Wellness Wednesday: Transfats and Alzheimer’s Disease

This week starts a whole series on Alzheimer’s Disease.  There is so much information to learn about Alzheimer’s prevention, risk factors, and care after getting the disease.  I read a new article just last week on Transfat and how studies are showing how it is linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.  The video below will start you thinking about it, and lead to more discussion next week.  Leave me questions in the comments if there is anything you want to know more about. Transfats are supposed to be outlawed in the US now, but there are some sneaky ways food processors can get it in.

A Health Coach can help you to learn about the prevention of Alzheimer’s.  To learn more use the contact form below to message me for a free health assessments with follow up conversation via email.

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Mindful Monday: Mindful Eating

If the definition of Mindfulness is focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, then Mindful Eating is focusing one’s awareness on what one is eating in the present moment.  That is a basic definition.  There is a lot to Mindful Eating.  But, it starts with accepting and loving yourself first.  Then as one works through the process and becomes more mindful of what, when, where, how and why one eats that is when habits change and a more healthy food relationship can be established.  With Thanksgiving right around the corner and most of Thanksgiving is centered around family and food, overeating is a real issue for a lot of people.  Especially if those with chronic illnesses where overeating can be especially dangerous.  On Friday, Nov 1, I will be rolling out my Don’t Gobble til You Wobble monthly special.  It will be geared towards people who want to be more mindful of eating during the holidays.  It is a version of the 30-day plan, but with a discount for the month of November.  I hope people will join me on this journey as I myself with CKD am mindful of staying within my restrictions during the holidays.  Use the contact form below, or the button in the upper right-hand corner to message me if you are interested in learning about Health Coaching for Mindful Eating.  You must be 18 years of age unless sessions are with a parent.  If a participant has a history of severe eating disorders or unresolved trauma regarding food then Mindful Eating should be done with a trained Psychiatric Specialist trained in those areas, not a Health Coach.  If your medical specialist gives the OK to work with me, as a Health Coach, then a form can be signed to allow that.

A few reminders.  You can still get in on the October special until October 31st at midnight Eastern Time.  The November support group starts Nov 6th, 1 PM Eastern time, and you can still sign up for that until Nov 5th at midnight Eastern Time.  I will be doing my first voice podcast this Thursday.  At first, podcasts will cover Kidney Awareness but will move to other topics after I have finished that topic.  I will not be doing video podcasts until I am sure I have all the proper equipment and capabilities so as not to waste time.  If you would like to submit topics or questions on the topic of kidney disease, please use the contact form below to message me.  The first podcast will just be general info about me, and why I am doing Kidney Awareness.  I am finishing up a new Guided Imagery for mild Social Anxiety.  It should be available to purchase by next week in my Etsy shop.  To see all of my current available plans, click here, and don’t forget I am looking for participants to help me practice my new Empower program for free.  The part that is free is 90 minutes long, and it is part of my Holistic Health Coach class.  Message me if you are interested.



Wellness Wednesday: Acne Part 2

Updated 3/17/2021 Last week I told you about a very affordable product to clean your face.  My daughter and I both use that product.  Lucky for me at age 50 Acne is not so much an issue anymore.  But, my teen daughter has to deal with it.  We found a product that she loved at our local mall.  Unfortunately, that store closed down and they did not have an online store.  The store was an organic soap store, and the product was a charcoal-based soap.  We tried some other charcoal soaps, supplied at other stores, and they just did not work as well.  My daughter was bummed.  Then, at our local Publix store, we found Zum Face charcoal sugar face scrub.  This product is not cheap and I was hesitant to try another product that would not work.  She talked me into it, and this one is a keeper.  A heads up to anyone who tries it, it makes a huge mess and makes the sink and counters black.  It washes off easy, though.  Charcoal face products help Acne by drawing out impurities from the skin.  This one is more of a mask that she leaves on for a few minutes and then washes off.  Diet modification is still something she needs to work on.  Remember to stop using any product that irritates the skin, or you have any allergic reaction to.  To learn more about how Charcoal can help Acne, click here.   If you would like to learn more about food modification and stress reduction to help control Acne, use the contact form below to message me for a free meet and greet.

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Mindful Monday: You Are What You Eat!

How many times have you heard that in your life?  Do you believe it?  Does it offend you?  I have two ways that I used to look at this idea, one good, one bad.

First the bad.  I used to get offended by this statement.  Mostly because I was ignorant of what the people who would say these things meant.  What does that mean, even?  Well, even though nurses get  Nutrition education in school, Dietitians do most of the counseling, educating, and advising.  So nurses never really get to explore more about Nutrition and how it really affects the body. You know if you don’t use it you lose it.   Plus, let’s admit it, there is a new study every week with a new do this, and not that, or go back to doing that.    It is confusing, time-consuming and downright frustrating.  Working, raising kids, and not really understanding what is really in the food we were eating, led us to eat fast, convenient, easy, processed foods instead of cooking which was more time consuming and took a lot of energy.  Plus those processed foods a lot of times were in fact cheaper.  Living on a tight budget, so I could homeschool my kids I was convinced fast and convenient was OK.  But, it really isn’t.  All the salt, fat, and preservatives in these foods can be very unhealthy and pretty void of nutrients.  I had to relearn what I learned 30 years ago in my Nutrition class, plus update all that for all the changes.  We now mostly cook fresh foods, at least my husband and I do, the kids are a bit tougher.  They are at the stage where fast and convenient works for them.  I am working on them through education.  Knowledge is power!

Now for the good thought.  I knew deep down in my heart the way we had been eating was not healthy for any of us.  I let commercials, other people, and convenience rule my mind.  I had to become more mindful of what I was putting in my body and the bodies of my family.  Some of you may be wondering if that way of eating caused my Kidney Disease.  No, according to my Nephrologist there is no proof of that.  My kidney had slowly been feeling probably since my teen years and is probably genetic.  Plus, thank goodness we didn’t eat awful too many years.  But, eating all the processed, cheap and convenient foods did nothing good for my kidneys.   My family and I still have lots to learn.  It is hard to break old habits and replace with new ones.  It is a marathon, not a sprint.   I don’t eat the way I used to.  I have conformed myself.  Now that doesn’t mean I don’t cheat or fall of the good eating wagon.  That would be a lie.  I still have a weakness for potato chips and salty snacks. But, by being mindful of what I put into my body, and yes I now realize it is true, I am what I eat, has helped transform my thought process.   It helps to just not buy them, lol,  I wish I had a Health Coach back when work and life started getting more stressful, to help me learn to cook healthy easy fast meals that didn’t cost a fortune.    My husband and daughter are doing ok, and it is my son that I worry about the most.  He is in college and working full time.  The perfect scenario to eat awful foods, and yes that includes fast food and most restaurants.

Do you want to learn how to be more mindful of what you put in your body?  Do you need to learn how to cook, shop on a budget, create a meal plan?  These are all things that I as a Health Coach, can help you with.  If you would like to learn more about what plans I offer, use the contact form below to message me for a free meet and greet.  I am running an October special, so be sure and ask about that.  I am still doing signups for the November small group weekly sessions, also.  You can see all of my available plans here, and feel free to message me with any questions.  I am always adding new plans, and a new monthly special each month.  So check back often.  I will be offering gift certificates for Christmas, starting November 1 for people to purchase.  Yes, my prices are probably more affordable than others.  I do that for a reason.  I can’t help people if they can’t afford to pay me.  I don’t want to be a millionaire, or make 6 figures.  This is an extension of my nursing career to grow and help others in a changing market for Health Care.



Want To Try My New Empower Plan for Free?

I was feeling a little under the weather yesterday.  We had a Tropical Storm come over us, and those low-pressure systems always make me feel icky.  Back to normal, today, though.  As part of my Holistic Health Coaching class, we should practice the Empower plan.  It is 90 minutes in length, and I am offering it for free for up to 5 lucky people.  You must be 18 yrs or older, and it is geared towards adults with a work/life imbalance.  If you are a college student this could be perfect for you.  If you are interested in participating use the contact form below to message me.  After the 90-minute free session, a $90 value, you make purchase the full 6 month program.

Don’t forget I am still accepting applicants for the monthly support group sessions.  They begin on the first Wednesday of November at 1 PM Eastern Time.  Message me if you are interested.



Food on Friday Chocolate Cupcake Day CKD and Diabetes Variations

Before I dive into the cupcakes, a quick update.  Tomorrow, I will be sharing how you can buy Health Buddy Melissa gift cards for loved ones for Christmas, and a cool freebie for five lucky people.  So, be sure and check back tomorrow.

Now for the cupcakes.  October 18th is Chocolate Cupcake Day.  If you have CKD then you know chocolate has Phosphorus and Potassium, and store-bought cake mixes have added Phosphorus in the form of preservatives.  These added phosphates are 100% absorbed by the body and are a hidden danger for people with CKD.   So, here are a few tips to make the chocolate cupcakes more CKD friendly.  For starters make them from scratch, not a box mix.  There are tons of lovely recipes all over the web for mixes made from scratch.  Use white flour to get the lowest amount of Phosphorus and Potassium.  I don’t particularly like frosting from scratch, but that is another great way to know exactly what is in your cupcake.  Another great tip is to have a vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting or chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting.  Again, store-bought frosting is going to have phosphates added to it as a preservative.  Only eat one cupcake, and freeze the rest, or give them away.  Now at my house, they would get eaten and I would be lucky to get one.  Davita has a great cupcake in a mug recipe.  However, it uses store-bought mixes and goes in the microwave.  I don’t microwave food.  But, that is another whole blog post.  You could make your own dry mix and store it then make a cupcake in a mug when you want one.  If you don’t own a microwave, simply make one cupcake in a muffin tin at a time.  If you have food allergies, or sensitivities just alter the recipe as needed, but there are tons online for people with food sensitivities.   Instead of adding eggs to your mix, if it calls for eggs, use applesauce.  You would use a 1/4 cup of applesauce for each egg required.  That will cut way down on Phosphorus.  If you decide to make a Peanut Butter frosting, remember it may very like have Protein as well in it.  If your doctor or dietitian has recommended you avoid any ingredients I have mentioned, then please do so.  I read a very interesting article on Phosphorus in food, and I will be doing a blog post on that soon.

For Diabetics use unsweetened applesauce in place of eggs, especially if you also have CKD.  Use the mug method mentioned above, use Stevia when making your own mix, or frosting,  if sugar is called for.  You could use other sugar substitutes I just prefer Stevia.  Stevia is much sweeter than table sugar so be aware of that.

Just because you have CKD, or Diabetes does not mean you can not enjoy a chocolate cupcake.


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Don’t let acne steal your thunder

Edited 3/17/2021 Did you know there is a product that can help get rid of Acne, which costs only 98 cents?  At least where I live it does.  It may cost more where you live.

When I was growing up we did not have a lot of money.  My mother was not going to spend money on face cleaning products just because I had Acne.   Having Acne can severely affect the Wellness of any teenager, woman, or even men.  It is a core issue in a world full of beautiful people.  Now you can argue whether that is vain, or not, but in the world of Wellness topics appearance matters.  At the age of 16, I was privileged to be smart enough to get enrolled in the LPN dual enrollment program.  You would think that has nothing to do with Acne, but the Stress levels of taking that course at such a young age only added to my Acne issues.  One day, an older classmate was cleaning her face with an alcohol wipe.  I asked her why on Earth would she do that?  She told me it dries out the oils on her face and keeps it clean.  So, I wondered would it work for me.  I had small babysitting jobs at that age, so I had a little bit of money.  I went and bought myself a big bottle of Rubbing Alcohol, those little pads were too expensive.  I used a clean tissue to wipe my face twice a day, and you know what the results were very good.  My Acne started to go away.  My skin felt fresher and cleaner.  It was drier instead of so oily and greasy.  I started to feel better about my appearance which added to my Wellness at such a fragile age.

Now, my Acne did not go completely away.  I still had tons of Stress in my life, and my diet was not so great either.  Not to mention Hormones.  None of these issues can be helped with Rubbing Alcohol.  OK, maybe the Stress a little bit because of the Stress of having Acne.  But, not Stress related to being in nursing school at such a young age.  I had to learn to deal with those other issues in different ways.

But, using the Rubbing Alcohol did diminish my Acne enough to improve my overall Wellness, and that mattered.  Now I have a daughter of my own.  No she is not in nursing school, nor does she want to be, but she did inherit my oily skin, and she could improve her diet, and of course Hormones.  But, she started cleaning her face with Rubbing Alcohol and saw great improvements.  Next week I will share the other thing she does to her face which almost completely gets rid of the Acne.

If Acne is steeling your Wellness, and you would like to learn how Diet and Stress can play a role in helping Acne go away, use the contact form below to message me for a free Meet and Greet with evaluation.  If you are under 18, you will need a parent to contact me.

Rubbing Alcohol can be strong.  Keep it away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.  Do not inhale it, I promise it burns.  Use a cotton ball, or a small piece of tissue to put the Rubbing Alcohol on and then dab it, or rub, on the parts of your face that need it.  You can also rub it on the chest, back, shoulders or other non-sensitive areas.  If it is too harsh for your skin, then dilute it in some water.  Never spray it on your face.  Use in a well-ventilated room.  If your skin gets red, too dry, itchy, flakey or any other adverse effect then stop using it.  If you ever have hives, or difficulty breathing after using it seek medical attention.  If you have known allergies to products that contain alcohol don’t even attempt this.  Clear skin is not as important as doing damage to yourself.

To read more about how Rubbing Alcohol may work to treat acne, click here.

For the month of March, 2021, I am giving away free coaching sessions related to Kidney Disease. You can read more about that here.

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Organic Candy and CKD

Updated 9/22/2021 I found the website I am going to share with you quite by accident while researching another topic.  It is not just Organic Candy that they offer either.  They have candy for specific diets, allergies, gluten-free, vegan etc.  What did I like most about this website?  Well for someone with CKD, organic is very important to me.  I really don’t care for soy in my foods, because I am sensitive to it, and I try to avoid the preservatives in foods as some studies have shown they can affect Kidney Disease.  When I eat Organic I just feel better, than when I eat foods stuffed with preservatives.  If you have CKD, snacks, and candy can be a huge problem for Phosphorus levels as the additive with Phos in the ingredients, are often added. Organic foods generally don’t use the Phosphorus additives, but you must always read the labels to be sure. Look for any words containing Phos in it. People feel like Organic is just a waste of money, and I agree it is more expensive, but to me it is worth it. With Halloween and the holidays fast approaching this website will definitely be on my needs list.  Visit the Natural Candy Store, to see all the awesome products they offer.  If you are into Made in the USA, there is a section for that too.  This is not a paid post.

Tune in tomorrow for Wellness Wednesday where I discuss Acne.  This starts a few weeks of posts on this topic and some more natural ways to help alleviate it.


To contact me, or arrange a free meet and greet for Health Coaching services,  use the contact form below. If you would like to learn about what coaching services I offer, email me to find out, or you could search the archives.

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Health Buddy Melissa Updates

Welcome!  I am happy you are here.  I have a lot of new updates to bring up.  So, let us get right to it.

My education in Health Coaching has grown.  I completed Guided Imagery, Herbalism, and Aromatherapy certification courses.  You will now be seeing information about those things.  I did not finish the Meditation class because it is not what I was looking for.  I am now scoping out a new one.  I got enough information to give tips on Meditation.  I just started a Holistic Health Coaching class.  When I am completed with that I will have a whole new package available called the Empower Package.  It is very exciting.  If you would like to learn about any of the items I just talked about, please use the contact form below to message me.

I am seriously considering starting a podcast for this blog.  As that will be a whole new avenue for me the first one might be short and sweet.

By the end of this year, this blog will be upgraded.  You will start seeing Amazon links in some of my posts.  I am looking for other Affiliate Marketing also.  There is so much to learn about all this, and I am reading and learning every day.

I have completed 2 Guided Imagery mp3 files.  One for Sleep and one for Quitting Smoking.  You can contact me through the contact form, or go to my Etsy shop, to purchase.  I am also working on new ones for Weight Loss, Anxiety, Stress and maybe Anger.  If you would like one custom made for you with the music you like or other sounds just contact me for details.  I work very hard on these, and they take a bit of time for me to write them and then record them.

Each month I will run a new special for that month.  You can view the October special, here.  You can always request a free Meet and Greet, which comes with a free assessment.  Don’t forget that I am also doing a monthly support group for people with chronic illnesses.  You can get more info on that here.  They start oe the t Wednesday of every month.  Sign up stays open until 24 hours before the first session, Eastern Time.

I can’t share the Kidney Health Coach class online, it has to be in person.  So, I will be doing a lot more posts, and podcasts on Preventing Kidney Disease.  I am very passionate about this topic.  If you have Kidney Disease and you would like to work with a Health Coach to meet your health goals, use the contact form below to message me.

I feel like I have to reiterate to readers, and potential customers, Health Coaches do not give medical advice.  Nor do we replace you seeing a doctor or getting care from a doctor.  Health Coaches work in adjunct to your Health Care Provider to help you by providing support, education, advocate, accountability and using sound judgment in reaching your health goals.  If you have a chronic illness, then a Health Coach should be working with whatever your doctor has already advised you.  This can include goal setting and stick to them, following your diet, exercise regime, stress management, family issues, work-life balance, socialization, forming new and healthier habits, advocating for yourself,  etc.

Please use the contact form to get in touch with me, or you can use any of my social media accounts.  I will post them below.  I do not know how people have got my phone number, but I am getting unsolicited calls that have nothing to do with my goals for this blog.  I ignore these calls, so please do not waste your time.  If you would like you can visit any of these social media accounts Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Tumblr.  I do not advertise just blogging stuff on them, so be aware of that.  I also use Bloglovin but that is just a repeat of what I put here.update

My posts will run as follows Merry/Mindful Monday, Health Tips on Tuesday, Wednesday Wellness, Thurs my serious blog post,Foodie Friday, and Sweating on Sunday.  I may change Sunday up if I get tired of it.


My Top 5 Halloween Candy Picks for CKD

Update 10/29/2021: I have been stage 2 for over six months now!

If you read this blog then you know I am stage 3A, stable and want to keep it that way.  I would actually be thrilled to be stage 2 again, but doctors discourage that thought.  Starting with Halloween begins the holiday seasons of stressful parties, eating, over-eating, and not feeling well.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  I will be focusing on tips for the holidays probably right through New Year’s.  I do not love chocolate, but every now and then I want some chocolate.  Of course, Halloween means tons of chocolate lying around.  Tootsie Rolls did not make my top 5 picks, because they are not a favorite of mine, but if you are a chocolate lover Tootsie Rolls could help your craving.  I do have Dark Chocolate a couple times a week, in a single serving size, because it contains a good amount of Iron.  I will also eat White Chocolate if I am craving chocolate.  It has about 50mg less per serving of Potassium and Phosphorus.  However, because Phosphorus is not on the label it is hard to estimate exactly how much is in there.  For that reason, any chocolate needs to be consumed sparingly.  Potassium is clearly marked on labels.  If you have CKD and have Diabetes then looking for your favorites with sugar substitute is best.  Luckily these days there are lots of options for Diabetes, compared to even 10 years ago.  Holidays don’t have to suck or make you sick just because you have a Chronic Illness.

My top 5 Halloween candy picks for CKD are:

  1. Cinnamon discs
  2. Hot Tamales
  3. Orange Cream discs
  4. Werther’s Origials
  5. White Chocolate Kit Kat but only if Phosphorus is not an issue.


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