Is meditation important?

June 14th, 2022

Summer showed up really quick this week! I hope everyone is finding ways to stay cool and hydrated, I mainly stay inside working and have increased my water intake. Do you have any creative ways to survive summer? This week I am taking advantage of a couple short workdays to catch up with friends and spend time enjoying their company. How many times did you meditate this week? This week I will be sharing the importance of meditation, so let’s dive in!

I watched a Ted Talk by Richard J. Davidson called, “How mindfulness changes the emotional life of out brains.” This was an enlightening talk about how mindfulness has changed our world and society today. I will highlight my main takeaways but encourage you to check it out for yourself!

  1. Our brains are constantly changed by forces around us, but we are usually unaware of those forces. The results of our brains being changed unwittingly include distractibility, loneliness, negative self-talk, depression, loss of meaning and purpose in life. These negative mental states have a direct effect on our physical health. Loneliness has proven to be more deadly than obesity.
  2. Pillars of a healthy mind: awareness (the ability to focus your attention and resist distraction), connection (interpersonal relationships consisting of kindness, appreciation, compassion), insight (how we see ourselves and the narrative about ourselves), and purpose (our life is headed in a particular direction).  
  3. Train your brain! By learning through declarative learning (book learning) and procedural learning. Two different types of wiring in your brain. We can change our brains very quickly! Through systematic practice these changes can become your new way of life. Begin with just 3 minutes a day. Create a learned behavior to become a healthier version of yourself and others, as well as change the world.

You may ask yourself how this relates to meditation. Last week we explored the meaning of meditation and discovered that meditation is about promoting awareness, as well as calmness and relaxation. Until today, I never stopped to think that meditation has the power to change society and the world by retraining your brain. It makes me wonder how far the reach of positive changes can extend. How will you choose to change your future through the act of meditation?

Whether this is your first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, Thank you! I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

What is meditation?

June 7th, 2022

It has been a couple weeks since I have posted. I have been focusing on self-care and not allowing myself to be spread too thin. Since I am naturally an overachiever, I tend to put unnecessary pressure and stress on myself to always perform at the highest level and can push off sleep, rest, and self-care. Life is a journey and not a destination, I have found myself repeating this phrase several times over the past month. I am striving to better balance the way I spend my time each day, making sure to allow relaxing time with friends, sneak in a little exercise and plan adventures to experience new places and activities. This month we will be looking at the art of meditation and the importance of at least trying it, as it can help with clarity and focus and be a way to calm your mind.

After looking at many resources, I discovered that meditation has many definitions. Most sourced agree that meditation is a practice to promote calmness, relaxation, and awareness. I really like the way said that meditation “is about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective, not about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person.” That takes away the pressure of learning something new! It allows you to experience meditation instead of worrying about if you measure up to the task. Did you catch that? Meditation is an experience, not a test that will be graded. The only cost involved in trying meditation is your time, but the reward is totally worth it.

Meditation is a skill. The only way to learn and grow a skill is to practice it. Meditation maybe a brand-new concept or practice to you and can be intimidating. Trust me, I was in that exact spot about 4 years ago. I knew I needed to learn to relax and be calm, but felt I needed help and guidance getting started. I downloaded the calm app and found it very helpful. I felt like a fish out of water the first meditation session, but it became easier with time. Today, it is much less uncomfortable. It is still challenging for me to quiet my mind and just be, but still very helpful when I make meditation a priority. When beginning your meditation journey, give yourself grace and start with small goals, maybe 5 minutes or even 3 minutes, progressing from there when you are comfortable. I am not a meditation expert by any stretch of the imagination but have found helpful resources through research and by utilizing my network.

I will be highlighting a Young Living product every week, as it applies to the blog and/or my life. I find diffusing Frankincense or Peace & Calming promotes a deeper sense of connection during my meditation sessions. Contact me with any questions regarding Young Living essential oils and products.  Whether this is your first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, Thank you! I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

How to set yourself up for success, where exercise is concerned.

May 24th, 2022

What a week it has been! I have been crazy busy, trying to keep up with work and plan a couple outings with friends. Summer has announced itself with graduations and thunderstorms. Do you have travel plans for the summer or maybe plans to go to a ball game or theme park? This month we have been talking about movement and exercise. Today we continue the conversation with a list of 6 questions to ask yourself to help yourself up for success, where exercise is concerned.

  1. Is it safe for me to exercise? Always consult your doctor before beginning an exercise routine. They can tell you an appropriate starting point and any warning signs to look for regarding your specific health needs.
  2. What is my goal concerning exercise? Is it weight loss, muscle building, or increasing endurance? Maybe it is to be the healthiest version of yourself or to help you clear your mind and relieve stress.
  3. What exercise do I enjoy? If there is an activity or exercise that you enjoy, it will be easier to stick to your plan. Do not choose an activity that you can not physically do or one that you despise, as this will be an additional obstacle to reaching your goals.
  4. Is lifting weights beneficial? There are many benefits to weightlifting, including losing weight and maintaining and building muscle. I suggest meeting with a personal trainer and/or starting with bodyweight exercises.
  5. Do I need to create a plan? As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
  6. What should I track? Track activities, weight, photos, body measurements, and food. The more you can track and compare, the more you will be able to see your progress and results. Progress will inspire you to keep going when it becomes mentally challenging to continue your exercise program.

I hope these questions help you in wellness journey. Please remember health and wellness is a journey, not a destination. You will revise your plan constantly to keep moving forward. Whether this is your first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, Thank you! I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

Are you doing it wrong? Some common fitness mistakes.

May 11th, 2022

Could summer really be getting closer? The weather is definitely more summer-like in the Kansas City area this week. It’s time to break out the capris and skirts, lemonade, and sun tea! Thank you for all the feedback on the blog, it means more to me than I can adequately express. To know that I am causing you to be more present and make conscious decisions to positively impact you overall health and wellness on a daily basis, reaffirms the purpose of this blog! This week will look at common fitness mistakes and how to avoid them. It is all about setting ourselves up for success!

First, let’s get something straight, I’m not saying don’t exercise for fear of doing it wrong. I want you to stay safe and get the maximum benefit out of your workouts, thus the entire reason for today’s blog. I want you to enjoy working out, or at least not hate it, and to see the benefits of your effort. I know from experience there is nothing more discouraging than putting in effort for weeks and not seeing any results. Let’s learn from others’ mistakes and seek advice from professionals to be efficient and effective in our exercise efforts!

Here are my top 7 exercise mistakes and what to do instead:

  1. Watch your grip! Make sure you do not have a death grip on cardio machines, weight machines or free weights. This allows your body to “cheat” at cardio and can cause tight/overworked forearms when working with weights. Instead practice a light touch or light hold.
  2. Cardio is enough mindset. Strength training helps you build and maintain muscle tone. I recommend meeting with a personal trainer to develop a plan customized to your goals and needs. It can be a meeting that you schedule monthly or bi-monthly or if you feel more comfortable it can be a daily meeting.
  3. Be mindful of your form and body mechanics. This is a personal and professional pet peeve of mine. So many injuries and recurring muscle issues stem from poor form and body mechanics. Again, I recommend meeting with a trainer to learn proper form to help you avoid injury.
  4. Poorly adjusted machines. This piggybacks off the last point. Weight machines are adjustable and if you are unsure how to adjust a machine, ask someone for help and look at pictures on machine to properly adjust for your exercise.
  5. The rushed workout. When it comes to a shortened workout remember quality over quantity. Do not rush through your reps, because your form is more likely to suffer. Try a HIIT work out instead of trying to fit in your normal workout when you are crunched for time.
  6. Lack of mental focus. Focus on the muscle groups the exercise targets. Are those the only muscles you are engaging? Exercise is mental as well as physical. Focus on your breath and muscle contractions.
  7. Stretching cold muscles. Stretching cold muscles can lead to injuries. Stretch at the end of your workout when muscles are warm. Stretching is also a great way to promote relaxation at the end of your workout.

Whether this is your first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, Thank you! I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

Let’s get moving – simple fitness tips!

May 4th, 2022

What a week it has been! The weather has been crazy, complete with damaging storms and rollercoaster temperatures. Welcome to springtime in the Midwest. I am so thankful for the much-needed rain we have received and the warmer weather that is coming in a week, fingers crossed. My work schedule has been crazy and slightly overwhelming. I have been reminded of the importance to stop and breathe deeply and focus on the things that you can change. The month of May, we are going to focus on movement, which is something that we can control.

Movement is a key component to a healthy lifestyle! That is not to say that we all need to go run a marathon tomorrow or next month, because running is not everyone’s jam. I applaud you if you enjoy running and I will cheer you on as you run in a 5k fundraiser, the daily 2-mile run and everything in between. Running is not the only option when it comes to movement, though.

Here is a list of 8 simple ways to get moving today:

  1. Take the dog for a walk. If you don’t have a dog, volunteer at a local shelter, or start a dog walking business in your neighborhood.
  2. Find a 10-minute workout on the internet, YouTube, or Pinterest, that is low-impact and can be done at home.
  3. Skip the elevator and take the stairs.
  4. Sneak in extra steps where you can, by walking instead of taking the car or not choosing a close parking spot.
  5. Get friends together at a park and go for a walk taking in the beauty of nature.
  6. Yardwork! Mow the lawn using a push mower, plant a garden, redo landscaping or plant flowers.
  7. Housework. Dusting, vacuuming, and changing bedsheets all require movement and are sneaky ways to get in exercise.
  8. Dance it out! In your living room, in your kitchen, at a concert, with friends, no matter where you dance, remember to have fun and dance like nobody’s watching.

Watch for upcoming changes and additions to my blog, as I will be rolling those out next month. Let me know what subjects you want to discuss in the future. My email is, I can’t wait to hear from y’all!  Whether this is your first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, Thank you! I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

Smart and healthy grocery tips.

April 26th, 2022

I cannot believe that April is almost over! I am ready for a busy week and will end the week at a couple volunteer events and the NFL draft. Who else gets excited to see so many lives change as they take the next step in reaching their dreams of professionally playing the sport, they have trained for most of their life? This week we will wrap up our discussion on healthy eating habits versus a diet, by learning what to buy and how to prepare affordable meals.

The first step is to plan meals for a week or longer, I will be the first to admit this is a real struggle. I have trouble predicting what I will “feel” like eating and am in the process of changing my mindset to where I am now look forward to what I “get” to eat later in the week. If you struggle with this also, I recommend planning meals more on the simple side for busy nights and meals that require more effort for days that are not as hectic. Since I only cook for 1, sometimes 2, I often cook enough for 2 so that I can have quick and easy leftovers instead of hitting a drive thru. Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard! This is a principle I learned when I was showing horses, but I have found it is appropriate for other areas of my life. Create the path of least resistance and set yourself up for success.

Build a pantry with spices and other necessities buy purchasing items when they are on sale. Items I always have on hand are avocado oil, Himalayan Sea salt (grinder), black pepper (grinder), Mrs. Dash in a couple different varieties. I also have flour, sugar, brown sugar, and baking soda and powder. Again, you don’t have to go buy all of these at once as there are plenty of meal options that do not require of all these items.  I encourage you to buy items in bulk, for those items that you can use before they expire.

Buying fresh fruits and vegetables in season will be a more cost-effective option. Check your grocery items to ensure that the quality is high, so that you are not wasting money by choosing items that are overripe or close to expiring. I have found that searching for local butchers/farms can result in big savings when purchasing meat. Save even more if you have a large freezer buy purchasing ¼, ½ or even whole beef! I am loving this time of year as the farmer’s markets are starting back up and these are great resources for locally sourced food items. I have also been able to find groups on social media that have lists of farms in your state or area. I think I will end this week’s blog, as not to overwhelm you with too much information. As always, reach out to me with any questions or if you would like coaching on how to create a pantry full of good-for-you foods!

Whether this is your first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, Thank you! I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

Healthy eating is so expensive!

April 19th, 2022

Time spent with family is the best and just what I needed after a long work week. My travels took me to Nebraska where it rained and snowed intermittently, making me question my decision to travel north. Great food and even better company more than made up for the crazy weather. Our family traditions are taking on new meaning as I view them from the adult perspective, watching my cousins’ children gather eggs and run around. Were you able to implement any new healthy eating habits? I personally found smaller serving sized to be extremely helpful and it gave me time to visit with different family members. This week we will discuss the cost of healthy eating.

It seems eating is expensive, no matter what you eat, but have you noticed that “junk food,” such as chips, often go on sale? Don’t get me wrong, they are sales on carrots, lettuce, and kale, but it is not usually advertised as heavily. You can pick up “complete” frozen meals much cheaper than you can purchase all the ingredients and make it yourself, not to mention the cost of your time to cook said meal. The following is a paper I wrote for my health coaching certification, and I hope it helps to give your perspective on the true cost of your eating habits.

Eating healthy may seem expensive right this minute but could end up saving you thousands of dollars and days/years in the long run. Hear me out:

Eating healthy may cost you more time in going to the grocery store and/or prep time. It may also cost you some time in doing research to discover healthy recipes. It may cost you a little frustration in the beginning as well, as you are learning new techniques for cooking healthy and flavorful food to be more mindful of what exactly you are putting in your body.

Are you ready for the good news!?! I am here to help you through the process. Before we begin the process, let me tell you how eating healthy now is going to save you money now and in the long term:

  1. Decreased prescription drugs now and later in life
  2. Healthy weight management means decreased risk of certain cardiovascular diseases
  3. Option of growing your own food in a garden, tower garden or community garden
  4. Imperfect Foods – delivery service
  5. New skills could lead to a side hustle
  6. New skills you can share with your family and friends that can potentially give you more time with them – truly priceless

You must choose your “expensive,” a little now can reap huge rewards. It’s about investing now versus spending later.

Whether this is your first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, Thank you! I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

Healthy eating during celebrations.

April 12th, 2022

How is everyone’s week going so far? I’m so thankful for the sunshine and warmer temperatures that come with springtime, but storms can cause me anxiety. I hope y’all are staying safe with the high winds and threat of severe weather so far this week that will be continuing the next couple of days. Do y’all have plans to celebrate Easter with your families? This week lets revisit how to eat healthy or at least healthier for family get-togethers.

If you know that you will have to bring a dish to the celebration, you can control the ingredients by making healthier substitutions without sacrificing flavor. Your dish(es) can include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. To boost flavor while limiting calories, I lean heavily on my spice rack and vitality essential oils. I am not willing to sacrifice or substitute some things, like mashed potatoes for example, but you could always do baked potatoes or sweet potatoes if your family likes those options. I am sure to limit my serving size of the dishes that are not as healthy, just like in my everyday life.

Another tip is to not skip meals prior to the “big” meal. Skipping breakfast will only lead to hanger and overeating, not to mention a dip/spike in blood sugar levels. I also make sure I drink lots of water, skipping the sugary drinks, because I will be consuming foods that are higher in sugar, further helping to stabilize blood sugar levels. Rounding out my top 5 tips to eat healthier at family gatherings:

3 – Graze on vegetables and fruits before the meal. My family always has a big spread of finger foods available at holidays.

4 – Smaller portions are always the better option and go back for seconds if you are still hungry. This can help you to avoid overeating or falling victim to the “my eyes were bigger than my stomach” syndrome.

5 – Don’t nap after the meal. Go for a walk, help find Easter eggs, play games, and get moving after you eat. Get the blood pumping and burn a few calories before the drive home.

Whatever your plans are this weekend, enjoy time with family and friends and remember the true meaning of Easter. Hint: It isn’t eating peeps or hunting eggs! Whether this is your first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, Thank you! I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

Dieting versus healthy eating habits

April 7th, 2022

How is everyone doing this week? I took a break last week as we dealt with a death in the family and everything that goes along with that type of milestone, including get back into the swing of “normal life.” I’m excited to return to a more normal schedule this week and share with you my knowledge on this month’s topic: food.  This month we will be looking at eating styles, more specifically dieting compared to healthy eating habits.

Your diet consists of the foods that you normally consume, but I’m guessing when you hear the word diet, you probably think of restrictions coupled with lack of variety and fun. What if you could create the habit of eating “good-for-you” foods 80 or 90 percent of the time and allowed yourself to splurge a little for the remaining percentage? That means you could still do taco Tuesdays or happy hour once or twice a week. If I’m being honest with you, any small sustainable change that you incorporate today will set you up for long-term success.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard or expensive! Eating healthy does require effort, commitment, and planning, but I’m here to help you in this journey as a source of both accountability and knowledge. Here are my top 3 tips to begin your journey:

  1. Plan – Create a meal plan filled with good-for-you foods. You can also prep your food in advance to eliminate stress at mealtimes.
  2. Variety – As I have already mentioned, restrictive diets can set you up for failure before you even begin. Purchase healthy snacks that you do not normally eat. Try out new recipes.
  3. Nourishment – Make sure your meals and snacks include the nutrients that leave you feeling full longer. Include a balance of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins.

Is any of this making sense to y’all? Change doesn’t have to be daunting. If you find yourself overwhelmed, reach out for help. Did you know that I am certified health coach? Contact me to schedule a pantry make over or meal planning. Whether this is your first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, Thank you! I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

Motivation – benefits of a coach

March 23rd, 2022

Can I be real and transparent with y’all for a minute? This week has been a little rough. It has been a struggle to keep my motivation. The weather has turned a little gloomy, which isn’t helping the situation either, but instead of focusing on the negative I am clinging to the positives in my life. If you stop and look for the positive, you will find it. So far this month we have discussed what motivation is, how to create it and how to keep it. We have focused on how we can influence motivation within ourselves, but sometimes we could benefit from the outside perspective and help from a motivational coach.

A motivational coach is not just someone with an outside perspective, but they are a professional, whose job it is to help you clarify your goals, as well as recognize obstacles and the core issues you may encounter as you strive for your goals. They are a sounding board to help you stay on track and hold you accountable to your personal and professional success. After reading through several websites, here are my top 5 benefits to having a motivational coach on your side:

  1. Accountability – Do you ever find yourself procrastinating certain tasks because there is no deadline or maybe because no one else knows about your personal to-do list? I sometimes struggle to reach my goals when I do not tell someone what I’m working towards.
  2. Save time and quicker results – Who else wants to work more efficiently? As I have shared in previous posts, patience is not always my strong suit, that coupled with the fact that I am an overachiever, could be a recipe for disaster without proper guidance. A coach can teach you strategies they have gained from their own and others experience in similar situations, to help you achieve results quickly.
  3. Avoid unnecessary stress – Hello? Have you read my blog? I am all about self-care and reducing/managing your stress. Coaches have several different road maps and can help you avoid unnecessary roadblocks, which can cause excessive stress.  
  4. Boost self-confidence – They can help you recognize self-limiting beliefs and eliminate them. They will believe in you until you and teach you how to believe in yourself. What other people think about you is none of your business.
  5. Find purpose – A coach can help you find and/or redefine your purpose in life and career. They will ask you the tough questions and aid in self-discovery to pinpoint exactly who you are, what your passions are and how to influence those around you.

Whether this is your first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, Thank you! I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

Life with Lacey

Self-care is not selfish, but very necessary!