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Hello, and Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. My thoughts are with everyone in the path of Hurricane Ida, this morning, and as it weakens everyone in it’s path. We had just moved to Florida when Hurricane Katrina hit LA 16 years ago, yesterday. I remember watching the devastation on the TV and thinking do I really want to live in these hurricane areas. But, I grew up in upstate NY, and blizzards and very low temps were a real thing there too. So, here we still are. We have actually only had to evacuate one time. We have stayed for Cat 1’s and 2’s, and I have to say those are plenty scary enough, especially with kids, and pets to worry about. Anyway enough of that. Keep them all in your prayers, and if you can help out, please do so.

This is a quick topic, today. If you would like to receive my twice monthly Mailchimp newsletter, please sign up below. I share content that I don’t share here, recipes not shared here on the blog, plus offer coupon deals on my Health Coaching programs. Right now I am offering a deal on my Walking Buddy Plan. Sign up to get the savings code in next week’s email, or I can just send last week’s newsletter after you sign up. Everyone gets my free portable smoothie recipe, that is kidney friendly.

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Face Masks and facts on Friday!

Hello, Hello, and welcome to Friday! Today, I am going to discuss a more serious topic. August is an extremely busy month for me, every year. I have a lot going on and I don’t always pay attention to the news. Keep reading to see what caught my attention.

I got a news alert earlier this week that the FDA was telling people to please not take Ivermectin for Covid. I thought wth why are people taking an anti-parasite for Covid? Then I saw another news alert that farm stores were running out of Ivermectin. So, I started to do some research.

Apparently Ivermectin can have some anti-viral properties, and there were some clinical trials done. However, and I say however loudly these trials had a lot of bias, and were not randomized control trials the gold standard of trials. I read a whole lot of these trials, watched some videos, and the one I am sharing here is from Pubmed, a reliable source from July 28, 2021 explaining why Ivermectin has not been approved as a prophylaxis or treatment for Covid 19.

Beyond the fact that is not approved by the FDA, for prophylaxis or treatment of Covid 19, are other issues of concern. Such as:

  1. It is not my place to question what a doctor orders for their patients, whether off label, or appropriate for such reasons, however, if a doctor is ordering something off label and possibly inappropriate why are pharmacies filling these prescriptions? I have an idea that people are doctor shopping until they find a doctor willing to give them what they want. Again, to each their own, but in my very humble opinion this is possibly setting doctors, and pharmacists for malpractice lawsuits.
  2. If you are taking Ivermectin by pill form, I believe it can only be purchased via a doctor’s prescription, or a Vet. I say I think, because maybe the pills are available at your local farm store. I am not sure. But, I mention this because if Ivermectin is to be given in pill form the dose has to be calculated in unigrams per kilogram of body weight to be sure the correct dose is given. Is your doctor, or Vet, or yourself calculating that dose? If not, you could be taking a dose meant for a cow, or a horse, which I am pretty sure most people do not weigh as much as a cow, or a horse. Just saying!
  3. If, and again I say if, you are taking Ivermectin via pill form you should only be doing this in a controlled clinical trial where proper monitoring is being done. If you are not in a controlled clinical trial, or at the very least, the doctor that gave it to you is monitoring you for any kind of ill effects, then you probably shouldn’t be taking it.
  4. This is the one I find the most absurd, or all of this, people are buying Ivermectin cream and applying it to their body as if in some chance a cream for a parasite is somehow going to help an airborne virus. Now, you may put the cream on and not get Covid. That doesn’t mean it worked. That just means you didn’t get exposed to Covid, didn’t get a large enough viral load to get sick, or you may have already been infected with Covid were asymptomatic and have antibodies.

Now, since we obviously are going to be wearing masks for at least a little bit longer, we might as well wear one that is cool. Check out the cool mask below, link under the image to purchase if desired.

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What should I eat with diverticulitis?

Welcome back to another Wellness Wednesday topic. This also concludes this month’s series of posts on Diverticulosis/Diverticulitis. Be sure to read through the other 3 posts if you are interested.

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Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis are kind of sister diseases. You won’t get Diverticulitis without having Diverticulosis first. Most people don’t even know they have Diverticulosis until they get Diverticulitis. The video below explains it all really well. But, as for what you should eat if you get Diverticulitis, it is kind of the opposite of Diverticulosis. The video shows images of the colon. If you do not like those kind of images you may wish to not watch.

With Diverticulitis you may be instructed to:

  1. Eat liquids only for a few days to allow the bowel to rest and decrease inflammation.
  2. When you do start to eat foods again, eat a soft diet, and an easy to digest diet such as scrambled eggs, toast, soups, broth, etc.
  3. Eat a low fiber diet. Fiber is harder to digest than other foods, and the bowel needs time to rest from all that work.
  4. Your doctor may even tell you to eat nothing by mouth for a day or so, if you have a really bad case of Diverticulitis.

That is pretty easy, right? Well you want to avoid the complications that can come with Diverticulitis, which can lead to perforation, Peritonitis, and even surgery to repair parts of the bowel. Some people could even need a resection of the bowel.

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Get to know oxalates!

Hello, and welcome to Healthy Tips on Tuesday! This week’s tip is really a teaser of topics to come. Get to Know Oxalates!

I already knew some about Oxalates, because I have CKD. But, I did not know to the extent that they are toxic, and even poisonous. Oxalates are found in lots of plant foods. I have been strictly plant-based for about 2 months now, and I have noticed some odd symptoms. But, I am still researching this, and I don’t have a ton of time today to do a large post. Plus, it is a teaser. You will just have to pay attention to learn more about this topic.

Tomorrow I will most likely be doing my last post on Diverticulitis, and then I can concentrate on Oxalates after that.

If you are Vegetarian, Vegan, Plant-Based, or just eat a ton of plant foods every day, you are going to want to keep up with this topic.

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do not eat Star fruit if you have kidney issues!

Hello, and Happy Sunday! I don’t think I have ever even seen a Star Fruit in my grocery store. I had read before that Star Fruit was a no go for people with Kidney Disease, but I never really knew why. You could guess that maybe it was too high in Potassium, or Phosphorus. Actually, it is much worse than that. Keep reading to learn more, and where I will be going with this topic this week. You still have time to get in this week’s Social Share event. You can add your info until midnight tonight Eastern Time. I am going to try to do different variations of this each weekend.

In researching the Star Fruit I learned quite a bit about Oxalates. Now I already knew that Oxalates can cause issues for people with Kidney Disease. But, what I failed to recognize is that Oxalates do not just cause kidney stones, but can cause other issues in the kidneys. If you read here a lot, then you know that I switched from a Low Carb Diet to a Plant-Based Diet with very low consumption of animal meats, or dairy, and also that I am stable Stage 3 CKD. It is a lower in fat way of eating and it really makes me feel better. But, I did not take into account that I may be getting too much Vitamin C, yes that is a bad thing, and an abundance of Oxalates. I knew leafy greens were high in Oxalates, but I did not know so many other foods were. But, that is for another day. I have been noticing some strange recurring symptoms since going fully plant-based. I am curious to discover if it is due to the Oxalates in these foods, one of which I eat almost every day.

Today, I am discussing just Star Fruit. Apparently it is quite delicious and has a lot of good nutrition qualities. However, it also has some very bad qualities. In certain parts of the world where this fruit grows, and is very popular governments have put limits on consumption of Star Fruit. Now that says something.

The problem with Star Fruit if you have Kidney Disease, and even if you don’t, is that it is very high in Oxalates. Oxalates can cause kidney stones, but it can also possibly cause Neurological issues. When the kidneys can not remove excess Vitamin C, and or Oxalates, then they build up in the bloodstream and can cause Neurotoxicity and even seizures, or brain damage. You will see a video below, and two studies to read on this topic. The one study showed that even people without kidney disease, or prone to kidney stones, can have kidney damage caused by these Oxalates from Star Fruit. A 1/2 cup of Star Fruit contains 246 mg of Oxalates. People with Kidney Disease are often recommended to have up to only 100 mg per day of Oxalates. I don’t know about you, but my kidney doctor has never offered me any nutritional advice except to limit Sodium intake. He also warned me against consuming dairy of which I hardly ever have anymore. But, if eating foods high in Oxalates you might want to have dairy with it as the calcium binds with the Oxalates. Vitamin C is broken down into Oxalates in the body. If you do decide you can’t live without Star Fruit you may wish to eat it with a source of Calcium and drink plenty of water. What plenty of water means to me may not be the amount of water you need, especially if you are on fluid restrictions. Be wise when interpreting food topics.

Of particular interest to me was the fact that Star Fruit, or it’s plant name Carambola, or Kamaranka are sometimes used in herbal remedies, or dietary supplements. It is very important to read ingredient labels to see if this is in a product you may wish to purchase. Take a few minutes to check ingredient lists when you purchase items. Also, if there are any cautions, or warnings, on a label be sure to note them. If you would like to learn more about my Health Coaching services, and how I can help you reach your health goals, please use the contact form at the end of this post to message me.

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social media share saturday and sunday

I have not done one of these in a while, so I thought it might be fun. Please read the rules before participating. They are not hard. I do moderate all comments because I get a ton of spam.

To participate in the Health Buddy Melissa Social Media Share please follow these rules.

  1. The sharing will run from 1 AM Eastern time on Saturday, until Midnight Eastern time on Sunday. That means when I get up Monday morning any links shared time stamped before midnight will be accepted. That gives people a whole day and a half to participate. For now this will be a recurring thing every weekend.
  2. In the comments you need to say if you followed any of my social media links below. Please state which social media you did for me and then a link to a social media for you that you want me to follow. This week is only for follows. I will not join new social media, so if you don’t use any of the ones that I share below, then this event is not for you. I will do other types in the future. If you follow more than one of my links, simply say so, and offer four links to yours.
  3. Please don’t say you did something if you didn’t, or remove it right after you say you did it. That is really just ugly.

These are my social media platforms that I use.

  1. https://www.pinterest.com/HealthBuddyMelissa
  2. https://www.facebook.com/Health-Buddy-Melissa-364320441037546 I could especially use Facebook follows.
  3. https://twitter.com/melissasjewelry My Twitter is an old account that I share a variety of stuff on, not just this blog.
  4. https://www.tumblr.com/blog/healthbuddymelissa

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what is diverticulitis?

Welcome to another Tuesday edition of Health Tips on Tuesday. August is Colon Health Awareness Month and I have been discussing Diverticulosis. Today, I am going to talk about Diverticulitis. It is a sister disease to Diverticulosis. You can read the other posts on this topic in the archives.

Diverticulitis is very common especially as we age. You have to have Diverticulosis to have Diverticulitis. Why? Because Diverticulitis is inflammation, and or infection, of the Diverticulum that are present in Diverticulosis. Remember that diverticulum are pouches that form usually in the lower colon and can not only become infected but also can blow, or perforate causing much larger issues.

There are 3 videos below that explain Diverticulitis and have images to help you visualize what I mean. It may be disturbing to some people, so watch wisely. The 3rd video is in Spanish, to explain it to any Spanish readers that may visit this blog. I only know a little Spanish, so I can not verify what he is saying. I tried to find it in Sign Language as well, but I could not locate any, except for one with signs for common symptoms. So, I will share that for any medical people so you can have at least some basic signs to communicate with hearing impaired patients.

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Mindful monday: It’s a whopper!

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Mindful Monday, more directly Mindful Eating. I have been reading up on Mindful Eating vs Intuitive Eating, and while they are similar they are a bit different. I will post more about that another time. Always be aware that my posts are meant to be a discussion, or educational, on topics about Health. Not everyone agrees that we should be Mindful of what we eat, and that is fine, but I disagree. I think we should be very Mindful of what we put into our bodies, whether it is food, or other substances. If this post will upset you for any reason, please feel free not to read it.

When I mindfully eat it is to know how many Macros, and other nutrients I am eating in any given food. My journey to Health will not look like yours, but I think Mindful Eating is important for my Kidney Journey.

Today, I am going to discuss the delicious Whopper. I love Burger King Whopper’s. I just had one the other day, for the first time in a while, and it was delicious. But, was I mindful of what I was eating, or just eating. Actually, I was very hungry, and while I already knew some of the nutrition info for a Whopper I definitely was not eating mindfully. Why? Because if I had been eating mindfully I would have been more aware of the nutrition info, rather than just how hungry I was and the taste of the burger. For me, it all goes together. Now, that doesn’t mean I would have chose to not eat fast food. I may have gotten a Whopper Jr. instead. Along my journey I have come to the conclusion that deprivation accomplishes nothing, and I can have food, even not so healthy options, in moderation. Just to remind everyone, I have stage 3, stable, and slowly improving CKD. I have no dietary limitations except for salt. However, eating mindfully, I feel, helps me to stay stable, and not have CKD progression. Mindful Eating can be used in many ways. Maybe you want to slow down and enjoy your food more, learn to like new textures, or flavors. You may also want to try and eat more food on a whole, or change other food choices such as eating less meat, more veggies, etc. It can be tailored to whatever your specific needs might be.

Nutrition Information for the Whopper without Cheese: This info is from the BK website, and Eat this Much for Phosphorus and other nutrients not listed on BK website.

Calories: 657

Total Fat: 40 grams or 60% of daily value

Saturated Fat: 11.7 grams or 59% of daily value. That is a humdinger of a lot of fat.

Cholesterol: 92 mg or 31% of RDA

Sodium: 983 mg or 41% of RDA If you have CKD this may be close to your daily limit already in just one burger.

Total Carbs: 49 grams

Fiber: 2 grams this is paltry btw

Sugars: 11 grams. Why on Earth would a burger need 11 grams of added sugars? That is over a teaspoon of sugar.

Protein: 28 grams. If you have CKD and have a protein intake set for you, this is important to know.

Potassium: 491 mg again very important to track if you have CKD

Vitamin B6: 21% of RDA

Vitamin K: 48% of RDA that is a lot of Vitamin K IMO in a non-vegetable food source. I am curious about this. If you are on Coumadin you have probably been told to limit foods high in Vitamin K.

Calcium: 12% of RDA. Since there is no cheese on the burger, I am assuming the Calcium is coming from the Sesame Seed bun. Some people with CKD may have to monitor their Calcium intake especially to help prevent Heart Disease.

Iron: 159% of RDA.

Phosphorus: 27% of RDA. The RDA for people with CKD may be lower than for people without CKD, and may need to be tradcked.

Water: 164.2 grams another nutrient super important for CKD people to track. Food has so much water it isn’t just about the fluids you drink.

Now for the ingredients in a Whopper. Apparently, it is right on the wrapper and my unobservant self did not even notice it. But, the ingredients are 100% flame-grilled beef, lettuce, tomato, mayo, pickles, ketchup, onions, and a sesame seed bun. In their effort to have a more clean-eating experience in their restaurants, they state there are no artificial ingredients, MSG, or High Fructose Corn Syrup. Those are all very good things, but this food item is still very high in Saturated Fat, Salt, and even has sugar added, apparently. Most likely the sugar is in the Ketchup or the bun.

I will still enjoy a Whopper now and then, but I will enjoy it mindfully, I hope.

If you would like to learn more about Mindful Eating may be able to help you meet your eating lifestyle goals, use the contact form after the images to send me an email.

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national filet mignon day!

I think there is a food holiday almost every day. I missed National Smore’s Day, but I will catch it next year. I won’t talk about all of them, don’t worry. Today, August 13th is National Filet Mignon Day. Keep reading to learn more. This post may contain affiliate links.

Steak, everybody loves it! Well, not everyone, but steak is a pretty popular source of meat in the USA, and Filet Mignon is the most tender cut. It is also super delicious when cooked properly. It can also be quite pricey, depending on where you buy it and if you are cooking it yourself or ordering in a restaurant.

I love Filet Mignon!

I only eat steak a few times a year. Why?

  1. It is very expensive, and I am cheap. However, according to my Basket app 10 oz of Filet Mignon is only $7.99. If you eat a 3 oz portion, you will have slightly over 3 portions. I think that is pretty affordable, actually.
  2. I eat a mostly plant-based diet with low quantities of red meats. Red meats are beef, lamb, mutton, pork, veal, venison, and goat meat. If you have been reading along this month, then you know I have been discussing Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis. While researching those conditions I found an article of a recent study that said eating more than 2.5 oz of red meat per day can increase your risk of colon Cancer. This also includes processed meats such as bacon, sausage, etc.
  3. I have CKD. I have been stage 3 since 2017. All best practice says that if you have CKD you should be eating 0.6 to 0.8g/kgofbodyweight/per day. There is an influencer doctor who promotes the Keto Diet on Youtube, and I presume other places, who says it is a myth that high protein diets can harm the kidneys. It is most certainly not a myth, but you can read for yourself. My only point being is that you should listen to your doctor. The one who hopefully you see on a regular basis, orders your labs, and evaluates your labs. If your doctor says it is safe for you to consume the Keto Diet, or any high protein diet, whether you have CKD, or not, then it is probably OK. There are some cases where your doctor may tell you to do a higher protein diet, such as to lose weight quickly in cases where it is needed, and some people with stage 4 or 5 of CKD have what is called Protein Energy Wasting, and may be instructed by their doctor to eat more protein. Make sure you see your doctor regularly and have routine lab work to monitor your kidney function. You may wish to speak with a Registered Dietitian. Proteinuria is a key sign that the kidneys are not filtering properly. Egg yolks, and red meat, create a metabolite that is harmful to kidneys. Read it! I know for sure I feel much better when I consume 50 grams of protein or less per day. I have very little to no inflammation, and I don’t experience hyperfiltration of my kidneys.

Before anyone jumps all over me Plant-Based does not mean Vegan. Please read up on this topic.

Nutrition of 3 ounces of Filet Mignon cooked: These are estimates based on varying nutrition data. Most are close to the same.

Calories: 210 mg

Total Fat: 15 g

Saturated Fat: 6 g

Sodium: 45 mg

Potassium: 250 mg

Carbs: Zero

Fiber: Zero

Phosphorus: 15% of RDA

Protein: 15 grams

Other nutrients: Like Zinc, Vit B 12, Vit B 6, and Niacin, for which it is a good source.

Am I telling you not to eat Filet Mignon? Absolutely Not! I love Filet Mignon, and I enjoy it once in a while. I also eat other meat, and even processed foods. But, I eat them in proper portion sizes, most of the time lol, and in a Mindful way as to the effects it may have on my body. There are other issues besides just protein that goes along with eating meat if you have CKD. Namely phosphorus, sometimes calcium, potassium, and Iron which are all very important issues to consider for people with CKD. Below you will see some videos on how to cook Filet Mignon, and more.

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what Should I eat with diverticulosis?

A quick note before I begin. I was going to talk about Fiber and how it helps prevent someone from getting Diverticulosis in the first place. However, I have been studying this topic for over a week now and there are very conflicting opinions, and test results for fiber as a preventative to getting Diverticulosis, and whether it may actually increase one’s risk of getting Diverticulosis. For that reason the fiber issue, here, will only be discussed in relation to people who already have Diverticulosis.

If you want to learn more about preventing Diverticulosis discuss with your doctor about a diet that would be best. Studies are showing that a job where you sit a lot may actually be the highest risk factor for getting Diverticulosis. More about activity in a later post So, what if you already have Diverticulosis? What should you eat? Well, some of that is a loaded topic because it probably will depend on some other factors such as other illnesses, medications, activity level, etc. But, in general if you have Diverticulosis your doctor most likely is going to advise that you avoid processed foods, eat a more plant-based lifestyle, and of course increase your fiber intake. Be sure you drink enough water, or you may end up constipated from too much fiber. This goes for anyone who eats a high fiber diet. Start slow, don’t go from 10 grams of fiber per day to 50, your gut will not be happy at all.

How much Fiber? First let me say you need to know how much fiber you are already consuming, before you decide if you need to eat more. A food diary, for a week or so, will help you decide that. Be accurate and consistent with your food dietary intake. There are apps that can help you. I use one called Track-Nutrition Calculator. If you are a female under age 50, and have Diverticulosis 25 grams of fiber, if over 50 then 21 grams of fiber per day. If you are a male under age 50, and have Diverticulosis 38 grams of fiber, if over 50 years of age 30 grams of fiber. These number recommendations are from 2012, so they may be different, or the same in 2021.

Why is Fiber Important for Diverticulosis? It keeps food and waste moving through the digestive system, not allowing backups and waste from getting into the pouches in the intestines that define Diverticulosis. It is when these pouches get food, or waste in them, that they become inflame or infected causing Diverticulitis. If you have a bout of Diverticulitis you will be told to eat a low fiber diet. That is for next week ‘s topic.

Foods High in Fiber: Fruits and Vegetables are going to be your first thought most likely. There are other foods high in fiber, that are also plant-based such as: beans, peas, nuts, seeds, legumes, brown and wild rice, whole grain breads, whole wheat or whole grain pasta. Get used to reading labels and calculating fiber per serving. Most processed, and fast food options are going to be very low in fiber if it has any at all.

I know I say this in almost every blog post that has to do with diet modification: learn to cook and eat more at home, then out. It is cheaper and healthier. You can control the fat, sodium, sugar, and fiber of each meal you eat. Check out Meals with Melissa, if you need help with meal planning, cooking, prepping, etc. If you have any other medical issues that require diet modification, be sure and speak to your health care provider before making any drastic changes to your diet.

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