The Buffalo Trace Six Millionth Barrel Bottle Raffle

Whether neat or mixed, there’s no denying that a rare Kentucky bourbon is cause for celebration.


Any normal mash bill can be found from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters, so special batches construct a unique opportunity for distilleries to give back to their old Kentucky home. Nestled in the heart of bourbon country, Buffalo Trace Distillery recently bottled their six millionth barrel of bourbon, marking a milestone for the distillery’s over 200 year history. However, this distinctly bottled barrel will not be available for just anyone. As the Buffalo Trace Distillery donated all the bottles to charities to auction off, the only way to get your hands on this exceptional batch of bourbon is to buy a raffle ticket.

From now until July 18 at 11:55 p.m., the raffle for one of these bottles will be open; all the proceeds will go to the Ovarian Awareness of Kentucky, a group who strives to provide educational resources, support services and research funding to raise awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms to help increase survival rates. In Buffalo Trace’s gesture of support, the Ovarian Awareness of Kentucky can continue their distribution of information to local health departments, libraries, gynecologists and universities. If you enter, tune in July 21 at 2 p.m. to the Ovarian Awareness of Kentucky’s Facebook page, where the winner of this once in a lifetime bourbon will be drawn!


“Andy Warhol: Revelation” Exhibition Opens July 5 at the Speed Art Museum

Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1986
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Support the arts and reserve your ticket now!


By Sarah Levitch
Photos provided by the Speed Art Museum

“No Brillo boxes, no bananas and no Campbell’s Soup cans,” warns Miranda Lash, curator at The Speed Art Museum. On July 5, the Speed will reopen their galleries to the public with new regulations as they welcome their newest exhibition: “Andy Warhol: Revelation.” Two years in the making, José Carlos Diaz, chief curator at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA has carefully curated an in-depth analysis of the effect of spirituality and religion in Andy Warhol’s childhood and artistic career. Lash remarked, “Diaz wanted to construct a project that delved deeply into Andy Warhol’s immigrant roots, his being raised Carpatho-Rusyn in the Byzantine Catholic Church and explore his relationship with his mother who he lived with throughout his life.” 

Andy Warhol, The Last Supper, 1986
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Typically thought of as the King of Pop, Warhol drew great inspiration from consumerism and popular culture; however, his earliest artistic influences originated in the imagery of Catholicism. Pulling from the Andy Warhol archive, Diaz’s curation displays this religious imagery not only through paintings, drawings, prints and videos, but also artifacts from Warhol’s childhood. “There are things like his baptismal certificate, his mother’s donations to the church, prayer cards, church calendars, the Christ figurine he painted as a child and the crucifix that hung over his family’s mantel growing up,” Lash said. The exhibition also defies the viewer’s expectations of the stereotypical Warhol through a section on his hometown, Pittsburgh, PA, specifically the neighborhood Ruska Dolina, where viewers can gain a deeper understanding of Warhol’s work. 

Andy Warhol, Madonna and Child, 1950s, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Another section Lash discussed examines the Catholic body through “ingeniously layered allusions to the homoerotic body on top of allusions to the body of Christ,” in addition to “bodily fluids in relation to the Catholic faith.” Identifying as both queer and Catholic, Warhol’s relationship to his spirituality was complex. The exhibition seems to ask: How can queerness and religion live concurrently? How did Warhol construct new spaces and ideologies of being through this concurrence?

Andy Warhol, The Last Supper, 1986
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

The Speed will be the second of three venues for “Andy Warhol: Revelation,” presenting the Louisville community with a rare opportunity to view this material, which doesn’t travel often. With higher ceilings and more gallery space than the first venue, the Speed will also exhibit more works by Warhol. Considering the theme’s relevancy to the vibrant Catholic community of Louisville, Lash questioned her own perception of Catholicism. “I thought about images I’ve seen my whole life in a new way. I never thought about the fact that there are certain reproduced images of Christ that have formed the iconic picture in my mind.” Isn’t that why we attend an art museum, to challenge our preconceived ideas and beliefs?

The exhibition will be on display from July 5 – November 29, 2020. Tickets are available to reserve online, over the phone, or in person. New regulations may cause a short wait time before entry and the museum encourages a two hour visit time. Masks will be required and provided if needed, as well as for sale from local artists. Upon arrival, leave all expectations in the parking lot, and enter the unexplored realm of Andy Warhol’s queer spirituality.

Contact information:
Speed Art Museum
2035 South Third St.
Louisville, Kentucky 40208

Working Remotely

A fashion editorial featuring the editorial team of The Voice

Photography: Andrea Hutchinson
Styling: Liz Bingham
Styling Assistants: Sarah Levitch, Elizabeth Scinta & Shirelle Williams
Models: Britany Baker, Liz Bingham, Kathryn Harrington, Andrea Hutchinson, Janice Carter Levitch, Sarah Levitch, Elizabeth Scinta, Laura Snyder & Shirelle Williams
Location: Lincliffe

Janice Carter Levitch | Publisher (Marisa Baratelli dress, $1,610; Suzanna Dai earrings, $230, available at Glasscock Boutique. Glasses and shoes from Janice’s personal collection.)

Liz Bingham | Editor in Chief (Vintage Christian Dior dress, $198, available at Stella’s Resale Boutique. Golden Goose sneakers, available at Circe, price upon request. Jewelry from Liz’s personal collection. Journal, $17; Swell bottle, $39, available at Mamili.)

Britany Baker | Art Director (Beguile by Byron Lars Allusione dress, $198, available at Stella’s Resale Boutique; Prada heels, $90, available at Sassy Fox Upscale Consignment.)

Andrea Hutchinson | Staff Photographer (Lafayette 148 blazer, $58, available at Sassy Fox Upscale Consignment. Other attire from Andrea’s personal collection.)

Kathryn Harrington | Staff Photographer (J. Crew dress, $32, available at Stella’s Resale Boutique. Other attire from Kathryn’s personal collection.)

Laura Snyder | Chief Operations Officer (Iris Setlakwe skirt, $295, available at Rodes For Her. Zimmermann silk blouse, $350, available at Circe. Prada patent leather heels, $80, available at Sassy Fox Upscale Consignment. Magnetic bangle, $35, available at Glasscock Boutique.)

Elizabeth Scinta | Editorial Intern (Tropical blazer, $36.99; White blouse, $67; Tropical shorts, $23.99; Woven purse, $62; Coconuts by Matisse heels, $85; Earrings, $25, available at Mamili.)

Shirelle Williams | Editorial Intern (Vince Camuto gold pumps, $48, available at Sassy Fox Upscale Consignment. Clear mini purse, $65, available at Mamili. Suit and top from Shirelle’s personal collection.)

Sarah Levitch | Editorial Intern (Linen pants, $33.99; Linen blouse, $29.99, available at Mamili. Boots, scarf and watch from Sarah’s personal collection.)

Laura Snyder | Chief Operations Officer

Liz Bingham | Editor in Chief (A.L.C. knit top, $165; Delfi Collection skirt, $395, available at Circe. Shoes from Liz’s personal collection. Watercolor candle, $36; Spiral notebook, $24; Journal, $17, Swell bottle, $39, available at Mamili.)

Change is Good

Fleur de Lis Interiors.

Home improvement ideas from Louisville home designers and boutiques

By Shirelle Williams
Photos by Andrea Hutchinson

or the past three months, while sheltering in place due to COVID-19, our homes have been stretched to their maximum functionality. They’ve been converted to classrooms, office spaces, daycare centers and every necessary function imaginable. Surrounded by the same four walls every day, many of us have also noticed that our homes could use some T.L.C. Thanks to a few local home improvement stores and designers we had the opportunity to interview, we created a simple guide to help those motivated to make easy changes to their homes.

Leaha Julius
Fleur de Lis Interiors

Brightly Colored Pillows and Artwork, prices upon request.

“Lately we’ve been selling a lot of brightly colored pillows that are geometrically shaped and designed in floral patterns. The most common colors purchased are corals and turquoise. These pillows make such a great accent to your home when you have a living room that might be dull and drab. Throw these on your sofa and it will bring the room to life!

“We’re selling a ton of brightly colored artwork too. The styles are abstract with features of sailboats and warm colors. Customers are saying artwork that has peaceful scenery makes them feel good, helps them to relax and puts them in a vacation mindset.”

Matt Jamie
Bourbon Barrel Foods

Matt Jamie.

“Louisvillians are expected to know bourbon. You don’t fully know your bourbon unless you know how to eat your bourbon. Our Eat Your Bourbon cookbook is great for people new to Louisville, who may miss Louisville, or would like to learn how to eat their bourbon. Readers will find thorough recipes and beautiful photography of breakfast and brunch, appetizers and snacks, soups and salads, main dishes, sides, baked goods, sweets and drinks.

“We consciously kept the cookbook from becoming too Southern to show the diversity and range of the ingredients. The recipes are from all over the country, with product interpretations from James Beard award-winning chefs, accomplished food bloggers and influencers, passionate fans of the products and a few from Bourbon Barrel Foods employees.

Eat Your Bourbon Cookbook, $40

“The book is an excellent gift for cooks, bourbon-lovers and anyone who enjoys a story about a man’s dream that became a phenomenal, real-life success. It has a few tips and secrets from me and how I use things in my kitchen, my story and how I started.”

Brittany Bennett
Posh Home

“Marble can elevate any room in your home by making it more luxurious. By including different textures and materials, it can give your space a more interesting and layered look!”

Marble Coasters with Brass Holder, $25; Marble Photo Frame, $45; Marble Bookends, $35; Marble Pot with Lid, $25.

Mortar and Pestle, $39; Marble Paper Towel Holder, $35; Marble Coasters with Brass Holder, $25; Marble Bookends, $35.

Marble Box with Brass Handle, $85.

Kiel Thomson
KTC Construction

“At KTC Construction, we encourage people, if they are enthusiastic and capable, to attempt several small home improvement projects on their own.

“It seems like most homeowners feel most comfortable with interior painting. To ensure your finished product looks like it was done by a professional, you must spend time prepping the area properly. Professional painters spend just as much time prepping as they do painting. Make sure all the holes in your walls and trim are filled and sanded smooth. An easy tip for this is to use a lightweight spackle to fill the holes and a lightly dampened sponge to sand the filled holes. Use a tack cloth to get all the dust off the surfaces before opening the first can of paint.”

Chenault James
Chenault James Interiors and Pappy & Company

Bourbon Barrel Stave Bowl, price upon request.

“The Bourbon Barrel Stave Bowl makes a great centerpiece. You can use it as a fruit bowl or for serving, such as a cheese plate. It also makes for great use on your coffee table or a mantle. I like leaving it out because it’s pretty and not a typical cutting board you’d want to put away.

Bourbon Barrel Hoop Sculpture, price upon request.

“I use these accessories a lot for my design clients, especially the Bourbon Barrel Hoop. It’s such a great layering piece and is simple and contemporary. I put this hoop sculpture in front of the artwork as a layering piece.”

Bourbon Barrel Wood Cutting Boards, prices upon request.

Amy Wagner
Reflections of You, by Amy

Cotton Woven Seersucker Table Runner, price upon request.

“Some fun ways to freshen and brighten up your home could include our cute runner which is a cotton woven seersucker table runner with tassels in red, white and blue!

Signature Capri Blue Candles, Hand Lotions and Soaps, prices upon request.

“Our signature Capri Blue candles, hand lotions and soaps have the perfect blend of citrus and sugar. Resembling the excitement and energy of a summer night rendezvous, this fragrance is simply unforgettable!”

Ben Palmer-Ball

Throw Pillows, prices upon request; Outdoor Rugs, $125 – $1,000; Patio Umbrella, $750 and up.

“A way to keep your outdoor furniture fresh is to change the pillows periodically and incorporate a different color or pattern. Our pillows are made of an outdoor fabric that has weather-proof filling inside. You can find pillows at Digs that you won’t find anywhere else in the marketplace.

“We customize the look for our upholstery here in the shop. Some customers use our pillows inside their house as well. The material is bulletproof from children and can be cleaned easily.”

For more information:

Bourbon Barrel Foods
1201 Story Ave., Ste. 175

Chenault james interiors
843 E Market St.

3905 Chenoweth Sq.

Fleur de Lis Interiors
3913 Chenoweth Sq.

KTC Construction
925 Samuel St.

Pappy & Company
843 E Market St.

Posh Home
2836 Frankfort Ave.

Reflections of You, By Amy
3935 Chenoweth Sq.

Letter from the Publisher

Janice Carter Levitch.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This quote from Dr. King is one of many he is famous for. However, this one in particular resonates with me in regards to the recent headlines of the day. Let us all do our part to make our community and our world a better place.

The Voice-Tribune represents a legacy of more than 70 years serving our community with a publication that focuses on the arts, entertainment, local businesses and charitable causes to name a few. We stepped out of our usual approach to our fashion editorial to feature our team in this issue. As we scouted for locations, I stumbled upon one of the most interesting trees I have ever seen. Over my shoulder, I heard my scouting assistant, Steve, whisper in my ear, “You should climb that tree and make that the spot for your fashion photo.” It only took me a nanosecond to agree with him. Of course, it took a ladder, a shoe assistant and thoughts of floating to help me get up there, but I did it. Once I was securely perched on the mammoth-sized branch, I knew we were creating something special. Take a look for yourself and meet our team that makes creating this amazing publication appear effortless. 

Our COO Laura Snyder is a true leader and rarely steps into the spotlight. However, with a little coaxing, she finally agreed to be part of the photoshoot organized by our Photographer Andrea Hutchinson and Editor in Chief Liz Bingham. Working remotely is the norm of the day and the vision was to move our offices out into a wide-open space to bring an organic and off the beaten path approach to our fashion editorial.

We have also included Shirelle Williams, Sarah Levitch and Elizabeth Scinta, three of the most efficient and talented interns we could ever dream of having the opportunity to work with and whose talents have added to the quality of our publication. Take a peek at the features each one of them has contributed to and you’ll see how wonderful they are.

Staff Photographer Kathryn Harrington has provided us with her photographic talents time after time. She captured images of the recent protests that document the importance of our support for the Black Lives Matter movement and having your voice heard.

To our advertisers and readers, I would like to express our gratitude for your continued support and loyalty that elevates The Voice-Tribune month after month.

Yours truly,

Janice  Carter Levitch

Letter from the Editor

Black Halo jumpsuit, $435, available at Rodes For Her. Golden Goose sneakers, available at Circe, price upon request. Jewelry from stylist’s personal collection. Watercolor candle, $36; Spiral notebook, $24; Journal, $17; Swell bottle, $39, available at Mamili.

This was a very challenging issue to produce. Everyone I interact with lately asks me the same question, “So how’s it going?” Taking on the role of Editor in Chief hasn’t necessarily been challenging through any fault of the publication, but the constantly changing world has continued to force me to examine our role in it.

From the pain and suffering of those seeking justice right in our very own backyard, to the uncertainty of the long term impact of the pandemic on our worldwide population, to the seemingly simple task of learning how to work and function remotely — ​we’re living in a world unlike any we have known before. Having taken on the role of editor during such trying times calls to mind the familiar quote, ​“With great power comes great responsibility.” As I reminded myself of this both empowering and humbling phrase, I was also reminded of a phrase my dearest friend once told me, that the only way forward is ​through. We must get ​through​ this time together and embrace this opportunity to confront the things head-on that have so often been pushed aside or avoided. We must push ​through​ what is challenging because it will provide the greatest reward.

In this issue, we focused on the meaning of “home,” how it has changed the past three months and what our readers can do now to adapt. We have our usual talented contributors, Jeff Howard, Liz Gastiger and Kevin, who offer fitness and baking advice to keep you healthy and happy at home. We have Steve Humphrey, who questions the concept of time, and Josh Miller who teaches us how to be courageous at home. We also featured a new writer, Barrett Freibert, who interviewed Louisvillians living all over the country and how their idea of home relates to their sense of self. As Janice mentioned in her letter, we also highlighted our editorial team of nine incredible women who collectively manage to produce this publication every single month for each and every one of you and for whom I am eternally grateful.

Please know that every day we are attempting to traverse this new landscape, just as you are, and I hope with each new issue we release, that it will provide insight on our community and enable you to reflect on our constantly changing surroundings. Once again, we are all in this together and we are stronger together.

Sincerely yours,

Liz Bingham
Editor in Chief

Phyllis George, 1949-2020

Phyllis George.

Phyllis George, a devoted mother and grandmother who served as the nation’s 50th Miss America before shattering glass ceilings in broadcasting, politics and business, passed away on May 14, 2020 at the age of 70. Her loving children, Lincoln and Pamela, were by her side.

Known for her remarkable inner and outer beauty, her quick wit and her deep intellect, Phyllis made a place for herself in America’s homes and hearts the moment her crown fell from her head shortly after being named Miss America 1971. With the grace and practicality that would define her life, she bent over, picked up her tiara and kept walking as the crowd applauded. She was tapped as the co-host of “The New Candid Camera” in 1974 and the next year became a pioneer in broadcasting — and the country’s most famous female sportscaster — when she was hired to co-host “The NFL Today” on CBS. She would go on to co-anchor the CBS Morning News, serve as First Lady of Kentucky and create two successful companies.

Yet despite her storied career, she viewed her roles as mother, daughter, sister, aunt and “GeeGee” to her two grandchildren as the most important. She took pride in her family, whom she loved deeply. Phyllis was born in Denton, Texas on June 25, 1949 to James Robert and Diantha Louise Cogdell George. And while she eventually left her small town, it never left her. Phyllis credited her success to her loving parents, whom were affectionately known as “Bob Bob” and “Grammy”. She once explained her connection to her hometown, saying, “Who knew the little girl growing up there would do all the different things that I’ve done? I do believe it had to do with my foundation, loving parents, supportive parents, the parents who were always there for me and my brother, Robbie.” Phyllis’s father, Bob, was an oil distributor. His wife, Grammy, a homemaker and a department store bookkeeper. Phyllis said even though they weren’t rich financially, they were rich in love. They made sure she felt like she had everything and paid more than they could probably afford for classical piano lessons with the renowned pianist, Dr. Isabel Scionti. Phyllis quickly became a prodigy. By the age of 11, she was beating pianists nearly twice her age in recording competitions. Phyllis had big dreams of one day playing at Carnegie Hall. Instead, she put her musical talent to work when she entered the pageant circuit. In 1971, she won the Miss America crown playing “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.”

Phyllis had a knack for making anyone, no matter their story, feel as if they were the most important person in the world. Everywhere she went, she built lasting friendships, many of which she maintained throughout her life. Her genuine curiosity, combined with her magnetic smile and huge heart, made everyone who was graced by her presence feel as if they were her best friend. Her love of the people she met, and her deep interest in their personal stories, shined through in her interviews with athletes, filling a void that had previously existed in televised sports coverage. She was lauded for asking questions to athletes that went beyond their performance on the field, getting them to open up in ways they never had.

It was that same dynamism that led local reporters to affectionately call her “fly paper Phyllis” when she accompanied her husband, John Y. Brown, Jr., on campaign stops during his run for Governor of Kentucky in 1979. It was Phyllis, they said, who attracted the crowds.

Just as Kentucky embraced Phyllis for the graciousness she extended to everyone she met, she wholeheartedly embraced Kentucky for its people, its artisans and its natural scenic beauty.  She could just as easily sit down on the front porch swing at the house of a basket maker on some little country road in small town Kentucky as she could host a dinner for four U.S. presidents at the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion.

As First Lady, she took great interest in the people and traditions of Kentucky. She championed the state’s artisans, founded the Kentucky Art & Craft Foundation and oversaw the renovation of the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion. She would use all of those skills to later create “Chicken by George,” a line of marinated chicken breasts which she sold to Hormel, and Phyllis George Beauty, a cosmetic line marketed on HSN.                                                   

Phyllis was never happier than when she was surrounded by her family. Her children fondly called her “Hurricane Phyl” because she was a force of nature with an indomitable spirit and zest for life. She was quick with a joke, willing to share her wisdom and always happy to give a hug. She quietly and courageously fought a rare blood disorder for 35 years, never acknowledging her pain to others, always taking on adversity with a “never say never” attitude and boundless optimism. If anyone tried to mention anything negative, she would immediately shut them down. That can-do spirit allowed Phyllis to defy the odds and live much longer than any doctor had ever expected.

In her final years, Phyllis enjoyed spending quiet time at her home in Lexington, Kentucky where she found joy in slowing down by spending time with friends, watching her daughter report on CNN and hearing about her son’s business successes. She was also a woman of deep faith, who loved nothing more than having her two grown children lie in bed with her or lounge on the couch in her “cozy nook.” She was thrilled to watch videos of her two grandchildren, Benny and Vivienne, and loved singing “You Are my Sunshine” to them over FaceTime.

Phyllis George lived a remarkable life. She gave graciously, shared unselfishly and loved completely. We have no doubt she is now watching her family from above, where raindrops will no longer keep falling on her head and her spirit will be shining brightly for eternity.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to:

The Phyllis George Memorial Fund
Care of Bluegrass Community Foundation
499 E High St., Suite 112,  Lexington, KY 40507
or online at

Donations will be dedicated to the causes most important to Phyllis, funding research for her rare blood disorder and children in need.   

Building a Foundation of Collaboration

Masters of their craft come together in home design


By Sarah Levitch
Photo by
Andrea Hutchinson

Left to right: Clayton Langan, Ed James, Chenault James, Don Langan.

The talented owners of Chenault James Interiors, Karzen Langan + James Construction and Four Board Woodworks often work collaboratively to create beautifully designed homes. From the very bones of the structure, to finding unique pieces of wood to repurpose, to the carefully chosen decor, this group of individuals knows how to create a quality home. We contacted these local designers of different trades to learn about how they became involved in the business, what the best home design methods are and why it’s important to design a home with items and elements that you love.

Chenault James of Chenault James Interiors

What is your background in interior design? When was your company founded and how has it evolved?
I didn’t study design in school, I was a fashion merchandising major. When I returned to Louisville, I worked for a local interior designer, Lee Robinson, in the resource library and then moved up to an assistant position. He did everything from construction to decorating, which was a great experience for me to learn the whole process. I then got restless and wanted to move from Louisville to explore, so I moved to Atlanta and worked for several designers there.

When living in Atlanta, I met Ed James, my husband, who was from Columbus, GA. Eventually, I moved to Columbus and began designing my house there. Friends started to notice what I was doing and asked me to help them. Over time, people in Louisville started to notice, and I received a few jobs remotely. When Ed and I moved to Louisville, those jobs were ongoing, so it helped the transition to have work. I now do design jobs mostly here in town.

What makes your interior design style unique and where do you draw inspiration from?
My designs have a soul, a feeling you can’t get out of a box. I pay attention to every little detail and think through every different design aspect. The overall outcome is a feeling that you can’t explain. I pour so much effort into making each part of the design highly customized and I like everything to have meaning.

I didn’t realize it for a long time, but my grandmother was a huge influence on me. I have a great appreciation for the way fabrics feel and she had a lot of velvet, down cushions, mohair and other real materials. I’m also influenced by nature. I made some drapery rods for my mother out of bamboo from my garden.

What are your favorite aspects of home design? What do you get most excited about when decorating?
I get excited when clients trust me and I can use my full creative potential. I like taking risks and creating one-of-a-kind pieces. I also love supporting and working with local craft makers. There are so many dying trades, so I love giving them an opportunity to succeed.

What challenges do you face when designing homes and how do you overcome them?
The challenge is finding the time to truly be creative and think. The initial stages of designing can take so much time. It stays in this period of development for so long that all the time to think is broken up. I get bogged down with running a business and managing the team, so I dream of the day when I can just create. It’s hard to be creative when I’m overstimulated and trying to do too many things.

If you could give three design tips to a beginner in interior design, what would they be?
First, follow your intuition and don’t design for anyone else but yourself. Second, buy what you love. If you buy things as you can afford and find them, they don’t need to have a place. If you love it and it fits into your budget, it will find a home. That’s something I learned through experience. Everything I’ve purchased for my house hasn’t been for any place in particular. It’s all naturally found a home. Designing doesn’t have to be so strategic. Third, when painting, go for high-gloss trim. The reflection is really warm and it gives it a rich, elegant feel.

Ed James, Clayton Langan & Don Langan of Karzen Langan + James Construction

What is your company’s demographic? How do people find you?
Clayton: We work for all kinds of people who like to create, enjoy and appreciate fine homes. We don’t advertise, our projects arise through relationships and doing the right thing. Ed’s work speaks for itself, and one job leads to the next.

We are also transparent. In this industry, sometimes it’s just smoke and mirrors. When we meet a client and the job evolves into the plans and bidding, everything is on the table. At the bottom of the page are our overhead and profit numbers in black and white. The discounts are passed forward. I think that helps build a lot of trust.

Have you ever decided a client wasn’t a good fit? How do you handle that?
Clayton: In the recession of 2008, the phones didn’t ring. There was a point when we called our own phones to make sure they were still on. We went from doing large projects to bathroom renovations and anything we could. That experience burned into our psyche not to say no, and there was a time when we would always say yes, even during the upswing after the recession. Now, we still try to do as much as we can, but when we know a project isn’t right for us, we’ll pass on it.

How does your company stand out from other construction companies?
Clayton: Our theory behind construction is that every project needs to evolve. In every step of the process, something will change. Then it comes to the specialty projects, like what Ed does. This could be wire brushing white oak to remove the soft grain, and all the textures start to layer onto each other. When we’re finished, it’s something the clients have never seen before. It takes a bit longer and there’s more thought behind the design.

Don: We’re not using stock plans. We often use an architect, Dan Grimm with Grimm Architecture and Design. Also, Chenault and Ed frequently travel South looking for reclaimed doors and architectural elements that can become something new, like an armoire or doors to a secret room.

Ed: What’s amazing is to watch these guys come out of the ground with a 12,000 square foot house. It’s hard to envision it on paper, then when we meet on-site, the ball starts rolling. This is the beginning of the organic process and the design layers that take us through finishes and ultimately complete the project. Each project is unique and requires full attention, heart and soul.

Ed James of Four Board Woodworks

What is your background with woodworking and the evolution of your company?
Ed: I received a degree in Geology from Columbus State University in Georgia and worked as a trim carpenter for seven years while earning my degree.  I was working for a master carpenter named Lupe Robledo. He was and still is one of the most talented carpenters I’ve ever known.  He looked at me one day and said, “You’re a smart kid, if you pay attention, I’ll teach you.” So I started paying attention, and before long, I could build stairs and handrails, do complicated layouts and cut and install all types of trim molding. I eventually started and ran Hammerhead Carpentry for 17 years before moving to Louisville.    

I was blessed to have two older friends, custom home builders, that were a major positive influence on my life, my faith and my work ethic. Hal Averett and Tommy Hinton taught me so much about custom home building, and most of all, quality work. We created a lot of beautiful work together. We also went on several mission trips together with our church, including to the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana and provided hurricane relief in Louisiana and Mississippi.  These trips were a great opportunity to use my carpentry skills to help others and it was so rewarding. Hal passed away just over a year ago. He was so creative and I miss him terribly. I like to think I put a little bit of Hal in all of my projects and I know he would be proud. I still stay in touch with Tommy Hinton and always will.

Clayton: To find someone who was so talented to join the construction team and could take us into the future and diversify our company was priceless and has proven to be. One of the greatest things I observed when I was down in Georgia visiting Ed, we were going through these back roads, and he would say, “I gotta show you this property!” He would call someone and they would say, “Of course, come over!” We would pull up in the driveway and I’d be so in awe of the homes. It was how Ed handled his clients and the relationships he built that I knew he was taking care of business. How I see it is, we’re business partners in all things. My father, Don, Ed and I are equal partners in both Karzen, Langan, + James and Four Board Woodworking. Ed and I create a lot together. I supply a lot of job opportunities. Ed runs Four Board, no question, he is the man behind it.

What types of woodworking do you specialize in? What makes your woodworking different from others?
Ed: Passion. I tell people that if we have to do the same thing all the time, none of these craftsmen would be here, especially me. We’re some of the luckiest people around because we do something different every time. I tell potential clients we can build anything made out of wood. It’s not too far from the truth. We build all types of custom cabinetry, interior and exterior doors and historic windows. We cut our own shaper and molder knives to create our own moldings or match existing ones. We design and build furniture, such as dining tables and beds. We love a challenge and will try just about anything a client can dream of.

Also, wood finishes are one of my favorite parts, because that’s where I can really set something apart. Anyone can build a bar out of white oak. But it’s different if you can wire brush it, put a reactive on it and then a final finish on top of that. The possibilities are truly endless. Custom finishes are a nice break from my main responsibility which is solving woodworking problems all day long. 

What do you take pride in when working on projects?
Ed: We have a tremendous amount of trust, that’s what it’s really based upon; honesty, integrity and trust. We wouldn’t be able to innovate if people didn’t trust us. I am the first to tell you that we have an amazing team at Four Board. Our guys take a lot of pride in performing high-quality work and doing things right the first time. Each one has a different skill set. It’s my responsibility to recognize those talents and insert those pieces into the building process. I am grateful for each team member and their talent. I feel like each man is giving me his best and we are working to our potential. I am never short of amazed at what these guys can do when we work together as a team. 

How do you take the vision of your client and add your own creative edge?
Ed: Between us and the client, it’s a partnership for sure. We take pride in guiding our clients through the creative process.

Most people want us to bring some ideas to them first. They may say, I want some glass, a finish I’ve never seen before and specialty hardware. We’ll take all of those things and put them together. Pinterest is a wonderful tool. What I tell people is, don’t put a hundred pictures in your kitchen portfolio, that’s too overwhelming. Pick ten, and tell me you want this door, finish and hardware, so at least I can get a vision of what the client wants. This enables us to develop a vision together with the end result being something truly unique. This also gives me an opportunity to create a relationship which is one of my favorite parts of the business. Getting to know people and helping them recognize they are probably more creative than they give themselves credit for is rewarding for me and the client. Life’s too short not to have fun doing your work!

Building Our Home with Courage

Josh Miller.

What home means in the midst of a pandemic and protests


By Josh Miller
Photos by Andrea Hutchinson


What makes a home? I recently heard someone say, “Home is where your feet are.” Maya Angelou says, “The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” In a recent conversation with my dear friend Hanna Benjamin, she described home as, “the place where we are with our family; a place that changes throughout the day as we create new environments for play, to eat, to live.”

Some homes we are born into, others we find later in life. We make them, they evolve and they may or may not be the place where we sleep. Homes can be the thing that lay the foundation for supporting our health and wellbeing, a launchpad for our dreams or a place we seek to escape, whether it’s because of the physical space, the people we share it with or the community it sits within.

I lived in the same house for 18 years as I grew up. My relationship to it, as for many, is mixed with memories I cherish and ones that are painful. Getting my sisters ready for church involving outfits, hair, makeup, jewelry, nails and shoes, regular Thursday baking of sweets with our babysitter, making movies in the backyard with friends and long explorations in the woods outside our neighborhood are all connected to the concept of “home” for me.

Long story short, I was outed as gay to my parents as I headed into my junior year of high school. Being gay was considered a choice and a sin by my parents and the church — my Mom’s view has fundamentally changed since then — and my junior year was a constant battle for how I should live, how I could show up. At the beginning of my senior year, things came to a head. The choice was: move out and stay in the Chattanooga area and figure things out on my own or move in with my extended family who invited me to live with them in Southern Indiana to finish high school. I chose to move, uproot from the home I knew and to become part of a new one, an opportunity I am forever grateful for. It was that choice that eventually brought me to Louisville, KY, the place I now call home, where I live with my fiancé Theo Edmonds. My journey so far embodies Arlan Hamilton’s words in her book “It’s About Damn Time.” Hamilton says, “You have to look at your experiences and understand them for what they are: an education built just for you.”

Josh Miller.

When I think about creating and making meaning in a home, whatever that looks like, I also think about courage. Courage to take risks and be vulnerable so that we’re creating a place by ourselves, or together, that helps us “walk into our own story and own it, [where] we get to write the ending,” as Brené Brown says. Courage is required for having difficult conversations about sharing space, for challenging those limiting inner narratives that can hold us back and for taking a leap and launching a new business or embarking on a new venture that may use our home as the springboard.

2020 has felt like we entered the twilight zone in many ways. COVID-19 upended our lives and meant that “home” took on a whole new meaning for each of us. Home became a school, a workplace, a gym. Our boundaries around who saw our home changed as we stepped into Zoom meetings from bedrooms and kitchen tables.

In Louisville, KY, this also meant the death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman shot by LMPD who used a no-knock warrant to enter her home and was one of the final sparks that lit a fire and launched a movement for racial justice.

Protests, arrests, looting, learning and reflection and calls for change on what it means for a city to be a “home” for everyone ensued. Not only did it make us rethink what it means to be safe in the places where we sleep, but our connection to the community, the city as the home we collectively share. My heart broke for my Black friends and family, knowing that in many ways, my understanding of home existed in such contrast to theirs.

Over the past few months, all of these experiences have pushed me to ask the question, how do we find harmony in making and sharing space in the ongoing search for social, mental and emotional health and wellbeing? For now, much of this takes place wherever we call home.

Erika Paramore, a Louisville-based psychotherapist, said that for many of her clients, old traumas were being brought back up. “They are wanting to connect to someone who they can talk to and not feel judged,” she said. “They are reevaluating what their needs are and practicing self-reflection with someone who knows them.” With the shift to primarily engaging with clients through teletherapy, Erika described how interactions have evolved. “Clients love showing me their home, their cat walking across the screen. We’re getting to know each other in a different way. Clients who cannot be at home may sit in their car for the session for privacy.”

Erika Paramore. Photo provided.

Erika noted that themes and some bigger questions have emerged throughout the months of COVID-19. “There is a fundamental sense of vulnerability. How do we protect ourselves? Am I good enough? What do we connect to? Loneliness is that feeling that reminds us to reevaluate our connections to others, like kids who were used to seeing their friends at school every day.” It’s all changing.

Erika’s recommendations for how people can stay mentally and emotionally healthy included:

Exercise and movement, especially if you can do so outside. “Being out in nature has such a connection to mental health,” she said.
Sleep, which is when we repair.
Find a routine to reduce decision fatigue. I know for me, my morning routine was paramount throughout COVID-19.
“What we focus on is what we become,” she said. “Get your news and information in a contained way. People struggling the most right now are focusing on fear and blame, not care, repair and self-protection.”
Don’t make major life decisions within a year of a crisis.
“Be careful of the comparison-trap. Things like ‘I shouldn’t be sad because so many people have had it worse.’ If you’re having a hard day, validate that. Focus on where you are without comparing it to others.”

As Erika describes, we’re all experiencing a full range of emotions, much of which are taking place in the home we share with others, adding a layer of complexity to not only navigate them for ourselves but also with those we love.

“The kids miss their friends and their teams. We organize Zoom dance parties, virtual video games and social distancing bike rides,” said Dayna Neumann reflecting on time at home during COVID-19. “There have been major meltdowns over distance learning, angry outbursts born out of frustration and lack of exercise and frank conversations around the dinner table about depression and anxiety. My 9-year-old daughter asked me at dinner one night, ‘Mommy, what is depression? Have you ever been depressed?’ I answered her questions with science and honesty.”

I’ve been thankful to see my friends living courageously in the way they are educating their children about current events, mental health and what it means to use what you have to embody what you stand for, including your home.

“With everything going on, I definitely have a different perspective than some of my other White friends that do not have a Black child,” said Hanna Benjamin. “I have to worry more about Wynnie (her adopted Black daughter) in a different way than my biological children because of the color of her skin. This is a problem and something we should be doing something about.”

She went on to say, “We’ve done a lot of chalk art which has been great to do and let the girls have some fun in the midst of the pandemic and protests. I wanted to put something out there that showed where we stand and what our family believes in. We did it on our steps (in Norton Commons) so it was visible from across the road. I hope it brought about curiosity for people to talk about it, to look it up, to feel like they could be brave and speak out about what was going on. I feel like so many people just stay silent because they don’t know what to say, or they get nervous or uncomfortable. Right now, I’m talking to you holding Wynnie and I’m not getting it perfect, but what she’ll care about is that I’m saying something because I care and I want change.”

Benjamin sisters. Photo by Hanna Benjamin.

Hanna described her conversation with her 5-year-old Copeland (Coco) as they started to draw.

Coco: “Mommy, what are you drawing?”
Hanna: “There is some stuff going on right now and I’m writing what I stand for. It means I believe there needs to be justice, and there is protesting going on right now by people who want it too.”
Coco: “What’s a protest?” (Went inside and watched footage from the protests and talked about it more)
Coco: “Tell me more about what happened?”
Hanna: “A Black woman was hurt. And we need the people that did it to be punished for it.”
Coco: “I hope they get in trouble. Can I make a card for Breonna? Because I’m so sad that someone hurt her.”

Going outside with their chalk, all three girls drew alongside Hanna. #JusticeforBreonna #SayHerName. Coco added a lot of hearts.

One thing I’ve been reminded of is that we each have a role to play, and your home can be a catalyst for education, for engagement and for communicating the values you hold dear. Like Hanna said, I hope it encourages people to speak up and engage in different ways. I’ve seen people taking courageous steps throughout COVID-19 and as our city works toward racial-justice.

With changing needs and new opportunities identified within the marketplace, this has also been a time for new ventures. This includes the launch of new businesses out of the home and a focus on self-improvement and growth as people experience layoffs and are actively re-envisioning what their future looks like.

In addition to my work at IDEAS xLab, the organization I founded with Theo and now lead as CEO, I felt called to launch Josh Miller Ventures. It is a leadership coaching practice that embodies my values of courage, curiosity, creativity and connection, and leverages what I’ve learned over the years to support other people in unleashing and harnessing their potential. After finishing Lauren Zoeller’s Balanced Boss Academy, an 8-week program that puts structure around coaching or consulting practices grounded in impact, I started my one-on-one Courageous Leadership Coaching practice in the midst of COVID-19 from home.

Josh Miller.

Since the launch, I’ve had conversations with leaders from various backgrounds and sectors, all with different goals for what they want to focus on when it comes to being courageous. I’ve conversed with those who are in the early stages of their career with a vision for where they want to be in five years, a team leader who wants multiple people to receive individual coaching that can then be brought back to maximize their collective impact together, a business owner who wants to create a more stable foundation on which to move their 130+ employee company forward and someone who wants to leverage their courage to evolve their public speaking and storytelling.

It’s called Josh Miller Ventures for a reason. To me, a venture – or a daring journey – requires courage. And now, more than ever, courageous leadership and actions will help us make it through these uncertain times. Courage to stand in and name our values helps build trust and a sense of belonging with teams, our families and the communities where we work and live. To create the type of inclusive home we need, we need to not just survive but thrive.

Learn more about 1×1 Courageous Leadership Coaching at JoshMiller.Ventures

Home is Within

Finding a deeper relationship with self from Louisville natives across the U.S.


By Barrett Freibert
Portraits by
McCall Besten


As a proud Louisville native who lives in New Mexico, I was ecstatic to write this piece and interview Louisville natives across the U.S. about their perception of home during the coronavirus pandemic. For most, home is not only being surrounded by people who have our best interests at heart but a feeling of peace within.

Peace can be difficult to cultivate during challenging times, especially when you live far away from your loved ones. Whenever I feel my world has been turned upside down, I turn to Joseph Campbell, the great mythologist of our time. He is most famous for his “Hero’s Journey” cycle that can be seen in some of the greatest modern-day films, like Star Wars or The Wizard of Oz.

Campbell says, “At the bottom of the abyss comes the voice of salvation. The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come. At the darkest moment comes the light.” What does this quote have to do with home? To cultivate a peaceful home wherever we go, we must practice having courage to look at what scares us most. We must be willing to clean the cobwebs out of the closet so there is room to breathe.

For years, I ran away. I shut family members’ deaths like a book I wasn’t in the mood to read. I put in overtime at work. I chased the dragon I never met at after-parties. I rushed my healing from Lyme-induced insomnia to return to work in the name of productivity. “Wherever you go, there you are,” my mom repeated in the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn as I moved from one activity to another or from state to state. It took a decade for that message to begin to sink in. With each accomplishment or move, loneliness still left me hungry. This feeling lingered long before I moved thousands of miles from home to study writing and healing arts in Santa Fe, NM and before coronavirus shook the globe, creating cracks so big, now rivers run through what we thought to be reliable routines.

Even though this pandemic is financially and emotionally challenging, it has also been a blessing in disguise. Ironically, this mandatory solitude illuminated the source of my loneliness. I had been running away from being with myself, constantly seeking fulfillment outside myself from work, socializing or one more workout class. But true contentment does not live outside oneself, it lives in the present. Joy prevails when we can be present with whatever the present moment throws our way. No matter where we are or who we are with, we are always with ourselves.

I’ve lived in six states. New Mexico has been the most difficult to meet people and create meaningful connections. Yet, it has given me the gift of cultivating a deeper relationship with myself. Ali Besten, who lives in Nashville, TN and runs marketing and sales for Cathead Distillery, said the quarantine allowed her to spend more time with herself. “Before, I was never physically home. I was out of town or socializing. I neglected my home. Now I have gotten back to cooking and working with my hands, it makes me happier. Ironically, those were the last things I would do in my life before,” said Besten.

What if quarantine creates what Joseph Campbell calls, “willed introversion,” and in the space and place of solitude and silence, we see we already have everything we need within ourselves? Campbell’s universal path he calls the “Hero’s Journey” can be broken down into three parts: departure, initiation and return. These three parts recur in mythology, religion and modern-day events, like the coronavirus pandemic.

McCall Besten, who lives in Palo Alto, CA and is a photographer, reflects this sentiment of departure. She said, “All we need, we already have. The pandemic has been a major reset for me and made me realize that we need to go back to the basics — cooking, creating, reading, exploring nature and meditating — and we are all creative beings, we just need the capacity to tap into it. Going inward is challenging but necessary for personal growth. We have to go within ourselves to find home.”

Yet, going inward to cultivate peace is difficult, especially when the world is in chaos. Louisville Real Estate Agent, Katy Spalding, said her biggest challenge during this time has been, “Watching people in the community and around the world suffer, whether it’s mental or physical health, drug abuse, financial hardship or violence, and not being able to plan for the future. There is so much uncertainty.”

As Campbell echoes through all of his teachings, the world has always been in chaos and said, “We’re not going to change it. Our job is to straighten out our own lives.” I believe we can change the world, but the work must begin with ourselves. This is why it usually takes a hardship for us to look into the red beady eyes of what scares us. Whether that be to investigate the uncertain and violent state of the world, old traumas we’ve buried, or the work it takes to achieve our aspirations.

Ali Besten said, “Covid helped me clean out the cobwebs by giving me an excuse to say no to people and yes to myself. It really helped me figure out my needs and thus better serve others. By not having to be ‘on’ all the time, it gave me an internal reset.” Likewise, it took chronic insomnia for me to re-evaluate my lifestyle and slow down to deal with emotions I had stuffed into my mind’s junk drawer. Sleeplessness still rears its ugly head, especially when emotions move like a buffalo stampede at midnight. Insomnia, like quarantine, is an indicator that I need to slow down and invite painful emotions to lunch so they don’t keep me up at night. Most of the world has more downtime right now to look at what is and what is not working in their lives. There is more time to sit in the discomfort of loneliness or heartache during the darkest hours and to examine how we are the common denominator of our own lives and how that affects the community at large. This is what Campbell calls the initiation stage, leaving what is comfortable to swim in the frigid waters of the unknown. Can we endure the cold plunge?

The pandemic has been a reset for many, like Spalding who said, “The pandemic has given me time to stop and be with myself, to reexamine my goals and aspirations, to meditate. Before I was going nonstop and it has been great to be able to sit still, to not have a million errands to run, people to meet up with and time to do nothing.”

To create a peaceful home, we must do a deep clean during this downtime, both physically and emotionally. When I feel like I am about to lose my mind, I grab Comet, put on yellow gloves, blast rap music and attack my bathtub. As my hands scrub, my mind settles and my mood begins to shift. Sometimes tears come and at other times anger roars and I invite these emotions in. What if quarantine is allowing us time to clear out what no longer belongs and make room for what does? And through deep cleaning, we can be at ease in our own skin.

Photo by Barrett Freibert.

Mary Beth Rockwell, who now lives in San Francisco, CA and is a senior vice president at a financial institution, said, “Home is a place where family can flourish. It’s not necessarily the city you live in, but your attitude and family surrounding you. It is the people that make you the best version of yourself, so nowadays home can be anywhere.” But home can only be anywhere if we have created a way to flourish within. When we build a solid foundation with ourselves, we invite our loved ones and community to do the same. Spalding observed that, in Louisville, “Neighbors are helping neighbors. There’s a resurgence of buying local and supporting local restaurants. Recently, I canceled my Amazon subscription and instead buy locally, like ordering books from Carmichael’s again or getting supplements at Rainbow Blossom.”

Amid the pandemic, violence and pain, it’s hard to have hope. But we can create home within as McCall Besten said by, “Acknowledging that we are all in discomfort and to share how we are really feeling. This year hasn’t been easy. We need to relate, communicate and sit in the discomfort and show up for each other in more creative ways. There’s no room for judgment right now.” It is up to us as individuals and communities to decide how we will return from this pandemic. What Campbell calls the return or final phase of the “Hero’s Journey” is sharing insights revealed during the initiation stage. It’s time to begin thinking about our takeaways. How do we want to structure our homes and thus communities?

Annetta Donavan, who lives in Edwards, MS and works for a credit union whose mission is to serve distressed communities, said, “I am no longer aiming for the destination, but am on a journey. I don’t enjoy it all the time, but I am allowing myself to look within to find my truth, to become a better person and my hope is in my faith in Christ.” If we want to create a better world, we must begin in our own home, as Donavan said, to look within to find our truth, even when it’s not so fun. So grab your yellow gloves and Comet and be willing to take a good whiff of what has been stinking — loneliness, trauma, insomnia, heartache, pain. Can you locate its roots?

During this mandatory nest of stillness, I uncovered my roots. I realized that the dragon I chased through outward validation actually lives within me. This dragon was simply waiting for me to act with compassion and courage within myself to invite it to tea in the wee hours of the night, to sip and acknowledge what is no longer serving me, to create room for my wildest dreams. Only then, can I be of meaningful service to my community through writing, teaching and supporting others who love and support me. That is where home is.

A Healthy Day at Home

By Jeff Howard

ince the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our homes have been our office, restaurant, shopping mall, fitness club and place to unwind and de-stress. But have you ever wondered what a perfect day at home would look like? By perfect, I mean a day that is an ideal day towards making you a healthier version of yourself.

Morning Routine

1. Start your day with a glass of lemon water.
Simply add the juice of half a lemon to your glass and the lemon juice can aid in protecting you against inflammatory diseases such as fungal infections and osteoporosis. Next, brew your coffee but don’t drink it right away. Many things naturally happen to our bodies when we wake up, such as the production of the hormone cortisol which is a sort of natural caffeine. I recommend waiting an hour after you wake up to have your first cup of coffee or caffeinated beverage of choice to allow your body to wake up on its own first.

2. Exercise in the morning to jump start your day.
Working out first thing when you wake up improves your energy levels, your circulation and encourages proper lymphatic function. Just 20 minutes every day can make a difference! Mix up cardio and weights throughout the week for all-over toning and general health.

3. Eat a healthy, balanced breakfast or choose to intermittently fast.
If you normally eat breakfast, there are three key ingredients it should contain: protein, fiber and healthy fats. I advise you to avoid consuming sugary carbohydrates like pancakes, bagels, muffins and cereal because they will not give you the energy you need to get your body going in the morning and are more like a dessert. Instead, try consuming eggs with avocado slices or Greek yogurt with berries and nuts.

You can also try intermittent fasting and skip breakfast entirely, but do not do so without consulting with your doctor first. This latest trend has proven successful for some and there are several versions of the diet. Most people opt for an eating window of 12 p.m.- 8 p.m, meaning you skip breakfast and only eat within those eight hours.

4. Stay hydrated and snack smart.
When we are slightly dehydrated, it can lead to a lowered mood, decreased concentration and a false sense of hunger. Keep water or other low-sugar drinks on hand to sip throughout the day to maintain a healthy hydration level.

When it comes to snacking, pick foods that will give you a slow release of energy that contain protein and low to no added sugar. Pairing a protein with a complex carbohydrate is a smart choice. For example, try snacking on half an apple with almond butter or another nut butter of your choice.

Afternoon Routine

5. Eat a healthy, low-fat lunch.
I encourage you to think ahead when it comes to lunch by choosing things you can make in advance and take with you to work. Avoid too much fat at lunchtime, as it promotes afternoon lethargy. Lunch is a time when you can have pasta, potatoes and other good carbohydrates. Avoid foods that are high in sugar and low in protein, like pizza, pre-made sandwiches and fried foods. Instead, opt for meals rich in protein, fiber, whole grains and healthy fats. Foods like eggs, lean meat, beans and chickpeas are high in protein. Brown rice or quinoa is a good source of fiber. Salmon, avocado and olive oil are all rich in healthy fats.

6. Exercise mid-afternoon.
Most of us have a mid-afternoon slump somewhere between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m, but you can keep yourself going through the day by choosing a healthy lunch and doing some moderate exercise in the afternoon. A simple 10 minute walk or run up and down the stairs will help. If your schedule doesn’t permit a morning workout and the evening is more convenient, make sure you have a healthy snack and are hydrated before your evening workout.

Evening Routine

7. Choose an easy, healthy dinner.
Just like your lunch, your dinner should fuel you up for your day tomorrow, not slow you down. Be realistic by choosing something that doesn’t require a lot of time or effort to make, otherwise you may make unhealthy choices. Including green vegetables is always a good choice, as are meat sauces and grains left in their purest form. It’s not the pasta or potatoes that are unhealthy for us, but what we add to them. Try to choose lean proteins like fish, lamb, beef or chicken. Portion control is also very important. Once you have finished your single serving, wait 10 minutes before getting a second helping. You will be amazed at how full you feel after waiting.

8. Take time to relax.
After dinner, it is important to take time to reflect or do something enjoyable for you. Not allowing yourself time to relax combined with high-stress levels can make you vulnerable to a number of health issues such as depression and elevated blood pressure. Find an activity that relaxes you, and then set aside some time every day to do it. This could be as simple as taking a few minutes to remind yourself of everything that is going well in your life.

9. Limit your screen time.
Turn off your phone and computer at least an hour before bed to allow your body to shift into sleep mode. You should also avoid vigorous exercise in the late evening. These measures will help you wind down when it’s time to sleep.

10. Go to sleep at a reasonable hour.
I recommend getting between six to 10 hours of sleep each night depending on your own personal needs. Some of us can get by on six hours, but be honest with yourself and your needs. If you feel better with more sleep, be mindful of that when choosing your bedtime and setting your alarm clock.

Organization Tips

Here are a few quick tips to organize your pantry and fridge to help put your healthy routine into action.

1. Try organizing foods into categories, such as putting all of your nut and seed butters together in one section.
2. Place the oldest dated items first. You can even consider doing it alphabetically, but make sure to always keep some healthy choices front and center.
3. Try not to buy for a month. Use what’s already in your pantry and start planning meals using canned tomatoes, beans, pasta, rice and other items if possible.
4. Get rid of unhealthy snacks and treats and replace them with smaller portioned and healthier items. Place the snacks and treats behind the healthier meal items or on a top shelf.
5. Create a healthy need to eat shelf at eye level in your pantry and refrigerator. Once a week, move food that needs to be eaten soon to that shelf and try to work those items into your meal rotation.

Your home is your oasis and I hope this advice and proposed routine will guide you towards making healthier choices while spending time at home. And hopefully, with these tips, you can become a healthier, better version of yourself.

Jeff Howard is a world-renowned fitness presenter who resides in Louisville.