Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Know Your Builder - Are They Financially Secure?

Stability. Everyone looks for it in these times, especially when purchasing a home. Large national home building corporations have a certain allure with multi-state community offerings and widespread brand awareness, but are these companies financially stable in today's market?

Know your builder before you purchase and learn about their track record. The developer of On Top of the World Communities has a Florida focus and is family owned and operated. Since 1947 the Colen family has maintained a fiscally sound company which to this day is debt free. It is a company that values its community and residents and strives to maintain home values.

On Top of the World Communities stands strong and will continue to expand, enhance and support its developments well into the future. When deciding where to purchase your new home, choose the builder with fiscal and environmental responsibility whose homes are built with the highest energy efficiency and quality. Choose On Top of the World Communities in beautiful Ocala, Florida.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Resident Club Showcase: SPCA

The SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is not just an On Top of the World club, it is a service organization dedicated to helping animals in all of Marion and surrounding counties. Although most of the club's members are residents, they also welcome anyone outside of the community to join.

The SPCA's hands-on projects include providing pet food for many Meals on Wheels recipients. You will find this group filling plastic baggies with dog and cat food for this effort. The number of baggies averages to about 100 every other week. They are also a point of contact for animals that have been lost or found in On Top of the World. When an owner can't be located, they try to get them adopted. For this to work, they are in constant need of volunteer foster homes. One of their most rewarding projects is working in conjunction with local veterinary offices to offset the cost of medical care for injured pets whose owners are low on funds.

Since they do not have a shelter, they make a point of supporting the local animal organizations that do. They received a very generous donation last year so they have been able to do more. They have been using most of this money to help shelters who don't have sources of funding except donations.

In the last year, they helped several horse rescue agencies, a wildlife rescue and a bird sanctuary (OWLS), contributed to veterinary bills for local dog and cat rescues, helped support the on-going spay/neuter program for feral cats, donated to a local veterinarian whose project provides food and vet care to animals of the homeless, helped the county animal shelter improve their cat holding facility and helped several programs that provide service dogs for veterans.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why We Eat! by Larry Robinson

Have you ever looked down to see crumbs all over your lap with a telltale wrapper clutched in your hand and asked yourself, "Why did I eat that?" Or after your second helping of spaghetti followed by ice cream resulting in a horrendously full stomach you've thought, "Why did I eat so much?"

There are many reasons why we over eat and eat when we are not even hungry. The reasons are easy to understand, but the reality of changing these behaviors is very complex. The desire to eat stems from many different signals and triggers. The average person eats 20% of the time from physical hunger and 80% of the time for reasons besides hunger. Why do we eat when we are not hungry? In learning to distinguish our reason for eating, we can address behavior changes that will help us to eat more nutritiously.

Here are some of the reasons why we eat besides hunger:

PHYSICAL HUNGER AND HORMONES - The hormones Ghrelin (eat now) and Leptin (stop eating) are your body's on and off switches for your appetite. The problem with that is your brain doesn't get that message from your stomach for about 20 minutes after it's had enough food.

FOOD CRAVINGS - Cravings can cause you to eat for pleasure, rather than for hunger. Often food cravings are set off by fluctuating sugar levels. Do a "pantry makeover" and eliminate foods that trigger these cravings such as snacks that are high in salt, sugar and fat.

EMOTIONAL EATING - Food can provide comfort when you are experiencing emotional challenges. Learn to substitute eating with other things you enjoy like reading, talking to friends, book groups or exercising.

STRESS - When you are under stress, your body releases the hormone Cortisol. If your stress continues, the Cortisol levels remain high and stimulate your appetite which can result in weight gain. Find ways to gain relaxation and coping strategies for your stress.

LACK OF SLEEP - When you are sleep deprived, your Ghrelin and Leptin hormone system of appetite does not work efficiently which  can increase your hunger. When you lack sleep, you feel sluggish and tired. Your body knows that sugar will provide a "pick me up" so you tend to reach for less healthy food choices in this state. It is important to get enough sleep to keep your hunger and sugar cravings under control.

MINDLESS EATING - This is like being in "auto-pilot", eating without attention or intention. Most of the time, mindless eating is connected to a "trigger" like watching television, going to the movies, or simply eating because the candy bowl was in front of you. Try to eat with attention and intention making mindful choices about what you are eating and how much.

Our bodies and brains are wired for survival, safety and comfort. If food has become a way you comfort and soothe yourself, you will have to re-learn new coping behaviors. If food has become something you turn to when you are bored, you will have to find alternative ways to stay busy and entertained. The reasons we over eat are simple, but changing those behaviors is complex. It's no wonder that weight loss is a big challenge for so many. To develop healthier coping strategies that will work for you, it's important to learn more about the connections between your brain and your food choices.

Here are some tips to help you with those connections:

FIT TIP #1 - Write it all down! Keep a food diary, along with a journal describing emotions that trigger overindulgence.

FIT TIP #2 - Be mindful! Eat with intention and attention. Don't eat in front of the television, in the car or "on the go." Pay attention to your meal. Sit down in a comfortable place, use a plate and utensils and enjoy it.

FIT TIP #3 - Understand the difference between feeling satisfied, full and stuffed. You need to stop eating when you feel satisfied. Eating until you are full or stuffed could very well mean that you have eaten 1,000-2,000 extra calories!

Larry Robinson is a Personal Trainer for On Top of the World Communities.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

It's Showtime at the Circle Square Cultural Center!

Where else can you live and have world class entertainment available just a hop, skip and golf cart ride away? The Circle Square Cultural Center located at On Top of the World features popular world class performers such as The Lettermen, Willie Nelson, Frankie Avalon, Jay & The Americans and more!

On August 18th, the Cultural Center is going to sizzle with The Queens of Motown. This fantastic show stars Karen Durrant. This lady not only sings songs by Tina Turner, but she looks just like her! She is guaranteed to entertain you with her tributes of famous Motown queens Donna Summer, Gladys Knight, The Supremes, The Pointer Sisters plus a host of others.

Pete Peterkin's Tribute to Legends of Rock n' Roll comes back to the Cultural Center on August 25th by popular demand. Pete Peterkin is "one of the top celebrity impersonators in the world" as he pays tribute to the legends of rock n' roll history. Close your eyes and you will think you are listening to such famous recording artists of the past and present such as Ray Charles and Chuck Berry. He has appeared on many TV shows including America's Got Talent, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Access Hollywood and many more. Pete impersonates over 50 known recording artists which will make this show mesmerizing!

These and many other shows are open to the public with On Top of the World residents receiving discounted ticket of the many benefits of living at this amenity-rich, active adult community!