Tag Archives: Lifestyle


By Ray Lucas

“What the mind is bombarded with, the mind will accept.”
While in high school I heard a speaker declare this as part of his presentation. I can’t recall what his greater theme was, but that quote has always stuck with me.

“What the mind is bombarded with, the mind
will accept.”

I have since come to see a universal truth in this statement. Marketing professionals have
long known this fact. You only need to think about slogans from McDonalds or Coca-Cola to
know it’s true.

“Like a good neighbor, _____ _____ is there!”

As most who have heard that State Farm commercial over and again, I’ll bet
you were able to finish the jingle. As a new parent, some 21 years ago, I was concerned about all of the negative messages the world constantly communicates to young
girls. I was worried about my daughter hearing messages that emphasized she wasn’t beautiful
enough, she wasn’t smart enough, or that her options in life were limited because she was a girl.

To counter all of these limiting messages, I began to lean on that lesson from years ago and repeat a simple message to her that I felt she needed to
hear and believe.


“You are smart, you are beautiful, and you can be anything you want to be when you grow up,”
I would whisper into her ear each night when I
put her down to sleep.

I shared these statements because they were true. I also shared them in hopes
that she would absorb them and make them a part of her character.
When my son came along a few years later, I realized that these statements should be tailored for him and focused on messages that boys need
to hear.

“You are smart, you are creative, and I’m
proud of you,” I repeated most nights.

It became such a regular ritual that as he grew older, he would interrupt me with mock contempt and an eye roll saying, “I know, I know, Daddy! I’m smart,
creative and you’re proud of me. You don’t have
to tell me. I know it.”

When my stepson came into my life, I felt it was important to add statements that were unique to him: “You are smart, you are a positive leader, and
you are loved.”

Being a stepfather is tough, and above all else I always want him to know he is loved.
When our youngest son was about 2 years old, I settled on what I thought he needed to hear: “You are smart, you are joyful, and you are adventurous.”

He has always been a happy child full of laughter and smiles, and I pray that always continues. I hope he also embraces his sense of adventure and discovery as he grows older.
Looking back, I should have included a little bit of “self-talk” over the years.

“You like folding laundry, you are a well-rested parent and you
love eating vegetables with your kids,” would be
an aggressive start.

After decades of repeating these statements to
my children, it’s fair to ask the question, has it made an impact? The short answer is I don’t know. I certainly don’t think it has hurt
their concept of self, but I suppose it will take more time to know how they
have absorbed these beliefs. Even if it has made a small impact, I recognize
that so have the many big life lessons they have learned from their parents,
family, schoolteachers, friends, the community, etc.

While writing this reflection, I asked my oldest son, who was home finishing
his COVID-19 interrupted studies in acting at the University of Cincinnati,
if he still remembered what I used to tell him.

“Of course, I do,” he replied.

“Do you feel it had an impact?” I asked.

“Well, I am preparing for a career in
the arts – that’s about as creative as it gets. Those attributes were probably
already a part of me, but I think hearing them repeatedly helped magnify
them,” he reflected.

As for my smart and beautiful daughter, she just graduated from college
with a 4.0 grade point average and will soon start her master’s degree program
towards a career in occupational therapy. I don’t know if those repeated
messages helped, but I’m proud all the same that she embodies all three.

It has recently occurred to me that maybe this practice was less important
for my children and more important for me. Perhaps the real value was that I
came to believe these statements as I repeated them, and in small increments,
these messages changed the way I saw and parented each child. I think the
power of repeating these messages was in the change it created within me,
not in them.

It’s also not lost on me that the value of repeating positive messages is
especially relevant in turbulent times like the ones we are living in. Whether
it’s parenting, relationships, leadership in my corners of the world, caring
for a vulnerable planet or promoting the rights and dignity of all people –
particularly my black and brown brothers and sisters – I have a responsibility
to put positive messages out into the world and repeat them over and again.
And it is just as true that these messages are as much about changing me as
those around me.

Lord knows there have been times, past and present, when I have not lived
up to my potential. Like most, I struggle to know the right thing to do and say
as often as I feel confident in my parenting, my relationships, my leadership
or my citizenship. There is no instruction manual on parenting or adulting
and the world is full of destructive messages.

Yet if there were such a document, I wonder if there would be a chapter
that focused on repeating the positive change we wish to create in the world
and in our children that would be entitled, “What the mind is bombarded
with, the mind will accept.” If so, that’s where you will find my bookmark.

Get Fit Before You Hit The Aisle



Everyone wants to look perfect for their wedding, and when you want to lose weight to do your best, you need to find the right diet and exercise program to make that happen. 

CASE BELCHER, owner of Four Barrel Fitness, said he sees a lot of brides who come in and want to drop pounds before their big day. While he’ll help them reach their goals, he also wants them to continue their progress after the wedding. 

“Say you want to lose 20 pounds before your wedding, but then later you put on 25 pounds,” said Belcher, who is a Crossfit Level 3 coach and a USA Weightlifting Level 1 coach. “We get them through the door with the stuff they’re interested in. Then we say, “Let’s search for that more sustainable path now.” 

Belcher advocates a three-tier system of fitness: nutrition, exercise and lifestyle. Nutrition is all about eating healthy food and fueling your training and life. Exercise includes cardio and strength training, with a buddy or coach. Lifestyle changes include getting enough sleep and drinking enough water. 


Fad diets and cleanses are a no-no, Belcher said. “Studies, in fact, show that you tend to put on more weight than what you took off. You can lose weight quickly, but it probably needs to be monitored by a nutritionist or dietitian.” 

Belcher recommends the “hand system” to measure food portions. Four meals a day should have meat or protein (beef, chicken, fish) the size of your palm; a carbohydrate (such as potatoes, rice or carrots) that can fit in a cupped hand; vegetables (such as a salad, asparagus or broccoli) should be the size of your fist; and fats (oils) should be the size of your thumb. “That way no matter where you’re at, you don’t have to have a food scale,” Belcher said. “You can just eye that stuff up.” 

The “go-to thing that people have been told in terms of dieting is you’ve just got tp eat like hardly anything, but that’s totally not true because you don’t have the nutrients you need for training. You’re going to run into a wall, you’re not going to be motivated, you’re not going to have the energy you need to stay consistent. A lot of times when people start eating (utilizing the ‘hand system’), it feels like a lot of food to them. But they’re eating balanced now, they’re getting more fiber because they’re eating vegetables and things like that. They start to lose the fat and lose the pounds.” 


For exercise, Belcher said a key component is accountability. Find a gym or place to exercise that’s convenient and where you’ll be able to stay consistent. He recommends either taking a buddy – a bridesmaid or groomsman, perhaps – who will plan to be there with you, holding you accountable. Hiring a coach is another way. You can make appointments, and you’ll be expected to be there. 

Conditioning with cardio along with lifting weights at least three times a week is the best plan, he said. Compound moves, such as pushups, squats, deadlifts and pull-ups or ring rows work more than one muscle at a time. 

“People who are looking for fat loss, strength training and putting on some lean tissue is going to help them keep that fat off, and essentially, it’s giving them a bigger engine to burn fat,” Belcher said. “More muscle burns fat, and it makes you a more functional human being. We want you to get those immediate results, but then also we want to set you up for what’s going to keep you healthiest for the long term. Putting on that muscular base is what keeps you strong later in life.” 


Stress and lack of sleep make losing weight more difficult. “Sleep is when your body does most of its recovery,” Belcher said. “It also controls a lot of your hormonal processes. If you’re low on sleep, your body is going to have a lot higher cortisol. When stress levels are higher, you tend to hold more fat because your body is kind of in that flight mode.” Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates your metabolic and immune systems. 

Drinking more water is another way to keep your body functioning properly, he said. “Most people are low-level dehydrated on a daily basis, and your body systems just don’t function as well if you’re not well-hydrated.” 

Belcher recommends drinking 100 ounces per day. 

Adhering to these three components will ensure weight will come off, and Belcher likes to see people start their training about six months before the big event to give enough time to make changes and see results. 

“Do your research and find a professional,” Belcher said. “I’ve found that speed and degree of results are directly related to the skill of the coach I’m working with. Use your wedding as momentum to start healthy behaviors that could last a lifetime.”


FamFitter | December/January 2019


By Adam & Kristin Kleinert

It’s that time again. We feel compelled to close the year with a little reflection, and, this time, we decided to ask the family to give us some feedback. In an effort to keep it simple, we posed two questions to be answered by each member of our crew. We’re hoping to gain a little insight into what worked for us this year, and what we can do in the upcoming one to keep working toward our goal of becoming a fitter family. We encourage you to try something similar with your tribe; it’s fun to hear the different answers and may even be helpful in your own journeys.



In regard to food, fitness or lifestyle, what did we do this year that you liked or didn’t like?

What could we do next year?


Brahm, 2nd grade, age 8


I like going camping. You know I always want to go camping. I wish we could stay more and more days and go to more new places. Let’s take everyone.


Also, I like taking my lunch to school and not eating school lunch. Next year, I want to take my lunch to school every day and go camping all the time.



Molly, 5th grade, age 10

I love the goats! They are the best new thing we did this year and I can’t wait to show them at the 4H Fair. Now we should get some chickens. They go good with goats, right?


I vote next year we get chickens!



Eli, 8th grade, age 13

So this year I learned I need a schedule. I want to participate in all the sports and

activities I can, but I know I have to do my stuff at home (chores and homework) so

that I’m allowed to do the things I like. I didn’t love having to make a schedule at first,

but once I had one, it seemed like there was a ton of time in my day.


For 2019, I’m going to try to keep a good schedule and stick with it.

Building a goat stable this fall was a family (and friends) affair.

Building a goat stable this fall
was a family (and friends) affair.

Sydney, 10th grade, age 15

We cooked some really good meals with things from our little garden this year; especially with the basil, tomatoes and peppers. The homemade pizza we grilled outside on the fire, the lasagna, the caprese orzo salad – those are my favorite things we made.


Next year we should try to use as much as possible from the garden, and maybe add another box. Strawberries would be good.


Kristin, mom, 30-something

I feel like our focus on family is usually a strong suit for us, and that was no exception

in 2018. Though we are often super busy, overall we were able to strike some balance

this year between the stress of over-commitment and the hustle and bustle of daily

family life.


In 2019, as cliche as it sounds, I want to maintain a more consistent exercise schedule. It seems I begin to form a good routine, and then it goes by the wayside before becoming an actual lifestyle regimen. I know plenty of other busy moms who manage to fit in a workout almost daily, so I realize my excuses aren’t unique. I feel so much better, both mentally and physically, when I’m consistently active.


Adam, dad, older than Kristin

Risking redundancy, my thoughts are actually a mix of all the others. I would love to do

more camping, look into the possibility of adding more livestock, and I’d most definitely like to cook with more homegrown produce. However, I am excited to try and create more of a schedule than we currently use. No military-type boot camps and bed checks, and nothing that covers every minute of every day. It just seems we are always worried about what we could or should be doing.


My goal is to utilize a calendar that is efficient enough to allow us to actually enjoy our free time when we have it.

Reel Biz | Lavender Hill | Extol TV

Welcome to Lavender Hill– a rustic florist local staffed and decorated unlike any other. Located in historic downtown Jeffersonville on Spring St., Lavender Hill is a full-service floral and lifestyle shop. Reel Biz catches up with owner and principal designer Carolyn Minutillo to showcase what’s worth celebrating.


Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sunday: Closed

359 Spring St.