Cholesterol and Heart Disease

Cholesterol is a type of fat.  It can build up in arteries causing decreased blood flow to the heart.  Cholesterol is found in highest amounts, in dairy products, meat, and eggs.  I can remember the days of nursing when Cholesterol was the only type of fat discussed.  Now there is Trigylcerides, LDL, HDL, etc.   Saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and on and on it goes.  So do we need any Cholesterol, or should it just be removed from all diets?  Actually, like any other nutrition item, Cholesterol plays a very important part of the normal function of a human body.  Cholesterol helps the body build new cells.  Well that sounds pretty important.  Cholesterol also insulates nerves, and helps produce hormones.  Again, two very important functions to the human body.  We need Cholesterol.  We just don’t need too much of it.

So, now comes the blah, blah, part.  You should be having your Cholesterol checked every single year starting in your teens.  Even though a lot of high Cholesterol comes from foods we consume, for some people it can be hereditary.  Even the most fit people, with excellent diets can have high Cholesterol due to Genetics.  I am not a fan of Statins, they have a high risk of damaging the liver, but if I needed one I would  take one.  Exercise, controlling blood pressure, and following a low fat and high fiber diet, can help lower Cholesterol levels.  Oatmeal is a great way to increase fiber in your diet. If you really like eggs, for your morning meal, the egg yolk is where all the Cholesterol is.  So, egg whites are a better option, and only have one or two whole eggs a week, if that.   I have switched to egg whites, because the egg yolk is also where all the Phosphorous is.  Make sure you get actual egg whites, not made from egg white substance.  I don’t even know what that means, egg white substance.   Even if you were to decide to try other options, before a Statin, you would need to do it under the care of a doctor.  This is not something to mess with.

An optimal Cholesterol level is 200 or below, but I can promise you if you are sneaking around 190, or so, the doctor is going to start the blah blah part.  You can’t live without your heart, and one heart attack can be very debilitating, if it doesn’t kill you.

Take care of yourself, and if you need a Health Coach to help you meet your goals, along with your doctor, contact me for a free meet and greet.  Don’t forget about my 2 new programs, Walking Buddy, and Medication Reminders.


March Calendar and Special


Medication Reminders

So, I was looking at some work from home job websites, and I saw a job posting for a Medication Reminder.  I was curious, as I was not sure what exactly that was, but new with pure confidence it was something I was qualified for.  So, I went to the website and in the requirements it stated you absolutely can NOT be a nurse, or other medical professional.  What?  But, it did get me thinking.  I am adding medication reminders to the options available to clients.  It is a stand alone option, and would be under Add Ons, which is $50 per month.  You will still need to use the contact button, at the top of this blog to message me, and request a free meet and greet to discuss medication reminders.  Anytime you message me for a free meet and greet, please mention what it is you are looking to accomplish, like medication reminders, walking buddy, monthly plan, etc.  I surely can help you, or your loved one remember to take medications on time.


March Calendar and Special


Memory Care Learn A New Word A Week: Bowdlerize

Isn’t that a fancy sounding word?  Say it ten times fast, lol.  I can’t do it.  The word for this week is Bowdlerize.  You should be keeping your words in some kind of a journal. I use Google docs as an online journal.  Make sure you look up the definition, write the word and the definition 10 times each, then say out loud the word and the definition 10 times each.  Then go over all the previous words.  Try to quiz yourself to see if you are remembering them.  If you are not remembering them, try using them in a sentence, and saying them all out loud, again, with the definition.  The more you see it, say it, and write it out, the better the chances of remembering them.  You can study them as often as you like.  Try making a song, or synonyms for the words.  It can be fun!

Remember if you want to work on your Memory skills, use the contact button, or my email address above, to arrange a free meet and greet.  There is no obligation, and if you don’t like what I say you owe nothing.


March Calendar and Special Offer


March Calendar, and March Special

First let me tell you about the March special.  You still can take advantage of the February special, until the 28th, which is 10% off the monthly plan.  You can see all the available plans below, and prices.  You can message me at any time to learn what each package entails.  For the month of March, this can not be combined with the February special, but you buy one 30 day plan, and you get the next month 50% off.  With warmer weather on the way, I will be revving up the Walking Buddy plan.  Once it gets too hot here in Florida, I will have to scale that plan back to be only indoor walking.  Watch for specials starting in April.  Walking Buddy plan is done over the phone, or Skype if allowable.  Use the calendar to decide on a date for a free meet and greet, and then message me.  I am only accepting 4 clients per month.  If you have health goals, or lifestyle goals you would like to meet, then give me a try.










Meet and Greet w/Assessment 1 free 0
Health Buddy Basic- 30 days $75
Health Buddy Moderate- 90 days
Add Ons- 30 days
Walking Buddy- 30 days

March Calendar

March 1-  Full

March 2-  Can  do meet and greet

March 3-  Can do meet and greet

March 4-  open

March 5-  Full

March 6-  open

March 7- open

March 8-  full

March 9-  full

March 10-  full

March 11-  open

March 12-  open

March 13-  full

March 14-  open

March 15- full

March 16-  full

March 17-  full

March 18-  open

March 19-  full

March 20-  open

March 21-  open

March 22-  open

March 23-  full

March 24-  full

March 25-  open

March 26-  open

March 27-  full

March 28-  open

March 29-  full

March 30-  can do meet and greet

March 31-  can do meet and greet



Foodie Friday: Calcium

Welcome to Foodie Friday!  This week I am concentration on Calcium, especially as related to CKD.  If you read this blog then you already know I do not eat dairy, or very little to none. If I had to guess I eat dairy maybe twice a month.   I never could find a milk substitute that I like either.  About a year ago, my kidney doctor found out I was taking a Vit D 3 supplement, that also had Calcium in it.  I did it that way because most vitamins upset my stomach, and Vit D 3 was no different.  But, taken with Calcium in it, no stomach issues.  He said I was putting myself at risk for Cardiac Disease because Calcium is excreted in the kidneys, and can easily build up in the arteries.    I told him I understood that, but I do not eat dairy so feel like I need to get some Calcium from somewhere.  He did not agree, so I stopped taking and just took the Vit D 3.  Since that time, I have had two mild bone related injuries.  Since I do not want Osteoporosis, but I don’t want Cardiac Disease either,  I did some research on how much someone with stage 3 CKD should be consuming.

1000 mg is the recommended amount, whether you have CKD or not. My Calcium levels are normal, so that is good.  Women over 50 are advised to get 1200 mg.  I will stick with 1000 mg for my own personal self.   Apparently Calcium is a pretty complicated mineral, and little studies have been done on the issue, go figure.  I can tell you on a plant based diet, without dairy, there is no way I am consuming 1000 mg of Calcium per day, maybe half that if I am lucky, and I mean lucky.  So, now I have to start paying attention to how much I am consuming.  According to one website Calcium is very often in DV percents on food labels.  So, if the label says the amount per serving is 30% of the DV, then you are consuming 300 mg per serving.  Calcium is not just for bones, though mostly that is true, it also aids in blood clotting, and aids in muscle contraction, including the heart.

So, besides dairy which foods are rich in Calcium?  Oranges, believe it or not, are very high in Calcium.  Spinach, and other leafy green veggies.  Crucifers, so Cabbage, Cauliflower, and Broccoli.  Bok Choy, Soybeans, White Beans, some fish which I don’t eat either, and a lot of cereals and juices are fortified with Calcium.  I did recently start wanting cereal for breakfast, especially on the 2 days I work out of the home.  So, I found a healthy almond cereal, almonds are also rich in Calcium, and believe it or not Great Value Almond Milk Vanilla Flavor, I really like, and it tastes great on the cereal.  I can’t ever see just drinking it out of a glass, but on almond cereal it is good.  1 cup of the milk has 35% of DV of Calcium.  So, that would be right around 300mg per cup.  I drink a lot of smoothies, so I will start using the Almond Milk in my smoothies.  If I find I am having a hard time getting enough Calcium in my plant based diet, I will start eating the cereal with Almond Milk every morning.  This weekend I will be putting out my calendar availability for March, for client sign ups.  I will also be starting a new special for March.  You can still take advantage of the February deal, 10% off the one month plan, for all new clients.



Love Your Heart: Stress and Hypertension

So, this is the third week of Love Your Heart month.  Heart health, and awareness should be at the top of your list.  For people with CKD, believe it or not Cardiac Disease is the top killer.  I put Stress, and Hypertension together in one post, because they very much go hand in hand.  I won’t go into all the specifics about stress, but I will share an article that you can read for more specifics.

Stress is a very broad term, and anything can be a stressor.  A stressor is the thing that causes the stress response in the body.  The very top things that cause stress are everyday life matters such as money, marriage, work, illness, family, etc.  For men, and Type A personalities, stress can be especially deadly on the heart.  The report, that I will share, states that men who have 3 stressful life events are more likely to die from a Heart Attack.  If you add smoking, HTN, and high cholesterol to the stress mix, and you have a heart disaster in the making.  Plus we all respond differently to stress, and some stress is a good thing, especially if it makes you make real and positive changes in your life.  I am a type A personality, and over the years I have had to learn to say No, know my limits, and not allow my personality to destroy my health.  My job is extremely stressful, I work 2 days a week in a Assisted Living Facility with Memory Care.  I was just offered a promotion, and had the where with all to turn it down, as much as my Type A personality was screaming at me to do it.  Knowing my limits allowed me to say no to something I know deep down will not be good for me.  These are not things that come naturally, but are things you can teach yourself, as I did.  It took many years, being a mother, and a nurse to make me see that my own personality was not helping me.  That doesn’t mean Type B personalities don’t have stress, that is not true.  We all have stress, it is how we cope with it that makes the difference.  If you have no coping skills, other than anger, hostility, or self hate, then you don’t have good coping skills, and you need to train your brain to have some.  Mindfulness is the first step to reducing all stress.

So, how does stress relate to  HTN?  When you are stressed, remember there are many different types of stress, the body produces a rush of hormones in response to the stressor.  These hormones cause your heart to beat faster, and  your blood vessels to constrict, that causes a short term rise in blood pressure.  Hypertension, or HTN is a long term, or chronic, rise in blood pressure.  Studies have shown that stress, that is not dealt with, or allowed to build up over long periods of time, lead to chronic HTN.  HTN is one of the leading risk factors for Cardiac Disease.  So, learning to deal with stress, along with other health choices, such as diet, exercise, and cessation of smoking, can all lead to a healthier heart.  For some people the only risk factor they have is stress.

If you would like to learn ways to cope with stress, use the contact button, or my email address, at the top of the home page, to message me for a free meet and greet.


Read more about stress here.

Health Buddy Melissa


Wisdom On Wednesday: What Is A Diamond?

Updated 2/27/2022

Welcome to Wisdom on Wednesday.   I used to collect gemstones, and make jewelry.  I have arthritis in my fingers, so I don’t make jewelry anymore, but I do still have some gemstones left.  They are fun to look at and learn about.  When my kids were young we would make a whole day of looking at my loose gems and trying to identify what they were.  But, think of the quote below.  Something as bleh as a piece of charcoal is put under tremendous stress, and pressure turns into a diamond.  How you handle stress and pressure will make a huge difference in the outcome of any events in your life.

I would love to be your Health Coach. If you have goals to decrease your stress or learn to handle stress better, use the contact form at the end of this post to send me an email for a free consultation.



Memory Care Learn A New Word A Week Challenge: Bellicose

Happy President’s Day.  If you live outside the USA, then happy Monday!  We had no homeschool lessons today, as it is President’s Day, but I did get a ton of stuff done.  Gardening, yard work, and cleaning the back porch.  Our dogs hang out there a lot, and they are super messy.  I love gardening!  Watching things grow, and change day by day.  It is just so cool!  Do you garden?  It is almost Spring, so time to start thinking about it, and walking.  Here in FL we can walk all year.  Don’t forget to ask me about my Walking Buddy program.  I will walk with your, right over your phone.

So, now for the word of the week, bellicose.  Once you look up the meaning of this word I am sure you can name one person it would describe, at least.  Look it up, write it down 10 times, say it 10 times, and then use it in a sentence.  Go over all the previous words as well, to help them get stuck in your memory.  Now that we are quite a few weeks in try testing yourself to see how much you remember.  If you are new to this blog, find all the previous words in the archives.  Remember if you follow this blog you will get all new posts sent right to your email.  If you need to learn other ways, or need help with your memory, message me for a free meet and greet.  All monthly plans in February are 10% off, for new customers.



Fitbit vs Samsung Health and Other Updates

Update time!  This blog now has 18 followers, woot woot.  I am hoping to have at least 100 by the end of the year, and at least 1 customer.  I still have to upgrade the blog, and do some more SEO, and advertising.  All that comes with time.  This Thursday’s post will be on Stress and Cardiac Disease.  March is Kidney Awareness month, so you can probably guess what my scheduled posts will be about.  I sent my first advocacy letter, yesterday, for the National Kidney Foundation.  Keep reading to get my thoughts on Fitbit, Samsung Health, Carb Cycling, and Plant Based Diets.  I am up to 8,000 steps per day, with a goal of 10,000.

First the Fitbit vs Samsung Health App.  My husband got me a Fitbit for Valentine’s Day.  This was unexpected, but he has heard me complain that the Samsung Health app, on my phone was not counting all my steps, and boy was that an understatement.

Fitbit:  The Fitbit is a watch that you wear on your wrist.  I can almost fit it on my ankle, which would be useful.  Why, because when you are for example walking through the grocery store, it is not counting your steps, because you are pushing a shopping cart.  Your arm must be swinging when walking in order for it to count the steps.  That is con number one.  Con number two is the heart rate feature.  I am a nurse, so of course I know how to count my pulse.  The Fitbit gets the resting heart rate correct, but the second I start to walk, or exercise, at a good clips, it shoots up well into the 100’s.  I check my heart rate to compare, as this is alarming to me, and it is way, way off.  So, that feature is useless.  It also does not seem to count my Fitness Walking as exercise, so again that feature is not helpful.  The time, and date is nice, but for a nurse there is no second hand to count pulse or resp, so I have to wear two watches when I work.  Again, not really helpful.  I do love it for accurately counting my steps, when my arm is able to swing.  It is modern looking, and comfortable to wear.  I do wish it was waterproof.

Samsung Health App:  Before I got the Fitbit, I used the Samsung Health app on my phone.  It is a great little app.  It however does not accurately count my steps.  It was off by 3000 steps the day the phone was in my pocket at work.  That is a huge discrepancy.  It also means you constantly have to have the phone in your pocket, or otherwise on your person.  For some people I am sure that is OK, for me it is a pain.  I very often forget to have it with me.  It is better at keeping track of my fitness minutes, as the Fitbit did not count my Fitness Walking as exercise time.  So, between the two I might get an accurate account of my day.

Carb Cycling Diet:  If you read this blog, then you know I tried the Carb Cycling.  Carb Cycling is alternating between low carb days, and normal carb days.  For me, I did not go under 50 carbs per day, on low carb days.  At first I felt good, and even lost a few pounds.  But, after 3 days, or so, the extra protein, fat, and phosphorus started to make me feel not so good.  Now, maybe that was psychological, but I also put the weight back on, which is obviously not a goal.  Carb Cycling did not work for me, and is quite expensive to stick with.

Plant Based Diet:  You can probably guess what kind of diet this is.  It is plant based, with little to no meat, or dairy.  Organic, no GMO, and avoiding processed foods is a must.  Whole Plant Based means you absolutely only eat foods from plants, and no oils, butter, or processed foods.  That will never be me.  With CKD, I have to be sure and get enough Iron, and Protein.  Plus, a plant based diet is very low in sodium, which is good.  But, the body needs sodium to function properly.  I think I was not getting enough on this diet, and was starting to show some symptoms of Hyponatremia.  So, I had to add some table salt to my food, normally a no no for CKD.  The headaches I was experiencing went away very quickly after adding some salt to my food.  So, while plant based is probably the healthiest and best option, for all humans, you still have to be mindful of all nutrients you are consuming, and symptoms of possibly not getting enough.  Full disclosure I will never give up real butter, Olive Oil, Mayonnaise, or real cheese should I want it.  I eat organic, Omega 3 eggs at least a couple times a week.  I have a sensitivity to Soy, so that is not an option for me, including Tofu.

Message me if you would like to work with me to learn how to meet your diet goals.



Foodie Friday, on Saturday

Well you know how it goes.  Friday was a crazy day, and I didn’t even turn my computer on. I do check my emails for any potential meet and greets, but that is on my phone.  So, for this week, Foodie Friday, is on Saturday.  Today I will talk about nutrition and Cardiac Disease, plus how it effects people with CKD.  Always, remember to check my disclaimer page, and remember for February you get 10% off the monthly health coach plan.  Use the contact button to message me for a free meet and greet.  Tomorrow will be an update day.

So, for me the two most important things that have to do with nutrition and Cardiac Disease, is sodium intake and fat intake.  If you have CKD, you should already be following a 2G or low sodium diet.  A 2G sodium diet is equivalent to 2,000 mg per day, and trust me that is not a lot.  I will update tomorrow on the specifics, but I have found the best way to stick to a 2G sodium diet, is following a plant based diet.  There are variations to it, including the DASH diet, Inflammation Diet, and the Whole Plant Based Diet.  I am sure there are others, but those are the ones I am familiar with.  For me, I am somewhere in between all of them.  I don’t know if I well ever be WPB because I do not intend to give up oil, butter, or real mayonnaise.  Plus, I get my Omega 3’s from eggs from chickens fed Omega 3’s.  That is because I absolutely hate fish, and fish oils makes me so bloated and gassy I could die.  I do not eat a lot of eggs, anyhow, or butter, or mayo, so I think I am good with that.  Plant based means you eat most, or all of food that comes from plants.  Fruits, veggies, whole grains, pasta, beans, nuts, and seeds.  It is generally low in sodium, unless you are buying canned.  If you must buy canned, go for organic, they are generally lower in sodium, or frozen if you can’t buy fresh.  I prefer frozen , or fresh, except for beans.  I have no patience for making baked beans.  For CKD be careful of potassium levels, and sugar for Diabetes.  It is kind of a pain, and can take forever in the grocery store, checking all those labels, but once you learn your favorites, and best options for you, then you will know what to get.  Protein should not be an issue if you have CKD, because like for me stage 3, 50G of protein is what I should be getting.  That is not hard to obtain.  However, if you don’t have CKD, but do have Cardiac Disease, be sure and ask your doctor how much protein your body needs.  We are all different.  You may need more protein if you have any kind of a healing wound.  So, again a doctor can refer you to a Dietitian.

Your body absolutely needs some fats.  According to my research, people with Cardiac Disease, or trying to stay heart healthy, should consume no more than 78 grams of fat per day, and those should be the unsaturated, not saturated kind.  Again, getting used to reading labels.  For me, because I love continuity, I will stick with 50 grams of fat for me, as with protein.  If you have CKD, remember that pre packaged foods labeled low fat, except for part skim dairy products, something else has to replace the fat that is removed.  Very often what is put in is phosphorus based preservatives.  This is a no, no if  you have CKD.  It is much better to calculate the fat in a serving, and then eat only enough fat to stay in your limit.  I was asked my the National Kidney Foundation to do my first advocate assignment, writing to our new Congress members about my kidney story.  One of the things I will emphasize is the need for Phosphorus amounts per serving to be on all food labels.  I will be working on that today.  Wish me luck!  Learn about fats, and the different kinds of fats.  If you need assistance with this, or need help reading a food label. I can help.  Message me for a free meet and greet.  My last post, for February will be on Cholesterol, a very special fat, especially dangerous for heart disease.  Don’t forget to check the archives for my post on exercise to help prevent Cardiac Disease, and my new Walking Buddy program.  Nicer weather is coming, time to start planning to walk.

So, for tomorrow updates, I will discuss the Carb Cycling diet plan, vs the Plant Based diet plan.  Plus, my husband got me a Fitbit for Valentine’s Day, and I will compare that with my Samsung Health app.  My March calendar, and the special for March will be posted with the next week or so.