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Hello, and Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. My thoughts are with everyone in the path of Hurricane Ida, this morning, and as it weakens everyone in it’s path. We had just moved to Florida when Hurricane Katrina hit LA 16 years ago, yesterday. I remember watching the devastation on the TV and thinking do I really want to live in these hurricane areas. But, I grew up in upstate NY, and blizzards and very low temps were a real thing there too. So, here we still are. We have actually only had to evacuate one time. We have stayed for Cat 1’s and 2’s, and I have to say those are plenty scary enough, especially with kids, and pets to worry about. Anyway enough of that. Keep them all in your prayers, and if you can help out, please do so.

This is a quick topic, today. If you would like to receive my twice monthly Mailchimp newsletter, please sign up below. I share content that I don’t share here, recipes not shared here on the blog, plus offer coupon deals on my Health Coaching programs. Right now I am offering a deal on my Walking Buddy Plan. Sign up to get the savings code in next week’s email, or I can just send last week’s newsletter after you sign up. Everyone gets my free portable smoothie recipe, that is kidney friendly.

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this week’s food challenge 11/4-11/10/2020

It is time for the second Health Buddy Melissa Food Challenge. This time only I am participating. Neither my husband or daughter agreed to even try, which is a little disappointing, but oh well. Starting tomorrow I will be meatless for 7 days. No meat at all. I can have dairy, but no meat. I don’t eat much dairy at all, just a tiny bit of cheese. I have not made a menu for the week, for this challenge, because I will be winging it. I will be adapting their dinners to meet my challenge. So, whenever I do a new post I will update what I ate for the days that proceeded that post. I will also update how difficult it is with being on a low carb lifestyle. I am thinking it is not going to be easy, or I may gain some weight or be very hungry. Only the week will tell. Wish me luck!

Would you like to join the meatless challenge? It is easy, just leave me a comment and post how you did, if you want. If you want you can do a blog post with the challenge and put the link in the comments. If you do this please put a link to this blog. Tomorrow come back to learn about G-BOMBS.

Do you want to stop hiding from yourself, and be the healthiest and best you can be? Message me for a free meet and greet to learn about my coaching services. All new clients get one month of coaching for just 25 dollars!


Food additives: acai berry extract a scam?

There are thousands of FDA approved food additives and flavorings that can be added to food in the USA. This is only the second one of that list. I will be going through them all, eventually.

The first thing I learned about Acai Berry Extract is that I was totally pronouncing it wrong, see the videos below. This particular food is used as a flavoring or adjuvant in food items. An adjuvant is simply a food additive added to foods to enhance that food. But, is it a healthy food additive?

My research shows that it certainly is not a bad food additive. The issue seems to be that labeling super inflates the health benefits, especially in relation to how much Acai Berry Extract may actually be in the product. Plus, if the berries are not immediately freeze dried before processing they will lose a lot of their nutritional value. Eating unprocessed Acai Berry Extract can cause a very specific illness.

If you want to get the full benefits of Acai Berry Extract, the best way to is to buy a good quality Acai Berry Powder that was frozen immediately upon picking and then made into the powder. Acai Berry has been shown to be a powerful Antioxidant that may help reduce blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. It has not been shown to be effective for weight loss, Alzheimer’s though I hope they will do more studies on that. That is the main issue with food additives, flavorings and supplements. There simply is not enough evidence to show that they either are, or are not effective against illnesses as food companies may advertise. The second video will explain that while Acai Berry did show positive antioxidant effects in a double blind study, so did basic applesauce. If you have ever read an applesauce label you will note that there is not much nutrition in there. So, that does not bode well for Acai Berry Extract as a super antioxidant. Plus it is way more expensive than other antioxidants due to the labor intense way it is harvested.

Read the sources below, and watch the videos, then you can decide if this food additive is worth the hefty price put on it. Please note in the video how much Acai Berry you would need to consume to actually reach large enough levels to have the health benefits claimed by many supplement and food companies.

If you would like to learn more about my health coaching services, use the contact form after the videos to message me for a free meet and greet. All new customers get 30 days of coaching for only 25 dollars. I am currently accepting new clients.


Mindful Monday: Mindfully Eat All That Easter Candy

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a blessed Easter, especially with all this social distancing.  I had to work at my nursing job, and of course, they gifted us all candy.  Plus, I bought some peanut butter eggs for my family to share.  Chocolate is high in phosphorus and potassium, not to mention fat.  It is irresistible and delicious.  But, are you really enjoying it, or just eating it to eat it?  Mindful eating will help you enjoy and appreciate food and may help you lose weight.  By eating less, and thoroughly enjoying it, in a slow and controlled manner, is a great skill to learn.

So, today’s Mindful Monday exercise is to only eat one item of chocolate candy or any candy.  Follow the steps below to mindfully enjoy that one piece of candy.

1-  Pick your piece.  This is a big decision so choose wisely.

2-  Smell the candy with the wrapper on.  Then slowly remove the candy and smell it again.  Note what it smells like.  Savor the smell, enjoying the aroma.    If the smell is unpleasant then you really shouldn’t eat it.

3-  Feel the candy with your hands.  Note what it feels like and enjoy the feeling of the candy.

4-  Look closely at the candy.  It should be appealing to your eyes.  If it is not don’t eat it, you probably really don’t want it.

5-  You can’t hear the candy, most likely, but you can notice how it sounds when unwrapping the candy.  Take note of the sounds, compare it to other familiar sounds.

6-  Finally the most important step, taste the candy.  Take a small bite, as long as it is not hard candy.  Notice how it tastes.  Roll it around on your tongue savoring all the delicious flavors.  Then take more small bites.  Don’t put the whole thing in your mouth, unless it is hard candy and can not be nibbled.  Thoroughly enjoy the piece of candy.

You may do this twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. See if you get different results each time.  Try enjoying your candy by candlelight, our outside in the fresh air, maybe in a bubble bath.   Do not do it if you are going to sleep.



Don’t forget you can still get my April freebie, my CKD Easter meal plan, which can be for any day of the week.  Just sign up for my newsletter using the contact form below.  I am working on the May and June freebies now, and I think they will be great.  May is for Mom’s and June will be for Dad’s.  You can sign up for my newsletter now and automatically get each freebie, each month.  Questions, email me at,  please be aware spammers will be turned in as spam.

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Tips on Tuesday: Essential Oils for Fleas and Ticks

We have two dogs and one cat, so keeping fleas and ticks off of them is super important.  Fleas and ticks are pests that can cause diseases, extreme itching, sores, other skin disorders and just plain torment your pet, and you should the little pests take up residence in your home.

We use Comfortis but have cut back on it some as it is extremely expensive, and the price keeps going up.  So, we decided to use Essential Oils in water, in a spray bottle.  Now I did read that you could use alcohol-free Witch Hazel but I didn’t have any of that.  The following recipe is what we used, and if you don’t want to try something new ask your Vet first.  You only need to spray on a little bit and rub it on the pet’s body.  I also spray daily on their collars.  It smells nice too!  All the Essential Oils are good quality oils and are undiluted.  Do not use undiluted EO on yourself or your pet, unless directed to do so.  Always use a carrier oil or water.

Spray bottle


2 drops Cedarwood EO

5 drops Lavender EO

5 drops Lemongrass EO

2 drops Peppermint EO this will also help soothe any hot spots or bite areas.

3 drops Orange EO

We used a pretty large spray bottle filled 3/4 with water.  If it is not effective I may add more oils due to being a larger bottle.


New Support Group for Chronic Illness Live on Health Buddy Melissa Facebook Page

This weekend I will be announcing a Walking Challenge for the year 2020.  I am very excited about this, and I hope others will join in.  Next Friday, for Foodie Friday I will be writing about CKD and Diabetic food dishes for a Thanksgiving meal that will be healthier options.   I will also be announcing soon a program for helping people learn to cook with Chronic Illnesses or to help prevent Chronic Illness.  I will not be advising but rather coaching on how to cook within guidelines, read labels, find info, and shop well.

But, for now, let’s talk about the New Live Chat on Health Buddy Melissa Facebook page.  This is free and will replace the other monthly group chat program.  This is how it will work:

1-  Every Wednesday at 1 PM Eastern time I will make myself available on my Health Buddy Melissa Facebook page to have a live streaming chat with anyone who wants to participate.  You will need to follow the page, and be there at the time of the live chat.  If you miss the live chat, you can still comment or ask questions in the feed.  I will only go live once I know I have at least one participant.  You do not have to have a Chronic Illness to participate, but rather could know or take care of someone who does.

2-  This is meant to be supportive, loving, kind and helpful.  No one is to give medical advice, advertise any other services outside of my Health Buddy services, judge others who are venting or looking for tips.  Please refrain from leaving comments on other posts that are outside the live chat, not relevant to other posts.  Do not private message participants without their expressed permission to do so.

3-  You can use the contact form below and I will send you the Facebook page, or you can visit the page and just like and follow.

4-  If for some reason I need to cancel a live chat, I will post here, email those who chose to receive an email, and it will be announced on the Facebook page.  Please ask all the questions in the comment form below.

Don’t forget about my weekly podcast available to email subscribers.



Wellness Wednesday: Cold and Flu Prevention Part 2

Updated 4/21/2021:

Last week I discussed the first chain of infection.  This week I will discuss the second link in the Chain of Infection:  Reservoirs.

So, let us say the first link was not broken, and the pathogen or germ was able to continue to the next link in the chain.  A Reservoir is anywhere that the germ lives.  This can be animals, insects, dirty surfaces, dirty equipment, soil, water, and of course humans.  Getting rid of the reservoir will break this link in the chain and may prevent getting the Cold or Flu.

Ways to break the Reservoir link:

1-  Don’t leave standing water around.  If you are like me and you enjoy watching birds, and butterflies make sure you are changing the water frequently so germs do not thrive, and grow.  The same can be said for pets or animals who live outside.

2-  Disinfect surfaces and equipment daily, if exposed to high levels of germs.  Of course, this would be any health-related facility.  But, it could also be anywhere that dirty hands can come in contact with surfaces ie stores, restaurants, movie theaters, daycare, school, church, etc.  Carry hand sanitizer and wash hands with soap and water as soon as you return home.

3-  Control pests around home and business.  Pests can include rodents, insects and other possible germ-carrying animals such as possum, skunks, armadillo, etc.   Make sure your pets are healthy and have proper vaccines, flea and tick control.

4-  Stick to infection prevention such as handwashing, getting vaccines if advised by your doctor, get enough sleep, eat a well-balanced diet, and exercise regularly.  Some supplements that may help are Zinc, Vitamin C and Vitamin D.  Be sure to learn about how to take properly, and any side effects.

5-  Soil testing procedures should be followed as advised by government policies.

It is possible to avoid Cold, and Flus by breaking the chain of infection.  It takes being mindful and diligent in good prevention measures.  Always remember that the #1 way to prevent Cold and Flu is good handwashing.

If you have any questions or would like to learn about my April freebie, new 30 day coaching plan, or anything else, please use the contact form at the end of the post or email me at


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Throwback Thursday: Be Kind to One Another

Do you ever look back through old posts?  I have a homeschool blog on Blogger, and I look back sometimes.  Number one, I was not a very good writer, lol, but some of the absolute fun things we did are worthy of being shared again.  This blog is less than a year old, but I still have content to reflect on.  I love Christmas.  So, today for Throwback Thursday, I am sharing a post from Christmas time.

For a few updates:

1-  I have just completed my second Guided Imagery script.  This one is to quit smoking.  It will be available for purchase soon.  The first one was for Better Sleep, and I personally use it every night.  It works great!  If you are interested use the contact form below to message me.

2-  I finished Aromatherapy and will start adding info about that.

3-  I am now level 2 Reiki certified.  I do not have a place to do in-person sessions, at this time, but I will soon be offering distance sessions.

4-  Herbalism is also done, and I will be offering info about that.

5-  Finishing up with Meditation, and will soon be taking Reflexology.  As I don’t have a place to do hands-on, I will be promoting self Reflexology.

6-  The support group for Chronic Illnesses begins next Wed, sign up for October closes on Tues.  If you are interested in that, use the contact info below to message me.

7-  I am holding my first Kidney Health Coach class next week.  I am a little nervous, but once I get talking it will all be good.

Lots of exciting things going on here.  How are things in your world?


Memory Care Monday: Abstemious

Updated 11/29/2021: As I continue to edit the old posts from this list, I have created a free printable with the current 15 words. You can print it, keep it in a journal, and write the definitions right on that paper. If you would like the free printable please sign up for my Mailchimp newsletter below. I will send it in each newsletter. After I have edited the current words covered, and I start adding new words, each month I will send a free printable with a kind of game or way to help remember the words. Do you remember the definition of words 1 and 2, abjure and abrogate? Leave the definitions in the comments if you do. Last year I shared Christmas gift ideas for people with CKD. This year watch for gift ideas for people with Dementia.

Welcome to week 3 of the Memory Care Challenge.  How are you doing?  Are you following along?  You still always can get in at any time.  Why do memory care challenges?  Because it keeps your brain healthy.  Dementia and Alzheimers are on the rise in this country, and one of the best things you can do to help lower your risk of getting those diseases is to exercise your brain.  There is a total of 100 words on this list, and it is a list I used with my high school son, and now my daughter.  I didn’t learn the list with him but am learning it with her.   Anytime you want to memorize something, write it 10 times, then say it out loud 10 times.  Each week I go back to the previous words and see if I remember them.  So, here is the word for week 3:  abstemious.  Do you already know what it means?  I kind of had an idea but wasn’t 100% sure.  This is a fun word.  Try to use it in a sentence too.  Leave me a comment, and let me know how you are doing. The short video below will help you out. I think abstemious is a very pertinent word around the holidays, lol.

There are other ways to improve memory.  I am still accepting new clients if you want to work on memory or any other health-related goals.  Use the contact button, at the bottom of this post to message me and set up a free meet and greet. 

Exercise is a great way to keep your brain healthy. Check out my Walking Buddy Plan. Walk with me!


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