Family Cook-Off #4: Breakfast For Dinner!

Hello, hello! As promised this week’s Family Cook-Off results are in! My husband was the judge this week. So, it was mother against daughter. Caitlin cooked on Monday, and I cooked on Tuesday.

Here were the rules made by my husband:

  1. The meal had to be a breakfast for dinner meal using a grain, fruit, and a meat.
  2. He judges based on flavor, presentation, use of the items above, and effort put into the dish. He is also biased towards his daughter, lol.

After I profusely objected to a daughter bonus he tried to impose at the very end, he was forced to declare a tie. That means we each get a 5 dollar scratch-off ticket.

This is what Caitlin made:

Everything Bagels with butter, bacon, scrambled eggs, and sliced apples. The items were made into a bagel sandwich. She then added Yum Yum Sauce. That was the clincher! She lost points for giving two tops to one sandwich, lol. So, picky.

I bought some organic Bob Red’s Mill pancake mix. I think that is the proper name. I made small pancake sliders. Then I made breakfast sausage patties. I had some delicious homemade peach preserves that my friend made me earlier this year, and I needed to use them up. I figured that could be my fruit. I spread the preserves onto each slider piece, put the sausage in between, and voila a delicious sandwich. I also offered freeze-dried fruit in a variety pack, and no one even tried them, sadly. I lost points because he said my fruit was not a fruit, even though he did not specify in the rules what fruit meant. BTW that pancake mix is awesome!

Not next week, but the week after, will be the 5th competition. That is the week of Thanksgiving. Read about my choice for that week, here.

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social saturday and sunday: tweet with me!

Welcome to the weekend! I got my first dose of the new Pfizer Covid vaccine today! I will let you know how I feel tomorrow. I did take a Bendryl, and I expect my arm will be sore.

This is week 2 of my new social media sharing weekend. This week I will be using Twitter. This is easy and a great, free way to get your Tweets retweeted. Just follow the simple directions below to join in.

  1. You must have a Twitter account with at least 100 followers.
  2. You must retweet my link first to your Twitter account. Share the link to your Twitter profile page so I can verify you retweeted my tweet. If you use a scheduler you need to state that so I know to check back.
  3. Then share a link to a Tweet you want me to retweet. All links will be retweeted by Sunday at midnight. I don’t use a scheduler, but I will scatter them so not all at once.
  4. You may share only one link, please.
  5. Leave your profile links and tweet links in the comments. All of my comments are moderated so spam will be ignored and not show in the post.
  6. Others may also retweet others but is not required. It is appreciated, though. Please do not delete my link after the event is over. I won’t do that, so please also don’t do that.
  7. Here is my Twitter profile where your links will be retweeted, https://twitter.com/melissasjewelry
  8. Here is the Tweet of mine that I would like retweeted, https://twitter.com/melissasjewelry/status/1351960830292750346
  9. Any links posted after 11 PM Eastern time on Sunday 1/24/21 will not count. You can begin as soon as you read this post. Please share the post to get more people involved which means more people seeing your link. You can follow each other on Twitter too, if you wish.
  10. Have fun! I will not retweet violent or offensive tweets.

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Future Blog Post Topics Next 7 Days

So, I have completed one Nutrition class and the other will be done in the next couple of days.  That will leave me more time to blog.  I think I might start posting my post plans in the future.  It reminds me of what I wanted to talk about and gives readers the chance to save the blog to return for topics that interest them.  Below, see the next 4 topics I will be writing about.

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Menu Plan Monday: Family of 4, One with CKD

Welcome back to my second week of menu plans.  On Fridays, I go over the changes I made to make the meals more kidney-friendly for me.  We are a family of four, but one child does not eat here regularly anymore.  We are attempting to still eat healthily but cut our food budget.  I have CKD stage 3, and my husband needs to lower his cholesterol.  Eating healthy can be more expensive, at least that is the perception.  While it is true buying organic, grass-fed, etc type foods are pricier than other varieties, but it can be done with some meal planning.  Making a menu, and then a grocery list, and then sticking to that list should help you stick to a budget.  Menu plans are for dinner only.

My menu plan for 2/24/2020-3/1/2020:

Monday:  Chicken Alfredo and broccoli.  This is a workday for me, so this is a meal my family will cook for themselves.  Fruit for dessert or after dinner snack.

Tuesday:  Smothered pork chops, mashed potatoes, and green beans.  Fruit for dessert or after dinner snack.

Wednesday:  Spaghetti-O’s and hot dogs, fruit and or veggie of choice.  We had these leftovers from hurricane prep last year and they need to be used up.  Using food on hand is essential to a budget even if it isn’t gourmet.  I will still have one more can of them left, so they will probably become lunch at some point.

Thursday:  Grilled cheese and tomato soup. A side salad can be added if desired.  Fruit for dessert or snack.  Another workday for me so this is an easy meal for my family to make when I am working.

Friday:  Ground turkey with broccoli and pasta shells in a savory sauce.  This is a new recipe for us.  I would like us to eat more lean turkey.  I hope this will be a hit.  Fruit for dessert or snack.

I am only buying fruit in season, and that my family will eat to avoid waste.  No trying new fruits to just have them be wasted.  I bought apples, oranges, and bananas for this week.  I shopped at Save A Lot and Walmart. The California oranges were amazing and are almost gone with a few more days until the next shopping day.    I forgot to keep my receipt, but this week was a little higher than last due to the meat I had to purchase.  It was still well below my 100 dollars per week limit. That 100 dollars is for 3 meals a day, not just dinners.   I still have to meal plan better for when I work.  I am doing low carb at dinner time, and I have not been well prepared for that when I work.

If you would like to learn more about menu planning for chronic illness, message me for a free meet and greet with an assessment. All new customers get the first month for 25 dollars.  Use the contact form at the end of this post.

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Hurricane Prep: Wrapping It Up

So,this is the final post for preparing for a hurricane, or any disaster.  You can read the other 2 posts in the archives.  Here are some things you might not think of when preparing your kit.

1-  What are you going to put everything in?  When we first moved to FL, I would put out a large bin, and almost everything went into the bin.  With the thought that everything could just be grabbed, and you go.  That is a good idea,  but now I really just make sure I check the tropical storm reports daily, and always have bottled water, and non perishable foods on hand.

2-  Keep all your important documents in one place, especially if you have a family.  For example, birth certificates, social security cards, account info for various accounts, mortgage and home owners insurance.  We use a small fire proof safe that is very easy to grab should we need to go.  We have our name, address, and phone number written on the top of the safe should we become separated from it.

3-  Don’t forget Dr’s names, numbers, diagnosis info, medications you take, and any allergies you may have.  It is best to keep these in the same spot as the other important papers.

4-  Pets-  Pets can be a burden in a disaster.  But, with some planning they don’t have to be.  The year we evacuated we had ogs, and while it was tricky we managed. Not all places will allow dogs, and they sell out very quickly the ones that do.  This year, I found a large tent at a garage sale, and bought it.  If we have to ever evacuate again, it will go with us, and if we can’t find a hotel that takes pets, we will camp for a night or two.  If you choose that option, of course you have to be prepared to sleep outside, and have proper supplies.  Here in FL the shelters will let you bring pets, but they will be boarded at the local shelter, they can not stay at the people shelter with you.  Remember food and water for your pets.

5-  Bring medications, and or prescriptions.  These should again be kept with your important papers, if possible.

6-  Phone chargers, phones, and other electronics for entertainment.  Cards, board games, drawing pads are also important to keep kids entertained.  A good book that you always wanted to read.

7-  Be prepared to be without power up to 1 week, or more, in some areas.  We were without power for a whole week.  We had just taken down our pool the winter before, and I was sorry we didn’t have it.  You will be amazed how hot and humid it really is after the storm passes.  It was brutal trying to sleep.  Even though we evacuated, we were only gone a couple of days.  The 5 days after we returned were brutal.  We have lots of coolers, and there is an ice machine close to our home, so we were able to save some food, and keep water nice and cold.  Have a grill for cooking, and we used solar lights, instead of candles for seeing in the dark.  This was the best idea I had, the solar lights.  No fear of fires, just set them back outside when the sun comes  up, and bring in when it gets dark.  They last all night.  We have local springs near us, but they were all flooded, so no hope to cool off there.  Our local McDonalds had a generator, and they must have made a few million dollars that week, because everyone was there enjoying the AC, food, and Wifi.  Verizon gave all its customers free data for a week, which was a true blessing.  You could of course buy a generator, which I don’t want to deal with one.  If you are on oxygen, or home dialysis, sign up with your local electric provider so you get turned on before others.  It is a nice feature.

8-  Don’t forget a few days worth of clothes, and toiletries, if you evacuate.  Even if you don’t evacuate, these should be included in your kit.  Honestly you just never know when a tornado can strike, or a tree fall on your house, and you have to leave whether you want to or not.  Just grabbing your kit with everything in it, will save a little stress.

Hurricanes are not fun, and I grew up with blizzards, which is a completely different beast.  We never had to evacuate for a blizzard, or really ever lost power for very long.  You just hunkered down and waited to shovel all that snow.  With a little preparing  you can be safe, and ready.  Don’t forget about your elderly neighbors, parents, etc.  It is very hard for them to evacuate, and some are very stubborn, trust me.  These storms can be cruel, and painful, lets not make that worse.  I have to say here in Florida, the local counties, where we are have great teams in place to help people get out, and they will encourage those who refuse to do so.

We have been in our home for 12 years, and only had to evacuate once.  We live in a double wide, but we are inland, so that doesn’t usually happen, however sometimes even inland has to evacuate.  This year we were rezoned as a flood zone.  We have never been in a flood zone, and it doesn’t flood here.  So, that makes me a little nervous, and is obviously due to climate change.  So, we may get ordered to evacuate again, should another large storm come this way.

Making A Food Kit for Hurricane Prep For Dialysis Patients

So, last week I told you about my 5 day food kit, but I am a non dialysis CKD person.  What if you are on dialysis?  Well your food kit will look much different, and if you have Diabetes too, well again different.  Every time I do one of these posts, I am going to stress to you the importance of a few things that will make your life a lot easier.

1-  Save a little bit of money each week, in case you need to evacuate.

2-  Buy a generator if you can.  We don’t own one, but I am not on dialysis,

3-  Sign up with your local power company as someone who needs their power turned on the fastest.  I may do this because my husband uses CPAP to sleep.  He won’t die without it, but none of us will sleep.

4-  Sign up with your county special needs shelter.  I believe all counties in FL have them, and update your info before each hurricane season.

The info I will share now is from the NKF website.  They recommend 3 days of food, I would say 5, as a lot of times the power is out for at least 5 days in some spots.  I start to stock up food and water in April and add a little bit each week.

Probably the most important thing will be the fact that you won’t be able to get dialysis so waste, and water can build up.  So here are the foods they recommend  to help avoid waste build up.  This list is somewhat similar to my list, I changed for my needs.  Remember it needs to last 5 days, and the list is per person.  So if there are 3 people in your house you need to take that into consideration.

Distilled, or bottled water 1-2 gallons.  Do not drink more than 4 oz with meds, and try to use applesauce instead of water, and suck on hard candy to help alleviate thirst.  Dry milk, or evaporated milk, cranberry, grape, or apple juice.  You must dilute the evaporated milk with water, half and half prior to using.

Cold cereal, but avoid bran, granola or cereal with dried fruits and nuts.  This will help keep your phosphorus down.  Fruit or fruit cups packed in water, not heavy syrup.  Remember that all canned foods must be used within 4 hours of opening, if they can not be kept cold.  Low sodium vegetables, no lentils or beans.  Remember a can opener.  Eat your fresh fruit and veggies first, and always remember fruit has liquid in it.  Potatoes and tomatoes are very high in potassium.

Canned meats, like tuna, crab, chicken or salmon low sodium varieties.  Rinse all canned foods prior to consuming, to  help reduce the sodium levels.  Unsalted peanut butter, or almond butter.  Bread, which can be frozen for up to 3 months, so you can stock up.  Mayonnaise, jelly, vanilla wafers, graham crackers, and unsalted crackers.  I can tell you Raspberry Preserves on anything is delicious, even unsalted crackers.  Sugar free candy, and chewing gum.  Chewing gum is another way to help keep your thirst at bay.  I have chronic dry mouth, and I frequently chew gum, of course sugar free is best.

If you don’t use your hurricane meal kit, which I hope you won’t have to, be sure to check expiration dates the next year, or donate when hurricane season is over to your local food pantry.

Don’t forget some spices.  Salt free seasonings are generally very high in Potassium so be very careful if using them, especially when you can’t get dialysis.  Try not to over eat, just eat little amounts to keep hunger at bay.  Vinegar tastes just like salt, and is salt free, but again it is a liquid, but you shouldn’t need much.  I use Red Wine Vinegar on everything.  Lemon Pepper seasoning is also one that you only need a little and it goes a long way.  Some do have sodium so check the label first.  Avoid salt as much as possible.  Try to grow a small garden, so you have some fresh veggies, and don’t need canned.  Even if you can only do pots.  I have leaf lettuce, tomatoes, I think potatoes, and carrots growing.  I also have grape vines, banana tree, and a blueberry bush, but so far they have not given me any fruit.

No soda, energy drinks, or sports drinks.  They are high in phosphorus and a lot of times sodium.  You might want a small pack of sugar, especially if you are diabetic.  Don’t forget plastic cutlery, especially if you have to evacuate and eat on the move.

Most important go over your emergency meal plan with your Dietitian to see if you should add, or remove something.  This is a great starter convo, but what suits one may not suit another.

Be safe, ready, and prepared!  Use the contact form below to message me, if you would like me to help you plan a plan.  This is serious stuff, and it can be very scary when it happens.  The better you plan, the less frightening it is.

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Medication Reminders

So, I was looking at some work from home job websites, and I saw a job posting for a Medication Reminder.  I was curious, as I was not sure what exactly that was, but new with pure confidence it was something I was qualified for.  So, I went to the website and in the requirements it stated you absolutely can NOT be a nurse, or other medical professional.  What?  But, it did get me thinking.  I am adding medication reminders to the options available to clients.  It is a stand alone option, and would be under Add Ons, which is $50 per month.  You will still need to use the contact button, at the top of this blog to message me, and request a free meet and greet to discuss medication reminders.  Anytime you message me for a free meet and greet, please mention what it is you are looking to accomplish, like medication reminders, walking buddy, monthly plan, etc.  I surely can help you, or your loved one remember to take medications on time.

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March Calendar and Special

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Goals vs Resolutions

Updated 1/31/2022: I am editing old posts and I came across this one. Some of these goals are still goals, but more of habits now. Some of these goals may have not been as realistic as I thought and have been tweaked over time. I can say, with the exception of losing one pound per week, all the other goals have been met.

Happy New Year, 2019!  It is that time of year.  To make resolutions you never intend to keep, or maybe keep for a bit and then let them go.  I don’t set resolutions, never really have.  Why?  Because resolutions are not realistic, and I am a Realist.  I do set goals, however.  Some are daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.  I do not set goals past one year, never have, probably never will.  Why?  Because to me, there is no control in that, and again I am a Realist.  Life changes, daily sometimes, meaning goals may need to be changed.  That is the Realist in me.  Below I will share some of my goals for 2019.   I am human, so that means goals are often not met, that is why they are goals.  If you want, or need help setting good realistic goals, use the contact form to send me an email and make an appointment for a free consultation.

My Goals for 2019:

Daily:  Exercise, meditate, promote this blog, read, read Bible, check email

Weekly:  Make a new to-do list each week, take classes, crafts, clean and declutter, lose 1 pound per week, blog at least 1 day per week.

Monthly:  save money every month, date night at least once a month, fix something at least once a month, check MD appointments, volunteer, update this blog.

Yearly:  Join/rejoin nurse.com, be an advocate at NKF, take a vacation, buy SUV tent for camping, buy state park passes, visit family in NY, Hurricane prep, renew Nsg license.

Do you make resolutions or set goals?  Please share if you are willing, which, and why.

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Organizing Your Gift List

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Happy Thursday!  Welcome to my regularly scheduled weekly topic.  This week the topic is organizing your gift list.  As you can see we have already shopped, wrapped, and put gifts under our tree.  My kids are older, so this is not a big deal.  Santa does not visit my children per se, anymore.  I love Christmas, but Christmas can be very stressful, including buying and wrapping gifts.  With only 11 more shopping days left, if you have not even started yet, then you need to get going.  Here are some of my favorite tips for organizing a gift list.

1-  Make a budget.  This is very important.  Know how much you can, or are willing to spend, without hopefully going into debt for the next 6 months.   A gift is meant to be thoughtful, not expensive.  We have a 3 rule gift in my house, at least if I am running the gift list.  There are several reasons for this.  One, Jesus was given 3 gifts, and as Christians, I find that to be a respectful amount, and way to teach the Christmas story to my children.  Second, it is a way to stick to a budget, especially in years when money is tight.  It teaches them respect and restraint.  I always set a limit of how much I will spend altogether for all gifts to be purchased.  Don’t forget to include any charities you may want to give to.  For me, I try to set aside stuff all year, like clearance items for Toys for Tots, or items for Operation Christmas Child.  Another great way is to buy nonperishable food starting in the Fall, to donate to organizations that feed the poor or local animal shelters that need toys, blankets, and dog/cat food.  There are several apps that can help, and I will share some in a later post.

2-  Decide which gift receivers are most important.  Obviously children, parents, and friends, in that order, should probably come before coworkers, or your beautician.  I never forget my pets.  They are easy an extra treat makes them happy.  If you have to wait until after Christmas to finish your shopping, due to money issues.  Be honest with your recipients.  If they don’t understand then maybe they don’t need a gift at all.

3-  After you know how much you have to spend, decide what to buy.  If you already know you better start shopping now.  If you are unsure, ask the people on your list what they may like.  I love to go to Bath and Body Works during the holidays and get their hand sanitizer deal for all of my coworkers.  I think they are 6 for 5 bucks or something like that.  I know my kids love money, lol.  If you are like me and try to shop all year, take inventory of what you already have.  If you don’t you may end up spending way over your budget.  Consider baking gifts for close friends, or hand-made gift baskets.

4-  If you need to ship some of your gifts, I believe the 19th is the last day for snail mail to get there on time.  Even Priority Mail takes 2 to 3 days, so keep that in mind.  I used to have items shipped to me, then I wrap and ship them to the recipient.  Eh no more.  I pay a little bit extra to have it gift wrapped from whoever I am buying from, and ship it right to their address.  Saves a lot of useless stress.

5-  Now you have to wrap everything.  I hate wrapping!  Hate it!  I let my kids, who think it is awesome, wrap gifts that are not for them.  I also have no problem using a gift bag or box.  The Dollar Tree is awesome for this.  Plus, they have tons of cute tins to put all those baked gifts in.  I also asked my husband to wrap the last couple of years, and he does some.  I can live with some.  If you live alone, a grandchild, niece, or nephew may be willing to help.  Always remember to ask if you need help.  People can not read your mind.

Don’t forget if want to learn how to be more organized, and have less stress in your life, I am a Health Coach waiting for you. I am a huge advocate of lists and keeping notes. For example, when I am working as a nurse, I keep notes. I save these little blurbs for many years just in case I ever need them again. They do not have personal information just notes to spark my memory should I need to. Start your new day, today. Use the contact form at the end of the post to send me an email for a free consultation.

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