Mediterranean Mashed Potatoes!

I am sticking with the Mediterranean alternatives to Thanksgiving sides. If you have CKD or any inflammatory disorder or are thinking of ways to prevent Dementia, the Mediterranean Diet may be the way to go. There are not tons of butter or heavy cream in these recipes. You will find one recipe to read, and some that are from Youtube. They kind of all have the same idea with a few variations. For the first one, I would not use Pine Nuts, as they are not the best option for CKD, but I would use Sunflower Seeds instead. I also would add a few more spices such as Paprika and Turmeric.

Now, if your family might not be feeling healthier dishes at Thanksgiving but it totally would benefit your health, just make smaller dishes of the two options. That way those that want the less healthy mashed potatoes can have them, and others can have the healthier version. Please note potatoes are very high in Potassium. If you have CKD limit your portion sizes or leech the potatoes prior to cooking them. This will help reduce the Potassium in the potatoes. I love potatoes and I eat them regularly. I do not have an issue with Potassium, though.

These are kind of short posts this week, as I have family coming to visit starting today.

Mediterranean Mashed Potatoes

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Obesity Causes Dementia!?

Whoa, and Happy Tuesday! It is Obesity Awareness Month, so be sure and check out all of the other posts on this topic in the archives, or just search the word obesity.

Dementia touches my life in so many ways. I work on a Memory Care Unit with Dementia residents, and I have a loved one suffering from this horrible disease. I am not going to go into all the details of Dementia, now, but it will be discussed in more details on Memory Care Mondays. It is an unkind disease that robs your brain of memories and basic life skills.

I know there is a body positivity movement, and I love that. It is great to love yourself and know that you are beautiful no matter your size. I saw one of these influencers on Youtube state that losing weight is torture and self abuse. While I agree it is not a lot of fun to put yourself into the throws of an exercise regime, eating less food, and lifestyle changes. But, I also think you have to be Mindful of what studies say Obesity really can, and does do to the human body.

You will find a few videos below. They are short, and some talk about the Mediterranean Diet as a lifestyle to help with Obesity and prevent Dementia.

But, what about the statement does Obesity cause Dementia. I like facts, with real data, and controlled studies. They make me happy. Now, if you don’t understand all of the jargon in the study, just read the conclusion.

There are a few things I would like to point out about Obesity and Dementia. Obesity is complicated, and so is Dementia. But, the study I am sharing does show a correlation between Obesity in midlife and a definite increase in Obesity. Now, why I find that really interesting is, if you look at the way they did the study mild cognitive injury appears to show up about 12 years before diagnosis, and the average age of diagnosis was about 75. That means mild cognitive changes probably started around age 63 or sooner. But, Obesity at ages 60 and 70 seemed to be protective. Why? If someone is already starting to have mild cognitive changes, say as early in the 50s when they are Obese, when they start to decrease their food intake, as the disease progresses, the extra weight proves to be protective. Did that make sense? It makes sense to me. Being underweight at ages 60 and 70 proved to increase mortality. They tend to forget to cook, not eat, or just don’t want too. In another words, it is mixed. You need to not be Obese in midlife and below to help prevent Dementia in the first place, but if you are obese in your 60s and 70s it is protective because you are going to need a little extra weight when you don’t want to eat anymore. If you are young and you think carrying all this extra weight does not seem to be harming me, you might want to rethink that.

The reasons for this is most likely because of the inflammatory processes caused by Obesity, and vascular changes caused by Obesity. If you don’t want Dementia, and trust me you probably don’t, giving yourself a little self love now, by losing weight, and maintaining it can help prevent Dementia. Following the Mediterranean Diet is a great start. This style of eating has been shown to be protective against Dementia, and other chronic illnesses too.

If you would like to start walking to increase your daily activity, check out my Walking Buddy Plan.


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what is diverticulitis?

Welcome to another Tuesday edition of Health Tips on Tuesday. August is Colon Health Awareness Month and I have been discussing Diverticulosis. Today, I am going to talk about Diverticulitis. It is a sister disease to Diverticulosis. You can read the other posts on this topic in the archives.

Diverticulitis is very common especially as we age. You have to have Diverticulosis to have Diverticulitis. Why? Because Diverticulitis is inflammation, and or infection, of the Diverticulum that are present in Diverticulosis. Remember that diverticulum are pouches that form usually in the lower colon and can not only become infected but also can blow, or perforate causing much larger issues.

There are 3 videos below that explain Diverticulitis and have images to help you visualize what I mean. It may be disturbing to some people, so watch wisely. The 3rd video is in Spanish, to explain it to any Spanish readers that may visit this blog. I only know a little Spanish, so I can not verify what he is saying. I tried to find it in Sign Language as well, but I could not locate any, except for one with signs for common symptoms. So, I will share that for any medical people so you can have at least some basic signs to communicate with hearing impaired patients.

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Turmeric Challenge!

I read a lot of blogs, and I have noticed people seem to like challenges. I did a Plank Challenge in December of last year. I am doing a Walking Challenge for this year. I have not updated that in a while, but I am consistently hitting the goal of 10,000 steps every single day. I post an update soon. You can still join that challenge, too.

One of the things I have noticed about myself and my family is that we don’t really have a wide palate of taste buds. What I mean by that is we love Garlic, Onion, and Salt. I have recently added Basil and lots of Lemon to our culinary cooking. But, I wanted to challenge us even more, especially my teenage daughter who I am creating a Nutrition course for High School credit, and is a very pick eater. Plus we can cut down on sodium intake if we learn to use more herbs in our cooking. One of the things I have been reading a lot about is Turmeric, and how it has anti-inflammatory properties. I am not going to take them in pill form or anything, as with all Herbs, and chronic diseases, they are not tested for efficacy or side effects. You can read about the ways Turmeric has been proven to work, here. If you have CKD then you know Inflammation can be a huge problem in managing the disease. So, for the rest of October, the challenge is to cook with Turmeric. Now, for my family it will be the dinner meal that I add Turmeric to. But, for me I may try to sprinkle some in my soup or on my salad. Some people drink it in tea, or smoothies. I may try it in a smoothie, but I probably won’t mess with my tea. I did find some organic Turmeric at a decent price at Trader Joe’s. If you can not find organic do the best you can. Next month we will try another herb. There are so many to choose from.

Join me in this challenge to use Turmeric for cooking for the rest of October. Let me know in the comments you are joining in and how the challenge went for you. I will update at the end of the month whether we liked it or not. If we hate it, it might not last long, lol. If you already cook with Turmeric let me know in the comments your favorite use for it.

I will be posting another challenge Thursday, to help my daughter learn to appreciate how lucky we are to afford healthy food, and have access to it. Be sure and come back to learn about that one.


Going Plant Based or Vegetarian with Kidney Disease

So, I was originally going to post one big post on meat protein vs plant protein, but there is so much good information out there that I decided to split them up into individual posts. This post will be about my personal experience so far.

I have written about Plant Based and Vegetarian lifestyles, before. But, while I had made a lot of changes, and tried various things I never went full on in. The main reason for that is I have an underlying fear of not getting enough Iron from plant sources, mainly because I do not digest or tolerate beans, or soy very well. I do not want to be anemic again like I was when I was first diagnosed. That was incredibly awful. That fear has plagued me for a couple of years. Fears are funny things. But, after taking some Nutrition courses, and reading a lot about Plant Based and Vegetarian lifestyles, and the benefits it has on the kidneys I decided to go all in. I have been Plant Based totally for 7 days now. I do eat eggs about twice a week, and have skim milk a few times a week. I will also have small amounts of cheese, ice cream on occasion and this morning I had two pieces of bacon. I assume I will eat Tuna a couple of times a month. No more chicken, pork or beef. Holidays I am sure I will have turkey if it is offered.

I feel great actually, and I do take a multivitamin a few times a week just to be safe with my Iron. The fear of being anemic is bigger than my desire to not want to take supplements. I have no inflammation, headaches, or joint pains since switching. I do get muscle soreness after exercising hard, but that is normal soreness. I have noticed I am not sleeping as well, but I assume that will correct itself after my body has adjusted. I sleep sound, just not as long as I would like. It could be totally due to it being lighter earlier, also.

Because I am also on a weight loss mission, that will be another post, plant based can have a lot of carbs, so it is a real balancing act.

Stay tuned to follow my journey. We are going on a family vacation in 10 days it will be interesting to see how I will make modifications while travelling. I don’t see me wanting to eat salad all the time, but we will see. I may have to just take some things in the car that can travel easily. We are driving and it will be a long three days to get where we are going. I will try to blog daily, or every few days at least.

Below you will find one of my new favorite exercise videos. I was going to do them all in one post too, but I find there are too many, lol. I get bored very easily. Remember if you have kidney disease you need to keep your heart rate zone within the light to moderate range. Under the video will be a contact form. Please use it to contact me for any reason. All comments are moderated. Please make comments post topic appropriate or they will not be allowed. I know everyone wants backlinks, but this gets quite old the strange comments I get.

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Herbs on Tuesday: Turmeric for CKD and Other Inflammatory Disorder

Updated 3/16/2021 I thought it was time to start sharing my newly learned knowledge of Herbs and Essential Oils.  Essential Oils are way more potent than Herbs, and great care should be used when using them.  There are not a lot of viable studies as to the long term effects of Herbs on the body.  Curcumin and Turmeric have been used in Ancient Medicines and cuisine for thousands of years.  Below will be 3 articles for you to read more on Turmeric and what studies may show.  If you want to learn more, the 3 best sources I use are Medline, Pubmed, and Cochrane.

Curcumin is the active ingredient in Turmeric, and both are potent anti-inflammatory herbs.  Because CKD and many other diseases are either caused or perpetuated by inflammation Turmeric may be helpful to add to one’s diet.  It is the enzymes in the spice that offer anti-inflammation properties.  Studies have shown that Turmeric has a lot of promise in treating Inflammatory diseases such as CKD, Diabetes, Heart Disease, and possibly many more.  Because inflammation causes pain the options could be endless.

However, there are some risks to Turmeric that must not be overlooked.  Women who are pregnant, studies have shown, Turmeric may have negative effects in the womb.  Most herbs do not get studied on small children either, so data is hard to find on risks or benefits to children.  Turmeric is a high oxalate food.  So, if you have CKD, or are prone to kidney stones, or have Gout, Turmeric may pose more risk than benefit.  Your doctor or Dietitian could help you monitor blood work if you decided you wanted to try Turmeric capsules, extract or other higher doses of Turmeric.  Studies show that unless you are pouring the Turmeric onto your food, just cooking with it should cause no harm.  But, it is always better to be aware and Mindful of what one is eating.  Always discuss any Herbs, natural remedies, or over the counter medications with your doctor.  Just because something is natural does not mean it is good for you.  It may interact with other medications you are taking.  If you would like to learn more about Herbs, and Essential Oils and how they may be used as a more natural alternative use the contact form to message me for a free meet and greet.  Never just stop taking prescriptions and use Herbs instead.  This practice can be very dangerous.  One also needs to learn where to buy Herbs that are Organic and properly tested for safety and purity.

Today, at midnight Eastern Time is the latest members can sign up for the monthly group sessions for November.  Tomorrow will begin the sign up for December group sessions.  Message me if you are interested.

In the month of March 2021, I am giving away free coaching sessions related to Kidney Disease. If you would like to learn more, click here. If you are interested in learning about any of my Health Coaching plans, use the contact form at the end of this post to send me a message.

My mailing list is finally growing, and my first newsletter goes out tomorrow. You can still get it by using the sign up form below. You will get my newsletter each week with all kinds of good stuff in it.

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