What Does $30 Of Meat Look Like From Misfits Market?

Welcome back to another food budget topic. I have chosen to go even lower carbs on my health journey. I will write more about that in a future post. I had good success losing weight last year following 100 grams of carbs per day. I lost about 20 pounds and was able to maintain that pretty easily. But, then the holidays came, and business of life, and I slacked off. I only gained about 5 pounds back, so I am still ok with that. However, as you know I have CKD and I want to lose more weight to improve my metabolic markers even more than they already have. This is not Keto, at least not yet. I assume I may have to go Keto to get to my ultimate goal weight, but I could be wrong. For now, I am eating about 75 grams of carbs or less per day, but not less than 50 as that would put me in Ketosis. I have been doing this for about ten days and have already shed one inch off my chest and waist. I have not weighed myself, yet. I have to say this way of eating, and this time I am including my husband, and sort of my daughter as she is now an adult. She does not need to lose weight, but she likes a lot of the garbage food I am no longer buying. I will here and there let her get some, but not like she used to. I simply don’t need it in the house. The only thing I really crave is potato chips. I actually feel really good. I stay within the protein limits I have calculated for myself and my CKD. I try to stick with healthier fat options than high saturated fats. I honestly feel good. I have noticed my dry eyes and mouth have improved immensely. It does not seem to be having any negative effects on my kidneys, and the hip joint pains I was experiencing following plant-based have gone away. Those are all good things. The only thing I need to see is if it will affect my Lipid Panel in a negative way.

So, back to the title. Since we had started our extreme grocery budget challenge, which we have kind of steering away from it the past couple of weeks, but I will start again this week, I was not buying at Misfits Market. While their prices are good, I am noticing fewer and less organic options, and more items labeled natural instead. Natural can mean a lot of things. Plus, it is expensive. So, last week I made an order for 30 dollars of just meat. That is the required amount you have to purchase cold items to cash out. I picked what I wanted, but I don’t think I picked two sausages. I thought I picked one chicken, but I got two sausages. These seem to be good quality. I have had Diestel products before, and the True Story chicken sausages are awesome. The other ones I have not tried yet. So for 30 dollars, I got 5 meat items. This seems OK to me, but not great considering they are not organic, except for one. I may continue to buy from here if I find organic options, if not I probably am not going to try to incorporate Misfits into my budget.

I prefer organic meats if I can afford them on our extreme budget. I only eat beef on average one time a week, but I do like pork and chicken. I like turkey too but my husband really only likes it on Thanksgiving, lol.

Another fun challenge, along with the grocery budget, is $5 dollar dinners. I will be starting to share some $5 dollar dinner ideas for low carb. I really think it probably will be hard to get 5-dollar dinners low carb with quality meats. We will see. I have one already to share tomorrow.

The one thing I really am liking about this new way of eating is its simplicity of it. My grocery list is easy, and my meals are easy, it is just easy. I know a lot of influencers spend a ton of money on snacks and keto drinks. I don’t see myself doing that as most of the drinks I dislike, and some of the snacks are plain gross. They swear they are delicious but they most certainly are not. They are super expensive and not really that good for you. Anyway, I might share some of them too. There are a few that I have tried that I like, but there are way more that I don’t. The consistency is strange, as is the texture, and taste.

That is it for today. Come back tomorrow to see my first low-carb 5-dollar dinner option.

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Portion distortion: The humble potato, plus gift idea #7 for people with CKD

Welcome back! I have not done a Portion Distortion post in a while. Follow me on Pinterest. So, I thought today I would focus on the humble potato. Potatoes are a powerhouse of nutrition. Now, I know you are going to say they are very high in potassium, so not good for CKD, and they are high in Carbs, so not good for Diabetes or losing weight. All of that is true. However, it comes down to portion control and knowing how many carbs a day you are allowed in your diet. If your doctor absolutely tells you no potatoes, then obviously no potatoes. 1 medium potato has 26 grams of Carbs. If you are allowed 150 grams of carbs per day, then you may be able to eat that one potato. Plus, if you have CKD you can soak your potatoes prior to cooking to reduce the potassium amount. If I am making mashed potatoes I soak mine for an hour, drain the water, and soak again with fresh water for another hour. Then drain the water again, add fresh water, and cook as usual. The key is to control the portion size. A serving of mashed potatoes is 1/2 cup. Avoid french fries, or other deep-fried potatoes, to avoid all of the fat. An air fryer is helpful. If you do decide to eat french fries eat only one small portion. Don’t add cheese, bacon, and sour cream if you are trying to make your potato a healthier option. Also, potato chips, while made from potatoes, are not the humble potato I am speaking of. There is a video below on the health benefits of potatoes, and you can read about the amazing potato here. Do you want to learn more about Mindfulness or my new 30 Day Coaching Plan? Then use the contact form at the end of the post to send me a message with whatever you are interested in.

If you read this blog then you know I have stage 3 CKD. I eat one potato a day, usually for lunch. I bake it, or steam it I guess, in my Instant Pot. I weigh it and calculate my carbs and record it. I do not have issues with potassium so eating potatoes is ok for me at this stage. However, if potassium was a problem, I would have to figure out how much potassium I would be allowed in a day, and then eat my potato and record it. I don’t see me giving up my daily potato habit. But, one potato has over 700 mg of Potassium, and some people with CKD are only allowed 4,000 mg of Potassium per day. You have to be careful with Potassium, too much, and too little can both be unhealthy for the body. If you have CKD and you love potatoes, talk to your doctor or dietitian about how much potassium you can have in a day and then stick to it.

Before I get to the fabulous gift idea for today I want to give an update on my low carb meals. I had a rough Friday and Saturday. While in Publix they had some of their deli sunflower bread. This stuff is to die for, and it is almost always sold out. Now, the smart thing to do would have been to eat two slices and freeze the rest. But, no I did not do that. I ate a lot of it, and I mean a lot. It was delicious and I didn’t feel guilty, but then I had to get back on track. Saturday, my daughter made homemade pizzas with flatbread I bought at Aldis. I was going to have some and then I decided not to consider all the Sunflower Bread I ate the day before. I aim for 70-100 total carbs per day. So, and this was delicious you guys, I made a low carb pizza bowl type thing. I pan-fried cabbage, onions, 8 slices of pepperoni with a little garlic until the cabbage was to my liking. Then I put some mozzarella cheese on, about an ounce and a half, and put it in a bowl. I will definitely make this again. Tonight, we are having chicken alfredo. I decided to have a small amount of the alfredo sauce, which I don’t care for because it is low in carbs. I will cook the pasta separately, and my family can just add the chicken and sauce to their pasta. Mine will be served with a sweet potato. I know that doesn’t make sense it is still carbs. Yes, but a sweet potato has way more nutrition than pasta and I will only have one serving. Tuesday morning we volunteer and I very rarely eat before we go. It is physical and I need energy stores. Tomorrow will be my next Dollar Tree food challenge. I am almost certain I will not be eating this one either, but my husband or daughter may. Come back tomorrow to check it out. My Herb for the month of December, Dill is going well. It is super delicious on potatoes, lol.

Ok, gift idea #7 for people with CKD is, a heating pad. People with CKD often suffer from pain from cramping, and for other reasons. Due to restrictions on OTC medications, it can be hard for them to get relief. Heat is a wonderful tool to relieve pain. I found two very cool heating pads on Amazon. One is a vest, that you wear for back, shoulder, and neck pain relief. That one looks really awesome. You will find it here. The other one is one that actually wraps around the body part that needs heat. You can find it here. As for me, I get thigh cramps, probably from exercise, and heat is wonderful to help relieve the cramps. Please always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use to prevent injury. If you are prone to blood clots be sure and ask your doctor if heat is safe for you to use.

I just wanted to make a quick note about Epsom Salts. A lot of bath salts actually contain Epsom Salts. Epsom Salts are very high in Magnesium and should not be used if you have CKD without asking your doctor.

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this week’s food challenge 11/4-11/10/2020

It is time for the second Health Buddy Melissa Food Challenge. This time only I am participating. Neither my husband or daughter agreed to even try, which is a little disappointing, but oh well. Starting tomorrow I will be meatless for 7 days. No meat at all. I can have dairy, but no meat. I don’t eat much dairy at all, just a tiny bit of cheese. I have not made a menu for the week, for this challenge, because I will be winging it. I will be adapting their dinners to meet my challenge. So, whenever I do a new post I will update what I ate for the days that proceeded that post. I will also update how difficult it is with being on a low carb lifestyle. I am thinking it is not going to be easy, or I may gain some weight or be very hungry. Only the week will tell. Wish me luck!

Would you like to join the meatless challenge? It is easy, just leave me a comment and post how you did, if you want. If you want you can do a blog post with the challenge and put the link in the comments. If you do this please put a link to this blog. Tomorrow come back to learn about G-BOMBS.

Do you want to stop hiding from yourself, and be the healthiest and best you can be? Message me for a free meet and greet to learn about my coaching services. All new clients get one month of coaching for just 25 dollars!

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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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That is not bread!

If you have been reading this blog then you know I have applied much attention to food and nutrition. All of these topics will be a Nutrition course for my high school homeschooled daughter. She will have to research and come up with conclusions. Last night, while I was researching I found this article originally shared in the NY Post. The country of Ireland basically told Subway their bread can not be considered bread, but more akin to a cookie, or snack, due to the sugar content the bread had in it. This was in regards to essential foods and a food tax break for food companies that meet the proper requirements which this sandwich bread did not. Now this particular sub roll bread had about 5 grams of sugar in it. That is just slightly over a teaspoon of sugar in the bread per serving. My favorite oat bread here in the USA has 3 grams of sugar, or just under a tsp per serving. I also checked the hamburger buns we had bought and they also had 3 grams of sugar per serving. The United States recommends that American women consume no more than 6 tsps of sugar per day. So, if I ate 2 slices of my favorite oat bread as a sandwich I would have already meat that threshold.

So, what? What is my point? My point is imagine if here in the USA we had such stringent guidelines for how much sugar, fat and other crap the food industry can put into our food, and how much the Obesity epidemic might be able to be reversed and all the chronic illnesses that go with it. Remember, this applies to carbs as well, as carbs are broken down into sugars in the digestion process. Now,, I am not advocating for Keto diets. I am currently following a low carb diet. There is a difference between Keto and Low Carb diets. So far I am having very good success, down 8 pounds already.

You can read the original article here. If you would like to try my weight loss plan, or learn about any of my health coaching services, use the contact form after the image to message me.

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Lower Carb Banana Pancakes

Updated 9/10/2021: So, first off, yes I know bananas are high in Potassium.  But, I only use a half a banana in my pancakes.  Plus they are lower carb because I don’t put any flour in it.  I originally found a larger portion of this recipe on a picky eaters blog, but I can’t remember the name.  There are only two ingredients in this recipe, my version, 1 large egg, and 1/2 a ripe banana.  You simply smash the banana with a fork, and then mix in the egg.  You can add cinnamon, vanilla, or nutmeg, if you like, but I like a little maple syrup on mine.  After it is all mixed together, you simply pour it into a non stick skillet, and let it cook just like a pancake.  Breakfast sausage would be super yummy with this.  Of course you could add flour, but that will just increase calories, carbs, and phosphorus levels.  Adding any kind of meat will increase phosphorus levels as well.  Remember if you are counting amounts of nutrients, track for a 1/2 a banana and one large egg. There are 18 grams of carbs in this one pancake, and 95 mg of Phosphorus because of the egg. You could use egg whites instead to bring the Phosphorus level down. But, you are still saving because pancake mix, even organic ones, are high in Phosphorus. If you are following a Keto diet, these are probably not going to be low carb enough to meat your Macros for the day.

These are so easy to make, and delicious.  If you like to skip breakfast like me, these might make you change your mind.  In a couple of minutes you will have a nutritious, and delicious breakfast.  Try it, tell me if you like them!  Leave me a comment, or use the contact form below to message me.

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