What Does $30 Of Meat Look Like From Misfits Market?

Welcome back to another food budget topic. I have chosen to go even lower carbs on my health journey. I will write more about that in a future post. I had good success losing weight last year following 100 grams of carbs per day. I lost about 20 pounds and was able to maintain that pretty easily. But, then the holidays came, and business of life, and I slacked off. I only gained about 5 pounds back, so I am still ok with that. However, as you know I have CKD and I want to lose more weight to improve my metabolic markers even more than they already have. This is not Keto, at least not yet. I assume I may have to go Keto to get to my ultimate goal weight, but I could be wrong. For now, I am eating about 75 grams of carbs or less per day, but not less than 50 as that would put me in Ketosis. I have been doing this for about ten days and have already shed one inch off my chest and waist. I have not weighed myself, yet. I have to say this way of eating, and this time I am including my husband, and sort of my daughter as she is now an adult. She does not need to lose weight, but she likes a lot of the garbage food I am no longer buying. I will here and there let her get some, but not like she used to. I simply don’t need it in the house. The only thing I really crave is potato chips. I actually feel really good. I stay within the protein limits I have calculated for myself and my CKD. I try to stick with healthier fat options than high saturated fats. I honestly feel good. I have noticed my dry eyes and mouth have improved immensely. It does not seem to be having any negative effects on my kidneys, and the hip joint pains I was experiencing following plant-based have gone away. Those are all good things. The only thing I need to see is if it will affect my Lipid Panel in a negative way.

So, back to the title. Since we had started our extreme grocery budget challenge, which we have kind of steering away from it the past couple of weeks, but I will start again this week, I was not buying at Misfits Market. While their prices are good, I am noticing fewer and less organic options, and more items labeled natural instead. Natural can mean a lot of things. Plus, it is expensive. So, last week I made an order for 30 dollars of just meat. That is the required amount you have to purchase cold items to cash out. I picked what I wanted, but I don’t think I picked two sausages. I thought I picked one chicken, but I got two sausages. These seem to be good quality. I have had Diestel products before, and the True Story chicken sausages are awesome. The other ones I have not tried yet. So for 30 dollars, I got 5 meat items. This seems OK to me, but not great considering they are not organic, except for one. I may continue to buy from here if I find organic options, if not I probably am not going to try to incorporate Misfits into my budget.

I prefer organic meats if I can afford them on our extreme budget. I only eat beef on average one time a week, but I do like pork and chicken. I like turkey too but my husband really only likes it on Thanksgiving, lol.

Another fun challenge, along with the grocery budget, is $5 dollar dinners. I will be starting to share some $5 dollar dinner ideas for low carb. I really think it probably will be hard to get 5-dollar dinners low carb with quality meats. We will see. I have one already to share tomorrow.

The one thing I really am liking about this new way of eating is its simplicity of it. My grocery list is easy, and my meals are easy, it is just easy. I know a lot of influencers spend a ton of money on snacks and keto drinks. I don’t see myself doing that as most of the drinks I dislike, and some of the snacks are plain gross. They swear they are delicious but they most certainly are not. They are super expensive and not really that good for you. Anyway, I might share some of them too. There are a few that I have tried that I like, but there are way more that I don’t. The consistency is strange, as is the texture, and taste.

That is it for today. Come back tomorrow to see my first low-carb 5-dollar dinner option.

Disclaimer

Extreme Grocery Budget Challenge Week #14 Dollar General

Hello, hello! Before I start my grocery haul for this week I want to remind my regular readers that the Kidney Class will begin again, after I take the updated class. It might be a couple of weeks, as I have a lot going on in other areas, but I will get to it.

This week, as promised, I decided to take my $75 dollar weekly food budget and head to Dollar General. Now, a few things to note. I was not optimistic at all as to how this would go. I either thought it would cost way more, or I would get cheap less quality food. I live in a very small town in rural Florida. There is a Dollar General in almost every town around me. About 25 minutes from me there is a Dollar General Market, which really is just like a small supermarket. You can get fresh fruit, veggies, and meat. But, I am talking about a regular Dollar General that has some freezer stuff, and the one where I live actually has a tiny area for fresh fruit and veggies. In my very tiny town we also have a Family Dollar, more on that in a minute, a small Hitchcock’s, and a Sun Stop which is really a gas station with a grocery, and deli section. I will hit all four of them, eventually with my budget.

This budget began as a 21 dollar per person budget, or 63 dollars per week. It also was a pantry challenge to see if someone like me, with CKD, could eat shelf stable foods and still feel well. That only took a couple of weeks to decide no, that is not possible. Everything is so expensive now, that I had to raise my weekly budget to 75 dollars. This is only for food, and it is to save money, spend down debt, not make new debt, avoid food waste, and just learn to be more wise with our money. I have to say, so far it has been successful, and with smart food choices, and portion control, it has not effected my health.

Dollar General is quite small, and buying groceries at these types of stores is odd, because most people probably go in and just buy a few things. The self checkout area is super tiny, and there is not a lot of place in the regular checkout, only one, to put groceries. But, we made it work, albeit with people looking at us strange. You are not going to get a huge selection, and honestly I am ok with that. Too many choices is just a pain to me.

I was pleasantly surprised by the small area of fresh fruit and veg. The grapes were way too expensive for me, but they looked good. I did get a bagged salad, some roma tomatoes, and white onions. These prices were comparable to Walmart, maybe a smidge higher. But, to not have to travel the 12 miles to Walmart is a plus. I noticed that the meat section was not horrible. I could get burger patties, ground beef, chicken breast, sausage, and various breakfast meats. I am not going to ever get organic, grass-fed meats in this town, but it is meat. The chicken breast was the frozen kind, like you can get at Walmart. The price for 2 pounds I think was 9.50. But, I had to run into Family Dollar because DG did not have the Idahoan potatoes, and the same size chicken breast was 7.50 there. I did not need any chicken and there were only a few bags left, so I did not buy any. They had no ground turkey at all, which was kind of disappointing. Family Dollar did not either. There were whole freezer sections where food had been sold out.

The dairy section was also not too bad. I expected just cheap imitation cheese, but there was actual real cheese and the price was not bad. I did need milk, and that was $4.50 which I think is way too much. I don’t drink milk, so it will last close to a week. I still have shredded cheese from last week, so I didn’t buy any more. I probably will never buy coffee creamer at these small stores. It costs way too much for a small container. But, if I am not wanting to drive to save gas, you never know I might. Maybe I will give up coffee. LOL, that is a lie.

They had lots of dry beans and canned beans. We do not eat a lot of those, and I have some in the pantry for when we do. They did not have a ton of flour, and I have some in the pantry, so again, I did not buy any. I did not see any dry rice. They had a small selection of pasta, and I did pick up one box of spaghetti which was 90 cents. We decided to try the chicken pasta in the package. I am not sure if I will have that, as it is very high in sodium. It was only a dollar, though. The canned veggies were on sale for 75 cents each, and I got 6 cans. They had no Idahoan mashed potatoes, or taco seasoning. I had to get those at Family Dollar. I already tried the sweet pickles shown, and I don’t care for them, but they will go good in chicken or tuna salad. I bought one can of fully cooked roast beef at $3.50. This was a curiosity buy to see if it is worth it to have it in the pantry. Let’s face it, even if it might be affordable if no one will eat it, it makes no sense to buy it. The bread was a decent price, but the hot dog buns were way too much. Unfortunately, it was the only kind available on this day. The Armour chicken hot dogs were only 1 dollar, which I thought was a very good deal.

You can see my whole grocery haul in the image below. My grand total between the two stores was $64.15. That means I am 10 dollars under budget this week and honestly that makes DG definitely worth it. Would I shop here every week? No, most likely not, unless I had to. But, even if I shop here once or twice a month, and get my other items that I can not get here the other weeks, it is still worth it to save the gas and wear and tear on my car. If you read last week, then you know I can get my organic meat at Winn-Dixie and if I got at a good time a lot of times it will be marked down to a reasonable price. I was very unhappy with the organic milk I got there last week, though. That might have been why it was such a good deal, because something was wrong with it. No one would drink it. I had to waste it. It was well within the use by date, so that was not the issue.

Are you joining in my grocery budget challenge? Leave me a comment to let me know how it is going.

Next week, I think I will try my budget at our small Hitchcocks to see what I can get there for 75 dollars.

Kidney Class Week #13

Hello, and welcome back! Have you been following along? I missed last week because we had family in from out of state and I was at the beach. You can find all previous weeks in the archives. This Kidney Class is the property of the American Kidney Fund, for which I am a volunteer Kidney Coach. Before Covid, I would present the whole class in group sessions in person. I was given permission to share the information here on this blog with my life experience, as someone with CKD, and my nursing background. Just like I would in person. Plus, now it is always here, and anyone can read it for years to come, forever even. I encourage you to ask me questions in the comments, or if you would rather it be private you can email me at healthbuddymelissa@healthbuddymelissa

This week for slide #13 is still talking about blood pressure and kidney disease. The last class was more about how high blood pressure can cause kidney disease, whereas this week it is about how kidney disease can actually cause high blood pressure. The kidneys are complicated organs and do way more than most people realize. One of the functions of the kidneys is to regulate blood pressure by reabsorbing sodium, producing renin, and managing water in the body.

Personally, I am right at the cusp of being considered high blood pressure. This is strange because my kidneys have improved back to stage 2. However, I may be consuming more salt than I should, and I know I don’t drink enough when I am at work. That is one of the reasons I refuse to work full time is because I can’t just stop and constantly drink water. I can’t have water at my med cart in the facility I currently work, so it just is not healthy for me. I know when I am dehydrated because I will get a headache, and almost every time I work I get a headache. I also get cloudy urine, a sure sign of dehydration. If you have CKD or want to reduce your risk of getting it, keeping your blood pressure in good control is vital. I have a whole page of stuff just about blood pressure. You can read them here. There are probably others in the archives too.

Read the slide below, leave me a comment with your questions, and then check out this PubMed article on the topic of high blood pressure caused by CKD.

Only these slides are the property of AKF. All other posts on this blog, are mine unless otherwise stated.

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Fun Friday: St. George Island Florida

On Wednesday, so I guess that would make this a Wellness Wednesday post, lol, we visited St. George Island for the second time. We had family visiting from out of state that we have not been able to see since Covid began. I love St. George Island, and as much as I adore St. Augustine, St. George might be my new favorite.

It was extremely windy, a little chilly, and the surf was rough. We did not swim, but kind of got our ankles and knees wet. It was a great day to walk the beach, sit on the beach, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Gulf of Mexico. There were maybe 10 people on the beach, and it is a huge beach. It is actually a state park, so it was only 6 dollars for the whole car to enter the park. I told my husband we really need to visit this park more often, like once a month.

Enjoy my beautiful picks and I will write again, Monday. Have an awesome weekend! We are in for some nasty weather again, tomorrow. Please respect the property of my images.

Kidney Class Week #12

Happy Thursday! I am a day late and a dollar short again this week, lol. I guess it doesn’t matter which day I post these on, but I do try to stay consistent for my readers.

This week we are on slide #12 which has to do with HTN in relation to Kidney Disease. This slide is very self-explanatory, and if you want some videos and other information, the past two weeks also were about this topic. I have tons of posts in my archives on the topic of blood pressure, so you can browse there as well. High Blood Pressure is the #2 cause for Kidney Failure, right behind Diabetes at #1. It is imperative that you monitor your blood pressure routinely, even if you don’t have the condition. Catching and treating it early will help prevent long-term effects. I recommend you learn to take your own blood pressure with a manual cuff, or someone in your family, if you have CKD, already. If you can’t technology has improved the electronic monitors greatly. Just be sure and follow the instructions in the packet, and get a cuff size appropriate for the size of your arm. Keep a log of your blood pressure and share it with your doctor, whether you visit yearly, monthly, or weekly.

I am an AKF Kidney Coach. These slides are theirs. As a Kidney Coach I run the class, take comments, and answer questions based on their program, my experience with CKD, and my experience as a nurse. This is not medical advice nor should it be taken as such. It is informative and educational. This applies only to my Kidney Coach status with them. All other blog posts are mine and have nothing to do with AKF Kidney Coach classes.

Please leave me a comment if you have CKD, love someone who has CKD, have High Blood Pressure, or just have questions about the topic. I will answer all valid questions, and spam is deleted. If you would rather not make public comments, you can use the contact form below to send me an email and I will answer you there.

Scroll down to read this week’s slide.

Kidney Class: Week 11

Welcome back to another week in the American Kidney Fund, Kidney Education Class. This is week 11, and I will be sharing slide 11, with comments from my personal experience with CKD, and my experience as a nurse.

In week 10 I discussed how the number one cause of Kidney Failure is Diabetes. This week I will discuss the #2 cause which is Hypertension, sometimes referred to as HTN, or High Blood Pressure. They all mean the same thing.

There is a short video below that explains how HTN damages the kidneys and can lead to Kidney Failure. There is no sound on this particular video. My thoughts and comments are under the slide that is the property of the AKF and provided to me as a Kidney Coach.

I encourage, you, my readers to leave me comments and or questions. That is the best way for this program to work. I do not accept spam, so please do not waste my time. If you would rather not post a public question or comment, you can email me at healthbuddymelissa@yahoo.com

As you can see in the slide HTN causes 25% of kidney failure cases. This is a large amount. Keeping your blood pressure in good control through healthy lifestyle changes, exercise, diet, and medications when needed are all vitally important. As someone with CKD, and as a nurse, I understand the importance of keeping my blood pressure under control, and so far I have been successful. However, CKD in and of itself can lead to high blood pressure. So, keeping your CKD well managed is also very important.

Kidney Class Week #10- How To Prevent Diabetic Kidney Disease

Hello, and welcome back to week 10 of the AKF Kidney Classes. I can’t believe we are on week 10 already. Please, if you have not read the other posts, from the beginning, please go back and read them. You will find them in the archives under the CKD category. My name is Melissa and I am a Health Coach and a volunteer AKF Kidney Coach. Since covid, I have not attempted to do these in person, and it was approved for me to share the slides and information here on my blog, just like I would if it was in person. By doing a slide each week it gives more time for people to read and ask questions. These posts will always be here, for years even. Please leave me comments, or ask me questions and I will answer, except spam I will not answer spam. I also have CKD and my kidney journey has brought me back to hovering right at stage 2. I am passionate about helping people to learn how to keep their kidneys healthy both before and after they have CKD. I love it when I find an AKF video on the topic I will be discussing. Their webinars are kind of boring, I will admit, but they are chock full of good information. If you have kidney disease, cares for someone with kidney disease, or want to prevent kidney disease these classes are for you. Each week I share another slide in the class series, there are 39 I think altogether, I give my perspective as someone who has CKD, and then I share my medical experience as a nurse. The slides belong to the AKF and please do not copy or share them outside of sharing this blog post.

March is National Kidney Month be sure and support the American Kidney Fund as a leading organization in the support of people with kidney disease.

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease by 40%. Learning to either prevent Diabetes or keep your blood sugar under good control once you have Diabetes is vital to keeping your kidneys healthy. Please read the slide below, and then watch the webinar. I do not have Diabetes, but it runs in my family, so I am always alert to trying to keep it at bay. I am tested at least twice a year to be sure my blood sugar levels are normal. I take care of lots of patients with Diabetes and while it is a very hard disease to live with it is very manageable. When you have blood sugar spikes and your body does not produce enough insulin, or you are insulin resistant, the tiny nephrons in your kidneys become clogged and damaged and the nephron can die. This leads to the kidneys not being able to filter the waste out of your blood and a backup of waste occurs because these tiny nephrons are filters. As the waste backs up and can not be removed from your body you will have all kinds of unpleasant symptoms and complications.

Kidney Class Week #9. How Does Diabetes Cause Kidney Disease?

Hello, and welcome back to week #9 of the AKF Kidney Education Class. I am a volunteer Kidney Coach and each week I share one slide from the class, with my own experience with CKD, thoughts, and experience as a nurse sprinkled in. Before Covid I would do this class in person, now I have decided to upload the slides, and allow people to ask questions and leave comments. As long as this blog is here these posts can remain for many years. If the AKF gives any updates to the slides, I will update them.

This slide, see it below, along with a video that explains it, even more, discusses how Diabetes causes kidney disease. Almost 50% of all kidney failure cases are caused by Diabetes., and Diabetes is the leading cause of Kidney Disease. Controlling your blood sugar is the best thing you can do for yourself if you want to avoid kidney failure, and you have Diabetes.

I don’t have Diabetes, but it does run on my father’s side of the family. I am checked for Diabetes at least yearly. So, far I have had no issues with that. I try to follow a low-carb diet, about 100-150 grams of carbs per day because I don’t want to get Diabetes, either.

Please check out the other weeks in this series, there are a lot more to come. I generally post them every Wednesday. Feel free to leave me comments and questions. I will allow all legitimate comments and questions. I will not allow spam.

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The Many Faces Of Kidney Disease!

Good morning! Have you been following along each week in my Kidney Classes? I am an AKF Kidney Coach and each week I share another slide in their kidney education program. I have not done an in-person class since before Covid. This week I am sharing two slides #7 and #8 because just sharing #7 would make no sense.

You will notice in the short video below that there are many faces of kidney disease. Not just old people get kidney disease and it is becoming more prevalent in younger people.

Read each slide, below, and then I will give my thoughts, and experiences after. These slides are from the AKF Kidney Education Class. I share each slide and then talk about my experience with CKD, and my thoughts as a nurse. I am an AKF Kidney Coach. I had to take their training class and pass their exam to be able to present this information to my readers. This is a complete volunteer position. Other posts on this blog are not AKF posts and are through my Health Coaching service.

My face is one of the many faces of Kidney Disease! In the video, they discuss 3 causes of Kidney Disease, Nephrotic Syndrome, FSGS, and kidney stones. But, there are many causes of Kidney Disease and two are the biggest High Blood Pressure, and Diabetes. Keep reading!

Playing to win to beat Kidney Disease through education, prevention, and better screening. But, who gets Kidney Disease?

Anybody can get Kidney Disease, at any age. It is true that as we age our kidneys begin to weaken, just like the rest of the aging body. So, being over 60 is a natural risk factor for Kidney Disease. But, having Diabetes and or High Blood Pressure are the two biggest risk factors for getting Kidney Disease. If you have Heart Disease you are also at a higher risk of getting Kidney Disease. Some cases are genetic, or can even be caused by infection, such as Covid with earlier strains that actually attack the kidneys. Dehydration, Anemia, and certain metabolic disorders can also possibly lead to Kidney Disease. There are studies being done on the effects of certain diets and foods and how they may damage the kidneys. It is already established that high salt content in the foods we eat, can lead to issues with kidney health, as well as a high-fat diet. Certain races of people are also at higher risk. Come back next week to continue the conversation.

Disclaimer

Kidney Class Week #6

Welcome to week 6 of the AKF Kidney Education class. This slide is pretty self-explanatory, but to make it a little more interesting I chose a video to go with it.

One thing the video does not emphasize is the role of diet in keeping your kidneys healthy. While that is a complicated topic eating a whole food diet, and avoiding highly processed foods as much as possible, should be encouraged. These foods are generally higher in sodium, fat, phosphorus, and sometimes potassium through additives and fillers. You can read more about that here.

Remember, I am an American Kidney Fund Kidney Coach. The slides are theirs. I add my experiences, and thoughts to each slide. I was close to stage 4 when I became ill, and now I hover right around stage 2.

Kidney Failure can be acute, which means it comes on sudden possibly from an injury or infection. Or, it can be chronic taking many years of the kidney slowly weakening before it fails. Awareness, education, and advocacy are all ways to help the community prevent getting Kidney Disease. That is why I am a Kidney Coach. As a Kidney Coach, it is all-volunteer, however, I am also a Health Coach and that is why you will see other posts that are not related to the AKF.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to do so. I love to interact with my readers. You can also share this post to help raise awareness. I would greatly appreciate that.

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