Category: McCahill Wellness

TMG Joins WGVU for Wellness at Work

Last week The McCahill Group team members joined Shelley Irwin for WGVU’s monthly Wellness at Work radio segment.  Wellness Manager, Kristin Sadler and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Wendy Brookhouse worked to complement Owner/President Peaches McCahill’s challenge this month to express yourself through health. Wendy outlines that this expression in health is shown through daily choices in our lives.

To make healthier decisions every day, you must first recognize a goal that fits your personality and lifestyle. Both Kristin and Wendy recommend keeping goals simple and attainable. If you are just getting started working towards the recommended 6-9 vegetables a day, a more attainable goal for some might be to aim to add colorful fruits and vegetables into your diet. You can also start to seek healthy alternatives to refined grains. Kristin and Wendy both love quinoa in place of white rice. Food planning and journaling can be a great way to keep yourself accountable for goals and monitoring progress. Although these tasks might be tedious and time consuming, they help to keep a focus on optimized nutrition while straying away from numbers that some people can become obsessed with. Even a task as simple as taking a picture of your food would be a great way to start taking control of your health!

Kristin and Wendy discuss how they personally express themselves through health. Kristin enjoys adding music to liven up her cooking and exercise routines. Wendy personalizes her meals by adding spice and flavor to her dishes. These simple tasks help them stay motivated and on track with their goals in health and nutrition. How will you express yourself through health this month?

Listen to Kristin and Wendy’s full commentary with WGVU here:

MPower Your Life With Peaches McCahill – September Edition

Self-expression is the dominate necessity of human nature.” – Dale Carnegie

1. Write – Get Creative.  Write a letter, short story or even some poetry.

2. Create a Dream Board – Find images that depict the life of your “dreams”

3. Get Your Camera Out – Take photos. Whenever you use – your phone or a specialty camera to record the moments

4. Sing – Yes, sing like nobody is watching. Even consider writing a song.

5. Paint or Draw – Throw paint on a canvas or doodle your thoughts.

6. Dance – To escape or distress turn on some music and dance

7. Create a Collage – A fun craft that allows you to express yourself through images you select.

8. Get Style – Share who you are through your clothes and hair and even your nails. Don’t be afraid to change it up

9. Decorate your Home – Your home should be a reflection of what you love (color, furnishings, accessories)

10. Start a Blog or Website – Share your thoughts and ideas with the world.

MPower Your Life With Peaches McCahill – August Edition

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“Be bold enough to use your voice, brave enough to listen to your heart and strong enough to live the life you imagine.”

1. Speak Up – ask for what you want.

2. Go out to dinner alone.

3. Do something spontaneous. Walk in the rain. Dance on a table.  

4. Make the first move.

5. Attempt to negotiate.

6. Do the unexpected. Lose your predictability. Take an unplanned roadtrip.

7. Become a warrior. Fight for your beliefs.

8. Change your style. Cut your hair. Wear bright lipstick.  

9. Do something that scares you.  

10. Say no. We often over commit. 

MPower Your Life With Peaches McCahill – July Edition

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The following are some of my favorite practices, try adding them to your health regime.

  1. Dry brushing each day – stimulates the lymphatic system and exfoliates dry skin.


  1. Use of Epson salt in your bath – most of us are deficient in magnesium. An Epson salt bath can give you a boost. Soak 12 minutes two times a week.


  1. Count your sugar intake – Sugar can play havoc on your moods and energy levels. The average American eats 20 teaspoons of sugar each day. Recommended is 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men.


  1. Learn about aromatherapy. Use of essential oils can help with stress, memory loss and overall energy. My favorite is arnica for bruising and joint pain.


  1. Consider adding 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to your diet. Apple cider vinegar has many benefits but must be raw and unfiltered.

  1. Try a shot of wheat grass, which is something I’ve been doing for years. Wheat grass is packed with minerals, rich in protein and amino acids.


  1. Take a deep breath. Every time I feel stress or anxiety I take a long cleansing breath.


  1. Live in the moment. Don’t focus on tomorrow – live today.


  1. Investigate sleep hypnosis. For those of us struggling with proper sleep check out Michael Sealey – Itunes.


  1. Play some Shinrih-yoku – Japanese for “forest bathing”. Spending time with nature without your phone.

MPower Your Life With Peaches McCahill – June Edition

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“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly without fear for a new rich experience.” –  Eleanor Roosevelt

Time to start the summer adventure. Walk barefoot in the grass and smell the lilacs and take time for all that is new.

• Celebrate the end of another school year. Take the kids out for ice cream or something special.

 • Cook some asparagus. Michigan’s Oceana County is the self-proclaimed “asparagus capital of the world”.

 • Go fishing. Michigan has 11,000 inland lakes and 3,000 miles of Great Lake shoreline.

 • Create a flower garden. Include some herbs for cooking.

 • Use sunscreen. 15 SPF or higher making sure you apply it 15 minutes prior to exposure and look for products that have zinc oxide.

 • Pick some strawberries. Michigan has many u-pick farms. Fresh strawberries are filled with antioxidants and are high in Vitamin C.

 • Go to a baseball game. Get some peanuts and watch one under the lights. A true American past time.

 • Catch a movie in the park. Many local communities offer them.

 • Take a bike ride. Biking is becoming one of the fastest growing leisure activities.

 • Celebrate all the fathers you know.

MPower Your Life With Peaches McCahill – May Edition

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1. Develop Good Posture – stand straight and show confidence

Good posture keeps you looking more youthful and confident. Take a mirror test. Bear weight of ball of your feet, Feet shoulder-width apart, Pull shoulder back, Tuck in your stomach

2. Stop striving for perfection – no one is good at everything

I think there is a lot of pressure especially on young women. To have the perfect home, perfect children, to be creative, smart, doing it all. No one can do it all well. Focus on your strengths. Hold yourself to a standard of grace versus perfection.

3. Be polite and use your manners Where have proper-manners gone? When I was growing up we attended “charm school”. The basics: “Thank you.”  “Please.” Open the door for others. Let people in line.

4. Maintain your composure during challenging times I always admire it when people can keep their cool. I personally have learned to ask myself, “Will this matter in 10 minutes, 10 hours, 10 days or 10 years?” Stop and think before you react in any situation.

5. Be honest, but kind, in your delivery. Transparency is an important ingredient in good communication. Be open but kind with your thoughts. 6. Model those you admire; i.e., Grace Kelly, Dorothy Dandridge, Jackie O, Coco Chanel Great role models that showed style, grace and poise in their life: Jackie O at JFK funeral, Dorothy Dandridge – 1st African American women to earn an Academy Award

7. Demonstrate dignity and respect for yourself and others Seek first to understand and be understood. Listen to what someone has to say and show respect for conflicting ideas and thoughts. Thank people for their opinions.

8. Smile often and make eye contact How often do you actually smile each day? Sounds corny but a smile and eye contact can truly impact people’s feeling about you and themselves. Be a polite and enthusiastic person.

9. Learn to carry on an interesting conversation. Listen and focus on the personal you are communicating with. Become an avid reader and listener. Know what happens in the world and be comfortable carrying on conversations in many categories.

10. Be a lifelong student. Take classes, read and continue to grow each day. Make sure you have a list of all the things you want to learn or develop a skill in.

MPower Your Life With Peaches McCahill – April Edition

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“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new” – Socrates

Spring renewal, spring forward, spring rejuvenation ….. whatever you call it …… it is time for transition. 

To get started, write down your “why”. Why? Big question! Is it for my health vitality? For my children? For my family? I feel the perfect answer is for yourself. All others are great motivators. Know where you are and be okay with that. Get a physical. Know your weight, blood pressure and blood levels. Don’t compare yourself to others. “You are you.”

Increase your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Regular exercise will assist in doing so. BMR (basal metabolic rate) – the rate which your body uses energy when you are at rest is determined by age, weight, height and gender. There are a lot of options available online to calculate your BMR. Men have higher BMR than women. More muscle equals a higher BMR and it slows down as we age. You can increase your BMR through diet and exercise. BMR is not to be confused with BMI (body mass index which is the measurement of your body fat. A healthy BMI is 18 to 25. An overweight BMI is 25 – 29 and an obese BMI is over 30.

It all begins with food. Start your day with an invigorating breakfast. Diet plays a dominate role in our personal health. I often say food is a drug. It can truly dictate how you feel. Begin your day with some protein to keep your sugar levels even.

Get real. Eliminate as many processed foods as possible from your diet. Eliminate processed foods which typically have many additives (sugar, salt, etc). Get back to the basics.

Be patient. The most significant change happens over time. No quick fixes. Choose food you enjoy. Choose the exercise you like to do. Something reasonable especially when first starting up.

Make one health decision at a time. Build a foundation for health with small changes instead of a full overhaul. Try one change at a time.

Understand your target heart rate (220 minus your age = maximum heart rate). To condition the heart we have to work at 60 to 80% of our determined range. To determine your range take 220 minus your age. For example, 220 – 50 years of age = a target heart rate of 170.

Involve your family in your health journey. We are influenced by those around us. Especially our family. So work to get everyone on the health path.

Meditate on positive thoughts upon waking – inner peace, compassion and love. Meditate on positive thoughts. Believe in yourself. You can do this. Visualize the person you want to be.

Keep your eye on the proposed path. You know where you want to be but don’t beat yourself up if you take a detour now and then.

MPower Your Life With Peaches McCahill – March Edition

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 “It is only possibly to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis” – Bananno

The search for happiness is a never-ending desire and somewhat fleeting. However, there are some ways to achieve more “happy moments”

Take a technology fast – allow your mind to rest. It’s amazing how much time we spend “connected” and for what? Spend some time reading, coloring or walking outside. Or better yet, build relationships with those around you.

Make a conscious effort to live in the moment – “carpe diem” With the hectic and crazy world we live it, it’s easy to always think about the next best thing. Stop. Breathe. Enjoy.

Bask in a pleasurable experience. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Take a few moments in the morning to soak in the sweet aroma of your morning coffee, hearing your child laugh, or spending some quality time with your spouse.

Establish a solid support system – it helps you through tough times. Think about who you value, their opinions, values and morals – those you align with can get you through anything. Find your person.

Get stronger everyday –Strength doesn’t have to be muscles – make it a mindset. How will you overcome the hardest of times? With a strong sense of self and faith.

Buy a happy experience – not clothes or material things but rather a cooking lesson, concert tickets or whatever rocks you.

Develop and maintain a set of core values. Knowing who you are will allow you to say “Yes” to what fuels your fire and makes you happy, and say “No” to what doesn’t.

Become resilient – adapt to challenges. Change and challenges will forever be present in our lives. We truly are 10% what happens to us and 90% of how we react.

Exercise – it creates endorphins. Find something you enjoy and make it a habit. Exercise is meant to DECREASE your stress, not increase it. Find an activity that you enjoy.

Eliminate multi-tasking and replace it by doing one thing faster – this adds to your sense of accomplishment. Put down your phone and complete a task without scrolling..I DARE you.

Daily Discipline


“By constant self-discipline and self-control you can develop greatness of character”   – Grenville Kleiser

The goal is less important than your actions taken to achieve it. Have daily discipline.

As each New Year begins, resolutions fly like caps at the end of a graduation ceremony. Self-improvement tends to be at the top of the list and in the forefront of every mind, which is great…if used wisely.

Here is the harsh truth: resolutions fail. They fail hard and often. In fact, Forbes discovered that only 8% of people successfully complete their New Year’s resolutions. I know that’s not what you wanted to hear, but think of it this way:

The whispers begin like clockwork each year around this time, and I’m sure you’ve heard a friend say: “I want to lose 30 pounds by bathing suit season this summer!” They then proceed to sit, heart fluttering with excitement, imagining their future self-looking fierce and confident on the beach in new swimwear, but neglecting entirely any thought about the process.

How will they reach that goal?

This is why resolutions fail. It’s not that goals are too lofty, or that many are incapable of achieving what they set out to, it’s that people often get carried away in the motivation and neglect the process.

Do you know what does not fail? Habits; habits built by daily discipline. Resolutions rely on will power, which is finite. Habits, however? They become ingrained, sub-conscious, and without expiration.

Each morning, do you toy with the decision of whether or not to brush your teeth? No! You have done it consistently for years, and it does not require any thought; it’s a habit. What if walking every morning became that habit? Or food prepping every Sunday afternoon? These things might not get done otherwise because we tend to give ourselves an easy ‘out’ if we don’t want do it.

Be disciplined and don’t give yourself an easy ‘out’ for 66 days (the amount of time researchers at the University College of London discovered it takes to build a habit) and you will take human emotion and impulse out of the decision making process. Humans are habitual, which is both beneficial and harmful. You can both habitually make excuses and struggle reaching your goal, or you can create a positive habit over time and let the culmination of your consistent actions take the wheel and drive you across the finish line as you work on other projects in the passenger seat.

So construct your resolutions. Utilize that spark of motivation spurred by the coming of a New Year or a big event. But write down daily steps to get there; daily steps that are not easily avoidable. These will become habits and you will reach your goals in due time. I would bet that you might even surpass them.



Blog post by Emily Owen. Emily joined The McCahill Group in 2015 as the Site Manager of Farmers Fitness Facility, located on the Farmers Insurance Campus in Caledonia.

Emily has a Bachelor of Science degree from Grand Valley State University, where she studied Clinical Exercise Science and Spanish. She has gained valuable experience working in many different roles throughout the health and wellness industry, including corporate fitness, group exercise, health coaching, chronic disease management, and community wellness. In doing so, she has become extremely aware of the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of exercise, and firmly believes that the human body was made for movement. For that reason, she is passionate about empowering others to counteract the negative effects of today’s increasingly sedentary society.


MPower Your Life With Peaches McCahill – February Edition

10 Ways to Raise Your Winter Spirit

People don’t notice if it’s winter or summer when they are happy. – Anton Chekhov

It is estimated that 10 – 20% of all Americans may suffer from the winter blues also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is more prevalent in colder climates, such as a place like Gray (Grand) Rapids. Interestingly enough, people from colder climates are less susceptible to developing SAD. Maybe to say they are acclimated to the climate?! This phenomenon affects sleep, mood, energy, hormone levels, food cravings and so much more. However, there are a few ways to counteract SAD:

• Get social. Brave the cold and get out of the house. During the winter months it’s easy to walk in the door, toss your shoes, flip on the TV and hunker down on the couch. But if you make plans with a few of your lovely ladies, you will have something to look forward to, which in turn will keep your spirits high.

• Staying in doesn’t have to mean a lonely night. Have a sleepover. Invite your favorite girlfriends over for an old-fashion PJ party. Nothing boosts your mood quite with a few good belly laughs with some of your favorite people.

• Maintain a regular pattern of sleep. Don’t let the darkness put you to bed too early. For the mornings, program your coffee maker, the sweet aroma of fresh brew is sure to draw you out of bed. For the evening, hit the gym after work, and create some projects for yourself inside the house (clean a closet, sort through your clothes)

• Take a road trip. Do something fun. Go shopping at the outlet mall or visit a relative – shake up the pace.

• Considering adding Melatonin and Vitamin D to your regimen. Living in Michigan we see majority of our 160 days of sunshine during the summer, and during the winter months, we lack sunshine most days. Adding Vitamin D can help boost your immune system and keep you healthy throughout the winter months. Melatonin can help you fall into a better night’s sleep and feel more rested and energized for all the activities you are looking forward to taking part in

• Give some love; volunteer your time; donate some clothing. You know how I mentioned cleaning out your closet and sorting through your clothes? Take them to the locate shelter and volunteer a few hours. People aren’t quite your thing? Spend some time at the local humane society.

• Let there be Light! Sit by a window – open the blinds – grab some sunshine. Gray skies frequent the west Michigan heavens this time of year, so when the sun shines…SOAK it in!

• Maintain healthy behaviors. Individuals that practice positive health habits have fewer sad days. It’s not rocket science. Those that maintain the healthy habits are less likely to be ill, and their body is releasing feel good hormones and they likely have a high confidence level.

• Change your light bulbs. Use full spectrum bulbs during the winter which mimic natural light. Bright light therapy is known to increase mood, productivity, mental awareness and Vitamin D absorption in the body. You want to purchase a lamp with at 10,000 lux of white light

• Send out Valentines – this is a must do for me every year. Who doesn’t love receiving a little something special? Remind others how much they mean to you. Bonus: It’s a feel good for you too!