change is good, and change is coming!

Hello, and happy Memorial Day weekend! I would like to take a moment and thank all of those who serve and protect this great country. I have to work tomorrow so we don’t have any great plans. We had a small family cookout yesterday, and some pool fun today. I was actually able to safely get in the pool now that my shoulder is getting stronger again. Hooray!

So, what about all this talk of change? I am a true believer in self reflection, observing, learning, and then changing if needed. I have had the domain name healthbuddymelissa.coach for a year now. I do not really see any benefit at all to having it. So, change #1 I am probably going to let that expire and this blog will go back to being called healthbuddymelissa.wordpress.com I am good with that. I am keeping the blog name Health Buddy Melissa.

Possible change #2- letting go of my paid gmail account. I have not yet decided on this and I am actually leaning towards keeping it. It is secure and perfect for business purposes.

Change #3- Do I want to keep the premium paid option of WordPress, or just go back to the free version? The only two benefits to the paid version that I have is paid ads, which honestly I have only made a fraction of what I paid for the upgrade, and that I can add a Paypal button. I really don’t need to have that option either, as it is required to have a meet and greet before purchasing anything from me anyways. The only thing I can not find a definite answer to is whether I can still add my mailchimp newsletter signup on the free version, which of course I want. I am just not sure it is worth 96 dollars.

Change #4- I will be moving away from the Health Coaching part of this blog. This means the 30 day coaching plan will become inactive. My available plans page will be revamped and updated. While I still have my Health Coaching certificate it really is not serving me all that well. The market is saturated with Health Coaches as it is. I will be moving more towards my Wellness Certificates in Reiki, Guided Imagery, Herbs, and Essential Oils. I will be creating new graphics and plans all during the month of June. I will also be continuing with my monthly Wellness Challenges, and creating new paid content with updated paid content as well. These are Meals with Melissa, Lose Weight with Melissa, and Crafting with Melissa. These will all be revamped. You will see a newly updated disclaimer as well.

Change #5- Some new topics to target. Since I am still targeting the Middle Ages, 40-65, retirement, brain health, safety, mobility, diet, exercise, making money and relationships will be some of my targeted topics. You can’t be well if you can’t find a job. I will also be doing affiliate links, and possible paid reviews. I used to do these years ago on my Homeschool blog, which I really should get back to. Now that I will have a Senior next year, and then that is it, I can target Homeschool Consulting as a way to share my knowledge. I will only do affiliate links for products I would use myself, and honest reviews of any item I would review. If you would like to join the affiliate link website I joined, click here.

I probably will change the color scheme and logo as well. You will start to see these changes rolling out on June 1. I still have time to decide on the upgrades.

For the month of June I will be doing three different weeks of targeted topics.

June 1-7 will be Hurricane Preparedness. I will be expanding on the one post I did on this topic last year. It will cover a lot of things we did not think of until we actually had to evacuate for one.

June 8-21 This will be my two week Zero Point Food Challenge. You may have seen some people do these and it is based on a zero point food list from Weight Watchers. There will be a small catch, so be sure and follow along. I will share what I eat everyday. You do not have to be a member of my mailing list to see how I do. I will post right here on the blog.

June 22-30 This will be all about Brain Health.

So, June is going to be a very busy month with a lot going on here on the blog.

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10 risk factors you can control!

Happy Wednesday! As we come to the end of May and the end of Blood Pressure Awareness Month, it is time to start putting it all together. You can read all the posts on this topic in the archives. There is a ton of helpful information there. This post may contain affiliate links.

So, what are the 10 risk factors you can control?

  1. Everyone hates it when a medical person says this, but controlling your weight, if you are over weight or obese, is the #1 risk factor you can control to prevent High Blood Pressure. Now, for a small population, due to reasons outside of their control, weight loss may not be a risk factor they can control. BMI, and hip to waist ratio are other tools, besides just a number on a scale that can help you determine your risk.
  2. Reduce your stress levels. If you visited this blog at all in April then you know I talked about Stress reduction. Stress is a huge risk factor for High Blood Pressure and learning to control it is vital. Check the archives to learn about managing Stress. A Health Coach can help you. Check out my 30 day coaching plan. One thing I have discussed recently is that pain is a definite stressor and having adequate pain management is vitally important. Talk to your doctor if you have pain! Come back later this week to read about what annoyed me in the news today on the topic of Stress.
  3. Be Active. Exercise has been proven to help prevent and reduce blood pressure. However, be careful if you are new to exercise or have an underlying illness. I have CKD and recently I have started running. I have also noticed that my blood pressure has creeped up in that time when it was very well managed without medication. My doctor OK’d this increase in intensity, but I have gone back to low impact and the fat burning zone to see if it makes a difference in my blood pressure. I check my blood pressure most days of the week using a manual cuff and stethescope. I keep a log for my doctor to review.
  4. Eat a healthy diet. Now I know there is controversy around what is healthy and what is not. Lower sodium, lower fat and less processed foods I think most could agree would be healthy. Adding fruits and veggies is always going to be healthier than eating fast food, or otherwise less healthy food options.
  5. Eat less salt. This kind of goes with #4. Talk to your doctor but most experts on this topic, if you search it, say 1800 mg per day is all you should be getting for most people. Back in the day when I worked on a Cardiac Unit is was 2000 mg per day. So, it has decreased over the years.
  6. Limit your alcohol. I did a whole post on portion distortion alcohol and I think it is plain that most people do not understand the serving size of alcohol. If you are a man you should not drink more than 2 servings a day, and only 1 serving a day if you are a woman.
  7. Stop smoking. I don’t think that really needs explaining.
  8. Cut back on caffeine. Caffeine is found in coffee, some teas, energy drinks, chocolate and possibly other products I am not aware of. Not everyone is sensitive to caffeine raising their blood pressure, but if you consume a lot of it you might want to consider cutting back.
  9. Monitor your blood pressure. This really isn’t a lifestyle change, but more of a habit you should get into. Even if you are young and healthy regular monitoring of your blood pressure is a good idea. Even if you only have it checked every few months. If you are already at a high risk of getting High Blood Pressure, or already have it, monitoring your blood pressure is vitally important. You may not even know it is high, like for me, because you might have no symptoms. Even the smallest increases in blood pressure can have negative effects on the body, especially if the blood pressure goes unnoticed that it is high.
  10. Find a support team. This should include your doctor, family, friends, a Health Coach. Anyone who can help you adjust your risk factors. It is not easy making lifestyle changes, trust me I know, but doing it can prolong your life, prevent diseases, or complications from diseases.

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Can you retire with no money?

It’s like I just realized I was 51, soon to be 52, or something. Happy Tuesday! For the next little bit Tuesdays will be dedicated to topics about retiring. This post may contain affiliate links.

I will be 52 in August. While I worked full time and then some up until I had my first child, I have only worked part time since then. Now my youngest will be graduating next year and it is time to start thinking about things beyond child rearing, and homemaking. This blog, through Health Coaching, is intended to hopefully carry me into my Golden Years with a few paying customers and decrease the burden of bedside nursing on an older body. I need to start to invest more in advertising, promoting, and or other ways of making money blogging for that to work. I probably am one of those personalities that will never fully retire. I have to be busy and have a purpose. I love nursing. It is the only job I have ever had since the age of 17. While I can keep myself busy doing other things, busy work is not really a purpose to me, so I will probably always work some. But, that doesn’t change the fact that retirement years will be upon me soon enough.

If you are in your 50’s and you have not yet started to think about, or save for retirement now is definitely the time. But, what if you have not been planning all along and now you are afraid you will retire with no money. I would say a lot of people are in this situation. Gone are the days of having a pension with a company your work for your whole life. You may have an employer that offers a 401k and they may even add some money into it too. So, if you are old enough to remember back in the 90’s when Health Care became a for profit industry and a money making boom, you may have also noticed that is when companies started to do away with a pension option and steered more towards having a 401k. Why? Well for one thing you could assume it saved them a ton of money for many reasons. But, in the bigger picture it made the Stock Market a whole lot of money with a whole new brand of investors. Most 401k’s have some kind of investment in the Stock Market. You can of course opt out of that, but it hopefully helps you add to your 401k not wipe it out. If youOf are in your 50’s and just joining a 401k be sure and read your options carefully, and ask questions. You will want to be in the lowest risk option which may not make you as much money, but usually means you won’t wipe out the whole value in a crash either.

What if you have none of that, and have not set aside money either? Hopefully, you will qualify for Social Security and there are people who live on just Social Security. Now you won’t be skiing in Aspen, or buying a new boat, most likely but if done right you can manage. Did you know the average SS payment is only 1500 dollars a month. Think about your debt and bills and could you live on that?

My husband and I have dedicated this year to spending down our debt. We have been somewhat successful, but of course the central air had to die and had to be replaced. But, because we had paid down other debts we have the money to cover this debt without having to kill ourselves working more. I am sure we will carry this into the next year, as paying off our mortgage is a big goal.

Health of course is always a concern. The cost of Health Care is exorbitant especially as we age. With Kidney Disease I do worry about medical bills that may come in the future. That is why I have tried so hard to reduce my risk for my Kidney Disease getting worse, or complications from it. Just the cost of pain medicine for Chronic Pain can be extremely costly. They don’t mention this in the video below, but to me alleviating unnecessary medical bills by making healthier lifestyle changes should be included as a way to help retire with no money.

Of course learning to cook, cutting your food budget, and never wasting food are all things that will help you retire with no money saved.

The video below is very short and will help give you some ideas to help you if think you will be retiring with no money. You can also read this article here.

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My 3 favorite mindfulness techniques that may help lower blood pressure

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had an awesome weekend. I was able to work, technically light duty because I was not allowed to lift or pull, but I was grateful to work. I think sometimes we take for granted the importance of work and how it plays into our mindset. That doesn’t mean I think people should work themselves to death, just that it does have purpose other than to make money. This post may contain affiliate links.

This whole month I have been discussing Blood Pressure Awareness. You can see all of the posts in the series in the archives. As you may know, if you read here a lot, I have completed my Mindfulness Certificate course. I think people interpret Mindfulness in different ways and that is fine. Mindfulness is being in the present, being aware of your surroundings and how you feel about your surroundings. It is not an escape, or ignoring of what is going on around you. It is a way to become stronger, and more resilient in dealing with negative experiences and the way you react to them. It can help you relieve Stress and relax.

There was a study done that shows that Mindfulness may be able to help lower blood pressure or avoid it. Remember, that Stress is a huge driver of blood pressure. So, it would make sense that learning Mindfulness, may help lower or even prevent High Blood Pressure. As I always say, please do not ever stop taking medication on the advice of someone online. Talk to your doctor that you would like to try Mindfulness to see if it can help you. Hopefully your doctor will say, awesome and lets monitor you while you do it to see if it helps or not.

There are many different Mindfulness techniques. A lot of people use Meditation. But, to me Meditation is more about removing yourself from your thoughts and feelings, not exploring or noticing them. Don’t get me wrong Meditation super awesome and I love it, but just not really Mindful to me. A lot of people like controlled breathing patterns. This is also an awesome technique and is particularly helpful when the moment can not be escaped or left for a few minutes. Such as excusing yourself to take a few minutes to reflect and gather your thoughts. Counting to 5 before you speak so you can think of a good response instead of a hasty one is another great technique. You can read the article here.

So, what are my 3 favorite techniques for minding my emotions and being in the present moment?

  1. Mindful Meditation. To me Mindful Meditation is a type of self reflection of my day or how I reacted to certain circumstances. Since I tend to Ruminate, or go over things again and again, especially when it is time for sleep, Mindful Meditation helps me to finalize all my thoughts on the day so I can fall asleep. There are obviously several ways that you can do this. My favorite way is to hook up my Bluetooth headphones and play the video below on low, while wearing this eye warming mask. My son gave me money for Mother’s Day and I bought one. It isn’t that exact brand but pretty much the same. The mask stays warm for exactly 20 minutes, and during that 20 minutes I reflect on the events of the day, noticing how I reacted to those events. If I think I could have had a better reaction I make a note of that in my mind so hopefully the next time I will remember to notice how I am feeling and better control the situation. I find this technique not only helpful for me to fall asleep faster but to learn more about myself and the ways that I respond to situations. If you don’t like the idea of the eye mask, using a journal to reflect on your day is another option. Not only do I fall asleep faster, but the warming mask also helps my dry eyes. You can read about my dry eye saga, here.
  2. Body Scans. Body scanning is a very easy technique to learn. You can do it in a restroom, or just sitting quietly and no one will even know you are doing it. I use Self Reiki for my body scan. I can’t really do it in public, because people will definitely notice. But, I could do it in a restroom or quiet office space. This is especially helpful if you are noticing that you are having a negative response to a situation, or feeling stressed. You are in the present moment and noticing how you are feeling. You may not like the feeling, body scanning may help to reduced that stressor and eliminate it.
  3. Mindful Exercise. This will be different for everyone. Whatever type of exercise and music format will allow you to reflect on your emotions related to situations is what you are looking for. For me, and I have talked about this probably 100 times, walking in nature is my thing. Even if I am on the treadmill I tend to put on nature sounds while I walk. It allows my mind to wander and concentrate on situations, reactions and how I can reduce that stressor thereby possibly reducing blood pressure. Yoga, Pilates, Kickboxing perhaps, or jumping around to Hard Rock may be more your thing. Whatever allows you to be present in a moment, evaluate it, feel it, and then change it if need be. Mindfulness is not always about changing how you behave in a situation. Through your reflection you may find that you behaved just fine and you are OK with it. So, store it and let it be.

No matter which Mindfulness topic you may want to try, it is important to use your senses to notice your surroundings. Touch, Smell, Sight, Sound, and Taste are the 5 senses. Try to notice them in your everyday life it will help you to become more mindfully aware.

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Low calorie food #3

Happy Friday! Today is my Orthopedic consult for my injured shoulder. While I was able to work yesterday without too much discomfort, I also did not lift or pull on anyone. My boss was in agreement to these terms for me to work. I have a feeling this will need to continue if I am going to work until it completely heals. This post may contain affiliate links.

Today, I am going to discuss the 3rd low calorie food item in my new series. Cantaloupe is this week’s featured food. Cantaloupe is a Musk Melon and I have one plant growing in my garden. I decided to give it a try even though the directions said it needed a lot of room to grow. I have placed it in one of the raised beds all by itself and it has several blossoms that I hope will produce fruit. I have never really eaten much Cantaloupe. It is an awesome source for Vitamins, C, A, plus Potassium, and Folate. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin which means in order for the body to absorb the Vitamin A properly it must be eaten with a fat source. So, bring on some yummy fruit dip or whipped topping full fat variety. Just use it in proper portion sizes. I think a lot of times people don’t realize when they remove fat completely from their diet they probably are not absorbing vital nutrients properly, as well as when they take a supplement. You can read more about this here.

Per my Nutrition Facts app 1/2 cup of raw cantaloupe contains the following nutrients: There are others but these are the basics.

Water: 90 grams. This is a lot of water. If you are on fluid restrictions be sure to account for water in foods. If you are underhydrated have some cantaloupe.

Calories: Only 34 calories per 1/2 cup

Protein: Less than 1 gram

Fat: .19 gram

Fiber: 1 gram

Carbs: 8 grams

Calcium: 9 mg

Magnesium: 12 mg

Phosphorus: 15 mg this is a great choice if you have to watch your phosphorus intake

Potassium: 267 mg. If you have CKD this is a high Potassium option. Either have a 1/4 cup or be sure and adjust you other potassium food items the rest of the day.

Sodium: 16 mg

Vitamin C: 37 mg

Folate: 21 ug

Vitamin A RAE: 169 ug

Vitamin A IU: 3382 IU

Vitamin K: 2.5 ug

Did you know there are two different types of Vitamin A? Watch the videos below to learn more about this, and other facts about this awesome low calorie food. You can actually get too much Vitamin A. Be sure to read these safety facts and foods that are good sources of Vitamin A.

The purpose of these low calorie food posts is to help anyone who is overweight and needs to lose weight to make better food options.

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CBD Oil for Pain in people with ckd

Welcome to Wednesday! If you read my post yesterday than you already know I am going to be discussing pain management with CKD. I talked about this in January of this year. You can read that post here. I also have discussed medications and how they can damage the kidneys. You can read that post here. But, this week all of my thoughts about pain and living with CKD came true. Continue reading to learn more.

I have had Kidney Disease since the beginning of 2017. For four years I have maintained stage 3 and was recently back to stage 2. That is another long drawn out story, but for me I have been lucky that I have not really had pain to deal with outside minor aches and pains. Last Friday I started to have a nagging pain in my right shoulder. I have had this pain in this shoulder before and just brushed it off to over use. Nurses are good like that, lol. Anyway Saturday it was really hurting and my mobility was limited, but by Sunday I was in full on acute pain and very limited movement of my right arm. I told my husband we should probably go to the ER to be sure it wasn’t fractured. So, we did. No fracture but they told me it could be a rotator cuff injury and only an MRI could see that, which of course they didn’t do. I informed them I had kidney disease, and yet they still wrote me an order for Robaxin, a muscle relaxant that is toxic to the kidneys, instead of Flexeril which is not. Nor did they offer me a sling despite the fact I could not raise my arm above chest level at best. They did give me a 7 day supply of Lidocaine patches, which is best as I could tell are definitely not for acute or severe pain. I tried one, but it really didn’t do anything for more than an hour. Anyways I called off sick Monday and made an appt for Friday at the Ortho doctor. That was the earliest I could be seen. Then my primary doctor was not in the office Monday, and the nurse apparently did not give her my message about my pain on Tuesday. So, what is a girl in pain supposed to do? Well for one thing I bought a sling. That made the pain worse. Ice made the pain worse. Tylenol was of absolutely no help at all. So, yes I took Ibuprofen the one family of drugs that I know is not great for my kidneys. But, I didn’t have a choice. I took only 2 Ibuprofen twice a day. Just enough to reduce the inflammation enough to get some relief. The Ibuprofen, rest, elevation and a knee brace applied to my bicep/tricep area of my arm is what helped. By Tuesday I was getting some of the mobility back though the pain was still quite intense. By today I have at least 80% of my ROM back and the pain is tolerable. I have only taken one Ibuprofen today. I went grocery shopping but absolutely could not lift anything over a couple of pounds and brushing my teeth was still quite painful. But, this is improvement. This tells me the rotator cuff at the very least is not torn which is great news. This also tells me this is probably going to be a chronic issue. I am supposed to work tomorrow, Thursday, and I informed my boss I would be more than happy to work but that I would not lift or pull on anyone. He agreed to this and will let the team know. So, this brings me back to the reason for this post. People with CKD are not given a lot of options and definitely not good options for pain management for their CKD or for any other pain. My doctor told me Tylenol was the only option to me for pain. That is totally unacceptable. I live a full and active life. I work and I need to work. I will not tolerate being told that there is no way I can’t not suffer. CBD oil is legal and while I don’t know all of the rules for Florida, I know it is legal to buy. I will be discussing CBD with all of my doctors as a way to manage pain. I have a high tolerance for pain. Plus, I don’t take any medications and I don’t think asking to have proper pain management should be overlooked. Nor will I accept it. I don’t want to be high, addicted or whatever other negative connotations could label me. I just want to know I can have relief like anybody else and not destroy my kidneys.

Here is an article on CBD and pain management for people with CKD, and a couple of other reference items. As far as I can tell it has no negative side effects on the kidneys and works well. As with anything it may interact with other medicines you take, or have other effects. Talk to your doctor if you have pain but have been offered poor pain management especially for acute, or severe pain.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31972598/

https://labtestsonline.org/tests/tacrolimus#:~:text=The%20tacrolimus%20test%20is%20used,is%20below%20the%20toxic%20level.

https://blog.brightfieldgroup.com/emergence-of-usda-certified-organic-cbd

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how to lower high blood pressure

Hello, and welcome back to all of my wonderful readers. Since typing and using a mouse are still quite painful on my right arm, this will be a quick post. A lot of the material in the video I have covered in previous posts anyhow. You can browse through the archives to learn more. This post may contain affiliate links.

Tomorrow I am going to try to do a post on this horrible shoulder injury I have, and some of my frustrations with doctors and my lack of proper pain therapy. Now I know I have CKD and of course I don’t want to take something that will damage my kidneys. But, I also still need to be able to work and I don’t even need to be pain free, just somewhat comfortable. One of the things I will be discussing related to my pain, is CBD Oil. I have been thinking about this for a while, but it has never come up in conversations with my doctors. Now it feels like a must. More on that topic tomorrow and what literature says about CBD, pain, and CKD.

My blood pressure has been kind of high for me lately. It seems when I started increasing the intensity of my workouts that is when I noticed the difference. I am not entirely sure why this would be, but I did receive clearance from my Kidney Doctor to do so. I think I am going to return to just the fat burning zone and see if the BP comes down then I will know what the trigger was. If you are on my mailing list then you know I had reached my goal of running 1.5 miles in 15 minutes. I had continued to do that, but now I am rethinking it.

Admittedly I do not want to have to take BP medications, but it always sits in the back of my head. I also don’t want to have a Heart Attack or Stroke. Since my kidney function improved back to stage 2 the last set of blood work, I am not thinking kidney function is the issue. I have to have a repeat Lipid Panel tomorrow, as well as a BMP. While not a full Renal Panel it will have my BUN and Creatinine on it.

The lady doctor in the video does mention Stress relief as a way to reduce blood pressure. However, she does not mention pain. Trust me pain is a stressor and not having proper pain management will only make that stressor worse. It is an excellent video and I encourage you to watch it. Note in the second video that it states your Pharmacist can actually check your blood pressure for you.

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Can food help prevent high blood pressure?

Hello, and welcome to Monday! I had a pretty stressful weekend and you may have read about it. I did end up at the ER last evening because the pain in my right shoulder was excruciating. If you read here often enough then you know I have stage 3, recently stage 2, Kidney Disease. There are not a lot of pain medication choices for severe pain if you have CKD especially non-dialysis CKD. It isn’t fractured, but it did show mineralization of the shoulder joint which surely does not make me thrilled. I have an appt with Ortho for Friday, and I was prescribed a muscle relaxant that I can not use because it is nephro toxic and Lidocaine patches, which are safe. I have one patch on now and while it is not great it at least helps. I am also now the proud owner of a sling and I will be putting that on as soon as I am done typing. I had a very unproductive weekend as most of my time was spent sitting in a chair with my arm elevated and immobilized. I did still walk on the treadmill, as my legs are fine, but no running as it was too jarring for the arm. I will be discussing with the doctor CBD oil as I have a feeling this is going to be an ongoing chronic issue for me and I have to be able to work. There has to be something that is safe and effective for people with CKD to relieve pain. You can read my other article on pain and CKD here. I can type, and use a mouse, plus it didn’t take 30 minutes to put on a bra and shirt this morning. Progress!

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May is Blood Pressure Awareness Month as you already know if you read here often. Today, I will discuss whether food can prevent High Blood Pressure. Of course, the answer is yes. It not only can prevent it, but it is one of the main ways they tell you to control it, via food choices, ie better diet. You can read all of my other posts on this topic in the archives.

Like with many things you may want to prevent getting, a healthy diet is going to be very wise choice for preventing high blood pressure. You probably get tired of hearing this, but it is true, a healthy diet can help prevent a lot of health issues later in life. Poor food choices if you want to prevent High Blood Pressure are foods high in sodium, fat, and calories. Eat more fruits, veggies, whole grains, fiber, low sodium and low fat varieties of foods. Cooking at home, and bringing a sack lunch will help avoid convenience or fast foods. Losing weight can also help prevent high blood pressure, but only if you are clinically overweight, or obese. Like many things as we age our blood vessels lose elasticity, making age a risk factor we have no control over. That is why eating healthy is so important.

Reducing salt and sodium can help because when you consume too much salt the body retains water to help flush out the sodium. For some people this can lead to high blood pressure, especially if you have any of the other risk factors. If you have Kidney Disease controlling salt intake is super important in helping to control blood pressure. Remember that we do need sodium for our bodies to function properly. Always discuss with your doctor what amount is a good amount for you. 1500 mg per day which is only 1.5 grams is what some medical websites are promoting. Boxed and prepared foods are going to get you above this amount very quickly.

Choosing low fat food options helps because when you eat too much fat it can accumulate in your blood vessels causing them to narrow. This will increase your blood pressure. If you are following a Keto type diet to lose weight, I would recommend you have your lipid panel checked every few months to be sure you are not consuming too much fat. Your doctor will discuss this with you. If they don’t, ask.

Reducing calories, which can lead to weight loss, can help prevent high blood pressure, because people who are overweight or obese have an increased risk for getting high blood pressure. This may be due to the excess pressure the body has carrying all of that extra weight around. You can read more about better food options for preventing High Blood Pressure, here. Some of these foods may be high in Potassium, so if you have CKD be mindful of your Potassium choices. You can read about the DASH Diet here.

I am going to tell you right off the bat if you have never tried sodium free, or fat free foods, you are most likely not going to like them. They simply do not taste good. But, you can use things like vinegars, herbs, and spices to add flavor to your food. Be careful of condiments. I find organic foods, though more expensive, are usually lower in sodium. You do have to learn to read nutrition labels to be sure. Not the statements on the front of the food, the actual nutrition label on the back. If you must use canned vegetables rinse them first. Try not to cook with salt. Opt for lower fat, or lower sodium, and avoid fried, fast food, or convenience foods.

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Calf exercises 2 and 3 for weeks 2 and 3

Hello all my fabulous readers! I am still nursing this shoulder injury, but at least today I can type. I did not realize that I did not share move 2 for week 2 of the May Health Challenge which is to strengthen the calfs. So, this week I am posting both exercise 2 and 3. These exercises have helped me immensely on my run days. If you remember I am prone to shin splint type pains and cramping in the calf area when running. Only one day did I still have cramping and I am not sure why. I do the exercise before running on the treadmill. This post may contain affiliate links.

Are you working on your calfs? Leave me a comment and let me know how it is going.

So, move two is toe raises. I do them with the seated calf raises and then I do pulses of just toe raises. This is a fabulous exercise for targeting the Soleus muscle which is my main nemesis when running.

Exercise 3 is walking on the tiptoes. I used to work a lady that had the hottest legs ever. She wore high heels everywhere, except to work of course. Nurses don’t generally work in high heels, lol. If you would rather wear high heels then walk on your tippy toes, that would work too.

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self care Saturday: Resting when you are injured

Happy Saturday! This is not what I intended to talk about today, but because I have reinjured an old shoulder injury even typing is incredibly painful. So, short and sweet today. I am admittedly not good at slowing down, or taking it easy, especially when it is absolutely gorgeous outside and I have tons of things I would like to be doing, like gardening and such. I did manage to mow one tiny spot in the backyard, but my husband had to start the mower for me and I mowed with with one hand. I can still enjoy the weather just sitting still, lol. I can’t use the weed whacker or dig at all, or rake. I did get on the treadmill but I had to keep my right arm immobile because even walking it was pulling on my shoulder.

So, that is it. I am sitting still, resting my arm and relaxing. A nice change for me. If you have CKD like me, then you know how challenging it can be when you are in pain. There are not a lot of options for pain relief that are either effective or safe for the kidneys. I will do a self Reiki session before I go to sleep and that usually will help a lot to relax and sleep. Right now, rest, immobilization, Tylenol and heat are my choices. I don’t find ice comfortable.

Have a wonderful Saturday, and I hope your weather is as lovely as mine!

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