Guest Blog: Mackenzie's Heart-Healthy Journey

I'm Mackenzie Kern, and I'm the current Miss Wyoming. As I prepare for the Miss America competition, I am honored to advocate for the American Heart Association. If you missed my introductory blog, you can find it here

I’ve had an often-times turbulent health journey, which I’d like to share in hopes it can help others learn from my mistakes, as well as provide positive tips for overall health.

I am not a health professional, but I know health is wealth – both from my father's experience and from my own. Two years ago, I found myself experiencing something I’d never dealt with before. Despite usually being bubbly and happy, I seemed to be in a rut, so I sought out a psychiatrist for help.

I’m a firm believer in good mental health and taking any and all steps necessary for each person to find comfort and peace. My quality of life seemed to be disappearing, so I chose to take a holistic approach to my internal healing and coping with anxiety.

I had adjusted my diet and lifestyle to help my father make changes in his life following cardiac arrest, so I decided to adapt my lifestyle yet again to meet my needs. Acupuncture, better food intake and staying active have worked for me. Check out below for some of my favorite recipes!

I stay active by doing things that bring me joy – which is not in the gym! I love to go on hikes outside, breathe fresh air, and connect with the world around me. Light stretching in the morning and before bed is what my version of “fit” looks like.

I encourage you to find what brings you peace and happiness. There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to health, so don’t forget that when you’re creating a routine that benefits your daily life.

It took a turbulent experience to discover my path, and I hope yours comes much more easily. Health is directly correlated to your quality of life, and the sooner one takes control of their lifestyle, the better.

This is why I advocate for heart-healthy policies, such as Complete Streets, increasing access to healthy food through school meals for all and other great policies. You can also advocate for these policies that help create a healthy lifestyle by joining the You’re The Cure network at

One pageant question I’ve encountered is, “If you could choose just one thing, health, wealth, or wisdom, what would it be?” My answer will always be health.

Without a healthy heart beat, what is a dollar? Wisdom doesn’t exist without a long and prosperous life. I hope my story helps you choose to make even one small difference in your lifestyle.

I am so grateful to have my health under control and to be a strong woman representing the state of Wyoming. In my next blog, I will talk directly about mental health and the relation it has to heart health! Stay tuned and stay healthy!

Until next time,

Mackenzie Kern
AHA Advocate & Your Miss Wyoming

Mackenzie Kern hails from Casper and is the reigning Miss Wyoming. She has previously represented Wyoming in Miss Teen USA and Miss USA. She will compete in January at the Miss America competition. Heart health is important to Mackenzie for a number of reasons, and she’ll share these in blogs over the course of the next couple of months. If you missed Mackenzie’s introductory blog, you can find it here.

Mackenzie's favorite recipes:

Sausage Tortellini
Creamy Lemon Pasta
Avocado Toast – There are many ways to fix avocado toast, but here's my favorite way: Toasted sourdough bread, olive oil-based butter, fresh lime in the avocado with a little salt and pepper, feta cheese and top it with Everything but the Bagel seasoning.