actually pay for themselves over time through energy efficiency as well as add home value.  In fact, many manufactures of smart thermostats report that cooling

Do you already own a smart speaker like Amazon Alexa or Google Home? Make sure to purchase devices that will pair with these existing technologies.  This enables you to create a truly integrated and potentially voiceactivated smart home experience.

Modernize Your Window Treatments Smart – or motorized – blinds are also growing in popularity. There are several manufactures that make models you can order and install on your own but this isn’t the only way to modernize your window treatments. If you currently have old aluminum blinds, consider replacing them with plantation shutters which are durable, energy efficient, and have strong appeal to buyers. Roman and roller shades are another stylish option.  They come in a multitude of fabrics and colors that you can

personalize to meet your individual design and privacy preferences. There are a number of retailers that specialize in window coverings that are affordable and relatively simple to measure and hang yourself. This has made upgrading you blinds easier and less expensive in recent years.

Replace Outdated Fixtures Transforming the look and feel of your home by finding contemporary fixtures and replacing your dingy and dates ones can have a drastic effect. First assess your current light fixtures, faucets, cabinets hardware, door knobs, and even switch plates.  Then prioritize replacing any that are particularly outdated or in highly-visible areas, such as your entryway or kitchen. Even a fairly new home might be finished out with builder-grade fixtures and trading this out for higher-end options will give the home an upscale appearance and feel custom built.  You can forget about the old rule of only sticking to one metal tone throughout the entire home.  According to designers, mixing the finish of metals can add interest and character to a space.

Customize Your Closet Real estate professionals estimate

that a remodeled closet can add $2500 to a home’s selling price. While a professional renovation could cost as much as $6000 there are alternatives for highquality DIY closest systems to customize your closet that you can install yourself. Start by taking a thorough inventory of your wardrobe and accessories to make sure any frequently-worn pieces are within easy reach. Use the higher shelves to store seasonal or seldom-used items. Place shoe

racks near the closet entrance so they are easy to access. By taking a little bit of time to plan it will help go a long way toward building a closet that you and future homeowners will love.

Upgrade Your Bathroom Mirror Minor bathroom remodels offer one of the best returns on your investment. For every $1 you spend you can increase your home value 171%.  We’ve already

detailed several improvements you can make to your bathroom: new paint, fixtures, and hardware. To complete the look consider upgrading your mirror. Before you go out and purchase a new mirror, examine your current on to see how it is attached to the wall.  Some vanity mirrors are glued to the wall and difficult to remove without damaging the sheetrock behind it and potentially shattering the glass. If you prefer to keep your existing mirror you could paint the frame – or add one if it’s currently frameless.  Several different online retailers will send you

frame components cut to your specifications, which you can assemble and mount yourself. Much like a work of art, your vanity mirror serves as a focal point for your bathroom so don’t be afraid to let your creativity shine through!

Shampoo Your Carpet Carpet is notorious for trapping dust, dirt, and allergens. It’s one reason most buyers prefer hard surface flooring, but if you prefer carpet or are not prepared to invest in alternatives, make every effort to keep your carpet clean and odor-free.

Properly maintaining your carpet requires you to vacuum it weekly. Experts also recommend deep shampooing at least every other year. Fortunately, this is an inexpensive and simple DIY project you can knock our yourself. Consumer Reports stats you can rent a machine for around $90 which includes the cleaning supplies and fluids you’ll need as well.  An average return of 169% on your investment make the expense and effort well worth it. We’ve been talking about averages but the truth is every home is unique and the actual impact you’ll get from a specific

home improvement will depend upon your specific home and neighborhood. Before you start investing too much money consider contacting a real estate professional to get a free evaluation of your home.  As well as help determining which upgrades will offer the greatest return on both your investment and effort. Article by Troy Schlicker Troy Schlicker is a Real Estate Advisor & Broker with Reserve Realty. He is also the host of the Austin Spotlight Podcast. 512.809.6166

6 Things to Effectively

Taste Coffee

I have to admit — tasting coffee notes is not my forte. It’s most often a lack of vocabulary on my part. My mind blanks and I can’t find the words. Ex. “This tastes like…. good. Yes. Like good. Good coffee.”

seemingly contradictory remarks: “This tastes like a cherry blossom in early spring in the subtropics of Antarctica, after a giraffe has walked past it. And a hint of lemon and leather. And tannins. Mean tannins.”

Then I look over, and the next person in the room goes off with

Lack of vocabulary doesn’t mean you can’t taste various flavors. I

still remember the first time I had a coffee that had a distinctly blueberry taste. It was honestly like drinking blueberry pop-tarts — with nothing added! Those are the kinds of coffees that drive you to madness in seeking them out and perfecting the brew method to achieve those flavors. Lack of vocabulary doesn’t mean you can’t taste various flavors. I still remember the first time I had a coffee that had a distinctly blueberry taste. It was honestly like drinking blueberry pop-tarts — with nothing added! I recently tried a coffee that tastes like an Arnold Palmer — citrusy and tea-y. Mind blowing. Those are the kinds of coffees that drive you to madness in seeking them out and perfecting the brew method to achieve those flavors. When you’re tasting a coffee, there are 6 things to pay attention to:

Acidity/Sourness Like bitterness, there is good and bad acidity. Bad acidity is acrid and

pungent. It elicits an immediate reaction, generally with a lot of puckering involved. This is most often caused by under extraction, and can also have a mechanical taste if the machines are poorly maintained. Good acidity is often a citrusy note like lemon or berry, but can also come from lighter floral notes.

Bitterness There are two types of bitters, scientifically distinguished as “Bad Bitters” and “Good Bitters”. Bad bitters in coffee are usually from burnt beans — powdery, charcoally, and dry, or from over extracted beans. Every coffee has some amount of bitterness, and it’s the baristas job to pull out just the right amount. They can also come from poorly maintained machines. Good bitters are things like chocolate/cacao, ginger, nuts, cinnamon, etc.

Sweetness Sweetness is one of the first indicators of an awesome coffee. If

I taste any sweetness on the first few brews, I will delve in and make micro adjustments to see if there is an X-Factor worth exploring.

Body/Mouthfeel Body or mouthfeel (such a fun word) in coffee is usually a descriptor of thickness or viscosity. Thick, syrupy espressos feeldifferent and their flavors tend to linger longer. Brewed coffee is lighter and the taste tends to fade more quickly. I personally prefer something drinks whose flavor develops and changes as it lingers.

Balance Balance is how well the above tastes blend together to create a whole. It takes the right levels of bitterness, acidity, and sweetness

to achieve balance. Most often, unbalanced coffee is due to the brew method or ratio. Sometimes, something as simple as adding water can mellow out the overpowering flavors and balance everything out.

X-Factor Again, my own scientific term, the X-Factor is when you hit the right recipe based on trial to achieve a familiar, unexpected flavor. Blueberries? Wut. Hibiscus? Wut? Pecan? Wut. Arnold Palmer? Wuuuuuut. One other thing to note is that your olfactory bulb (is there a better term in existence?) plays a significant role in tasting. Smell that coffee before and after you grind and brew.

Article by Wilson Hailey Wilson Haliey is the owner of Tezpresso an Austin which offers a direct to consumer coffee of the month including online classes in how to get the most out of your coffee experience. Tezpresso also has a mobile espresso bar. 512.412.2194 |

Tech Neck

We live in a high-tech society of cell phones, tablets, computers, etc. With all the far-reaching conveniences and entertainment that these devices truly offer us, an increasingly problematic physical inconvenience has begun to arise as a result of the growing use hand-held technology and computers. As we know, these devices are here to stay, so how do we stay ahead of the curve, or more specifically, the reversed curve?

What is Tech Neck? The basic definition is the name given to neck soreness from endlessly sitting in front of a computer, typing on a laptop or using any handheld technology. The pain is typically in the cervical spine, which is why it’s called “tech neck”, but it is not limited to the neck.  Overuse or improper use of technology can cause pain in the upper or mid-thoracic and lumbar spine as well. Muscular stiffness and pain, even headache, can be caused by

extended periods of time spent looking at a screen or down at devices such as tablets, hand-held gaming systems or smart phones. While shoulder and neck pain are going to be the most common symptoms of Tech Neck, it can also result in headaches, worsened when the head is bent down towards a computer or smartphone, and other signs of discomfort, like numbness and tingling in the arms, hands, or fingers. However, if left undetected or uncorrected, Tech Neck can even result in deviations to the thoracic and lumbar spine.  The vertebrae in the spine typically act like stacked building blocks and will compensate for misalignments.  As with a stack of building blocks, if one block is slightly to the left, the tower will lean to the left unless the block above it compensates by leaning slightly to the right.  Our spine works in the much the same way, and so strain on the neck could result in other areas of the spine trying to counterbalance.

What Causes It? Pause for a moment. Gaze down at your smartphone. Observe what happens to your neck. When you look down, your neck goes into flexion, which means that the normal C-shaped curve reverses, causing pulling in your neck. Your thoracic spine slouches, your shoulders roll forward, and your chin tilts upward into a forward head position. Your head is no longer supported over your body; rather, it is positioned far forward, putting strain on your neck, shoulders, and back. This positioning causes adverse stress on the joints, muscles, and discs if you remain in this position for more than 20 minutes. This increased pressure in the joints then puts pressure on the nerves, discs and muscles attached to the spine. Tightness in the musculature results in pain and stiffness in the neck, arms, shoulders, and back. Furthermore, this positioning can lead to nerve pressure contributing to common symptoms like headaches,

numbing and tingling in the hands and fingers, vertigo, and unexplained nausea. Normally, when the ears are aligned over the center of your shoulders, the average head exerts 10-15 pounds of pressure on the neck; about the weight of a bowling ball. Imagine if your head moves forward over the center of your shoulders even by 1 inch. This 1 inch of forward head posturing can increase the weight of the head by as much as six times.

The Future of Neck Problems In the United States alone, the average person checks their phone almost 50 times a day and spends almost 5 hours on their cell phone. The typical teenager will spend an average of 5,000 hours per year

texting with their neck at an uncomfortable angle. These numbers are alarming when you consider this equates to about 50 pounds of excess pressure put on the cervical spine during every minute spent looking down at a smartphone or other hand-held technology. In kids who have spines that are still growing and not developed, the real concern is the question of what this may mean for the future health of kids who are using phones all day every day for hours at a time?

Actionable Suggestions 1. Be aware – Try to spend an equal amount of time with your neck back and facing up to counter-balance the amount of time spent with your neck flexed forward 2. Set Time Limits – take a 3minute break for every 15-20 minutes you use your device 3. Set Automatic Reminders – most smart devices have timers take a time-out regularly

1. 2. 3. 4. Use a Tablet Holder – purchase any tablet or iPad holder available at Amazon or other retailers to elevate your device and significantly reduce the amount of neck flexion and forward positioning to keep the device as close to eye level as possible 5. Take Action – pain is our body’s warning system that something isn’t right; don’t ignore it

The Chiropractic Factor Chiropractic care has been clinically proven to effectively prevent conditions like tech neck, as well as other painful conditions that

impact the neck, spine and back. ‘Tech Neck’ is considered a physical trauma to the body, allowing for straightening or reversal of the normal curvature of the neck. The chiropractic adjustment seeks to realign the spine while also stimulating the release of natural pain-relieving chemicals in the body!

If you or your children are suffering from any of the common symptoms of Tech Neck, be sure to schedule a detailed chiropractic spinal evaluation. Early detection of changes to the normal curves of the spine allows for the best opportunity at successful prevention or correction of structural changes due to ‘Tech Neck’.

Article by Dr. Jeannique Norbert Dr. Norbert is a chiropractor and owner of Empower Family Chiropractic in Lakeway, TX. As a Family Wellness Chiropractor she incorporates suggestions to increase family's health through wellness, 512.956.6370 |

Separation Anxiety in Your Pup & How to Help

We know these last few months have been new for all of us, including our pets. Dogs have spent every moment with their owners from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed. Can you imagine how different it will be once owners have to go back to working in offices or outside the home? Even something as little as going to the grocery store can result in separation anxiety in your pup. Check out the signs and symptoms of separation anxiety below and learn how you can help your pup through this tough time.

Signs Of Separation Anxiety Stress and fear in dogs can show in many ways. If your pup shows one or two of these behaviors randomly, it may not exactly be something to worry about. If your pup is continuously exhibiting multiple symptoms, it's more likely your pup has separation anxiety. Not eating their food or treats Destructive behaviors such as chewing, digging, ripping apart items Whining, pacing, or trembling Escape attempts when you are leaving

How To Help Your Pup Manage Separation Anxiety If you find your pup is exhibiting moderate anxiety, it's time to help your pup. The goal here is to help your pup not feel the anxiety from being alone. While this is not a quick process, it is most definitely worth it. Well start with short periods of time working with your pup on being alone, and work up to longer periods of time.

Calmly Enter & Exit: When coming and going through your house, try to keep it simple when saying goodbye to your pup. Say a simple hello, goodbye, or even ignore your pup. Making a big scene when entering or exiting your home will tell your pup that it is a big deal that you left! Come & Go Often: This will help your pup understand you are not abandoning them every time you leave your home. You can start with small steps that include you grabbing your keys, walking out the door, and coming back in right away. Then you can gradually work your pup up to increasing the time before you reenter the home. Make A Change In Your Routine Before Leaving: Dogs are smart. They will pick up on the small things you do before you leave the

house. Try changing up the pattern by getting dressed to 'leave' and then sitting to watch TV, or grabbing your keys and going to sit down! Bring Your Pup To Daycare: Daycare provides a home away from home for your pup. Your pup is given the attention they want and need while getting to play with furry friends. It's all day play while you're away! We often say pups have more fun than you do! Once you have a plan to return to a normal schedule, there are additional steps you can take to help your pup adjust along with ways to keep your dog happy once you’re back on track. This will help keep your pup happy and healthy as you both adjust to your new normal.

Article by Kim Elliott Kim is the owner of Camp Bow Wow, a premier dog day care and boarding facility in the Lake Travis area. 512.264.9663 |

Why You Should Go Solar Now

When we experience natural disasters or pandemics or other significant disruptions to our lives, it’s normal to take a step back and evaluate what’s important. It is also a time when many people are looking for opportunities to become more self-sufficient and to take steps to protect the things that are most important to us. In addition to food, shelter, and protecting the health of our family, another important aspect of our lives that we may have previously taken for granted is the electricity powering our home. The current pandemic has awakened many people to the benefits that solar panels and a backup power supply can provide to help make your home more self-sustaining.

Why Go Solar Today? If you have been thinking about

going solar, there are five compelling reasons to make the decision today. Self-Sufficiency and Reliability Going solar alleviates some of your reliance on grid electricity, and generating your own energy frees you from depending entirely on energy companies. A home solar panel array combined with high capacity battery backup provides you with a dependable on-site energy source and the ability to store excess energy to use during emergencies, which makes your household more self-sufficient instead of relying entirely on energy from the grid. No Money Down With the continued availability of great financing options it may be possible to go solar with no money down. This means you can leave your money in the securities markets until they recover while investing in solar right now. This is an economic benefit of solar energy that is especially relevant during these tumultuous times.

Offsetting Higher Usage According to a 2020 study by the financial institution Fundera, the number of regular telecommuting employees has grown by 115% since 2005. As more and more people shift to working from home during the stay-in-place orders from cities and counties across Texas, electricity usage and utility bills will inevitably increase for many households. Adding solar panels to your home can help offset increased energy costs, letting you save money while you work remotely. Rising Solar Prices and Potentially Limited Supply Many components of solar panel systems are made in countries whose manufacturing industries have been disrupted for several months due to the COVID-19 virus. These global supply chain disruptions are likely to cause increases in the price of solar panels, inverters, and related equipment due to limited availability. Going solar now

protects you from higher prices or panel shortages in the future. Eco-Friendly Energy Aside from the economic benefits of solar energy, there are other reasons to go solar. Solar panels are an environmentally friendly way to generate energy. You can harness the energy of the sun to power your home or business

without contributing to local air pollution. Solar panels have a usable life of 40+ years and can be recycled once they reach the end of their life. Is now the time to go solar for you? Offsetting future use, reducing future costs and providing a more reliable electric infrastructure are all reasons solar might make sense for you right now.

Article by Aubrey Lethbridge Aubrey is an Energy Consultant at Freedom Solar. 512.387.4574 |

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Austin Spotlight - July 2020  


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