Taste Test Tuesday: Quest Pizza!

Hello, and welcome back my awesome readers to one of my topics that readers seem to love, Taste Test Tuesday. With my new job and all that goes with that, I had forgotten I wanted to repeat this series every week. But, if you read my Extreme Grocery Budget Challenge post yesterday, then you knew I was going to talk about this today. I will tell you at the end of the post why I ultimately chose Quest Pizza.

This Quest pizza and this is the link to the item with the ingredient and nutrition info, is quite expensive. For 2 servings it was $7.48. With that said if your family loves pizza, and maybe you are on a weight loss journey, this could be a good option for you. I didn’t even know Quest made pizzas, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw them at Walmart Sunday. I like the Quest tortilla chips, and some of their protein bars, but not all. I am fussy about protein bars, anyway, so it isn’t a flaw in the Quest product. I was looking for a healthier option pizza, for both CKD and weight loss. I could not find any WW pizzas, so I opted for one of these. Before I get to the nutrition of this Quest pizza, and no I did not look at it first, except for the fiber and carb count, I want to talk about texture and taste. I am a huge texture eater. If the texture is odd, chances are I am not going to like it, or even eat it. I chose a thin crust Quest pizza, and I fully expected the crust to come out crispy. Not only is this crust not very thin, but it also does not come out crispy after baking. So, I threw it into the air fryer for 5 more minutes. The only thing that got crispy was the toppings. I was a little disappointed by the crust, but not enough not to eat it. The cheese I am not so sure about either, but it didn’t taste bad or have a strange texture. As far as taste goes, it was overall fairly bland. I am funny about pizza sauce and this one was OK. I think if I buy it again, and actually I still have half of it left, I will sprinkle on some garlic powder. Would I buy this again? Maybe.

Now as far as nutrition goes, and now I am speaking in relation to my CKD, this is probably not a great choice. Why? I threw away my box, and I can’t really make out the ingredients on the box online, but the list is fairly long. That means it probably has additives I would normally opt to avoid. Remember, there are only 4 slices to this pizza, and 2 slices are a serving size. It is very high in fat, sodium, calcium, and protein. In this regard, this is not a healthy option for CKD as most pre-packaged foods are not. Plus, I can not account for how much phosphorus is in it, but I can assume it is pretty high. It is high in fiber, and low in carbs, and I was not hungry after I ate 2 slices. This was definitely a spur-of-the-moment buy for me. I would have been much better off using one of my Wellness wraps, a little marinara sauce, low-fat mozzarella cheese, and making my own little pizza.

So, why did I choose this particular pizza? I have not discussed weight loss at all much this year, and that is on purpose. But, I recently started following Itrackbites. It has a different name now, but I am finally coming off of my plateau and seeing results. It is similar to WW in that you get assigned a set number of points and each food item has a point value, and some are zero points, but not like WW. Anyway, I knew we would have pizza on Sunday for a quick and easy dinner. I also knew the pizza my family likes is like 13 points per slice, so I was hoping for an alternative. For the 2 slices of the Quest pizza, it was 10 points and was a much better fit for that day. That is why I chose the Quest pizza, and because I was intrigued by how it would taste.

This is not a paid post, as none of my posts are. This is my thoughts and my journey. If you would like help in your health journey email me for a free consultation.

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Extreme Grocery Budget Challenge Week 11

Happy Monday morning! It is a chilly morning here in Florida, and I did not know it was going to be this chilly. We slept with the windows open, and the fan in the window. Brr!!! But, I slept like a baby. It was just hard to get out of a nice warm bed this morning.

I hope you have been following along with the Grocery Budget Challenge. I actually have to increase our budget from 63 dollars per week to 75 dollars per week, as everything has gone up at least a little bit, and some a lot. I can not even get our basics anymore for 63 dollars per week. That is for 3 people in my home, currently. It is still a huge saving from what we were spending before I started this challenge. Now, with that said, I obviously could cut some things out, like coffee creamer, snacks, etc. But, that is simply not realistic for us, and since this is a saving money budget, not a necessity, it is totally not going to happen. When you look at the picture below, from Walmart, the big box under the veggies is actually one of the fresh pizzas they offer. These used to be 5 dollars, yesterday it was 6. Then you will see a Quest pizza, which I didn’t even know Quest offered pizzas. Anyway, that was over 7 dollars for a small one-person pizza, but I went grocery shopping after I got out of work yesterday, and we needed something quick for dinner. I did not want to eat the other pizza, so I figured I would try one of these as it was better for me. I will post my thoughts about that pizza tomorrow, on Taste Test Tuesday, and explain why it was a better option for me. But, I totally could have saved 14 dollars on just those two items, and either just went home or added some other fresh or frozen items to my cart. The Romaine lettuce seems to be mostly cut from the image, but it is there. I try to eat a salad every day for lunch. It doesn’t always happen, but I try. I also have another healthier product I tried last week that I loved. I will share that in the coming week. That grass-fed organic ground beef was actually the same price as the non-organic variety, for the same weight. In general, if I can not fit the organic beef into my budget, I just won’t eat it. My family will, but I won’t.

This challenge started out as a pantry/budget challenge. My CKD journey has brought me back to stage 2 and I personally believe a lot of that is due to dietary changes I have made. But, I wanted to see if I could tolerate more shelf-stable, pantry, convenient type foods and still feel well. It did not take long to figure out that no I could not. So, I moved back to a more fresh food way of eating, frozen, and canned are OK, for veggies and I felt better. Organic is also best for me, but it is hard to stick to a low food budget buying all organic. Once inflation starts to recede, if it does, I will go back to the 63 dollars per week.

I can say that this budget has already taught us so much about our spending and eating habits. Plus, the fact that we waste a ton of food just because it doesn’t get eaten. I doubt we have a fear of running out of food because we were buying way more than we needed and we are still eating off that.

This week started 3 days late, so last week was 10 days in length, which is awesome. Next week we have family coming to visit from out of state that we have not seen since before Covid. So, I will not be doing a budget challenge next week as I am sure that will not work at all for 5 to 7 people.

I also do not shop at several stores. I pick one or two stores for that week and that is where I go. This budget is for food items only. It does not include household items or pet food. But, on that topic, it is time to buy pool supplies to open the pool. We have had a pool ever since we moved to Florida 22 years ago. I can not believe how high the prices of pool supplies are this season. I about died yesterday. I don’t even know if it will be worth it to run the pool once we get into late July and August when maintaining the pool is already that much harder due to the heat and humidity. It might be the first year ever I refuse to afford to keep the pool open. Since I am really the only one that uses it consistently anymore, it might be more of a cost hog, than a convenience.

How are prices where you live? Share your budget strategies in the comments.

If you can not afford to buy groceries please reach out to your local community resources for assistance.

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Extreme Grocery Budget Challenge End Of Week 6!

Hello, to all of my amazing readers. I am at the end of week 6 of my 2022 Extreme Grocery Budget Challenge. Go back and read the previous weeks to see how this has evolved in relation to my kidney disease. The week technically ends on Sunday, but I will go over what we will be eating through the weekend from items we already have on hand, and the groceries I bought this week. So, far, with the exception of Superbowl week, we have been able to stick to the budget with no issues. Yes, we run out of our favorites by the end of the week, and I have to be more creative with meals, but we are certainly not hungry. One thing I have definitely noticed is that I can cook one large meal that can be leftovers for a couple lunches and another dinner. That means 3 meals a week can be stretched to cover the other days. We don’t typically eat breakfast, except maybe my husband some days, and we always have eggs and toast on hand. Lunches are always leftovers, peanut butter sandwiches, salad if the supplies are all here, grilled cheese, soup, etc. Below you will see the dinners I made this week, and how you can modify them for kidney disease. Remember, I am now hovering right around stage 2, and your dietary requirements are going to be different than mine, along with any other comorbidities you may have. They are examples of what can be done, not dietary advice. I have been off all week because I start a new job next week, so my lunches will need to be figured in as well. My old job would feed me, but it was in no way a healthy option for CKD.

Monday- This might be my new favorite meal ever. I made chicken alfredo for my husband and daughter. They love it, I hate it. Plus, the already made alfredo sauce is full of phosphorus, like 450 mg per 1/2 cup. If you are only allowed 700 mg of phosphorus per day on your renal diet, you can see where this is problematic. There is one you can make homemade on one of the kidney sights that is much less phosphorus. It is also expensive to make. Anyway, what I did was I sauteed some mushrooms and onions with the chicken. I cooked the pasta and drained it. I measure all of my proteins on a scale, except for eggs. On my plate, I put one cup of pasta, 2.5 ounces of chicken breast, some mushrooms, and onions, and then for my sauce, I use 3/4 of a cup of canned creamed corn heated up. This was so delicious! I am the only one in my house that will eat creamed corn. I love it! Try to buy low-sodium canned items.

Tuesday- Leftovers, and we still had some leftovers from Superbowl Sunday that we were eating for lunches.

Wednesday- Actually, lol, I think Monday was Superbowl leftovers, and the chicken alfredo was Tuesday and Wednesday. No reason to delete all that and fix it, lol.

Thursday- When we still had our Sam’s Club membership I had bought a box with like 8 Stove Top stuffing in it. I have no idea what I was thinking when I bought that. Anyway, we still have like 6 boxes left. This meal is not for people with high blood pressure or very strict sodium restrictions. You can find the recipe here. The original recipe called for swiss cheese, but I only had a Mexican blend, so that is what I used. I also left out the vinegar. You can certainly buy low sodium cream of chicken soup, and lower sodium cheese. Swiss cheese, especially you can find in a lower sodium option. There is also a lower sodium stuffing mix, but I had to use what I had on hand because it is a budget challenge. We had 4 pork chops, so this made enough to have for lunch on Friday.

Friday- This was just something I threw together with ingredients I had on hand. I originally was going to make Taco soup, if you read my post-Monday. However, it is way too hot to make soup today. So, I made a taco casserole, actually, my teenager did, that is how easy it is. Buy low sodium taco seasoning or make your own. This made a huge amount of food and will feed us all the way to Saturday and maybe Sunday.

Saturday- taco casserole leftovers.

Sunday- There may still be taco casserole left, but my son and his wife are coming to visit, so we decided that we will buy pizza. We have tried making homemade pizza before but no one really likes the crust at all and it doesn’t really get eaten. I am all about not wasting food.

Next week I am going to try to make a kidney friendlier version of the Tik Tock feta cheese meal that everyone is talking about. If you are not sure what I mean Google it. Next week I am also going to discuss a new CKD drug that has a lot of promise for reducing the risk of kidney disease progression, and a new CKD supplemental drink I found. Be sure and come back to read all about it.

Are you joining in on the 21 dollars a week per person food budget challenge? Let me know how you are doing in the comments. I have actually learned so much about how much money we were wasting on food.

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Living With CKD: Pantry/Food Budget Challenge Week 3

Hello, hello! I hope everyone had an awesome weekend! It is freezing here in Florida right now and my Buffalo Bills lost. So, I am kind of sad today. But, don’t worry it’s alright.

Today begins week 3 of the budget/pantry challenge for my family of 3 at home. The budget is 63 dollars per week, and I hope to do it all year and save lots of money for projects I want to do. Part of the goal is also to see if having CKD limits me from eating convenient or pantry-type meals. We ate a lot from our pantry last week, and then I thought why would I eat everything and then start buying? So, this week I took a different strategy. I planned on spending the whole 63 dollars to replenish some of the fresh stuff we had eaten, and other items that we like. Meat, especially organic meat is going to be our biggest expense. I did buy some cheaper fewer quality meats this week, but I will probably have eggs or a meatless night, instead on those nights. I only list what I eat for breakfast and lunch, and what we all eat for dinner.

I have come to the conclusion that it is just easier for me to eat at work on my 12 hour days. They let us eat for free and I will just have to pick the healthiest option. I only work two days a week, so it should be fine. Yesterday, my husband made the extra turkey from Thanksgiving, used up the rest of the fresh potatoes, and green beans from the pantry. My son and dil were here to enjoy the meal. They did well and did not purchase anything extra as I asked them not to do.

Today, I went to Aldis and Publix to get my 63 dollars worth of groceries. I honestly would just avoid Publix right now because prices are so high, but we had a coupon for a specific coffee that my husband wanted, and Aldis had no coffee creamer. Coffee and creamer are kind of like luxuries in this challenge because they are so expensive. We have one of those k-pod coffee makers, so it is even more. I spent $43.97 at Aldis and $20.06 at Publix. For a total of $64.06 which is obviously over budget, but I did not account for tax in the budget. The budget is for food items only. You can see everything I bought in the image below. I recorded all the new items on my inventory spreadsheet and deducted the things used over the weekend. We still have a good supply of food.

For breakfast, I had one of my Quest protein bars that I already have a ton of. I do not like these at all, but I bought them, so they must be eaten. For lunch, I had 1 ounce of corn chips, a tuna pouch with 1 tbsp of mayonnaise, onion, and tomatoes. Plus a dill pickle. For dinner, I am having leftover turkey breast, 4 ounces of mashed potatoes, 1/2 cup of green beans, and a side lettuce salad. Yes, I am doing low carb again. The mashed potatoes are homemade so no additives or preservatives.

That is it, for today. Come back throughout the week to see what else we had from the pantry. The pantry includes fresh, frozen, and canned or convenient meals. Let me know in the comments if you are trying either the budget challenge or the pantry challenge with CKD.

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Pantry Food Challenge With CKD and My Very Small Haul

Welcome to another Healthy tip on Tuesday! Today, my healthy tip, especially if you are doing a food pantry challenge, is to do an inventory of your pantry. We seriously have way more food than I even thought we did. We did a complete inventory yesterday. I am almost embarrassed to say, but I have purchased so many protein bars that I absolutely don’t love, but now I have to eat them. My husband will eat some, I hope. Protein bars are very expensive and I absolutely refuse to waste them. They are convenient for when I work my long 12 hour days, but I just don’t really care for them. From a CKD perspective please be careful. Some of these protein bars can have 30% of your RDA for phosphorus. I made a Google document for my whole pantry supply and each time we use something I will change the count. I was doing this last summer, but then the 12-hour shifts came and I got out of doing it. The point of a pantry challenge is to have no waste and to save money.

Last week I was able to save 57 dollars by shopping in my pantry. For me, my pantry is cupboards and a freezer. The fresh stuff of course I use up, but it isn’t shelf stable. That 57 dollars saved will go to dog training lessons for my crazy dog, or for me, whatever perspective you think about it. The budget is 21 dollars per person, per week. So, for a family of three, that is 63 dollars a week. It is for food items only. The real challenge is to see if shelf-stable foods can be both affordable and healthy choices for someone living with CKD. So far I have still been able to afford organic options, but that may not last once my existing inventory is gone. I do not generally shop for quick, easy, processed-type foods, either.

Today, I went to Walmart to get a very small food haul for this week. This should be all we need, but you know how that goes. Milk, Tampico, bag salad, pretzels, coffee creamer, and the lunch meat all came to a total of $19.56. So, that means for the rest of this week, which ends on Sunday we have $43.44. My son and his wife may be coming to visit Sunday, and we may get some pizza. This will probably come from this fund. I did not buy Organic milk because the price has gone up quite a bit, and I don’t drink it. Tampico is for my teenager. The bagged salad was actually 40 cents cheaper than the app said it was, woot woot! We did not technically need lunch meat, but my husband does not want to eat tuna every day, of which I have a ton, so I picked up some lunch meat.

Tonight, for dinner from my pantry I am using some pasta, chicken bullion cubes, chicken stock, a whole chicken, carrots, and onion. I am making homemade crockpot chicken noodle soup. Everything in this recipe is organic and already in my pantry.

To keep organic carrots fresh longer I peel and slice them up, and then I put them in a jar of water in the fridge. This maintains their crispness for at least two weeks. I had to chop the peppers and freeze them because they were going bad faster than we could eat them.

I cook the whole chicken all by itself, with just water, in the crockpot for six hours. Then it is fall off the bone tender. Throw that water away. I know it sounds like such a waste, and maybe it is. But, in that water is a lot of the phosphorus from the chicken. This method reduces the phosphorus in meat and I use it often. I then take the chicken apart and put the meat back in the crockpot with organic chicken broth that does not have added phos in the ingredients. I do add bullion cubes for flavor, along with Rosemary, Thyme, Organic, and my secret ingredient Paprika. If this is too salty for you use low sodium broth. I cook it for a few more hours until the carrots are soft. Then I add some pasta and cook for about 15 more minutes or until the pasta is done. I only used about 1 pound of chicken in the whole soup. It is hard to measure the protein this way, but you can kind of guess.

There will be enough of this for lunch tomorrow, and I didn’t use all of the chicken so that will be another meal this week, either for lunch or dinner. There are also still some homemade meatballs with sauce in the fridge. My husband will most likely finish those off.

Tomorrow will be the 3rd slide in the Kidney Class. So, be sure and come back to see what it is.

Tomorrow, I have a late meeting, so I might make homemade bread in the morning and we can have grilled cheese and tomato soup on homemade bread. Yum!

Please remember my kidney disease is not the same as anyone else. We are all different. What I eat you may not be able to eat. Proper portions are always the key to any specialized diet, and I am not on dialysis. If you have any questions, there is tons of information already on this blog about me and my kidney journey, or you can leave me a comment. If you would like to learn more about my Health Coaching services please send me an email to melissa@healthybuddymelissa.coach

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Throwback Thursday: Why Obesity Was Rare In The 50’s

Hello, and Happy Thursday! I have had a crazy week and I feel like I have totally neglected my readers. I still have so much to discuss on the topic of Obesity, and the month is almost over. My newsletter was supposed to go out yesterday, but I will literally not home at all yesterday enough to do it. So, it will go out today.

I know people don’t like the topic of overweight, and obesity, and how much we really eat past what our bodies need. But, the truth is, for most people, if you are overweight you are consuming too much food, and not moving enough. That is just the facts. Stored fat is just unused energy. The body stores it like a savings account. You didn’t spend the energy, so you saved it.

I did another blog post a while back about how portion sizes have changed through the years. You can read it here. I have a whole section on portion distortion under the category section.

Another thing people really don’t want to discuss is how inactive we really are, compared to past times, and even as soon as the 80’s when technology really exploded. I think I want one of those old washing machines shown in the video. I don’t know as I would do all laundry that way, but what a simple way to burn some extra calories doing something I have to do anyway. I don’t know about scrubbing floors and rugs on my hands and knees though. That is a bit much, lol. Anyway, we move way too little, and sit way too much. Desk jobs, automation, and technology have made our lives so much easier that it is effecting us in negative ways. Be sure and watch the video of the young lady who only ate proper portions for the day. She is thin, but is used to eating way over standard portion sizes. She is funny, but you will get the point.

There are a couple of videos below to help you better understand on why we are storing so much energy, instead of using it up. I think you might be surprised. I was. If you would like to start being more active, check out my Walking Buddy Plan.

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national filet mignon day!

I think there is a food holiday almost every day. I missed National Smore’s Day, but I will catch it next year. I won’t talk about all of them, don’t worry. Today, August 13th is National Filet Mignon Day. Keep reading to learn more. This post may contain affiliate links.

Steak, everybody loves it! Well, not everyone, but steak is a pretty popular source of meat in the USA, and Filet Mignon is the most tender cut. It is also super delicious when cooked properly. It can also be quite pricey, depending on where you buy it and if you are cooking it yourself or ordering in a restaurant.

I love Filet Mignon!

I only eat steak a few times a year. Why?

  1. It is very expensive, and I am cheap. However, according to my Basket app 10 oz of Filet Mignon is only $7.99. If you eat a 3 oz portion, you will have slightly over 3 portions. I think that is pretty affordable, actually.
  2. I eat a mostly plant-based diet with low quantities of red meats. Red meats are beef, lamb, mutton, pork, veal, venison, and goat meat. If you have been reading along this month, then you know I have been discussing Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis. While researching those conditions I found an article of a recent study that said eating more than 2.5 oz of red meat per day can increase your risk of colon Cancer. This also includes processed meats such as bacon, sausage, etc.
  3. I have CKD. I have been stage 3 since 2017. All best practice says that if you have CKD you should be eating 0.6 to 0.8g/kgofbodyweight/per day. There is an influencer doctor who promotes the Keto Diet on Youtube, and I presume other places, who says it is a myth that high protein diets can harm the kidneys. It is most certainly not a myth, but you can read for yourself. My only point being is that you should listen to your doctor. The one who hopefully you see on a regular basis, orders your labs, and evaluates your labs. If your doctor says it is safe for you to consume the Keto Diet, or any high protein diet, whether you have CKD, or not, then it is probably OK. There are some cases where your doctor may tell you to do a higher protein diet, such as to lose weight quickly in cases where it is needed, and some people with stage 4 or 5 of CKD have what is called Protein Energy Wasting, and may be instructed by their doctor to eat more protein. Make sure you see your doctor regularly and have routine lab work to monitor your kidney function. You may wish to speak with a Registered Dietitian. Proteinuria is a key sign that the kidneys are not filtering properly. Egg yolks, and red meat, create a metabolite that is harmful to kidneys. Read it! I know for sure I feel much better when I consume 50 grams of protein or less per day. I have very little to no inflammation, and I don’t experience hyperfiltration of my kidneys.

Before anyone jumps all over me Plant-Based does not mean Vegan. Please read up on this topic.

Nutrition of 3 ounces of Filet Mignon cooked: These are estimates based on varying nutrition data. Most are close to the same.

Calories: 210 mg

Total Fat: 15 g

Saturated Fat: 6 g

Sodium: 45 mg

Potassium: 250 mg

Carbs: Zero

Fiber: Zero

Phosphorus: 15% of RDA

Protein: 15 grams

Other nutrients: Like Zinc, Vit B 12, Vit B 6, and Niacin, for which it is a good source.

Am I telling you not to eat Filet Mignon? Absolutely Not! I love Filet Mignon, and I enjoy it once in a while. I also eat other meat, and even processed foods. But, I eat them in proper portion sizes, most of the time lol, and in a Mindful way as to the effects it may have on my body. There are other issues besides just protein that goes along with eating meat if you have CKD. Namely phosphorus, sometimes calcium, potassium, and Iron which are all very important issues to consider for people with CKD. Below you will see some videos on how to cook Filet Mignon, and more.

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is this a healthy food? Mindful eating

Hello, and welcome back to Mindful Monday. As part of my Mindful Monday and Mindful Monday posts I will be sharing some of my families favorite food items, and some that I just want to talk about, as to whether these are healthy food items, or food at all. Before I get into it I need to make any potential new customers aware that I have a Tropical Storm heading towards me. The weather will start to go down hill tomorrow. For the most part we will get heavy rain, wind, and possible tornadoes. I may lose power, but obviously I am hoping not. Unless the system rapidly intensifies in the Gulf evacuation will not be needed. We woke up yesterday morning to a leak in our roof from the already heavy rains we have been experiencing for a month now. I noticed my neighbor also has a tarp on their roof, so all this rain is starting to affect us all. Keep us in your thoughts and I will try to keep posting every day. Next week I really am hoping to do a live video shot to put up on Youtube, but maybe you will get to see some Tropical Weather instead, lol. I am glad that I got to eat all of my fresh peaches, straight off of my peach tree before these high winds come. You may see affiliate links in this post.

Today, I am going to discuss Smartfood White Cheddar Popcorn. It is my all time favorite popcorn of any popcorns. I am ashamed to say I could eat this whole bag if I didn’t have portion control. But, beyond my personal love for this popcorn is it a healthy food. The definition of a healthy food is: healthy foods provide nutrients to sustain a bodies well being and energy levels. Water, carbs, fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals are the key nutrients in a healthy food. So, lets look at the label of Smartfood popcorn and decide if I think it is a healthy food.

There are 7 servings in one bag and 160 calories per serving. A serving is about 2 1/2 cups, so that is a nice generous serving size. If you ate the whole bag you would consume 1120 total calories. So, yes it definitely will give you energy.

Each serving contains 14 grams of carbs. So if you are a Diabetic and have been told your snack should be 15 grams of carbs or less, one serving of this popcorn could be a snack for you. However, if someone consumed the whole bag it would be 98 grams of total carbs. There are 2 grams of fiber per serving. So, technically you could subtract 14 grams of carbs to get a net carb total of 84. So, yes it contains carbs for energy and even some fiber. Not too bad.

Fats: There are plenty of fats in here, but you could say it is probably too much to be considered healthy. Each serving contains 10 grams of fat, and 2 are saturated fats. There are no trans fats so that is good. If you ate the whole bag you would get 70 grams of fat, and 14 grams of saturated fats. That is not so great at all.

Protein: There are 3 grams of protein per serving and if you ate the whole bag it would be 21 grams of total protein. If you have CKD this could be a dangerous snack, especially because it is so easy to over eat it. On the note of CKD. There are no PHOS additives listed on the label, so that is a positive for this snack food. However, popcorn naturally has some Phosphorus and milk products are used, and that also contains Phosphorus. So, don’t be tricked into believing there isn’t any. Phosphorus is not a required item on food labels, something to lobby for if you have Kidney Disease.

Other Vitamins and Minerals: Sodium 200 mg per serving, that makes this a high Sodium food. Potassium 50 mg per serving which states is 0 percent of RDA. I find that strange since milk and popcorn both contain Potassium naturally. Calcium 2% of RDA. Iron 2% of RDA for one serving.

Ingredients: You can see the label below, but you will see they are not awful. There is some maltodextrin in there ie sugar and that would be why there is 2 grams of sugar per serving. In all there are 8 ingredients and as far as processed foods go I don’t find that to be incredibly horrible. There is milk used in this product so if you have issues with milk this won’t be a good option.

So, all in all what do I think? I think if you eat one serving that this could be a Healthy Food snack option. It is kind of high in fat so eat some veggies with it to help absorb the vitamins and minerals in your veggies. A win win. I certainly would try not to eat the whole bag, but like I said it would be very easy to. So, if you don’t have portion control this could be very unhealthy. , and would be more of a meal than a snack.

Do you love White Cheddar Popcorn, or do you have another favorite snack food. Obviously, air fried popcorn is the healthiest type of popcorn. Stay safe if you are in the path of Tropical Storm Elsa!

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portion distortion: Hot dogs

Welcome back! Last week was a kind of weird week and I am hoping to be way more productive this week. If you read here often, you know I focus a lot on healthier eating habits. Hot dogs are one of the top ten food items in America. We love our hot dogs! I am sure most people are probably aware that hot dogs are not really good for you. Why? Hot dogs are full of fat and sodium. Some even have added sugars. But, the biggest issues with hot dogs are the nitrates that are cancer causing. Cooking hot dogs at high temperatures can also cause acrylamide to form which is another cancer causing agent. Hot dogs are a highly processed food and often contain MSG which is a trigger for headaches for some people. They do contain some protein, but it is not quality protein, and hot dogs have a lot of fillers and preservatives and not so much meat.

So, why do we like them so much? Hot dogs taste good. Foods containing lots of sodium and fat are generally accepted by the body as tasting good. They are quick to make which makes them convenient. They are also affordable compared to other meat products. Hot dogs are also versatile and easy to transport like to a barbecue.

I have said this before and I will probably say it forever, learning to read labels and controlling portion sizes is the key to enjoying all foods, but it is really important when eating highly processed foods. If you have CKD, like me, one hot dog is going to provide you with up to 500 mg of sodium. That is a lot of sodium especially if you are on a 1800 mg sodium per day diet, or even 2,000 mg per day if you have Heart Disease. Know what a portion size is, for a hot dog, it is 1 hot dog. Eat only one portion and fill up on other things that may be healthier. Watch what you put on your hot dog. Did you know that shelf stable sauerkraut has virtually no probiotics in them, the one super good reason to eat it? Buy refrigerated sauerkraut or make your own to get the wonderful benefits of it. Mustard, even though it tastes salty has virtually no sodium. Catsup may have a lot of added sugars and sodium. Try not to overcook the hot dog, or burn it, as that is when the acrylamide forms. Don’t let the label that says no nitrates fool you. All hot dogs still have nitrates it is just the form of nitrates being used that is makes that statement an acceptable claim by food manufacturers. Make hot dogs a treat not a routine food item in your diet. Avoid the bun if you have Diabetes. Plus, don’t forget the high amounts of fat in hot dogs.

There are some better options of hot dogs, but be sure and read the labels and stick to the portion size. I wouldn’t say any manufactured hot dogs are healthy, but I could be wrong. The video below shows you how to make your own hot dogs. It looks like a process that would take some patience, but with no sodium at all added to the ingredients, and you know everything else that you are putting into them, it might not be a bad thing to know how to do. Amazon had other products where you make hot dogs with no casings, which looks much easier. I think I need one of these. Women do love their cooking gadgets, lol. If you would like to learn about my new coaching plan, click here. I also offer monthly subscriptions for meal planning, and losing weight. You can find them in the archives or use the communication form to message me. Consumer Reports is my best friend when I want to learn about various products.

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portion distortion: sodium plus updates

Happy Mindful Monday! It was a whopper of a weekend and I am happy to not have to work again until Friday. My facility has been basically Covid free for a whole year, and then it happened. Yep, a Covid outbreak. I tested negative both days as we now can’t even enter the building without a negative test, but I had to take care of Covid patients. I had on the full space suit and followed all sanitizing above and beyond, so I feel confident I will be OK. But, that little voice in my head makes me overthink. Since I already have CKD, albeit stable for 4 years, Covid makes me nervous. My husband and daughter are now on stay at home policy as much as possible as a safety precaution. Keep me in your thoughts. I was asked to sit on the board of a local organization. I have never done this before, and tonight is our first Zoom meeting. So, I am a little nervous but excited for this new and wonderful experience.

I have talked about Sodium a lot on this blog. But, I was reading an article that I found very interesting. When you consume too much salt it increases the Protein in your urine which can cause kidney function decline. I then read another article that stated that even if serum Sodium levels were normal, but at the high end of normal, there seemed to be a correlation between that and decrease in kidney function. This is obviously in relation to people who already have CKD. You can read those articles below, and there is a video. I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, ie why sodium causes protein to increase in the urine, but it must have something to do with chemical reactions and how the kidneys process sodium and protein. Be aware that your body needs Sodium to survive. Do not go completely salt free and always speak to your doctor when making any dietary changes especially if you have a medical condition, take medications, exercise at high levels, or sweat a lot. Part of Mindful Eating is knowing what you are consuming and how it may harm/help your body, The body is a complicated machine.

Now, what if you don’t have CKD? I think everyone in the public hopefully should know by now that too much Sodium, or salt, increases the risk for several diseases such as High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease and even Kidney Disease. I have noticed since I started the Lower Carb Diet to lose some weight, that I am experiencing some possible urinary retention. A lot of lower carb food options, may have higher sodium levels. I don’t think I was really considering that, or paying close enough attention to it. So, I put a Sodium tracker on my phone to help me keep track. I was consuming way more than the 2G Sodium diet I had been following. 2G is equivalent to 2,000 mg. The standard amount recommended for anyone is 2400 mg per day, and that is equal to only 1 tsp of table salt. Wow! Did you know that? Some people with the above mentioned Chronic Diseases may be limited to 1800 mg per day.

Salt is in everything that is packaged, mostly as a preservative and for flavor. Salt can be addicting, watch the video below to learn why. I bet you may have even noticed this phenomenon but didn’t realize it. Salt amount per serving is required to be on all foods that require a label. Note, that the Sodium amount listed on a label is for one portion. So if one portion is 240 mg per portion, and you consume 4 portions you are eating 960 mg of sodium for that one food item. Portion sizes matter! You need to become a nutrition label reading wizard. You also need to pay attention to what your body is telling you as I mentioned above with my urinary retention. I also will get headaches if I have consumed too much sodium, but not been able to stay well hydrated. This happens a lot when I work because I can not drink enough at work. That is one reason I only work 2 days a week. If I pay attention to what I eat at work this can be alleviated. Convenience foods are very high in sodium! Learning to cook at home, meal plan and prep are vital to staying healthy with any Chronic Disease. You can sign up for my monthly subscription, Meals with Melissa, to get a weekly meal plan with grocery list and recipes. These meal plans are my weekly family meal plan, but I share how I alter the meals for myself. I also include general nutrition with the recipes, including ones important to CKD. It is only 10 dollars a month. Coming this week I am introducing losing weight with Melissa. This is another subscription where I share how I am safely losing weight, and still protecting my kidney and maintaining good health. I also offer a free Kidney Class as an AKF Kidney Coach. This is their class and I just facilitate it. You can learn about that here. You can use the contact form at the bottom of this post to message me, or leave me a comment.

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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6422977/

http://www.actiononsalt.org.uk/salthealth/salt-and-the-kidneys/