Former Bikini Bodybuilder Bianca Taylor Shares About Eating Disorder Struggles in New Switch4Good Video

In a video from Switch4Good launched August 8, famous former bikini bodybuilder and fitness coach Bianca Taylor reveals that that while competing, she struggled with the eating disorder anorexia athletica, “which is fairly common in female athletes,” she says.

Bianca Taylor

Bianca Taylor

She explains that she became a “very malnourished version of myself.”

Taylor chose to recover on a fully plant-based diet. “I put on muscle, I gained back the thirty pounds that I’d lost, and I did it completely plant-based,” shares the athlete.

“After I stopped drinking dairy, my athletic performance improved so much, mainly because my digestion was so much better that I was able to recover faster,” she says. “I was able to have a lot more energy and just get through my workouts quicker and recover a lot faster.”

Switch4Good is a nonprofit led by Olympic silver medalist cyclist Dotsie Bausch that works to educate the general public and professional athletes about the health and planetary implications of consuming dairy. Bausch is co-host of Switch4Good’s compelling podcast, that addresses eating disorder recovery from a vegan perspective.

Please follow this link to preview Bianca Taylor’s video at https://youtu.be/MEsI5MGn4oc.

Creating a Spa Oasis

(Family Features) Transforming your bathroom into a personal home spa allows you to come home to a relaxing environment every day. By making space and removing clutter, along with adding decorative touches, you can achieve a stylish spa-like atmosphere in the comfort of your own home.

Whether you enjoy the understated, nature-inspired colors or the calming atmosphere, a spa-like bathroom can be beautiful, welcoming and relaxing. Escape the ordinary with these cabinetry ideas from the experts at Wellborn Cabinet.

Float your vanity

When it’s time to retreat, a spa-like bathroom promises sanctuary in its design. Floating vanities mount directly to the wall, providing more floor space and creating a streamlined look. By mounting the vanity to a wall, the space is broadened, naturally making the bathroom look and feel larger while also allowing the homeowners to customize the height.

Although the aesthetic benefits often come at the cost of limited under-sink storage space, this potential pitfall can be overcome with a customizable U-shaped drawer option designed to fit around the sink plumbing in your bath, allowing you to use all that under-counter space.

Clever, concealed storage

Style and functionality combine in bath cabinets and vanities designed to create your own private retreat where your space is serenely ordered and uncluttered. Common amongst spa-like bathroom styling is a clutter-free space, and in doing so, everything is hidden behind the cabinet doors, making storage solutions vital.

To get the spa-like bathroom look, consider adding organizational solutions like a tiered spice rack, sliding shelves and vanity appliance pullouts from Wellborn Cabinet. A tiered spice rack keeps your cabinets organized and makes your morning routine easier. Sliding shelves can make your mornings less hectic with a gentle pull that brings bath essentials right to you. Conveniently store hairstyling tools in one location without compromising design or space with a vanity appliance pullout.

Incorporate ample lighting

Design with relaxation in mind; the calm, warmer natural-color tones and ambient lighting help lend a relaxing vibe. Cabinet lighting adds depth, dimension and visual interest to a bathroom. An ideal lighting design goes beyond a centralized ceiling fixture and includes multiple layers of light.

Lighting in the bathroom is essential; illumination for everyday tasks can make your bath appear larger, add warmth and set the right mood. It may also be designed to tuck cleanly inside and under cabinets to provide well-placed light without visible fixtures or distracting wires.

Infuse natural elements

Nature can be infused into the design by playing on textures with metals, earthy color tones, the graining in the cabinetry and the addition of a subtle waterfall separating the his-and-her vanity to provide a relaxing retreat. For example, Wellborn Cabinet’s Biscotti Cherry and Terra Oak embossed melamine show off the wood-graining to highlight the natural aspects of the wood.

For more bathroom remodeling ideas, visit wellborn.com.   (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Wellborn Cabinet

Making the Back-to-School Transition Easy from Kindergarten to College

It’s time to get your household organized for another school year and all that comes with it.

Whether your child is headed off to kindergarten or going away to college, these useful tips can help make the transition back to the regimented school year easier and get your busy household organized for the upcoming season.

Kindergarten

  • Tour the school. It is important to visit the school with your kids so they can get familiar with their new environment.
  • Meet the teacher. Introduce yourself to your child’s teacher and discuss the best ways to communicate with him or her throughout the school year. Some teachers prefer to keep the conversation going through email while others are more casual and utilize phone calls or in-person meetings.

Elementary School

  • Get into a routine. Set your kids’ sleep schedules back to “school time” at least two weeks before the first day.
  • Get your kids involved in sports or other activities they can do after school to keep them active. An option like ‘all Free & Clear Liquid Detergent can help you remove stains while still being gentle on skin.

Middle and High School

  • Have a conversation about technology. In thisday and age, it’s nearly impossible to avoid tech. Many students probably have schoolwork that requires use of the internet. It’s important to have a conversation with your children about reducing time spent on their laptops to educational purposes during the week.
  • Keep track of everyone’s schedule. There are plenty of free family calendar applications available for smartphones and other devices that can help you keep up with all members of the family and stay organized.

College

  • Simplify the laundry routine. When it’s your child’s first time living on his or her own, you’ll want to do everything you can to make things easier. Consider detergent pacs like ‘all Free & Clear Mighty Pacs Laundry Detergent, which fights tough stains while also being dye- and perfume-free, hypoallergenic and gentle on skin.

By implementing some of these simple tips, you and your kids can look and feel your best, setting up a seamless, stress-free transition back to the school year. Find more information at all-laundry.com. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
‘all

Get the Most Out of Your Benefits Enrollment

A lackadaisical approach to benefits enrollment could leave you short on coverage or end up costing you more than it should. Gathering information and making time to thoroughly consider your options and needs can help ensure you’re getting the best value from your employer’s benefits package.

Approach this year’s open enrollment with these tips from the experts at Colonial Life in mind:

Take life changes into account. A major event like a birth or marriage makes you eligible to adjust your benefits between enrollment periods, but there are many other factors that may affect your coverage needs. For example, you may not bother with dental coverage for a newborn, but once that child has some teeth and is mobile, it’s a good idea to add coverage in the event a fall damages a tooth.

Be conscious of changes. It’s quite common to allow your benefits to renew automatically when the enrollment period rolls around. This can create problems as plans and coverages often change from year to year. Deductible amounts, office visit co-pays and even categories of coverage can shift from one year to the next. Even if there aren’t changes to the coverage, there may be a new pricing structure or additions to coverage that could benefit you.

Dedicate some time. When signing up for benefits for the first time, most people spend at least a little time reviewing each plan option. If you have your premiums deducted from your paycheck automatically, you probably don’t give a lot of thought to your benefits, especially if you’re relatively healthy. Open enrollment is the time to give them more than a passing thought.

A survey by Colonial Life showed 69% of employees spend less than 60 minutes learning about their benefits choices, but that limited time commitment can ultimately affect overall job satisfaction.

“This can be a huge problem for both employees and their employers, because a lack of engagement with the benefits program leads to lower morale and higher turnover,” said Steven Johnson, vice president of enrollment solutions at Colonial Life.

Instead of a cursory flip through the materials, dedicate some time to thoroughly review all the information and make notes about areas you have questions.

Discuss your options. Benefits can be complicated, and there are a lot of terms and jargon in the insurance world that can make it hard to understand exactly what your benefits will cover. That’s why it’s a good idea to sit down with a knowledgeable benefits counselor to discuss your family and personal financial situation.

Technology may be king for many aspects of life, but the survey found just 11% of employees name the internet as the place they turn to learn about benefits during enrollment each year. However, 76% of employees turn to humans including HR professionals, coworkers, family and friends.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for benefits, but a one-on-one counseling session can help simplify the entire benefits process. A private consultation may help you understand how each benefit election impacts your paycheck, as well as simplifying complex benefit concepts, answering your questions and walking you through the enrollment process.

Learn more about how to maximize your benefits at ColonialLife.com.

Benefits Glossary

To gain a better understanding of your benefits, these definitions from HealthCare.gov can help you identify and recognize some common terms.

Benefits: The health care items or services covered under a health insurance plan.

Coinsurance: The percentage of costs of a covered health care service you pay (20%, for example) after you’ve paid your deductible.

Copayment: A fixed amount ($20, for example) you pay for a covered health care service after you’ve paid your deductible.

Deductible: The amount you pay for covered health care services before your insurance plan starts to pay.

Flexible Spending Account: An arrangement through your employer that lets you pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses with tax-free dollars.

Health Savings Account: A type of savings account that lets you set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses.

Network: The facilities, providers and suppliers your health insurer or plan has contracted with to provide health care services. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Colonial Life

Keto Friendly Cocktails You Can Make at Home

Bahamian poet and mixologist Nathaniel Lewis (Prince Lewis Vodka), would love to share his recipe for keto friendly cocktail, The Makeout. With lower calories than other hard spirits vodka can also help lower your cholesterol and improve circulation.


The Makeout

1 part Prince Lewis Vodka

2 parts Sugar Free Tonic Water

1 part Lime Juice

Fresh Mint Leaves

Combine and serve over ice

Tips for Maintaining an Organized Home

This time of year, family life can get a little messy. School schedules and sports activities mix with work commitments, and before long the house is as cluttered as the calendar.

Fall is the perfect time of year to recommit to an organized household so you can keep the chaos contained. With these tips, you can make small changes to help you get organized and stay that way.

Embrace routines. The idea of dedicating large chunks of time to organizing and tidying the house can be overwhelming. However, making time to clean as you progress through the day can help control clutter and keep the time commitment more manageable. Commit to cleaning up the kitchen after dinner each night. Set expectations for kids to pick up their rooms before bed. Before long, routines become productive habits that make a visible difference.

Purge the excess. Over time, nearly everyone collects too much stuff, and clutter is often more an indication of too much volume than poor organization. Items are purchased to replace outdated things, but the old pieces sometimes don’t actually get discarded. Getting control of your clutter starts with eliminating the things you no longer want or need. A good strategy is to create piles of items: keep, sell, donate and discard.

Create a drop zone. In most homes, the entryway is a catchall for family belongings that get shed with each pass through the door. It’s convenient to have shoes, coats, backpacks and other essentials ready to grab as you head out, so instead of fighting the inevitable jumble, find a way to organize it. A stylish drop zone using ClosetMaid’s Space Creations organizers is a solution that attractively contains all those essentials. The line includes a range shelving kits, complementing drawers, baskets, rods and more so you can customize the storage unit to your exact space and needs.

Avoid junk piles. Nearly every home has at least one junk pile, drawer or even room. In most cases, the reason is that the contents are a mish-mash of items that don’t really have any place else to go. Make a point to identify ways to create order, whether it’s adding drawer inserts to contain all the odds and ends or buying a standing file to capture bills and mail.

Be mindful about use. When you’re on a mission to eliminate excess clutter, it can be tempting to go overboard putting things away. It’s important to be realistic about where you store the things you need and err on the side of keeping the things you use regularly within reach. This may mean getting creative about how you organize or even adding new storage containers or furniture, but remember being organized is only helpful if it’s also practical.

Find more ideas for better home organization this busy season at ClosetMaid.com. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
ClosetMaid

Need a Detox? We’ll Pay You $1,000 to Escape to Joshua Tree for a Two-Night Digital Detox Challenge

When was the last time you unplugged? If you’re like most of us, you probably can’t even remember. That’s why the team at SatelliteInternet.com is paying one self-professed tech addict to stay at a sweet Airbnb in Joshua Tree for a two-night digital detox. All we ask is that this person swears off technology for two whole nights then use the satellite internet connection provided at the Airbnb to share their experience on the third night of their stay. We might add that the two-night detox could be particularly challenging given the extremely Insta-worthy views at the location.

You can find the application form and all the information needed to share this with your readers in the official job post on our website.


*Actual images of the Airbnb where the challenge recipient will stay included in the listing here.*

Who: SatelliteInternet.com is an online resource where users can compare satellite internet providers in their area.

Where:

Why: Studies show that the average American spends more than 11 hours per day connected to some kind of media. That doesn’t leave much time for actually living! That’s why we’re offering a paid challenge to one tech junkie who’s willing get out of town and off their tech devices for two whole nights. 

What: We’re hiring someone to give up their devices and social media for 2 nights, and then share their experience via a satellite internet connection. We’ll send this person to an awesome, remote Airbnb in Joshua Tree and provide up to $1,000 in transport and food so they can comfortably enjoy their weekend off the grid.

When: Applications are open now through August 26th, 2019.

Boat Safe

Ensure your boat is ready for the water with this checklist

No matter how much experience you have on the water, prepping your boat – and your passengers – before leaving the dock can make for a more enjoyable experience.

To prepare for a safe and comfortable trip, review this pre-departure checklist to ensure your vessel is in good working order and well-stocked for the adventure:

  • Documentation – Have all required documentation for planned activities, including boat registration, fishing permits and boater education cards readily accessible.
  • Float Plan – File a float plan with a responsible party who will remain on land. Provide contact info, explain where you’re going, when you intend to return and what to do in case he or she doesn’t hear from you.
  • Weather Forecast – Always check the forecast before you head out on the water. To regularly monitor any changes, keep a handheld radio onboard.
  • Fuel – Before leaving, check that your fuel level is adequate for the trip and that other fluids, like oil and coolant, are at the proper levels.
  • Batteries – Check to make sure the boat’s battery, as well as battery-operated items like flashlights and handheld radios, are fully charged and operational.
  • Lights – Check to make sure you have properly functioning navigation and instrument lights and pack a flashlight, as well.
  • Life Jackets – Ensure you have at least one U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device per passenger with a minimum of two onboard. If your boat is longer than 16 feet, you’ll also need a throwable device.
  • Anchor – Keep at least one anchor, attached to an anchor line, and at least two fenders for docking onboard.
  • Bilge – Before launching your boat, ensure the bilge is dry, clear of waste and has a properly functioning pump.
  • Fire Extinguisher – Keep a U.S. Coast Guard-approved fire extinguisher securely mounted in an accessible place.
  • Distress Signals – Store flares and day signals in a dry, accessible location and ensure all passengers onboard know how to use them. Also have a noise-making device, such as an air horn, bell or whistle, capable of producing a 4-second blast audible for at least 1/2 mile readily available.
  • Tools – Keep a basic toolbox onboard with commonly used tools and spare parts like wrenches, screwdrivers, batteries, fuel filters, hull plugs and light bulbs.
  • First-Aid Kit – Keep a well-stocked first-aid kit – and extra sunscreen – in an accessible location in case of accidents.

Find more tips for safely enjoying time on the water at eLivingtoday.com. (eLivingtoday.com)

SOURCE:
eLivingtoday.com

5 Basic Steps for Sizzling Steak

(Culinary.net) A sizzling steak is a surefire sound of summer, and the flavors achieved from one that’s perfectly grilled are hard to match.

Before you fire up your grill, consider these five basics for cooking a chef-worthy steak:

Prepare Your Cut

Taste preferences (and prices) may differ among sirloins, ribeyes, T-bones and more, but the way you prepare steaks likely won’t change much from cut to cut. You’ll want to trim the thickness down to 1/2-1 inch for proper cooking, and setting the meat out ahead of time allows it to warm to room temperature before hitting the grill. Placing a refrigerator-cool slab on hot grates works against you in two ways: first, the cold meat instantly chills your previously warm grill, and second, the inner portion of the steak will take longer to grill.

Add Some Salt

Feel free to add any spices that you prefer, but remember a good steak typically doesn’t require fancy seasoning – a pinch of salt works just fine. Add your salt anywhere between 30 minutes to a few hours before grilling time to help retain moisture and improve flavor.

Aim for High Heat

Grilling a steak correctly actually isn’t just about maintaining a sweltering flame. A two-zone fire is usually the way to go – one side of the grill should be hot (using direct heat) with the other side not quite as warm (indirect heat). This allows you to create a sear over direct heat before finishing cooking through – without burning – over indirect heat.

Sear and Slide

Speaking of searing: Cooking your steak over direct heat 1-2 minutes on each side is normally about right for creating a proper sear. At this point, depending on the thickness of your steak, you’ll want to check for doneness. If it’s not quite to the temperature you’re looking to achieve, simply slide it over to the indirect heat for a finishing touch.

Keep in mind these general guidelines for doneness: 120-125° F is rare, 130-135° F is medium-rare, 140-145° F is medium, 150-155° F is medium-well and 160-175° F is well done.

Let Rest

Finally, as hungry as you may be at this point, resting steaks is an important last step before diving in. Giving your steaks 5-10 minutes (foil or no foil) allows flavors to redistribute and moisture to be retained in the meat.

Find more cooking tips and recipes at Culinary.net. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Culinary.net

Struggling to Understand Your Taxes? Start Here

Trying to understand taxes is like trying to learn a foreign language. We may have a little understanding, but for the most part, we have no clue what’s going on. If you’re like most Americans who don’t fully know how taxes even work, you’re not alone. To help you navigate through tax season and please Uncle Sam, refer to our Understanding Taxes Guide below.

When is the tax filing deadline?

First and foremost, it’s important to know when the last day to file your taxes is. Each year, Tax Day in the United States falls on April 15th, unless the 15th happens to be a weekend or a holiday. In that case, Tax Day will fall on the following business day. It’s important to mark your calendar because if you fail to file or pay your taxes, you can face hefty fines and penalties. These include:

  • Failure to File Penalty: If you fail to file your taxes, you can face a fee that 5 percent of your unpaid taxes, up to 25 percent. After 60 days, you’ll either have to pay $135 or 100 percent of the taxes you owe, whichever is less.
  • Failure to Pay Penalty: If you fail to pay your taxes, you will face a charge of 0.5 percent of your unpaid taxes for each month late, up to 25 percent.
  • Failure to File and Pay Penalty: If you fail to file and pay, your failure to file penalty will be reduced by your failure to pay penalty. Even if you don’t have the money to pay for your taxes by the deadline, it’s important to at least file. This way, you won’t face extra fees, penalties, and interest and will be able to avoid a tax blunder.

How do I pay for my taxes?

Some people may owe taxes to Uncle Sam for a variety of reasons. Some reasons include having too little withheld from their pay, having extra income not subject to withholding (such as money from stocks), and self-employment tax.

If you end up owing a large chunk of change on April 15th, you can always sign up for an IRS payment plan that reduces the threat of increased collection actions. Or, you can apply for a tax extension that will give you 6 more months, until October 15th, to file your taxes.

What documents do I need when filing my taxes?

Another area of taxes many Americans struggle with is collecting all the proper documents that are needed to file taxes. It’s important to keep your finances fresh throughout the year and organize all of your documents, so you don’t end up tearing your house apart looking for your W4 Form or receipts you need for proof for a deduction. Below is a list of all the important paperwork you should have prepared well before Tax Day:

Income Information

○     1099-Misc: Used for self-employment

○     1099-DIV: Used if you received dividends

○     1099-G: Used if you received benefits or money from the government

○     1099-K: Used for transactions made through third-party transactions, like Venmo and PayPal

○     1099-R: Used for distributions from a retirement plan, IRA, pension, etc.

Personal Information

  • Social Security Card or tax ID number
  • Date of birth for you and everyone on your return, including spouses, children, and dependents

Self-Employment Information

  • Mileage records
  • Home office expenses
  • Records for business expenses
  • Receipts for quarterly estimated tax payments

Medical Information

  • Unreimbursed medical expense receipts
  • Health insurance coverage forms filed on Form 1095
  • Social Security Benefits

Life Information

  • Property tax receipts
  • Home improvement invoices or receipts
  • Annual mortgage statement
  • Childcare receipts
  • Contributions to college savings plans
  • Charitable donation receipts
  • Documents related to marriage, divorce, death of a spouse, adoption papers, child custody documents, etc.

As you can tell, being a taxpayer means you’re responsible for keeping track of a lot of documents. The best way to stay organized throughout the year is to make copies of important documents and file them. Or, you can scan and upload them to cloud-based software that will securely store and encrypt your personal documents. It’s always important to ensure you have all the necessary documents to prove your income and deductions so you don’t end up in a tax fraud case, causing you more money and stress.

How do I file my taxes?

Once you have all of your documents needed for proof of income, deductibles, and so forth, it’s time to begin filing. There are three ways you can file:

  1. By yourself: You can file your taxes by completing all necessary forms and mailing them to the IRS or using Free File on their website.
  1. With an accountant: If you want to ensure you file properly, you can consult with an accountant who can do your taxes for you.
  1. Online tax services: Online tax services blend the best of both worlds, allowing you to file your taxes by yourself with the help of tax software that will ensure you have all necessary documents.

Wrapping Up

We get it, trying to understand taxes isn’t easy. However, using this guide during tax season will help you ensure you have all the necessary paperwork to please Uncle Sam. By planning for the future and staying organized throughout the year, you’ll get through tax season with ease.