Gratitude Journaling: I Made A Mistake

Happy Thursday!  Remember gratitude is about being grateful at the moment, appreciating what you have right now.  Remember that definition as you read my mistake below.

What is a mistake?  A mistake, as defined in the dictionary is action or judgment that is misguided or wrong.

We all mistakes.  Some are more profound and life-changing than others.  When I was in my middle twenties I started seeing a man, who I fell in love with.  He was by all technical terms the love of my life, my first love, etc.  We dated for many years but never lived together.  We were in an intimate relationship, despite not being married.  It didn’t necessarily seem wrong because we were committed to each other, and were using protection to prevent pregnancy or STD.  After 4 years into our relationship, I became pregnant.  So, this is where my mistake comes in.  I had been using the same contraception for years, but it only had 75% efficacy.  Instead of switching to the pill, I kept using the same contraception.  I should have known eventually it would catch up with us.  But, again I assumed if I did get pregnant we would probably get married and raise the child.  There are two mistakes here 1, assuming the behavior of anyone else, and 2 not upgrading to proper pregnancy precautions.  Despite us being engaged, he did not want a child.  He didn’t want the responsibility and surely didn’t want to be married.  He liked things the way they were.  He insisted I get an abortion, or lose him.  Please note this is not a discussion about whether abortion is right or wrong, so please no comments as to such.  I chose to have the child, and do away with him.  My son was born, and I became a mom.  I was ambivalent as I was not sure I knew how to be a mom, or if I even really wanted to be a mom, and I definitely did not want to be a single mom.  My mother was a single mom, and the struggles were real.  But, I did it anyway.  I can tell you 20 years later I do not for one-second regret either of the mistakes.  He showed me his true colors and the ugly side of himself that he hid all them years.  He was a child himself, a person with no reason to need responsibility.  I do not regret one second being a single mom.  It was hard, very hard, and I am a professional.  But, it taught me so much, and the bond I had with my son was so strong.  It made me stronger, efficient, resilient, and not so naive as to the behaviors of others.  As for the birth control issue, and getting pregnant without wanting to, I have raised both of my children to stay celibate until they are at least 18, and even longer if they have not found someone they love and they love them.  To be responsible for any sexual activity they may choose to partake in, don’t assume your partner will do it, and that if you are old enough to have sex then you are old enough to be responsible for the consequences.  This is obviously in the light of consensual sex.  Non-consensual sex is another whole topic.

Mistakes don’t have to be bad things.  Mistakes teach us and make us stronger if you let it.  I am grateful that I was able to overcome my fears of being a single mother to receive one of the biggest blessings of my life, my son.  I also have a daughter, and she too is a blessing, just a different part of my story.  I am grateful for both of my children and the amazing people they will become.

I have made many other mistakes in my life, and they are all life lessons.  Some, I still struggle with, and the learning process has not ended.  I hope they too will be blessings one day and that I can see them in the light of being grateful.

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Mindful Monday: Are You Happy With Yourself?

As I continue with my own Mindful journey, I decided to do some weekly self-esteem challenges.  You can join in by leaving a comment, or by writing in your own personal journal.  If you would like to share your Mindful journey with me or to use any of my coaching services, please use the contact form at the end of the post to contact me.  All information is private, and you will be automatically enrolled in my weekly newsletter.  All Moms in May get a free 15-minute distance Reiki session by signing up for my newsletter. Learn more here.

I am really enjoying learning about Mindfulness and all the ways it can make life more content and peaceful.  So, for the first challenge we will be asking ourselves, are we happy with ourselves.  You can read my response below.

I am for the most part a very content, satisfied, and happy person.  If I were not I would make a change.  I am kind of aggressive that way.  However, I also realize there are parts of myself, that even though I accept them as being a part of me, I would not mind changing a bit.  For example, I have negative thoughts about people who are not perfectionists at my workplace.  I have been slowly working on this for years, and I am getting so much better.  I also have this issue when it comes to parenting with negative thoughts aimed at myself.  Again, this is a work in progress.  Being a perfectionist is an illusion and totally saps me, or anyone, of all happiness.

I am also mindful of the fact that I do not really appreciate socializing in large groups.  I am more of an introvert, and lots of people and noise just don’t work for me.  But, this is something I have to let go of because it keeps me back from doing things that I might actually enjoy or enhance me culturally.

I would love to be skinny, but I have given that up a long time ago and learned to accept my body for what it is.

So, those are the things I am quote-unquote, not happy with about myself.  What about you?

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April is National Florida Tomato Month, but What if You Have CKD

One of my most favorite things to eat, before being diagnosed with CKD, was fresh garden tomatoes.  Tomato sandwiches were my favorite.

April is National Florida Tomato Month.  But, what if you have CKD?  Tomatoes are low in sodium, protein, fat, and calories.  They are, however, high in potassium.  One medium tomato has almost 300 mg of potassium.   Tomatoes have 24mg of phosphorus per 100grams, so that is good too.  One medium tomato also will provide fiber as well as multiple healthy minerals.

So, if you have CKD, like me, how can you still enjoy fresh garden tomatoes?  Well for one thing substitute half of your recipe with roasted peppers instead of all tomatoes.  There are two recipes, below, both from Davita.  One is for a tomato sauce to use on pasta, or as a pizza sauce, etc, and the other is for a salsa.  I will add how I would make them, to make them, even more, CKD friendly.

The lower potassium tomato sauce   I would roast my own red peppers to decrease the sodium amount.  If you can find low sodium roasted peppers they could be used as well.  Plus a lot of pre-packaged items will be higher in phosphorus than making it yourself.  I would also substitute garlic for red pepper flakes because I don’t want hot spicy.  Note that a serving size is 1/4 of a cup so be careful how much you consume.

Salsa  I would eliminate the jalapeno pepper because I don’t want spicy salsa.  If you have GERD you might want to eliminate any of the spicy items in these recipes.

You can still enjoy some delicious fresh Florida tomatoes.

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Don’t forget to check out my May giveaway for all Moms everywhere.  Only 60 available, so don’t delay.

 

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Freebie for Moms for Month of May

Happy Wednesday!  As promised I am announcing my May freebie early, so moms can start signing up.  For the month of May Moms can request one free 15 minute Distance Reiki session.  I am a level 2 Reiki practitioner.  Reiki is a form of Energy Healing.  I will not be starting the sessions until May 1st, but people can start signing up now and getting appointments made.  I will be limiting myself to doing 2 sessions a day, for a total of 60 sessions.  So, that is 60 Moms who can get in on this special offer.  Please follow the guidelines below.  If you do not you will not be able to get the freebie.  Obviously, the point of me doing a free item each month, is to get people introduced to me, and my products.  You will have to follow the steps to get it.

1-  Please be honest and be sure you are a mom.  It doesn’t matter if you are a stepmom, adopted mom, or biological mom, but you must be a mom.  Don’t worry dads will get a chance in June.

2-  You must use the form in this post to contact me and request your free Distance Reiki Session.  Make sure you mention that you want to sign up for the free session.  Within 48 hours I will contact you via email to arrange your session.  You must agree to my disclaimer, and supply a headshot of yourself for the session. This is a must.  It is how I was taught to do a distance session.   If you do not want to do either of those things then please don’t sign up.  I will also explain how to prepare for your session, and what Reiki is and is not.  I will delete all images after your session is over.

3-  By filling out the contact form you are agreeing to receive my weekly newsletter, via email.

4-  Moms can sign up through the end of May, or until I have 60 sessions booked and verified.  You can stay on a wait-list for when I offer the next one, but you can’t opt out of my newsletter to stay on the waitlist.

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Health Tip on Tuesday: Avoiding Neck Pain for Desk Workers

Tomorrow is Wednesday, and I will be posting my May special just for Moms.  Be sure and check back to see what it is.

Do you get neck pain, or headaches when working on your computer, or at your desk?  I know I do.  But, why?

The number one reason I get neck pain while working on the laptop is that I don’t actually have a proper desk, and I am always looking at a downward angle.  After a while, this causes me great strain and tightness in my neck.

For me, neck stretches, getting up and moving every hour, and wearing a neck support pillow for part of the day all help prevent me from getting the neck pain to start with.  My neck pillow is nothing special, just a cheapo one bought at my local Walmart.  I get up and walk at least 250 steps each hour.  I do the stretches at the beginning of my day, and sometimes at the end of the day.  If I was in an office I might choose not to wear the neck pillow there, but wear it at home.

I chose the video below for this post because she is thorough and uses a good form to teach the stretches.  She is a bit slow, however.  Once you learn the stretches you won’t need to watch the video.

Check out all my health coaching plans.    Below is a contact form.  You can fill it out and send it to me, to ask about my plans, a free meet and greet, or to sign up for my weekly newsletter.

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How Our Muscles Get Energy

So, I signed up for a class that was not supposed to begin until June.  But, for whatever reason, it was moved up to now.  That means I am currently enrolled in 3 classes at the same time.  Two have to be on a schedule, and the last one I can meander through.  The first class a Sports Medicine and Nutrition class is a bit more than I expected.  While I am finding the class very informative, some of the information is complicated.  Today I learned about ATP and how our muscles get their energy.  Unfortunately, it was not so easy to understand the way it was explained.  So, I went to Youtube to see if anyone had it there explained just a bit easier.  I found the video below, and I really like the way he explains it.  Watch it and see how your muscles make energy.  It is so very interesting.  The human body is amazing!

I also got my step platform yesterday, and yes step aerobics is much more demanding than I expected.  I am definitely sweating on Sunday, and every day, lol.  I have to be careful to maintain my heart rate in moderate levels only, due to CKD.

If you want a cool freebie for Moms, for the month of May, be sure and follow this blog.  I will be announcing a new opt-in for newsletter subscribers that is specifically for Moms.  You don’t want to miss it, I promise.

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Follow me on Facebook to follow my 2020 Walking Challenge, and to join in if you like.

Use the contact form under the video to sign up for my newsletter, or to inquire about any of my coaching services.

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April 17th is National Cheeseball Day

Happy Friday!  Did you know that today is National Cheeseball Day?  Don’t worry neither did I.  Matter of fact there are all kinds of food observations that I had no idea about.  Below you will see links for 3 different recipes for cheeseballs.  2 for CKD and one for Diabetes.  You can adapt them to fit your needs and tastes.  I probably will make the pineapple one, as I already have that on hand.  Since so many of us are social distancing use this food holiday to have some fun with your family.  If you have kids let them help make the cheeseball and then have a family food holiday and watch a good movie.  With so many streaming options like Netflix, Hulu and Disney Plus I am sure everyone can find at least one movie to watch.  I personally want to see Black Panther.  We will be doing this tomorrow night.  At least that is the plan.  So many things I plan are getting changed due to all the uncertainty going on right now.

https://www.davita.com/diet-nutrition/recipes/appetizers-snack/holiday-cheese-ball

https://www.davita.com/diet-nutrition/recipes/appetizers-snack/festive-pineapple-cheese-ball

https://rockymountaindiabetes.com/recipe/holiday-cheese-ball/

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Vitamin D and The Immune System

Happy Thursday!  I hope everyone is doing and feeling well.  I meant to do this post yesterday, but as I continued to read, I learned more and more about Vitamin D.  There is so much information out there about the importance of Vitamin D and the role it plays in the Immune System.  Now you know, if you read this blog, I have CKD stage 3, and I have written about the importance of Vitamin D and its role in Kidney Disease.  With the novel Coronavirus, and all the talk about possible treatments, I was curious about Vitamin D.  So many people are Vitamin D deficient, some are even calling it an epidemic.  The best way to get Vitamin D is via the sun.  With so many people avoiding sunlight and or using sunscreen and sunblock, Vitamin D deficiency has increased even more over the years.  There are only a few natural food sources of Vitamin D:  fish, egg yolk and Shiitake Mushrooms.  Some foods are fortified with Vitamin D such as cereals and orange juice.  Cod Liver Oil is an option, but yeah I am not sure about wanting to take that.  It took me a while to find some good, sort of short resources for my readers to learn about Vitamin D and the Immune System.  There is one for CKD also, just in case you wanted to learn about that too.  Vitamin D3 is available over the counter, but you should always seek advice from your doctor before you start taking new supplements just to be safe.

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If you would like to work with me as a Health Coach, use the contact form at the bottom of this post to message me to learn about my available plans.  Sign up for my free newsletter to get great monthly freebies and special offers.  Use the same contact form mentioned to send me a message with newsletter in the subject.

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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068797/

My Number One Tip for Time Management

Time management, a skill we can all take advantage of.  Are you always late getting out the door, getting to work, or leaving work?  Do you just seem unorganized and behind?

OK, a little about me.  I am a time management freak.  I do not like to be late, and I loathe leaving work late.  I have 3 goals at work:  be the absolute best nurse I can be, be on time, and go home on time.  I do not want overtime, and I don’t want to stay late finishing stuff I didn’t do efficiently.  I have worked in many types of nursing including big hospitals, little hospitals, nursing homes, home care, and assisted living.  My day looks basically the same no matter where I work.  Why?  Because I have established a routine, or schedule.  This routine will fit no matter what environment I work in.  Now, when I start a new job it may take a bit to get my routine established because I have to get to know where everything is, who people are etc.  But after a few days, I am right into my routine.  Now that doesn’t mean I am not flexible.  I can have a routine and still manage to be flexible.  The routine just allows me to pick right back up where I left off with ease.  I can tell you 95% of the time my routine gets me out on time.  Sometimes, on a really bad day, I will have to stay late, but that is a really bad day.

I have a work routine and a basic home routine.  The one routine I have not worked out yet is my work from home routine.  But, I am working on that.  Right now, because I don’t have any clients,  I am mostly learning and writing content.  So, it seems very relaxed and no need for a routine.  But, trust me I need a routine.  So I am working on that.

If you would like to learn how to make a routine for your day, use the contact form below to message me for a free meet and greet.  All new customers get my basic 30-day coaching plan for $24.99   If you would like to know what my basic home plan and work plan look like, sign up for my weekly newsletter and I will send it to all subscribers.  Use the contact form below to message me, or email me at healthbuddymelissa@yahoo.com

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Mindful Monday: Mindfully Eat All That Easter Candy

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a blessed Easter, especially with all this social distancing.  I had to work at my nursing job, and of course, they gifted us all candy.  Plus, I bought some peanut butter eggs for my family to share.  Chocolate is high in phosphorus and potassium, not to mention fat.  It is irresistible and delicious.  But, are you really enjoying it, or just eating it to eat it?  Mindful eating will help you enjoy and appreciate food and may help you lose weight.  By eating less, and thoroughly enjoying it, in a slow and controlled manner, is a great skill to learn.

So, today’s Mindful Monday exercise is to only eat one item of chocolate candy or any candy.  Follow the steps below to mindfully enjoy that one piece of candy.

1-  Pick your piece.  This is a big decision so choose wisely.

2-  Smell the candy with the wrapper on.  Then slowly remove the candy and smell it again.  Note what it smells like.  Savor the smell, enjoying the aroma.    If the smell is unpleasant then you really shouldn’t eat it.

3-  Feel the candy with your hands.  Note what it feels like and enjoy the feeling of the candy.

4-  Look closely at the candy.  It should be appealing to your eyes.  If it is not don’t eat it, you probably really don’t want it.

5-  You can’t hear the candy, most likely, but you can notice how it sounds when unwrapping the candy.  Take note of the sounds, compare it to other familiar sounds.

6-  Finally the most important step, taste the candy.  Take a small bite, as long as it is not hard candy.  Notice how it tastes.  Roll it around on your tongue savoring all the delicious flavors.  Then take more small bites.  Don’t put the whole thing in your mouth, unless it is hard candy and can not be nibbled.  Thoroughly enjoy the piece of candy.

You may do this twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. See if you get different results each time.  Try enjoying your candy by candlelight, our outside in the fresh air, maybe in a bubble bath.   Do not do it if you are going to sleep.

Enjoy!

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Don’t forget you can still get my April freebie, my CKD Easter meal plan, which can be for any day of the week.  Just sign up for my newsletter using the contact form below.  I am working on the May and June freebies now, and I think they will be great.  May is for Mom’s and June will be for Dad’s.  You can sign up for my newsletter now and automatically get each freebie, each month.  Questions, email me at healthbuddymelissa@yahoo.com,  please be aware spammers will be turned in as spam.

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