Onward To Alaska

Over the years, visiting Alaska has increasing climbed my to-do list. One of the things I’m looking forward to most now that I’m back in the airline industry is the cheap ability to explore. Not just travel and sightseeing the usual attractions, but really veer off course and explore the other parts of what this beautiful world has to offer. Working for Alaska Airlines, I am blessed with the luxury to travel free to many cities in the U.S. and very cheaply worldwide. As you’d expect, the airline has many routes to Alaskan destinations like Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Kodiak, Bethel, Barrow (the northernmost city in the United States!), and many more.

My Outdoorsman Side Calls

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with my brother about possibly traveling together (family gets benefits too!) to Alaska. To me, the thought of exploring the wilderness and tundra of such a beautiful land as Alaska excites me to my core. I’m a water, green trees, and snow-capped mountains type of man. I’ve discovered over the years that I’m far less inner-city-oriented than I initially thought. The peace and quiet of nature just started to settle in my heart as I grew older. Washington state’s scenery is one of a few factors that lured me here from my home state of Arizona. Even after a year of living here, having the luxury of looking at Mt. Rainier right out my window is one that never gets old.

He’s Not As Thrilled About Visiting Alaska. . .

My brother, however, wasn’t too thrilled of the idea of visiting Alaska. I strongly dislike the cold and wet. Brandon hates the cold and wet about as much as a cat does (well, he is a Clemson Tiger after all). Alaska’s weather isn’t for everyone, and there are plenty of other places Alaska Airlines flies. So Brandon kindly rejected the offer of visiting Alaska.

At least for now.

I’m sitting with my family watching The Cosby Show and I pull out the airport codes I had to study during training. As I was going over them, I started talking about the other benefits we received, such as flying anywhere in the world on a heavily discounted ticket from any other airline. We started talking about visiting Suspension Bridge in Vancouver, Canada as one of our first international trips. With Canada being so close to Alaska, I let her know I’ll be flying all over the place in Alaska to simply explore. Explore everything from the seafood and wilderness to the Northern Lights.

An Unlikely Travel Buddy While Visiting Alaska Later This Year

To my surprise, she said she was just as excited as I am. Sometimes I forget I get my urge to travel and explore from my mother. That is for sure without a doubt. I can’t even express how amazing it is to be able to be planning trips to Alaska and sight-seeing with my Mom! There was a reason I was lured back into the industry after almost a year and a half hiatus. It’s truly a privilege to be able to come to work and enjoy your job in such a positive atmosphere.

Some can’t stand the hustle and bustle of a busy airport. Me? I’m at home. I see thousands of different bodies likely en route to something new and exciting, or onto a new experience and step in life. They may be on a business trip, on their way to see family, traveling for a sporting event, or simply getting away from all of their stresses at home and on their way to vacation. Of course, there may be some negative reasons for traveling, such as a death in the family. In those cases, I just do my best to tune into passengers, making sure their trip is the absolute best it can be despite the circumstances for flying.

Thankful For Horizon Air

Even when having to work in the gloomy and soggy atmosphere Seattle is notorious for, I know that it’s a job I take pride in. I know I’m good at it. Both my seven years on the flight line in the Air Force and my year and a half of experience at Piedmont (American Airlines) gives me all the confidence I need in performing my tasks. My job is to stay safe first and foremost and ensure my passengers are safe and their luggage is taken care of. That way, I come home, travel, blog, and live life.

Pretty sweet gig, really.

But getting back to Alaska, I look forward to what awaits me. My mother booked my brother and I on a whale watching tour up here in the Canadian waters back in July 2017 and it was a spectacular thing to witness. I can only imagine the kind of wildlife I’ll see up there. And I’ve heard stories from my buddies from the Air Force who were stationed in Alaska, so I have a fair idea of what to expect. I love listening to people’s travel stories. If there’s anyone from Alaska or has lived or visited there, please feel free to share your experiences!

Top Alaska Travel Books and Guides On My Radar

Alaska by Cruise Ship: The Complete Guide to Cruising Alaska – Includes Inside Passage and Glacier Cruises

3 Things I’ve Learned Since Starting My Blog

Blogging is an Art

From the day I officially started my online blog (Feb 4, 2017) to this very moment typing, I can honestly say starting a blog is one of the best things I’ve decided to do in my life. Blogging gives me the freedom to be me, write in my own voice, and write about my own life experiences. It also gives me the freedom to demonstrate my expertise in my fields, holistic health, nutrition, fitness, writing, and veteran resources. Although there’s technically no way I can fail at this, as I can blog about whatever I want to blog about, if you’re goal-oriented, chances are you set some expectations. Here are a few expectations I set for myself, and my experience with them thus far.

1. Gaining Followers is Not as Easy as Sprinkling a Few Key Words Around

When I first began writing my first articles, I couldn’t stop raving about the benefits of learning SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Knowing even the basics of SEO can certainly result in an increase in organic traffic, but oftentimes than not, it takes time for a considerable increase. I was reading plenty of ebooks and different articles on the ins and outs of SEO, so naturally, I hyped it up in my head before actually waiting for the results I was envisioning. Each article I put time, heart, and soul into it (as we all do in our blogs), but I received nary a view in a single day sometimes, much less a visit. As I learned more about social media marketing, I started connecting my social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, with my blog site. Doing this I immediately started to notice a spike in my visitors. But then the graph goes back to its regular, flat state about two days after the post and shares.

Needless to say, gaining followers is no walk in the park. It takes time, patience, research, hard work, and plenty of content to get noticed and gain regular followers. There will certainly be some inconsistencies in the beginning, but as you gain your voice and combine that with some basic SEO skills, you’ll see your efforts paying off.

2. Neither is Gaining Clients/Customers if You Are An Entrepreneur

I’ll be the first to admit: I underestimated just how challenging it would be to market myself as well as my services and products through writing. I’ve always loved to write ever since I learned cursive in the third grade. English, Writing, and Literature also happened to be my strongest areas in school. This meant blogging about a few things here and there and posting them on my popular social media sites would generate followers and clients in no time, right?

Wrong.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. There is so much more to marketing your business than just having a website and posting a few blogs. Copious amounts of hours are poured into learning about SEO techniques, social media marketing, and business plans. Countless time is spent brainstorming different content. Sometimes those brainstorms are for taking your business in another direction, something you’ll notice will happen a few times throughout your venture if you’re an entrepreneur.

Some Categories Just Don’t Get as Much Love

Another thing you’ll quickly learn is that some categories will get more love than others, simply for what they are. For example, travel is a crowd-favorite. Nearly everybody loves to travel in some form or fashion. It’s also often a way to get away from daily struggles. With these reasons in mind, it’s no wonder travel blogs are chosen more often to read over say home tool blogs.

As a blogger, the best thing you can get out of this is just to blog about what comes to heart. I’ve gone a couple weeks at a time without blogging but then published three articles in a span of 36 hours on the same scale. I write my best work when I feel it in my very bones. It has to come from the soul. If I feel pressured to write, whether if it’s for freelance work or I feel obligated to keep up with my blog, then I won’t feel as inspired.

Just do you and write whatever you want to write about. Write however you want to write. Write when you want to. Write where you want to. Whenever you’re feeling inspired, just write. The blogs where you’re not focused on a popular category or what keywords you’re going to use, but instead on unique, original content true to yourself are the ones that generate the most interest.

I do not own the photo used for the featured image.

Copyright (c) 2017 Vitaminvoyager.com, All Rights Reserved

A Quick Guide to Travel for the Recently Separated Veteran

Some Things I’ve Learned About Travel After Separating from the Military

One of the primary reasons people decide to join the military is for the travel. This aspect highly appealed to me, and as soon as my recruiter picked up on it, he took it and ran with it. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly appreciated him selling me on this. In the Air Force, travel is almost guaranteed, particularly for the AFSC I was in (Tactical Aircraft Maintenance,  or Aircraft Mechanic in layman’s terms). Not only did we have superb duty stations such RAF Lakenheath in England, Spangdahlem, Germany, and Kadena, Japan just to name a few, but we had the opportunity to TDY with our jets, giving us the option to basically travel anywhere there were U.S. training operations.

I Totally Choked Away My Travel Opportunities in the Military. . .

Needless to say, all the traveling I did in the military spoiled me. And the worse part of it was that I didn’t even take full advantage of my opportunities because I simply took them for granted. However, I quickly figured that travel opportunities do not end upon separation from the military. As a matter of fact, it’s arguably easier to travel when you’re out. Why? You’re not tied down to things like getting your leave approved or sudden unexpected deployments.

Since getting out of the Air Force, I got a job at Piedmont at American Airlines for about a year and a half. Working there, I quickly re-discovered my passion for traveling. I’d learned about the many different places in the country and around the world that I could travel for free or discounted. Through experience flying standby, I’d learned all the odds and ends of traveling wisely. This includes researching the weekends with good discounts on cars and hotels, such as Veterans Day weekends and other holidays. I’d also quickly learned how to travel lightly and the things I considered a necessity on my adventures.

You’ll Learn the “Life Hacks” As You Travel More

For example, after my first trip flying standby (just one of many benefits for working for an airline!), I learned that bringing things such as an extra pair of shoes was unnecessary, as they took up a large amount of space in my travel backpack. I also learned what not to forget, such as phone chargers (whoopsieee!!), my computer charger, and hygiene items such as my toothbrush and hairbrush. Now I know the latter really aren’t that big a deal, but when you arrive at your destination and realize you have no toothbrush to neutralize the dragon breath within, after hours of being on a flight, and you’re just ready to get the vacation weekend started, it can be quite inconvenient making a trip down the local CVS for these things. Although I also learned that many hotels actually have these items downstairs. It just depends on what time of the day you arrive and check in at the hotel.

A few key things to keep in mind as you explore your many different travel opportunities as a newly separated veteran:

  1. Travel lightly

    – This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised at how quickly your travel bag starts to fill up with unnecessary items. Leave the extra pair of pants and shoes at home. I guarantee you’ll find a way to make it work if you arrive and feel you don’t have enough outfits.

  2. Travel cheaply

    – Try and base your adventures around certain deals and discount packages going on at the time. For example, I found excellent hotel and car rental deals for Labor Day weekend in Ogden, Utah. The deal was so sweet I couldn’t resist the offer. I’d never been to Utah before either, so this was just a win-win situation all around. And if you’ve never been to Utah before, I highly recommend it. My word what a beautiful state.

  3. Travel with the right company

    – Even if this means traveling alone. There’s nothing worse than traveling with a buzzkill who wants to do nothing but drink their night away, sleep all day, then wash, rinse and repeat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the nightlife, but when you’re hungover all day from drinking yourself into a stupor and unable to truly experience where you are, regret quickly consumes you. That regret is even worse when peer pressure is a large factor in that. The most important thing about traveling is experiencing new things, different cultures, and immersing yourself in different lifestyles you’re not accustomed to. Why not just save the heavy drinking for when you’re at home?

Related image
With whom you travel with makes all the difference in the world. And you’re never too old for Disney.

Travel Wisely My Friends

These are just a few tips for traveling wisely. I’ve been to quite a few places on my journey to finding my passion and calling. I’ve also written a few pieces on the ins and outs of traveling. As an Integrative Health and Life Coach for Transitioning Veterans, part of my amazing job is to guide my clients towards their passion and freedom, which often includes travel and exploration. If you enjoyed this article or have any questions regarding the airline industry or cheap travel deals, please leave a comment below and I will be sure to get back to you. You can also email me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com for any questions about this as well as any inquiries about my 1-month health coaching program!

I do not own any photos in this blog post.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

How to Land the Job Interview in 3 Easy Steps

Landing the Job Interview is as Simple as These 3 Key Steps

If you’re just separating from the military, the idea of putting together a resume and converting it to job interviews can seem like an extremely daunting task. This is especially if you’ve never had to interview for a job prior to entering the service. Although the job hunting process can very much be difficult and frustrating, it doesn’t have to be. Guidance, direction, preparation, and a blueprint can go such a long way. Believe me when I say once the ball gets rolling, the calls and emails keep pouring in like weekly CBT’s. In this article, I’m going to cover how to land the job interview with these 3 easy steps.

1) Make Sure Your Resume Matches Keywords From the Job Description

Honestly, I feel this one is often overlooked. It’s too easy to put together a resume for one job and then use it for other jobs similar to the one you just applied for. Sometimes this may actually work, depending on where you apply and their need for employees. However, I’ve discovered that when you tailor each resume for the desired job, you’re far more likely to get an email or call-back. Believe it or not, this is one of the very few times you could actually get away with copy and pasting online. Do it with certain clauses from the job description and add your own words around them to show you at least put some effort and time into carefully sculpting your resume. This is actually recommended because many jobs now have a system of weeding out resumes that don’t fit their description and have those literal words and phrases.

2) Send a Cover Letter Even If It’s Optional

I used to be one that got right onto Indeed.com and sent my automatic resume from there. Needless to say, I did not get too many of the pleasant emails. The practice of scanning resumes and determining a candidate’s qualifications in 6-7 seconds is still alive and well. With that in mind, to land the job interview, you really have to understand that you must stand out. There is no better way to stand out from the crowd than to put a sincere, well-thought-out cover letter together thanking them for the opportunity to be a part of their team while highlighting your experience and strengths at the same time. This is also the document to explain any gaps in employment or the credit hours you’ve taken that relate to the position if you do not have your degree just yet.

3) Send An Email Thanking Them for Their Time and Consideration

In my honest opinion, this is the most important step of the three for standing out above the others. Why? It shows you’ve taken the time to research their company and human resources. That time and effort alone shows them the caliber of employee you could potentially be for their company, especially if it’s customer service related. The email doesn’t have to be long and drawn out; remember their day is extremely busy as well. It just needs to be sincere.

The Job Interview Is the Best Part of It!

Now that you know 3 excellent ways to land the job interview and stand out from the rest of the workforce crowd, fine-tune that resume, go out there, and get that job! I’ll be writing more on this subject as my clientele continues to grow, including what to expect in the job interview process itself. In the meantime, if you need any assistance with converting military skills to civilian skills on a resume, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com. I also have an excellent template that employers really take notice of. If these tips helped, please share with fellow veterans and friends and let me know they work!

I do not the rights to any pictures in this article.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

5 Healthy Whey Protein Benefits You May Be Unaware Of

Whey Protein Benefits: What Are They?

Every supplement shop has their featured protein shake, their bread and butter. In particular, whey protein is the most commonly sought after protein supplement. But why? What exactly is the craze? What are some whey protein powder benefits we should really know about?

I’m comfortable saying I’m an avid supplement shop visitor and regular whey protein user. I’ve never taken the time to really explore their benefits, however. All I know is one thing about protein powder: gains. Although there are many more whey protein powder benefits, I’m only going to list these 5 from Healthline.com because they’re mostly related to our fitness health. Here are some of the benefits of whey protein:

1) High-Quality Protein With Essential Amino Acids

Amino acids are key to muscle growth and gains. Packed with all of the essential amino acids, whey protein powder’s also the fastest-digesting kind of protein. What this means is whey protein is best for muscle growth. This is particularly true right after a workout. Your muscle fibers and tissue are broken down and benefit most from immediate repair post exercise. My top high-quality whey protein powder of choice is Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder. The link is Amazon’s Top Choice 5lb tub, but you can also get a smaller sample size with the 2lb tub for only $30, whereas the 5lb one is closer to $50.

Image result for gold standard whey protein
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder, a popular choice on Amazon and in many supplement shops.

2) It Contains the Amino Acid Leucine to Prevent Age-Related Muscle Atrophy

As we age, our muscles mass and strength decline. The amino acid leucine helps to prevent age-related muscle atrophy. It is also the most muscle-building component of all the amino acids. What does this mean? Whey protein shakes contain plenty of leucine. Consuming this amino acid regularly paired with routine exercise will both increase your muscle mass and preserve your gains.

Can you say win?

3) Glutathione in Whey Protein Powder Increases the Body’s Antioxidant Defenses

Our bodies produce glutathione, a very important antioxidant. It’s a key antioxidant for your minimizing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease. An abundant consumption of amino acids, cysteine, in particular, is required for your body to produce healthy levels. Another whey protein benefit is that it’s plentiful with cysteine. It’s just another example of how everything needs to work together in order to keep us at peak optimal performance. This cysteine supplement, Solgar- L-Cysteine 500 mg, an Amazon’s Choice, is a good quality supplement and my choice for this particular amino acid. It has 90 vegetable capsules and has Free Form L-Cysteine, making them easily digestible and absorbed.

Image result for solgar cysteine
Solgar- L-Cysteine 500 mg, 90 vegetable capsules. Excellent to have in conjunction with whey protein.

4) Whey Protein is Highly Satiating

Protein fills the stomach regardless of source. Not to mention many of us just get the downright bubble-guts anyways, regardless of which type of protein we consume. In my program, if one of my client’s goals is steady weight loss, I introduce some diet theories high in protein. This helps them to “crowd out” the bad foods by eliminating random cravings throughout the day. The great thing about whey protein powder is that you don’t always have to take it in conjunction with a workout. You can wake up early in the morning and drink one, or late at night before you hit the sack, although casein protein is best for this situation, as it’s slower digesting, therefore slowing down the catabolic process (muscle breakdown).

Image result for casein

5) Whey Protein May Have the Added Benefit of Reducing Inflammation

In the world of holistic health/integrative nutrition, inflammation may as well be public enemy #1. Inflammation is the cause of many illnesses and diseases around the world. What’s worse is that we cause internal inflammation to ourselves through poor diet choice. We weren’t meant to consume grains, sugar, and dairy at such high rates. For this reason, our bodies don’t know how to respond, often igniting our immune systems to counter some of this junk entering our bodies.

Thankfully for the gym rat, A benefit of whey protein may be that it reduces inflammation. A randomized controlled study published by PubMed in 2015 suggests that people with high levels of C-reactive protein, a regular component in inflammation, is reduced, although more conclusive studies are needed.

There Are Countless Whey Protein Benefits

These were just a few examples of the benefits of whey protein and how you can incorporate them into your daily life. To recap, whey protein powder is a high-quality protein with benefits including prevention of aging muscles, keeps you full, may reduce inflammation, and has many amino acids for muscle-building and antioxidants for immunity and disease prevention. I frequent supplement shops often and buy from Amazon often, so be on the look-out for more articles like this as I expand my online marketplace community for veterans!

If you feel I missed important information or would like to add your favorite whey protein supplement, please feel free to comment below and share this! To schedule a free Health Histories consultation and get your fitness goals going, email me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com or schedule it through my FB page at https://www.facebook.com/Anthonyjrich11/!

I do not own any pictures on this blog.

The links in this blog are Amazon links that I do get paid commission for if the reader decides to purchase the items listed on this blog.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

3 Healthy Ways to Have More Energy During The Day

Keep Those Energy Levels Up

Having energy is not the hard part. We wake up in the morning, do our little routine, grab our cup of joe, then go about our day as perky as can be. It’s maintaining those energy levels throughout the day that’s the tricky part. Of course, there are obvious ways of keeping your energy levels high such as simply drinking more coffee, getting eight hours of sleep regularly, and midday power naps. But for the sake of understanding and respecting your efforts to maintain energy levels, I’m going to only list three unique and healthy ways to get that internal furnace burning.

1) Drink Water

Surprisingly, not drinking enough water is a common reason for midday energy slumps. Think of your body as a vehicle that needs oil regularly to keep it running or it’ll experience burnout. Dehydration can be responsible for symptoms like dry mouth, headache, and sleepiness. Staying hydrated is critical not only to your energy levels but also in keeping your system fresh. It flushes toxins from your body that too can be responsible for low energy. It’s recommended to drink regularly throughout the day rather waiting until you’re thirsty before slamming a glass or three down. What this does is keep your body refreshed and rejuvenated while also preventing symptoms of low energy levels, such as sleepiness and headaches. This also helps prevent over-indulgence in calories and caffeine, which is ironically is a frequent culprit of midday slumps because of the sugar and sweeteners that usually accompany it.

Image result for drinking water and energy infographic

2) Deep Mindful Breathing

It’s no secret that deep breathing is good for your health. Your stress levels plummet as your mind eases into a calmer state, making it nearly impossible to remain worked up or beaten. Deep mindful breathing gets blood better circulating throughout your body, which improves your energy levels and alertness. Try this 4-7-8 technique from Dr. Andrew Weil outside on your next lunch or break at work when the load is starting to catch up and you’re just ready to be home. This has such a rejuvenating effect on your mind and current mood.

3) Aromatherapy With Lemons

I write and talk about lemons frequently because they’re such an underrated and underappreciated health food. I mentioned earlier that hydrating with water throughout the day can prevent headaches and sleepiness. You can even take it a step further by adding freshly squeezed lemons to your water for added flavor and natural electrolytes. But the benefit of adding it to water isn’t the only thing that makes lemons a powerhouse for energy throughout the day. Some studies and mood assessments showed that lemons can help to improve mood by elevating norepinephrine, a hormone that can increase the number of calories burned for fuel in adipose (fat) tissue, dilate your blood vessels, and restrict gastrointestinal mobility and energy towards digestion. What I like to do is boil some hot water, put a tea bag of Bigelow Green Tea in it, and squeeze half a fresh lemon in there. The combination of the scent of mint from the tea and the lemons brewing in steaming water perks me up immediately. Furthermore, the smaller amount of caffeine in green tea, as well as its digestive and immune benefits, makes it a healthier choice than coffee.

Image result for green tea with lemon

Final Thoughts On Sustaining Energy Levels

Our world is a very fast place. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down for anyone anytime soon. Subsequently, an increase in sleep-deprived and stressed people in the workplace will likely continue. However, when you take good care of yourself, you can feel like a million bucks regularly. All it takes is some dedication to your home and eating habits as well as seeking out quick tips. Of course, hydration, deep breathing, and adding lemons to your arsenal aren’t the fix-all solutions. They do, however, provide simple fixes for you that you can try immediately.

To schedule a free Health History consultation, please contact me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com. If you have any questions or comments about this post or any other health-related topic please leave a comment below!

Disclosure: This blog post contains an Amazon affiliate link that I receive compensation for if a purchase is made through it.

I do not own any photos in this blog post.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

How To Find The Perfect Job Fit As A Veteran

Just A Veteran Trying To Find The Right Job Fit

As a vet who’s held six jobs since I separated from the Air Force in 2012, all of which were in different fields, I can honestly say I have a good feel for what is considered being satisfied with what you do for a living. My positions ranged from a Ramp Agent at Piedmont Airlines (Transportation Industry) to a Client Advocate for Freedom Debt Relief (Financial Industry). I’ve been paid minimum and I’ve been paid some pretty hefty bucks. There were some great bosses and supervision, and there were some I felt weren’t worth the stress of working for (harsh, but true). With that being said, here is a list of things you should heavily consider as a veteran when trying to find the right job fit.

Discover Your Passion(s)

I want to stress this isn’t the same thing as discovering what you’re good at. For example, I’m really good at empathizing with my customers and clients, but that strong soft skill didn’t equate to personal happiness at my job at Freedom Debt Relief. Although great at connecting with people and de-escalating problems, the stress of overbearing, irate clients on the phone worried about being sued by their creditor was too much. It was enough to have me seeking a something different despite the excellent pay and great leadership the company provided.

Instead, focus on things you truly enjoy doing, whether you’re good at it or not. If you’re fascinated by crime scene investigations, law and order, and the criminal justice system in general, try looking for employment as a security guard (in-house or contract). Maybe while doing that, use your resources to search for schools or programs that give you some training in law enforcement to further advance in your passion and goals. Many of these programs accept your G.I. Bill.

As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I enjoy being around fruits and vegetables. I like to learn about the different kinds of a single type, where in the world it’s grown, whether or not it’s organic, how it was grown, and all that good stuff. I even enjoy simply being around the vibrant colors of fruits and vegetables. For all of these reasons, I sought employment handling fruits and vegetables in some form or fashion.

Best Job Fit For Veterans Produce Clerk
My baby (the vegetable wet rack). The fruit tables look even better.

I’m very blessed to say I now work as a Produce Clerk at my local Safeway while simultaneously building up my Holistic Health coaching business. Although I don’t get paid as much as I did at my previous place of employment (Freedom Debt Relief), the work itself is not nearly as stressful. I get a full night’s sleep, feel energetic and enthusiastic during the day, and come to work genuinely happy and ready to display some well-culled, scrumptious-looking fruits and vegetables for my customers.

Once you get a feel of exactly what it is you enjoy doing and separate that from what you’re good at doing, from there you can begin researching jobs related to that.

Find A List Of Places Hiring Veterans

Luckily for you, I’ve already done most of your homework! Provided in this link is my favorite list to go to when I feel it’s time to move forward in my professional career. You wouldn’t believe the amount of companies actively seeking veterans like yourself to be a part of their team. Even better, you wouldn’t believe just how much of an impact your veteran status on your resume has on almost any employer. For example, even if the skills you used for your military job don’t directly correlate to the position you’re applying for, employers still see military experience as leadership experience. They also immediately know they’re getting someone with discipline and a self-starter attitude.

Image result for mission veterans job
Veterans Jobs Mission. Literally hundreds of companies looking for YOU!

 

Be Open To Change

The most important thing I want you to get from this article is that you have to be open to change. As a young service member fresh out of the military, you have the world at your fingertips. My articles and services are mostly geared towards my specific clients (single newly transitioning veterans) but this tip applies to everybody.

We may not be able to see it right now, especially during a time of transition and such a life-changing decision as separation from the military, but a lifetime is a loooong time. Take advantage of that. Use this newfound freedom to truly discover yourself and what you would like to do for 8-10 hours out of your day that you would actually enjoy. Even if you initially get it wrong (remember, I’ve had SIX different jobs in SIX different fields since separation!), keep that resume sharp and up-to-date, always add to it and never rule out moving on to bigger and better things!

Part of my Health Coaching service is 1-on-1 resume-building sessions focused on structure and what employers look for, so always feel free to reach out to me at provided in the last paragraph for any questions!

Find The Right Job Fit For You!

Even when it seems like you may have made a mistake by separating from the military or feel like you’ll never find your calling in the civilian world, the key is to never lose sight of what you genuinely enjoy. Even if that means working a job you’re unhappy with for a few months while you plan your next move, try doing something related to what you want to do. For instance, you could always read up on a job or position to prepare for it or even volunteer to get yourself some free experience. No matter what you choose to do, remember that no decision is permanent in regard to your future and the rest of your life!

For more information regarding my Veteran Holistic Health Coaching services, please email me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com. In the meantime, look for more articles like this on my site here on Anthonyjrichard.com!

I do not own the rights to the featured image or the Veterans Jobs Mission image.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved.

 

3 Things To Ask Yourself When Getting Out Of The Military

Getting Out? Ask Yourself A Few Things…

Getting out of the military is an emotional roller coaster. You’re excited because you’re taking off the shackles, yet putting on the uniform for the last 4-6 years has become ingrained in your daily life. So much pride goes into that uniform and everything you’ve done in it.

The greatest thing about being a veteran is that the status never goes away. No one can ever take away your experiences, skills, and the comradery you gained while in. With that being said, relax and enjoy the good feelings! You deserve it, and Lord knows the pride you take in your country. Getting out of the military is one of the most euphoric things you can experience. So many opportunities await you on the outside. The possibilities. . .

And keeping on that thought, try not to get overwhelmed with thinking you need to know exactly what you’re going be doing for the rest of your life now. That is simply unrealistic and unfair for you to do that to yourself. BUT, there are some questions you do need to ask yourself both before you get out and as you’re embarking on your new journey. Here are some things you should ask yourself through this process:

1) What Kind Of Lifestyle Am I Seeking?

Before getting out of the military, ask yourself this: What is my main goal? Is money my motivator? Time? What about structure and order? Maybe I’m ok with a minimalistic lifestyle after all bills are caught up?

As someone who is getting out and making strides towards complete independence, it’s wise to have answers for at least a few of the above. You don’t need to have your ten-year plan calculated down to a Prison Break-like schematic, but you should at least have an idea of how you’re going to start out making a living on your own.

 

Image result for getting out of the military
Getting out of the military. That’s all that matters.

 

It’s important to keep in mind that your plans will frequently change. The key is just to have a plan or two. Not to mention having some money saved up can really come in handy when you least expect it. When I first separated from the Air Force, I had about $6,000 in savings and a USAA credit card with about $3,000 credit left on it; I wound up using all but about $2,000 of it ($1,000 savings, $1,000 credit card). In other words, expect the unexpected. You never know how long it will take to land a job. And this, of course, depends on the kind of job you’re looking for. Not to mention other expenses such as moving and personal issues in the form of vehicle problems or hospital treatment. You never think it will happen to you until lo and behold, it does.

Whatever your motive or goal is when you separate, just make sure it’s sturdy and smooth. Even if your initial plans fall through, at least you have an idea of where your next paycheck is coming from.

2) Do I Have A Strong Support System?

I can’t stress the importance of having a strong support system when getting out of the military. No matter which route you take, if you don’t have anyone to share your experiences with, both the ups and downs, the joys and the fears, it could do you a lot of harm in the long run.

When I got out, my heart was set on moving to California. As an Arizonan (a Yuma, Arizonan to be exact) and living so close to Cali, I frequently visited there. I immediately fell in love with the scenery, the weather, and the vibes. My awe of the state inspired me to vow to live there one day. With the GI Bill covering my out-of-state tuition for many California community colleges, I found my golden ticket to the Golden State. Two of my military buddies, one of them happening to get out of the military the same time as me, were from California. We all decided to room together to ease rent. While it was a great time, with both some good and bad times, they were the only people I knew moving there. There were times where we just sort of got tired of one another’s company and did our own thing. That wasn’t a bad thing always until I wanted some human interaction again.

I wound up joining a veteran’s cohort program at Pasadena City College, a program geared toward helping veterans from all branches find transition smoothly into student life while having a support system of veterans who are going through the same thing they are at the same time. This decision proved to be one of the best decisions I made throughout my college years, as I found some people in that group I can call brothers to this day.

Image result for strong support quotes

Your plans may sound great and look flawless on paper, but when things get tough and life starts throwing curve balls at you (and it’s not a matter of if but when), you’re going to need people who understand you and know where you’re coming from. This may be family, close childhoods friends, former military co-workers who are now civilians, or people you just met through a community event or group. What’s more important, when Plan A involuntarily turns to Plan B, you’re going to need the kind of company around you who support your decisions, not push you towards something you may not want to do just because it sounds like the “natural” path.

3) Am I Willing To Press Reset Again If Necessary?

Finally, as a single man or woman with no dependents newly separated from the military, are you willing to reset if necessary? I want to put emphasis on this point because it is one that is often overlooked. Why? Because no one likes to admit restarting because it’s equated to failure. Many see it this way: they hyped up their plans to all their former co-workers in the military and bragged about how good they were going to have it on the other side, so if things don’t go according to plan, they feel ashamed or embarrassed.

But why? Understand that you’re still young. There are many successful businessmen/women and entrepreneurs who started out trying to do one thing, failed at it, then came back at it with something else. Since getting out of the military in 2012, I’ve held six different jobs, switched my major once (adding two years to my plate), and enrolled in a year-long course that wound up changing my life in more ways than all four of my years at Arizona State University combined. I went from nearly being engaged after a three-year relationship in my mid-20’s and moving up the ladder in a plush corporate job in Phoenix to living with my mother and brother in Tacoma, Washington, a state none of us had ever lived. My new occupation(s)?: certified Holistic Health Coach and Produce Clerk at Safeway, a job I take so much pride in because of my direct involvement with healthy foods. One year before I took this job, I never would’ve considered this position within my pay range.

Image result for nintendo reset life

You never know what your heart has in store for you when you allow yourself to really explore what you like and what you want. At one point you may be focused on racking up the Benjamins (as I initially was), until you realize the things you wanted to do with that money, you could do for a lot less or even free. It’s always important as a single man or woman with no dependents that you take advantage of the golden opportunity your veteran status gives you. You can explore and try so many things. Not to mention there are companies literally looking to hire veterans!

You’re Young And Now A Civilian: No Need For Clear-cut Answers

If you ask yourself these three things and even vaguely dwell on them so you know exactly where you stand in terms of your immediate future, you’ve already set yourself up for success. It’s important to note that these questions are all very broad, open-ended questions with no right or wrong answer. They’re just questions to ask yourself and to give you basic guidance in what you both need and want.

As you’re getting out of the military and dipping your toe into civilian waters for the first time, recognize that the kind of lifestyle you want (and more than likely a major factor in your decision to get out of the military), the support you have around you, and the ability to roll with life’s punches and be willing to start over again are extremely critical in determining how soon you reach you find your calling!

For information regarding my Holistic Health Coaching services to veterans, please feel free to email me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com. Otherwise, check out more articles like this one geared toward helping veterans smoothly transition into civilian life here on anthonyjrichard.com!

I do not own any photos in this post.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

Ways To Be Successful Outside of the Military

Getting Out Of The Military Is Scary. . .

But it’s exciting. One of the first things that come to mind as your time nears and that DD214 slip is put in your hand is stability: Where is your next steady paycheck going to come from? How hard is it to hold a job in the civilian world? What about medical benefits and vacation? Will my pay be enough to sustain me since Uncle Sam is no longer paying for my roof? I know these were all questions that came to mind when I first got out of the Air Force in June 2012. I wound up going to school full-time and putting off my job search until a few years later when I separated from the California National Guard in August 2015.

One thing I will say; I wish I’d started the process sooner because I’d have even more experience now. There are so many opportunities for veterans it’s almost hard to remain without a job. As part of this series of blogs, I’ll be researching and interviewing veterans, the different jobs they have, and the routes they took to get those jobs. I’ll be interviewing single, married, divorced, and veterans with children to cover the different jobs and careers required for them to sustain themselves and/or their families. However, the jobs in this post are primarily for single veterans with no dependents, as the pay in these jobs is not enough to sustain a family. Here are some excellent jobs you can apply for once the shackles are off and you get your first taste of freedom!

1) Work For An Airline

Sometimes the thing you’ll miss the most when getting out of the military is the traveling. Whether you were Air Force, Army, Marine, or Navy, unless you CHOSE to stay close to home, Uncle Sam brought you somewhere you’d never been before. Many of us actually joined the military for the opportunity to travel. I know that was an excellent pitch by my recruiter when I enlisted in 2008.


This is why working for an airline is an excellent job and opportunity for the military travel bug at heart! I worked for Piedmont at American Airlines for about a year and a half, and I can honestly say it was the best job I’d ever held at that time. I was only part-time and didn’t qualify for the medical benefits or 401k, but the travel benefits were beyond amazing. You can travel on standby anywhere in the United States for free as long as seats are available. Furthermore, you can add a spouse OR domestic partner (girlfriend, roommate) to your travel list and they too travel for free! Well sort of. The seat is free, but the tax of their ticket comes out of your paycheck, which, by the way, is chunk change usually. I’m talking about like $20.

It should be noted that starting pay for a ramp or gate agent is usually minimum wage. When I first started at Sky Harbor in Phoenix, AZ, I started at minimum wage, which was $8.05/hr. Thankfully I was going to school and I was receiving my GI Bill money. In other words, this job is EXCELLENT if you are single and/or don’t have any children, or if you are with a spouse who makes a great deal of money doing. This way you can put your whole family on your travel benefits list and use the money you make from your hours at the job to spoil the fam bam!

You could always check for jobs and position availability here at www.jobs.aa.com. You can also check out other airlines, as many of them have very similar benefits and some start you off with more than minimum wage pay.

2) Security

Sure, this may sound like a “demotion,” but I’m here to tell you there is no job not worthy of taking when it puts money, and therefore food, on the table. Now bear in mind that this particular list is geared primarily towards single individuals with no kids. If you’re getting out of the military after 4-6 years, you’re still young and have plenty of time to figure out exactly what you want to do. In the meantime, great jobs like security are all over the place. Think about it; everyone needs security. You could do in-house security or go for a company who’s outsourcing security via contracting. Hospitals, schools, retail and grocery stores, and apartments/condominiums are great places to start looking for security jobs locally. When I got out of the military completely in 2015, my Air Force experience got me instantly hired for IPSA Security at the Phoenix Convention Center. If you live in a city with heavy public transportation services such as light rails or trains, they’re always looking for veterans to hire.


The pay working as a security guard varies. First, you’ll have to get your security guard card (check your local government laws on working as a guard and how to obtain your card). I only had to sit through an eight-hour course, most of the material of which I already knew from my military training and background. It wound up costing me about $75, as I had to get my fingerprints and background check and all that good stuff. Once all of that was completed, I got my card (I was already hired at the time), and was put to work immediately the following day. I started out making about $10/hr before receiving a $1 raise for both time (six months) and performance.

Security is an excellent job to have when you get out of the military because it’s fairly easy to get and the job itself is not that stressful. Of course, this all depends on where you work and who you work for. As a single man with no kids and a GI Bill to take care of other bills, what I was making as security walking around the convention center asking transients to leave (my least favorite part of this job), securing doors, and performing simple routine tasks was more than enough to be thankful for!

3) Grub Hub Delivery

When I first got out of the military, there was no Uber or Lyft. I started from scratch on my job search, attending resume shops and driving around the city handing out hard copies of my resume. Now all you have to do is have a car.

Literally.

Signing up for Uber and Lyft is excellent and you can really make good money on your own time and dime. Unfortunately, though, you can’t predict awful passengers. Enter Grub Hub, a contracting company that partners with restaurants that don’t normally deliver. The best part about Grub Hub is that you’re driving all alone and never have to pick up passengers. This means you can have your music up and cruise the city on your own time, enjoying life all while making money. It doesn’t get any better than that, right?


All you have to do to is sign up is have a vehicle, current insurance, a quick background check (mine was done in 24 hours), and fill out the online application. The pay varies, as times of the day, holidays, and weekends can all affect how many deliveries you make that day. Whenever I drive, usually for some extra money for a trip I’m planning, It’s for about six hours. On average I make between $75-$100 depending on tips. Now keep in mind that you’ll be driving around a lot, so take gas into consideration when adding up expenses. This is very handy money, especially when it’s just a few hours spent on the road in a day on your own time.

Plenty Of Opportunities Outside Of the Military

If you’re planning on getting out of the military or you’ve already gotten out and you’re just getting your feet wet in the civilian job world, hang in there! I know the mixture of worry, anxiety, and excitement can be overwhelming, but we have support, community, and plenty of resources to be successful outside of the military. Not to mention the skills gained in the military that transition to civilian jobs is unmatched.

The three excellent jobs I mentioned in this blog post are just a few of a slew of jobs I’ve been blessed to gain experience from. As I cull experience from other previous jobs and current jobs as well as gain more experience in my own business and services I’m growing, I will be writing more blog posts regarding this subject. What these three jobs all have in common is that they are perfect stop-gap jobs for the single person still finding out exactly what they want to do as a career. The pay is great, especially if you’re going to school, and all of these jobs offer some form of flexibility, especially Grub Hub. No matter what job you choose when you get out of the military, just remember that this is only the beginning of a wonderful experience. Most importantly, you have a support system and resources at your disposal if you’re willing to reach out and look for it!

For my Lifestyle Coaching services related to transitioning from military to civilian, please feel free to contact me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com. Otherwise, look for more articles like this here on Anthonyjrichard.com!

I do not own any photos in this blog post.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

What Prayer Means To This Soul

Prayer is an amazing thing. First thing’s first, I’m not a religious man. After a series of events in life, I decided that I will never pray for myself again. I felt that no matter what happened in life, no matter how much you prayed, it was going to happen anyway. All of the negativity, the violence, the injustice, personal life crap, no matter how much I prayed, I realized it was only going to continue to happen as if I didn’t pray at all.

When I first stopped praying for myself, I’ll admit, that it was out of selfishness and resentment; I was tired of being let down. As I started to internalize this, I realized how selfish I was being; who the hell am I to think the Creator is just going to stop working life and the universe just soothe my problems, my bitching and my complaints? My goodness, what a victim. This was when I began to realize that the Creator’s purpose is not to answer my prayers the way that I want him to and cater to me, but to keep the energy and the flow of life going. I can either contribute positive energy and flow into the world or wallow in pity and let the negative energy of the world consume me rather than BE the positive, the light, that I was praying for.
For this reason, I never pray for myself. I only pray for others.

Life is about energy, not personal needs.
Life is about energy, not personal needs.

At the times you need something, anything, during times of stress or despair, is when the Spirit seems to lift you. Someone sending prayers your way, no matter your spirituality, sends such good vibes and energy towards you; it reassures you that you aren’t alone and that other souls care. Even when you’ve given up, the Spirit speaks to you through the prayer of others.

No matter what my situation is, no matter how much danger I’m in, distress, or if I’m just being selfish and wanting something I don’t need, I never pray for it. Ever. If I want it, I’ll plan, envision, then get my ass out there and get it rather than praying for it, then point bitterness towards the wrong entities when I don’t get my way. That’s not how the Creator operates. If I’m in a stressful or dangerous situation, I know that others are always praying for me, so there’s no need to ask for it. FAITH I do believe that is called.

The more I internalized my prayer and made it about me, no matter if I needed it or not, the more selfish I realized that was. When that prayer is received from others, sent outwardly, it carries a different meaning. It’s your Spirit, no matter what you may believe, giving you what you need. When that prayer comes in abundance or at the most unexpected times, when you needed it most, it shows you that you are not alone in your struggles in life. I’m not a religious man, but prayer takes on a whole new meaning to me.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

Defining Physical Fitness: A Broader Explanation

So What Is Physical Fitness Exactly?

You can describe physical fitness in many ways. It doesn’t have to be intense, strenuous two-hour workouts, but the activity should raise your heart rate. Physical fitness is described as a state of overall healthy well-being, both physically and mentally. Although that’s the technical definition, it can be anything to each of us. We can make being physically fit unique to who we are and what we enjoy. For example, if you’ve never had the lungs to run but you enjoy a good lifting session, make that activity your physical activity of choice!

Physical Fitness That Fits Everything You

Many people get discouraged when working towards their exercise goals. One of the reasons for this is because they try a new workout that doesn’t fit their natural compatibility. For instance, your goal may be to lose 10 lbs in four weeks, so you look up popular and effective workout routines that will help you achieve this. As you delve more into the program, you realize that these workouts are brutal and relentless. On top of that, there are many workouts in the program you either are not good at or despise (like a lot of running). Now it’s gotten to a point where you dread those days in the gym, with these often being the days you skip.

This is why it’s so important to develop a physical fitness regimen that fits you to a tee! Like everything else in life, if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you’re not going to have the will to continue to do it. What this translates to in the fitness world is find the workouts and activities you enjoy doing to increase your likelihood of following through with your goals.

Kinds Of Physical Fitness

Physical fitness includes such a broad variety of exercises and activities it’s really impossible to define what constitutes a bonafide physical activity. It can include any of the following types of activity:

  1. Light Physical Activity- This is where you’re doing enough to not be considered sedentary. Exercises often considered light physical fitness activity are brisk walking, yoga, and golf.
  2. Moderate Physical Activity- Exercises and activities considered moderate activities would ones that demand more oxygen through your blood as a result of an increase in either volume of work, intensity, or both. Think of jogging, jumping jacks, and bicycling as good examples of moderate physical activity.
  3. Heavy physical activity- Heavy activity involves an increase in work volume, intensity, and time spent on the activity. They’re normally considered strenuous workouts and are not advised if you’re either somewhat new to the active lifestyle or are re-acclimating yourself to it again. Workouts considered heavy physical activity include various forms of martial arts, physical sports like football, basketball, and wrestling, sprinting, and circuit training weight lifting.

Finding The Right Physical Fitness Routines For Y.O.U.

As stated in the beginning of the article, there really is no accurate way to pinpoint what constitutes as physical fitness. Think of it this way; if you’re not stationary and it gets your heart rate going quicker than in your sedentary state, you’re physically active. Sure, the pictures of summer bodies in blogs with their exact routine posted can be enticing, but if you’re not enjoying it, you’re not going to keep it up. I often liken it to the workforce; one of the primary reasons people quit good paying jobs is because they don’t enjoy it. When it’s all said and done, it’s really up to you how you define your own version of physical fitness. Just make sure it’s something you can see yourself doing regularly, like looking forward to doing. But most importantly, make sure it’s safe.

The photos used in this blog post do not belong to me.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

 

3 Proven Guidelines To Treating Alcoholism and Preventing Relapse

There are various explanations for why people avoid treating alcoholism and why preventing relapse is so difficult. If you’re one who consistently drinks for the sole purpose of getting drunk, you’ve got to stop kidding yourself and look further into your behavior. Yes, I know that’s curt, but it could offer a really good insight into yourself and possibly save your life. The good news is there are proven methods for treating alcoholism, and no one way is more efficient than another.

Alcoholism isn’t a “one size fits all” kind of issue and requires an individualistic approach. One person may be able to quit drinking cold turkey while another may take several months, or in some cases years, to quit. Several methods are available for producing acceptable results, however, and whichever method you decide on can have its pros and cons.

For that reason, it is a necessity to understand yourself and your current situation, assess what would be the best method for you to quit drinking, devise a plan and surround yourself with a good support system to stay sober.

Here then, is a brief list of three solid guidelines to  treating alcoholism:

#1: Admit You’re An Alcoholic

As cliche as this sounds,  the first step to treating alcoholism is admitting you’re an alcoholic. No matter what way you try and spin it, if you’re drinking at an event or in a situation where it isn’t warranted, evaluate yourself. Ownership is one of the most important concepts of life. On thing’s for certain: it sure goes a long way with issues like alcoholism.

#2: Find the Method of Quitting That Works Best for You

You may have done some research on treating alcoholism already and come across “sure-fire” methods to quitting. Sure, these methods may have worked for some, but understand the concept of bio-individuality: what works for one person may not work for another.

Do extensive research on the different approaches to quitting. Be sure to make a decision based on what you feel your chances of success will be and not what is trending.

#3: Seek a Close Support System

I’m sure you’d like to think your close friend and family will understand your decision to quit drinking. Of course, by now you probably realize that’s not always the case. Friends may be the greatest company in the world in a social setting. They’re great “party friends,” but they’re not ones that will help you grow.

It doesn’t mean stop hanging out with everyone who drinks, but it does mean practice awareness. Be aware of who encourages the behavior. A major factor in preventing relapse is the support system around you. If your old circle continues to pressure you, remove temptation by limiting your activities with them.

You’re As Strong As Those You Surround Yourself With

The most important point to take from this guideline, however,  is to seek people who are going through the same thing you are. As mentioned earlier, a good support system is critical in treating alcoholism. It’s also important for preventing relapse.

Make an effort to seek out others going through what you’re going through. Develop connections. Nothing is more therapeutic and encouraging than those who understand what you’re going through. It has been proven time and again that people who surround themselves with other like-minded people are far likelier to achieve their goals.

Nothing is more therapeutic and encouraging than those who understand what you’re going through. It has been proven time and again that people who surround themselves with other like-minded people are far likelier to achieve their goals.

This is, of course, no means a comprehensive list. However, many who have or are currently treating alcoholism will vouch that these methods are simple, yet critical to success. All of them work in conjunction with one another.

With this in mind, it’s  important to understand that your goal to quit and your personal growth will be halted if one or all 3 of these guidelines aren’t met. It’s up to you to decide how serious you are about giving yourself assistance. You are your biggest obstacle in treating alcoholism. It’s up to you to take ownership of your situation and get out of your own way!

Find out how you can treat alcoholism and other issues that may be hindering your personal growth by coming here to my Holistic Health blog site at anthonyjrichard.com. http://anthonyjrichard.com”>HolisticHealth  blog site at http://anthonyjrichard.com”>anthonyjrichard.com;.

I do not own the photos used in this article.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthony J. Richard, All Rights Reserved

%d bloggers like this: