Portion Distortion: Cereal

Do you love cereal? Here at my house cereal can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. But, most people eat way more than the recommended amount of cereal adding calories and sugar to their diet. Most people do not even realize they are eating at least 2 times, probably more, of the portion stated on the package. If you are trying to lose weight, or need to monitor certain ingredients in your diet due to Diabetes, CKD or any other reason, you need to monitor your portion sizes. Losing weight is the number one thing you can do to improve your egfr if you have CKD, according to studies I have read, and doctors. This is only applicable to people who are already overweight. It is not intended for people who are underweight, or suffering from muscle wasting.

In the image below is the correct portion for a bowl of Chex Vanilla Cereal, my personal favorite. 1 cup of cereal, and 1/2 cup of milk. That is the correct portion size. You also see in the image one scrambled egg, which is a high quality protein source.

If you would like to learn more about portion control, and how to implement it today to get your diet under control, use the contact form under the images, to message me for a free meet and greet. All meet and greets are done online via email.


Plant Based Diet and Iron

A couple of things before I begin. I have been following a plant-based diet for about 10 days now. I can tell you I have no inflammation and I feel great. I also am currently losing a 1/2 pound of weight per day. We are getting ready to go on a much needed vacation, so I will try to get at least two more posts in before we go, on this topic.

Now, with all that said, Iron, Protein and B12 are my biggest concerns with following a plant-based diet and also having CKD. There is a lot of evidence that a diet based around plants can help the kidneys. However, because plants are non heme Iron sources, plus high in potassium and phosphorus, I am being proactive with this diet choice. Proactive means learning, studying and understanding symptoms my body may have. This week I started to notice my tongue was getting sore. This means I probably am starting to lose Iron stores. This freaked me out a bit, so I did eat some meat yesterday, and took a Iron supplement. Today, the soreness is gone. One of my issues with this diet, is that Iron in plant foods is not readily absorbed by the body, which means it is basically useless. This should concern anyone, as having Anemia is not fun for anyone, but it is especially concerning if you have kidney disease. So, after doing some more research, I have to be sure and take my plant iron sources with a Vitamin C source. This will not be hard to do, I just have to be more aware of it when I am eating. There are other things that block the absorption of plant sources of Iron. The short video below will explain them in a very easy way to understand.

I plan to continue this plant-based diet, hopefully forever. In the next two posts I will discuss protein and Vitamin B12 as it relates to absorption and bio-availability.

If you have questions, or concerns, please use the contact form under the video to message me.


Wellness on Wednesday: Cold and Flu Prevention Part 5

There are only two more parts to this series, so it will end next Wednesday.  I will then move on to other topics.  I hope you are finding this series useful.

The 5th link in the Chain of Infection is the Portal of Entry.  A portal of entry can be broken skin, incisions, inhaled through the respiratory tract.  There are a few others, but since we are discussing cold and flu these are the ones we will discuss.

You may have noticed a pattern by now that good handwashing is included in almost every chain in the link.  Good handwashing is the number one way to prevent cold and flu.  Barriers such as gloves and respiratory masks are two other ways to break this link.  BTW gloves and respiratory masks do not just protect you from getting a cold or flu, but protects others from you should you be the person with the illness.   I think sometimes people forget this.  Also getting a flu shot if you have been advised to do so can break this link.  Basic First Aid and personal hygiene are the last two ways to break this link.  If you have overly chapped hands, or small cuts on your hands,  that can allow germs to enter be sure and use a hand lotion to help heal the skin.   Chapped, dry lips and nose can also allow germs to enter.  Use chapstick, and a humidifier at night to add moisture and barrier to protect against germs entering the body.  Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep and maintain a healthy diet will also help keep you and your Immune System in good working order.

You can read the other posts in the series in the archives.

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If you would like to receive my weekly newsletter, please use the contact form at the bottom of this post to message me with the newsletter as the topic.




Herbs on Tuesday: Sweet Orange

You may see a lot of adverts for Herbs that can restore or reverse kidney function.  While this may not be a lie, it can be confusing because most Herbs have not been studied in randomized studies for people who suffer from chronic illnesses or take lots of medications.  So, please be careful in your urgency to find a cure for what ails you as it may make it worse.

Herbs and Essential Oils are complicated and can be very potent.  Essential Oils are more potent than the dried herbs they come from, especially in undiluted forms.  If you would like to learn more about using herbs or essential oils for certain conditions, use the contact form at the bottom of this post to message me for a free meet and greet.

Sweet Orange is one of my most favorite essential oils.  I use it in my diffuser, and dilute it with coconut oil as a lotion for my skin.  Soon I will be making into Aromatherapy necklaces to sell in my Etsy shop, and in cleaning products or candles.  I love it mixed with Lemon Balm and Eucalyptus.  I will be experimenting with other scents as well in the future.  If you do decide to use essential oils make sure you are buying from a reputable source.  I like Eden’s Garden, Mountain Rose Herbs, Doterra, and Young Living brands.

Sweet Orange is said to be safe for the kidneys, don’t ever ingest as an essential oil without speaking to Aromatherapist Practitioner first, and there are dried forms available of the herb to drink as a tea.  It is uplifting, great for skin, cleaning, tissue repair, muscle soreness and much more.  Just remember if you buy undiluted oil it must be diluted in a carrier oil before applying to the skin.  Always do a skin test on a small area of the body to check for sensitivity, and avoid direct sunlight for 12 hours after applying it to the skin.  So, it would be much better, if applying to the skin to apply at night.  Do not use on infants or children under 6 years old without consulting a specialist.  Same for pregnant women.  Always tell your doctor about all OTC medications and herbs you may be taking.

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway.   Tomorrow is the next support group chat on my Facebook page at 1 PM Eastern time.  I am working on new graphics for each of my available plans.  Don’t forget I also offer gift certificates.  My special for this month is still on, one on one coaching to keep eating in check for the holidays, only 50 dollars.  Message me for more info and details.  I have learned so much this year about promoting an online business, and I still have so much more to learn.  This blog is growing, and I will be upgrading to a paid plan before the end of the year.  Exciting times!



Foodie Friday: Holiday Party Vegetable Casserole for CKD

It is the time of year when eating can negatively affect those with CKD or Diabetes.   I have gone to a mostly plant-based diet because I feel best when I eat that way.  I don’t have Diabetes, but I do have CKD.

This recipe is from Lord Byron’s Kitchen, that I altered to meet my needs.  I am making this tonight and it makes a lot.  I will serve some to my family and the rest will go for lunches over the weekend when I work outside the home.  I use frozen veggies that are best for CKD.  I like to buy the big bag of frozen veggies that have Cauliflower, Carrots, and Broccoli in the bag.  I could also use corn, green beans or squash.  Remember that the green veggies are going to be higher in Potassium, so you may need to exclude them.  You can also make your own Cream of Chicken, or Mushroom soup.  I personally don’t care for Cream of Mushroom and use the chicken or celery version.  I can also buy low sodium and low fat as well.  For the recipe, I don’t add the salt, and I used Italian style bread crumbs instead of the French Fried Onions because I didn’t have any.  Making homemade bread crumbs, or French Fried Onions would save on preservatives added and phosphorus.   I also didn’t add as much cheese as the recipe called for.  I was already close to my protein limit so I didn’t need the added protein in the cheese.  Vegan cheese could also be used, but I have not tried that yet.  Cheese is also very high in sodium.  This can be made ahead and frozen for holiday parties.  I hate going to a party and there is nothing there I feel comfortable eating, or I have to starve all day just to be able to eat.  Can you relate?  Let me know if you try it, and how you like it.  I could not find serving sizes on the website with the original recipe.  I can safely assume 1 cup would be a good serving size for this type of dish.


Use the contact form below to message me if you want to receive my newsletter, join my giveaway, or just want to ask about my Coaching Services, which can also be found in the Available Packages section.  This month get one month of one on one health coaching for only 50 dollars.  Gift Certificates are available.


Cold and Flu Prevention: Break the Chain of Infection Part 4

Welcome back to part 4 of my series on Cold and Flu Prevention:  Break the Chain of Infection.  You can read the rest of the series in the archives under Wellness Wednesday.

The 4th link in the Chain of Infection is the Mode of Transmission.  This means the way in which the germ is spread.  This can be direct via human to human, or indirectly by a vector, ie animal.  Since I am talking about Cold and Flu it would be directly by close association with an infected individual.  Hugging, kissing, and even handshakes can be considered a close association.  Picking up soiled tissues, or touching surfaces infected by dirty hands are good examples, as well as sneezing, coughing and sometimes just talking.

Ways to break this link are good and frequent hand-washing, cleaning and disinfecting daily areas that are prone to become contaminated, isolation- stay home if you have symptoms, get your Flu shot if you are immunocompromised or advised by your doctor, carry hand-sanitizer for when you can’t wash your hands, wash hands immediately after touching contaminated surfaces, use gloves if you can when picking up soiled tissues or use a clean tissue to guard your hands and wash hands immediately after, keep your hands away from your face, be sure you are using good germ etiquette too such as covering mouth when coughing or sneezing.

Also, keep in mind that by keeping yourself as healthy as possible your body may be able to fight off the Cold and Flu.  Good sleep, a good diet, avoid added sugar, take Vitamin D or get sunlight, avoid and manage stress,  get fresh air- at least 15 minutes a day are all great ways to keep your immune system as healthy as possible.  If you would like to learn more about any of these use the contact form below to message me for a free Meet and Greet.

Don’t forget to check out my monthly challenge, and next year’s Walk 2020 starting on January 1st.


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First-Ever Health Buddy Melissa Giveaway!

I figured it was time to do a free giveaway to 5 lucky winners who sign up.  It is super easy to do.  Just use the contact form below and put giveaway in the subject.  Your name and email address will be entered to win.  All entries close on January 5th, 2020, at noon Eastern Time, and winners will be announced on this blog, and via email, on January 6th, 2020.  I may even post a video of the drawing.  Please note that by signing up you will be added to my weekly newsletter.

5 winners will get my brand new presentation on making and keeping New Year’s Resolutions.  How many times have you made a New Year’s Resolution only to give up in a few weeks?  My 5 tips will help you to make resolutions you can keep and be successful, such as weight loss, diet change, quit smoking, less stress, etc.

For now, my weekly podcast is on hold, as it just is not flowing nicely, and is just frustrating to me.  I have more to learn on that topic, so I will practice with it, but won’t publish it for now.  This blog will be upgraded by the end of the year, as was my goal, so maybe I can resume it after that.   I have created an email just for Health Buddy Melissa’s business, and blog.  You can reach me at healthbuddymelissa@yahoo.com

Don’t forget tomorrow on the Health Buddy Melissa Facebook page, I will be having the support group for Chronic Illnesses from 1 to 1:30 PM.  Like the page, and join in the conversations.  Also, don’t forget about the 30 day Plank Challenge.  Join in and get your body stronger.

I would be honored if you would share this post with people you think may want to win such great tips.




Health Buddy Melissa 30 Day December Challenge: The Plank

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December 1st and time to roll out my first monthly challenge.  Each month will be a new challenge, not always fitness, but about any health topic.  You can join in by leaving a comment on this page each day you complete the challenge, and how long you held your plank for.  Or, on any of the social media pages listed below.  The Plank is a complete body strength workout that requires no special equipment.  Please view the short video below on how to properly do a Plank, and modifications for those who may need it.  Any variety of the Plank that you can do, please do, as you get stronger you will be able to possibly move to the next version of Plank.   Do the best you can, and don’t give up!  If you need to do the Plank in sections, say 10 seconds each up to the challenge time, then do that.  You should be proud of having the desire and motivation to improve your fitness and strength and trust me the Plank is not easy.  You are holding and lifting your own body weight.  If your doctor has instructed you to not do exercise, or certain exercises then please don’t attempt this challenge without clearing it with your doctor first.  You probably will feel mild muscle soreness after doing the plank, especially if you have not exercised in a while.  If the pain is too intense do not continue with the challenge, or start again at the lower time frame to build strength and stamina before moving on to the more challenging times.  If you have any questions or would like to know more about me and my available plans please use the contact form below to message me.

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30 Day Plank Challenge:

Dec 1:  Hold the plank position for 10-20 seconds

Dec 2:  Hold the plank position for 10-20 seconds

Dec 3:  Hold the plank position for 15-20 seconds

Dec 4:  Hold the plank position for 15-20 seconds

Dec 5:  Rest day try stretching or going for a light walk.

Dec 6:  Hold the plank position for 20 seconds

Dec 7:  Hold the plank position for 20 seconds

Dec 8:  Hold the plank position for 20-30 seconds

Dec 9:  Hold the plank position for 20-30 seconds

Dec 10:  Rest day, try stretching or going for a light walk

Dec 11:  Hold the plank position for 30 seconds

Dec 12:  Hold the plank position for 30 seconds

Dec 13:  Hold the plank position for 30 seconds

Dec 14:  Hold the plank position for 30 seconds

Dec 15:  Rest day

Dec 16:  Hold the plank position for 30-40 seconds

Dec 17:  Hold the plank position for 30-40 seconds

Dec 18:  Hold the plank position for 40 seconds

Dec 19:  Hold the plank position for 40 seconds

Dec 20:  Rest day, go watch the new Star War’s Movie

Dec 21:  Hold the plank position for 40-50 seconds

Dec 22:  Hold the plank position for 40-50 seconds

Dec 23:  Hold the plank position for 50 seconds

Dec 24:  Hold the plank position for 50 seconds

Dec 25:  Merry Christmas relax, rest and enjoy the day

Dec 26:  Hold the plank for 50 seconds

Dec 27:  Hold the plank for 50-60 seconds

Dec 28:  Hold the plank for 50-60 seconds

Dec 29:  Hold the plank for 60 seconds

Dec 30:  Hold the plank for 60 seconds

Dec 31:  Happy New Year, you should feel stronger, relax and enjoy the holiday



Did You Gobble Til You Wobble?

How was your Thanksgiving?  I am not just talking about food.  I hope everyone was able to enjoy their Thanksgiving with family and friends.  We had a busy, but a peaceful day.   I can admit I ate a little bit more than I should have, but not too much.  On Wednesday, I watched the Netflix documentary, The Game Changers.  I am encouraging the rest of my family to watch it too.  While I have been slowly converting to Vegetarian eating, the documentary just speeded the process up for me.  I will probably never be Vegan, and am more focused on Mediterranean Diet way of eating.  I am sensitive to soy products, and with CKD I do have to be sure and get adequate Iron.  B12 is another huge vitamin that is necessary for the body, but I won’t say any more to give away too much from the documentary.  Watch it.  Do you think you could switch, or have you already?

Don’t forget about my free Walking Challenge to start in 2020.  I personally have a goal to start running in 2020.  I am already working towards it now.  Message me for details, or read the post in the archives.  I will try and set up an easy monthly challenge for different target areas.  December will be a month-long plank challenge.  I have some ideas for some other new programs too.  You can read all my current plants in the Available Plan section, and I have a monthly special, too.  I also offer gift certificates.