Category Archives: Diet


Smiles, Laughter & Fun, Oh My!

Is your job all work and no play? Does everyone keep to themselves? Is the stiff holiday party the only time you socialize with your co-workers? Are you away from your pet all day? Hopefully, a miserable workplace such as this will soon be a thing of the past!

Employers and their workers are realizing the value of having more fun on the job! It’s no surprise that research has shown that when people are happier, they have:

  • Improved health
  • Increased motivation
  • More productivity
  • Less stress and anxiety
  • Improved task performance
  • Higher job satisfaction

When employees are friends with each other, they work better together and communicate more effectively. Having fun with people is a great way to learn about each other’s traits, likes, and dislikes. This knowledge enables them to better understand each other’s boundaries, strengths and weaknesses. Play can also stimulate imagination, help people adapt and solve problems.

Employers with happy employees benefit from reduced absenteeism, improved teamwork, increased employee retention, and greater sales!

At 5Strands Affordable Testing, we make an ongoing effort to spend time with each other in a relaxed and fun environment. Here are some of the ways we play!

  • Bringing our pets to work! Some days, we have as many as 7 dogs at the office! They enjoy each other as much as we enjoy having them there! Dogs are proven to reduce stress in the workplace. Having the freedom to bring our beloved furry friends to the office keeps smiles on our faces! Find out more about this in our blog, “Happiness is a Pet-Friendly Workplace.”
  • I think I can speak for the whole office when I say we are foodies! We enjoy having a healthy lunch ordered in for special occasions or just because. Evidence shows that eating tasty and healthy meals improves your mood and helps you focus. For us, it’s food for the soul and helps rejuvenate us in the midst of our work day.
  • Relaxing or stimulating breaks! We take turns unwinding on our amazing full-body massage chair! I have a feeling we’ll need a sign-up sheet to be sure everyone is included! We also have a Confidence Fitness Full Body Vibration machine. What better way to recharge than take a quick break to exercise AND have a good laugh?
  • Holiday celebrations – From carving pumpkins for Halloween to making gingerbread houses at Christmas, we pause to party and celebrate the seasons. This includes photos with our pets in matching costumes/clothes!

Our team is grateful for fun at the job we all love. This helps provide the foundation for delivering a great customer experience and building a successful business.

Wishing you fun at your job and happiness all the time!


Make Your Dream Come True

As a little girl, my dream was to become a singer. I used to sing and dance around my parent’s house to the music of Shaina Twain and Britney Spears. As I became older, I realized that in order to become a famous singer I needed to have a one-of-a-kind voice. Well… my voice is one-of-a-kind, but not in the way I intended it to be. I decided to dream a new dream.

Growing up, I battled with ADHD and a few learning disabilities. A teacher once told me, “just because you have a disability, does not mean you are disabled.” To this day, her words of encouragement have stuck with me through everything I do. Going into my teenage years, I wanted to become a teacher. I was so passionate that when I went off to college I choose to be an Early Childhood Education Major. After a few semesters, it just didn’t feel right. I felt that I should be doing something different with my life.

After a lot of thinking, research and praying I realized that I had really enjoyed working in my family’s construction business since I was 15. I began dreaming about becoming a business professional, so I changed my major to Business Marketing. During the first semester, I wanted to quit because of how hard it was, but I knew I would kick myself if I gave up that easily. With a lot of motivation, hard work and support, I graduated this past May with my Business Marketing Degree. What a great feeling of accomplishment! I was on my way to becoming my vision for myself in the workforce.

While I had planned to return to the family construction business when I graduated, my heart-felt dream was to have a career where I helped people in a way that would change their lives for the better. I envisioned frequent travel and bringing my dog to work. Little did I know that while I was away at school, the family business would expand in a new direction with the creation of 5Strands Affordable Testing. Coming home to work at 5Strands Affordable Testing has been a dream come true and for that I’m truly grateful!

Wanted to share a few things I learned on my journey to fulfill my dreams:

– Hold tight to your dream and don’t let anyone else’s opinion discourage you.

– It’s ok to change your dream at any time, when you have more clarity on what would make you truly happy.

– We have the power to make any dream a reality! All it takes is focusing on it, putting effort toward it day in and day out, and not giving yourself excuses!

– While you may experience difficulty, setbacks, and failure along the way, the accomplishment will be well worth it!

– Don’t be afraid to dream big!

Think of 2019 as the start of a new dream. What will do you to make your dream come true?


The Day After New Years Eve is not Always Happy :(

As we look forward into the new year, the first day is not always a bright one for everyone. Some may have stayed up late and over indulged with food and alcohol the night before and are feeling like the pit of misery. For those of you that may have only had one or two alcoholic beverages but are still feeling under the weather, we may have an answer for you as to why:

Alcohol intolerance can cause immediate, uncomfortable reactions after you drink alcohol. The most common signs and symptoms are stuffy nose and skin flushing.

Alcohol intolerance is caused by a genetic condition in which the body can’t break down alcohol efficiently. The only way to prevent these uncomfortable reactions is to avoid alcohol.

Although not a true allergy, in some cases, what seems to be an alcohol intolerance might be your reaction to something in an alcoholic beverage — such as chemicals, grains or preservatives.Combining alcohol with certain medications also can cause reactions.


Signs and symptoms of alcohol intolerance — or of a reaction to ingredients in an alcoholic beverage — may include:

  • Facial redness (flushing)
  • Red, itchy skin bumps (hives)
  • Worsening of pre-existing asthma
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

When to see a doctor

Having a mild intolerance to alcohol or something else in alcoholic beverages might not require a trip to a doctor. Simply avoid alcohol, limit how much you drink or avoid certain types of alcoholic beverages.

However, if you have a serious reaction or severe pain, see your doctor. Also, if your symptoms seem to be linked to an allergy or a medication you’re taking, see your doctor.


Alcohol intolerance may occur when your body doesn’t have the proper enzymes to break down (metabolize) the toxins in alcohol.

Other ingredients commonly found in alcoholic beverages, especially in beer or wine, can cause intolerance reactions. These include:

  • Sulfites or other preservatives
  • Chemicals, grains or other ingredients
  • Histamine, a byproduct of fermentation or brewing

In some cases, reactions can be triggered by a true allergy to a grain such as corn, wheat or rye or to another substance in alcoholic beverages.

Rarely, severe pain after drinking alcohol is a sign of a more serious disorder, such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Risk factors

Risk factors for alcohol intolerance or other reactions to alcoholic beverages include:

  • Having asthma or hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
  • Having an allergy to grains or to another food
  • Having Hodgkin’s lymphoma


Depending on the cause, complications of alcohol intolerance or other reactions to alcoholic beverages can include:

  • Migraines. Drinking alcohol can trigger migraines in some people, possibly as a result of histamines contained in some alcoholic beverages. Your immune system also releases histamines during an allergic reaction.
  • A severe allergic reaction. In rare instances, an allergic reaction can be life-threatening (anaphylactic reaction) and require emergency treatment.


Unfortunately, nothing can prevent reactions to alcohol or ingredients in alcoholic beverages. To avoid a reaction, avoid alcohol or the particular substance that causes your reaction.

Read beverage labels to see whether they contain ingredients or additives you know cause a reaction, such as sulfites or certain grains. Be aware, however, that labels might not list all ingredients.

5Strands Affordable Testing wishes you and your family a FABULOUS 2019 filled with good health and happiness. We are looking for great things to come!