Wisdom on Wednesday

Hello, and welcome to another Wisdom on Wednesday quote day. Actually, because my life is crazy right now, this will be a dual post but they both relate to the same quote. I have no idea who to attribute this quote to, but it is a good one.

Keep your head up, God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. This is especially powerful if you have Faith, or believe in God, whoever you call God.

When life is too easy we become complacent and relaxed. Some stress is not all bad, and hardships in life. They bring great lessons and build character.

Chronic illnesses, and other medical issues, will test you and wear you out. All this month I have been talking about Obesity. Like most months, I did not get to cover all of the topics I wanted to. But, one thing I see recurring on social media is people criticizing, making fun of, bullying, chastising, and downright being ugly to people they consider fat, or obese. They make money off this shit. Off of someone else’s pain. That says a lot about someone’s character and the people who support these so-called content creators. This is not content, it is garbage.

Anyway, enough of my soapbox issue for the day. I wanted to put Obesity into this post with the quote because for a lot of people losing weight is a very complex and difficult issue. For a small part of the population, because most people do just overeat and not exercise, weight loss is more than a challenge for them. They may have medical reasons that they have gained weight, and those reasons make it even harder to lose weight. Now I am not saying they shouldn’t try, because even losing 10% of your body weight can improve health markers by a lot.

Here you will find 7 medical conditions that can lead to obesity, and here other factors that can lead to Obesity.

I know how hard it is to lose weight, especially while trying to balance home life, work-life, and a chronic illness. It is extremely challenging but worth it. If you are Obese and you want to start to exercise more check out my Walking Buddy Plan. It is the best way to begin exercising to prevent injury and increase stamina in a safe way.

Be sure and read through my other posts on Obesity. There is some really great info there. Tomorrow I will be talking about how to keep the weight off once you lose it. This is a lot of times even more challenging than losing the weight to begin with.

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day 4 Zero Points/Very Low fat food challenge!

If you read yesterday’s post then you know that I had to take a 24 hour break from the challenge to assess why I was bloated, gassy, and had much abdominal pain. I suspected it was the sugar substitutes and possible phosphorus additives in the low fat, and or sugar free items I had been eating. I suspect I am right, because after 24 hours I feel back to normal and ready to go, minus those food items. If you need to check back to day one to see my rules setup, please click here. I will add one day to the challenge to make it a full 2 weeks due to the day off. You may see affiliate links in this post.

Today, my son and his wife will be coming for dinner, so we are having a nice meal. Below you will see what I have eaten, and will eat for today.

Breakfast: Just coffee

Lunch: 1 medium banana. 1 cup cooked pasta salad with cucumbers, part skim mozzarella cheese .5 ounce, bell pepper, and 2 tbsp Raspberry Vinaigrette. I also had 15 Snyder’s Pretzel nuggets.

Dinner I will have: Extra lean pork tenderloin 3 oz with 2 tbsp of the bbq sauce shown below. Homemade coleslaw made with low fat Hellman’s mayonnaise. I will have 1/2 cup serving of that. 1 cup chopped watermelon, and 1 ear corn on the cob. I cut it off the cob and use 1 tbsp of Land O Lakes Whipped Butter.

Nutrition Info:

Calories: 816

Total Fat: 14 grams

Saturated Fat: 4 grams

Cholesterol: 75 mg

Sodium: 738 mg

Total Carbs: 137 grams

Net Carbs: 125 grams

Fiber: 12 grams

Protein: 43 grams. This is just right for me

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Day 3 zero point food/very low fat food challenge

This is hard, lol! I have figured up everything I have, and will eat for today. I need at least 20 more grams of protein without adding fat, salt, or sugar to the daily count. Good grief! Since it is a work day I will hope they have something appropriate at work. They allow us to eat. I will have to let you know tomorrow what I did. Be sure to read day 1, and the trial run I did, to learn why and how I am doing this. I did not lose any weight today, but I ate a ton of carbs yesterday. I was kind of worried about that when I started this challenge, but that will be for the end to talk about. I did have a serving of my pretzels last night.

Today’s foods are low calorie, and low fat. Please remember I don’t track drinks, you can read about why in the trial run I did last weekend.

What I ate today:

Breakfast: My favorite breakfast now green grapes, strawberries, a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar, and 1 tbsp of Cool Whip.

Lunch: Ok, this technically was a 1/2 gram over my fat limit, but I needed to use these up and my daughter wanted some, so I had a half of the Banquet Chicken Patties, on top of an Aunt Millie’s min sub roll, with 1 tsp of the light Hellman’s mayo. Then I had tomatoes, and cucumbers with some Hidden Valley Ranch dry seasoning one serving. The roll added a nice amount of carbs to get me through the day.

Dinner: I put the other half of the Banquet patty in my thermos chopped up, with 1 cup of Happy Harvest creamed corn, and 1 cup of Dishd plain mashed potatoes.

I also take a half of a multivitamin with a fattier meal.

Nutrition:

Calories: 744

Total Fat: 17 grams

Saturated Fat: 3.7 grams

Total Carbs: 134 grams

Net Carbs: 123 grams

Cholesterol: 25 mg

Sodium: 1894 mg This is below my target of 2000 mg per day

Please remember to read day 1, and subsequent days as to the rules, and to see pics of items. I tend to use the same items and I don’t add pics of nutrition each time.

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my taco salad vs taco bell taco salad!

Welcome to Thinking on Thursday! As part of my bringing awareness to fast food vs home cooked foods series, today I am comparing my homemade taco salad to a Taco Bell Taco Salad. Now I took the nutrition information from Calorie King website. There were two different types of salads, one had 904 calories, so I chose the one with 760 calories to compare to mine.

First, let me tell you what is in my salad. I do measure and weigh most of my ingredients to get the most accurate nutrition info. It is probably not exact, but it is according to my Fitbit nutrition tracker. I cook my meat in water, not oil or butter. You can definitely make this even lighter by using part skim cheese, or no cheese at all, and light sour cream. You could also remove the hard taco shells which is 100 calories. But, in my opinion those 100 calories just make the salad so much better. In my taco salad is two Doritos hard taco shells, 1 cup of shredded Romaine lettuce, 4 oz ground turkey, 2 tbsp Daisy sour cream, 2 tbsp Members Mark medium salsa, 1 Campari tomato chopped, 6 black olives chopped, 1/4 cup of Member’s Mark shredded Mexican cheese blend. I did not count the carbs in the taco seasoning because we used a whole packet, but you can figure at least 2 or 3 carbs for that. You can make your own to bring the carb count down for that seasoning.

Nutrition for my Taco Salad:

Calories: 450, remove the cheese and it will be 340.

Fat: 25 grams, again you can make this much lighter

Total Carbs: 23 grams, plus 2 or 3 for seasoning. You could remove the shells and it would be about 11.

Protein: 26 grams

I didn’t calculate the sodium, but it has to be way better than the one I am comparing to.

Taco Bell Taco Salad:

Calories: 760

Fat: 39 grams

Carbs: 79 grams

Protein: 26 grams

Sodium: 1330 mg that is a whopping amount of sodium in one meal.

My taco salad version only takes a few minutes to make, less than 30 minutes for sure, and can be stored in the fridge for during the week. Prep your meat and add the other fixings as you go. If you buy a container that keeps food warm, or cold, you can easily take this to work or school and have a much healthier option where you know exactly what is in the food you are eating.

I will be doing a pizza comparison in the coming weeks. You might be amazed!

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how i cured my hot flashes without medications!

This post is a two for one, because the topics are related. I had posted some time ago about how hot flashes were driving me crazy at night. I was going to try Soy for the isoflavones to see if it helped. Not only did it not help I found I am extremely intolerant of Soy. I had horrible GI upset after eating Soy. Now, some people said my body would just get used to it. Well guess what? I didn’t want to get used to it. I am on my feet 8 hours a day at work, and being in the bathroom every 30 minutes is just not doable. So, no more soy. For the record I was eating tofu, but I am not going to try any other soy products.

I had posted on my Facebook profile to ask any of my 50 and older lady friends what they were doing for hot flashes. Some did say estrogen hormone replacement, but most said they just learned to suffer with it, with various methods of cooling. None of these sounded even moderately helpful to me. Then, one friend, shared that decreasing sugars helped her a lot. Now, that was interesting! So, I started researching sugar, which includes carbs, and hot flashes. There are tons of articles and research on this topic, but this website explains it in a simple understandable way. Now, I am not promoting her program just sharing her thoughts on the topic of hot flashes and sugar/carbs.

I started to test whether a low carb diet could help my hot flashes. I am not going to lie I was skeptical. I started by just avoiding foods with lots of added sugars, that means highly processed foods. Then, I started paying more attention to how many carbs per serving where in the foods I ate. Believe it or not my hot flashes started to disappear just with those little changes. I started waking up less at night with hot flashes. Better sleep, yay!

Now, comes the second part of this topic. I began to wonder if those low carb diets everyone raves about could help me lose weight more efficiently than what I was already doing, and keep it off. That last part, keeping it off, is super important to me. As a woman who comes from a gene line of heavy people I have often felt like being fat was just in my genes. I truly still believe that, but I had lost lots of weight before children and knew I could do it again. But, my body has changed since my twenties, and with less female hormones my metabolism is much slower and fat deposits have moved to my abdominal area, from my hips. I am short, so it is very easy to carry extra weight in a high carb world of eating. Plus, I could maybe do away with hot flashes altogether as well as lose weight.

So, what is low carb? Lots of Diabetics follow a low carb diet, or at least are recommended to. According to the ADA a low carb diet is 150 grams per day or less. That may sound like a lot of carbs, but it really is not. If you have been following my Portion Distortion posts you will have read exactly how easy it is to get too many carbs with high portions. But, with some discipline and practice it is doable. To throw a wrench into it I also am stage 3 CKD, which means I limit my protein intake, as well as watch potassium and phosphorus. This complicates a low carb diet as many fruits and veggies are high in potassium and phosphorus. But, again it is doable with some discipline and practice.

I had stopped weighing myself and was only measuring my body every week. I had lost inches, so I lost fat, but my weight basically just stayed the same or a little less. This is extremely frustrating if you have a goal to lose weight. So, I started keeping a food journal, using my Fitbit app, to track how many carbs I was consuming in a day, as well as calories. I did this for a period of 4 weeks and you can read my results below.

In those 4 weeks I have managed to lose 10 pounds so far.

If I stay at less than 100 carbs per day I can lose a pound a day. For me that means 80-105 grams of carbs per day. I am not Keto, which is less than 50 grams of carbs per day. Keto could be very dangerous for anyone with kidney disease. If I go 106-120 grams of carbs per day I may lose weight, but I won’t gain weight. Anything over 120 grams per day and I will gain weight.

I did not change my exercise routine at all, and kept it at low intensity level. Now, I could have lost more weight than 10 pounds, but I was testing what levels I needed to be at to lose weight. Also, it is extremely hard to stay at 100 carbs per day, every day, especially when the family wants to get together or eat out. That part I am still learning to adjust and control.

So, what do I eat? First, I count all carbs even from drinks, which would mostly be my coffee creamer since I drink water. See my post on coffee creamer. Today, for example I had my coffee with creamer, lunch was a 5 oz baked potato with my homemade coleslaw 1/2 cup, dinner will be my homemade pasta salad. The pasta I used allows me 1 1/4 cup of pasta per serving with 42 carbs per serving. That will bring me exactly to 102 grams of carbs for today. If I need a snack I have hard boiled eggs in the fridge. Which I will probably eat anyhow as pasta salad provides me with little to no protein. I aim for at least 40-50 grams of protein per day. I don’t calculate potassium or phosphorus, but I do keep those foods to half of a regular serving or even quarter. I forgot to say I had a spinach, banana smoothie with my lunch. I keep calories at 1200 to 1500 calories per day, and some days with low carbs it is hard to even get to 1200 calories per day.

This does not mean I never eat candy or treats such as chips. I do, I just count them into my daily carbs, and try to keep them to a minimum. If I am going to eat out, well that is a challenge. You can eat part of the meal and bring the rest home. Since I am the only one on low carbs, I can’t expect everyone else to eat where I want. We have not eaten out in a while, because covid cases are going up again, here. I use my healthy kidney app to help me figure out how much phosphorus is in foods. I am also not high fat intake, another part of a keto diet. I avoid processed foods if at all possible. Processed foods are always going to be higher in sugar, fat and sodium.

The pasta salad I mentioned above is the budget meal on the menu for today. See my 25 dollar food challenge post. It does have cheese in it for some protein, but I only consume 1 oz of cheese per day. That is mostly for my daughter and husband.

My hot flashes are now completely gone. I have not had even one in 4 weeks! I sleep awesome, most nights, I mean there has to be every now and then when I can’t sleep, lol. But, it isn’t because of hot flashes!

If you would like to learn more about counting carbs, losing weight, getting rid of hot flashes, or monitoring your kidney diet, use the contact form at the end of this post to message me for a free meet and greet.

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Portion Distortion: Pasta

Do you love pasta? I love pasta. My kids love pasta. It is a staple food in our house. I really like Publix Greenwise organic pasta. It is a little bit more expensive than non organic pasta but it is still an affordable product. Pasta can go a long way, especially if you are eating the recommended portion size. Most people, and we were included in this group, overeat pasta probably because they don’t realize what a portion size of pasta really is. This is not a paid post. I am just sharing the pasta I choose most often.

Pasta is a carbohydrate dense food making it higher in calories. It is also affordable and can fill you up for long periods of time. Not to mention it is often enriched making it a healthy food option. But, it can also add on the extra pounds when eaten in large amounts. For most pastas, and I say most, because I have not read every single box of pasta, and I suppose they could differ, a serving size is 2 oz which is equal to 1/2 cup dry pasta. When cooked that 1/2 cup of dry pasta will equal out to about a heaping 1 cup serving. Now trust me that is not a lot of pasta. It will look like you have no food on your plate, trust me. That is why it is so often over eaten. That 1 cup of cooked pasta has right about 200 calories in it. If you have even 2 cups you are getting 400 calories in just the pasta on your plate. Spaghetti is the hardest to measure. I cut the spaghetti up in small pieces and then use the measuring cup to scoop it out. If you have CKD, like me, then use only a small amount of spaghetti sauce. I use 1/4 cup of sauce, sometimes it has meat, sometimes it is Vegetarian with mushrooms and onions. It just depends. Making your own sauce will help you know what is in your sauce. I often choose Publix organic sauces. Sometimes we just have pasta with some butter or olive oil and salt or other seasonings for me. Sauteed veggies and no sauce is also a favorite of mine. Of course red pepper sauce is low in potassium, and my family likes Alfredo sauce too, but I don’t use Alfredo, Avoid bread too, a future portion distortion post, if you are trying to lose weight. Or limit to just one slice of bread.

Learning to eat recommended portion sizes is hard, but with some practice and guidance it is totally doable. If you would like to have me coach you in this area use the contact form at the end of the post to message me, or email me at melissa@healthbuddymelissa.coach

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Portion Distortion: Cheese

Who doesn’t love cheese?

OK, I don’t really love cheese, but I do like it in small amounts on occasion. The problem with cheese, well there are three, is that it is a very calorie-dense food usually high in sodium and fats. The other issue with cheese is that it is often overeaten in large quantities adding unnecessary calories, fat, sodium, and phosphorus. Do you know what an actual portion of cheese is? See the image below. See it in reference to the size of a quarter. The correct portion size of cheese is 1 oz. That 1 oz of cheese has 110 calories, 9 grams of fat of which 6 grams is saturated fat, 180 mg of Sodium, 30 mg of cholesterol, and 7 grams of protein. Phosphorus is harder to figure out because it is not included on labels. However, according to Eat This Much, 1 oz of cheddar cheese has 14% of the daily requirement for phosphorus and 20% for calcium. That is a lot in such a small serving of food. If you have kidney disease cheese can be a very dangerous food.

That doesn’t mean you can not have cheese, unless you are stage 4 or 5, or your doctor has told you not to eat cheese. Otherwise, eating a 1 oz serving of cheese, and keeping track of food consumption in your food diary, you should be able to enjoy small amounts of cheese. Cheeses differ in their nutrition stats, but they are generally similar. Be sure and read your labels, and use a website like Eat This Much to help learn about phosphorus in foods. If you are trying to lose weight you can see how large amounts of cheese are going to add lots of unwanted calories to your daily needs. Stick to recommended serving sizes on labels. If you are eating out try to avoid cheese dishes, or ask for 1/2 portions, or eat just half and take the rest home. It does take a bit of discipline and it is not easy, but it is so worth it in the end.

Check out my post on which cheeses are best for CKD.

If you have CKD, want to lose weight, want to start exercising by walking with me, or need to learn to eat better, and would like to learn about my health coaching services, use the contact form after the images to message me. Or, you can email me melissa@healthbuddymelissa.coach

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.

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Portion Distortion!

Well, it was an interesting past 7 days. My internet was in and out, and every afternoon went out for at least an hour. So, I have decided to try to blog in the mornings instead. I missed three scheduled posts last week, and I will get them done within this week. We had a tropical storm come by us, and it rained buckets for days.

I have started coaching my husband on diet and portion control. It is working quite well for him. He had no clue how much he was really eating. I am guessing a lot of people don’t follow the recommended portions on the food label of every food item. Plus, learning how much saturated fat is in fast food has really opened his eyes as well. He has already lost 5 pounds. Below you will see an image of my breakfast this morning.

This breakfast is one scrambled egg, 1/2 cup of skim milk, and 1 cup of Chex Vanilla cereal. This breakfast has 277 calories, and 12 grams of protein, and is the correct portion size of cereal and milk. The cereal may have a small amount of protein, but I had thrown the box away so I can’t say for sure. Cereal is a great option for breakfast. It is almost always fortified with vitamins and minerals. Be sure and try to find the lowest added sugar variety that you can tolerate eating. Why? Because, cereal is expensive and if you are not going to like it why buy it. If you add a 3 oz glass of orange juice, it will help the body absorb any iron in the cereal and egg. I do not tolerate orange juice well, so I don’t drink it. This portioned breakfast will help keep you going until lunch and give you a great start to your day.

How are your cereal portions? Check your portions, read the label, and realize how much you are really consuming.

If you need to lose weight this is a great place to start, proper portion control. If you are underweight, please disregard the portions I recommend. Chances are very good you actually need to eat more portions, and should seek the assistance. Believe it or not, being underweight can be just as dangerous to the body as being overweight.

Take care! If anyone is interested in learning more about my coaching services, please use the contact form below the image to message me. You can always email me at healthbuddymelissa@yahoo.com

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Metabolism Part 2

Well, it has been an interesting week already. Monday, I didn’t get to do my planned post because my daughter needed my laptop for school, as hers was having issues. Tuesday, I sat down to write out my planned post and the internet went out and stayed out until this morning. Those 2 planned posts will be done next week.

An update on my Soy What post. I tried Tofu, and oh my gosh, it is a definite no. While I was able to tolerate eating it, I didn’t even notice it in the food, the effects it had on my Gastrointestinal system were absolutely disastrous. So, no more Soy for me. I will just live with hot flashes.

One of the most important things I have learned about Metabolism, in my Sports Medicine class is that increasing your Metabolism may be more of a myth concept and marketing gimmick. The effects these items have on Metabolism are minimal at best. As someone who suffers from a slow Metabolism this is sad. I also learned that the body can only consume 500 grams per day in Carbohydrates, and the rest is converted to fat stores. That totally explains how a lower carb diet can help people lose weight. However, very low carb diet can be dangerous. The body needs carbs to function, and fat. You can watch the part 1 video on Metabolism, here.

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If you would like to learn about my Health Coaching services, please use the contact form below the video, to message me.