Beginner Weight Training For Menopause!

Hello, Sunday readers! I hope your day is going well.

Yesterday, I talked about Menopause in relation to how it shifts fat deposits more to our waistline, and can impact a ladies possibility to lose weight. I hope you watched the very good video I shared with you and read the tips I gave.

In that video, and I have talked about this before, they mention that cardio is not the healthiest exercise for women in their peri, and menopausal stages. HIIT is definitely a no no after 50, unless you are already an established athlete. Remember, exercise, and neat are two different topics. Getting in your daily step goals is your neat. Exercise is a period of time you set aside each day, or how many days you decide to exercise, and then do that exercise. Yes, exercise can be walking, which will go towards your step count, but neat is more of an intention to move some every hour. Women in peri, and menopause should be focusing more on weight training, balance, and stretching exercise. Weight training should be done 3 to 5 days a week, with balance and stretching incorporated in. I currently do 2 days a week, I am 52 and have completed the menopause process. I need to pick up my own game, as I am still of the mindset that cardio is the way to lose some of this midsection drift.

There are lots of good reasons to build muscle, and keep bones healthy, especially to avoid Osteoporosis, Osteopenia, muscle wasting, weakness, etc.

Below, you will see 3 videos. The first one explains three exercises with weights that people over 50 should not do. Please watch it, because there are trainers, mostly younger, that say their videos are for over 50 age group, but have these exercises in them. You can also read my blogpost on this topic, here. What they are saying about the shoulder exercise, is so true. I had calcific tendonitis last year, in my shoulder joint. When they say you can not lift a spoon to your mouth, they are not kidding. The pain is awful, and it takes a long time to completely heal. Just don’t do that to yourself. Bursitis, rotator cuff injuries, impingement, tendonitis, can all effect that shoulder area. The second video is truly for beginners. It is slow and teaches you correct form. Please start out with light weights, that is 1 pound, or no weights, until you have the movements down. There is nothing wrong with using your body weight, and no hand weights. The third video, looks easy, but I can tell you it will challenge you. I always watch a new video first, before I do the video. These videos are a great place to start if you have no idea where to start. You can get light dumbbells on Amazon, or pick them up at Walmart. Remember, if you can not do 10 reps with whatever weight you choose to start with, with good form, control, and swinging for momentum, then your weights are too heavy for where you are at.

Let me know in the comments where you are in your menopause journey. Are you lifting weights to lose weight, improve balance, build or retain muscle, or for bone health?

I am going to set an intention for this week to 3 days of weight training, using the videos below.

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Fun Fitness Friday!

It’s Friday, woot woot! If you work just weekends, like me, then Friday isn’t really all that exciting, lol. Since I do work just weekends now, at my nursing job, I don’t get to do Sweating on Sunday posts anymore, so I have moved that topic to Fitness Friday. This post will be a conglomerate of topics all squished into one.

First off if you are a member of my newsletter then you know that my Health Challenge for November was to maintain the 7-pound weight loss from October. I did not think I met that goal and I was bummed. However, I have noticed over the past month, remember I weigh myself daily due to CKD, that my fancy digital scale really seemed to be off. I wasn’t sure if it was off higher or lower though. I changed the batteries and had not changed my eating habits enough to warrant a weight gain. My clothes were not tighter and I was certain I was not adding any more muscle mass because I was not really lifting weights in November. Anyway, to make a long story shorter, I did some research and my hunch was right that the scale was no longer balanced, or zeroed out. So, I purchased the old-fashioned kind of scale and it came last eve. To my surprise not only did I maintain but I lost 1 pound off my October weight. Yay! I also did my measurements this morning and while not anything huge I continue to lose parts of inches off my waist and hips. This is the area I most want to lose fat from. I have plateaued quite some time ago in weight loss, but the fat loss continues in small increments. I can work with that. But, if you want to learn more about plateauing for weight or fat loss and how to overcome it, watch the short video below. He explains it much better than I could by writing it. But, basically, you lose more weight at the beginning of your weight loss journey and then your body actually burns fewer calories as a sort of protection mode. Even if you plateau maintaining that weight, is a hefty goal to have. Keeping cardio low and slow is what burns fat.

My December Health Challenge is to challenge myself to be more consistent with weight training. I am aiming for three days a week, and I only use light weights with higher reps, at this point in time for several reasons. I am not a fitness trainer so I am not comfortable creating workouts for clients. However, I can share ones that I find on Youtube that I do, and I like. If you would like to check out my Health Buddy Walking plan, click here. Anyone can walk! The second video below is the upper body program I did 3 days this week. If you are new, or haven’t lifted in a while, or are over age 50 this is a great little video to start with. If there are any of the exercises you can’t do just modify them to your needs, or skip them. Rest whenever you want to. It is a video no one will know.

The weather is beautiful here in Florida, and it is a great time to get out and walk, do some gardening, or just take some beautiful pictures. Share in the comments how you are enjoying your Friday.

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Planning For Your Elder Years!

I know people think of planning for retirement as just having retirement money, or a 401k. But, there are actually so many other things to consider than just money, though a lot of those other things are going to have a money component to them. Check out my post on retiring with no money.

This post will be based on this article. I will add my own thoughts, and our own needs to plan better. Remember, I am already 52 years old, and while we have started planning, honestly you really should plan long before you turn age 50. I will go in the order the article goes in.

I did decide that I will extend my Dementia topic into next month, mostly because there is so much information and it will be Christmas. I want to share some great gift ideas for people with Dementia.

If you are smart, which I was not, you will start planning for your elder years in your 20’s or 30’s. Like most people, I didn’t want to think about old age, or maybe I thought I wouldn’t get old, lol. The 401k always seemed like a pain because most people don’t stay with the same company long term, and definitely not until retirement, anymore. That is if you are even lucky enough to work for a company that offers a 401k option, matches it, and you don’t have to work full time to get into it. Money is obviously going to be the most important issue for your elder years especially if you expect to live only on Social Security.

So, how should you plan for your elder years? For the sake of ease let’s consider elder years as being after age 60.

  1. Have everything prepared and organized. What do I mean by that? Have all important documents in one spot, either a safe, with your attorney, or with your POA. Important documents are items such as ownership of your home, assets, savings accounts, social security, 401k, investments, bonds, wills, IRA, POA, Health Care Proxy, life insurance, etc. My husband and I need to sit down and get all of this organized and in one spot. Having yourself or your family run around and try to find all of this information when it is needed is not a good thing to do.
  2. Make a will. I think everyone should have a will, especially if you have any kind of assets or children. If you die without a will guess who decides where your assets will go? If you didn’t guess it is the government. A basic will can be made on Legal Zoom. You do have to be sure and file it properly, and name an Executor. You should update it at least every 5 years, make sure you are aware of any changes in the law. I have a loved one who told us she had a will and she did not. Now she is in a pickle, which has just made the situation that much harder for all of us. It is not fun, believe me, and very time consuming when a loved one does not plan for their elder years.
  3. Have a what if meeting? This is with your family, or a friend you trust if you have no family. This is mostly to brainstorm to see who is willing to be POA, or Health Care Proxy. You don’t want to assign either of these to someone if it is not something they are willing to do. Have the discussion! We have always been open with our kids about our basic wishes should we become terminally ill, but not really if we get Dementia or become legally incompetent to care for ourselves We need to do this in the upcoming year.
  4. Make a Living Will. This is much different than a Will. That kind of will deals with your monies and assets after you die. A Living Will deals with issues while you are alive. This is where the topic of a Health Care Proxy being chosen will come. Your Proxy will make medical decisions for you if you become unable to do so yourself. Again, you do not want to name someone as your Proxy if it is not something they are comfortable doing. Even though I don’t have a legal HCP my immediate family knows exactly how I feel about medical care should I become terminal. Since I have CKD this was discussed sometime ago. But, I have to make it legal. If you don’t make it legal, you would be surprised of all the conflicts that will arise when the time comes, and it will come, eventually. Decide how you want it to be.
  5. Appoint a Power of Attorney or POA. The article states if you think you will need one. Trust me you will need one. I have worked in health care for 35 years, and you need one. The conflicts that can be avoided, delays, etc can all be avoided. My loved one refused to appoint a POA even though it was apparent she needed one. For years we begged her to do so, but nope she refused. Now she has to deal with the consequences. This isn’t meant to say she is being punished, but please remember your actions or lack there of have consequences, not just for you but for your loved ones as well. There are different types of POA’s and you control who has access to what and what decision they will make. But, if you choose not to do so, you may end up with no control over your elder years.
  6. Set up a pension. Now as I stated companies do not offer traditional pension, or retirement plans, like maybe your grandparents had. That ship has sailed for most people. But, a 401k if you can get in one, an IRA, Health Savings Account, or just a regular savings account are good options. You can learn more about off of those by doing a quick search on Google.
  7. Pay off all debts before you retire. We are currently working on this. For all of 2020 we have set the goal to spend down our debt, and to save. Initially, my husband just wanted to spend down the debt and use any monies to just pile it onto other debts. For example you pay off one credit card, and whatever monies that leaves each month, say extra 50 dollars you would throw it onto another bill. But, I objected to that and said we had to save money too, not just pay debt off to avoid making new debt. So, that is what we have been doing. At the beginning of the year we used the Dave Ramsey method of setting up a budget. There were a few things we changed, such as tithing, and I forget the others. But, we have stuck to it and have paid off a lot of debt already. Because we chose to save also, when our refrigerator died we were able to pay in cash rather than financing it. The nice thing is we don’t even know when payday is anymore because we are not living paycheck to paycheck. Our bills are on time and it just repeats every month with the extra money being split 50-50 to another bill and savings. It is our goal to have our mortgage paid off earlier than when we retire. One important thing to remember here is that buying new cars, phones, and such puts a huge strain on a budget. Downsizing your home, buying certified used phones, and good used cars can really save a lot of money. Pay in cash if you can!
  8. Plan a budget. I already discussed current budget, but think about a budget for when you retire. Have a basic idea of how much money you will have and how you will budget it. We have not even thought about this much, other than in regards to #7. However, I think a lot of people do not consider full budget needs such as health care, medications, maintenance and repairs to homes and cars, etc. You need to budget for all of these things.
  9. Keep working. I am a nurse and I am unsure if I will be able to keep doing bedside nursing until retirement, let alone after. But, working even after retirement age, not full time, there are penalties to Social Security is super important both financially and mentally. Make sure you know the rules. Getting a side hustle when you are younger, such as blogging, or thinking about how you would be able to make money after retirement. Maybe you have a hobby and can sell a craft, though I don’t personally think this is anywhere near as lucrative as it used to be with most platforms charging huge amounts of money to sell stuff. But, for me some things I have considered are this blog and Health Coaching, Phlebotomy, Assisted Living Administrator, etc. If I wanted to do Youtube videos, which I currently do not have the ability to do lengthy videos, that is another great side hustle.
  10. Stay healthy. Medical care costs are going to be a huge out of pocket expense if you can not stay as healthy as possible. This is a broad topic, but I think everyone knows that eating better, maintaining a healthy weight or at least not gaining if overweight, and exercise are all great ways to be healthier.
  11. Plan for your needs. This is kind of what the whole article is about. Think about what you think you will need. For example, I was at a thrift store and they had a cane at a really good price. It fit my size and I bought it and stored it in the garage. Now, you can’t just buy a cane, walker, or crutches without being sure they will fit your body size for safe use. So, be sure and learn how to know if it is right for you. But, that is just an idea of what I mean about planning for your needs. If you don’t know how to cook, plan a budget, fix basic things around your home, or you live in a very rural area where programs are slim to none, then you have some planning to do.
  12. Make friends. Did you know that widowed or single women who live alone are more likely to get Dementia than men? Women tend to become lonely and isolated which increases the risk of Dementia. Men, obviously can become lonely too, but the truth is women outlive men. Make friends, stay active, volunteer, join groups that you are interested in.
  13. Be mentally active. Everybody always worries about exercise, and of course it is vital, but keeping your brain active is just as important. Learn new things, keep learning, try hard things, it is good for your brain and may help prevent Dementia.
  14. You can not control the aging process. It is what it is and we all get old. We are going to die someday, sad but true. Some die young, some die old. It is sad, always, but it is and always will be a fact of life. Be prepared, make it easier on yourself and your loved ones. Don’t delay and bury your head in the sand. Start thinking about it right now. Start making a to do list to help you work through the steps. Update and edit it often.

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October Health Topic: Obesity

Hello, and happy Thursday! I hope the week has seen you well. For the month of October I have decided I will discuss Obesity. This is a topic, as a Health Coach, of course I have talked about before, but now a whole month will be dedicated to it. If this kind of topic is a trigger for you, please just sit this month out.

This is just a short intro post today as to why I feel talking about Obesity is so important. As of 1 year ago, over 42% of Americans are considered obese. That doesn’t even account for people who are overweight.

During October I will be discussing Obesity in a broad range of topics, and hopefully you will learn some good information that can help you begin your weight loss journey, and why it is important to do so. There will be no fat shaming here, so please don’t bother.

Below, are some videos with some statistics. I urge you to watch them to see how big the Obesity Epidemic really is. The third video, he is a little snarky, so just ignore his sense of humor and take in the statistics.

My husband and I have challenged each other to lose 10 pounds by Halloween. If you would like to join the challenge, please do. Having a goal and being challenged can help you stay focused and on track. Tomorrow I will be announcing a special deal for October for my Walking Buddy Plan. Be sure and check it out.

I will not be promoting crazy whack diets, or supplements.

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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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Day 5 of my zero point food/very low fat food challenge!

Happy Sunday! Before I start talking about the challenge I would like to do a little update. My right shoulder is healing nicely, and I see Ortho again this week. I will probably still have to be on light duty at work, but I could swim today when I was in the pool, so that is great! I am still not lifting anything over 20 pounds, so I am not sure in the strength department. I do know that I could not start the lawnmower yesterday, nor could I squeeze the trimming shears. So, I still have a bit to go to full function. The rains have finally returned to Florida, and my garden is finally showing progress. I have peaches that are almost ready to be picked. A website I was reading said to check them daily because according to them the birds definitely are checking my peach tree, lol. I have some baby cantaloupe, current tomatoes, and cucumbers that should be ready in a couple of weeks. I am kind of disappointed with the zucchini and peppers, but hopefully now they will take off.

One thing I have noticed since I started this challenge was that I am eating way more fruit than vegetables, which is not typical for me. Because, I typically try to stay under 100 carbs per day I usually limit my fruit intake. Even with the higher carbs I am proud to say I have lost 1.2 pounds as of this morning, on day 5. I won’t do fat measurements until the end of the challenge, but some reading I did said it can take years to safely lose enough body fat. That didn’t sound promising, lol. At any rate here we are at day 5 of the Health Buddy Melissa Zero Point Food Challenge. My rules are different than Weight Watchers, you can read why here. I am really missing having some red meat in my diet, but that is OK. I do not share the same images every day. So, ones I have already shared you can see the nutrition labels in previous posts. Coming soon I will be offering my handmade items for sale on this blog, that I used to have on Etsy. More about that later.

I am going to try to be more efficient this next week in my meal planning, because I am not getting enough greens in my daily diet. While I am enjoying corn, corn is not green. If I do not get time before leaving for work to post my day of eating tomorrow, I will share it with Tuesday’s.

What I have eaten already, and what I will eat later. I probably will need a snack today, as my calorie count is quite low. I don’t count drinks, as I have mentioned before, but typically my drink calories is about 100 calories per day. So, still quite low.

Breakfast: Just coffee with my Premier Protein as creamers

Lunch: We had to go out so I didn’t want to have to cheat and I was starving. So, I took a banana, and some pretzel nuggets. Both of these meet my zero point requirements. When we got home I had a nice salad with romaine lettuce, 3 pepperoni slices yes this is zero points, 1 slice of Publix low fat Provolone cheese, 3 large strawberries, and 2 tbsp of Kraft Raspberry Vinaigrette. Pepperoni is very fattening, but I Hormel I could have 3 slices for 3 grams of fat. It just adds a nice flavor.

Dinner: Will be exactly the same as yesterday, as we have leftovers. I realized I did not add the pics of the bbq sauce nutrition info. So, I will add it today. It is quite yummy and I bought it at Save A Lot. It did have 8 grams of sugar per serving, but I couldn’t find one with 6 where I live, so it did just fine. I have given up on Sugar Free, because it just causes me horrible GI upset. See my post on my 24 hour pause. 3 oz of extra lean pork tenderloin, homemade coleslaw with Hellman’s low fat mayo, 1 cup watermelon chunks, 1 piece of corn on the cob removed from the cob with 1 tbsp of Land O Lakes whipped butter.

Nutrition stats for today:

Calories: 650

Total Fat: 16 grams

Saturated Fat: 4.6 grams

Cholesterol: 78 mg

Sodium: 833 mg

Total Carbs: 96 grams

Net Carbs: 86 grams

Protein: 37 grams I have a little fat to spare so I may have a hard boiled egg later to increase my protein for the day.

If you would like to, check out some of my affiliate links below.

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give your family a gift!

Stress alert! I am going to discuss a topic that most people find uncomfortable, Advance Directives and in this case Living Wills. The topic of death, and elder care is a common stressor, as we get older. Please watch the short video below. Yes, it is a dramatization, but as a nurse for 34 years I have seen this same scenario played out over and over. Notice the difference in how the two families respond to the emergency medical issue. When you don’t take responsibility for your own death, impending death, health and medical issues, or possible death it puts a huge amount of stress and grief on your family and loved ones. Leaving people to have to make decisions for you is difficult for so many reasons. Now the people in the video were young, so yes even young people need a Living Will so there is no discussion about how you would want to survive, or pass in a dire situation. Trust me you are not doing them any favors by not discussing it, or pretending it won’t happen. If the person is a minor, please seek legal advice as to how you can create a Living Will. It is another whole complicated procedure that I am not capable of discussing here. This may not even be allowable in most states. I could not find where a minor could create a Living Will in Florida. This would be considered a parental responsibility.

What is the definition of a Living Will? Each state may have slightly different definitions but in Florida a Living Will is a legally binding document that expresses an individual’s end of life preferences such as what types of procedures they would like to have done to them in end of life situations. These would be both procedures they do and do not want done. Some people may choose to be kept alive by all means necessary, while others may wish to not have any life supporting medical care that will prolong their life. A Living Will can be retracted at any time, and or updated as your desires may change through the years. It is very important, as hard and stressful as it is, to have a conversation with your family and loved ones about any desires you may have should you become incapacitated say in a car accident, or other medical reason. For example, I have CKD. I am only 51 years old. I would prefer not to be on Dialysis, especially long term. These are things I have discussed with my family, but I need to put it in writing to make it legal. This will alleviate any arguments or conflict in my immediate family or from say my mother or sisters about what my wishes are. My husband and I have this on our list of things to do this year. I have discussed with my son and his new wife the same that they should consider it too. It is hard for young people to wrap their head around having the need for a Living Will. They think it is something just for old people. It is true as you age, you may wish to be more aware of these types of issues that can add un-needed stress to you and your family.

Again, each state may have different requirements for creating a Living Will. In Florida the Living Will must be created by the person it will affect while they are competent to do so. It must be witnessed by two people of which one has to be not a spouse or a blood relative. I would recommend you give a copy to your doctor, each of your witnesses, a lawyer if you have one, and keep one handy in your wallet. There are medical alert bracelets that you can wear so first responders will know that you have an Advance Directive on file somewhere. I would also be sure that the two witnesses become your emergency contacts on any forms you fill out to be contacted in case of an emergency. My husband and I are both in our 50’s, and we have aging parents. We know exactly how difficult it can be to get people to talk about this topic. If you need to, because you are sure what your wishes are, your two witnesses do not have to be a spouse or family at all. Just be sure and follow the advice on what to do with the Living Will once it is created, and obviously you still would want your family to know that you have one.

The video below was created by University of Texas Health Science Center. At the end of the video they state give your family a gift, complete an Advance Directive, tell them what you want. Hence the title of this post.

If you find Advance Directive topics to be stressful to you learn how you can get a 30 minute coaching session free in April, on the topic of Stress.

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portion distortion: Halloween candy!

Ah Halloween week! All that candy your kiddos may collect. What is your favorite? Do you know what a portion size is, calories, carbs, fat etc per each serving? You may see affiliate links in this post, or any of my posts.

All this week I will try to stick to Halloween themes. My favorite Halloween candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter pumpkins. The ones in the image are the mini pumpkins. A serving size is two of those mini pumpkins. For those two pumpkins I will be consuming 170 calores, 10g of fat, Sodium 130 mg that is a lot of Sodium for a small amount of food, Carbs 19 grams, total sugars is 17g with 15 of them being added sugars= YIKES, protein 4 grams.

If you have CKD you can see just two pieces of candy has 4 grams of protein and 130 mg of Sodium. That is a high risk food for people with CKD. That doesn’t mean you can’t absolutely have them, but stick to just one portion and not every day.

If you are following a low carb diet, like me, this is a whole meal of carbs, almost.

I didn’t post over the weekend, because I was at work. But, we stuck to our budget menu. We just switched up yesterday, and today to better match our schedules. I did not eat the pizzas they had. Rather I took chicken salad, and 1/2 a peanut butter sandwich for dinner both days.

This week is not a challenge, but below is our menu for the week. The days may not be exact, as sometimes we have to switch them up.

Tuesday: Chicken Cesar Salad. We already have chicken breast in the freezer and the kits were buy one get one free. I won’t have the Cesar dressing in mine as it is way too much fat and carbs for me. I will use Raspberry Vinaigrette.

Wednesday: I will have leftover pork from today’s dinner, so we will have pork fried rice. The pork fried rice will have onions, carrots, and bell peppers.

Thursday: Turkey burgers. Publix had turkey burgers buy one get one free. There are six burgers in the box, so that is two meals right there for 3 of us. That means I can have them for a lunch, or for a meal next week. A vegetable will also be eaten

Friday: Totino’s pizza rolls. My daughter got them this week. Publix had them buy one get one free, the big bag, so they can be for a meal next week as well. I do not eat these. I think they are disgusting. So, I will have to share what I end up eating.

Saturday: Lasagna, meatless with homemade bread possible and side salad. I have a ton of spinach in the freezer and I may do half the lasagna with spinach and half without.

Sunday: Leftover Lasagna

Monday: Pizza rolls. Again, I will not be eating these. Friday and Monday are both work days for me, so they are an easy meal when I am not home. I will share what I end up eating.

So, after subtracting the non food items we spent 140 dollars at Publix today, and 25 dollars at Save A Lot last week. 165 dollars, that is with tax, for an average of 80 dollars per week of 3 meals a day for 3 people. Not bad!

After I do inventory next week I will decide what the next challenge will be. As we get closer to Thanksgiving I would like to start looking at turkey deals. Publix didn’t really have any today, at least not good ones.

At the beginning of November I will share the next herb/spice challenge for that month. I have already picked it, but not sharing yet. If you have been doing the Turmeric challenge be sure to check back for the new one.

If you would like to learn how to count carbs, keep a food journal, track your CKD food items, learn to meal plan, learn to cook, make a budget, menu planning, or any other food topic use the contact form at the end of this post to message me for a free meet and greet.

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Hip Flexibility, Balance and a 20 min indoor walk

First a couple of reminders. 1- Don’t forget about my virtual Kidney Health class. It is a Facebook event, and there are still 4 spots left. Click here to go to the event page and sign up. I am still offering a one month coaching plan for just 25 dollars for new clients. Don’t miss this opportunity. If you would like to ask me questions about these or any topics on this blog, you can email me at melissa@healthbuddymelissa,coach or use the contact form at the end of each post to message me.

Part of being physically fit is being flexible and having good balance. People always assume fitness is all about strength and weight loss. That is simply not true. People who lift heavy weights obviously are very strong. But, that doesn’t mean they would have good flexibility or balance. They may, but they may not. People who do aerobics to lose weight, may not have flexibility, strength or balance. Our bodies are a whole system and we should be treating it as such. With that said I am not one for spending hours doing exercise. That just makes me hungry, lol. By picking and choosing my workouts I can get the most bang for my efforts.

Two things that I do to build strength, rather than lifting weights, are three days a week I do 20 push ups and 20 full sit ups. The other two days I do a 30 second plank or longer if I can. I very rarely lift weights anymore.

I have the Fiton app, it is free. I really only use it for targeting certain body areas. I loathe lunges so I avoid workouts that require them. The image below is from the hip flexibility and balance program I did this morning. I actually could only do half as my hips were on fire. I will be using this one until I master it. Try Fiton in your app store. I think you will like it.

This time of year it is very hot in Florida. I do a lot of indoor walking. The video below is one of my favorites. She has simple steps, but you still sweat and move fast. Check it out.

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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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https://www.healthline.com/health/phytoestrogens#the-bottom-line

https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/hot-flashes-at-night

https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/essential-oils-for-menopause

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.