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.

Taste Test Tuesday: Trader Joe’s Italian Meatballs

Whoa a new featured topic! I think it is fun to share the perspective of different tastes for different food items. So, I am starting a Taste Test Tuesday topic. I don’t know if every Tuesday will be this topic, because I have others for Tuesdays, but if it is really popular I will just do it.

If you read here you know I love Trader Joe’s. I also don’t get to shop their often because it is not close to me. We had never tried the meatballs, but in the Summer having something quick and easy is nice. So, I bought the Italian Style Meatballs. I am going to say right off the bat I wish I had read the ingredients better, see below. There is soy in these meatballs, way at the bottom of the list, but still, and it is probably why I have GI upset today. I don’t tolerate soy well. On the other hand, my husband will usually not eat meat with soy in it, but he didn’t even notice, and he loved these meatballs!

Me: I thought they had great flavor, were a good size, and overall were quite good. I did not care for the texture, however. They were affordable and convenient. There was way too much fat, however, and I think in the future I will just freeze some of our homemade meatballs for the summer months. They also have quite a bit of sodium in them for a serving size of 2 meatballs, that are really not that large.

Husband: Liked them a lot, and ate the rest for lunch as a meatball sub. Trust me when I say that is a good thing. He had no complaints or issues.

My daughter did not try them this time around.

Would I buy them again? Absolutely! I just wouldn’t eat them. They are great for when I work and the hubby, and daughter can make a quick easy meal.

There are about 6 servings in the bag, and if I remember correctly they were right around 5 dollars. Do you need help meal planning, or following a diet? Check out Meals with Melissa.

Have you tried these? What do you think?

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medical monday: diverticulosis

Hello, and welcome to a very wet Medical Monday! I am having issues with my pool that are getting on my nerves. I have never had issues with it being nice and clean, and clear until last week. I am assuming it has something to do with the dreadful heat. Anyway, that is not what we are here to discuss. For the month of August I have decided the topic will be Diverticulosis, and Diverticulitis. At least once a week I will do an educational post on these two topics. They very much go together. This post may contain affiliate links.

I have changed my Mailchimp newsletter to bi-weekly. It will go out the first week and third week. I just don’t see any reason to do it weekly. If you would like to join my mailchimp list sign up below. I share special content there.

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What is Diverticulosis. Diverticulosis is when you get small pockets, or pouches in the colon or intestines. Think of them kind of like tiny balloons. For whatever reason it is more common in men than women. These tiny sacs or balloons can hold waste products that moves through the intestine, and can become infected. As with any infection inflammation will occur causing pain, and that is when you get Diverticulitis. But, today we will focus on just Diverticulosis.

The tiny pockets form when the inner layer of the Digestive Tract pushes through weak spots in the outer layer. Almost like a Hernia does, if you have ever had a hernia. Most of the time these pouches will form in the left side of the colon, but you can get them anywhere in the intestines.

Diverticulosis is more common as we age. It is rare to get it under age 40, but some people do.

You may already know what I am going to say next. Studies show that a low Fiber Diet is most likely the predominant risk factor for Diverticulosis after age. Countries where eating fruit and vegetables is abundant, there is very little Diverticulosis possibly even in the over 60 age group. I will discuss this more in another post. If you would like to see what the pouches look like in the colon, watch the short video below. It is age restricted so you will need to click it to go to Youtube and watch it.

What are the symptoms of Diverticulosis?

  1. Some people have no symptoms at all until the pouches become inflamed and they have pain, usually in the lower left side of the abdomen.
  2. A change in bowel patterns. For example you may be very regular with no issues, but all of a sudden you are constipated. Or your bowels become more frequent and loose when that is not your normal.
  3. You may also experience cramping or bloating.

How is Diverticulosis diagnosed?

  1. Since most people experience no symptoms, or have vague symptoms they relate to something else, Diverticulosis is picked up by other exams you may have as Preventative Care such as a Colonoscopy, or Sigmoidoscopy. They can also be seen via a CT Scan, or Barium X-rays. If you have vague symptoms such as bloating and cramping, and are over age 40 talk to your doctor about having one of the diagnostic exams above. You do not want these pouches to rupture, especially if infected, trust me!

Most people do not need treatment for Diverticulosis other than preventative to prevent the pouches from becoming inflamed, infected or rupturing. Talk to your doctor, but most experts at this stage will inform you to eat a high fiber diet with lots of fresh fruits and veggies. This will keep your stool soft, and moving freely through the intestinal tract hopefully eliminating the pouches from becoming filled with waste and becoming infected. Try to get most of your fiber from whole grains and veggies, as the sugar in fruit can be inflammatory. Nuts and seeds are also good for fiber, but ask your doctor first because they can actually complicate Diverticulosis. If you smoke, quit smoking. If you have other dietary restrictions, or take medications, be sure and discuss with your doctor before you make any major changes to your diet.

If you would like to use a Health Coach to help you meet your Health Goals, hit me up! I am accepting new clients at this time. Use the contact form below to message me and I will email you with dates for a phone meet and greet. The meet and greet is free and should not last longer than 15 minutes. After that you will decide if you would like to hire me as your coach.

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Day 3 zero point food/very low fat food challenge

This is hard, lol! I have figured up everything I have, and will eat for today. I need at least 20 more grams of protein without adding fat, salt, or sugar to the daily count. Good grief! Since it is a work day I will hope they have something appropriate at work. They allow us to eat. I will have to let you know tomorrow what I did. Be sure to read day 1, and the trial run I did, to learn why and how I am doing this. I did not lose any weight today, but I ate a ton of carbs yesterday. I was kind of worried about that when I started this challenge, but that will be for the end to talk about. I did have a serving of my pretzels last night.

Today’s foods are low calorie, and low fat. Please remember I don’t track drinks, you can read about why in the trial run I did last weekend.

What I ate today:

Breakfast: My favorite breakfast now green grapes, strawberries, a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar, and 1 tbsp of Cool Whip.

Lunch: Ok, this technically was a 1/2 gram over my fat limit, but I needed to use these up and my daughter wanted some, so I had a half of the Banquet Chicken Patties, on top of an Aunt Millie’s min sub roll, with 1 tsp of the light Hellman’s mayo. Then I had tomatoes, and cucumbers with some Hidden Valley Ranch dry seasoning one serving. The roll added a nice amount of carbs to get me through the day.

Dinner: I put the other half of the Banquet patty in my thermos chopped up, with 1 cup of Happy Harvest creamed corn, and 1 cup of Dishd plain mashed potatoes.

I also take a half of a multivitamin with a fattier meal.

Nutrition:

Calories: 744

Total Fat: 17 grams

Saturated Fat: 3.7 grams

Total Carbs: 134 grams

Net Carbs: 123 grams

Cholesterol: 25 mg

Sodium: 1894 mg This is below my target of 2000 mg per day

Please remember to read day 1, and subsequent days as to the rules, and to see pics of items. I tend to use the same items and I don’t add pics of nutrition each time.

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High blood pressure free coaching giveaway!

Hello, and Happy Tuesday! For the month of May I decided to focus on High Blood Pressure as my topic for my free coaching session giveaway. 10 lucky people will receive a 60 minute coaching session. This will not include the free health assessment and review, that is already free. Keep reading to learn how to claim yours.

Do you have High Blood Pressure, or want to prevent getting High Blood Pressure? Did you know that in 2020 was a top Health search topic? Coronavirus was obviously number 1 and probably still is. High Blood Pressure is very common. According to the CDC about 45% of Americans have High Blood Pressure which means a blood pressure of 130/80 or higher, and or taking medications to control blood pressure. Of those people only 25% have their blood pressure well controlled. Having High Blood Pressure can be a risk factor for many other chronic diseases. All month I will focus on this topic in various blog posts.

If you would like a free one on one coaching session to discuss blood pressure, follow the steps below. You do not have to have High Blood Pressure, but you do have to want to learn how to prevent it.

  1. Sign up for my Mailchimp mailing list below.
  2. Once you are signed up for my mailing list, and have received my welcome newsletter, simply message me via that newsletter, it will either go right to my Mailchimp email, or my Google email, and put blood pressure as the topic. Within 24 hours of receiving the email I will contact you via your email to see when you would like to receive the free health intake assessment. Once you have completed that and returned it to me we can make an appt for your free session. I am trying to make a sign up form that I can add right to my newsletter. If you see it, use it, otherwise follow the steps above.
  3. Once you have completed your intake assessment and are ready for your free session, we will set up a time and date that works for both of us. You do not have to do it in May, and the special runs until May 31, or until 10 people have claimed the free session.
  4. If you have any questions please feel free to use the contact form below to message me. Using the contact form below will not sign you up for a free session, it is for general questions only. You must join my Mailchimp mailing list to qualify for the freebie.

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Wellness wednesday: the christmas blues

Happy Day before Christmas Eve! This time of year is not always festive, bright, and cheery for some people. Not everyone gets all warm and fuzzy. There are a lot of reasons why people get the Christmas and Post-Christmas Blues.

1- Too high of expectations. When you want everything to be perfect, or expect a pre-conditioned result of what Christmas should and will look like, it is very easy to be let down or be disappointed. So, how to avoid that? Just let the day be what it will. Enjoy it, savor it, don’t try to control it. You don’t have to have the perfect tree, dinner, decorations, gifts, etc to have a beautiful Christmas Day. So many people get tied up in worrying about what others will think mode. This will only wear you down. If people are only coming to see you on Christmas because they care about all of the nonsense stuff then they are most likely not worth your time. Also, try not to make in-stone traditions. When they don’t happen you will be sad and disappointed. Rather make a compromise. For example, I hate traditions, but my husband appreciates them. So, he gets to have the tradition of the same meal each year, give or take, and the rest of us try to do something different each year. Change is hard and most people don’t like it, but it is necessary for a healthy life.

2- Knowing your limits. Some people are very social and need to be with lots of people. Others are not and feel pressured and stressed to lots of things at the holidays, such as parties, and get-togethers. Know when to say yes and when to say no. Will it enhance your life, or drain you? Don’t overbook yourself for all the holiday stuff. This year this may not be an issue due to Covid, however, be sure to not be bullied into going into large gatherings if you are not comfortable and sure you will be safe. People are selfish and don’t necessarily consider others which is sad.

3- Follow your diet. OK, so I said before I hate the term diet. It is a lifestyle choice, but some people actually have prescribed diets and the holidays can be hard. Do your best to stay on your diet so you don’t get sick. Holidays should not mean overeating things that will make you feel horrible. It really isn’t worth it. When I worked in the hospital so many patients after Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas would have to be admitted to the hospital due to not staying on their diets. You can still enjoy the treats and delicious food, just in small moderate amounts. Take some home with you to enjoy on other days. To the hosts of these meals please consider being considerate to family members on special diets and try to make meal items that are appropriate for them. What a sign of love and respect.

4- Be active! I know everyone gets tired of hearing this, move more, exercise more, blah, blah, blah. But, it really is so important for reducing stress, burning off those calories you ate. Do it as a family activity. Instead of lying around watching football, go play some tag football, go for a walk or go sleigh riding if that pertains to where you live. There are so many fun things that can be done to get everyone moving. If you don’t have anyone to walk with, check out my Walking Buddy Plan. Check out my walking stats from yesterday. It is possible, even with CKD, to be active!

5- Be social. I know this one is hard this time of year, but you could use Zoom, Skype, Facebook Messenger, or other apps to connect with loved ones or friends. You just have to be a little creative. Get out and volunteer if you can and it is safe. We volunteer at a local dog rescue. There are a million ways to volunteer though. Think of a cause you would like to support, it could be anything you care about, and then research ways to volunteer. If you are just lonely and need someone to talk to, check out my Just Text or Call Health Plan. It is #5 on the list of available plans. You could also consider adopting a shelter animal or fostering. Pets are wonderful companions. If you are older be sure and try to adopt a pet that fits your needs. You may not want a puppy who needs a lot of care and attention. Cats are great pets. If you lost someone special during the holidays it makes it even harder. Making new social contacts can help.

6- Reduce stress. I offer a number of ways to help reduce stress. Distance Reiki, Guided Imagery, Aromatherapy, and Mindfulness. There are others too like Massage, Meditation, Yoga, etc. My Etsy shop is currently closed so my Guided Imagery and Reiki plans are no longer available to purchase there. If you are interested in any of these stress-reducing topics, you can use the contact form at the end of this post to message me to learn more.

7- Get enough sleep. I think this is a given. I know if I don’t sleep enough I am ornery. If you would like to learn to sleep better use the contact form at the end of the post for a free health assessment with a follow-up meet and greet.

8- Be kind. Random acts of kindness, giving back, donating gifts or money are all great ways to lift your spirits. It doesn’t have to be expensive either.

9- Set a goal. Make a goal to keep your mind off of clutter during holiday times, especially if you know it is a hard time for you. Take a class to learn something new, start a new hobby that maybe will earn you some extra money, start meal planning to help save money, start a budget. There are so many health and wellness goals to be made and met.

If you are interested in working with a Health Coach to avoid the Christmas Blues, use the contact form at the end of this post to message me for a free health assessment and a follow-up meet and greet. All new clients get one month of coaching for only 25 dollars.

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Can Losing Weight Improve eGFR for People with CKD?

Updated 3/17/2021 When I was first diagnosed with CKD way back in 2017, one of the first things my Nephrologist told me was that losing weight would help my kidney function. Like many of us who are over-weight, I was yep here we go the fat bandwagon. But, apparently he was right. As I have been researching topics for this blog, and for my own personal knowledge of CKD, there have been a few studies on this topic. As with all things CKD there are not many studies, and they are not particularly large, and are often sponsored by companies with products to sell. But, some is still better than none. While I have very good muscle strength and do not find it difficult to build new muscle, even on a protein restricted diet, like most women who have had babies and have reached Menopause, I do carry extra weight around my middle and hips. I have never been super slim, even before children. I have always had a bulky strong look to me, and the smallest I have ever been was 20 pounds over where my doctor said I should be for my height. It is very hard for me to lose weight. I lose inches, but the weight just really takes a long time to budge. Because my ultimate goal is to heal my kidney function, or at the very least get back to stage 2, weight loss is a very important part of that goal. Through all of the trials and errors, I think I have finally found a system that will work for me, not just in the short term, but in the long term as well. It is not an easy plan, and it is not fast, either. But, when I stick to it strictly, I can lose a half a pound a day, safely. I may write an ebook, or I may make the info a pdf for my newsletter followers. I haven’t decided yet, and it will be some time before I am sure the results are not just water weight or something like that. Plus, I need to have my labs checked to be sure it is completely safe.

Read my exciting March 2021 Kidney Update!

For the month of March 2021 I am giving away free coaching sessions related to Kidney Disease. Click to read more.

I found several articles on weight loss and egfr. But, I found this one easy to read, and with lots of information. Some of it you may not understand, but you will get the idea. My husband can lose weight very fast, I can not. I am not sure why, but I am sure it probably has to do with my CKD. https://www.healio.com/news/endocrinology/20120325/weight-loss-guidelines-aim-to-curb-chronic-renal-failure#:~:text=Weight%20loss%20has%20been%20shown,and%20without%20overt%20renal%20disease.

The article above talks about how difficult it can be for people with CKD to lose weight, especially if you also have Diabetes, or HTN. I do not have either of those, but I am right at the borderline for HTN. Again, weight loss will help keep my blood pressure in a good range. Weight loss will also help egfr by decreasing inflammation, proteinuria, and hyperalbuminuria. I do not currently have any of those, but I did when first diagnosed. I do get inflammation occasionally when I exercise too hard, but some of that is normal body response. I also have a tendency to retain water in my fingers. I always have, but if I am not careful it can get worse. Most of the time it is when it is extremely hot and humid and I have not hydrated myself well enough. I have labs done at the end of next month, so I will have a good idea how my diet and exercise plan is effecting my kidneys.

The article also talks about Bariatric Surgery for those with CKD who are morbidly obese and just can not lose weight. The study showed positive results. While I am not a candidate for Bariatric Surgery, and I believe in Diet and Exercise, if you just can not lose weight due to issues with your CKD, you might want to look into Bariatric Surgery to see if it is a viable option for you.

Obesity is such a huge problem in the USA. With Obesity being a risk factor for getting CKD, or at the very least renal dysfunction, there is every good reason in the world to lose weight. If you follow my Portion Distortion posts on Mondays, you will know that most of us are consuming way more calories in portions than is recommended. I read a blog where they lost weight just by controlling their portion size. They didn’t follow any other restrictions such as Keto, low carb, low fat, a certain amount of calories per day, etc, they just ate the proper portion sizes according to package labels. Hats off to them! Now I don’t know if they were successful in maintaining that, and keeping the weight off long term. But, if you stick with something for at least 3-6 months it will hopefully become ingrained and a habit in your every day lifestyle. Of course, family and friends are huge obstacles to losing weight. You have to have more will power to succeed than their will power for you to fail.

If I stick to my plan I can lose 1/2 pound per day, and I have already lost several inches on my arms, waist, hips, and thighs, but not my chest, sadly. Vacation was tough and I did not stick to it, and gained back 5 pounds of the 6 I lost. But, I am back on track and have lost 3 of those 5 in just a week. Follow this blog to read future updates and how I am progressing on my Diet and Exercise plan. Don’t forget to read the article. It has some great info.

I am also a certified American Kidney Fund Health Coach. This is a volunteer position. Before covid came I was setting up in person classes, but that didn’t last long. Now, they have approved for us to do virtual classes, which I am very excited about. I can reach so many more people virtually. Anyway , I am doing the first class next Wednesday. It is kind of practice to see how it goes and what I need to change. Then I will be doing them publicly. I will post the info here on this blog as well as my Health Buddy Melissa Facebook page, and my personal page. The class is free, and anyone can attend that can read and understand English. The first one for the general public will be in August, after my son’s wedding. I will try to do two a month. Right now I am using Facebook events as I am familiar with that format. But, once I upgrade this blog I can do them right here. Or, Skype and Zoom are other options. I thing Google Connect also could be used, but I have no idea how to use that. So, I will have to familiarize myself with that.

If you would like to learn about using any of my Health Coaching services, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page, after the images, to contact me. Or, you can email me at healthbuddymelissa@yahoo.com Ask about my brand new It’s A New Day, 30 day coaching plan.

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Foodie Friday: Making My Weekly Meal Plan Kidney-Friendly

So, I have decided to make my Foodie Friday posts about how I make my family meal plan more kidney-friendly for me.  Sometimes I don’t have to change much, but other meals I modify quite a bit for me.  I don’t expect my family to give up all the things they love just because I have kidney disease.  However, I also don’t want to cook 2 separate meals, and I also don’t want to waste food or money.  Below I will show the modifications I made.  Please note I am stage 3.  I do not have Diabetes or High Blood Pressure.  I do have some weight I would like to lose. I am 50 years old, and post-menopausal.  I do not have issues with Potassium.

Monday-  Chicken Ala King over biscuits and fruit.  This was the meal.  Now because we are trying to use up food we already have I used cream of chicken soup to make the gravy base.  These soups are very high in sodium.  You could always make your own, or just portion a smaller portion which is what I did.  I also par-boil the chicken to reduce fat, potassium, and phosphorus.  I then pan fry it with some seasonings for flavor before adding it to the gravy.  We used canned peas and carrots because again I am trying to use up food on hand.  To lower the sodium levels rinse the veggies twice before adding them to the gravy mixture.  For biscuits, I have never found a low sodium version.  They are also higher in phosphorus.  So, I simply just made sure I ate only one biscuit.  Make sure you are not taking more than 3 oz of chicken when you plate up your food.  I had a side salad to fill me up instead of having two biscuits and more of the gravy mixture.

Tuesday-  Fried chicken, mac n cheese with whole tomatoes over it and green beans.  This one is obviously hard for several reasons.  I again par-boiled the chicken before frying it.  For the coating, I found Publix brand bread crumbs the unflavored ones have no phos in the ingredients, so I use them.  I dip each piece of chicken in egg then coat with the breadcrumbs.  Then fry in just a little bit of oil to make them crispy.  My kids like Kraft Mac n Cheese of course.  I just limit myself to a 1/4 cup serving.  Green beans were canned so again I rinse and drain two times prior to cooking.  Always use salt-free butter.  A side salad again for me, helps me fill up.  For the tomatoes they were stewed canned tomatoes, and I only add like a teaspoon to my mac n cheese.

Wednesday:  Grilled Cheese and tomato soup, fruit.  You can always use Ezekiel bread it is very low in sodium.  I used whole grain bread for mine, which is higher in phosphorus, but still better for me.  You can use Swiss cheese which is a lower sodium salt.  Look at the different brands of cheese that you may like to pick the lowest sodium version.  Tomato soup was delicious I cook it with water, not milk, and I do not add crackers.  You can make homemade tomato soup very easy and it will have way less sodium, but I had canned on hand.  For the fruit, we always have oranges, bananas or apples on hand.  I split a banana with one of my kids.  If you can not have a banana or orange due to potassium restrictions, choose berries, or apples instead.

Thursday-  Chicken Marsala, pasta, fruit or salad.  I had a jar of Marsala sauce I bought to try.  But, I noticed there was a lot of sodium and other things CKD people should really not have.  So, I opted to just not use any for me.  I am also not eating carbs past my lunchtime meal, so I skipped the pasta.  I par-boiled the chicken before pan-frying in spices, and then I added mine to a salad.  Everyone else ate it over pasta and said the sauce was just ok.  I will just make it homemade from now on.  For fruit, again I split a banana with my daughter.

Friday-  This is a workday for me, so I am taking tuna with mayo, an orange and a banana.  I do eat a whole can of tuna when I am working.  If I don’t eat it all I bring it home for a future lunch.  I eat it without bread or carbs.  Note on the carbs, I am not talking about fresh fruit.  Those carbs I do eat at dinner time.  I will let you know how this works for me and my weight loss goal.  The rest of my family will have cheese ravioli with cheesy bread.  If I was going to be home I would eat this but limit my portions and add a side salad.

Saturday-  The menu says smothered frito taco bowls and coleslaw.  This is totally not what is going to happen.  My daughter picked this meal and when I was looking at the recipe there is no way I can make this healthy enough for me, and honestly, it is not healthy for anyone.  I do not par-boil ground beef.  You can, of course, but I don’t.  This meal will instead be soft tacos, and for me a taco salad.  Making your own taco seasoning will save a ton of sodium.  I had a packet on hand, so I will be using that.  I limit the amount of meat I put on my salad to 3 oz, a small amount of sour cream and a small amount of shredded cheese.  The shells are high in sodium, sometimes higher than bread, and have added phosphorus for preservatives.  So, I avoid them.

Sunday-  BLT, and apples.  If I choose not to have bread I will put my bacon, lettuce, and tomato in a salad.  I probably will have whole wheat bread.  White bread has less phosphorus, but I want the whole grains in whole wheat.  You can use Ezekiel bread to have lower sodium bread.  If I choose to have bread, then I can have the coleslaw I didn’t make on Saturday.  Apples round out this meal.  After you make your bacon, be sure and let it rest on a plate of paper towels to get rid of some of the greases.  Use low sodium bacon or turkey bacon.  My family is not crazy about either of those, so I simply limit my portion size to no more than 3 slices.  Note that dairy products are very high in Phosphorus.  I do not consume dairy except in very small portions and only with certain meals.  I do not drink Milk, except in very hit or miss situations, such as on my cereal.

I am working on next week’s menu as we speak.  Be sure to come back and check on Monday.  Remember foods that are processed, and not fresh, are going to have more sodium, potassium, and phosphorus than fresh because they act as preservatives for longer shelf life.  Be sure you are only consuming the portion size, or cook from fresh if possible.  If you would like to learn more about how a Health Coach can help you message me for a free meet and greet.  Use the contact form below to message me about learning more about my services, or to sign up for my weekly newsletter.

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Wellness Wednesday: Acne Part 2

Updated 3/17/2021 Last week I told you about a very affordable product to clean your face.  My daughter and I both use that product.  Lucky for me at age 50 Acne is not so much an issue anymore.  But, my teen daughter has to deal with it.  We found a product that she loved at our local mall.  Unfortunately, that store closed down and they did not have an online store.  The store was an organic soap store, and the product was a charcoal-based soap.  We tried some other charcoal soaps, supplied at other stores, and they just did not work as well.  My daughter was bummed.  Then, at our local Publix store, we found Zum Face charcoal sugar face scrub.  This product is not cheap and I was hesitant to try another product that would not work.  She talked me into it, and this one is a keeper.  A heads up to anyone who tries it, it makes a huge mess and makes the sink and counters black.  It washes off easy, though.  Charcoal face products help Acne by drawing out impurities from the skin.  This one is more of a mask that she leaves on for a few minutes and then washes off.  Diet modification is still something she needs to work on.  Remember to stop using any product that irritates the skin, or you have any allergic reaction to.  To learn more about how Charcoal can help Acne, click here.   If you would like to learn more about food modification and stress reduction to help control Acne, use the contact form below to message me for a free meet and greet.

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For the whole month of March 2021 I am giving away coaching sessions related to Kidney Disease. If you would like to learn more, click here.

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Mindful Monday: You Are What You Eat!

How many times have you heard that in your life?  Do you believe it?  Does it offend you?  I have two ways that I used to look at this idea, one good, one bad.

First the bad.  I used to get offended by this statement.  Mostly because I was ignorant of what the people who would say these things meant.  What does that mean, even?  Well, even though nurses get  Nutrition education in school, Dietitians do most of the counseling, educating, and advising.  So nurses never really get to explore more about Nutrition and how it really affects the body. You know if you don’t use it you lose it.   Plus, let’s admit it, there is a new study every week with a new do this, and not that, or go back to doing that.    It is confusing, time-consuming and downright frustrating.  Working, raising kids, and not really understanding what is really in the food we were eating, led us to eat fast, convenient, easy, processed foods instead of cooking which was more time consuming and took a lot of energy.  Plus those processed foods a lot of times were in fact cheaper.  Living on a tight budget, so I could homeschool my kids I was convinced fast and convenient was OK.  But, it really isn’t.  All the salt, fat, and preservatives in these foods can be very unhealthy and pretty void of nutrients.  I had to relearn what I learned 30 years ago in my Nutrition class, plus update all that for all the changes.  We now mostly cook fresh foods, at least my husband and I do, the kids are a bit tougher.  They are at the stage where fast and convenient works for them.  I am working on them through education.  Knowledge is power!

Now for the good thought.  I knew deep down in my heart the way we had been eating was not healthy for any of us.  I let commercials, other people, and convenience rule my mind.  I had to become more mindful of what I was putting in my body and the bodies of my family.  Some of you may be wondering if that way of eating caused my Kidney Disease.  No, according to my Nephrologist there is no proof of that.  My kidney had slowly been feeling probably since my teen years and is probably genetic.  Plus, thank goodness we didn’t eat awful too many years.  But, eating all the processed, cheap and convenient foods did nothing good for my kidneys.   My family and I still have lots to learn.  It is hard to break old habits and replace with new ones.  It is a marathon, not a sprint.   I don’t eat the way I used to.  I have conformed myself.  Now that doesn’t mean I don’t cheat or fall of the good eating wagon.  That would be a lie.  I still have a weakness for potato chips and salty snacks. But, by being mindful of what I put into my body, and yes I now realize it is true, I am what I eat, has helped transform my thought process.   It helps to just not buy them, lol,  I wish I had a Health Coach back when work and life started getting more stressful, to help me learn to cook healthy easy fast meals that didn’t cost a fortune.    My husband and daughter are doing ok, and it is my son that I worry about the most.  He is in college and working full time.  The perfect scenario to eat awful foods, and yes that includes fast food and most restaurants.

Do you want to learn how to be more mindful of what you put in your body?  Do you need to learn how to cook, shop on a budget, create a meal plan?  These are all things that I as a Health Coach, can help you with.  If you would like to learn more about what plans I offer, use the contact form below to message me for a free meet and greet.  I am running an October special, so be sure and ask about that.  I am still doing signups for the November small group weekly sessions, also.  You can see all of my available plans here, and feel free to message me with any questions.  I am always adding new plans, and a new monthly special each month.  So check back often.  I will be offering gift certificates for Christmas, starting November 1 for people to purchase.  Yes, my prices are probably more affordable than others.  I do that for a reason.  I can’t help people if they can’t afford to pay me.  I don’t want to be a millionaire, or make 6 figures.  This is an extension of my nursing career to grow and help others in a changing market for Health Care.

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