Ouch Grocery Prices!

Hello, everyone! If you read here often then you know that I missed my Wednesday post for the next kidney class. I worked all day, and it was a rough day, and I was exhausted. I just plain forgot. I do have to work again next Wednesday, but it is mostly meeting stuff, and I will be bored and thinking about other things I need to do, lol.

The other day I blogged about the really high gas prices. It cost me 40 dollars to almost fill my tank this morning. That is about 8 dollars more than typical. 8 dollars may not sound like a lot, but even if it was 8 dollars a week, that is 32 dollars a month, plus another probably 35 for my husband’s car, extra each month. It will add up pretty fast.

Today is the start of week 10 of my 63 dollars per week grocery challenge budget. That equals 21 dollars per person per week. We pretty much have been able to stick with it, mostly because I shop smart, make a list, shop my pantry first, and have an idea for meals from what we already have on hand. Our on-hand foods are dwindling, and soon this will just be a budget of 63 dollars per week. The budget is for food items only, and not for pets, or other home supplies. You can see the picture of the items I bought this week. I checked all of my local stores for the best deals, and Walmart had the best deals. I mean I could get one or two things elsewhere but to me, it isn’t worth it to go to several stores, and it was pouring rain today too. Anyway, I stuck to the list and it was 5 dollars over. Since these are typical of what I will buy each week, this is probably going to happen each week. So, I will have to put something back each week to stay within budget. Since we are a family, all with different eating needs, and styles, it is hard to follow a strict budget. I have CKD and am on a weight loss journey. My husband eats what he wants, and I have a teen, so yeah teens, lol.

Walmart had the best price on boneless skinless chicken breasts, at 1,99 a pound. Yes, I know I can get another variety of chicken for less, but again, I have to buy what everyone will eat. I could do boneless skinless chicken thighs, but apparently, they didn’t have any. You will also notice I did not buy much fresh stuff. I needed onions, I use them in everything, and that bag of onions was 4.98 and the more affordable yellow onions were sold out. I bought frozen veggies instead, which I prefer over canned. No organic purchases either, this week. Everything is at least a little bit more expensive. I did buy more brown rice because for the price and the nutrition profile it works for me. I can add some beans and we will have a complete protein. I also have the bag of lentils from last week that can be added to rice. In my pantry is also quinoa.

What will be on the menu this week? Tonight, we are finally going to eat the ham steak, some pineapple rice, and a veggie. If I decide I don’t want the ham, I will stir fry up some onions, and mushrooms to put over my rice. Nobody else will eat that but me, lol. Tomorrow we are eating out because of our anniversary. Sunday, my son will be visiting and we will have kielbasa, mac n cheese, baked beans, and green beans. I have some apple chicken sausages in my freezer, that I will eat instead of kielbasa, though I love kielbasa. I may or may not have the mac n cheese. I still have one package of ravioli left and that is why I bought the sauce. I can have my whole grain pasta with sauce. I don’t really like ravioli anyway, but my husband and daughter do, and price-wise it is a good deal. Beyond that, I have not really planned much out. My biggest struggle right now is breakfast, and lunch, on the days I work. I did some prep and got some potatoes done in the air fryer. I can just heat these up and have an egg or two over them in the morning. When you walk 15,000 steps a day at work, I need breakfast to start my day. If I had a desk job it would be different. Lunch is harder. I don’t want to prep a meal for the next day when I get home from work, and I don’t want to take leftovers that will need to be warmed. That is why I bought the whole wheat bread. I really like the Ole Wellness low-carb wraps, as does my husband. But, you only get 8 wraps, and the price of them has gone through the roof. The whole wheat bread was only 1.48 and I didn’t check, but I hope it doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup. My husband will not use whole wheat bread, so I had to get regular sandwich bread for him. I still have not had time to try making my own bread, but after next week, my weeks should quiet down a little. I can pack a sandwich and a piece of fruit for lunches. I still have apples and oranges on hand.

I am still contemplating shopping every two weeks, at 126 dollars, instead of weekly. I have not decided if that will be more cost-effective. If gas continues to rise, most likely it will be.

Are food prices high where you live? Let me know in the comments what you are doing to save money on food. There were a lot of empty spots on the shelves at my Walmart too, this week.

Please remember that we are doing this as a challenge, to save money, avoid food waste, and challenge ourselves. If you have food insecurity that is not by choice, please reach out to local organizations that can assist you to get food.

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Living With CKD: Eating From My Pantry And Food Budget Challenge End Of Week 5

If you read my post from Monday, which was the start of week 5, then you know I went way over budget this week due to the Super Bowl party we will be having. Even though it is small, and just us, all that extra food added up quickly, and some of it I had on hand! Going over budget once in a while is not a huge big deal, and we are lucky enough to be able to do so. Food prices are so high right now and I was disappointed with the prices at the store I chose to shop at this week. But, we have used just about everything I bought this week, or will by Sunday, plus finished up leftovers from last week and used items from the pantry that have been there for a while. If you are new here this is a food budget challenge where I challenge myself to spend 21 dollars per person per week. That means I can spend 63 dollars per week on groceries. I have CKD, so the second part is more of a self-study to see if I can eat more affordable shelf-stable foods with CKD and still feel good. If you have been following then you know that no, unless I buy organic, and low sodium options, I do not feel good when I eat these types of foods. This makes it harder to stay on a budget because I refuse to sacrifice all of the hard work I have done to get my kidneys back to stage 2. But, I know I can eat nuts, seeds, legumes, and beans and they are shelf-stable and feel OK, as long as I am mindful of portion sizes due to phosphorus. As we move on with this budget challenge, through the year, as our pantry winds down, plant-based protein sources will be vital. I just am not sure how my family will do with that since this is a challenge, not a necessity. So, I guess I need to rename this challenge because I have answered that question.

My husband is adjusting well to the new budget challenge. He only ran out of milk once. My daughter, however, not so much. She is very much into the more expensive and unhealthy convenience meals. At least I think they are expensive considering they are low-quality nutrition in my opinion. Next week I will be back on track and will head to Aldis again because so far that has been where I get the best prices, and they have organic options for less. I really do like Misfits Market, especially the way they do it now, but this time of year we do not eat as much fresh produce and it goes bad too fast. Obviously, throwing food away is not part of this budget. But, if you have never tried Misfits check them out. They have a great mission.

What did we eat this week? It was pretty much as I stated it would be.

Monday was a bagel, egg, cheese, and bacon sandwich. This is a favorite at our house. I eat only one and will have fruit or a salad on the side.

Tuesday was homemade scalloped potatoes and ham. I used this Taste of Home recipe. I modified it a little. I did not use 2% milk because I don’t buy that. But, I did have Half and Half that needed to be used up and it was the exact amount needed. I also didn’t use Thyme, I don’t like it, or parsley because I didn’t have any on hand. However, I did use Rosemary and sprinkled Paprika over the top. If you have never cooked with Rosemary, it is the bomb! You only need a very tiny amount to get a ton of flavor. This was a huge hit and I will definitely make it again. For CKD it probably is not something you want to eat often. I leach the potatoes by soaking them for a while, then rinsing, prior to use. This leaches out a lot of potassium and phosphorus. I would probably use skim milk the next time to save on the fat content. Ham is ham and not something I eat more than a couple of times a year. This made a ton of food and fed us for lunch and dinner a couple more days.

Wednesday I had a board meeting so I needed something fast. I mistakingly bought from Sam’s a huge tin of their Member’s Mark chunk chicken. They usually are small cans but for some reason, this one was one big can. I knew I had to use this up, but I wasn’t sure how. I know some people put it in soups and casseroles, but I am not crazy about it like that. So, I decided to make chicken salad wraps with some pretzels on the side. We like the low-carb, high fiber wraps. These are going to be higher in phosphorus as they are whole grain. Be mindful of your portion sizes with CKD. I add celery, and onion to the meat, plus some mustard and light Mayonnaise. We are now out of light Mayo and I will have to use full fat because we have a huge tub of it from Sam’s to use up. I drain and rinse the chicken to reduce the amount of sodium. This was really good, easy, and economical. It made a ton because of the large can size and we are still eating it for lunch today I will take some for my lunch tomorrow at work. I stick to a 2.5-ounce portion size.

Thursday Leftover scalloped potatoes and ham with green beans. I forgot to say we had fresh asparagus on Tuesday. I didn’t like it, though, so I probably won’t buy it again.

Friday today we will be having Chicken Alfredo over pasta with broccoli. I buy frozen broccoli and steam it. The Alfredo Sauce, in the pics below, came from Misfits Market. It was not cheap, and it has been in my pantry for a while. I don’t care for Alfredo sauce, but the others in my family do. I will probably only use half the jar, so we will be having this again soon. I also had Rao’s organic pasta in my pantry, also from Misfits. It isn’t cheap but it only has one ingredient. You can see the information for the Alfredo sauce below. Compare it to a non-organic variety here, and see the difference mainly in the ingredient list. While it is true it is cheaper to buy in bulk, when you are on one of these budget challenges you will have to buy smaller amounts. I bought a very small package of organic, boneless, skinless chicken breasts and I think it was 6 dollars for a pound. That is expensive, true, but I am getting organic which I prefer. Sometimes I can get Publix Greenwise brand, which is organic, on sale at a decent price, but that was before all of this inflation crap.

Saturday my family will eat this tomorrow as well when I am at work. Cook once eat twice, or thrice, that is a good way to do this.

Sunday Superbowl junk food fest, lol. The menu will include pigs in a blanket, mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce, tortilla chips with salsa, fresh veggies with ranch dip, pickles, and of course they have to have soda. I don’t drink soda it is Pepsi and dark soda is a bad choice for anyone with CKD.

Who will you route for in the Superbowl? I have no team favorite as my team didn’t make it, nor did my husband’s. So, I have picked the Bengals to win.

Disclaimer

What Is A Living Will and Do You Need One? Plus More!

Welcome to another Thinking on Thursday topic. As promised I said I would cover topics related to retiring and other Golden Years topics. First off let me state this is my opinion, but if you do some research you will see that my opinion is helped by a lot of legal experts. I think anyone over the age of 20 should have a Living Will. At the end of the post, I will do an update on my pantry and food budget challenge, so there will be a lot of pictures.

We can not discuss if you need a Living Will without a few definitions. First off what is a Living Will? I like to keep things simple, so to put it in a simple way it is a legal document filed with your doctor, family, and anyone else who needs it making it very clear what your wishes are for your medical care should you become terminally ill. What is the definition of a terminal illness? Again, in its simplest form when someone has a terminal illness there is no cure and will cause death. That is a pretty broad statement in my opinion and if you have CKD, like me, they will tell you there is no cure. Now, I think in a lot of states this would be broken down into how long until death is expected, etc. Be sure and follow the guidelines, and understand what a Living Will in your state means.

My husband and I will each be doing a Living Will. Something we should have probably done years ago. But, when you are young you don’t think about such things, like something awful can never ever happen to you.

Again, this is my opinion and my feelings. I have been a nurse for 35 years and I know there are certain things I do not want. For example, I do not want to be kept alive with no quality of life. Quality of Life is a debatable topic, but for me, if I can not do the things I enjoy how and when I want to, I have no quality of life. If I am exhausted all the time, can’t work, can’t exercise or even walk far, am being fed by a machine, am incontinent with someone needing to clean and change me, these are not quality of life for me. If these things were short-term, and by short-term I mean less than 3 months, then I would consider it being rehabilitative, not poor quality of life. Event hat is debatable to me if the expense to do so will be outrageous and put my family in a horrible position of trying to pay just to keep me alive. I have lived an awesome life and while I don’t want to die, I don’t fear death. I do fear no quality of life, however. Dialysis is something I am still on the fence about, especially since I don’t have to confront it yet. It is life-saving, obviously, but I would have to assess my quality of life.

These are the types of things you would need to consider when creating a Living Will and are only examples of myself since I am the best example I can give. A Living Will can be amended or rescinded at any time, so don’t feel like once one is created you can never change your mind, or ask for changes.

Even though creating a Living Will is not something fun to think about, or something that has even crossed your mind, it does take the burden off of loved ones who would be put in the position to have to decide these things should you be terminally ill.

You don’t even need a lawyer. Legal Zoom can assist you, and there may be others. Here in Florida, they provide a sample Living Will you can use, just fill in the areas that need filling in.

Consider the pros and cons talk to your family and then make an informed decision. My family is very aware of how I feel.

Update on the food budget/pantry challenge:

This week we are using up leftovers and a bunch of pantry food items. You will see the labels and ingredients for each item below. I am very disappointed to say that I will not be eating the Stove Top Stuffing as it has HFCS and a lot of sodium, added phosphorus and added sugars. I will eat homemade mashed potatoes instead. Keep reading to learn more.

Tuesday: We had for dinner Dave’s Killer muffins as egg and sausage sandwiches. I like Dave’s products. I like their 22 seed bread better, but this is what I purchased. I did have sausage, egg, and one slice of cheese. I had a large side salad with mine.

Wednesday: I had a board meeting and my husband was going to be late. So, from the pantry, my daughter wanted Campbell’s tomato soup. Unfortunately, I did not read the label until after I had eaten 1 cup. I didn’t even consider that soup would be so bad for me. This soup is full of sodium, added sugar, and I believe added phosphorus. I did not take pics of the label but you can look it up. I almost died when I put it into my food tracker and I had consumed 40 grams of carbs in a 1 cup serving of soup that was not even filling. Good grief! I did have a side salad with it.

Thursday: We had some turkey still leftover from Sunday. So. I put 2 ounces of turkey breast on a spinach and iceberg salad, with some sunflower seeds. Unfortunately, I did not read the label for the Publix salad dressing and much to my dismay it too has a lot of added sugars. I did look up their organic version and it was much better, though you will pay more for that healthier version. I had one Hawaiian roll, again leftover from Sunday, and holy moly look at the food label and ingredients for one tiny roll. That was just lunch, lol. For dinner, I am making some pan-fried organic chicken from my freezer, carrots from a can see the label it is about the only healthy thing I have featured this week other than the organic chicken, and I will have homemade mashed potatoes leftover. My husband and daughter will be having the Cracker Barrel White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese. I was going to have that too but look at the label and the ingredients. No thank you!

This week has been an eye-opening week for me with my Pantry Challenge eating with CKD. The Dave’s bread, and the carrots, are the only two pantry items that are even acceptable. HFCS, food additives, preservatives, high-fat content, added sugar, high sodium, added phosphorus in the other items are probably not good for you if you have CKD. They are probably not even good for you if you don’t have CKD. If you do decide to eat any of the foods I mention at the very least eat only one portion or even half a portion. Always discuss food options with your doctor or dietitian, if you are even lucky enough to have a dietitian.

That is it for today. I hope you are all enjoying my budget/pantry food challenge. Let me know in the comments.

Disclaimer

Pantry Food Challenge With CKD and My Very Small Haul

Welcome to another Healthy tip on Tuesday! Today, my healthy tip, especially if you are doing a food pantry challenge, is to do an inventory of your pantry. We seriously have way more food than I even thought we did. We did a complete inventory yesterday. I am almost embarrassed to say, but I have purchased so many protein bars that I absolutely don’t love, but now I have to eat them. My husband will eat some, I hope. Protein bars are very expensive and I absolutely refuse to waste them. They are convenient for when I work my long 12 hour days, but I just don’t really care for them. From a CKD perspective please be careful. Some of these protein bars can have 30% of your RDA for phosphorus. I made a Google document for my whole pantry supply and each time we use something I will change the count. I was doing this last summer, but then the 12-hour shifts came and I got out of doing it. The point of a pantry challenge is to have no waste and to save money.

Last week I was able to save 57 dollars by shopping in my pantry. For me, my pantry is cupboards and a freezer. The fresh stuff of course I use up, but it isn’t shelf stable. That 57 dollars saved will go to dog training lessons for my crazy dog, or for me, whatever perspective you think about it. The budget is 21 dollars per person, per week. So, for a family of three, that is 63 dollars a week. It is for food items only. The real challenge is to see if shelf-stable foods can be both affordable and healthy choices for someone living with CKD. So far I have still been able to afford organic options, but that may not last once my existing inventory is gone. I do not generally shop for quick, easy, processed-type foods, either.

Today, I went to Walmart to get a very small food haul for this week. This should be all we need, but you know how that goes. Milk, Tampico, bag salad, pretzels, coffee creamer, and the lunch meat all came to a total of $19.56. So, that means for the rest of this week, which ends on Sunday we have $43.44. My son and his wife may be coming to visit Sunday, and we may get some pizza. This will probably come from this fund. I did not buy Organic milk because the price has gone up quite a bit, and I don’t drink it. Tampico is for my teenager. The bagged salad was actually 40 cents cheaper than the app said it was, woot woot! We did not technically need lunch meat, but my husband does not want to eat tuna every day, of which I have a ton, so I picked up some lunch meat.

Tonight, for dinner from my pantry I am using some pasta, chicken bullion cubes, chicken stock, a whole chicken, carrots, and onion. I am making homemade crockpot chicken noodle soup. Everything in this recipe is organic and already in my pantry.

To keep organic carrots fresh longer I peel and slice them up, and then I put them in a jar of water in the fridge. This maintains their crispness for at least two weeks. I had to chop the peppers and freeze them because they were going bad faster than we could eat them.

I cook the whole chicken all by itself, with just water, in the crockpot for six hours. Then it is fall off the bone tender. Throw that water away. I know it sounds like such a waste, and maybe it is. But, in that water is a lot of the phosphorus from the chicken. This method reduces the phosphorus in meat and I use it often. I then take the chicken apart and put the meat back in the crockpot with organic chicken broth that does not have added phos in the ingredients. I do add bullion cubes for flavor, along with Rosemary, Thyme, Organic, and my secret ingredient Paprika. If this is too salty for you use low sodium broth. I cook it for a few more hours until the carrots are soft. Then I add some pasta and cook for about 15 more minutes or until the pasta is done. I only used about 1 pound of chicken in the whole soup. It is hard to measure the protein this way, but you can kind of guess.

There will be enough of this for lunch tomorrow, and I didn’t use all of the chicken so that will be another meal this week, either for lunch or dinner. There are also still some homemade meatballs with sauce in the fridge. My husband will most likely finish those off.

Tomorrow will be the 3rd slide in the Kidney Class. So, be sure and come back to see what it is.

Tomorrow, I have a late meeting, so I might make homemade bread in the morning and we can have grilled cheese and tomato soup on homemade bread. Yum!

Please remember my kidney disease is not the same as anyone else. We are all different. What I eat you may not be able to eat. Proper portions are always the key to any specialized diet, and I am not on dialysis. If you have any questions, there is tons of information already on this blog about me and my kidney journey, or you can leave me a comment. If you would like to learn more about my Health Coaching services please send me an email to melissa@healthybuddymelissa.coach

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A Mindfulness Photography Challenge and Week 1 Pantry/Budget Challenge Review!

Happy Monday! I think I will repeat this Mindfulness challenge each month with a different theme. A very important part of Mindfulness is being present at the moment, observing your surroundings and how they make you feel. I love being outdoors in nature and all the beauty that goes with it. I also love photography. It is a great hobby that is relaxing and fulfilling. Even if you think you take awful pictures, then you don’t understand art. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and while some people may actually not like your photo lots of people will. I actually make a little bit of money off my art pieces. It isn’t a lot, maybe 50 to 100 dollars a year. I certainly am not wealthy from it. But, it does allow others to enjoy my art and purchase it on various items if they choose to. You will see a picture of one such item below.

So, the Mindfulness Photography Challenge for the month of January is to find hearts in nature. You can’t create the heart yourself. The point is to be observant and mindful of your surroundings. You can share your photos in the comments or a link to your photo if you have a blog. I will not accept spam so please don’t waste your time. I approve all comments manually. My picture is from a few years ago, so I will be on a mission to find some new hearts in nature. Please do not steal other people’s artwork. That is just rude and may be illegal.

Yesterday, was the end of two challenges we are currently doing. One of them is for the whole year and that is to try and spend 21 dollars per person, per week. For three people that is 63 dollars and it is for food items only. For week one I only had to buy flour and garlic bread. So, I only spent $5.98 The extra money not spent will be deposited into our savings. Some people do this challenge and spend all the money each and every week to build up their pantry, even though they already have a huge stash of food in their homes. This just makes no sense to me, which brings me to the second challenge, The Pantry Challenge. We have quite a bit of food already on hand. To reduce food and money waste I have decided we will use up what we have even if it is not our favorites, which is why it usually sits in the pantry or freezer. Freezer items are considered shelf-stable for this challenge. I tend to buy organic only which probably will be the real challenge as it is way more expensive. We managed to use up a lot of food that we had on hand in week 1. I will be doing inventory today and I will try to take a picture of what we have left and I will share it tomorrow. My husband and daughter did manage quite well this weekend while I was at work. They tend to not want to cook and want to buy stuff from the store. The only thing my husband purchased was garlic bread to go with his homemade meatballs for dinner last night. We also had tortellini from Sam’s that absolutely had to be used and that went with it. Plus, tons of salad items were used up. Unfortunately, some of the carrots did go bad, organic foods go bad fast. I should have frozen them. This leads me to another tip, watch your fresh items, and freeze them if you need to. I will be freezing up the peppers today.

Week 2 begins today. I already know we need milk and coffee creamer. So, they have been added to my list. I do not think we will actually need anything else. But, we will see. That doesn’t mean we won’t want something else, lol.

Today, for breakfast I had the rest of my blueberry crisp and a garden salad. Both were from the fridge. Please remember that oats are extremely high in phosphorus so use caution if you have CKD. Lunch I will have a peanut butter banana smoothie with ground flaxseed. Again, flaxseed is very high in phosphorus so use it with caution. Bananas are high in potassium. All of these items I have discussed in previous posts, and are in my pantry supply. We are almost out of fresh veggies but have quite a bit of fresh fruit still that I may have to freeze to not lose. Dinner will be leftover meatballs and tortellini. Be mindful of portion sizes. Meat should be about 3 ounces but no more than 4, unless your doctor has advised you to eat more protein. Tortellini has cheese, so you will get even more protein. Pasta sauce has potassium and sodium. Be sure to read your labels and be mindful of your portion size.

Today will be a complete leftover day!

Are you doing either of these challenges with me? Share your thoughts and results. Will you try the Mindfulness Photography Challenge?

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Walk With Me

https://www.redbubble.com/i/shower-curtain/Hearts-in-Nature-by-Missy69/69153254.YH6LW?asc=u&epik=dj0yJnU9S2ROcVNEMzMxREpCV0xqcGFLSjlUb2kwdTBOSVNWSWMmcD0wJm49SDJteUs3UnZYcDZqY0ZnVkxlb211USZ0PUFBQUFBR0hsZzlR

Who Likes Squats?

I would say most people do not like to do squats, but some people probably do. The other day I was reading an article on bone health and preventing Osteoporosis. With CKD you know how important bone and muscle health is. Squats were considered one of the best weight- bearing exercises you could do for bone health. I mean think about it, you are lifting your own weight from a seated to a standing position and then back to seated. The article stated that women in certain cultures who regularly sit on the floor have the best bone density in that study. This is because they have to get up and then down to the floor several times a day. I mean think of it this way, say you have an office job but you get up from your chair at least every hour and take 250 steps. In an 8 hour work-day, that means you would have done at least 8 squats as long as your chair is not high. Even if you have an active job, doing squats will improve your bone density.

Watch the video to learn how to properly do a squat. Start low and build up to more repetitions. Your buns and hamstrings probably will complain, especially at first, but your bones will thank you.

Now for a quick update on the pantry food challenge.

I looked up rolled oats that I used in my blueberry crisp and 1/2 of a cup contains 17 grams of protein, 66 grams of carbs, 11 grams of fiber, 523 mg of Phosphorus, 2 mg of Sodium, and 429 mg of Potassium. This makes oats a concerning food item for CKD. The recipe called for 3/4 of a cup of oats. Be sure and eat the blueberry crisp in moderation only. The homemade sloppy joe sauce was amazing! Compared to Manwich sloppy joe sauce in a can, it has much better nutrition for CKD, namely in sodium content and it contains HFCS. The frozen corn per 1/2 cup has 3 grams of protein, 3 mg of sodium, 213 mg of potassium, and 70 mg of phosphorus. Be sure and be mindful of portion sizes with the corn as well.

Today is an all-leftover dinner day. So, anything I have already cooked will be finished up today.

This weekend is the hardest for me, any weekend- because I work 12-hour shifts. On the first day I can manage a healthy meal, the second day I am too tired and with little sleep not much time to get something together. I may go ahead and prep a bunch of stuff today so I can eat healthy both days. Below are some pantry items I have thrown into my lunch bag in case I don’t get prepped for Sunday. We can eat at work for free, but I find the food generally upsets my stomach so I try not to. I have shown just the item and the labels.

The first item is for Poptarts. The list of ingredients is immense, but I forgot to take a picture. Then a bag of Cheez Its, Quest protein bar, a tun pouch, and Canola mayo I bought that Canola mayo through Misfits Market and I have not tried it yet. I think I will make tuna, and chicken salad so I have something for both days. The only real difference is that it has more Omega 3 than other mayos do and less saturated fat. The Quest protein bars I need to eat up. According to one website, one bar contains 10% of the RDA for phosphorus. I bought them and didn’t love them, but I refuse to waste them. They are so expensive. I have to eat three meals at work because I work 12- hour shifts. I will probably have my last serving of blueberry crisp before I leave for breakfast. I will also stick in a banana, and maybe some clementines. These are high in potassium so they will not work for everyone. That will avoid a fattening greasy breakfast there. If you work with CKD you know how hard it can be to stick to a diet and to get enough fluids. Fluids are an even bigger concern for me than food. As far as pantry meats go, you really can’t beat tuna. Try to buy the brand with the best ingredient list. I have tried organic tuna and I do not like it at all.

Have an awesome weekend and let me know how you plan for workdays with CKD.

Disclaimer

Living With CKD Pantry Food Challenge

So, if you read my post yesterday then you know I have two challenges for the whole year in 2022. The budget challenge is to save extra money, and you know what my phone died last night and I had to get a new one. So, isn’t that interesting!

Anyway, I will try to post most days what I ate from my pantry in our meal plan for the week. The days that I can’t get on, will all be posted on Monday. The week runs from Monday to Sunday. I will give generals for breakfast because we all eat something different. So, mostly I will share what I ate for those two meals.

So, for the budget challenge for this week, I have 63 dollars per week to spend. I figured I pretty much had everything I need for the week but then I decided to make my own hamburger buns for some sloppy joes. I don’t have enough flour. So, tomorrow I will be picking up some all-purpose flour from Walmart. Their 5-pound bag of Organic All-Purpose Flour is $3.98. This means for the week ending 1/16/2022 I have a remaining balance of $59.02. I could have gotten a cheaper bag, and at some point in this challenge I may have to, but as long as I can get organic I will. This is the perfect time of year to make my own bread because it is cool outside. I think I shared what I ate yesterday if not submarine sandwiches and the only thing from the pantry was condiments and pretzels. We already had the sub rolls and lunch meat on hand. I ate organic turkey breast from Misfits Market. It is delicious but not cheap.

Today, this is what I have and or will eat.

Breakfast: egg casserole. This was leftover from last week and needed to be eaten up.

Lunch: Fresh green salad. I had all of the supplies on hand. From my pantry, I used croutons that need to be used up, salad dressing, and we had some Star Wars chicken nuggets in the freezer. Freezer items count as pantry items in this challenge. You can see the food labels below. These are not the healthiest for someone with CKD so be sure and eat only a portion which is 4 nuggets. I just break them up and put them on my salad.

Note: With the egg casserole that has cheese in it, and the chicken nuggets I am already at my protein limit that I like to be at for the day. So, my meat portion for dinner will have to be even less. Plus, the nuggets were quite high in sodium.

Dinner: Pork loin chops from my freezer, canned organic green beans, and I think I will make some red potatoes in the air fryer. I do not love my air fryer at all, but I think I am finally getting the hang of it and learning to at least like it. My Instapot and my Crockpot both died in 2021 and I have not replaced them yet. All of the food items for this dinner we already had on hand. I don’t have the label for the pork loin. I bought it at Sam’s in a huge log and then we cut it into serving-size pork chops. I can get at least 5 meals out of this one large loin. Extra-lean pork loin is OK for CKD in 3 to 4 ounce serving size. If Phosphorus is a concern for you, you can parboil it for about 5 minutes to decrease the phosphorus in the meat. Potatoes are high in potassium, so soak or parboil them as well prior to putting them in the air fryer. From my spice cabinet, I can add Rosemary, and Paprika to add tons of flavor to the potatoes. If salt and pepper are all you have, then use them, just be light on the salt shaker. I do encourage you to build up your spice cabinet. They add tons of flavor without added salt, most of the time, read the labels.

That’s it for today. Have a great day! Leave me your thoughts in the comments. Note the expiration date on the organic green beans. Not all organic foods go to waste faster. Please remember all CKD patients are different. If your doctor has told you not to eat any of the foods I share then don’t eat them.

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Gift Ideas 3 and 4 for people with ckd, plus my weekly meal plan

I totally forgot to post gift idea #3 yesterday, so today I will do 3 and 4. Before I get to that I want to mention that today was grocery day. I really do quite hate grocery shopping, lol, and I hate going to various stores to get better deals. I can tell you one thing. There is no way I can only spend 50 dollars a week if I want to shop at Publix, which I do because I love their Greenwise products. It is just too expensive. But, I may have to sacrifice the budget a little, because when you start reading ingredients I really do much prefer organic items. For example, I needed Ricotta Cheese. Aldis, where I went first, had none at all. So, I went to Publix. I was going to get the one that was 4 dollars cheaper, and then I read the ingredients. Nope, spent the extra 4 dollars. But, with that said I don’t need to buy everything organic. I like grass-fed meats, and organic cheeses, and some other things. But fruits and veggies, honestly I don’t really notice any difference as long as I rinse them well. That goes for frozen too, but I do always check the ingredients on anything I buy. I might be able to do it if I did just their buy 1 get 1 free offering, but those are all processed foods almost completely and that is what I don’t want. So, I did go to Aldi’s first, and unfortunately, the Aldi’s near me is not really all that affordable. I save more at Save A Lot and Walmart in the smaller town near me. But, that is the point of me challenging myself. I learn through keeping track of where I really do get the most for my money. I went over budget and spent 70 dollars. Some of that was for baking stuff for Christmas cookies which we give as gifts. But, I left it in the budget for my daughter to see how easy it is to go outside the budget especially at holidays. I will subtract it from next week, and only have 30 to spend. I don’t know, though because our inventory of meat, and veggies are just about used up, so I may need to spend more. I did stick to my list though and bought no extras.

My meal plan for 12/4-12/11 just dinners.

12/4- Leftovers. There is pork, coleslaw, and sweet potatoes

12/5- Homemade pizzas. Aldis had flatbread so I bought those. We already had cheese and sauce. I have some leftover mushrooms and onions for mine, and my daughter will put pepperoni on hers. This is a work day for me, so I don’t worry about my carbs too much as I am constantly moving. Same with 12/6

12/6- Ravioli, bread and butter, salad. I am not sure how I will handle this meal, being low carb. I will share what I decide.

12/7- Chicken alfredo and broccoli. I bought some chickpeas to make a sauce for me, as I don’t like Alfredo. I am not sure it will be low carb, though, maybe.

12/8- Grilled cheese and tomato soup. This is our busiest day of the week and we always have something quick and easy. I have some of my Ole tortilla wraps still and I will just make grilled cheese with one of them.

12/9- Pancakes with sausage. I can tell you already I only eat 1 pancake. They are high in carbs and sodium.

12/10- Homemade lasagna. I probably just won’t eat the pasta. Side salad, and texas toast. No Texas toast for me either.

12/11- Leftovers

For my 3rd gift idea I chose a robotic vacuum. Now, technically I would like one of these, but it is not at all something I need. I have a teen who sweeps, lol. But, if you have CKD, especially stage 4 or 5 housework can be exhausting. This is a bit of a pricier gift, but I picked one with 5 stars, and it is on sale. It is on Amazon, click here. Obviously, you don’t have to pick that one. It is just an idea.

Gift #4 is a great cookbook with great recipes for CKD. I picked this one, because I have read this one, and I loved it. Please note, I have noticed that a lot of these kidney cookbooks do not focus on Phosphorus. Be alert when cooking as to Phosphorus amounts.

There you have it. 2 more great gift ideas for anyone with CKD on your gift giving list. Come back tomorrow for gift idea #5. If you would like to learn more about any of my health coaching services. Please use the contact form at the bottom of this post to message me.

It is difficult to follow a limited protein, low sodium, and a low carb diet at the same time. Plus, be mindful of potassium and phosphorus.

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