Updates from Health buddy Melissa

As you can see I have my own domain name now, and a fresh updated website. You will also notice paid ads now on this website. I have upgraded this blog so I can start accepting payments right from here. For now I will use Paypal and am looking at Stripe. I also now have Google Suite for secure emails, video chat, text chat all safe and secure. I have a crazy busy week coming up, as my son is getting married, but I will be updating my Health Buddy plans to be more streamlined and simplified. Some features such as Guided Imagery and Distance Reiki will still be stand alone plans, as some people may just opt for those and not actual coaching. I also have a new secure email just for Health Buddy business through Google Suite. I pay for this feature, and it guarantees privacy and security. My Disclaimer will also be updated and I am considering a sleek new logo, though I really love the simple one I already have. I will be adding new features for paying members only, but that will be down the road as I decide how I want it to be. For now my special for all new customers remains at 25 dollars for 30 days. This is currently for USA customers only, as I do not know the laws for Health Coaches in other countries. I will also be getting an app where contracts and forms can be easily signed online. With all the Telehealth going on I am ready for the virtual world to need my Health Coaching services. I am an Independent Contractor and do not work for or by anyone else. I hope you enjoy the new website! If you have unmet needs and you would like to work with a Holistic Health Coach to learn how to meet them, use the contact form at the end of the post to message me. I am ready to accept new clients.


My CKD Friendly Fruit and Veggie Smoothie

Happy Friday! I hope everyone is well. I have posted before how I love smoothies. So, I put together a recipe for a CKD friendly fruit and veggie smoothie. Please remember the nutrition info is estimates only. Especially for Phosphorus which is incredibly difficult to find accurate amounts for. I use the website Eat This Much to get a general idea of Phosphorus amounts. The creamer I can not find Phosphorus info, but the ingredients says it has a potassium and phosphorus additive, so that means the potassium amount I gave is probably a bit higher, and the phosphorus as well. You can always just not use the creamer, but even milk alternatives have phosphorus additives. I like the flavor that the French Vanilla creamer adds. Also replace the banana with strawberries or other low potassium fruit, if potassium is an issue for your. I also use parsley or kale, instead of spinach. It just depends what I have on hand. If you need some protein in it I have used flaxseed or cashews. I also freeze my smoothies for when everyone else at my house is eating ice cream. Also please remember if you are on a blood thinner, ask your doctor about eating leafy greens, and if you are prone to kidney stones, spinach in high amounts can increase oxalate levels.

Enjoy! If you would like to learn about any of my Health Coaching services, please use the contact form after the images to message me.


Foodie Friday: How I Made My Family Weekly Menu Friendly for CKD

Welcome back!  So far the meal planning is working very well for us.  Everyone knows what we are having, and I can shop and plan for my CKD needs much easier.  Remember that I am in stage 3, stable and stable non-dialysis.  This meal plan was for this week which started on Sunday and will end Saturday.

Sunday:  BLT and apples.  Everyone eats the low sodium turkey bacon I buy.  I like BLT on French bread, but I didn’t have that, so we just used white sandwich bread.  I did not buy whole-grain bread this week, but normally I would use that for me.  Whole-grain bread is higher in phosphorus, but it is also healthier.  I am just sure to stick to one sandwich.   I do not have potassium restrictions so I can have tomato.  If you do have potassium restrictions skip the tomato or use just one slice.  I use Iceberg lettuce because it has the least amount of potassium of the lettuces available.

Monday:  Chicken Alfredo with broccoli.  This was a workday for me, so I did not make or eat this.  My daughter did make it using cauliflower alfredo and I guess they liked it.  I do not care for alfredo sauce so I probably would have just had some chicken with pasta and broccoli with a dab of butter and seasoning.  Making my own alfredo sauce rather than from a jar would save a lot of sodium.  Broccoli is high in potassium, but it also is super nutritious.  If you have to restrict your potassium choose another veggie such as carrots which would be equally good.

Tuesday:  Smothered pork chops, mashed potatoes, and sliced cucumbers.  I choose the thin slice pork chops and be sure to only have one chop.  If they are large I eat half.  If I have had very little protein for the other two meals, I will eat the whole pork chop.  I prefer center cut or loin chops.  Make your own gravy if you can.  If you must use a packet limit the amount you eat, or just eliminate it.   I saute onions and white button mushrooms to smother the pork chops in.  I do not cook with salt and I use spices and vinegar for flavor. I do not add the sauteed veggies to the gravy to keep my sodium level intake lower.   Salt-free butter is also a good idea to always have on hand.  Mashed potatoes were from a packet, but if I made my own it would be much fewer sodium amounts.  Use skim milk and salt-free butter also when making homemade mashed potatoes.  My family sprinkles salt on their cucumbers I like to drizzle raspberry vinaigrette on mine.

Wednesday:  Hot dogs, spaghetti-o’s, and fruit.  So, apparently, no one likes spaghetti-os but me.  So, I ate them.  Not exactly healthy, but they need to be used and I am avoiding food waste.  I ate one hot dog, without the bun.  Bread is very high in sodium so if I can do without the bun I do.  I very rarely use Catsup either but use mustard instead.  Mustard is low in sodium, Catsup is not.  There is a low sodium version but I find it quite gross.   I am not on fluid restrictions so I drink two glasses of water with this meal due to the high sodium in the hot dog.  Boiling the hot dog instead of frying it will also remove some of the fat and sodium.

Thursday:  Grilled cheese and tomato soup.  I actually love this easy meal.  Cheese is high in protein, sodium,  and phosphorus so be sure and only eat one serving.  Choose white bread especially if you are watching your phosphorus.  I use whole grain for the fiber.  There are lower sodium tomato soups in cans, but you can also very easily make your own and control the sodium in the soup.  Swiss cheese is generally lower in sodium than other cheeses.  This was a workday for me, so I did not get to enjoy this simple comfort dinner, but I did have it for lunch before leaving for work.

Friday:  Ground turkey with pasta shells and broccoli.  This is a new recipe for me and we are having it tonight.  Ground turkey, I bought the white ground turkey, is very low and fat and sodium.  The recipe also calls for low sodium options.  Again, if you need to avoid potassium, you could choose another veggie such as cauliflower. Also, remember that a serving size of meat is 3 oz or about the size of the palm of a hand.  This will help you keep your protein, and phosphorus in check.  Par-boiling meat also helps.   You can find the recipe here on my Pinterest page

Saturday:  If there are leftovers from Friday I will take them to work with me on Saturday for my dinner.  I will be making a basic meat sauce using ground beef for my family to serve over pasta for dinner.  I will take that on Sunday for my dinner at work.  Making your own sauce will keep sodium levels low.  I don’t eat a lot of sauce, so a couple of tablespoons is all I need to be content.  Limit your meat serving to 3 ounces.   Cook and drain your ground beef before adding it to your sauce.  Use spices instead of salt to season your meat and sauce.  A side salad will round out this dinner.  Eat more salad than meat sauce and pasta.

You may be wondering what I eat when I work.  If I don’t have leftovers to bring, I will put something simple together.  Sometimes I just take a salad and fruit.  Other times I will pack two slices of bread, a tiny bit of mayo and sliced tomatoes and have a tomato sandwich.  It just depends on what is easy, and what will fit into my dietary needs for the day.  I hate to have to warm things, so I often bring cold foods.

If you would like to learn more about tricks to make meals more kidney-friendly, use the contact form below to message me for a free meet and greet.


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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.  https://www.facebook.com/Health-Buddy-Melissa

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.



Food on Friday Chocolate Cupcake Day CKD and Diabetes Variations

Before I dive into the cupcakes, a quick update.  Tomorrow, I will be sharing how you can buy Health Buddy Melissa gift cards for loved ones for Christmas, and a cool freebie for five lucky people.  So, be sure and check back tomorrow.

Now for the cupcakes.  October 18th is Chocolate Cupcake Day.  If you have CKD then you know chocolate has Phosphorus and Potassium, and store-bought cake mixes have added Phosphorus in the form of preservatives.  These added phosphates are 100% absorbed by the body and are a hidden danger for people with CKD.   So, here are a few tips to make the chocolate cupcakes more CKD friendly.  For starters make them from scratch, not a box mix.  There are tons of lovely recipes all over the web for mixes made from scratch.  Use white flour to get the lowest amount of Phosphorus and Potassium.  I don’t particularly like frosting from scratch, but that is another great way to know exactly what is in your cupcake.  Another great tip is to have a vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting or chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting.  Again, store-bought frosting is going to have phosphates added to it as a preservative.  Only eat one cupcake, and freeze the rest, or give them away.  Now at my house, they would get eaten and I would be lucky to get one.  Davita has a great cupcake in a mug recipe.  However, it uses store-bought mixes and goes in the microwave.  I don’t microwave food.  But, that is another whole blog post.  You could make your own dry mix and store it then make a cupcake in a mug when you want one.  If you don’t own a microwave, simply make one cupcake in a muffin tin at a time.  If you have food allergies, or sensitivities just alter the recipe as needed, but there are tons online for people with food sensitivities.   Instead of adding eggs to your mix, if it calls for eggs, use applesauce.  You would use a 1/4 cup of applesauce for each egg required.  That will cut way down on Phosphorus.  If you decide to make a Peanut Butter frosting, remember it may very like have Protein as well in it.  If your doctor or dietitian has recommended you avoid any ingredients I have mentioned, then please do so.  I read a very interesting article on Phosphorus in food, and I will be doing a blog post on that soon.

For Diabetics use unsweetened applesauce in place of eggs, especially if you also have CKD.  Use the mug method mentioned above, use Stevia when making your own mix, or frosting,  if sugar is called for.  You could use other sugar substitutes I just prefer Stevia.  Stevia is much sweeter than table sugar so be aware of that.

Just because you have CKD, or Diabetes does not mean you can not enjoy a chocolate cupcake.


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Making A Food Kit for Hurricane Prep For Dialysis Patients

So, last week I told you about my 5 day food kit, but I am a non dialysis CKD person.  What if you are on dialysis?  Well your food kit will look much different, and if you have Diabetes too, well again different.  Every time I do one of these posts, I am going to stress to you the importance of a few things that will make your life a lot easier.

1-  Save a little bit of money each week, in case you need to evacuate.

2-  Buy a generator if you can.  We don’t own one, but I am not on dialysis,

3-  Sign up with your local power company as someone who needs their power turned on the fastest.  I may do this because my husband uses CPAP to sleep.  He won’t die without it, but none of us will sleep.

4-  Sign up with your county special needs shelter.  I believe all counties in FL have them, and update your info before each hurricane season.

The info I will share now is from the NKF website.  They recommend 3 days of food, I would say 5, as a lot of times the power is out for at least 5 days in some spots.  I start to stock up food and water in April and add a little bit each week.

Probably the most important thing will be the fact that you won’t be able to get dialysis so waste, and water can build up.  So here are the foods they recommend  to help avoid waste build up.  This list is somewhat similar to my list, I changed for my needs.  Remember it needs to last 5 days, and the list is per person.  So if there are 3 people in your house you need to take that into consideration.

Distilled, or bottled water 1-2 gallons.  Do not drink more than 4 oz with meds, and try to use applesauce instead of water, and suck on hard candy to help alleviate thirst.  Dry milk, or evaporated milk, cranberry, grape, or apple juice.  You must dilute the evaporated milk with water, half and half prior to using.

Cold cereal, but avoid bran, granola or cereal with dried fruits and nuts.  This will help keep your phosphorus down.  Fruit or fruit cups packed in water, not heavy syrup.  Remember that all canned foods must be used within 4 hours of opening, if they can not be kept cold.  Low sodium vegetables, no lentils or beans.  Remember a can opener.  Eat your fresh fruit and veggies first, and always remember fruit has liquid in it.  Potatoes and tomatoes are very high in potassium.

Canned meats, like tuna, crab, chicken or salmon low sodium varieties.  Rinse all canned foods prior to consuming, to  help reduce the sodium levels.  Unsalted peanut butter, or almond butter.  Bread, which can be frozen for up to 3 months, so you can stock up.  Mayonnaise, jelly, vanilla wafers, graham crackers, and unsalted crackers.  I can tell you Raspberry Preserves on anything is delicious, even unsalted crackers.  Sugar free candy, and chewing gum.  Chewing gum is another way to help keep your thirst at bay.  I have chronic dry mouth, and I frequently chew gum, of course sugar free is best.

If you don’t use your hurricane meal kit, which I hope you won’t have to, be sure to check expiration dates the next year, or donate when hurricane season is over to your local food pantry.

Don’t forget some spices.  Salt free seasonings are generally very high in Potassium so be very careful if using them, especially when you can’t get dialysis.  Try not to over eat, just eat little amounts to keep hunger at bay.  Vinegar tastes just like salt, and is salt free, but again it is a liquid, but you shouldn’t need much.  I use Red Wine Vinegar on everything.  Lemon Pepper seasoning is also one that you only need a little and it goes a long way.  Some do have sodium so check the label first.  Avoid salt as much as possible.  Try to grow a small garden, so you have some fresh veggies, and don’t need canned.  Even if you can only do pots.  I have leaf lettuce, tomatoes, I think potatoes, and carrots growing.  I also have grape vines, banana tree, and a blueberry bush, but so far they have not given me any fruit.

No soda, energy drinks, or sports drinks.  They are high in phosphorus and a lot of times sodium.  You might want a small pack of sugar, especially if you are diabetic.  Don’t forget plastic cutlery, especially if you have to evacuate and eat on the move.

Most important go over your emergency meal plan with your Dietitian to see if you should add, or remove something.  This is a great starter convo, but what suits one may not suit another.

Be safe, ready, and prepared!  Use the contact form below to message me, if you would like me to help you plan a plan.  This is serious stuff, and it can be very scary when it happens.  The better you plan, the less frightening it is.