give your family a gift!

Stress alert! I am going to discuss a topic that most people find uncomfortable, Advance Directives and in this case Living Wills. The topic of death, and elder care is a common stressor, as we get older. Please watch the short video below. Yes, it is a dramatization, but as a nurse for 34 years I have seen this same scenario played out over and over. Notice the difference in how the two families respond to the emergency medical issue. When you don’t take responsibility for your own death, impending death, health and medical issues, or possible death it puts a huge amount of stress and grief on your family and loved ones. Leaving people to have to make decisions for you is difficult for so many reasons. Now the people in the video were young, so yes even young people need a Living Will so there is no discussion about how you would want to survive, or pass in a dire situation. Trust me you are not doing them any favors by not discussing it, or pretending it won’t happen. If the person is a minor, please seek legal advice as to how you can create a Living Will. It is another whole complicated procedure that I am not capable of discussing here. This may not even be allowable in most states. I could not find where a minor could create a Living Will in Florida. This would be considered a parental responsibility.

What is the definition of a Living Will? Each state may have slightly different definitions but in Florida a Living Will is a legally binding document that expresses an individual’s end of life preferences such as what types of procedures they would like to have done to them in end of life situations. These would be both procedures they do and do not want done. Some people may choose to be kept alive by all means necessary, while others may wish to not have any life supporting medical care that will prolong their life. A Living Will can be retracted at any time, and or updated as your desires may change through the years. It is very important, as hard and stressful as it is, to have a conversation with your family and loved ones about any desires you may have should you become incapacitated say in a car accident, or other medical reason. For example, I have CKD. I am only 51 years old. I would prefer not to be on Dialysis, especially long term. These are things I have discussed with my family, but I need to put it in writing to make it legal. This will alleviate any arguments or conflict in my immediate family or from say my mother or sisters about what my wishes are. My husband and I have this on our list of things to do this year. I have discussed with my son and his new wife the same that they should consider it too. It is hard for young people to wrap their head around having the need for a Living Will. They think it is something just for old people. It is true as you age, you may wish to be more aware of these types of issues that can add un-needed stress to you and your family.

Again, each state may have different requirements for creating a Living Will. In Florida the Living Will must be created by the person it will affect while they are competent to do so. It must be witnessed by two people of which one has to be not a spouse or a blood relative. I would recommend you give a copy to your doctor, each of your witnesses, a lawyer if you have one, and keep one handy in your wallet. There are medical alert bracelets that you can wear so first responders will know that you have an Advance Directive on file somewhere. I would also be sure that the two witnesses become your emergency contacts on any forms you fill out to be contacted in case of an emergency. My husband and I are both in our 50’s, and we have aging parents. We know exactly how difficult it can be to get people to talk about this topic. If you need to, because you are sure what your wishes are, your two witnesses do not have to be a spouse or family at all. Just be sure and follow the advice on what to do with the Living Will once it is created, and obviously you still would want your family to know that you have one.

The video below was created by University of Texas Health Science Center. At the end of the video they state give your family a gift, complete an Advance Directive, tell them what you want. Hence the title of this post.

If you find Advance Directive topics to be stressful to you learn how you can get a 30 minute coaching session free in April, on the topic of Stress.


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stress And common stressors!

Welcome to Thursday! My car was in the garage today, and my husband was out of the house. This gave me the opportunity to get some extra cleaning done that doesn’t get done when I have to be quiet while he is working. My daughter and I accomplished a lot in just a couple of hours. We have more to do though. Then I got online to do this post and my internet was so slow I could not do anything. Now it is 245 and I am finally sitting down to compose this post. I will be having a guest post in the near future. He is working on it now. Be sure to watch for that. I think you will like it.

You know I always say, you can’t change something if you can’t even define it. So, lets define Stress. Stress is a feeling of tension. The tension can be either physical or emotional feelings. Examples of physical stress are headache, stomach ache, muscle pain, tightness of the neck and shoulders, teeth clenching, sweating, nausea, etc. Examples of emotional stress can be Depression, sadness, crying, anger, outbursts, yelling, aggression, etc.

Stress can be either acute or chronic. Acute stress is a short lived stress such as when you experience fear, danger, or pain. Chronic stress is a long term stress and is the more dangerous of the two as it can play a large part in illnesses and disease. Anxiety is a from of stress that is a persistent stress even when a stressor is no longer there. It is a complicated condition. You may experience nervousness, for example with Anxiety.

Stress can be both good and not so good. If you need to run away from a bear then the stress and the reactions it causes can save your life. Some people thrive on stress and it is a driver of goals for them. Some people actually like the high, or euphoria they sense with stress. The not so good stress is the stress that keeps you from doing things you enjoy or things you may want to do or even need to do.

Stressors are things that cause the stress response. You probably already know some of the most common stressors. Finances, relationships, work related, never have enough time in a day, and commitments. Some more uncommon stressors that maybe you aren’t aware of can be pain, illness, aging parents, deaths, injuries, being a victim of a crime, retirement, anger, expectations, assumptions, and perceptions. You may not even realize you are stressed out or that these things are possible stressors to you.

For the whole month of April I will be talking about Stress and how it affects the body, mind, and spirit. Ways to handle, manage, cope, and alter Stress will also be topics of discussion. There have been tons of studies on stress and how it affects the body. There have also been tons of studies to learn about the best ways to deal with Stress.

Are you Stressed Out? Check out my video below of how a Health Coach can help you with Stress. You can get a free 30 minute coaching session on any topic of Stress. Click here to read how.


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my taco salad vs taco bell taco salad!

Welcome to Thinking on Thursday! As part of my bringing awareness to fast food vs home cooked foods series, today I am comparing my homemade taco salad to a Taco Bell Taco Salad. Now I took the nutrition information from Calorie King website. There were two different types of salads, one had 904 calories, so I chose the one with 760 calories to compare to mine.

First, let me tell you what is in my salad. I do measure and weigh most of my ingredients to get the most accurate nutrition info. It is probably not exact, but it is according to my Fitbit nutrition tracker. I cook my meat in water, not oil or butter. You can definitely make this even lighter by using part skim cheese, or no cheese at all, and light sour cream. You could also remove the hard taco shells which is 100 calories. But, in my opinion those 100 calories just make the salad so much better. In my taco salad is two Doritos hard taco shells, 1 cup of shredded Romaine lettuce, 4 oz ground turkey, 2 tbsp Daisy sour cream, 2 tbsp Members Mark medium salsa, 1 Campari tomato chopped, 6 black olives chopped, 1/4 cup of Member’s Mark shredded Mexican cheese blend. I did not count the carbs in the taco seasoning because we used a whole packet, but you can figure at least 2 or 3 carbs for that. You can make your own to bring the carb count down for that seasoning.

Nutrition for my Taco Salad:

Calories: 450, remove the cheese and it will be 340.

Fat: 25 grams, again you can make this much lighter

Total Carbs: 23 grams, plus 2 or 3 for seasoning. You could remove the shells and it would be about 11.

Protein: 26 grams

I didn’t calculate the sodium, but it has to be way better than the one I am comparing to.

Taco Bell Taco Salad:

Calories: 760

Fat: 39 grams

Carbs: 79 grams

Protein: 26 grams

Sodium: 1330 mg that is a whopping amount of sodium in one meal.

My taco salad version only takes a few minutes to make, less than 30 minutes for sure, and can be stored in the fridge for during the week. Prep your meat and add the other fixings as you go. If you buy a container that keeps food warm, or cold, you can easily take this to work or school and have a much healthier option where you know exactly what is in the food you are eating.

I will be doing a pizza comparison in the coming weeks. You might be amazed!


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Throwback thursday: the #1 Toy of 1969

Just a quick post today as we have nasty weather in our area, again. These Throwback Thursday posts are very popular. I love nostalgia and reminiscing. What year were you born? Do you know what the #1 toy the year you were born was? I was born in August of 1969, and in that same month America landed on the moon. The #1 toy for that year was the Snoopy Astronaut. I would so love to have one of these toys. I am sure it costs a pretty penny today. Leave me a comment and let me know what the #1 toy was the year you were born.

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I am still working on updating old posts and cleaning up this blog.

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The image was from Google and I think it originally came from Sotheby’s.

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Food on Friday: Easter Meal Choices

Updated 3/26/2021: As I continue to update old posts with my opt in mailing list and other items, some of the post is no longer relevant. Such as I am no longer eating 1,000 calories per day, and other items. You can read more recent posts to see what I am eating.

So, Sunday is Easter.  Holidays can be especially hard for anyone with restricted food options.  It will only be us this year, so that does make it a bit easier.  Tomorrow, Garth Brooks is coming to town, and I got tickets for Christmas, woot woot!  But, that means eating out before the concert.  So two zinger days in a row.  I will have to be extra conscientious of what I am eating, especially following a 1,000 calorie diet.  It has been hard to stick to it, especially if I am having a intense workout day.  So, to stick to it, I have lowered the intensity of my workouts a bit, so I am not feeling hungry all the time.

My daughter decided she wanted homemade Mac N Cheese, so I guess that means we will have Ham, and sweet potatoes.  I am sure I will make a nice big spinach salad too.  I probably will opt to just skip the ham for myself. That way I can have a little Mac N Cheese. Use part skim cheeses, or no fat cheese if you can tolerate that.    She also wants a cake and ice cream.  We are not fancy, lol.  I posted about desserts a couple of weeks ago, but I saw one that I think I will really like.  A pineapple slice, with a cherry, and 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Yum!  I am hoping I can make it through the weekend, and stay within my calories.  Since I am not looking for a diet, but rather lifestyle changes, it is imperative that I stick to it. Neither cheese or ham are optimal choices for someone with CKD. They are both high in sodium and phosphorus, so be sure and limit your portion sizes. Fat too is extremely high in these foods. Spinach, while a great, healthy food, eaten raw can cause oxalates which can increase your risk of kidney stones. So, again portions are super important if you are prone to kidney stones. Always try to opt for organic foods when possible. Turkey would be a much better option than ham. If you are Diabetic try a cauliflower mac n cheese instead of mac n cheese with pasta. Green beans, or broccoli instead of sweet potatoes is another great alternative. Frozen yogurt, or low fat ice cream are great options for replacing ice cream. There are low carb ice creams, but I have never tried one, so I can’t say how they taste. I have tried an almond ice cream and it was pretty good, but it was very very expensive, especially for a family. Try to drink only water, and not soda or other high calorie beverages. Remember that if you choose to have mashed potatoes you can soak your potatoes prior to cooking, and then rinse and add new water, to leach out some of the potassium. Avoid chocolate, if you can.

What will you be having for Easter dinner?  Do you have CKD, or Diabetes, or other restricted diet?  If you would like to learn more about cooking for your specific dietary needs, check out my new 1 month coaching plan. You can always contact me using the contact form at the end of every post to reach out to me with questions.

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