Lifestyle Nutrition :: Lacy
I’m incredibly excited to share our latest installment of Lifestyle Nutrition! LacyMarie Smith went to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, is a nationally certified health coach, and is a certified group fitness instructor whose classes have been voted “Best in KC.” I started following her blog and Instagram account because I was so fascinated by her story and felt like her advice was always so well-researched and sensible and helpful. I am thrilled that she agreed to this interview (and be sure to read to the end for some very exciting news!) ::
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Lacy, I’ve been married to my husband Josiah for three and a half years and we have a six-month-old son named Scout. Our family has been living in Oklahoma City for the past year but we consider Kansas City our home and are in the process of moving back this month actually! As a nationally certified health coach and nutrition counselor, I started my own practice called Migrant Wellness a little over a year ago. My passion for helping others pursue health was born from dealing with infertility for several years due to nutritional deficiencies. My hobbies include yoga, plyometrics, drinking coffee and watching way too much Masterpiece Theatre. My vice is definitely coffee.
Have you always been a healthy eater? Was there a moment in your life when you decided to prioritize nutrition?
I was what I call a “junk-food vegetarian”, but in my twenties discovered the effects of beer and weight gain. Haha! When I was twenty-two I realized I had started to put on weight and just wasn’t feeling great about myself. I always woke up feeling unrested even after sleeping for ten-plus hours. I was always bloated and my skin would break out every few weeks and I would blame it on “that time of the month.” Around this time, one of my friends was pursuing his certification as a personal trainer and he took me under his wing and taught me how to exercise. After months of being held accountable, exercising, and seeing results, I became really interested in nutrition. I slowly started replacing my morning pastry with smoothies and quit fast-food, dairy and soda all together. It was really a slow but steady journey. I noticed my skin clearing up, I became a morning person and had more energy and focus all together.
What do you eat for breakfast?
Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day! Every morning I eat what I call “nice-cream”. It’s basically a smoothie made with frozen bananas and a little almond milk but the texture is like soft-serve ice-cream. Here is my typical recipe:
—2 frozen bananas
—1/2 cup of almond milk
—1 Tbsp. Raw cacao
Blend in food processor and top with favorite superfood toppings. I use hempseeds, cacao nibs (love chocolate), walnuts, coconut shavings and peanut butter! It’s seriously delicious.
What are some good snack foods to keep around?
Larabars are great snacks to keep around the house. Also, any raw fruits and veggies that are easy to just grab and snack on like carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers and apples. I always have hummus as well!
I’ve found that when I start eating more healthfully, it’s often for a certain amount of time (e.g. no sugar or caffeine for a month, Whole30, etc.). How were you able to shift your mindset from dieting to making nutrition a lifestyle?
People tend to be able to commit to a timeline of eating differently like what you said, but then they go back to eating the way they did before and the changes don’t last! I really believe I was able to change my mindset by giving up dieting and choosing to focus on one change at a time. For instance, I made weekly goals (and still do sometimes) so that my habits change around food and then become natural. It takes about 21 days to break a habit. Some of my goals included eating one green meal a day, only having grains at one meal, and drinking water first thing in the morning. Small things like that. People can get really overwhelmed at the thought of changing their eating habits so making one change at a time is typically the best way to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
If you could cut one thing from everyone’s diet, what would it be?
Refined Sugar! I could literally talk about the evils of refined sugar and processed food for days but instead I will recommend that everyone watch the documentary That Sugar Film. Sugar does nothing but cause inflammation, spike insulin and perpetuate addiction.
Any tips for encouraging your family to eat well, too?
My #1 tip for encouraging the entire family to eat well is to lead by example. When people see healthy eating creating positive results they are more likely to make changes themselves. If you have kids, get them involved at meal time! If the children help cook the meal (veggies, etc) they are more likely to eat it and enjoy it. Eat at home more often and make meal time fun.
What do you find most challenging about maintaining a lifestyle of good nutrition?
The most challenging thing about maintaining a lifestyle of nutrition is that American culture doesn’t really understand it and therefore there really aren’t many options for dining out. People think I’m crazy or a snob when I tell them that I don’t eat animal products or sugar, but really it is less to do with being a snob and more to do with knowing how I feel when I consume those things and not wanting to feel that way anymore. My son is only six-months-old and people have already tried to feed him cookies and packaged foods and he doesn’t even have teeth! Most don’t understand that I want to cultivate good food habits for my family even now with how young he is because one in every three children in a America struggles with obesity and diabetes and it’s from habits passed down generationally.
What do you find most rewarding about maintaining a lifestyle of good nutrition?
The most rewarding thing about living a healthy lifestyle is honestly, feeling confident and having energy to live life and care for my family!
Any other comments or tips you’d like to share?
I like to tell women especially that they are valuable and they really are caring for their family when they take care of themselves! Ladies, you are worth it!!!
I reached out to Lacy a few months ago because I knew I was onto something with these Lifestyle Nutrition posts and I wanted to take it to the next level. As we talked, I loved her ideas for helping women integrate nutrition and exercise into their lifestyle and absolutely loved her perspective on health.
And now for the exciting news—Lacy has agreed to be a contributing editor to the blog! She’s going to write each month about one healthy practice you can incorporate into your life. The idea is that if we all take a baby step each month, by the end of the year we’ll have integrated twelve healthy practices into our lifestyle! I absolutely love this idea and can’t wait to learn and grow through this process. Thanks so much for reading and many thanks to Lacy for all she’s done! Be sure to check out her blog for recipes, stories and some really great blogs.