Tricks to Maintain Your Waist Line When Eating Out

It’s been a long day at work, and dinner out at a restaurant sounds much more tempting than cooking. However, eating out and healthy eating rarely go hand-in-hand. What to do? A Gathering of Experts will help you navigate some of the hidden pitfalls of eating out – even in high-end restaurants.

Whether you are on a diet or just don’t want to gain weight while on vacation, eating healthy and well at a restaurant is simply common sense. This can be addressed by managing portion control. One way to do that is to snack first on something like an apple with peanut butter or hummus and vegetables. In other words, don’t go into a restaurant with a growling stomach. And portion control doesn’t just mean self-moderation before appetizers – it also applies to “on the side.” Many chefs report that customers use more dressing than they would have received on the salad initially. Be smart and dip your lettuce into the dressing and don’t pour it on the salad.

Also, what you might think of traditionally as “healthy food” isn’t necessarily that at all. For instance, sushi will often be served in a jumbo portion and come deep-fried. Also, sushi sometimes contains mayonnaise  – which is something that’s decidedly not healthy.

Avoiding side dishes altogether is also a great way to keep the calories off. Many sides are cheese based or fried, so when ordering food plan the meal around a good protein and simple vegetables. Stay away from anything with too many add-on ingredients.

It’s also a good idea to utilize the professionals. Servers memorize the specials and can help restaurant goers find an entree, either on the menu or on the special list that will fit their individual needs. Many people don’t ask too many questions out of fear of being labeled a “problem customer.” But, when in doubt ask an expert – and servers are the most knowledgeable people to ask.

Finally, check out restaurant menus online. That will help determine if it’s nutritionally the right fit. If your restaurant of choice doesn’t have a full-fledged website with a menu, utilize sites like for additional information. It’s possible to eat well and not consume an entire day’s worth of calories in one sitting.

Mercy Ministries 2011 End of Year Review Given by Founder and President Nancy Alcorn

Mercy Ministries

Mercy Ministries

As another year at Mercy Ministries comes to a close I just want to thank each and every one of you for your amazing support of Mercy Ministries. You know, we cannot do what we do without your help. When you give to Mercy Ministries, you are literally making the difference between life and death in the lives of so many young girls. Not just young girls that even come to Mercy Ministries—although there are hundreds that do each year. But also the lives of young women that Mercy Ministries reaches through our speaking engagements and educational resources.

Mercy Ministries had the privilege this year of speaking to very large crowds. I was able to speak at Joyce Meyer Ministries. We had 15,000-20,000 women in numerous conferences from coast-to-coast as well as speaking at churches in other nations where there were thousands of people in attendance on the weekends. So we are literally seeing the message of Mercy Ministries multiply.

Speaking of multiplication, Mercy Ministries even had a team of graduates who went to Uganda in 2011 to serve at Watoto Children’s Ministries. They not only raised the money for their own support but they actually went over there and built four buildings for these orphans to be able to go to school. So Mercy Ministries and your giving are being multiplied in the lives of our girls and also in the lives of generations to come.

I can tell you about so many lives that have been transformed through Mercy Ministries. One that stands out in particular is a young woman named Jen who went through the Mercy Ministries program several years ago. She had a very serious eating disorder. She was a cutter. Secular treatment programs told her that she would not live, that she would never have a normal life, that she would never be able to get over this, and that there was permanent damage. And yet she chose to believe that there was a way that she could change.

She walked through the doors of Mercy Ministries. Through your support her life was transformed several years ago. She came on staff with Mercy Ministries this year. She was a part of the Mercy Ministries team of graduates that went on the mission trip to Uganda. We are just so proud of Jen.

We are at the end of 2011 and to be very honest with you it’s been a tough year financially for Mercy Ministries. I want to share that with you because I know some of you are really looking for a place to give here at the end of the year. I will tell you that Mercy Ministries desperately needs your support. Mercy Ministries does not take any government funding so that we have the freedom to share Christ. Mercy Ministries does not charge the girls for the services they receive so you literally make a way for that girl to be pulled out of death and to experience the life of Christ. You make a way for her past not to destroy her future and for her to have the destiny that God has planned for her to have.

I’m asking you to help us not only here at the end of the year but would you consider getting “all in” with Mercy Ministries and making a monthly commitment for the year 2012? We need you. Mercy Ministries needs to know we can depend on that every month. In our four U.S. facilities we have room for 130 girls at any one given time and yet Mercy Ministries is getting 1,500 calls a month in the United States alone for young girls who are needing help.

The calls and the desperation and the issues are getting more severe all the time. Girls who are severely sexually abused and even girls that have come out of sex trafficking. And then all the other issues—eating disorders, cutting, girls who are suicidal, girls who have gotten to the point that they don’t even want to live anymore because of the pain that is in their heart. Mercy Ministries knows that Christ came to heal the brokenhearted. You make a way for those hearts to be healed when you help Mercy Ministries. So I want to thank you for your support.

For more information about Mercy Ministries, go to or call (615) 831-6987.

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays | London’s Best

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays

When travelling to London for the first time, Pierre Bennett Global Holidays acknowledges that the options can be overwhelming. With such sites as Big Ben, Parliament and the National Gallery to choose from, where should a traveler start? To help new visitors to London, Pierre Bennett Global Holidays has compiled a list of some of the most interesting things to see in London, one of Europe’s most glamorous cities.

When visitors set out to sightsee in historic London, one of the first places that Pierre Bennett Global Holidays usually recommends they visit is Buckingham Palace.  Visitors can watch the famous changing of the palace guard every evening and see that the gate guards really do remain completely immobile.    Kensington Palace Gardens with its famous swans, both black and white, is just a short walk away.  Pierre Bennett Global Holidays also highly recommends a tour of the underground bunkers used by Winston Churchill and his staff during World War II.  It is also nearby and is so accurately restored it feels as if a staff member might walk in at any moment.

Visitors who wish to feel pampered and have a once-in-a-lifetime shopping experience, says Pierre Bennett Global Holidays, must visit Harrods. This first-class store specializes in “retail theater” and product quality – not to mention a stellar selection of brands from around the globe. The terracotta palace is filled with luxury items from haute couture to dog collars and hand-painted porcelain doorknobs. And because of Pierre Bennett Global Holidays member discounts for travel, visitors to Harrods will have a little extra money for this unique shopping experience. Pierre Bennett Global Holidays reports that there are over twenty-seven restaurants and cafes for the hungry shopper at Harrods.

According to Pierre Bennett Global Holidays, visitors should plan to set aside a day to visit London’s National Gallery. With art from Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Renoir, Cezanne and Van Gogh, art lovers will be enthralled by the collection in this nearly two-hundred-year-old museum. Pierre Bennett Global Holidays also suggests that visitors take advantage of the museum’s special exhibitions and lectures.

To watch history being made, Pierre Bennett Global Holidays recommends that travelers stop by the Houses of Parliament. Visitors can sit in and watch Westminster Hall debates, as well as several committees. Pierre Bennett Global Holidays also reports that there are guided tours through the House of Lords that explain the history of the art hanging on the walls, as well as the architecture of the building. Big Ben is located within Westminster Castle, and visitors shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see the most famous clock in the world, which the government is renaming after Queen Elizabeth in honor of her 60th Jubilee anniversary as monarch

Pierre Bennett Global Holidays tells gourmands to check out some of London’s best eateries. British food isn’t the bland concoction that it used to be, points out the staff, and London is filled with international restaurants that focus on the best ingredients that the area has to offer. Celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver and Gary Rhodes all have restaurants in London and several of them are Michelin rated as well.

Because Pierre Bennett Global Holidays serves as a full service travel agency, travelers can experience the firm’s unparalleled customer service accompanying their membership program. Pierre Bennett Global Holidays is a world-class leader in the travel industry and the club invites new members to take advantage of the sights and sounds of London, along with the best the world has to offer.

Doug Battista: When HR People Fail to Make an Impact in the Business

Doug Battista

Doug Battista

Doug Battista has a wealth of experience in the field of human resources. While he’s dedicated himself to the field over the years, Doug Battista has seen some classic mistakes made by human resource staff members. When this happens, Doug Battista explains, the entire human resource department may fail to make an impact in the business.

Fortunately, most HR departments are headed up by experienced professionals who can help guide team members in the right direction. But in smaller organizations with only one or two HR staff members, inexperience or inadequacies can have a negative impact on the success of the organization, according to Doug Battista.

Doug Battista points to several key areas where an HR worker must perform up to task. Failure to do so can be disastrous, Doug Battista explains, resulting in low morale, resignations, and even legal action. Some of those key areas include:

  • Responding to employee complaints. When an employee has a problem—whether it be with a supervisor, a co-worker, or the structure of the organization—that employee seeks out the assistance of human resources. Doug Battista emphasizes that this is the time HR needs to step forward to help. Unfortunately, HR often defers to outside HR representatives or the legal team to handle these matters, at which point everything stalls. If this inactivity continues too long, the employee’s morale will drop or, says Doug Battista, legal action may ensue.
  • Failure to document. Doug Battista can’t stress enough the importance of documenting issues, especially in regard to disciplinary issues. Too often, HR fails to keep proper documentation and a firing is ruled unjust in a lawsuit. By carefully documenting each instance of bad behavior, an HR worker can successfully discipline negative employee behavior, Doug Battista has found.
  • Lack of communication. This encompasses many areas of an HR worker’s job, but in this instance it refers to a failure to address key issues that impact an employee. HR consultants are often the keepers of “change management,” Doug Battista explains, so it is imperative that when a key player in a company is fired or a merger is pending that the HR consultant be as up front as possible, while still remaining positive.

An HR person is often called upon to act as coach, mentor, and advisor, says Doug Battista. By maintaining these areas, an HR consultant can maintain trust among workers.

A Gathering of Experts Discusses Positive Changes in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity

Recently, Disney made the startling announcement that advertisers on all of their media outlets would have to adhere to a new set of stringent health guidelines. The new guidelines will force advertisers to limit the overall calories, fat, salt and sugar in what they advertise in programs geared toward children. A Gathering of Experts believes that what made that announcement so shocking is that sugary sweets have been intrinsically linked to children’s programming – especially Saturday morning cartoons – for years. But Disney went even further during an event with First Lady Michelle Obama. They also announced that they are revamping the food that will be served at their theme parks.

While Disney’s announcement was bold, it turns out that Ted Turner’s Cartoon Network started blazing the trail for them back in 2007. No Cartoon Network character is allowed to be in advertisements that endorse high fat or high sugar foods, including beverages. While the Cartoon Network started their program against childhood obesity quietly a few years ago, they haven’t gone as far as Disney in clamping down on advertisements. However, they have been proactive with their programming by developing shows like “Rescuing Recess” and “Move It Movement,” which encourage children to exercise.

A Gathering of Experts believes that these initiatives will go a long way in helping fight the epidemic of childhood obesity. Childhood obesity rates have grown nearly thirty percent since 1980, and they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. With more and more physical education classes being downsized – or canceled outright – due to school budget problems, children are much less active than they used to be.

But, the problem isn’t just lack of exercise. Schools across the country have adopted extremely fattening and high sugar meals that have contributed to the crisis. Pizza is considered a vegetable in  school food programs across the country, according to USDA standards – along with french fries. And it’s not just the food that schools serve, it’s the foods that they advertise that is part of the problem as well. Because of budget shortfalls, many schools across the country have started making money by having paid advertisements around the halls for sugary drinks and snacks.

However, because of initiatives by the Cartoon Network and Disney, along with First Lady Michelle Obama, childhood obesity is sparking conversations about the causes and potential solutions to the crisis. Hopefully in a few years there will be changes in place to make sure that childhood obesity is a thing of the past.