We are in Hurricane Watch Mode

So, as of this morning, if the system stays on the path it is currently on, we will be dealing with a category 3 hurricane by early Monday.   As of this time, I am suspending the September group sleep session.  Since I only had a few people ask about it, and no sign ups, no refunds are required.  I may post updates, but no new posts until we are cleared from possible evacuation, or staying in place.

Move Your Goals on Monday, Merry Monday, and National Pet Day

Did you make any goals last week?  How did you do?  Here are my results for goals set last Monday.  I did not complete 2 of them:  Go to the library to test my laptop compatibility with their equipment, and no cheating on my meal plan.  That last one is a stinker.

Goals for this week:

9500 steps per day, for 7 days.

Aerobics at least 5 days a week for 30 minutes, and 2 days of weight training.

Stick to my meal plans at least 5 days, allow 2 days to cheat.

I probably will not have time for the library goal until next week.   So, I will postpone that one.

I finished the Guided Imagery class, and it was so much fun.  I will be making that part of my plans offered within the next week.  I have one voice recording, ready for Better Sleep, for anyone who signs up for the Better Sleep monthly group session.  It will be available for purchase, after that session has ended, or if no one signs up.  I will provide views of my certificates to anyone who purchases a plan, and has a need to see it.  I will be changing the monthly group session, to a monthly support group for Chronic Illness.  The Better Sleep topic is all ready, so I will keep that one for the month of September.  When I update the Guided Imagery plan, I will update the monthly group session plan, also.

We are watching the tropics for a possible system approaching this weekend.  This may knock me out of electricity, and we may have to even possibly evacuate.  At this point it looks like a Tropical Storm, not a Hurricane, but they can be problematic in their own right.

Continue to work on the Herbalism class.  This is such a cool, and complicated class.

Keep the pool clean.  That is a given.

Next Tuesday, my daughter starts back to homeschooling.  So, this week I have to be sure all lesson plans are ready to go.  I can’t really avoid this goal, lol.

Monitor BP every day, alternating arms each day.

Did you know today is National Pet Day?  I love my pets.  They bring us so much joy, and sometimes stress, like when a hurricane is coming.  On my Health Buddy Melissa Facebook page, I will be inviting people to share pics of their pets for National Pet Day.  Why not head over there, and share pics of your pet?  That is the Merry Monday topic, for this week.  Come have some fun!  If you want to sign up for the Better Sleep, group sessions, please use the contact form below to message me.  You still have plenty of time to join.  The first session begins Wed Sept 4th.


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Do you know what’s in your sweat?

Updated 2/7/2021 OK, so I am going to keep this simple, because there is so much more to what is in sweat, and who sweats what. Some people sweat way more than other people, some without even trying hard.   However, as a basic information tool, here is a question.  Do you know what is in sweat?  I think most people assume when they sweat they are losing large amounts of Electrolytes.  This is apparently not completely true. The main purpose of sweat is to regulate our body temperatures, and therefore sweating is very important. The short video below is from a deodorant company, but it explains why we sweat in a very simple way. For a longer and more complex explanation of sweat, I promise it is interesting, see the second video. Check out my Walking Buddy Health Plan.

In a very basic way, from least to most this is what sweat is comprised of:  Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, Bicarb, Ammonia, Sulfate, Lactate, Amino Acids, those are all in very , very small amounts.  Sodium, Chloride and Water are the three biggest things contained in sweat.

Now that doesn’t mean go off your Sodium restricted diet, because you sweat, but if you have CKD, like me, you can see where sweating, through moderate exercise, may help aid the kidneys in getting rid of some excess Sodium.  If  you are not having an excess of Sodium, say your blood levels of Sodium are low, than in the reverse you need to talk to your doctor about normalizing your Sodium, and Chloride levels.  Having a low blood Sodium level can be very dangerous, and should not be taken lightly.  Over exercising, or drinking too much water, can cause your Sodium levels to decrease.  That is why it is so important to be aware of your body, any unusual symptoms, and work with your Health Care provider to be sure you are getting the right amount of exercise.  Not too much, and definitely not too little.  If you have kidney disease, you should have your Labs checked at least yearly, and maybe more if needed.  I do mine every 6 months.  When I was first diagnosed I had to go every 2 weeks.  Most Americans consume way too much Sodium, even when trying to restrict the amount in their diet.  However, in other cultures, Sodium is not necessarily increased in the diet.  If you are sedentary, especially with a Chronic Illness, always talk to your doctor about exercise, before you begin.  If you are sweating a lot, you need to maintain hydration, so as not to get dehydrated.

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Learn to Read and Understand Your Labwork

So, as promised my most recent labs are back.  I did have them before I saw the kidney doctor, and primary care doctor, but I wanted to wait and get feedback from them too.

I am basically stable, no ups, no downs.  That is good.  However, my kidney doctor kind of annoyed me because he said my blood Creatinine levels will never improve, they can only get worse.  Now, I have said before how much Negative Nancy’s annoy me, especially when I have proof it is not true.  In January 2018, 1 year after I was diagnosed my Creatinine was 1.13, normal, is 1.10.  That means my kidneys were able to clear most of the Creatinine from my blood.  So, I know he is wrong.  I just have to figure out what I am doing different now.  One thing I can think of, is Summer of 2018 my labs were almost as identical to now.  Since it is so hot here in Florida, I may be sweating out more fluids than I am taking in, and I had my blood drawn after working, and I do not get to drink as much at work.  Hence I may have been dehydrated, which can make Creatinine a smidge higher.  Creatinine is made by muscle use, so increased muscle use can increase Creatinine, not a lot, but a little, and when you have CKD a little is a lot.  So, the fact that I am lifting weights can also explain some of that.  That does not mean I will stop lifting light weights, but I may stop a week before my next lab draw, in 6 months, to see if there is a difference.  I have to be more aware of drinking enough while at work, as well.  Why the big fuss, on my part, if I am basically stable?  Because, when my Creatinine level was 1.13, my kidney functions was 88%, now with my Creatinine at 1.30, my kidney function is 76%.  So, you can see why I would rather have it be as low as it can.  To me, and maybe my kidney doctor does not see it this way, If I can get 1 1/2 kidneys to function at close to 100% that is obviously what I would want.  He did finally explain to me, it only took 2 years, how you figure out how much kidney function you actually have.  If you are like me, and your GFR is 50, then you may assume you have 50% kidney function.  This apparently is incorrect.  You take 100, and divide it by your blood Creatinine level.  So, 100 divided by 1.30 is actually closer to 77%.  The GFR is a filtration rate, estimate.  Everything else on my labs was completely normal.  I had zero protein in my urine, which is awesome.  So, a couple things I can take away from this visit.  1-  I can probably safely increase my protein intake just a little bit, to accommodate the weight training.  I will increase to 65mg per day, and I probably will not venture any higher than that.  If I start noticing signs of protein in my urine, I will cut back down.  He did not order a Vit D level, or an Intact PTH, which also annoyed me, because I eat very little Calcium, and I need to make sure my bones are healthy.

That brings me to my primary care doctor, who did order those for me, but she did say the kidney doctor, if I was going to continue to see him for the kidney, needs to order those things in the future.  I know he did not order them for the next round in 6 months either.  So, I will have to call ahead to see if he wants to add them.  Annoying!  I have to see her again, in November, for Cholesterol and all that stuff.  Cardiac Disease does run in my family, as does Diabetes, and while I do not have either of those, they need to be monitored.  The only other issue, is my BP.  I am exercising 5-6 days a week, and have lost some weight, so the fact that my BP is a little higher than 6 months ago, is a little concerning.  The kidneys regulate BP, and high blood pressure can decrease kidney function.  So, now I am taking BP, daily, rotating arms, and logging it.  For people with kidney disease, a normal BP is 135/85.

I am already tweaking the monthly small group sessions.  I will post about that probably on Saturday.  For now, though, you can still sign up for the Better Sleep group sessions, starting Sept 4th and running all month.  You can read about that here.

If you would like to learn more about reading, and understanding your labs, and then advocating for yourself, use the contact form below to message me about a free meet and greet.

You can see all of my available plans, here.  Don’t forget I am almost done with the Guided Imagery class, and will be able to offer Guided Imagery plans.  I have moved on to the Herbalism class.  So much to learn there.  Wow!




Move Your Goals Monday

What goals are you working on for this week?  I try to set at least 5 goals, per week, other than the basics of everyday life.  I have quite a few weekly goals for this week.

9500 steps per day for 7 days.  Last week I missed 2 days.

Exercise at least 30 minutes 5 days a week.  I have been consistently doing this, it can soon be considered a habit.

Discuss recent labs with kidney doctor and make sure it is OK to keep doing what I am doing.  On this goal, I will most likely be increasing my protein from 45 grams per day to 65 based on my most recent labs.  I think I need to increase fluids, also for these hot sweaty months.

Continue Guided Imagery class.

Continue advertising my group session for September, Better Sleep.  You may want to consider joining that group session.  All 5 spots are still open. It is an easy, and affordable way to get to know me as a Health Coach.

Go to the local library to test my AKF Kidney Coach presentation, to make sure it works with their equipment.  If it does I will set up the first class for September.  If it doesn’t I have some more work to prepare for that.

Stick to my eating plan, no cheating, or at least no cheating more than one time per week.

I have a bunch of crafting, and cleaning goals, but they kind of aren’t as important.

Keep the pool clean.  This one is hard right now because we are getting so much rain every day.

What are your goals for this week?  Leave me a comment.  If you would like to learn more about working with me as your Health Coach, you can use the contact form below, or read about my updated available plans, here.


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Sweating on Sunday: HIIT in the Pool

Updated July 2021 This is an older post from 2019, but the info is still good. Welcome back!  I am so happy to see you here.  I had my labs done for my kidney appt on Tuesday, last week.  I am still waiting for the results to be posted to my account.  I like to view them, and compare them to the previous ones, before seeing the doctor.  The reason I am sharing that on a Sweating on Sunday post is because, I have increased my intensity, and length of exercising.  Exercising with a chronic disease, like CKD, is a tricky balancing act.  On my labs drawn in January, the only abnormal value I had was a very slightly elevated Creatinine level.  Even though it was just a couple tenths of a point high, it still left me at stage 3.  Now, I have said previously that I may not be able to get back to stage 2, though it remains my goal, but I certainly don’t want it to get worse especially from too intense of exercise.  I will share my results when I get them.  I tweak my food, liquid, and exercise routine all according to my lab values.  The number on the scale is way in the back of my mind. You may see affiliate links in this post.

So, what is HIIT?  HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training.  This is not for beginners, especially if you have a chronic illness or are brand new to exercising.  With HIIT you get a period of time where you are working out more intense, and then you get a short break, like 30 seconds, before going back to high intensity.  Even though I have started doing HIIT, I still have to be mindful to keep my heart rate in the moderate intensity range.  As I get more fit, getting into a good calorie burning range becomes more difficult, so I have to alter my workouts.  I never try to get into the Peak heart rate range, as studies show for CKD this may do damage the kidneys.  I like pool exercises because it is so much easier on the joints, and since I loathe lunges, which are really good to do, doing them in the pool makes it less painful to my knees.  But, because I can’t watch the video very well in the pool, it wasn’t very effective.  Then I found this webpage, that walks you through a HIIT pool workout.  I simply have to memorize the circuits, and then do them.  Easy peasy!  LOL, I can’t really say that, because I actually have not tried it yet.  It has rained almost all day for the past 5 days, so I haven’t even been in the pool, and I have to vacuum it first.  So, hopefully I can actually tell you how this went next Sunday.  Have a blessed week, and share your thoughts on this topic.  Use the contact form below to message me with inquiries about any of my Health and Wellness Programs. It is now 2021 and my life has been kind of crazy, so I have not gotten as much done here with updating posts and plans, but I hope it will be calming down by the end of July. I always can make availability for new customers, however, looking to meet their Health and Wellness Goals. I still do these HIIT workouts to this day in my pool and I love them!

If you like to be in the sun like me, you may need some extra moisturizer cream.


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Foodie Friday: Are You Eating For Chronic Disease?

Hi, everyone!  I am so happy to be back to my regular scheduled posting schedule.  I am still debating how I want to move forward with my Foodie Friday topics.  Recipes are great, but there are so many other topics that can come under that heading.  So, I will be mixing it up a little bit each Friday.  I am now up to 88 followers.  My goal was to meet the 100 follower threshold by the end of 2019.  As I continue with my Integrative Therapies classes, I am learning so much about ways to improve Health that have nothing to do with dieting, pills, or extreme exercise.  It seems so much of the Health Coaching world focuses on diets and exercise.  I have said before I hate the word diet.  We all follow a pattern of eating, a diet is so negative.  I am currently studying Guided Imagery, and I can not wait to finish so I can start making some audio Guided Imagery files, for people.  Pain, Stress, Weight Loss, Anxiety, and Sleep  are just some of the things that can be helped with Guided Imagery.  Don’t forget about my Better Sleep live group sessions, starting in just a few weeks.  You still have time to get in!  It will be fun, I promise.  Read about it here.  I am optimistic someone will want to join me in that adventure.

Back to this week’s topic.  Are you eating for a Chronic Disease?  What does that mean?  Basically, are you eating in a way that will increase your chance of getting a Chronic Disease, or already have one and still not eating in a way to help your Chronic Disease.  Maybe you need to learn how to meal prep, especially for busy work or school days.  I know those are my hardest days to stick to my healthy choices.  I am tired, and just want something easy.  So, you might turn to fast food, eating out, frozen meals, canned foods, or other highly processed foods, that are convenient but not very healthy.  Maybe you think you can’t afford healthier food options.  That of course is not true, and I can attest to that as well.  It does take a little more planning, and thought, but it is completely possible.  Maybe you have no clue how to cook.  Cooking can actually be therapeutic in itself, and a complete joy.  I actually very much enjoy cooking, it is the clean up I hate.  I can also attest to the fact in FL, in Summer it is sweaty and stinky, making the thought of cooking daunting.  There are ways around that too.  If any of those things describe you, and you want to work with a Health Coach to help you meet your Chronic Disease goals, use the contact form below to message me.  Your initial meeting is free, and there is no obligation to work with me after the initial meeting.  To see all of my available plans, click here.  



Follow Your Dreams despite your chronic illness

Everyone who lives with a chronic illness knows how hard it is.  Those who are blessed enough can not know, until they have one.  It can be hard to follow your dreams, when you aren’t living with a chronic illness, let alone when you are.  I know what it’s like, and I refuse to let the chronic illness own me, or control me.  I fight everyday to be healthier than I was before I was diagnosed, everyday to learn new things, enjoy life more, plan for my future, and yes live my dreams.  I allow myself at least two days a week to be a kitten.  What I mean by that is a day of just fun, or just relaxation.  Now fun for me, and relaxation are not the same as for others.  I tend to be a doer, so vacuuming the pool is both fun, and relaxing for me.  But, my point is I block out the rest of the things that can cloud my thoughts, and steel my thunder.   There will come a day when my body won’t fight anymore, and then I will have to deal with that, but for now I live another day to dream!

Do you need a health coach to motivate you to fight, and follow your dreams with a chronic illness?  Use the contact form below to contact me, and or, check out my new It’s A New Day plan.

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Updated 7/26/2020 All Available Health Buddy Plans with Prices

Updated 2/7/ 2021 please refer to the new pages for details of the updated plans. All of the current and available plans are now found on this page.  This makes null any other pages with mention of available plans.  This is the page to find all of my available and current plans. All new customers are entitles to the Health Buddy Promotion of the 1 day a week coaching plan for 25 dollars. If you are interested in any of the plans below please email me at melissa@healthbuddymelissa.coach    All plans require a free Meet and Greet unless otherwise stated.  All plans are in US dollars, with Eastern time zone for setting  up meetings.  All plans are prepaid, a contract with return policy, and user agreement will be sent at the conclusion of the free Meet and Greet.  All contracts must be signed, and returned to my email address before official plan can begin.  Always read the Updated Disclaimer.  Use the contact form at the bottom of this post to message me and arrange a free Meet and Greet, or email me at melissa@healthbuddymelissa.coach  There are no obligations for the free Meet and Greet, to purchase any other plan.  All plans, and extras are goal oriented.  You must be willing to work towards your health and wellness goals. The meet and greet allows us to meat and discuss what coaching needs you have.   All plans are currently one on one.  I may do groups in the future but for now, no.  I am a Holistic Health Coach, not a medical advisor.  I do not give medical advice, or even personal advice.  It is my job to coach you to make the changes you decided you want or need to make.  As I am a Holistic Health Coach all of my plans encompass the needs of the whole self.  This may include but are not limited to, exercise, weight management, stress relief, family issues, work, etc.  My hours are flexible at this time.  Any of the Integrative Therapy plans can be incorporated into any of the coaching plans, or they can be purchased individually.  

  1. 1 Day A Week Coaching Plan:  This plan is a 30 day plan.  You will get 1, 30 minute one on one session, with me, per week.  Your 30 minutes can be via email, face to face on video chat, texting, Facebook Messenger etc.   You must do a free Meet and Greet for this plan.  The price for this plan is $75 USD via Paypal, after the free meet and greet.   I am looking at other payment sources as well.  All new customers get this plan for 25 dollars for the first month.  The advertised promotional price is only for the 1 day a week coaching plan.
  2. 2 Days A Week Coaching Plan:  This plan is also a 30 day plan.  You will get 2, 30 minute one on one sessions, with me, per week, via email, text, phone, messenger or video chat.   The price for this plan is $125 per month, in USD, paid via Paypal.  
  3. 3 Days A Week Coaching Plan:  This plan is a 1 month plan.  You will receive 3, 30 minute one on one sessions, with me, per week, via email, phone, messenger, text, or video chat.  The price for this plan  is $250 dollars, USD, paid via Paypal. 
  4. Extras:  1.  Medication Reminders:  Medication reminders require a free Meet and Greet to discuss your needs in this area.  This is either a text or phone call reminder to take medications.  This is a monthly plan and is $50 dollars per month.  Phone calls are limited to 5 minutes in length.  You do not need to purchase one of the monthly plans to purchase this plan. 
  5. Just Text, Call:  This plan is a stand-alone plan, and is paid by each text or call.  These are still goal-oriented, but less intensive,  and require a free Meet and Greet.  The price for this plan is 10 dollars per 15-minute text, 10 dollars for a 15-minute call. This plan is for people who maybe don’t want to commit to a monthly plan but still have health goals they would like to meet.  You still have to make an appointment with me and agree to terms.  This is not a spur of the moment plan. The free meet and greet for this plan is to be sure you are willing to talk about making and meeting goals and not just a social call.
  6. Health Buddy Melissa Logo Items:  You can purchase items with my logo on it, such as journals, notebooks, mugs, tees, etc.  If you are interested in any of those items visit my Redbubble shop, by clicking here.
  7. Guided Imagery Sessions:  I have now finished the class, and created my first Guided Imagery Audio file.  The price for the audio files is 50 US dollars.  They are in MP3 format.  It is your responsibility to be sure you have a way to listen to the file before you purchase it.  You may not share or give the audio file to anyone else.  It is for your personal use, and of course, once purchased you can use it as many times as you like.  So far I have one for Sleep, Quitting Smoking and Stress.   You can purchase them in my Etsy shop or use the contact form below to message me, or email me at melissa@healthbuddymelissa.coach.   Only the basic audio files are available in my shop.  Personal request audio files are tailored to your needs and likes.  The price for those Guided Imagery Audio files is $100 US dollars.  If you want a more personal Guided Imagery session, where I am talking to you live, the price for that option is $150 US dollars per live session.  Except for the first option, a free meet and greet is required.  There are no refunds on Guided Imagery packages.  You must be 18 or older to use any of my Guided Imagery programs.  If you have severe Depression, unresolved Trauma or have had any Psychosis then you will need to seek Guided Imagery through a licensed therapist.
  8. Distance Reiki Sessions:  Reiki is a healing energy Integrative Therapy.  It is meant to balance the body and mind. I am a level 2 Reiki Practitioner.   These do require a free Meet and Greet, and the price for a 20-minute session is $50 dollars.  All details will be discussed at the Meet and Greet. Distance Reiki can be performed on consenting adults, children with parent’s written consent and consent of the child, and even pets.   Use the contact form below to message me about this package, or email me at melissa@healthbuddymelissa.coach  
  9. Essential Oils for Health and Wellbeing:  I have completed the Aromatherapy course, and I can now recommend, not prescribe,  Essential Oils for Health and Wellness.  Essential Oils can be dangerous and need to be used with caution.   A free Meet and Greet is necessary for this package.  This is a 30-day package with communication via email, text, chat video, or phone once a week, for 30 minutes.  The price for this package is $50 dollars, via Paypal in USD.
  10. Mindfulness Package:  Do you want to learn how to be more Mindful, and or use Meditation to help with Health and Wellness issues?  This package requires a free Meet and Greet.  I am finishing up my Mindfulness Practitioner certificate course.    Our sessions will depend on your needs after the meet and greet is completed.  Mindfulness sessions are 30 dollars per 30 minute session, and you can do up to 3 a week.  Payment to be made via Paypal in USD.  If you are interested in Mindfulness use the contact form at the end of this post to message me, or email me at melissa@healthbuddymelissa.coach
  11. Walking Buddy Plan:  This plan incorporates me walking with you, virtually, over the phone.  We can walk outside, or we can walk indoors.  That would be up to you.  Each walk would be 30 minutes.  You decide whether you want 2 days a week, 3 days a week, or 4 days a week.  If you can’t do a 30-minute walk, then we can discuss that too.  So many people don’t walk because they don’t want to walk alone.  Now you don’t have to.  The price for this plan is 2 days a week- $50 dollars per month, 3 days a week- $75 dollars per month and 4 days a week- $125 dollars per month.  A free Meet and Greet is required.  All payments are in USD via Paypal,  If you are interested in this plan use the contact form at the end of the post to message me, or email me at melissa@healthbuddymelissa.coach

Use the contact form below to order any of the plans listed above, and arrange a free Meet and Greet. It is easiest and saves time if you put whether you are looking to join the monthly group session, or looking to set up a free Meet and Greet.