Whole 30 Start and Setup

We are starting on the Whole30 Challenge; we would love for you to follow us here on the Blog, on YouTube and Instagram for support, inspiration, and information. You can watch the video on starting the: Whole30 Challenge on my YouTube Channel, Embellish Life . The information here is limited by YouTube, for complete details please see the blog post. Thank you so much for supporting me here on YouTube. I appreciate you following, liking and commenting on my videos. Don’t forget my other social media platforms for more and different content.

Here are some of the links mentioned in the video:

Whole 30
Trader Joe’s Whole 30 shopping list
Wired to Eat, Robb Wolf

Weight to Hips Ratio:

      Excellent     Good        Average             At Risk

Male less .85 .85-.89 .90-.95 greater .95
Female less .75 .75-.79 .80-.86 greater .86

Here are our measurements. Our eldest son, Drake, is also doing the Challenge with us.

Measurement and Ratio Chart:

Weight Waists Hips Ratio
Peter 178 lbs. 34” 38” .90
Heidi 167 lbs. 34” 41” .83
Drake 173 lbs. 36” 40” .90

The setup is not that difficult. The thing that is going to be hard is taking out all sugar since sugar is included in all most all pre-mixed foods. We decided to remove all the items that are not allowed during Whole 30; that way we will not be tempted. I think it will also be good for morale if you only have food that is acceptable, we will not feel as deprived or at least that is what I’m hopping. I have enclosed some photos of our fridge after we removed all the “non-appropriate” foods.

Good Fridge with all Whole 30 approved food

Bad Fridge with all food we can’t eat during Whole 30

Pantry Whole 30 approved

I hope you join us in our quest for health, weight loss, detox, and well-being. Follow me here to get updates and information on our Whole 30 Challenge. Instagram is a great place for inspiration and to check out how we are doing. Don’t forget to follow me on YouTube as well, that way you can see the changes and get more personal information on our Whole 30 journey.

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Disclaimer: The content that is shared in these videos and blog are intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. Any advice and/or product(s) mentioned should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your healthcare professional any time you start any new routine, try a new product and/or applying any of the information mentioned in any of Embellish Life’s videos. Please be advised. All products mentioned by any videos produced by Embellish Life have purchased, or given as gifts by personal friends, and family. Should any products be supplied by a vendor or sponsored by a company for profit this will be disclosed either in the video, in the description or both.

Promise List 2015


It is officially 2015 and time for me to make some new promises to myself and send them out into the atmosphere to take hold and grow! I did take a moment to reflect on 2014 and the promises that I made to myself last year, some were completed in style and others were only touched on, addressed all the same so I feel successful in accomplishing all that I set out to. I absolutely have room to improve on some of my last year promises and that may be as simple as rethinking the approach or that I have grown above the original promise and it needs to be restated or discarded all together; that in itself is a success in my book. Anytime you grow or change beyond an original idea or plan you have made a step towards something special 🙂

My promises for 2015 are in celebration of me turning 50 in the latter part of 2014. In light of that monumental achievement, reaching 50 in one piece (more or less, I think I am missing a few pieces and I have a few pieces that are a little wonky; but all and all pretty good 😉 ) I am dedicating 2015 to myself and my Bucket List! Oddly, this is even hard for me to put down on paper. My whole life has been dedicated to others in one way or another, focused on pleasing, helping, supporting, working, and raising someone else. Don’t get me wrong, I did it willingly and without coercion and I enjoy making others happy and their lives better. I think that is why it is difficult for me to even admit that I would like to take time to focus on some things that would just make me happy. Well seriously, I’m 50 and just getting around to it, PLEASE! Peter has been telling me to do it for years now, and I just can’t seem to let go of the guilt of not doing for others. Last year was a big turning point for us with a big move, a lot of changes in our lives with the kids all out of school and in college, and some simple soul searching when it came to the people I thought were close to me. It was due to these big changes that I was able to make the HUGE leap and almost fundamentally change my personality focus from outside to in. I can’t say it has been easy. Just in the past month or so as we have come up on 2015, the thought of not doing what I have always done and just doing me has been exciting but also very scary.

I try to keep my Promise List to around 10 promises for the year. I find it is easier to keep 10 promises to myself. That is just me, less than 10 is even easier and the satisfaction of a job well done might be just the thing to start a new tradition of doing a promise list every year. Then again if you are super motivated or have a bunch of small promises that will be easy to keep maybe a longer list is not such a burden. Promise Lists should never feel like a weight around your neck of tasks that “have to do” but goals and dreams that you are looking forward to achieving and reaching with the completion being the prize! So, with 2015 one day new here are my promises to me:

1. I will not dwell or worry about my weight; I will continue to eat well and exercise and let it just be!
2. I am going to focus my energy on Embellish Life being a profitable entity with passive income (while still helping others. See I still got that in there 😉 )
3. Visit New Orleans.
4. Visit Vermont, preferably in the fall.
5. Visit Nantucket or an East Coast Beach and have fresh Maine Lobster.
6. Visit New York during Christmas to see the tree and a Broadway play.
7. Explore some of the Caribbean Islands.
8. Learn to play Golf.
9. Get better at Tennis.
10. Start dancing Ballet again.

There you go! As easy as that! Have a wonderful 2015 and have fun making all your promises come true!

My Weightloss Saga

flowerIn 2012 I posted about my Challenge to myself to get back to my “fighting weight”.  My goal was to feel like myself again and bottom line to be more healthy, i.e. blood pressure down, cholesterol lower and weight down to take off pressure on my bad knees…  This is my weight loss saga, how I got there and now how I am slowing getting back to where I want to be.

So, what helped me and what did I do?  Well yes, eating right and I did find out that I had IBS and needed to go gluten-free, didn’t lose weight just felt better. Watching my calories did take off a few pounds, I am personally good at 1500 a day.  I love the apps on your phone that help you tract your calories and your activities.  I like My Fitness Pal.  I found that really helped.  I also have had some notable success with the Green Coffee Been Extract that Doctor Oz talked about on his TV show.  Here is the link to that segment and all the information on the amount of extract you should have in the supplement you take, Dr Oz, Green Coffee Bean.  Dr. Oz does not recommend any one brand but does recommend doses and lists those on his official site.  He also warns not to believe any site that says he is recommending their product because he doesn’t endorse any product.  I found a Green Coffee Bean Extract supplement at my local compounding pharmacy that also has 5-HTP and Glucomannan two supplements that I was already taking that are good for energy, joints and mood.  I choose that brand because it had the doses that Dr. Oz recommended and it also had the additional products I was already taking so that allowed me to take 2 less pills.

The results I gained from taking the supplement was a loss of about 5 pounds initially.  I have subsequently loss 20 pounds but it has not been only due to the green coffee bean so I don’t want anyone to have false hope that you could lose 20 pounds from it.  I don’t know maybe you could, if you combined exercise and a smart diet with it.  I suffer from Migraines and my neurologist switched my medicine to Topamax which is one of the components in the new weight loss drugs, Qsymia, that the FDA just approved that should be available in early 2013.  It is my guess that since weight loss is a side effect of Topamax that when I switch my migraine medication to Topamax and I saw my weight loss jump start to the fast tract, it was the Topamax that facilitated that.  That is not to take away from the first 5 pounds I lost with the Green Coffee Bean Extract, before I made the medication switch, I just want to be accurate on when and how I lost my weight.

I also want to add, I have not ever tried Qsymia, I am taking migraine medication that has one of the components of Qsymia (Topamax) and it has weight loss as a side effect. I am sure this is one of the reasons that they are using Topamax in Qsymia.  I also want to mention that it does work really well for about 15 to 20% of your body weight loss and for me that was about 20 pounds.  Now I have slowed down in my rapid weight loss with no exercise and little diet.  If I want to continue to lose weight I am going to have to do what everyone else has to do; I will have to eat a well-balanced diet and keep active.  The one nice thing about both the Green Coffee Extract and what I have experienced with Topamax, and can then assume the same will hold true with Qsymia, is that for those of us that seem to be struggling with stubborn weight loss this kick starts that and really motivates you to keep going.  Well, the Green Coffee Been seems to help lessen the effort needed to see results. It also really helps with appetite suppression. I also get an even bigger result from my healthy eating and increased activity now that I am taking Topamax; so again, I would imagine that if you are a candidate to take Qsymia you would also find it helpful.

I don’t think any diet medication or supplement is a “magic cure” for weight loss.  I think that the only true fix for being overweight is lifestyle change.  I think finding an eating/exercise and size that works for you is probably one of if not the most personal plan anyone can ever have.  What keeps your body at its ideal weight, your mind at its happy place, your organs at their health state, and your physique at its best shape is different for every person.  It always dumbfounds me why doctors just don’t seem to get that and always want to lump us into averages and groups like little sheep.  I get there has to be a “general norm” for a starting point; but if you are not working and you still fall into the “norm” then it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that is clearly not your “norm” and something is wrong!  But more times than not, it seems to me, doctors are clearly far below the genius level, because they don’t get it, and they pat you on the head, send you on your way, and tell you that you are just find…   Then 3 years, 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 hours later you are rushed to the ER with a catastrophic issue stemming from that same concern you had and they come in with a big dumb look on their face and an apologetic “Ooops”.

OK, I digress, you can tell I have issues with doctors that run a lot deeper than them passing my rapid 60 pound weight gain as an unfortunate side effect of my medical issues that they couldn’t seem to reverse and since I “looked OK” in their minds they didn’t care to figure it out.  Even after high blood pressure, serious knee issues, starting of heart disease (family history), and all my other medical issues that brought on the weight gain, none of them thought to focus on helping me loose except to say eat less and exercise.  I was eating 900 calories a day and working out 6 days a week for 2 to 3 hours a day and still not losing and they still didn’t think anything was wrong???  I was 42 when it started and 47 when it started to change back.  The entire time I told every last doctor I had I thought it was chemical, my hormones.  They said I was nowhere near Menopause that I was too regular and I guess structurally very fertile but if you ask me, I still, to this day, think I was out of whack metabolically.  All my life I had been very slender, around 120 pounds and just under 5’ 8” tall; my entire family is slender.  In a very short period of time, about 6 months, with no lifestyle change, I gained 60 pounds.  Even after they put me on thyroid medication I never lost a pound.  Then as suddenly as it came on, about midway into my 47th year I started to lose, with the help of the Green Coffee Bean Extract and Topamax, I also started to feel like myself again.  Can’t really explain it other than; I was back, more alert, more energy, more alive, if that makes sense?

I still have 20 to 30 pounds to lose.  I am really going more by the way I feel and how I fit in my clothes more than my weight because that seems to have redistributed now that I am older.  I weigh more but I still fit into the size I want to and look the way I want to so I really am not going to get hung up on “how much I weigh” and focus more on how I feel and how I look.  If my muscle mass is good, blood pressure is low and I am fit I really don’t care if I weigh 140 pounds instead of my normal 123 pounds of the first 42 years of my life.  It’s just a number, right!  Just like your age it is all about how you feel and how you act.  If I look awesome at 48 and weigh 140 pounds then I will celebrate that and be happy that I am healthy and doing all the right things to keep myself that way.  So, that is my story; not the worst weight loss story in the world but it sure was a long one and it is mine.