13. Product Recommendation: Andrew Lessman and ProCaps Laboratories

A few years ago, I was doing some research in order to find some decent vitamins and supplements to take on a regular basis. Before then, I had always been content with taking the standard ones you hear about regularly, such as Centrum or GNC Mega Men. But I also was completely ignorant to the science of it all, and quickly learned that these mass-produced tablets offered little-to-no benefit(s) whatsoever.

One of the reasons supermarket-sold supplements don’t deliver results is because most come in tablet form, which makes them extremely difficult to absorb and be of any use to the body. In order for the ingredients to be delivered the bodily components successfully, they need to be taken in capsule, fine powder, or liquid form. Unfortunately, supplements in tablet form are easily produced and cheap to make, not to mention are packed with fillers that do nothing but compromise the already low-quality ingredients.

Andrew Lessman, Founder of ProCaps Laboratories in Henderson, Nevada.

Luckily for me, I came across a presentation on HSN by Andrew Lessman of ProCaps Laboratories, based in Henderson, Nevada. I was extremely skeptical for a period of time, and simply watched as he presented his scientific information and research findings with the audience. He was no-doubt successful, because he would often sell tens of thousands of units of his products in the span of 24-48 hours. This made me dig even further, and I found some interesting, and pleasing, information about Andrew and his company.

Andrew has been researching ingredients and making vitamins since the late-1970s. His facility is entirely powered by solar energy, certainly one of the greatest achievements from an environmental standpoint. Andrew’s mission is simple – offer the greatest supplements to his customers, even if that means paying a little bit more for the best ingredients. By “best,” I mean completely and fully all-natural ingredients without any types of fillers or unnecessary ingredients.

So, after several months of researching Andrew and his company, I ordered my first delivery of several of his products, which by the way, are not available in stores or outside of the ProCaps Laboratories and HSN websites. Shipping does take a few extra days, and for a very good reason. Products are often made on-demand, meaning that during peak ordering periods, your order may very well be made within days of being delivered to you. This definitely beats the alternative of buying a pre-made product from a store than may have left it in the warehouse for several months or years.

Since my first order, I have placed several more, and over the years I have experimented with different supplements offered by Andrew. I have also adjusted my order quantities so I can tailor them to my own personal needs with regard to daily intake of certain ingredients and order frequency.

Below is a chart of what I have found to be my perfect daily intake regimen and ordering frequency (90 days). I encourage everyone to experiment to find out what works for them – regardless of what brand you choose. A “one-a-day” single vitamin simply doesn’t do the trick, and top medical journals are increasingly publishing supportive findings for this statement.

Vitamins

Most of the products are available in multiple sizes from 60 count to sometimes several-hundred count, depending on the product and recommended serving size. This is to allow customers to be able to decide for themselves what is most efficient and useful for them.

My morning regimen.

I have noticed an absolutely positive difference since my first order. Andrew’s products were a big reason why I have enjoyed being more active in recent years with regard to running more and being confident that I am giving my body the tools it needs to recover quickly. Also, most of the supplements are tasteless capsules, making them very easy to swallow and digest.

If you would like to know more, please check out Andrew’s ‘About’ page. Also, send me a message and let me know if you currently take, or start taking, any of Andrew’s products.

Please note: No compensation was offered or received for this review. All statements are voluntary.

12. The Transition Countdown Begins

It’s 5am and I can’t sleep, so what am I to do? Plan the next stage of my future, of course.

As I type this, I am just about two years out from my transition from my current military career into my new private investigation career. It’s exciting to think about, but there is a ton of work that needs to start being done if there is any chance of getting it off the ground on-time and as planned. Since this will be my own small business venture, it makes it even more challenging to get things going without any other real help. Luckily for me, however, this will be a services-based business rather than a product-based business, so the entire process is that much easier since I don’t have to worry about things like product overhead, suppliers, etc.

Some of the short-term tasks that need to be done include drafting a rough copy of my business plan, applying for and securing an IRS Employer ID Number (EIN), and working on narrowing down the list of investigative services that I plan to offer my clients. There are literally hundreds of different services that a private investigator can offer, but you can’t be everything to everyone – at least not if you expect to be open past one year. Therefore, I plan to stick to between 10-15 services to offer my clients in order to remain somewhat niche – while at the same time appealing to enough people to stay moderately busy and earn a decent income comparable to my current situation.

After these tasks are done, or at least close to being done, I should be wrapping up my studies and waiting on my state license and board certification to be approved, which will happen about one year in advance of my transition. During this one year period, I will most likely form a Limited Liability Company (LLC) to organize under, and also become bonded and insured, which are two additional state requirements aside from being licensed. Georgia has some fairly strict laws, but I’m slowly navigating them.

Which brings me to my final point. After holding my license in Georgia for two years, I will be eligible to transfer it to Maine, where I eventually plan to operate long-term. The tough part about this is that Maine isn’t known for being business friendly. In fact, it’s entirely unfriendly. The thing I have going for me, however, is that private investigators are almost non-existent where I plan to reside and do business. Competition isn’t much of a worry, so I’ll be able to market the hell out of the area and secure most of that business for myself.

Fun to think about, but a lot to do moving forward. I look forward to updating my progress as I check the boxes off!

11. Fireside Chat

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt asks:

What person whom you don’t know very well in real life — it could be a blogger whose writing you enjoy, a friend you just recently made, etc. — would you like to have over for a long chat in which they tell you their life story?

As I’ve grown older, I have come to appreciate more what other people have to say. I am not necessarily referring to my own friends and family, but complete strangers. YouTube has a lot to do with this, in my opinion.

One of my hobbies, as I have mentioned in previous posts, is Geocaching. The great thing about this hobby is the fact that it brings total strangers together, often from different parts of the country or world, and instantly you are friends whether you knew each other before that day or not. I have yet to find or hear about a Geocacher having any negative feelings toward another fellow Geocacher.

This brings me to my example – a YouTube member named Kenny Henson, also known as “Kenny Art,” both his Geocaching name and YouTube name. Kenny lives in Oregon and has also been Geocaching for several years. The unique way he produces his videos is admirable. Not only does he record himself finding Geocaches, but he also tends to include history lessons to teach his viewers about where he came from, the places he has lived, the things he has done over the years, the history of the geography of places he visits, and so forth. He often incorporates personal photos and home videos – sometimes several decades old – into his YouTube postings to illustrate the stories he discusses.

Every several months, Kenny will post a video in which he simply reflects on events in his life. Sometimes he will reflect on the passing year, sometimes on a location where he and his childhood friends used to spend time together, among other topics. What is great about these videos is the fact they also encourage viewers to reflect on their own situations and remind them to avoid wasting those moments in their lives where they could be out making new memories to reflect on in the future.

In addition to being an avid Geocacher, Kenny is a superbly talented Painter. Time-lapse videos of his paintings are also featured on his YouTube channel.

I highly encourage anyone with some extra time to visit his channel and learn something about what it means to be appreciative of the world around you, including the people you meet, the places you go, and the things you do. You’ll thank me for it when you’re 70.

10. Planning an Atlanta Area Hiking Trip

One thing that I love to do, although don’t do nearly as often as I’d like, is go hiking. A couple of years ago I made a six-hour round trip to Providence Canyon to hike the Canyon Loop trail, which is approximately 2.5 to 3 miles in length. This was my first real introduction to trail hiking, but honestly, I expected it to be a little more challenging. My plan is to return there this year to attempt the Canyon Loop trail, which is approximately 7 miles in length and rated as ‘difficult’.

Geocaching has led me through some pretty thick wooded areas and introduced me to a lot of different scenarios in the wild. I’m pretty confident that I’m prepared to take on a full-blown solo hiking excursion. My survival training in the military is an added bonus. One thing I have yet to do is get a dedicated daypack which is something at the top off my “to-do” list.

I also came across what seems like an interesting trail hike North of Atlanta called the Hike Inn Trail. The biggest feature of this trail is the semi-exclusive hotel-style lodge at the end of the trail, accessible only by foot. It must be a great reward to make it here at the end of a long day hike. The Inn highly recommends reservations be made in advance, and when you get to the trailhead, you have to call to let them know that you are beginning your hike. This basically is to let them know to expect you within 4-5 hours after the heads-up phone call. You have to call ahead because cell phones are prohibited, and there will be no other way to contact the Inn on the trail.

Most guests hike to the Inn and then stay for a couple of nights, and then hike back to the trailhead on the morning of their departure. The Inn serves homemade breakfast and dinner and also offers activities for the guests with the intent to bring them together as friends. I think this is an incredible idea, and I would love to cross this hike off my list this year as well.

It certainly sounds relaxing.

9. Considering a Second Timeshare

One of the best things I have ever done was to purchase Wyndham timeshare points in 2011. I have put all 189,000 of them to good use each year, and I always find myself saying, “man, I wish I had more!”

My current home resort is Wyndham Cypress Palms in Kissimmee, Florida, just outside of Orlando. A home resort is simply where the deeded unit is located. The points system allows owners to stay at any Wyndham owned resort property regardless of where their deeded unit is. If I do purchase additional points on a new contract, I would like it to be on the West Coast so I can have Advanced Reservation Priority for a West Coast resort as opposed to just the Florida area. This perk is really nice to have.

I’ve already made some good memories at Cypress Palms with a few of my closest friends, past and present. I have enough invested there, both in time and money, to want to hold on to it for the long-term.

West Coast locations I am considering are Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, and California. eBay is a superb place to purchase timeshare points. Since there is really no resale value, good deals can be had on eBay every single day. It’s just about being patient until the perfect listing shows up for the amount of points I want/need with fair closing costs. The hardest part of buying a timeshare is waiting for the closing, which can take 2-3 months during peak times throughout the year. Otherwise, it’s mostly an automated process – probably the simplest of real estate transactions.

8. It’s almost like second nature…

Getting back into the swing of blogging regularly isn’t as difficult as I would have thought. In fact, it’s still a nice way to wind down after a work day.

One thing that separates this new launch of my personal blog with the previous version is the fact that this time I’m using a more basic approach. Last time, I was too concerned with having all of the fancy widgets and gadgets on my blog to make it look cool, but I could have spent a lot of that time actually coming up with more substantial content for the audience. Not that the content lacked any, but I sometimes wonder what direction it may have gone in had I put in that extra effort. All in all, it still had a good run for several years and 600+ posts.

So, the weekend is here finally. It’s almost a three-day weekend for me, but I have to work for about two hours on Sunday. It’s more like an inconvenience than it is a work day. I think I can handle that. If I wasn’t on standby this weekend I would have gone to Adel tomorrow morning for the 5K race being held there. If you’re not familiar with my hobbies, I regularly participate in 5K races around Southern Georgia for charity. I belong to the Valdosta Running Club and it’s nice to meet up with my friends in the group for the races. I was the Grand Prix winner for my age group in 2013, which trust me, was not something I had ever expected to achieve. Before just a few years ago, I was never a regular runner, nor a fan of running in general. I’ve since found it to be relaxing and energizing, and I really need to make it a point to focus more on it this year as I turn 30. Shh!

7. Smooth Sailing

The week finally seems to be winding down, and it hasn’t been all that bad considering. Monday and Tuesday were a little iffy, but the week turned around and got better after that. I’ll work tomorrow, be off Saturday, work only for about 2-3 hours on Sunday, and then be off for the holiday on Monday before returning to work for the rest of the week afterward. Nothing much to complain about, really. And just as I expected, this first week of classes is smooth sailing, and it will be the same throughout the next several weeks I have a feeling.

6. Too Organized?

I have always been one to plan things down to the last detail. I can’t say that I’ve always been this way, but at least since around my early-20s.

My vacations and trips are always planned down to the minute. Every day is based on a personal itinerary, complete with what time I will wake up, eat meals, arrive to whatever locations are planned for that day, etc. Some may not think this alone is weird, but I also apply these same concepts to other areas of my life. For example…

TV

Yes, I also keep a detailed listing of every show that I regularly watch, to include; the show title, the season, the channel, the dates and times they’re on, and whether or not they are currently airing or in the middle of an off-season. This is something that I have done for years and I couldn’t imagine not having this to “remind” me to take a break and enjoy my shows. Otherwise, I have been known to stop watching my favorite shows or miss setting the DVR to record them when I’m away.

But really, you name it and I have a schedule for it. I have a master packing list that I have also used for years to make sure all of my luggage is packed according to plan before vacationing. I have a schedule on my wall in the kitchen that breaks down my entire 24-hour day by what I should be doing for each hourly time frame on weekdays and weekends.

Yes, I’m out of control. No, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

5. A fairly easy semester ahead…

This week is the first of my current 8-week term. That’s what I like about this school – terms are short and to-the-point, but are also fun to participate in and I thoroughly enjoy logging-in to class on a daily basis.

This semester seems to be fairly straightforward and simple. My last few have been challenging but rewarding. With so much else going on right now in other areas of my life, I certainly welcome this slower pace with my classes and the fact that I don’t have something due every single day of the week. I think it will be a good addition that will provide a balance to my current overall schedule. It won’t be challenging and overwhelm me further and I feel already, but at the same time, it will give me a reason to focus on something else that can take my mind off things at work, which I must admit were decent today. Hopefully it’s the start of a good and long-term upward trend. As we move closer to Spring, things should naturally improve anyway…something that warm weather tends to make happen each year.

4. How Quickly Things Change

Just one year ago, if you had asked me what my plans were for the next 10-15 years, I’d have told you that I would be completing a full career in the military without any second thoughts about it. My entire career up until that point had been rainbows and unicorns – nothing could go wrong it seemed.

Around Spring of 2014, after I assumed a new administrative role within my office, things started to change. I was no longer doing the job that I was passionate about and that I loved. Instead, I was working a standard desk job, staring at a computer all day, and I found myself unable to stay satisfied with my new role. Don’t get me wrong, I was initially excited to try something new, and in fact, I had welcomed the change when it happened because I was also excited to progress to the next level. Unfortunately, after almost five years in retail on a sales floor and another six years on an airfield, both relatively active and productive jobs, I did not handle the change as well as I had expected.

I think a lot of us can relate to starting in a new position and not being given the tools we need to succeed. I felt like some of the people who knew the most about what I was going through and who were able to help me learn my job were not as willing to help as they should have been. Maybe it is only my perception and I am not looking at the situation clearly, however, because those around me in the workplace seem to disagree. I have been known to be wrong before, and perhaps I am this time, too.

Getting back to my original purpose for typing this, they say things “come in threes” when they go wrong. Maybe they do. If that’s the case, the bad should now be behind me and the good should lie straight ahead. If this is true, I should not be feeling how I do right now. The stress of work coupled with being 2,000 miles away from my closest friends and family, the ones who really, genuinely care, has gotten to me more than anything in my entire life has up until now.

I am exploring the (very) few options that I have at work that I may be able to take advantage of to ease my stress and get me back on track to being motivated and excited to go to work every day. Part of this is to simply return to my old position, where I belong, and where I feel I can make the biggest positive impact.

If you have read any of my previous posts, you may get the hint that I am not used to feeling this way. For the first 28 years of my life, I could count on one hand how many truly bad days I had to the point where my emotions took over and to where I felt like hating everyone and everything. For such things to stay with me for this long, especially over the last couple of weeks, is new and I am unsure about how to manage the stress properly. There is no doubt it will pass, but all I can do for right now is to do the best I can at work, keep myself busy during my off-duty time, and let time run its course until it’s finally time to transition out of the military. I wish the time would pass a little more quickly than it has lately.