I have chosen monthly themes for every month moving forward to provide a little structure and be able to give you practical ways to enhance your life within the theme for the month. We are starting with a serious topic that hits close to home for me. Brain injuries look different across the spectrum, from concussions to severe open/closed head injuries.
Your brain health is not only affected by concussions and injuries but also by your overall health. I’m sure you have heard the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Accidents are not always preventable, but there are precautions you can take to protect your brain from injury and keep it in good health. According to Dr. Sears book Prime-Time Health, the following happen if you do not take care of you brain:
~ brains shrink
~ brain traffic slows
~ struggle with repair
~ become stressed out
None of this sounds like fun. Ready for some good news? There are steps you can take to keep your brain healthy, such as:
~ eat smart foods
~ steer clear of additives
~ keep calm
These are easy concepts in theory but challenging in practice. Do you want some more good news? There are small steps you can take today (literally) to begin your journey to keeping your brain healthy! Make a commitment today to a new healthy practice for 30 days and see if you notice a difference. It could be to move your body 30 minutes every day, research smart foods to add to your diet, read food labels to steer clear of additives, eat real foods, or practice deep breathing exercise and/or meditation. Pick just one thing to change and stick with it. Here is a tip: pick an exercise or movement that you actually enjoy, so it will be something that you look forward to and stick with for more than a day or week.
Do you learn something new today? What change are you committed to for the next 30 days? Need accountability? I look forward to your feedback and finding out how I can help you in your self-care journey. Enjoy the sunshine and more spring-like temperatures in the coming weeks!
Last week I was dealing with the cold weather and praying my water pipes did not freeze while the power was out. This week looks completely different as it is currently 63 degrees and nothing but sunshine as I finish my blog. Gotta love Kansas weather! I mentioned making chili in last week’s blog and have had several requests for the recipe so here it is:
“Small” batch of chili
1 pound of lean ground beef
1 large yellow onion
½ container of fresh salsa (Pico)
2 cans dark red kidney beans
3 cans Rotel
I begin by heating avocado oil in cast iron skillet (medium heat) and add chopped onion. I use avocado oil because of its health benefits, and it has a lower smoke point than olive oil. Once onions are translucent, I add my lean ground beef (thawed or frozen). I season my ground beef with Mrs. Dash and chili powder. While my ground beef is cooking, I combine half the container of fresh salsa (I believe it is 16-ounce container) and 3 cans of Rotel in a large soup pot over lower medium heat. Next, I rinse the beans with cold water in a colander and add those to the soup pot. When the ground beef is completely browned, I drain any grease off, add it to my soup pot and stir mixture to combine. I bring the chili to a low simmer and let cook for 2-4 hours. You can add extra peppers or spices if you prefer more heat, but I always recommend tasting before adding more seasonings.
I do not consider myself a chef by any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy cooking for family and friends. Since cooking brings me joy, this is part of my self-care plan. It is easy to “level up” self-care by finding healthier recipes and meal prepping. You will decrease your stress level and make mealtime during the week easier as well! There are several meal-plans and ideas to help you with shopping and prepping. Rachel Ray used to have a cooking show where she would prepare all meals for the week in an afternoon, building on each recipe, with the previous one, as the week progressed. Pinterest is a great resource to use to help build your weekly meals.
I have loved the feedback so far about my blog! Keep the comments and questions coming, as the interaction helps keep me on topic and ensures that I am giving you content that interests y’all! I thrive on the challenge of finding resources and answers/suggestions.
Last week, as part of my self-care plan, I had a massage scheduled. My favorite day of the week is always massage day! Massage day is only elevated when it falls on a Tuesday, which means tacos and tequila with friends. I am continuing my journaling practice to stay focused on my goals and looking for the positive moments, both big and small. I am enjoying the physical and mental challenges of my Pilates classes and honestly looking forward to pushing myself each week. On Friday, I met friends to enjoy live music at a local bar and it was amazing! Music touches me deep in my soul. There is just something very special about a talented vocalist sharing their gift with passion in their eyes. I was surprised on Saturday when my Grandma called to invite me to lunch. She was in the metro area with my cousin and aunt. I had not seen them in person for over a year! Seeing them made my heart happy and the connection with loved ones is an important part of my personal self-care routine. I crave true connection with those that care about me and me about them. To celebrate national margarita day, I met friends at a nearby Mexican restaurant to enjoy margaritas, cheese dip, fajitas, and more live music. When it comes to food, I believe in moderation. I enjoy food, usually the food that is not on the healthy side of the scale, so I try to balance it out increasing my vegetable intake on those days. The idea of depravation dieting does not work well for me personally.
I have some big projects planned for the next few weeks and can’t wait to share with you later. This blog is something very new for me and it is a fluid, forgiving process. I will be sharing a recipe monthly, as well as my self-care journey/routine and anything else that stands out to me or is requested on a weekly basis. I will be posting new blog entries on Tuesdays moving forward because Mondays tend to be crazy for me.
Enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather this week! I challenge you to begin one new self-care routine and let me know how it changes your week.
I promised to tell you about my next steps in my Young Living journey. Sorry for the bunny trails last week! After using my products for a week, noticing improved sleep quality for myself and my dog, and having my massage clients love the addition of pleasing aromas in my treatment room, I decided to take them to my mom and get her feedback on the scents. My mom loved them! She caught me off-guard when she said she wanted to get a starter kit. I panicked! I did not know how to sign someone up. I was not an “expert” in essential oils, I was not ready to start the business side of YL and what if she asked me a question and I did not know the answer? I took a deep breath and dialed my upline. She reminded me that there was a link provided by the company and all my mom had to do was follow the link and pick her starter kit. The best part – by signing her up I was going to receive a $50 bonus! Maybe I was ready to start the business side of YL. I was excited to be able to go on this journey with my mom, we have always had a close relationship and enjoyed going on adventures together. I also could not wait to share with my mom everything that I discovered in my research.
This past week has been overall pretty good, as far as my self-care routine goes. My journaling practice has helped me to keep a positive outlook on life and reminded me to keep looking for the silver lining. This mental transition has reaffirmed the importance of a positive mindset. Change starts on the inside and with the decision that you are no longer going to stay stuck in your same situation, but you are going to make a positive change in your life. Guess what…you are worth it! You owe it to your future self, the successful person you will become, to take the first step. Ground yourself in positivity and set your focus on your goals. I will be your number one cheerleader on this journey of being the best version of yourself! Let me know how I can help.
This week I focused on slowing down, soaking in the moment and reminding myself that I did not have to be busy 24/7. I focused on just eating at meal-times, instead of multitasking. I concentrated all my energy on my clients during sessions. I was intentional in my very first Pilates class. I was consciously mindful in my work throughout the week. I noticed a difference in how I felt at the end of the week. I felt accomplished despite it being a slower than normal week for me. I feel like I took full advantage of my opportunities last week, despite obstacles. That is right my week was not perfect! I had plenty of chances to be flexible – appointments canceled at the last minute, inclement weather and a cardio class with a mask. I feel that I took many opportunities to extend grace but at the same time I know that I was the recipient of grace and patience. I am forever grateful for understanding clients, friends and family.
I am not a fan of cold weather, but the weather this past weekend and first part of this week is down-right brutal and dangerous. The bitter cold has reminded me how grateful I am for all the farmers, truckers, road crews and others who get us through these crazy weather events! I do not currently have livestock or pets and am grateful, because I know how difficult draining hoses, doing chores and walking dogs is in the bitter cold.
One of my goals is to eat healthier and to cook at home more often, instead of always eating out. My homemade chili, a variation of my mom’s recipe, is one of the healthiest meals that I cook and I have found one thing this weather is great for…Frito pies! Today, after work, I went to the grocery store to pick up items for chili and Frito pies. Making Frito pies brings back so many great memories from growing up. There was nothing better on a snow day, after playing in the snow or finishing outside chores, than coming inside and seeing my mom cooking chili and grating cheese! Just writing this is making my mouth water and taking me back to the kitchen I grew up in, with all the sights, sounds and smells that go along with those memories. Nostalgia can be so comforting in rough times and be exactly what you need to help you through. Comfort and reflection are a part of self-care; because they can help ground you and help you conquer the stressful situations in life. ~ Lacey
As promised in my last blog, I am going to share with you the next steps in my Young Living journey. These bottles of “smelly” oils had started to transform my life. You are probably rolling your eyes and saying, “Let’s get real!” This is the truth: my sleep was improving, so was my mood and my clients were loving the warm and relaxing environment created by diffusing the oils. My curiosity also grew as to the other products that were offered. I decided to order the Thieves Household Cleaner after watching a video about the risks associated with the ingredients in the products I was using to clean my windows, countertops, toilets, etc. In this video, they said to grab one or two of your cleaning products that you currently use and read the ingredients. Any ingredients that you cannot pronounce or do not know what it is? Next the video said to get on the internet and do a search, type in the search bar “side effects of (the ingredient).” What does your search reveal? Mine came up as possible carcinogenic, can cause breathing problems, dangerous if ingested. I lost my mind! How can we buy products that can be this dangerous? How can companies advertise these products as safe and beneficial?
Let me share some background information with y’all. When I was 8 years old, I had a closed head injury due to a horse-riding accident and as a result I now have a restricted airway caused by partially paralyzed vocal cords. I have difficulty breathing due to strenuous activity, when the air is cold and sharp or thick and humid. Sometimes I get short of breath and do not really know why. I began to wonder if my cleaning products were a possible culprit in my increased breathing issues.
To make matters worse, my “old” cleaning products could have negative effects on my dog. This sent me into another tailspin! I immediately logged into my virtual office for Young Living and read about the products they offered that I could use instead. I began to “ditch and switch” products in my house and do not regret it at all. I began putting items on my monthly order and earning points to use later! Oh, wait, I forgot to mention that I place a monthly auto-ship order and earn reward points back that can be used on orders later. I am sure you have heard of those monthly subscription boxes that you can sign up for and get new products. Essential Rewards (ER) is Young Living’s take on that, but you get to choose the amount of money you spend and the specific products you order each month. How cool is that! Young Living also gives different bonus products each month just for ordering products. I began to fell in love with this company more and more. If you have any questions about Young Living, please reach out to me. I would welcome the opportunity to have a discussion and/or help you begin your journey with essential oils.
This blog is not just about Young Living. It is about my journey to understand what self-care is and simple ways to incorporate self-care into my regular life. Young Living happens to be a major turning point in my journey. I have been a massage therapist since May of 2004. I have realized that part of my mission in life is teaching people to listen to their bodies. Stress is a popular theme in my life, both personally and professionally. Through my professional training I have learned several different techniques to manage and reduce stress. Over the past coupe of weeks, it has been brought to my attention that I need to apply what I have learned to my own life because I have allowed my stress to get out of control.
One of the things I restarted doing on Saturday, was my journaling habit. I had stopped, for no apparent reason, for about two months. (I noticed a shift in myself, I was becoming a negative person and constantly looking for and pointing out the negative. I am so thankful for friends and coworkers who gently brought up the change they were seeing.) I follow the Start Today journaling method. You can check it at starttoday.com and click on the how-to tab. I began by purchase the beautifully designed journal (twice), but now I am just journaling in a notebook. By starting every morning journaling, I am focused on the positive things happening in my life on a daily basis as well as the goals I have created for myself. It reminds me of my purpose in life and to keep moving forward. This has helped to shift my mindset and in turn my outlook on life: life is not happening to me, but for me. When I think in these terms, I automatically begin looking for and see the opportunities instead of the setbacks. This is not a shift that happens overnight, it takes practice and repetition. I believe the famous quote is something like, “21 days to create and habit and 90 days to create a lifestyle.” What habits and lifestyles are you currently creating? Are they moving towards your goals or away from them? I know I am bringing the hard-hitting questions this week, but I am hoping that you realize these are the questions I have asked myself the past couple of weeks and these are the questions that I am still wrestling with today.
This week also brought me a first: Pilates! Last year was rough for me and everybody for that matter. My physical body reflects just how difficult it was (vulnerable moment) as I gained about 20 pounds. I cannot believe I just shared that with the everybody! I have had a love/hate relationship with my body since the 4th grade. I am not and never will be a size 3, as this would be an unrealistic and unhealthy goal for me. I am okay with that as I strive to be healthy, fit, and balanced. Even as I write this, I cannot believe I am bearing my soul to y’all. When I sat down to finish this week’s blog entry, this is not where I thought we would go. I just feel the need to be real and honest. I face struggles every day, just like you, even if our struggles are not the same. Back to Pilates, have you ever tried this? My mom tried it on Monday and was raving about what a good workout it was, how much she liked it and that she thought I would enjoy it. I followed my mom’s advice and signed up for an intro class. I loved it! I actually bought a membership and am looking forward to taking 1 class a week. I was shocked that I was sore and am still sore. The focus is on using your core and intentional, controlled movements using your bodyweight and a little resistance. The history is interesting as well, you should look it up if you have a few extra minutes! If you are in the Overland Park area and would like to try an intro class, get in touch with me as I have a few cards available for a free intro class.
I look forward to your feedback and answering any questions you that you send me. My hope is that you find new ways to incorporate self-care into your life on a regular basis and I am sharing new/different ways to help you in your journey. Remember, self-care is not selfish, but very necessary! I will keep applying this to my life, not just preaching it.
Essential Oils? What is all of the hype? Is it all just hype or can essential oils actually be useful and impactful in your everyday life?
I will explore those questions and more as they relate to your overall health, wellness and quality of life.
This blog is a new way to share my life and all of the adventures along the way.
Essential oils were introduced to me by a massage client in the summer of 2017. At the time I was looking for a safe way to add relaxing “smells” to my massage room. Let me clarify: Candles were not an appealing option because I can be a bit forgetful and did not want an open flame in my massage room. Candle warmers were not a great alternative either because I felt the “smell” faded to quickly. Since the essential oils are used in a diffuser instead of with an open flame, they served as a potential solution. It was explained to me that the said company also had the opportunity to provide income.(I will touch on this point later.) At the time I was only interested in using them in my massage room to add to the overall relaxing environment and experience. I had no idea I was beginning on a life-changing journey!
After months, literally months, of research on all things essential oils, I decided to dive into the world of Young Living essential oils! In all my research, Young Living kept appearing as a company with unapparelled product quality and standards. I found out that they owned their own farms and controlled the product from the seed to the finished products you receive in your order. I was truly amazed by the care that was in every step of the process! I mean, who does this? There are less expensive ways to build a company, but I was impressed by Young Living’s commitment to quality of product over the ability to earn a bigger profit. I have come to appreciate the company’s standards and understand why their members/customers are extremely loyal. I count myself as both a loyal customer and a dedicated independent distributor!
I received my premium starter kit and continued researching the benefits of using essential oils. To be very honest, I was skeptical that these “smelly oils” could do anything more than make my house and office smell better. The first day I used my diffuser, I set it up in my living room after a long day at work. I was tired, both mentally and physically, and desperately hoping that I could convince my dog that a relaxing evening of zoning out in front of the TV was a great idea. Imagine my surprise, after running my diffuser only 10 minutes, that my dog was not only sleeping but loudly snoring! Part of me was intrigued as the part of me chalked it up to a mere coincidence. I decided to try it again the next evening, because let’s be honest, last night was a fluke and I was going to prove it. There had to be some other explanation for why my dog was so relaxed and the answer couldn’t be something as simple as essential oils, right? Once again I ran my diffuser and had the same results. These “smelly oils” were magical! I had more questions than answers now and even more questions than when I began researching, so it was back to the computer I went.
Young Living has more products than just essential oils!?! Cleaning products, toothpaste, soaps, supplements and so much more…
My mind was blown. Why had I never heard this before? Was I the only person who did not know about essential oils? I felt like the kid in high school that is always the last one to find out about the party!
I learned and am still learning that essential oils are mighty and useful in many different ways:
as a cleaning product – I use the Thieves Household Cleaner
as a flavor enhancer – I use the vitality line in my water and recipes
as skin care – I use the Bloom line and skin supporting oils
I feel like I might have overwhelmed you with information or exhausted you with the way my rollercoaster brain works. I hope you will join me for my next blog entry where I will discuss the next steps of my Young Living journey, including sharing the products with my mom and receiving my very first commission check!
I look forward to hearing from y’all! Until next week…