happy thursday!

OMG, I almost felt like Frosty the Snowman for a minute! It is still chilly here in Florida, which I am getting really bored with. If you have been following along then you know I homeschool my daughter and she is starting an untraditional Nutrition course designed by me. Yesterday, was the first day and we did inventory to see what we had and what we needed. She also had to decide on a healthy meal that she would prepare for the upcoming week. She chose Chicken Cesar Salad, which could also count as this week’s 5 dollar dinner because everything comes right in the kit. At Aldi the kit was 2.99 and you could get two servings out of that, and if you really tried three. That is a great deal. I said everything was in there, but there is no chicken. We had one piece of chicken leftover and we threw it in there. A nice healthy filling dinner for my fast food, junk food, processed food loving teen. Not a bad start. If you have CKD go light on the Cesar dressing, I only used about a tbsp. Creamier dressings, as you will see in the video below have more calories, phosphorus and other additives than a clear dressing. You don’t get a lot of cheese with these salad kits, so that shouldn’t be an issue especially if you are sharing it with another person. Also a note about Mrs. Dash and other low sodium seasoning mixes, they are generally high in Potassium, so be sure and read the label for Nutrition info and ingredients. My menu plan is all set for the next week and if you would like to get my menu plan, grocery list with basic prices, and two recipes a week, then check out my new subscription plan Meals with Melissa. You get all of that, plus I will message you twice a week to see how it is going, what you might need help with and what kinds of meals you would like in the future. I also add general Nutrition info to each recipe. All that for only 10 dollars a month!

This is not what I intended to post about today, but I did not have time to research what I was going to write about. The three in the video are kind of boring, but they did put together an awesome meal for people with Heart Disease, Diabetes or CKD. A couple things I would note, I am not a Dietitian, but I have been counting my protein long enough to know their chicken breast was not 3 ounces. While they did say a portion should be 3 ounces, that one was not. Cut it in half, and always weigh your meat if you are unsure. Basil is very strong in flavor, and to me they put way too much. But, if you like zing in your food Basil will get you there. I like to use Red Wine Vinegar as it tastes like salt but contains no salt. I loved the Alfredo Sauce they made, and I can’t wait to try that. I do not care for traditional Alfredo Sauce, and it isn’t really good for people with CKD anyways.

I will be back tomorrow. Have a great evening! Drop me a comment if you think you will try their Alfredo Sauce.

I am looking at adding a Facebook Instant Messenger Chat box, so be sure and watch for that if you would like to chat with me. I do have a chat box on this blog, but it is not convenient and I don’t find it works well.

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portion distortion: Ice Cream!

Happy Monday! Welcome back to a new Portion Distortion topic. This time it is ice cream. Portion Distortion topics are part of my Mindful Eating topics to raise awareness of the foods we eat. Everybody loves ice cream. Well, unless you are lactose intolerant then you might not love ice cream. Ice cream is not only a calorie dense food, but it is also very high in fat and typically has lots of added sugar. This does not bode well for anyone wanting to lose weight, eat heart smart, or has Diabetes. Reading labels and knowing what you are consuming is a great way to raise your awareness. This post may contain affiliate links.

Publix had Haagen Daaz ice cream buy one get one free for the small containers. According to the container 2/3 of a cup is a serving size. That serving size has 340 calories, 21 grams of fat of which 13 are saturated fat, 32 grams of carbs, 32 grams of sugars of which 24 grams are added sugars, 75 mg of sodium, and 6 grams of protein and no fiber. That is not even one cup of ice cream. My serving size was 1/4 of a cup so a 1/3 of their serving size. Plus I added some pureed berries- 1 strawberry and 7 blueberries- for a total of 145 calories for 1/4 cup, 2 ounces of ice cream. You can very easily see how ice cream can be a concerning food to eat. A couple of weeks ago I got a kiddy size hot fudge sunday and it was over 600 calories! Now, I am not saying never eat ice cream. I love ice cream here and there. Just be aware of what and how much you are really eating. The images show my serving of ice cream and berries. It was really quite delicious. I do not like yogurt, and I am not sure it is even healthier than ice cream, but I may try the berries with almond milk yogurt. I will have to look at it when I go to the store again.

Do you love ice cream? What is your favorite flavor and brand? Leave me a note in the comments. Come back tomorrow to learn about my next food challenge. Don’t forget to join the Rosemary Challenge for the whole month of November.

Would you like to learn more about Mindfulness, and how it can help you in your every day life? Message me for a free meet and greet and learn about my Health Coaching services. There is a contact form at the end of every post. It is easy to fill out and will come right to my email. I respect your privacy and never share your information. All communications are private and secure. All new customers receive one month of coaching for only 25 dollars. What can we accomplish in one month? Let me help you reach your health goals. Check out my updated Meals with Melissa, and Distance Reiki plans. I will be updating all plans in the coming months.

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Can’t Afford Organic? How To Remove Pesticides From Fruits and Veggies!

Updated: 2/2/2022: As I continue to edit old posts that I did, I came across this post. As my family is currently doing a Food Budget/Pantry Challenge for the whole year of 2022, this post became even more relevant. This refers to fresh fruit and veggies. If you buy frozen or canned, organic if you can afford it is best. This does not apply to processed foods, or convenience foods, for obvious reasons. Those foods, shelf-stable, if I choose to purchase them I do try to afford the organic varieties.

If you are like me, you may be trying to go Organic.  Organic foods are much more expensive than non-organic foods.  But, since they are supposed to be healthier I do it.  I won’t even go into the depressing article I read on how Organics were actually discovered to have pesticides.  Not yet, deep breath!  But, earlier this week, I read an article about how a new discovery of washing fruits, and veggies, is very effective in washing off pesticides.  This is good news to me.  We live on a budget, as a lot of Americans do, and buying Organic all the time is killing my grocery budget.

The report I read, which I can’t find now, was basically the same as the one I found on Consumer Reports.   I will get right to the point, but you can read all the boring mumbo jumbo by clicking that link in the sentence above.  They used bleach, regular water, and baking soda water.  Yes, baking soda, is a very cheap product to purchase.  I have stated previously that I take a 1/2 tsp of baking soda, in water twice a day, as prescribed by my doctor, and the results have been awesome for me in reversing my Metabolic Acidosis when I was first diagnosed with CKD. Now, I find another awesome way to use it.  I don’t want to wash my food in bleach, sorry.  I clean the house with it, but not to food washing.  Plain water, well ok but you know it isn’t going to remove all the pesticides.  According to the Consumer Report article, one tsp of baking soda in 2 cups of water for 2 minutes, removed some of the pesticides.  The other article I read was a tbsp of baking soda in a liter of water for 12 minutes, and most pesticides were removed.  Of course, you can’t account for pesticides already absorbed, but if you peel your fruits and vegetables that helps even more.  Be sure to rinse anything you soak in the baking soda solution.

I can not tell you how awesome I think this is, especially for people who might not be able to afford the more expensive organic items. There are other very good reasons to buy organic foods other than they are healthier to eat. But, when you live on a budget and you need to feed your family, organic might just not be feasible. If you ever wanted a cause to join, pushing politicians to make organic foods more affordable and accessible is a good option.

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