Positive Brain Changes from Meditation

Meditation pic

Image: forbes.com

An executive director at Aetna in Hartford, Connecticut, Tanya Taupier has developed and implemented organizational strategies designed to enhance productivity. Aside from her work obligations, Tanya Taupier enjoys regular meditation.

A 2015 article in Forbes’ Pharma & Healthcare section reports that meditation can change the brain in several ways. Researchers have studied the topic steadily for numerous years. A study completed by investigators with UCLA revealed that individuals who had engaged in meditation throughout their lives showed better-preserved brains, compared to those who didn’t meditate as they aged.

Additionally, meditation is known to reduce stress and anxiety. Jon Kabat-Zinn from the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness developed a sub-genre of meditation called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Its prime goal is to decrease stress levels. Studies have proved that Kabat-Zinn’s system does, in fact, lower stress levels, and a team at Stanford University found that mindfulness meditation helps individuals with social anxiety disorders.

Elements of Effective Talent Development

Talent Development pic

Talent Development
Image: humanresources.ku.edu

Tanya Taupier holds a bachelor’s degree in human resources from Western New England University and a master’s degree in project management from George Washington University. Also a trained leadership coach, she draws on her coaching and talent development experience in her role as Aetna’s executive director for human resources.

In organizational human resource processes, there several integral elements for successful talent development plan, including:

1. Time – Investing in talent development is a continuous activity. Results from mentoring and training do not manifest overnight, which is why talent development needs to be a regular initiative.

2. Delegation – A successful talent development plan depends on proper delegation of responsibilities. The plan identifies expectations from the training team, as well as the employees.

3. Focus on talent – Building on an employee’s talent has long-term positive effects in an organization. It is important to separate talent, which comes naturally, from skills, which are developed. Focusing on talent also involves offering talented employees opportunities for training.

4. Network of mentors – A culture that promotes talent development is built on a network of mentors acting as role models. These mentors should also promote the values of an organization and work to encourage continuous learning in employees.

How to Keep Running in Winter Months

Winter Running pic

Winter Running
Image: active.com

Aetna’s executive director of human resources Tanya Taupier balances her demanding career, family life, and varied hobbies. When she finds time away from work, Tanya Taupier improves her body and mind through meditation, cross-training, and running.

For many people, running is rewarding all year long, but running can require a little extra motivation during cold winter months. As the weather begins to cool down once again, consider the following running tips to keep you going strong.

Try to run during the lightest and warmest parts of the day. Your body needs sunshine, and midday sun will help stave off the cold. Dressing appropriately can keep you warm as well. You will probably want to wear long sleeves and gloves, but do not overdress. Dress as if it is 20 degrees warmer outside than it really is.

Even if temperatures are pleasant, make sure you take extra time to warm up and cool down during the winter. Your muscles will be colder, and your circulation will need a little help to start moving faster. Toss your running clothes into a warm dryer for a few minutes before a run to warm you up quickly.

Most importantly, be extra careful as you run. Watch out for ice, and remember that hard surfaces will be even harder in cold weather. Shorten your stride, keep your feet low, and focus on form for an injury-free winter.

Phantom of the Opera’s Ali Ewoldt Makes History While Repeating It

The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera


Tanya Taupier works as the executive director of Aetna’s human resources department in Hartford, Connecticut. When she is not working, Tanya Taupier enjoys Broadway musicals, with The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables being two of her favorites. Recently, Filipino actress Ali Ewoldt became the first woman of color cast as Phantom’s Christine Daaé, the love story’s leading lady.

With InStyle calling her debut worthy of a standing ovation, Ewoldt said she was honored to be cast in the role and hopes it helps open the door to further diversity on the street sometimes referred to as The Great White Way. The actress’s first Broadway role was as Cosette in another classic, Les Misérables.

Ali Ewoldt’s story mirrors that of another history-making Filipino actress, Lea Salonga. In 1993, the Tony Award-winner became the first Asian woman to play Eponine in Les Mis. Salonga later went on to star in many other musicals, release her own albums, and sing in multiple Disney movies before making the move to television. In 2007, she returned to Les Misérables to play the role of Fantine.

As a child, Ali Ewoldt remembers seeing Lea Salonga perform her historic role. Now she hopes she can inspire other young actresses the way Salonga inspired her.

Gluten-Free Brownies Made with Black Beans

Gluten-Free Brownies pic

Gluten-Free Brownies
Image: food.com

As an executive director of human resources for Aetna in Hartford, Connecticut, Tanya Taupier helps manage the company’s human capital requirements. As a mother, Tanya Taupier works hard to provide her children with healthful, organic, gluten-free meals and treats.

These black bean brownies from Dana at the Minimalist Baker blog are vegan, gluten-free, and full of protein. Even better, they are delicious and nearly impossible to make incorrectly.

1. Prepare two flax “eggs” by combining 2 tablespoons of flaxseed and 6 tablespoons of water. Mix until the “eggs” are sticky.

2. Drain and rinse a 15-ounce can of organic black beans. Pour the flax eggs and black beans into a large mixing bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil, 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

3. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/2 cup of your favorite organic sugar, and 3/4 cup of high-quality cocoa powder.

4. Using a food processor or hand mixer, combine the ingredients for several minutes or until the batter is smooth. If the batter is too thick, add water until it is slightly thinner than chocolate frosting.

5. Spoon the batter into a greased muffin tin, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Sprinkle chocolate chips, crushed walnuts, or your favorite topping over the batter.

6. Bake the brownies for 20-26 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow them to firm and cool before you serve.