Is sugar Evil and Addicting?

Happy Tuesday! Is sugar evil and addicting? I don’t think sugar in and of itself can be considered evil. However, the food industry can be.

Did you know sugar is 8 times more addicting than cocaine? How would I know such a thing? Because they did a study, and you can learn about that study in the video below.

Why am I even bringing this up? Well for one thing this is a Holistic Health Coaching blog, and I am the owner. While I am certainly no one to say my nutrition status is perfect, but I choose to continue to learn and improve to be the healthiest I can be. A couple of years ago my son took Writing course at his college, but the book they used was about food. Weird right? Well, he moved out last weekend and I found the book when going through his items. It is quite a good read. It is called Food Matters and I will be using it for a Nutrition course I am making for my 16 year old daughter. I will be using a lot of the writing topics on this blog. I intended to write about Heart Health and sugar. But, it seemed better to start with a more thorough video explaining how sugar is used by the food industry in processed foods to get us all hooked on their products. The video is not short, but he does explain it in very easy terms exactly how added sugars are making us fat and unhealthy.

Have you ever read a food label. I read them all the time, but never really paid attention to sugars. Why? I don’t know. I guess because I was more interested in protein and sodium levels due to having CKD. But, as I learn about added sugars, and the deleterious effects on health, I have started to pay more attention to sugars on labels. Look at the image below. I did not buy this food item for this post. It is always in my pantry because my kids and even my husband loves them. They are Poptarts, or toaster pastries, doesn’t matter they are all basically the same. Look at the label. Do you see where it says sugars? It says 30 grams of sugar per serving with 29 of them being added sugars. That is 58% of your daily recommended sugar intake for 2 pastries. That is insane! Plus that is only one meal and some people eat these as a snack. Plus these added sugars are in the form of Fructose or High Fructose Corn Syrup that the body does not digest properly and is very addictive according to the video and other studies.

Plus, did you know there are over 60 names for sugar that are not sugar to trick you into not knowing your eating sugar? Here is a list

The video was created by the Institute for Responsible Nutrition, and this is not a paid post by them. Stanford Health Care created the video it appears as that is where the doctor is from. But, I am looking into their options for promoting their cause. Check out their website. They have some pretty great stuff.

#eatrealfood is their slogan. Have you ever heard the saying, if your food needs a label it probably isn’t real? That is one way to start deciding how to choose healthier foods.

Now, I am not saying this is easy, or will be easy. Changing food addictions are extremely difficult, and if you live in a rural area where there are no real grocery stores it makes it even harder. You could grow your own food. I really stink at that, and you may have limited space. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try or give up. Making the healthiest food choices you can, even if it isn’t the best, is the best place to start. It is even harder when you have a family that may not be as committed to change as you are, or even friends. Be more determined for success than they are to make you fail.

If you would like to work with me to help you start your journey to healthier eating, message me at or use the contact form at the end of this post to email me. I offer a free online meet and greet.

Don’t forget there is still plenty of time to sign up for my August Healthy Kidney Class on Facebook. Go here. It is completely free, and I do at as volunteer service. I still have three spots open.


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Tips on Tuesday: Learn To Wash Your Hands the Right Way

If you have a chronic illness, like me, then the doctors on the news are giving you no comfort when they say old people and people with underlying chronic illnesses are the ones getting the most serious illness from this new virus in the news.  That brings me no peace of mind, love, kindness or caring.  If you are young you will be fine, some of them have actually said that.  How awful!  At any rate, my point is most people do not wash their hands enough, or correctly.  When I was in nursing school handwashing was a huge part of our training.  You had to do it right, in all ways to pass this skill.  The video below goes through it in an excellent way.  The only thing I wish she had said was that if your hands get dry and cracked, then hand lotion should be used to help the healing process, as germs can enter into that cracked skin.  Watch the video, and practice the technique, it may just save your life or someone you love.  I will be doing more posts on this new virus topic because it is super important for people who have CKD.


If you would like information on my Health Coaching services, use the contact form below to message me.  Join my newsletter, using the contact form, and get a quick meditation to help ease stress, specials, challenges, and other great things.

Moving Beyond Body Size Monday

This is my first post in a new series slated to help men and women move beyond body size to live a happier more fulfilled life, loving and accepting their body as it is.

I will explore these topics:

Can you be fat and healthy?

Can you be fat and fit?

What is BMI?

What are the alternatives to BMI?

What is sexy?

What is feminine?

Why do we let the diet and fitness industry control our thoughts through marketing?

How to love your body just the way it is.

How to accept yourself.

How to move past a number on a scale to achieve real weight loss goals and fitness goals.

Plus many more.  I am very excited about this topic.  If you want to empower yourself with one on one Holistic Health Coaching to help you move beyond body size to totally accept your body as it is, message me for a free meet and greet.  Use the contact form below to sign up for my weekly newsletter and get some awesome freebies, plus special offers.



updated Health Buddy Melissa Mission and privacy statement

Updated 2/4/2021. I hope everyone had a marvelous Christmas.  It was a beautiful day here and we were blessed with lots of love.  We had a full week of finishing up shopping, lunches out, wrapping gifts, dinner prep, etc. I am 51 years old, and I have CKD. I am a LPN of 34 years.

This last week of December, I will be creating new graphics, fun memes, content ideas, January challenge and so much more. I will also be evaluating the goals I set for 2019 and create new goals for 2020.  Upgrading this blog, writing a business plan and other business-related topics will also finalize this last week of December.

My mission statement is pretty simple and self explanatory. It is the mission of Health Buddy Melissa to increase awareness of Kidney Disease and help those who have it. This is to be accomplished by my AKF Kidney Coach class, which is free to anyone who signs up for it. Or, by one on one Health Coaching with people who have CKD and wish to slow the progression and live a fruitful fulfilling life. Part two of my mission is, Health Buddy Melissa will guide clients to create and obtain vision, via goals, for their best health and well being. I am not a doctor. I am a Health Coach. A Health Coach coaches you to reach your health goals. I do not tell you what to do, or how to do it. I guide you finding the answers to do those things yourself. I teach, support, evaluate, re-evaluate, motivate, and respect you. I do not give medical advice, nor do I give nutrition advice. However, I can help you learn about your medical and nutritional needs.

My Privacy Statement is also simple and to the point. I will never share your personal information with anyone. WordPress may collect cookies as part of their tracking, but this does not include any personal information you may share with me. I have purchased a business email through Google Suite and all interactions will be private. I do have a Privacy Policy that all customers must review and sign upon working with me. I take privacy very seriously.

If you would like to learn more about Health Buddy Melissa’s Health Coaching Services, please use the contact form at the end of this post to message me. All plans are being updated as far as wording goes, but pricing will be the same as you may find on this blog. You can always request a quote from me through the contact form.

Please join my email list and never miss a post. Plus, you will be informed of specials, flash sales, freebies, group events, etc. New sign ups will automatically receive my free Popsicle Smoothie recipe with nutrition facts.

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This is a friendly reminder that I am a Certified Health Coach.  I am not looking for dates, buying stocks, love, or whatever other weird contacts I have been getting on social media.  If you are not serious about learning about your Health and Wellness then please visit a dating, investing, or affiliate website.

The 5 Best Gifts to Give Someone With A Chronic Illness

Updated 11/24/2021 This list is geared towards CKD because I have CKD and can relate to it.  But, they can be adapted for anyone with any Chronic Illness.

Have you ever heard the statement you should be grateful for whatever someone gives you? While I agree with that sentiment 100%, there is nothing worse than getting a gift that someone put no thought into at all. Especially if it is from someone who knows you well, cares about you, or knows you have a condition. Or, you get invited somewhere for a holiday party or dinner, and there is nothing you can eat.  So here we go.

  1.  Most people with CKD have issues with Anemia at one time or another and are therefore colder than other people.  Gifts to help them stay warm such as hats, scarfs, mittens these are even better if handmade with love.  Handwarmers that can be reused and put in pockets, heating pads, and blankets, warm socks, and shoes. A heating pad, or blanket is also an awesome gift. I have dry eyes, and am getting Arthritis in my fingers. Warming gloves, paraffin wax treatments, and eye warmers are all wonderful gifts that have meaning.
  2. People with CKD may also suffer from chronic pain, stress, and anxiety with limited medications they can use to relieve pain.  Items like Massage, Guided Imagery, Aromatherapy, Reiki, Reflexology, Spa days, etc make wonderful gifts for someone with CKD or other chronic illnesses. I here at Health Buddy Melissa offer Distance Reiki sessions, and Guided Imagery. Be sure and send me a message if you are interested in purchasing some sessions for your loved one, or yourself, by using the contact form at the end of the post.
  3. Gift cards for whole food stores, or places that sell organic foods with fewer preservatives and chemicals. Or cooking classes to learn how to cook and make better food choices for their particular Chronic Illness. Cookbooks, cooking equipment, etc are also all great gift ideas.
  4. Carts and bags with wheels for easy shopping or that can attach to a walker or wheelchair. One of those grabby things to get things up high are great! Having their cupboards remodeled to make access easier. Maybe they need an access ramp to get into the home easier and safer.
  5. Consideration and love.  This is probably the most important.  When someone with CKD or a Chronic Illness goes to a dinner or party and there is nothing that is safe for them to eat, it is deflating.  Ask them what you can prepare for them that they can safely eat.  Christmas is about love, and kindness, don’t be selfish and not put in a little extra consideration.
  6. I have to add this one.  Save a life and donate a kidney if you can.   Learn more about kidney donation at AKF, or NKF.  If you are absolutely someone who does not feel you would do that, donate to one of those organizations, or one near you, to help save the life of someone with kidney disease. Any organ donation is a gift of life, not just kidneys. You can check off on your driver’s license that you wish to be an organ donor.

None of that is meant to make you feel bad or guilty.  It is simply to help you be more mindful of others and their conditions.  Everyone should be more Mindful, every day.  I love all of you who take the time to read what I share.  Blessings and much love to all of you!

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Top 5 Things I Would Like People to Know About Kidney Disease

As I prepare for another Kidney Coach Class, I try to think of keypoints I would like people to know about Kidney Disease or questions they may ask.  Since I have CKD, with no known actual cause, and I had some pretty interesting symptoms most of my life that was mostly overlooked, it is important to me for people to learn about Kidney Disease and how insidious it can be.  As I continue to learn, and grow with my disease and also how to run a Health Coaching business, I hope to help many people learn not only to accept and thrive with their disease but also ways to prevent the disease.  There is always so much to learn.  New information, drugs, screening, tips, ideas, diets etc it can be overwhelming trying to keep up with it all.  But it is vital to always learn and educate oneself.



Low Protein Vegetarian Mac n Cheese

Updated 5/8/2021 We are big Macaroni and Cheese lovers, at my house.  Because of my CKD, this is a hard meal to enjoy.  The cheese adds Protein, Sodium, and Phosphorus in pretty large amounts.  Plus the saturated fats.  So, I came up with my own version of Macaroni and Cheese, and I love it.  No one else does, but that is Ok.  The graphic below is for 1 serving.  This dish is also low in Phosphorus about 100 grams, but that may depend on different varieties of the items used.  I use Eat this Much to estimate Phosphorus levels in food.  If you use frozen, or fresh sweet potatoes, the Sodium levels are also low.  Canned sweet potatoes have a lot of sodium, rinsing them can help.  Potassium will be high due to the Sweet Potatoes, so be careful if you are watching Potassium levels.   You could half the Sweet Potatoes.  It is also low fat, and you could use a different kind of fat instead of butter to improve that even more.  It is, however, going to be higher in Carbs.  If you have a set Carb level due to Diabetes be sure and figure up the totals.  It is low in sugar, though.  Enjoy, and let me know if you tried it. The recipe is the image below. Remember all nutrition info is an estimate and you have to tailor your needs to your nutrition.


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Health Buddy Melissa is Now Accepting Clients

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  It is time to get things started.  Below you will find my calendar and dates and times available.  You will see the procedure to follow below, also.  All clients starts with a Meet and Greet, free of charge.  But, first a few things to take note of.

1-  What is Health?  According to Wikipedia, and WHO, Health is defined as:  Health, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”  Health may be defined as the ability to adapt and manage physical, mental and social challenges throughout life.

2- What is a Health and Wellness Coach?  Health and Wellness Coaches, teach, motivate, encourage, assist, help, advocate etc.

I, want to be  your Health and Wellness Coach.  Make sure you read my hello page.  Some examples of things I would love to coach you on, though these are just examples, not a complete list.

1-  Chronic Diseases:  management of diet, exercise, walking buddy,  medication management, stress relief, memory, time management, health restrictions, following a health plan, and overall well being.

2-  Homeschool/Nursing Student:  Time management, organization, study assist, stress relief, tips and resources.

3-  Learn a Craft:  I personally have experience in painting, jewelry making, crochet, etched glass.

4-  Etsy/Ebay:  I used Etsy for 10 plus years, and Ebay for probably just as many.

5-  Living and Coping with a chronic illness.

6-  Christianity:  Bible reading, passage memorization, time management

Again, I can work with anyone that is in need of a Health and Wellness Coach.  Now you are ready for a free Meet and Greet.  Up at the right hand side of this page you will see a contact button.  Click on that, after you check the dates and times that are open, and fill out the form to make a Meet and Greet.  I will update the calendar as appointments are made.  I will only be accepting up to 4 clients, and since the Meet and Greet is free, you lose nothing.  You will fill out a short question and answer form prior to the appointment.  Once I get the email for the Meet and Greet, I will send the question form to you, and verify the date and time.  You then return the form to me 24 hours before the meet and greet appointment.  All are done via email, and are 60 min time slots.  All appointments are 60 min, unless otherwise agreed upon.  All hours are Eastern time zone, and all payments are made in USD.

After the Meet and Greet, you will tell me if you want to work with me or not.  If not, we part ways, and you can still read my blog posts, or not.  If yes, then I send the paid agreement to you to pay, review and sign.  All the details will be on that form.  You pick the days and times that work for you, and are open on the calendar, and we start working towards meeting your goals.  The calendar may not be the same each month.  The new calendar will be posted 7 days before the start of the new month.  If you need to make changes that is the time to request them.


Available Packages:  Don’t forget this is all brand new to me.  I may have to change things as I go along.  The prices will not change, those are set in.  Any price increases will be noted in writing to all clients.  I will be setting  up a referral program, and an awards program.  But, that is not ready yet.  The package below won’t line up correctly, just so it is clear the 90 day package is 200 dollars.  The ad ons are 50 dollars per month.  You will receive a copy of your invoice at the time of agreement made, and then after payment made.







Jun 06, 20XX


Aug 06, 20XX


Health Buddy Assessment 1 Free 0.00
Health Buddy Basic-30 Days- All new clients must start with this plan.  You get 1 session a week, times 60 minutes each, via email. At the end we will reassess progress.  You can then continue monthly, or use the 90 day plan. See add ons below. 1 $75.00 $75.00
Health Buddy Moderate-90 Days-  You must complete a 30 day plan before purchasing this plan.  You get 2 sessions a week, times 60 minutes each, via email. You can choose the add ons below if you so desire.
Add Ons:  This option is only available to clients that have completed a 30 day plan.  The add ons are face to face sessions via Skype, or Facebook Messenger, once a week for 30 min. Or you can choose a text message option.  This is in addition to your email sessions, not in place of. This is for people who desire to see who they are speaking to, and so I can visually see something you need me to see.  The price for this add on is 50 dollars a month.
1 $200.00 $200.00


January 2019 Calendar:

January 1:  Full

January 2:  3-5 PM open

January 3:  3-5 PM open

January 4:  Full

January 7:  9-5 open

January 8:  Full

January 9:  9-5 open

January 10:  9-5 open

January 11:  9-5 open

January 14:  9-5 open

January 15:  Full

January 16:  9-5 open

January 17:  9-5 open

January 18:  Full

January 21:  9-5 open

January 22:  Full

January 23:  9-5 open

January 24:  Full

January 25:  9-5 open

January 28:  9-5 open

January 29: 9-5 open

January 30:  9-5 open

January 31:  open