Medical Monday: Menopause!

Welcome back to another month of new Medical Monday topics. If you read here often, you know this blog is focused a lot on health coaching, and help topics, plus CKD. But, I like to talk about other topics as well and Menopause is definitely a medical and a wellness topic. Chances are very good that you are either a woman, or you know a woman. I am sure you have heard all of the stereotypes about hysterical women and Menopause. This month I will discuss Menopause and how it can affect everyone’s wellness, not just a woman.

I watched a ton of videos on Menopause last night until I found one that explains it in a sensible but educated way. The video, a TED Talk, is just a basic introduction to the topic of Menopause. Watch for future posts and how Menopause affects women and their wellbeing.

If there is a subtopic related to Menopause that you would like me to talk about, leave me a comment, and I will consider it.


day 7: Low Fat macaroni and cheese

Hello to all of my happy readers! Today is day 7 of my Zero Points Food Challenge, which is sort of based off of the WW Zero Point Food List. You can read the rules for my challenge, here. I do my meal plans monthly, but I have had to change this month around a bit to accommodate the challenge. I have had no red meat at all in 7 days, and honestly I am OK with that since with CKD I don’t eat much red meat anyways. Where I live it is hard to get low fat cheese, except Mozzarella, but I was able to go to Publix and find some Low Fat Cheddar cheese. You may see affiliate links in this post.

Today was a weird day of eating for me, so far. I was starving when I got up but didn’t really have time to eat anything. So, it was just coffee, but by lunch it was so hot and humid I didn’t feel like salad, or cooking, lol. See below to see what I have, and will eat today. You can see images of the items below. If you have a website and you need a sponsor, check this out.

Breakfast: Just coffee with my Premier Protein creamer. I do not count drinks in my nutrition info.

Lunch: I just wanted something light and I wanted to try the Cabot cheese that I was going to use in my mac n cheese tonight. My husband also needs a low fat diet, though he hates it, but this cheese has a really good flavor. The texture is off a little probably bc of low fat, but I think the half and half will make it creamy. I also had the Good and Gather bitesize Everything Crackers. I was very surprised at how awesome these are. I had one ounce of the cheese, 7 crackers so it fit the 3 grams or less of fat per serving, and then I made 2 cups of air popped popcorn topped with 1/2 tbsp of the Land O Lakes whipped butter.

Dinner: Will be Butterball Turkey Cutlets, 3 ounces for me. I do not use oil, or any fats to cook right now. 1/2 cup or 1 cup of green beans. For the macaroni and cheese I will be making a whole box of elbow macaroni which is 8 servings, add 7 ounces of the Cabot low fat cheddar cheese, and 8 ounces of the Land O Lakes Half and Half. The whole dish, according to my calculator has 2,220 calories, which equals 277 calories per 1/2 cup serving. At the 1/2 cup serving size it is only 5 grams of Fat. So, technically I could have a whole cup for 10 grams of total fat. Add some hot pepper flakes to spice it up while cooking. I will let you know if my husband approves.

Nutrition Info: May not be exact.

Calories: 606 calories

Total Fat: 13 grams

Saturated Fat: 5.1 grams

Cholesterol: 80 mg

Sodium: 912 mg

Total Carbs: 72 grams

Net Carbs: 64.5 grams This is a nice lower carb day for me

Protein: 51 grams This is the highest I go on protein, so if I need a snack it will have to be low in protein, probably fruit, which will add carbs and boost my calories, but I have room. Yesterday I did not have to add anything. What I ate was perfect and satisfying. If you would like to learn more about any of my Wellness Plans, use the contact form after all of the images to email me.

My food tracker app is way off on Phosphorus in foods, by like a lot. So, if you track your Phosphorus due to CKD, I recommend the website Eat This Much. It is way more accurate.

Do you have Chronic Pain from CKD, or other illness? Talk to your doctor about CBD Gummies.


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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.


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.


Soy What?

I have been suffering from hot flashes for a few months.  While I have been menopausal for over a year, the hot flashes have just started.  They occur during the day, as well, but really only bother me at night, disturbing my sleep several times a night.  I really am not big on taking medications, especially with Kidney Disease.  I do, however, like natural treatments, as long as they do not turn out to be detrimental to the kidneys.  Unfortunately there are not a lot of studies as to the safety of alternative remedies and the kidneys.  So, what is a girl to do?  I did some research on Soy because I knew Soy had some phytoestrogen properties.  But, I also am not super tolerant of Soy products, especially in large amounts.  But, luckily it seems as though Soy in smaller amounts can possibly help hot flashes.  The video below, the lady explains it perfectly, and I could not agree more with her.  I will be adding 1 tsp of low sodium Soy Sauce, and believe me it is still a lot of Sodium, about 150 mg, to one meal per day to see if I get any benefit from it.  Hopefully, that is all I will need, because my hot flashes while annoying, are not that severe.  I am hoping they won’t become severe, either. I added a few other reading sources about hot flashes and natural treatments.  I already use Peppermint for headaches, and muscle tension, so I can just try applying some to the back of my neck at bedtime.  I use already diluted Peppermint in a roller bottle, that I can carry in my purse, and that will work perfectly next to my bed.  If you do not have diluted Peppermint Oil, be sure and use a carrier oil to dilute it before applying to any part of your body. Update: There is virtually no soy in Soy Sauce, and lowering my sugar intake is actually what helped my hot flashes.


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If you would like to learn about any of my Holistic Health Coaching plans, use the contact form below to message me for a free meet and greet.

Move It Or Lose It!

I will be 51 this year, and I am post-menopausal, so muscle wasting, or Sarcopenia, is a serious issue for me.  Plus with CKD, and watching protein intake, Sarcopenia can be a real issue.  Watch the TedX video below, and see what I mean.

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Wellness Wednesday: Losing Weight After 50

There are 3 videos in this short series.  I have watched all of these, and after learning a lot about fat and how it is stored in our bodies, it makes a lot of sense.  That doesn’t mean it is magical or easy to lose weight after 50.  Making the changes she recommends is difficult and since a lot of it is based on low carbs and higher protein intakes, people with kidney disease will find it difficult to follow.  But, it is still worth a try modifying to your own needs.  I will be sharing more info that I have learned about fat loss.  You might be surprised by some of it.


Do You Want To Be Fit and Fabulous in Your 40’s and 50’s?

One on one coaching with a Holistic Health Coach, such as myself can help you meet your health and wellness goals, by making SMART goals and then being held accountable to them.  There are a lot of changes going on in the bodies and minds of women in their 40’s and 50’s, trust me I know.  I am 50.  The body is changing in a lot of ways including pre-menopause, menopause, other hormones, bones, hearts, lungs, strength, stress management, and balance are all changing.  Our social lives are changing due to the growing up of children, business, education, personal growth, hobbies, etc.  Our intimacy levels are changing due to lots of different reasons.  There are so many things that change in these age groups.  If you would like to learn 3 easy steps to get you on the road to being Fit and Fabulous, email me at and request my free health assessment.  Send the assessment back and I will contact you to make an appointment for a free email Meet and Greet follow up in which I will give you 3 tips to get you started on your most important goal right now.  Or you can use the contact form below with health assessment as the topic.  What do you have to lose?  Please allow up to 24 hours for me to respond to all emails.