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.

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.

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.

Teachers’ Top Needs for 2019

Great classrooms don’t happen by accident. Teachers across the country work hard to build vibrant, energizing learning environments for their students, which often means everything from microscopes to pipe cleaners, graphic novels to oboes, class pets to field trips and much more. As a result, teachers spend more than $1 billion from their own pockets each year on supplies.

However, parents and community members can lend a hand. Helping to offset teachers’ expenses can take many forms, from working directly with your child’s teacher to identify needs to participating in school-based fundraisers. Another option is sharing your assistance with a program like DonorsChoose.org, which makes it easy for any individual to address the inequity in schools, one classroom at a time.

Over the past 19 years, more than 3.8 million people have donated to classrooms through the program. Last year alone, nearly 145,000 teachers had projects funded on the site and over 255,000 classroom requests were brought to life. These requests reveal some of the key things teachers across America need for success:

Books, Books and More Books

While books may seem “old school,” teachers know that a single book can change a student’s life. Year after year, teachers request books more than any other resource. Many elementary school teachers ask for leveled reading books to meet their students’ individual needs. Others want to diversify their libraries with books that reflect their students’ identities. “The Hate U Give” and “Wonder” are among the most popular books requested this year, and e-readers have become a popular way to expand libraries beyond what the classroom bookshelf can hold.

Flexible Seating and Classroom Furniture

Many teachers credit flexible seating with transforming the classroom learning experience. Rather than rigid desks, students choose from comfy chairs, bouncy balls, bean bags or wobble stools, all designed to let students get those wiggles out so they can better focus on their work.

Technology

Because of rapidly evolving technology, 65% of children now entering primary school will hold jobs that don’t currently exist. Resources like laptops and tablets help students learn at their own pace and practice 21st century skills like coding. For example, coding robots and 3D printers are becoming some of the most popular items requested in high schools.

Back to the Basics

Many teachers simply need basic supplies: paper, pencils and tissues top the list. Last year, teachers requested enough pens and pencils to write the complete works of William Shakespeare more than 2,000 times.

Life Essentials

Another popular request is “hygiene closets,” which allow teachers to provide students facing poverty with free toiletries to take home such as deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, as well as laundry supplies and clean undergarments.

An Appreciation for the Arts

There are plenty of extracurricular activities at nearly every school that require care and compassion from the community. Drama teams, for example, require supplies to create music, perform plays and more. Donations often allow students to explore their artistic abilities while learning how to create sets, write their own scenes, use instruments and more while simultaneously building their management and teamwork skills.

Community Service

Not all learning must take place in a classroom. In fact, teachers across the country often take aim at new ways to engage students, such as integrating practical life into the daily curriculum through an outdoor learning environment like a community vegetable garden. By requesting composters, rain barrels, seeds, gardening tools and more, educators can take their classrooms outside to help make the planet healthier while students learn how to be healthier themselves. It also gives students an opportunity to give back to their community by donating food to local families in need.

Most Requested School Supplies

  • Books
  • Technology
  • Basic classroom supplies
  • Flexible seating

Learn more about how you can make a difference for classrooms in need at www.donorschoose.org. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
DonorsChoose.org

8th Annual Austin Originals Benefit Concert & Live Stream Featuring Wild Child

The Austin Originals Benefit Concert (AOBC) is Austin Child Guidance Center’s annual fundraising gala at ACL Live at the Moody Theater to be held this year on August 24, 2019 featuring Wild Child.  Each year, the event brings together community supporters, local businesses, musicians, and mental health advocates to raise money for children’s mental health services and concludes with a concert.

2019 Austin Originals Benefit Concert

The event also features live and silent auctions; the Austin Originals Tasting Grove with food bites from local Austin favorites; an exclusive VIP reception; and the annual Phyllis Richards Austin Icon for Children Award presented to two individuals making exemplary strides in improving outcomes for children (list of this year’s finalists and nominees found here.)

With your help, each year the Austin Originals Benefit Concert raises thousands of dollars in support of children’s mental health.

For sponsorship and ticket inquiries please reach out to the Development Team.

An Easy Solution to After-School Snacking

The early morning chaos and activity-packed evenings of the back-to-school season can make finding time to connect challenging. Throughout the day, there can be small windows of time that your family can make the most of – even if only for a few moments that matter.

“As a busy mom, I know how hard it can be to find time to slow down with the kids,” said Dr. Tanya Altmann, pediatrician and parenting expert. “After-school snack time is my secret weapon. It’s a time we can all pause for a few minutes before running out the door to soccer or starting homework. As a doctor, I’ll take any extra opportunity to provide the nutrients my kids need. That’s why I focus on nutrient-rich snacks, which always include milk in our house.”

Most Americans, including kids, fall short on the recommended three daily servings of real milk and milk products for kids ages 9 and up, according to the USDA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Adding real dairy milk to afternoon snack time is an easy way to get kids nutrients they need to grow up strong, which is one less thing for parents to worry about.

“The great thing about milk is that kids already love it, so it’s an easy way to get protein and other essential nutrients they need to fuel their after-school activities and meals,” pediatrician Dr. Ilan Shapiro said. “It’s not a battle to get them to drink it like so many foods can be.”

You can make the most of snack time with simple, fun recipe ideas like Harvest Fruit and Oat Energy Bites, which are a quick way to fuel up. Pairing these with an 8-ounce glass of real milk provides protein and essential nutrients kids need to power through after-school homework or activities.

Snacking recipes are not only easy to make, but also easy to plan. For more tasty on-the-go recipe ideas to try this back-to-school season, and to shop for ingredients, visit milklife.com.

Harvest Fruit and Oat Energy Bites

Recipe courtesy of Emily Caruso of Jelly Toast on behalf of Milk. Love What’s Real

Servings: 10, 2 bites per serving

  • 1/2       cup milk
  • 1 1/2    cups rolled oats, divided
  • 2          tablespoons almond nut butter
  • 2/3       cup dried apple rings, chopped (soft variety)
  • 1/2       teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 1          pinch salt
  • 1/4       cup dried cranberries or dried tart cherries
  • 2          tablespoons chopped pecans or almonds
  • 1          glass milk (8 ounces each) per serving
  1. In bowl of food processor or high-speed blender, combine milk, 1 cup rolled oats, nut butter, dried apple rings, apple pie spice and salt. Pulse until mixture becomes fairly smooth and holds together when rolled. Transfer mixture to medium size bowl.
  2. Stir in remaining oats, dried cranberries and chopped nuts. Roll mixture into tablespoon-sized balls and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Chill 1 hour, or until firm. Keep bites covered and refrigerated up to 3 days.
  3. Pair each serving with 8-ounce glass milk.

Nutritional information per serving: 190 calories; 3.5 g fat; 0 g saturated fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 12 g protein; 28 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 150 mg sodium; 334 mg calcium. Nutrition figures based on using fat-free milk and include 8-ounce glass fat-free milk. (Family Features)

Photo courtesy of Emily Caruso of Jelly Toast on behalf of Milk. Love What’s Real

SOURCE:
MilkPEP

Add Mushrooms to Your Snacking Menu

Mix up your snacking habits with a more nutritious option to serve ahead of a meal or on its own. These Roasted Portobello Mushrooms with Beets and Goat Cheese are ready in just half an hour with only eight ingredients, allowing you to dish up a flavorful bite without going overboard in the kitchen.

Find more recipes at senecafoods.com.

Watch video to see how to make recipe!

Roasted Portobello Mushrooms with Beets and Goat Cheese

  • 1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Whole Pickled Beets
  • 4          large portobello mushrooms (about 1 pound)
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2       cup fresh bread crumbs, such as sourdough or whole wheat. (See note below)
  • 1/4       cup sliced green onions or chopped chives
  • 1/4       cup      coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2       cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Drain beets. Coarsely chop 1/2 cup beets.
  3. Trim stems flat and remove gills from mushroom caps using a spoon. Place caps, rounded side down, on foil-lined baking sheet; season with salt and pepper.
  4. In medium bowl, combine chopped beets, bread crumbs, green onions and walnuts. Spoon mixture into caps and top with goat cheese.
  5. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until heated through and mushrooms are tender.

Note: Using a food processor, pulse a few pieces of sour dough or wheat bread several times until finely crumbled. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Aunt Nellies