Blog | Mitchell's NY

There’s a reason the entire cast of “Friends” lived in the same apartment building for 10 years: It’s a hassle to move in the city. Between boxing up your entire life, carrying it down the narrow stairs of a walk-up, and navigating a moving truck through the narrow streets of Brooklyn, you might be tempted to stay put for the next decade. But if you’ve outgrown your studio or are finally ready to rid yourself of roommates, there are tricks of the trade to make moving simple — even in the bustling...

Blog | Sportwater

Most committed athletes recognize endorphins as the trigger that leads to the sense of euphoria felt during tough workouts. But do these natural, feel-good chemicals deserve all the credit? What can you do to feel your best when your heart is pumping? You’re on mile 5 when it happens: an overwhelming feeling of peace that fills your heart and energizes your brain. Every step is pure happiness; every breath, deep and satisfying. You feel your body getting stronger. If only you could keep running! The role of endorphins For decades, experienced athletes could point to endorphins as the cause of the unmistakable runner’s high. Endorphins are known as the body’s natural pain reliever. During long, tough workouts, the brain increases its production of endorphins in its prefrontal and limbic regions. These are the areas of the brain associated with euphoria, love and satisfaction. The greater the production of endorphins, the greater the feeling of elation. The catch? No amount of endorphins can compensate for a serious injury, a lack of training or poor preparation. If you’re new to working out, then you may not feel that euphoria right away — only relief that your workout is over. On the bright side, working out with a partner increases the odds you’ll gain an endorphin boost. Oxford University researchers found that crew members who row together boost good feelings more effectively than solo rowers, according to Runner’s World. The endocannabinoid system Endorphins may get the lion’s share of the credit for the runner’s high, but another natural molecule, called endocannabinoids, also cross the blood-brain barrier. These lipids act on receptors throughout the body to improve well-being and reduce pain and anxiety. Numerous studies have found these molecules play an important role in encouraging and enjoying exercise. They also may increase the growth rate of new brain cells after exercise, a recognized cognitive side effect of working out. A French study found that mice bred with no functioning endocannabinoid receptors were about half as likely to run, despite regular access to running wheels, according to the New York Times. “Although the full intricacies of the endocannabinoid system’s role in motivating and rewarding exercise is not yet understood, it seems obvious, the researchers say, that the cannabinoid-deprived mice were not getting some necessary internal message,” the Times reports. How to get a runner’s high If you’re ready to find out what all the fuss is about, try these tips. • Be prepared for a long, moderately intense workout. Expect to exercise for at least an hour at a moderately difficult pace. “Think tempo run,” Runner’s World recommends. Push yourself too hard and your endorphins and endocannabinoids won’t be able to overcome the discomfort. • Watch your nutrition. Make sure you’re well hydrated in advance of your workout so your body doesn’t crash just as you’re about to feel really good. Keep pre-run snacks on the healthy carb side, and avoid protein until recovery. • Rehydrate every 15 to 20 minutes. The more you sweat, the more you need. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. • Motivate yourself. Make a killer workout playlist, or work out with a friend who will push you just the right amount. • Try a morning run. Some evidence from the Neuroscience Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin suggests that endocannabinoid levels are greater in the morning after a solid 8 hours of sleep. Lastly, keep at it! A running app can get you off the couch and feeling euphoric faster than you might imagine.

Newsletter | 212 Tax & Accounting Services

Six Overlooked Tax Breaks for Individuals Confused about which credits and deductions you can claim on your 2015 tax return? You're not alone. Here are six tax breaks that you won't want to overlook. 1. State Sales and Income Taxes Thanks to last-minute tax extender legislation passed in December, taxpayers filing their 2015 returns can still deduct either state income tax paid or state sales tax paid, whichever is greater. Here's how it works. If you bought a big-ticket item like a car or boat in 2015, it might be more advantageous to deduct the sales tax, but don't forget to figure any state income taxes withheld from your paycheck just in case. If you're self-employed, you can include the state income paid from your estimated payments. In addition, if you owed taxes when filing your 2014 tax return in 2015, you can include the amount when you itemize your state taxes this year on your 2015 return. 2. Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit Most parents realize that there is a tax credit for daycare when their child is young, but they might not realize that once a child starts school, the same credit can be used for before and after school care, as well as day camps during school vacations. This child and dependent care tax credit can also be taken by anyone who pays a home health aide to care for a spouse or other dependent--such as an elderly parent--who is physically or mentally unable to care for him or herself. The credit is worth a maximum of $1,050 or 35 percent of $3,000 of eligible expenses per dependent. 3. Job Search Expenses Job search expenses are 100 percent deductible, whether you are gainfully employed or not currently working--as long as you are looking for a position in your current profession. Expenses include fees paid to join professional organizations, as well as employment placement agencies that you used during your job search. Travel to interviews is also deductible (as long as it was not paid by your prospective employer) as is paper, envelopes, and costs associated with resumes or portfolios. The catch is that you can only deduct expenses greater than two percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI). Also, you cannot deduct job search expenses if you are looking for a job for the first time. 4. Student Loan Interest Paid by Parents Typically, a taxpayer is only able to deduct interest on mortgage and student loans if he or she is liable for the debt; however, if a parent pays back their child's student loans that money is treated by the IRS as if the child paid it. As long as the child is not claimed as a dependent, he or she can deduct up to $2,500 in student loan interest paid by the parent. The deduction can be claimed even if the child does not itemize. 5. Medical Expenses Most people know that medical expenses are deductible as long as they are more than 10 percent of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) for tax year 2015. What they often don't realize is which medical expenses can be deducted, such as medical miles (23 cents per mile) driven to and from appointments and travel (airline fares or hotel rooms) for out of town medical treatment. Other deductible medical expenses that taxpayers might not be aware of include health insurance premiums, prescription drugs, co-pays, and dental premiums and treatment. Long-term care insurance (deductible dollar amounts vary depending on age) is also deductible, as are prescription glasses and contacts, counseling, therapy, hearing aids and batteries, dentures, oxygen, walkers, and wheelchairs. If you're self-employed, you may be able to deduct medical, dental, or long-term care insurance. Even better, you can deduct 100 percent of the premium. In addition, if you pay health insurance premiums for an adult child under age 27, you may be able to deduct those premiums as well. 6. Bad Debt If you've ever loaned money to a friend, but were never repaid, you may qualify for a non-business bad debt tax deduction of up to $3,000 per year. To qualify, however, the debt must be totally worthless in that there is no reasonable expectation of payment. Non-business bad debt is deducted as a short-term capital loss, subject to the capital loss limitations. You may take the deduction only in the year the debt becomes worthless. You do not have to wait until a debt is due to determine whether it is worthless. Any amount you are not able to deduct can be carried forward to reduce future tax liability. Are you getting all of the tax credits and deductions that you are entitled to? Maybe you are...but maybe you're not. Why take a chance? Call the office today and make sure you get all of the tax breaks you deserve. Please take a moment to subscribe using the box to the right.  You'll get amazing tax tips and financial advice as a result of signing up! It's Not Too Late to Make a 2015 IRA Contribution What QuickBooks' Calendar Can Do for You Any accounting, business or tax advice contained in this communication, including attachments and enclosures, is not intend

Blog | Clarity Way

Researchers believe a complex mixture of genetics, family history, social history, and environment combine to influence each person’s propensity for addiction. You are not a product of your genes, but your genes can influence how quickly you become addicted to substances. Looking for the Addiction Gene Research more... There has been a sharp rise in the number of heroin addicts since 2012, and the effects are being felt at rehab centers nationwide. Since 2012, heroin deaths have risen by 39 percent...