Whole 30 and some Motivational Embroidery

Whole 30 and some Motivational Embroidery

Whole 30 Book

Dear Friends,

If you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you know I struggle with losing weight.  It is a constant battle.  Come this past January 1st, I was 30 pounds overweight.  Ugh!

I had read about Whole 30 off and on for a couple of years now.  When I was at at a craft show this past fall, it was held at a school and along with the craft show, there was a book sale.  At the book sale was the Whole 30 book so I snatched it up for just $1.  And I read it.  And I thought about it.

machine embroidery eat healthy inspirational cuff

Eat Healthy inspirational Cuff

I don’t feel like I have food allergies or intolerances but I have been addicted to sugar.  I needed something to get me back on track with healthy eating.

So 30 days of clean eating.  That is not a lifetime.  That is only 30 days.  I could do this.

Machine Embroidery Never Quit Inspirational Bracelet

Never Quit Inspirational Cuff

I started January 1st and finished yesterday.  I did it!  I will confess, I did it perfectly with the one exception of my husband’s birthday.  We went out for a nice dinner and I had a few bites of his dessert.  It was so hard.  I wanted a bit of sweets more than you can imagine, but that one meal was my only exception.

The results….I lost 9 pounds!  Woot woot!  The other thing was I’ve genuinely had improved energy.

I also have been back at the gym and moving my body.  I go for 30 minutes and I’m happy with that.  If I have to go for an hour, I just won’t go.

Machine Embroidery Exercise Inspirational Cuff

Exercise Inspirational Cuff

So now that the Whole 30 is over, I’m slowly reintroducing some of the foods that were removed over the past 30 days.  Today I’ve added dairy and oh the half and half in my coffee was sooooo good.  I’m going to slowly add back in healthy grains.  But the sweets, sigh….Those need to be saved for special occasions and not a daily snack.

I haven’t written much about my weight lately because I find it to be such a struggle.  Also, I was afraid of failing once again.  But 9 pounds over 30 days, I’m happy with that and I hope to see it continue.

I’m not affiliated with Whole 30 in any way.  I just wanted to share my experience with you and share a bit of embroidery inspiration.

Make it a great day friends and let’s treat our bodies well.


be creative daily and live life beautifully

And if you would like to read more about my struggle with weight loss you can read it HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.  You are not alone.

Start of the CPAP Machine – Healthy Living Series

Start of the CPAP Machine – Healthy Living Series

Dear Friends,

I finally received my CPAP machine a week ago.  It seems like a long time in getting here and it has been months since my atrial fibrillation episode.

Perhaps I’m giving this machine too much credit but I have hopes it will solve many of my problems.  I still have the very rare occasion of what I call my heart popping, which I know are PVC’s and my heart skips a beat.  I’m hoping this machine will completely eliminate this.  Of course I hope it eliminates my sleep apnea.  It was recorded I would have 33 episodes an hour which seems insane to me.  Normal is less than 5.  After one week of use, each day it has recorded 2 or less episodes per hour!  I’m hoping that with improved sleep my blood pressure will improve and that I will have improved weight loss because of having more energy during the day.

So speaking of weight loss.  I’m exactly where I was when I started.  I went on vacation for two weeks and it put me right back at ground zero.  Sigh.  Since Katie has moved back home she has literally twisted my arm to go to the gym.  I’ve whined like a little child about going, but I’ve gone four times this past week.  I’m not overdoing it because of fear of my heart, but I’m at least moving my body.  I’m walking just under two miles on the treadmill at 3.5 miles an hour and doing a few strength exercises.  Today at the gym I was lucky enough to see a full length side view of me. (not)  It is down right disgusting and depressing.  Why is it that I have wanted to lose weight for so long that I’m not willing to fight tooth and nail for it?  I just don’t understand myself.  I try.  I keep on trying.  I will not stop trying.

Today is a new day.  Every minute is a new minute.  Every minute is a chance to make a decision to move forward, or backward.  Here is to moving forward with good health.

Wishing all of you the best of health today.


be creative daily and live life beautifully

Clean Eating and My Definition of It

Clean Eating and My Definition of It

Embroidery It Healthy Living Series 3Down 4 pounds!

Dear Friends,

One thing I’m trying hard to do with healthy living is clean eating.  But wow, there are so many different ideas as to what clean eating is.  Some say no wheat or grain, some say no dairy, some say no meat.  Makes my head spin.  There are more books on clean eating than you can shake a stick at.

One thing I’ve learned in my life is that most everything should be in moderation.  Any time we swing the pendulum to one extreme or the other we are usually asking for problems.  Of course there are exceptions to this.

My definition of clean eating is that if it came from God, then it is good for me.  I’m all about fruits and vegetables and trying to get more of them in my diet and to make them the majority of what is on my plate.  I’m also for meat and dairy products.  Finally I am for healthy carbohydrates but in moderation.  No more of the food pyramid where we have been encouraged to eat 6 to 11 servings of grains.  I’m personally limiting myself to one serving of a healthy carbohydrate a day.  I’m also ok with healthy fats and oils but again sparingly or in moderation.

I’m also ok with one cup of coffee a day and stevia as a sweetener in it.  Limiting myself to 1 cup, not 1/2 pot due to the atrial fibrillation.  Yep, that was me.

I’m ok if my food is not organic.  Costco sells quite a bit of organic fruits and vegetables and many times all they offer of a certain food is organic which is fine.  I’m just not going out of my way to buy only organic or free range or all those other ‘supposed to be good for me’ foods at twice the price.

What I’m not ok with is sweets.  This is an addiction of mine.  I’m telling myself I can have one desert a week.  Not one after every meal which I had been having.  And if that one a week fires up my sweet tooth, I may have to consider eliminating it completely.

I’m not ok with processed or pre-made food with the exception of condiments.  I’m not going to the trouble to make my own ketchup, mayonnaise, or barbeque sauce as an example.  I am, however, making my own Thousand Island salad dressing.  Recipe below as it is easy peasy.  I’m also personally ok with milk, yogurt, cheese and butter in moderation.

I’m not ok with deep fried anything.  I love French fries so this is another tough one.  Boy-oh-boy my eating habits were just out of control.

I think we all need to look at what works best for our own bodies and take that into account when deciding what we will or won’t put on our plate.

And here is my Country Style Thousand Island Recipe I told you about.  Just click on the picture to enlarge and then print it out to add to your recipe box.

Thousand Island DressingMake healthy choices friends.


be creative daily and live life beautifully



Live Life Beautifully – Healthy Living Series

Live Life Beautifully – Healthy Living Series

Dear Friends,

It has been quite some time since I have updated you on my health.  When it comes to doctors, sometimes it can be a very slow process.  As you recall, a few months ago, February 10th, I went to the ER and my heart was in atrial fibrillation.  They shocked my heart to get it back in a normal rhythm.  You can read about it HERE if you are interested.  I think/hope that things are finally coming to a conclusion here.

Since that time I had an echocardiogram and a stress test.  Both of which came back normal.  Thank you Jesus for that.  In fact the cardiologist says my heart is fine.  I still on occasion feel my heart ‘pop’ which I know to be a PVC because I watched it on an EKG so I know what that feeling is related to.  The doctor is not concerned about the ‘popping’ and it has been occurring less and less.  Again, thank you precious Jesus.

What I have been tested for lately is sleep apnea.  I go in for another sleep study on the 26th of this month and they are going to fit me for a CPAP machine.  Over 50% of people who have atrial fibrillation have sleep apnea and I am one of them.  I’m actually looking forward to getting the machine because having the atrial fibrillation was so scary and I NEVER want to go through that again.  I’m just praying now that the CPAP machine will forever solve the problem.

Friends.  I heard this phrase and it has truly struck a chord with me.  “We are not living longer, we are dying longer.”  I am not in bad health, but I’m certainly not in excellent health either.  I haven’t been to the gym since this heart episode and I still eat some foods that are unhealthy and you know I struggle with my weight.  I’m at the point I would love to lose 30 pounds.  You may remember reading in the past I wanted to lose 25 pounds.  Now look at me.

Since hearing that phrase, “we are not living longer, we are dying longer,” I have had a change of mindset.  I will be posting here at least weekly about my journey to better health.  My posting here is not to bore you, as is a form of accountability for me.  I also hope I may serve as an inspiration to some of you.

I finish off most of my blog posts with “be creative daily and live life beautifully.”  Well, caring for ourselves with healthy habits is most certainly one way to live life beautifully.  If you are on a journey of improving your health, I’d love to hear your story.

I raise my water glass with a toast, “Here’s to living longer.”



be creative daily and live life beautifully


Morning at the Gym – Afternoon in the ER

Dear Friends,

What a day yesterday.  A day that started at the gym and then ended in the ER.

Let me back up by letting those of you who don’t know, I have about 30 extra pounds stuck on me like glue.  Most of which is around my middle which is supposed to be the worst place to carry the extra weight.  I’ve tried a number of different plans to get those stubborn pounds off.  Truth be told, I just like eating.  Plain and simple.

For the last year and a half I’ve been going to the gym 4 to 5 times a week. (Yeah me!)  And I really work out there.  Let it be known I HATE exercise but I know it is important for me and honestly I do feel younger and better each time I go.  I have been working with a trainer and have been going to some of their classes.  (Still not losing weight but I know my health is improving)  Anyway, yesterday I was doing a strength/cardio class and about 20 minutes into the 45 minute class I didn’t feel well.  I’m thinking, don’t throw up and don’t pass out.  I just took it easy the rest of the time and finished off with some stretches.

I came straight home and had lunch thinking my blood sugar was low, hopped in the shower and still didn’t feel well.  I have an automatic blood pressure machine from Walgreens.  (I just went to their website so I could share with you which one I have but they don’t carry that one any longer.  It was around $50)  The machine tells me my blood pressure, heart rate, and usually says I have prehypertension. (I take blood pressure medication)  This time it also said, “an irregular heart rate has been noted.”  It also said my blood pressure and heart rate were both high.  I waited about 5 minutes and took it again.  Same thing.  I still wasn’t feeling well, and just feeling like something wasn’t right.

It was nagging me just enough to give my doctor a call and they said to come on in.  While there they ran an EKG and it showed my heart was in atrial fibrillation.  A Fib for short.  And that I needed to go to the emergency room.  Seriously?  I’m 51 years old.  This isn’t supposed to be happening.  I wasn’t feeling like myself, but I wasn’t feeling THAT bad.  No pain, no dizziness, I just felt like if my body had gears, that the gears weren’t lining up right.  I did drive myself home and Mike came home to get me and take me into the city.

In the emergency room, it still showed I was in A Fib and my blood pressure was up and heart rate was 148.  They started an IV and gave me some IV medication to slow my heart rate which also brought my blood pressure down.  The rhythm of the heart remained abnormal, fluttery like, and didn’t want to straighten itself out.  To correct this, they put me to sleep for about 3 minutes and shocked my heart, called a cardio version.  It worked like magic and my heart resumed beating in a normal rhythm.  I was released and told I could resume all activities but to use moderation.  I’m to take an aspirin daily and the cardiologist they consulted with should contact me today to follow up.

This morning I feel fine, but I’m scared.  I’m just scared that I might do something that will set the A Fib off again and I don’t want to have to deal with all that again.  I keep checking my pulse to see if the rhythm is normal.  I’m not going to the gym today, but if it isn’t insanely cold out I would like to take a walk after the cardiologist calls.

It was a crazy day yesterday for sure.  The doctors and nurses were glad I came in when I did as some people wait longer and then they cannot always do the cardio version which is considered the simple fix.  Today I feel just fine.

I guess the moral of the story is don’t go to the gym any more.  Ha!  Seriously friends, I share this both as documentation for me as well as to encourage each of you to listen to your bodies and don’t put off things when you know deep down something isn’t right.  Get it checked out.  I care about you all and you are loved…by me!

Here’s to a healthy day.


be creative daily and live life beautifully


Starting the Daniel Plan

Daniel Plan

Dear Friends,

I hope you are all doing well this summer.  This morning it is a cool, rainy day here in Michigan but I am hopeful the sun will come out this afternoon.  I’m trying to grab hold of all the summer days we have left as I know it will be only a few short weeks and the beautiful green leaves will be turning bright yellow orange and red.

Now that my travel is over with it is time for me to hit hard back with my weight loss journey.  This past week I’ve been back to the gym every day.  I went to Weight Watchers on Saturday and I am also following the Daniel Plan in conjunction with Weight Watchers.  It is a Christian lifestyle program based on Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus and Friends.

From my original weight, I am only down 8 pounds now.  At one point I was down 14 pounds.  Oh how they can quickly come on when we are out of our routines.  Anyway, now I know I will have a stretch here where I can focus on healthy eating and exercise and I am truly trying to turn some of this into good habits.  Portion control and sweets are both my downfall.

If any of you have tried the Daniel Plan or are using it currently, shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment.  I’d love to hear how you are doing.

Blessings everyone,


be creative daily and live life beautifully

My Weight Loss Journey and Thoughts

Embroidery It My Walk 1

Over this past month, losing weight has been very difficult for me.  On May 16th I was down to my lowest that I had seen in some time.  I could even tell in my face as well as my waistline that I had lost 14 solid pounds.  I was almost half way to my 30 pound weight loss goal.  Then came Tim’s graduation.  We had lots of family visiting us for a week.  The week after that was the week before our vacation so no motivation that week knowing what was ahead.  Then came a week of vacation to a country I’d never visited before and I wanted to experience it all and that included food.  I know I all I just gave you were excuses.

Since May 16th I watch the scale as it slowly crept up.  The day after our vacation I was now up 6 pounds.  Sigh.  I worked so hard for those 14 pounds.

Now that I am home from vacation I’m trying very hard to get back into the groove of things.  Mike and I went to Weight Watchers on Saturday.  I’ve been back to the gym or walk/jogging 3 1/4 miles at home.  Even though I’ve been back to Weight Watchers, I’m finding it difficult to stay on the program.  Afternoons are so difficult for me and I’ve said it before I hate exercise.  I wish I liked it but I just don’t.  The thing is, I think it is probably the most important thing we can do for our bodies.

I’ve been giving this a lot of thought.  You can agree or disagree with me, it is just my own opinion here.  There are so many good things we can do for our bodies.  Things like: eating right, exercise, stop smoking, decrease stress, getting plenty of sleep, and the list goes on.

All these things are important, but I feel like one item on this list trumps all the others by just a smidgen.  That item is exercise.

The reason I think it trumps the rest is because if we exercise, that will help us lose weight.  It will help us get better sleep.  It decreases depression.  It lowers our blood pressure, our cholesterol and in general re-sets our bodies hormones.  It just does so many good things for our bodies.

When I say exercise, what I’m referring to is actually getting my heart rate up.  I think it is that increase in heart rate is what does the re-setting our bodies need and releases all the right chemicals.

I was on the treadmill today.  There is a place on each side of it for me to place a 5 pound hand weight so I use two of those.   I walk for a while.  Then I lift the 10 pounds, 5 in each hand, over my head up and down as I walk.  That gets my heart rate up.  I can do this for about a minute.  Then I just walk for a while.  Next I increase the speed.  Normally up to 5 or 5.5 miles but today I went up to 7 miles an hour!  Woo Hoo!  I can barely do that for a minute.  Then I walk again for a while.  Over the course of 30 minutes I will alternate these things and I get in 3 weight liftings and 3 run/jogs.  That is 6 times during my workout I get my heart rate really up there.  I hate it.

But I feel great when I’ve finished.  And that is why I force myself to do it.  Friends, I just have to learn to like exercise.  I feel like this is the real key to improving my overall health.  Oh how I wish I liked exercise.  What can I do to like it more?

Did you watch America’s Got Talent last week?  Did you see that 96 year old lady dance?  Wowsa!  She looks younger than my parents who are 10 years younger than her.  I bet that lady has moved her body all her life and I want to be like that, vibrant and fully alive till the day God calls me home.

Last year mom got me a Nutribullet for my birthday – Thanks Mom!!  I love that thing and make myself a smoothie most every morning for breakfast.  The recipe is the same each day except that I change out the fruit for whatever I have on hand.

Banana Blueberry Smoothie

Nancy’s Banana Blueberry Smoothie Recipe – Just blend all ingredients together

  • 1/2 Banana
  • 1/2 cup Blueberries
  • 1/2 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats – uncooked
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup fat free milk
  • Ice

I’m so glad I can ramble here on my blog.  Sometimes I just need to get my thoughts out of my head and if you’ve read this far then thanks for reading my friend.

Have a wonderful day everyone.


be creative daily and live life beautifully


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