low calorie food #1

Hello, Friday! I hope everyone has had a good week. I have not been doing a lot of food posts, but readers seem to really like them. Each Friday I will showcase a low calorie food, that is under 40 calories per serving. So far I have found about 40 but I think there may be more. If you are trying to lose weight incorporating these low calorie foods into your meal plan can help. Please remember your body needs calories to survive so eating just low calorie foods is probably not going to be a very healthy eating plan. Try to buy organic if you can.

Cucumbers is the low calorie food for today. I love cucumbers and this year we are trying to grow our own. They are very easy to grow and I am hoping for a ton. Well, maybe not a ton. Did you know the seeds and the skin are the healthier parts of the cucumber? I always peel mine, but I will try to start eating the skin. Cucumbers are fairly affordable and you don’t have to eat a whole one each time. According to my Basket app the cheapest cucumber is only 59 cents per each one at Save A Lot. That price is for non-organic. Another thing I did not know about cucumbers is that they can help the Pancreas produce Insulin. When I first read this I had to research it because I had never heard that before. It is only a theory but there are studies being done. If you have Diabetes eating cucumbers could be a good idea. One note, if you have Kidney Disease and are on fluid restrictions, 1 cucumber contains 287 grams of water which apparently is about 10 ounces of water. That is a lot of water, so consume them mindfully. There is a short video below on the health benefits of cucumbers.

According to my Nutrition Facts app 1 cucumber with the peel contains:

Water: 287 grams

Calories: 45. If you wanted it to be less than 40 just chop off a bit of it.

Protein: 2 grams who knew

Fat: .33 grams

Carbs: About 11 grams but 1.5 grams of Fiber which makes net carbs about 9.5

Sugars: 5 grams

Calcium: 48 mg. I consume very little dairy, to none, so I try to get Calcium from other food sources.

Iron: .84 mg

Magnesium: 39 mg

Phosphorus: 72 mg not bad for a vegetable

Sodium: 6 mg I found that interesting

Vitamin C: 8.5 mg

Folate: 21 ug

Vitamin A: 330 ug

Vitamin K: 49 ug

Cholesterol: 286 mg

There are other trace minerals in cucumbers.

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My top 10 ways to de-stress!

It is the end of Stress Awareness Month. I hope you have enjoyed and or learned some things from my posts. I did not get to touch on the Brain and Digestive Systems as they relate to Stress. Stress can affect all parts of the body. Today, I would like to share my top 10 ways that I use to de-stress.

  1. Walking in Nature. This is number 1 for a reason, because I truly believe in it. Yesterday, I talked about Earthing. I will be incorporating walking barefoot into my daily nature walk. It doesn’t have to be done anywhere special, I do it right in my own yard. If you live in the city there has to be a park or nature trail somewhere close by. Make your walk even better by not having any distractions and using your five senses to be more Mindful. Stressed at work? Walk on your lunch break. Fresh air will help clear your mind and refresh your thoughts.
  2. Exercise. This can go right along with #1. Aim for at least 30 minutes for 5 days a week. 60 minutes is even better. Exercise does not have to be strenuous to reap the benefits. A nice walk, Yoga, or Swimming are gentler kinder exercises. I personally love to put on the Disco music from the video below when I need to burn off some steam or get some good house cleaning done. If you are angry a more upbeat, intense workout may be very helpful. Well I can’t share the video it is blocked. But, if you search for Workout Music Source Disco Hits you will find it.
  3. Meditate. I try to Meditate every day. Just sitting and being still and not thinking about anything. Maybe some soft drum beat music in the background, nice candles, etc.
  4. Mindfulness. Mindfulness is different than meditating in the sense that you want to be in the moment noticing your surroundings and how you are reacting to them. It is a great way to be more grounded, have self control, know your limits, etc.
  5. Clean the pool. Yes, you read that write. I clean the pool to relax. I generally vacuum it every time I use the pool. I am in the sun, and the cool water allows me to think and reflect. I truly love it.
  6. Gardening. Another top favorite for me. I love planting, nurturing, and then reaping the rewards. I am really good with flowers. This year I am giving it a go at a vegetable garden. There is so much to learn. I also enjoy making garden decorations and tiny fairy gardens.
  7. Art. There are so many forms of Art to try and so many that I enjoy. I love to paint, etch glass, crochet, make jewelry, and others too. I have some Arthritis in my hands so it makes some of these more difficult now. I have not been doing a lot of Art lately, other than my Photography, which I also love.
  8. Reiki. Reiki is a Healing Energy of which there are many. I do self Reiki on myself at least a few times a week, and the dogs are great guinea pigs, lol. They actually love it. I offer Distance Reiki as part of my coaching plans. If you would like to learn more about Distance Reiki for Stress relief, use the contact form at the end of this post to message me. I would love to help you de-stress with Reiki.
  9. Guided Imagery. When I took my final exam for my Guided Imagery certificate I decided to do one for Better Sleep. I got an A and I still use it for myself to this day if I have a hard time falling asleep. Guided Imagery is where you use your imagination to guide you through a pre-made script to help with Sleep, Stress, Anxiety, Anger, Weight Loss and so much more. Guided Imagery is included in my coaching plans. Contact me for more information.
  10. Venting. There is nothing like a good vent, or rant, without judgement. Having someone you can vent to is a great stress reliever. Sometimes just getting something off of your chest can find relief from Stress. If you need someone you can vent to without judgement or hurt feelings use the contact form to message me.

These work for me. There may be other ways to relieve Stress and may work better for you. Some people like a massage or bubble bath. I did a post on Essential Oils, which can also be helpful. We also volunteer at a dog rescue and that too is a great stress reliever. Well most days, lol. I can not stress enough the totality of a good diet and good sleep for Stress relief on the body.

My May freebie will be about Hypertension, and will be available to my mailing list only. So, if you have High Blood Pressure, want to avoid having it, or love someone who does sign up for my mailing list below to take advantage of some free coaching. I will also have a 3 day special for just Moms. You have to be on the mailing list to be eligible.

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Also in May will be my new Health Challenge. In April it was Triceps for some good tank top arms. May will be Calves, because they are important for running, and I have started running. I will post the challenge soon. It will be posted to this blog. Anyone can join in.

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what is earthing and does it work?

As a Holistic Health Coach I learned about different types of Grounding Techniques. But, I don’t recall learning about the term Earthing. Earthing is a particular type of Grounding that reconnects us with the Earth. Once I started to read more about it, it became apparent to me that it was similar to what I already did for relaxing, namely gardening, getting my hands in the soil. But, Earthing is showing promise as an Integrative Therapy of sorts that is not only free, but actually has studies to back it up too.

Walking barefoot, something I grew up doing and always did, is a core part of Earthing. I stopped when I got Plantar Fasciitis and it was recommended to wear good support shoes 24 hours a day until it healed. I had a particularly bad case of it and it took months to heal, and I got away from walking barefoot. While doing some research on Grounding and Stress Relief, I came across this Youtube movie below and I was quite intrigued. So, I looked for a study on Earthing to share that would show it’s remarkable effects on Inflammation, and hence Stress. It apparently works quite well for other issues too, but Chronic Inflammation is the precursor to many diseases. I always feel like I have to say this. I am not suggesting you throw away your doctor and just do Earthing. However, Earthing in conjunction with oversight of a medical doctor may just be the fix for what is ailing you. You don’t have to just walk barefoot. Like I said getting your bare hands in the soil while gardening, or just lying and sitting on the earth can work. There are grounding beds, shoes, patches and a bunch of other items to help you use Earthing at most times of the day. I am particularly interested in the shoes. They are quite expensive, so I may try the more affordable flip flops to see if I like how they feel on my feet. Everyone knows no matter how healthy a shoe may be if it is horribly uncomfortable you won’t wear it.

I urge you to read the studies done on Earthing. Also watch the Youtube video. It is kind of long, but very interesting.

Yes, I have started walking barefoot again!

For the month of May my weekly newsletter will focus on Hypertension and my May freebie which will be free coaching sessions for members of my mailing list. Only 10 sessions will be given away, and will be first come first serve. So, be sure and sign up for my mailing list below.

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essential oils for stress relief!

Welcome to Herbs on Tuesday! I haven’t done one of these posts in a long time. But, plants offer a wide variety of potential options for people suffering with mild to moderate stress. Essential oils are created from the herbs and plants. They are very potent and powerful. Do not take them lightly because they come from a plant. It is extremely important to buy essential oils from reputable sources that have a safety history, and good practices for creating their oils. I personally like Eden’s Garden, and Mountain Rose Herbs. Essential oils are not regulated by the government, nor have their been enough randomized trials to say they are absolutely safe for everyone. If you are pregnant, a child, have psychosis, trauma, or severe anxiety, severe depression, or any chronic illness you should only use essential oils under the guidance of a trained Aromatherapy expert. Essential oils can also interact with medications you may take, so it is vital that you always tell your doctor of any herbal, or essential oils you use. I took a certificate class on Essential Oils and while they are a great tool, caution should be used if you have any of the conditions I mentioned.

Lavender is probably the most popular essential oil used for stress. There have actually been studies done that show it’s efficacy. I think I am allergic to it, so I don’t use it, but my daughter uses it in a diffuser.

Another thing to consider with essential oils is pets. Some essential oils like Eucalyptus can cause your pets to become sick if they inhale it without realizing it, say via you using your diffuser. So, be sure and consider the safety of your furry friends when diffusing them, or other people that may react negatively to them.

Essential oils can be used in a diffuser, as a massage oil or cream, in shower products, and some people do choose to ingest them though few studies have shown this to be safe. Just putting some on a cotton ball and sniffing it can be enough. There is Aromatherapy jewelry, too. I personally grow Peppermint and it is great for indigestion for both humans and my dogs. I love Peppermint shampoo when I have a headache. I can put it in Coconut Oil and massage on achy muscles too. Not to mention fresh breath!

But, for Stress in particular there is quite a long list of choices of Essential Oils that can be used. Jasmine is by far my favorite, and it is also extremely expensive. According to Healthline there are 18 in total that can be used for Stress or Anxiety.

Essential Oils can make you more sensitive to the Sun, so you need to know which ones cause Photosensitivity. Also, when using a new oil on the skin, you should test it in a small area that will not be noticed should you have a skin reaction.

You can use Aromaweb, and NCCIH to learn more about the profiles, or monographs as they are called, for Essential Oils. Proper mixing ratios is vital if you choose to make your own. Also, never apply undiluted Essential Oils to the skin, or ingest. It is probably best to buy from a trusted company that shares their mixing ratios on their label with proper administration guidelines also on the label. The video below is for basic information only. It does not provide any safety or risk information for the oils it discusses.

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There is still 3 days left to take advantage of my April freebie related to Stress. Click to read. If you would like to learn about my 30 day coaching plan, click here.

My May freebie will be just for people who are on my Mailchimp mailing list. So, be sure and sign up to take advantage.

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learn how your heart works~

Last week I talked about how Stress affects your heart. With only 4 days left on the topic of Stress, I have a lot to cover. If you would still like to take advantage of my free coaching offer for Stress, click here. Below you will find a few videos that will lay out how the heart works.

For the month of May my free coaching special will be eligible to my Mailchimp mailing list only. So, be sure and sign up below to take advantage. The topic for these coaching sessions will be High Blood Pressure. Members of my mailing list also get my monthly health challenge, exclusive content, and a smoothie recipe for free.

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National picnic day! What a great way to relieve some stress~

I have been discussing the topic of Stress all month. It just so happens that today is National Picnic Day! Forgive the graphic it says international, but why couldn’t it be international. The weather here in Florida has been amazing! It is cool at night and warm in the day. We actually had a Winter of sorts, and a Spring. That does not usually happen here. If you read here a lot, then you may remember that I homeschool my kids. Well, only one left and she only has one more year. When they were little picnics were one of their favorite things to do. Of course they didn’t need fancy food or wine. Some bologna cut in fun shapes, crackers, and a juice box was all they needed. Add sunshine, possible swimming, kites, squirt guns, dirt, whatever and they were happy. Did you know picnic literally means a meal eaten outdoors? Anything could be a picnic. I could totally see me sitting on the beach with some wine, cheese, and grapes and having an adult picnic. Ooh that sounds nice with some good friends. So, get outside, have a picnic, and relieve some Stress! Below are two videos for your picnic enjoyment.

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how stress affects your heart!

Welcome to Thursday! If you have been reading along then you know I have been talking about Stress the whole month of April. There are still 8 more days in April, which means you can still grab one of my free coaching sessions related to Stress. Last week I discussed how Stress affects your kidneys. Today, I am going to discuss how Stress affects your heart.

Stress is a silent and insidious killer. What do I mean by that. I mean the affects of Stress can go unnoticed or taken as something else and it the results can be slow. I already discussed some of the effects caused by Stress such as increased heart rate, faster breathing, and higher blood pressure. But, what do these symptoms do to your heart?

Long term Stress and Anxiety can increase your risk of getting Heart Disease. Stress, by increasing Cortisol is meant to help us deal with fear, but when that fear response is chronic Stress and Anxiety can be the result. Stress also can increase your Cholesterol and even blood sugar levels in the blood. If Stress goes untreated the heart can start to show signs of chronic Stress such as lower oxygen to the heart, decreased blood flow to the heart, increased risk of clots.

Some signs that you may be too stressed are lack of good sleep, aches and pains, decreased energy, moodiness, impatience, memory issues or forgetfulness, inability to concentrate, headaches, stomach upset, and possibly others.

Below you will find a few good videos that explains how Stress can affect your heart. If you would like to learn to manage your Stress to decrease your risk of Heart Disease, click here, or use the contact information at the end of this post to message me about my Health Coaching options.

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How well do you know your kidneys?

This post was intended for yesterday, however, WordPress has not been working correctly. Anyway. How well do you know your kidneys. I have been talking about Stress in the month of April, and last week I discussed Stress and the kidneys. But, do you know what your kidneys are, where they are, or exactly what they do? I have all your answers in 3 little videos. They are sort of repetitive, but each adds something interesting to the topic. Later this week I will introduce you to your heart, and how Stress can hurt your heart. If you would like to sign up for my free Kidney Education Class, click here for information.

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are you stressing your kidneys out?

Happy Self Care Saturday! I am trying to stream line topics so they are more direct to certain topics. I will continue with some of the fun ones too. Since April is all about Stress I decided to do some posts on how Stress affects certain parts of the body. Some of this is pretty complicated so I will share some more complicated article links, and articles that are easier to read. I tried to locate a Youtube video but none of them were exactly what I wanted. If you follow this blog, or read it enough, then you know I have CKD and I focus a lot of attention to bring awareness to the issue. So, of course I will start with how Stress effects the kidneys.

Remember that Stress is a feeling of tension and is also a response to various stressors. All body parts can have their own specific reactions to acute and chronic stress. Chronic Stress is the type that can cause harm to the body in various ways. For CKD, Chronic Stress can be a risk factor for getting Kidney Disease, but also Kidney Disease can be a risk factor for Chronic Stress. One of the most common way that stress can harm the kidneys is by increasing blood pressure, and heart rate. Likewise, already having CKD can cause blood pressure to rise which also can stress the body. Also a poor diet consisting of too much salt, fat, sugar, high protein intake, or too little nutrition causing Anemia and malnutrition can also cause stress that can damage the kidneys or worsen already existing kidney disease. When the heart rate and blood pressure rise this puts a heavier work load on the kidneys adding workload stress. This type of stress can damage the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys, or the filtering system. This can cause a progression in existing kidney disease or can be a cause of newly diagnosed kidney disease. Increasing blood pressure in the kidneys can also cause more sugar and fat in the bloodstream of the body which can worsen heart disease or Diabetes.

Stress is a complicated topic with all people having varying ways of coping, avoiding, or dealing with stress. What stresses one person out may not effect another. This makes it complicated to study stress in studies.

According the NKF there are 10 ways to help your kidneys and reduce stress:

  1. Eat healthier foods. I had mentioned this in a previous post. When we are stressed we may find comfort in food especially foods high in salt, fat, and sugars. My particular weakness is potato chips. Potato chips are extremely unhealthy for anyone, but especially for CKD, Diabetes, HTN, or Heart Disease. Eating a healthier diet and trying not to snack at all is the best option for keeping your kidneys healthy. If you have Diabetes you may need to snack. Not to mention all of the phosphorus additives used in packaged foods to keep them fresh. These can be very dangerous for CKD. Be sure to try and pick healthier snack options if you must snack. Avoiding take out, fast food, processed foods, pre made meals, etc. are all ways to eat healthier. When your body is not consuming good quality Nutrition it may be in a chronic state of stress.
  2. Limit salt and caffeine. Caffeine will increase your heart rate and too much salt will increase your blood pressure and cause water retention. This obviously will put more stress on your kidneys causing them to have to work much harder.
  3. Make me time. Relax, have fun, do something for yourself. Make sure you don’t let your job kill you. I tell my coworkers all the time any job will let you kill yourself with overtime and demands if you let them. Learning to say no, or I need a break is not a bad thing. Learning to not feel guilty because you need to de-stress should never be a bad thing. Take up a hobby is also a great way to ensure you are getting me time.
  4. Exercise at least 3 days a week. If you have a job where you are on your feet a lot, this is not exercise. Exercise is planned and something you do intentionally outside of work to improve your well-being. It can be something as simple as a walk in nature which can also add to your me time.
  5. Limit fat and sugar in your diet. This goes along with the other items I stated above. Higher amounts of fats and sugars in your body will lead to more stress on your body and the responses that come with it.
  6. Be positive! This one can be very hard if every day seems like a struggle or you are just slogging through your day. Try to always find something good in your day, find one thing you can be positive about every day, learn positive affirmations, start a journal, meditate, practice mindfulness and so many others to try.
  7. Talk it out! Don’t keep your feelings inside talk them out. You can hire a Health Coach, have a trusted friend, a pet, yourself, a journal, or whatever means you have to talk out your feelings and frustrations. Paint your feelings, or drawing them is another great way to relieve stress. Keeping your feelings bottled up is just another way to increase heart rate and blood pressure, and leading to increased stress on the kidneys.
  8. Sleep. Do you get enough sleep? You will be amazed at how fixing sleep issues can bring stress levels down. Ask me about my Guided Imagery or Distance Reiki sessions for better sleep.
  9. Set goals that are attainable. For example stating I never want to eat salt again is not a reasonable goal and probably will not be attainable. For one the human body needs some salt to function properly. Cutting out all salt could do more damage than good. However, setting a goal such as I want to learn to consume a 2 gram per day sodium diet is definitely attainable and reasonable. A Health Coach can help you.
  10. Listen to music. It doesn’t matter what kind of music as long as you enjoy it and it relaxes you. For bottled up tensions some good high energy music and singing at the top of your lungs can be great therapy. I love it!

If you would like a free coaching session related to reducing stress, click to read how to get one.

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do you know what today is?

It’s Friday! Well yes, obviously. But, did you also know that is The Day of the Mushroom? A whole day to celebrate mushrooms!

Mushrooms are not something I love to eat. But, I am trying to learn to love them. It is more of a consistency issue for me as opposed to taste. I have seen where you can buy mushroom powder for smoothies. Maybe I will not mind that so much. Mushrooms are incredibly healthy and can be a protein replacement for Vegans and Vegetarians. Mushrooms contain all 9 of the essential amino acids needed by the body. Mushrooms are also low in fat, sodium, and calories. Of course how you prepare them can effect that. If you have Kidney Disease mushrooms are particularly high in Phosphorus and possibly Potassium. Sticking to proper portion sizes will be of importance. My family loves hamburgers and I think I want to try a Portabello mushroom burger the next time. Mushrooms can also be used for medicinal purposes. Below you will find a video about mushrooms, and a video with a delicious mushroom recipe for you to try. You can even grow your own mushrooms, or forage for them. Try to purchase whole food mushrooms, not highly processed mushroom food items.

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