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Seven Hundred School Children Lead Park Beautification Event to Wrap-up Love Where you Live Campaign

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Mayor Doug McCallum and Councillor Steven Pettigrew joined Cambridge Elementary
students, school staff and parents for a clean-up and tree planting event on Thursday, October 24.

Surrey, BC – Mayor Doug McCallum joined over 700 students, parents and teachers from Cambridge Elementary School for a clean-up event today, wrapping up Surrey’s city-wide Love Where You Live Campaign. The initiative, which began in April, called on residents, business owners, schools and community groups to step up and get involved in keeping Surrey clean and welcoming.

“The key to our success boils down to the tremendous support we have received from our community,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “Love Where You Live not only resonated with our residents, but it delivered solid results. 5,000 bags of litter have been removed from city streets and parks and more than 13,000 trees and bulbs have been planted. Without question, our collective efforts have had a huge impact and I thank everyone who participated across our community.”

In addition to the clean-up initiatives, the City focused on beautification projects to create more welcoming spaces. Across the City, 1,700 street banners were installed and over two thousand feet of decorative streetlights were added to Town Centres.

During the event, Mayor McCallum encouraged that the students and community continue to take pride in the city, making clean-up efforts part of their regular routine.

“I want to continue to challenge everyone to participate in keeping our neighborhoods cleaner, greener and healthier. Every piece of litter picked up, and every tree planted goes a long way in creating a welcoming environment for residents and visitors. Let’s keep up the good work!”

For more information about how you can participate in year-round clean-up initiatives, visit: www.surrey.ca/lovewhereyoulive

Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.

Education

An Introductory History to Gut Microbiome Research

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What is your gut flora?

The gut flora or gut microbiome is a collection of microorganisms that live inside the digestive tract of every person. These microorganisms are helpful in proper digestion. An imbalance can have the opposite effect bringing about a variety of issues relating to the irritability of the stomach.

What is gut microbiome research and how is it used?

What is it?

It is estimated that every person has just as many microorganisms living in their stomach as they do cells in the entire body!

A collection of different fungi, bacteria, and viruses make up the trillions of microorganisms in the gut. Thankfully, it is estimated that only 10-20% of these microorganisms are ever shared to another person, meaning that your microflora focuses more on helping or maintaining your own body, as opposed to fighting outside threats and illness.

The microorganisms living in the body are different for every person. The amount of each depends on the individuals’ diet and lifestyle, as well as the presence or absence of the microorganisms, which can affect someones’ appetite, weight, and even mood.

Diet

You are what you eat?

You’ve surely heard the expression before, but scientists are finding that this could be closer to the truth than we previously thought.

The gut microbiome changes “rapidly” with diet. A group of six scientists noted a clear difference with diet in their study. The test changed subjects that consumed a low fat plant-based diet, to a “western” high fat/high sugar diet. The results showed a shift in the structure of the microbiome, as well as, the metabolic pathways and expression.

In simple terms, a high fat/high sugar diet changed the gut microbiome entirely in one day!

Scientists from ‘Scientific American‘ confirmed these findings, showing a clear difference in the microbiome, the type of microorganisms present in the gut, and the genes that they were expressing. The scientists noted changes occurring as quickly as 3-4 days from a change in what someone ate.

What is a Healthy Gut?

A healthy gut is different for every person, and unfortunately what works for one person, may not be the best for another person.

Scientists are unable to say with certainty which is good and which is not, but they hypothesize that those that eat a healthier plant-based diet will have healthier gut biomes. Gut microbiome research has come a long way and scientists are able to say with certainty that the gut biome directly affects the GI tract of the person.

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Symptom (IBS), which can affect as many as 10-20% of U.S. adults, have been seen as a byproduct of a changed microbiome. The scientists that are doing gut microbiome research want the public to understand that there are no connections to made yet. The science community is not saying that one diet is necessarily bad or good, just that they affect the gut in different ways.

As said before, every persons’ gut is different and the things they need change, which makes it difficult to say what works best for the gut universally. Your gut biome began to develop when you were born and changes every day with your food choices, lifestyle decisions, and stress levels too.

Gut Microbiome Research: Signs and Symptoms

What is gut health?

It’s hard to say what exactly gut health is, due to the changes every person has in their own gut microflora and the diet they adhere to. There are a few symptoms and byproducts that can be used as signs though.

An upset stomach with repeated feelings of bloating, heartburn or gas could be directly related to the gut biome and the difficulties that the gut is having processing the food.

Other signs are seen in unintentional weight fluctuations and sleep problems. A change in weight going up or down without a change in exercise could be the result of an imbalanced gut. The gut may be unable to process the nutrients, store fat and regulate blood sugars as needed.

Insomnia, poor sleep and constant fatigue can be related to gut issues. The body’s supply of serotonin is produced in the gut, and serotonin not only affects mood but also sleep. This means that gut damage or issues could be affecting your mood and sleep as well!

Finally, gut microbiome research has shown that an increase in skin conditions like eczema could be due to gut health! Gut health plays a role in constant inflammation in the body. This inflammation can even lead to additional autoimmune issues if left unresolved.

Not all is lost though! If you can lower stress levels and get enough sleep you are already on your way to repairing any gut issues you may have!

Can it be fixed?

Is there any way to fix this?

The evidence is available to show that the gut is highly responsive to change both good and bad. More fruit gives rise to different microorganisms than high sugar foods do.

The gut will only work as well as the foods it is given, but there are other things that help to make this process easier. There are even supplements that help with digestion. These supplements can help the gut in different ways.

Probiotics can be introduced to help with the digestive process. Digestive enzymes can be taken if the body is lagging behind in its’ natural production of enzymes too.

Along with probiotics and digestive enzymes, peppermint oil, Pepin and other supplements can also be used to get your gut operating at it’s most effective.

The Gut

The gut plays a bigger part in our lives than we thought possible before, but the evidence is clear, what we eat will affect us! It’s important to take care of yourself as it will make your mood better, help you get more restful sleep and make you more energized! Supplements can also be used to help boost the gut, but every person is different.

Gut microbiome research has come a long way, and proven that our gut microbiomes are changing every day… like the saying goes put good in, get good out, your gut included!

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Education

How to Be More Charismatic: 4 Ways to Develop Yourself

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Meeting new people is scary, and it’s natural to feel nervous. If you fear going out and talking to people, it’s possible you have a condition called social anxiety. But for most people, it doesn’t go that far.

We want to be liked, but we often fear that we’re annoying the people around us. That, in turn, just makes us more insecure. If you want to know how to be more charismatic, the first step is ditching the insecurity.

Confidence in yourself doesn’t mean you’re arrogant, but it does mean you accept the person you are. Keep reading for four tips on how to be more likable.

Be Interested

There’s a cliche that “Interesting people are interested.” That oversimplifies things a bit. Yet if you don’t know what to say in a social situation, start off by listening as much as possible.

How do you let people know you’re paying attention? Nodding along in agreement is one way to do this. But don’t nod so much that you sprain your neck.

Ditch the Phone

We’ve all been to parties where everyone sits on the couch and stares at their phones. But a party should not feel like the waiting room at your dentist’s office.

Yes, smartphones are cool. But checking your phone hundreds of times a day means you’re missing out on conversations.

Phones can act as a shield to keep us from feeling vulnerable. If possible, put your phone on silent before walking into a social situation.

If that’s not possible, at least limit how often you check it. Unless you get an urgent email or text message, once an hour is plenty.

Ask People Questions

You’ve been listening for a bit and are ready to speak up. But you’re not sure what to say.

Keep the focus on other people by asking them a question about what they just said. For instance, let’s say they mentioned a childhood in California. You can ask, “What part of California are you from?”

That’s an easy question that gives them an opening to discuss their life more. In turn, that makes them feel important.

What if you’re a girl wanting to flirt with a guy? This site has the best questions for catching a guy’s interest.

But don’t only ask questions. If you do that, you’ll start to sound like a game show host, or worse yet, a police interrogator.

Make (Some) Jokes About Yourself

Self-deprecation often helps put people at ease. But don’t go overboard with the jokes about yourself.

For instance, making a joke about the year you dropped out of college to try and make it as an actor in New York is fine. But saying, “I’m such an idiot. Someone should have thrown me into the Hudson River” is not.

You can admit you’re not perfect without acting like you hate yourself. People respond a lot better to the former than the latter.

Be More Charismatic

A few people seem like naturals, but they, too, had to learn how to be more charismatic.

Figuring out how to be more influential is a lengthy process. Give yourself some breathing room as you figure things out.

Want more tips on confidence? Bookmark our site for advice that will help you lead a bolder, better life.

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Education

Be Prepared: 5 Self Defense Tips Every Woman Needs to Know

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Ladies, we’ve all been walking down a dimly lit street in the middle of the night, clutching our purse, hoping we get home before someone pops out from behind the bushes.

That feeling of vulnerability is arguably one of the scariest things a woman experiences. The worst part is we face it on a daily basis.

Knowing what to do in stressful situations can save you from experiencing something horrible. You can start by paying attention to this list of self defense tips.

Follow along and take note. You never know when this advice will come in handy. If it does, you’ll be glad you were here.

1. Be Aware

The most basic and most important point is to be aware of your surroundings. If you know what’s coming, you can be infinitely more prepared than if it takes you by surprise.

Part of being aware includes not walking with headphones on or staring at your phone. It’s important to listen to and see what’s going on around you, otherwise you make yourself an easy target. Those shuffling footsteps behind you might not be a good sign.

If you feel like someone is following you, cross the street. If they’re still following you, try to go into a store if you’re near one.

Also, don’t be afraid to look a person in the eye. It will make you seem confident and fearless. This makes it very easy to identify the person in a lineup if needed.

2. Follow Your Gut

If you ever feel unsafe in a situation, trust your gut. It’s always better to be too cautious than be the victim of a violent crime.

The most common instance in which a person dismisses their gut feeling is when they try to rationalize something. The thing about intuition is that it’s a learned feeling. Years of experience have led you to believe that funny feeling means something bad might happen, so don’t ignore it or brush it off as being paranoid.

3. Fight Back

If you ever find yourself in a situation that turns violent, don’t let fear cripple you. It’ll make you incredibly vulnerable to your attacker.

Next, figure out how you can fight back. If you’re being choked, lift your arms up over your sides and bring them down together, straight and fast to one side. Avoid grabbing your attacker’s hands and trying to pull them off your neck, this could compromise your breathing.

If you carry any self defense devices, use them. Pepper spray your attacker the first chance you get. You don’t want to be in a situation where you can’t reach your devices anymore.

4. Predicting Behavior

Another important part of self defense is realizing when a person’s behavior can turn violent. Most attackers begin by trying to gain your trust. They might try to lure you somewhere dark and empty.

Don’t fall for tricks like these. Even if it’s the most charming person you have ever met in your life, stay alert.

5. Take A Class

One of the best things you can do is take a class. Not only will it motivate you to stay fit, but it’ll also teach you everything you need to know about defending yourself. Feel safe and confident knowing these lessons have your best interests are at heart.

Self Defense Tips and More

If you find this list of self defense tips helpful, share it with your friends and keep visiting our site to be informed and aware of the changing circumstances.

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Education

8 Great Exam Strategies for Nervous Test Takers

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Does your child get anxious before exams and evaluations? Do you get jittery every time you face a big evaluation? Do you ever wonder if there was a way to ease the tension?

Believe it or not, there are test-taking strategies available to help kids and adults who are anxious test takers. They can help you perform well and boost confidence at the same time.

Here are some exam strategies you need to know about.

1. Organize Your Review

It may seem overly simplistic to say that you or your child needs to prepare for exams in order to have less anxiety. Yet an organized study routine will go a long way toward making you less worried.

You may want to use flashcards for vocabulary or charts to help organize the differences between different concepts. You can also write numbered lists or use colors to help your child stay organized.

Your student may want to help you create the study materials, so they’re more accessible to them. However you prepare, make sure that key terms and concepts are clearly written and explained, so your child is able to easily focus.

If you need help creating an organized outline out of your child’s notetaking, you can actually hire a professional to help you. They may also be able to help you with papers and deadlines. You can learn more about that here.

2. Peace and Quiet

Your child may become overwhelmed if they study in a place that isn’t comfortable for them. Most people are able to concentrate best in a quiet environment with few distractions.

Make sure your child has a peaceful, predictable place to study each day. If there’s too much going on at home, you may need to visit the local library or coffee shop.

Some kids focus better with a little classical music playing or essential oils diffusing in the background. Tweak these factors a bit until you find the optimal environment for keeping your child in their best frame of mind.

3. Practice Your Performance

Is your child taking a spelling test that will require listening and writing, or a math test that will require critical thinking? You can help them prepare for the big day by administering a “test” similar to what they’ll experience.

You can use sample questions in textbooks to help you design questions like what they might see, or you can create a matching game for vocabulary. Either way, allowing your student to practice what they’ll be doing during the test will help them to relax and focus when crunch time comes.

4. Pacing

Pacing is important when it comes to test-taking. If, for example, your child is going to be taking a history test with an essay, you may want to practice this type of format with them. You’ll want to encourage them not to linger too long over multiple-choice questions if they need to write for at least part of the time.

5. Get Information About the Exam

While you won’t be able to find out test questions ahead of time, you may be able to get some answers about the format.

Is it a multiple-choice or short-answer test? Will there be a word box? Are students allowed to open their textbooks and locate answers?

Find out if the questions usually come more from class notes or textbook readings. Preparing with the test in mind can save you a lot of time learning unnecessary information.

6. Look for an Easy Question

Your child’s fears may have a tendency of paralyzing them before they even begin taking a test. They may become even more anxious if the first question is perplexing.

Once they see a question they are certain of the answer to, they may be able to unblock any mental hang-ups. The act of writing itself can actually help to relieve tension.

7. Stay Healthy

Eating well and exercising can actually boost your child’s brain performance. They can also serve to decrease their stress and promote levels of confidence.

Good food choices before an exam are high in protein and nutrients but low in empty calories and fat. Consider items that are high in antioxidants, such as fresh fruits and veggies, as well as nuts. Whole grains like oatmeal and lean meats like turkey and bacon are also great morning options.

You’ll also want to make sure your child gets plenty of hydration. Send them to school with their own water bottle, if possible. A lack of proper hydration can actually lead to headaches and dizziness.

8. Reward Often

Some students from elementary school to college will work best if they know there’s a reward for their best effort. Even if their grades increase by one letter grade, the promise of a reward such as a shopping trip or night out at the movies may be all it takes to push them to be their best.

If your rewards involve family together time or healthy social activity, you can encourage positive bonds as well as focused studying. Even something as simple as a walk up to the corner for ice cream may be enough to convince a young person to buckle down and prepare for something they’re a little nervous about.

The Best Exam Strategies Start With Prep

Exam strategies and techniques are as varied as the students who use them. With a little time and patience, you could find test preparation skills that your child will carry with them through a lifetime of learning. It will give them increased confidence and pride for years to come.

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Education

5 Ways to Help Your Child Adapt to Virtual School

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With social distancing expected to be necessary for 2021 (and even possibly beyond), measures to keep people apart aren’t going to go away any time soon. That includes virtual school.

Virtual school has become a popular mode of learning, with classes conducted from a distance. Often this involves children sitting in front of a computer using some sort of video chat software such as Zoom, with someone teaching the class from their own home.

Although it’s an innovative solution for distance learning, some children might struggle to adapt to this new way of life. If your child is having some issues, here’s how you can help.

1. Keep Them in a Routine

It’s possible that they might have a little more flexibility with their schedule now. Some teachers will pre-record lessons and have the children watch them and complete an assignment, rather than teaching them live.

If this is the case, it’s important to keep your child in a routine they’re familiar with.

No playing video games or watching TV during usual school hours, only to start the lesson at 8 pm! Keeping them in a routine will help their adjustment.

2. Hire a Virtual Tutor

Just like if they were struggling with school in real life, a tutor can be a great resource. More and more tutors are operating virtually, and they cover a wide variety of subjects, ages, and levels.

Whatever your child is struggling with, there’s probably a tutor out there that can help.

3. Help Them Plan Time With Friends

Even children need an appropriate work-life balance. If they spend most of their time in virtual learning school and the rest of it on their own, they’re bound to find the adjustment difficult.

Help them plan time with friends. Even if it’s not safe to hang out with them in person, showing them how to use software for social time as well as online learning could be a huge benefit.

Your child can video chat with their friends, and even play some games during their downtime.

4. Create a No-Distractions Zone

If you have a corner of your house that you can carve out for them while they’re on their online learning platforms, that’s ideal. It should be their ‘no distractions’ zone — a place where they go to learn and leave when they’re done with school for the day.

This will ensure they don’t get the lines between school and fun blurred and can relax when they’re away from that zone.

5. Encourage Them to Share Their Concerns About Virtual School

You should always encourage your child to share any concerns they have and explain what they’re struggling with. Don’t shut them down or snap at them out of stress — hear them out and see if you can come up with a solution together.

This is an adjustment for you both, after all!

They Can Do This!

Encourage your child above all else! Let them know they can do this and have faith in yourself in helping them to adjust. Virtual school is always going to feel strange at first, but with the right tools and support, their education won’t suffer.

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