do you want to learn ballroom dancing?

Hello World! The birds are singing outside my window and it is a lovely warmish Sunday morning. I have always wanted to learn Ballroom Dancing, but my husband just never wanted to. I found this cool Youtube channel where you can get ballroom dancing lessons. It is not partner dancing so that is perfect. The video below I have done twice now, and while it is only 15 minutes in length it is a great workout. My hips and abs were the muscles I felt the most after this workout the next day. If you have joint or mobility issues this may not be for you. Always ask your doctor if you are not sure. She also does not do a cooldown stretch after. Please make sure you stretch after doing any exercise. You can also stretch before but I find for me stretching cold muscles is not cool. LOL see what I did there. I have no affiliation with this young lady. It is just a video I found and I like to workout to. Let me know in the comments if you tried it. She has many others you can try as well. Remember, I am 51 and if I can do this, you might be able to as well.

What are the benefits of Ballroom Dancing? Click to read

If you are not ready for Ballroom Dancing but would like to start with gentle walking check out my Walking Buddy Plan.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

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i got vaxxed!

There is a lot of anxiety about the new Covid 19 vaccines. I was supposed to have gotten my vaccine from my job last Saturday. But, for some reason all of the doses were pulled back by the governor. I was given the opportunity to get it at my local Health Dept on Wednesday. My job also offered it Tues, but I was out volunteering that day. I received the Moderna Covid 19 vaccine. I took a Benadryl before hand and I had to be monitored for 30 minutes after due to my allergy to Penicillin. I had no issues and was allowed to go home. Wednesday night the sore arm started and continued into Thursday. It really was not any more soreness than what I might get from lifting weights. Friday afternoon I did notice I was a little more tired than usual, but was able to carry out my regular daily activities as I always do. As far as my kidneys go, I noticed no changes to the color or amount of urine I make in a day. I get my second dose the third week of February.

If you have not gotten a vaccine, or do not qualify yet, watch your Public Health Department’s website to see when you can get one.

Have you ever wanted to learn Ballroom Dancing? Come back tomorrow to see what I share. Also, I will be sharing a documentary I think all Social Media users should watch.


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self care Sunday: no covid vaccine, my 2020 fitbit stats, and exercise muscle move of the week!

All of that in one post! Happy Sunday! I was expecting a beautiful warm weekend with lots of sun. Instead I got chilly, cloudy, and dreary. I did still manage to get in some gardening. My peas are starting to come up. It is so exciting to see your hard work pay off. The big garden will be the Summer garden and my husband has decided it will be a competition between him and my daughter vs me. I intend to win! Gardening is definitely part of my Self Care lifestyle and routine. I intend to grow as much of my own food as possible in 2021. More on that later in the week, too.

I was supposed to get my first dose of the Pfizer Covid Vaccine yesterday. But, I got a text message saying the governor had pulled back all Covid doses for ALF’s in the state. I was so disappointed and can find no reasoning via news outlets for this decision. So, now I don’t know when I will get it, and more importantly when my elderly residents will get the vaccine. We did go to Sam’s though. More on that in a post later in the week.

The other day Fitbit sent me a year in review of my walking stats. I don’t recall them doing that the year before. I walked almost 5 million total steps, which equals almost 1900 miles for the year. Oh my goodness! I can’t wait to see what I do in 2021! If you want to start a walking plan and need someone to walk with, check out my updated Walking Buddy Plan. This is not a subscription plan like my Meals with Melissa, or Lose Weight with Melissa, but rather it is live walking with me and one on one coaching. It is a monthly, 30 day plan. Wouldn’t you love to be my first Walking Buddy?

My promotion for new customers has now expired. But, if you sign up for my Mailchimp weekly newsletter I will send out monthly specials and promotional codes. Plus you will get my free Popsicle Smoothie recipe, As I continue to work my way through this learning process of starting a business I will be updating my coaching plans and subscriptions. I am finally finishing up my Mindfulness Certificate, so watch for a monthly subscription for that. All subscriptions can be upgraded to one on one coaching plans. I am also working on Self Care Challenges which will be on the blog for free. Each week I am doing social media promotions, and this weekend it is Twitter. You still have time to join in. If you are interested in promoting your website or links, for free come back every Saturday to see which social media I am using and join in.

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I got a stability ball at 5 and Below last week. My teenager loves that store and I decided to purchase one. I have used it a few times since then and I can tell you it is awesome for balance, stability and working your core. It is not as easy as it looks, either. Below you will find one exercise you can work on this week with a stability ball. You obviously need to purchase one if you don’t have one. Here is one on Amazon, and one on Walmart. That is not me in the video. I do not do videos, yet. There is a lot that goes into videos.

I will be posting updated Business Hours and all of my plans will be updated with Paypal buy buttons right in the post. For now continue to use the contact form at the bottom of each post to message me about a Meet and Greet, or leave me a comment.


pain and chronic kidney disease!

Happy Thursday! It is finally sunny and warm here in North Florida. I hope that means Winter is over. I grew up in the Northeast so I know what real cold feels like. But, one of the reasons I moved to Florida was to get away from that. It is been a very chilly Winter here in Florida, and while it is a nice reprieve from the Sweltering Summer, I am kind of ready for a little warmth. You probably know by now that I have CKD. Part of having CKD just by the nature of the disease is pain and treating that pain. If you read my post a week or so ago covering medications that can harm the kidneys then you know there are not a lot of options for pain and CKD. But, there are some.

I have been fortunate since being diagnosed to not suffer from pain the way I was before diagnosis. Why? Well, because it seems most of my pain: leg cramps, and migraines were caused by Metabolic Acidosis. Once that was reversed my pain went away. Now that doesn’t mean I never have pain. I get muscle soreness after exercise, just like anyone else would. I get tooth pain, which is another whole blog post and I still get headaches every now and then. But, now I can usually find the root cause of the pain and treat it effectively. For example, this past weekend was my weekend to work. If you read here a lot, then you know I am a nurse. I had Covid patients that weekend that I was responsible for. That means I had to wear the full PPE space suit and those N95 respirator masks are tight. So tight that it left a mask mark on my face. But, I am not complaining and I am grateful we had them, because getting Covid with CKD is scarier than the headache I knew would come after the weekend was over. Now, it wasn’t just the mask. As I mentioned above Metabolic Acidosis was a huge issue for me when I was first diagnosed. Because I was over heated and could not drink enough I knew I would be dehydrated by Monday. I also knew I was stressed. All of those factors culminated in a massive headache Monday morning when I woke up. It took 36 hours to bring my body back into balance and the headache to completely go away. I say all that because knowing the root cause of your pain can help with treating the pain. Medications were of no use to me for this pain as the cause was more metabolic. In the coming weeks I will share some Integrative Therapies and how they can help manage pain.

In the video below a Nephrologist talks about pain and Kidney Disease. The doctor discusses Cannabis and CBD oil in the lecture. I won’t give away what he says so be sure and watch. His lecture is about 35 minutes long and then he takes questions. I learned some new things from this lecture.

There are many ways a Health Coach can help you make SMART goals to improve your Health.

Watch it and let me know what you think. Leave me a comment with questions or thoughts on this topic. Be sure and check out my new subscription plans, Meals with Melissa, Lose Weight with Melissa and Crafting with Melissa. They can be found in the archives.

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will you get the new covid 19 vaccine?

Unless you live under a rock you know we are in a Pandemic. There is also two new vaccines that are becoming available to the public to help combat Covid 19. Before I go any further I am not telling anyone to take, or not take the vaccine. What I am suggesting is that you learn as much as you can before you make a decision to, or not to, take it and discuss with your doctor. If you do not have a doctor ask questions at the vaccine site before you get it. If you have any kind of a reaction after the vaccine be sure to report it to the place you received the vaccine, and be sure to get the second dose.

I was shocked at work when several of my coworkers, like most of them, are saying they are refusing the new Pfizer vaccine that our place of business is offering us in a week and a half. Their reasoning made no sense to me and did not have any sound reasoning other than fear I guess. I have CKD, stage 3, and I also have allergies with a pretty severe allergy to Penicillin. I of course will tell them that when I get the vaccine. I will also request to be monitored for 30 minutes after, which my husband can technically do as he is a first responder, and I will also take a Benadryl. Since I am a nurse, and my husband is a first responder our risk of getting Covid may be higher than others. Also, since I already only have 1 good kidney and Covid attacks the kidneys, not getting the vaccine is a bigger risk in my opinion. From the information I can find I don’t find that any CKD, dialysis or kidney transplant patients were part of any of the clinical trials. Be sure and talk to your doctor about getting the vaccine and consider getting it at the doctor’s office or somewhere where there is lifesaving equipment should it be needed. If I get Covid and it kills my other kidney that means death, or dialysis for the rest of my life. I am not OK with that. So, yes I am taking the vaccine. My husband already got his first dose of the Moderna vaccine. My job is doing Pfizer. Now I mention that because you may be wondering what is in the vaccine that may cause a reaction. Below, you will find a link that tells you everything in each vaccine, it is the image under my title image. It is a pretty short list, however, the Pfizer vaccine does list some phosphates which of course are limited intake with kidney disease. Also these two new vaccines use new technology that does not give you a live vaccine, but rather a piece of the genetic code which causes the body to respond. These two are the only two options I will accept. I do not want the ones that are made the old way. But, they aren’t even ready yet, so I am jumping the gun.

Why get the vaccine? Well for one thing if we don’t reach herd immunity via vaccine that means a lot more people will have to become ill, and possibly die by getting the disease and getting natural immunity. We will have to wear masks forever, social distance and it will effect the economy for sure, until we reach herd immunity, either via vaccine or sickness. I am quite tired of life not being normal. I assume most people are. I don’t mind wearing a mask, however, and I think this should just be normal practice during the flu season. We have had no cases of normal Flu at my job, and I contribute that to mask wearing, and proper sanitizing of commonly touched items.

That does not mean I don’t have concerns. I have already stated some of them. There is also the concern of the possible long term effects of which we have no way of knowing yet, from the vaccine. However, I do know the long term effects of Covid on my body which could possibly be death or dialysis for the rest of my life.


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Tips on Tuesday: Boil Foods to Reduce Phosphorus Levels

Updated 2/23/2021 I have been researching Phosphorus since I was diagnosed with CKD in 2017.  Phosphorus levels in foods are not required on food labels and are very often difficult to know which foods it is high or low.  Below I will give some tips, and the source so you can read the whole article, on ways to keep phosphorus levels under control. I recently found a great app called Nutrition Facts. It has the phosphorus levels for a lot of foods. It is super easy to use, too.

If you are on Dialysis your nutrition requirements will be much different than someone who is stage 3, like me, or non-dialysis.  Always consult your doctor about food choices or changes you are making.

1-  I have mentioned this before, but it is worth mentioning again, learn to read labels.  Any words with the word PHOS in the ingredients list, means there are levels of phosphorus in that food.  Try to avoid or limit these as much as possible.

2-  This kind of goes with number 1, but I put it separately to draw more attention to it.  Processed foods, that means foods that can stay on the shelf for very long periods of time, low-fat foods, and other quick easy type meals not only have the highest levels of phosphorus but this kind of phosphorus additive is nearly 100% absorbed by the body.  I love quick and easy too, but avoiding these foods as much as possible I think should be the goal of all who want to live healthier, not just CKD people.

3-  I actually just learned about this.  Boiling meat, and other food items, decreases the phosphorus content by up to 38% for meats.  It also reduces potassium, sodium, and calcium.  I just started doing this.  I do not have issues with my phosphorus levels at this time.  But, I am postmenopausal and I worry about my bone health, as well as maintaining kidney function.  So, it is imperative for me to keep phosphorus levels in check.  I simply boil for about 10 minutes then bake, or fry on the stove to finish the meat.  I am looking into whether pressure cooking and crockpot cooking of meat has the same effect as long as you do not consume the juices it is cooked in.  I will post more about that later.

4-  Remember that whole grains, which are obviously less processed than white bread are higher in phosphorus, but they can still be better for you if you don’t have issues with phosphorus.  I use multigrain bread and brown rice, but I consume them in lower amounts than the suggested serving size.  So, instead of 2 slices of bread for a sandwich, I only have one slice.  I basically half the serving size.  Nuts, seeds, and legumes are also higher in phosphorus.  See the phosphorus pyramid below.  You can read the source I used here.


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