Is It Good News Or Bad News?

Hello, and welcome to another Humpday post. If you read here often then you already know a few things about me. One is that I have CKD and get lab work every 6 months, but I have been stage 2 for two cycles now. I had my lab work for both doctors done on Monday. Lipid panel for my GP and a renal panel for my Nephrologist. I have been feeling kind of yucky since I got the Covid booster and was thinking maybe I was slightly anemic. However, I am under a great deal of stress right now with my nursing job. I am thinking that is some of the reasons I am so tired. Anybody who has CKD knows stress is not a good thing. Anyway, I have a plan for that, it just will take some time.

My Lipid Panel has come down significantly. I have been fluctuating quite drastically. Whenever I try to lose more weight, by decreasing carbs, it shoots up super high. Then I modify my diet and increase my fiber intake, and it comes back down. This time was no different. I increased my carb and fiber intake and decreased fat and meat sources, and it came down, though not to normal. So, I still have to tweak my diet some. Statins will kill my kidneys for sure and I do not have any intentions of taking one if I can avoid it. So far my GP has been really good about monitoring the labs and not nagging about a statin. I have no symptoms of any heart disease so that is why she is probably not pressing the issue.

My renal panel I was slightly disappointed, but only slightly. Before January of last year’s first set of labs for 2021, I was hovering around 47-49 with my eGFR. So for 4 years that was my baseline after I recovered from the left kidney failing. I worked very hard in 2020 to lose weight, modify my diet, even more, deal with stress, and manage my CKD. The results were that in 2021 I was able to get my eGFR to 60 and 61, putting me at stage 2 for two cycles, or 12 months. I just had it done Monday, which would count for January 2022 and my eGFR had slipped to 57 and my creatinine was only very slightly above normal. Even though I had hoped it obviously was still above 60 I can live with 57 because that means that is my new baseline, 57-60 which means I still have room to improve. One very important correlation I have noticed is that when my urine Albumin is below normal is when my eGFR improves. Even though my urine Albumin was in the normal range this time, the last two times it was below normal, my eGFR decreased. This tells me having Albumin in my urine, even at normal levels is harmful to kidney function. The way to solve this is to decrease my protein intake, especially from meat sources, and processed foods, back down to 10-15% of my daily intake. I have been talking about this for some time how these foods are detrimental to the kidneys, possibly. I think the correlation is very strong in my case. Over the holiday week, I ate things I would not normally eat, prime rib, donuts, bakery bagels, chocolate, cookies, etc. My fiber intake decreased and my intake of beef and processed foods went up. Now, I am not saying I will never eat these things, but my moderation was not moderate enough. Plus, these foods are high in Phosphorus and Sodium. I think I have narrowed down the correlation between too much Phosphorus intake and how my body responds, my eyesight is worse, and my tastebuds are affected. I do not drink enough either, this time of year because it is not hot and I am not as thirsty. I have to work on this more. These types of foods are also generally void of potassium. I typically eat a lot of potassium. Typically at least a banana or potatoes every day. I have not been doing that for the last two weeks due to trying to follow a lower-carb diet. How do I know when I am not getting enough potassium? I get leg cramps, terrible annoying leg cramps. I had no bananas or potatoes in the house, but I did have mandarins. One of those relieved the leg cramps in a matter of minutes. Learn to know your body signals that something is amiss.

So, all in all, I am pleased with my labs, but I realize it could have been better if I had eaten better, exercised more, drank more water, and dealt with my stress levels better. I am sure my kidney doctor will want to repeat them in 6 months, so there is that.

Please note I am stage 3A to 2, not on dialysis, not a diabetic, controlled blood pressure without medication, take only Vitamin D and Sodium Bicarb. How I eat and manage my CKD may not be what you need. We are all different, however learning to manage your CKD, is vital to your wellbeing. If you would like to learn about how a health coach can help you, please use the contact form at the end of this post to send me an email, or you can just email me at melissa@healthbuddymelissa.coach or you can simply click on one of my available plans below to learn more.

Tomorrow, I will share my top posts for 2021, things I will be doing with this blog in 2022, changes to my life I will be making, and so much more for the new year. Be sure to come back and read all about it. If you like this content please like and share to help increase my views and search engine ranking. I will also be discussing topics for monthly posts. Next week I have a super packed week, so I am unsure how much blogging I will get done.

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my #1 Tip for meal prepping

Hello, and welcome to Wednesday! Today, I am going to discuss my #1 tip for meal prepping that I use every week. If you want to learn more about meal prepping check out Meals with Melissa. This post may contain affiliate links.

I am a Certified Health Coach, with a background in nursing. I am accepting new clients at this time.

What is meal prepping? So, this may look differently for different people. But, for me meal prepping consists of having a plan, and then preparing for that plan. I do my monthly menu plan in six month sessions. Six months for hot weather, and six months for cooler weather. Here in Florida cooking is not fun during the hottest months of the year, which is August and September. Cooking really just heats up the house. Once I know my meal plan, then I can prepare or prep. Prepping begins with inventory and a grocery list. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need if you are trying to stick to a meal budget. I shop weekly, but you certainly could shop bi-weekly, or even monthly. Buy what you can afford. If you can’t afford organic, then buy the healthiest option you can, but for optimal health you should be trying not to buy highly processed or pre-made meals. If you can’t eat fresh foods fast enough, buy frozen fruit and veggies.

So, what is my #1 tip? Pick one day, or like for me 2 days, to wash, peel, chop, and even cook some foods ahead of time. Some people will make freezer meals for the week, or even month. I find my family does not like frozen meals and they do not work for us. But, I can cook a large batch of rice that can be used through the whole week. Rice is very versatile and healthy. Organic Brown Rice is best, but my husband can not have all that fiber, so we use Organic Jasmine Rice. You could pre-cook pasta, but I don’t like it pre-cooked. However, I can make a large macaroni salad, pasta salad, or potato salad and it can be eaten all week for lunch or dinners. If you know you are going to use ground beef for several meals cook it all in one day, and store it in the fridge for the meals during the week. The same can be done with chicken and turkey. Hard boil eggs on prep day for use during the week. I tend to pick meals that are large and can be used as leftovers for a day or two. My family does not mind eating a meal a few days in a row, as long as it is one they like. If you like a fresh meal every night then pre-portion the items you need for that meal on prep day. I saw a lady on Youtube actually put everything in a Ziploc bag, for that meal, in portions she needs to cook it. The ingredients are in their own bag or container. She puts what it is and the date and puts it in the fridge for later use.

Picking one day to do all your prepping will save you a ton of time, especially if you work full time and have kids going here and there. I do two days because I can’t seem to get it all done in one day. Or, maybe I don’t want to, lol. Prepare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That way you will avoid eating out, or grabbing vending machine items.

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The art of saying no!

Welcome back to another episode of Self Care Sunday. I hope everyone is doing well. I have been busy updating old posts, figuring out how to use Mailchimp effectively, creating new content and new Coaching Plans.

How many of you are people pleasers? You just can’t say no. You leave yourself over worked, over stressed, over tired, over loaded, you name it. Saying no is an art, a skill if you will. I have been a nurse since I was 17 years old, and now I am 51. I tell all of my younger coworkers that any company will let you kill yourself working if you let them. But, no doesn’t just apply to work. It can come in to play at home with family, friends, volunteering, church, children, etc.

Obviously you don’t want to just be a No Person, but learning to say no to things that steal your happiness is the key. For example, I do not do well covering call offs. I am not a spur of the moment person and I often make plans on my days off. Even if that is doing some art, or gardening, it is what I enjoy and that is the time I have set aside to enjoy those things. So, I tell my job I will try to fill in holes on the schedule where I can and to please give me plenty of notice of what those needs are. I still am not going to cover them all, but it affords me the ability to pick and choose and not look like I am just being difficult and never helping out.

Part of saying no is knowing your limits and what needs you have. Everybody needs time to reset and recharge. You have to allow yourself that at least once a week. I recommend people set aside at least an hour a day for just self care, or me time. Everyone will be happier in the end because you will be happier and more at ease.

The video below is a short video. Watch and listen to what she says. Try out some of the homework exercises.

If you would like to work with Health Buddy Melissa to learn more about Self Care and taking care of you, then use the contact form at the end of the post to message me. I will send you information on my It’s A New Day, 30 day coaching plan.

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Wisdom on Wednesday: Toxic Relationships

Whether it is a job, a friend, family, place you live etc, when a relationship becomes toxic it is time to move on.

No one likes change, moving, breaking up, getting a new job, etc.  But, if it is wearing you out, bringing you down, affecting you in negative ways, then it is time to move on.

Did you know people will stay at a dead-end job, or job that is stressing them out because it is familiar?  Or in a bad relationship because they don’t want to be alone or offend someone.  It is always good to put others before you and be humble in your ways.  But when the situation is threatening your well being then you have to let it go.

I have learned this the hard way through the years.  Waiting until I am completely worn out, or irritated beyond repair.  I have had to teach myself to be mindful of the things that affect me in negative ways, and try to avoid those things.  This is never easy and takes a lot of mental attention.  Nothing is perfect and learning to be flexible is certainly a good trait to have.  But you also should be aware of your own self and the things that affect you in negative ways.

You only live once.  Letting toxic relationships tear you down will only make life miserable.

If you would like help in being more mindful of the things that bring you down.  Use the contact form below to message me for a free meet and greet.  I am starting a support group for those with chronic illnesses.  If you are interested you can read about that here along with all of my other available packages.

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