social media share saturday and sunday

I have not done one of these in a while, so I thought it might be fun. Please read the rules before participating. They are not hard. I do moderate all comments because I get a ton of spam.

To participate in the Health Buddy Melissa Social Media Share please follow these rules.

  1. The sharing will run from 1 AM Eastern time on Saturday, until Midnight Eastern time on Sunday. That means when I get up Monday morning any links shared time stamped before midnight will be accepted. That gives people a whole day and a half to participate. For now this will be a recurring thing every weekend.
  2. In the comments you need to say if you followed any of my social media links below. Please state which social media you did for me and then a link to a social media for you that you want me to follow. This week is only for follows. I will not join new social media, so if you don’t use any of the ones that I share below, then this event is not for you. I will do other types in the future. If you follow more than one of my links, simply say so, and offer four links to yours.
  3. Please don’t say you did something if you didn’t, or remove it right after you say you did it. That is really just ugly.

These are my social media platforms that I use.

  2. I could especially use Facebook follows.
  3. My Twitter is an old account that I share a variety of stuff on, not just this blog.

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Calf exercises 2 and 3 for weeks 2 and 3

Hello all my fabulous readers! I am still nursing this shoulder injury, but at least today I can type. I did not realize that I did not share move 2 for week 2 of the May Health Challenge which is to strengthen the calfs. So, this week I am posting both exercise 2 and 3. These exercises have helped me immensely on my run days. If you remember I am prone to shin splint type pains and cramping in the calf area when running. Only one day did I still have cramping and I am not sure why. I do the exercise before running on the treadmill. This post may contain affiliate links.

Are you working on your calfs? Leave me a comment and let me know how it is going.

So, move two is toe raises. I do them with the seated calf raises and then I do pulses of just toe raises. This is a fabulous exercise for targeting the Soleus muscle which is my main nemesis when running.

Exercise 3 is walking on the tiptoes. I used to work a lady that had the hottest legs ever. She wore high heels everywhere, except to work of course. Nurses don’t generally work in high heels, lol. If you would rather wear high heels then walk on your tippy toes, that would work too.

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what are the causes of high blood pressure?

Happy Thursday! Today, I will talk about the causes of High Blood Pressure, or Hypertension. The two short videos below I do recommend you watch. I really wish they had stressed the importance of Stress as a cause of High Blood Pressure. All of the things they talk about can be a stressor that leads to Stress. Remember that Stress is simply a reaction to a stressor. If you didn’t get to read my series of posts on Stress, last month, they are available in the archives. I urge you to read them. Stress is a huge factor in High Blood Pressure. Everyone should consider monitoring their blood pressure at least monthly, and more often if you already have High Blood Pressure, or are borderline.

This post may contain affiliate links.


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For the whole month of May I am concentrating on Blood Pressure Awareness. If you have High Blood Pressure, or want to avoid getting it, all members of my mailing list are eligible for a free coaching session related to Blood Pressure. Simply use the Mailchimp sign up form, right below, and you will be on my mailing list. You can read more about it here. You will also receive my weekly newsletter, a freebie, special deals and offers, and content not shared here on the blog.

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Low Calorie food #2 and it helps hbp!

Hello, Friday! This is my weekend to work which is a bummer because it is Mother’s Day and my daughter’s 17th birthday. But, don’t worry we are celebrating this evening at a local restaurant that is a favorite of hers. So, I had a low calorie lunch because eating out is always tuff when you follow a certain type of eating lifestyle, namely low carb for me. I am not Keto! Believe it or not Keto is not for everyone, for lots of reasons. I will talk more about that when I do my Low Carb and Keto diet post. The meal I will share below had a total of only 185 calories for the whole plate! Keep reading! There will also be cake, of course, and I can’t wait, lol.

Last week I talked about Cucumbers. This week’s low calorie food is Cauliflower. I picked this vegetable because studies have shown that it can also help lower Blood Pressure, and since all May I am discussing Blood Pressure it was a perfect fit. Cauliflower is very low calorie around 25 calories per serving, and a serving is a cup. You can eat it raw, or cooked. I did not jump on the riced cauliflower bandwagon for a long time. Raw cauliflower causes me to have gas and bloating. I just wasn’t sure I would like the consistency or flavor once it was cooked. But, I have to tell you once it is cooked the consistency is similar to brown rice and the flavor kind of melds with whatever you cook it with. So, if you are looking to replace rice in meals, riced cauliflower is perfect. You can make your own, but I just buy it frozen, or from Sam’s in pre-packets. See the images below. It has about 2.5 mg of carbs, and fiber per serving, so it evens out perfectly. It is also a very low sodium food perfect if you have CKD like me. Plus, for CKD, it only has 32 mg of Phosphorus per serving and 142 mg of Potassium per serving. It does contain a lot of water, so if you are on fluid restrictions always track the water in your food too, not just beverages. Cauliflower also has Choline and Folate both of which are extremely healthy for pregnant moms to be. It is very filling as well! I always feel like I have to add this. Do not stop taking your blood pressure meds and start eating just cauliflower! Always discuss with your doctor so you can be properly monitored. Hypertensive Crisis is a serious thing!

Cauliflower really is versatile as an ingredient. The recipe I used below was just one packet of the Earthly Choice riced cauliflower bought at Sam’s, 2.5 ounces of leftover chicken thigh from a dinner this week, and leftover sauteed baby carrots with just a touch of onion and pepper. I added 2 tbsp of the sweet chili sauce, and it was perfect! You can always leave that off and it will take off 45 calories but it adds a ton of fabulous flavor. This was super fast to cook up as everything is basically cooked. I just cooked it in a tsp of olive oil and added some red wine vinegar. Everything else was already seasoned. All that food for 185 calories! You can make this ahead and take in work lunches too. Easy peasy!

Do you like cauliflower? Let me know in the comments your favorite way to eat it.


If you join my mailing list you will be able to get access to a free coaching session related to High Blood Pressure. Plus a Mother’s Day coupon for 50% off my 30 day coaching plan. Only members of my Mailchimp mailing list are eligible for these specials.

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hypertension, high blood pressure, Hbp! What is it?

Hello, hello! I am so happy you are here. May is Blood Pressure Awareness Month here on Health Buddy Melissa. In March I focused on Kidney Disease, and in April Stress. You can read all of those posts in my archives. There is some great information there.

So, what exactly is blood pressure anyways? Blood pressure simply put is a measurement of force put on your arteries when your heart beats. There are three things that affect your blood pressure Cardiac Output, Volume, and Resistance.

What is a normal Blood Pressure? In 2017 the guidelines changed which increased the number of people diagnosed with High Blood Pressure. While normal is still considered 120/80, the new guidelines suggest that a number over 130 warrants treatment with medication. Now of course there is some controversy, because now 45% of the USA population can have a diagnosis of Hypertension. Apparently this made a lot of people angry. But, there is good evidence to show that a blood pressure greater than 130/80 increases the risk of several health issues like Stroke, Heart Attack, Enlarged Heart, Kidney Disease, Male Sexuality Issues, and even Eye issues. Anyone who has read this blog knows that I am not a jump on the medication wagon kind of girl. There are other ways to lower blood pressure that does not include medications. That does not mean I am anti medication. If you need medication take it! All through the month of May I will be discussing High Blood Pressure and ways to lower it and prevent it. As we age Blood Pressure naturally rises due to the aging effects on the body.

Maybe you are young and you don’t think this is an issue for you. Think again! According to stats collected by the CDC in 2016 people in the age group 18-39 had a prevalence of HBP of 7.5%, 40-59 was 33%, and age 60 and over 63%. Age 40 is not that old and 1/3 of the population had HBP. Statistically more men than women had HBP. It varies between races and economic statuses as well.

When you go to the doctor your blood pressure may be higher than it normally is. A lot of times it is just because of general nervousness. But, it can be a reason for concern. A simple electronic blood pressure machine can be purchased to check your blood pressure daily and keep a log. In your log note the arm you took the blood pressure in, and time of day. Try to take your blood pressure the same time each day for consistent readings. Do not take your blood pressure right after exercising, after eating, if you are excited or scared until you can be calm. Also make sure you are sitting with your feet flat on the floor, and legs or ankles not crossed. Your arm should be relaxed and at or below heart level. Make sure you have a proper fitting cuff. If you have a big arm be sure and buy a machine with a larger cuff. A Pharmacist can help you pick the right size cuff for your arm.

Always be honest with your doctor, and yourself, of any symptoms or high blood pressure readings you may have. Denying, or ignoring a problem will not prevent any of the health issues I mentioned above.

If you would like to work with a Health Coach to set SMART goals for lifestyle changes, and exercise to help lower or prevent HBP, check out my 30 day coaching plan.

If you join my Mailchimp mailing list below you can sign up for a free coaching session related to HBP. Check out my Mother’s Day special as well, only available to my mailing list.

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High blood pressure free coaching giveaway!

Hello, and Happy Tuesday! For the month of May I decided to focus on High Blood Pressure as my topic for my free coaching session giveaway. 10 lucky people will receive a 60 minute coaching session. This will not include the free health assessment and review, that is already free. Keep reading to learn how to claim yours.

Do you have High Blood Pressure, or want to prevent getting High Blood Pressure? Did you know that in 2020 was a top Health search topic? Coronavirus was obviously number 1 and probably still is. High Blood Pressure is very common. According to the CDC about 45% of Americans have High Blood Pressure which means a blood pressure of 130/80 or higher, and or taking medications to control blood pressure. Of those people only 25% have their blood pressure well controlled. Having High Blood Pressure can be a risk factor for many other chronic diseases. All month I will focus on this topic in various blog posts.

If you would like a free one on one coaching session to discuss blood pressure, follow the steps below. You do not have to have High Blood Pressure, but you do have to want to learn how to prevent it.

  1. Sign up for my Mailchimp mailing list below.
  2. Once you are signed up for my mailing list, and have received my welcome newsletter, simply message me via that newsletter, it will either go right to my Mailchimp email, or my Google email, and put blood pressure as the topic. Within 24 hours of receiving the email I will contact you via your email to see when you would like to receive the free health intake assessment. Once you have completed that and returned it to me we can make an appt for your free session. I am trying to make a sign up form that I can add right to my newsletter. If you see it, use it, otherwise follow the steps above.
  3. Once you have completed your intake assessment and are ready for your free session, we will set up a time and date that works for both of us. You do not have to do it in May, and the special runs until May 31, or until 10 people have claimed the free session.
  4. If you have any questions please feel free to use the contact form below to message me. Using the contact form below will not sign you up for a free session, it is for general questions only. You must join my Mailchimp mailing list to qualify for the freebie.

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May health challenge: work your calfs!

Happy Sweating on Sunday! I hope everyone is having a relaxing weekend. We have been busy. Yesterday, we volunteered at an adoption event for the dog rescue we volunteer at. Today, our new refrigerator came. Plus, I have been working on the garden and getting the pool cleaned. So, I have had tons of fresh air. My Fitbit died! It was old, but for Mother’s Day I got a new Smart Watch. It is not a Fitbit and I will do a review on it after I have had it for a bit. It is larger, so I am not sure I am loving that feature. As we come into May it is time to start getting ready for Hurricane Season. It is my least favorite time of the year. There are a couple of important announcements to take note of. 1- Wednesday in my weekly newsletter I will be proving a coupon code just for Mom’s to get an awesome deal on one month of coaching. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter below to get one for you, or your mom. 2- May is High Blood Pressure Awareness Month here on this blog. So, I will be doing posts on this topic. But, if you are a member of my mailing list you can get yourself a free 60 minute coaching session related to High Blood Pressure. You don’t have to have High Blood Pressure to qualify, maybe you would like to prevent getting it. Be sure and join my mailing list and then contact me once you have to claim your free coaching session. I do limit how many I give away, so don’t delay.

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Now, on to the calf muscles. I chose this set of muscles because I always get cramping in the side of my right shin area when I walk fast, or run. This is because my Soleus muscle is weak. It also may explain why I have painful feet and episodes of Plantar Fasciitis. The calf muscles are actually a set of three muscles. The Gastrocnemius muscle is the one you generally see on the back of the leg. It is made up of two thick muscles. The Soleus is thin and long, and lies under the Gastrocnemius. The Soleus runs from the Achilles Tendon and fans out as it goes up and attaches at the knee area. Since this is the exact area that cramps this is where I decided to start. After some research I decided the move of the week, for this first week, would be seated calf raises. If you do standing calf raises you probably are targeting more of the Gastrocnemius than the Soleus. I did this exercise this morning before running on the treadmill. While I did still cramp a little it was only in the last 3 minutes of my run, a big improvement from cramping very quickly. I call it a cramp it is more of a tightening, which to me is the same thing. At any rate it hurts and it slows me down. I tried to take a pictures of my calf muscles for a before image, but it is super hard to take a selfie of this part of the body. I will have someone else assist me and share it in my weekly newsletter. Taking pics is a great way to evaluate your progress, but there are other ways and some are better.

Will you join me in the May Health Challenge and build your calf muscles? Just in time for short season too! If you do join in, please share what is working for you, why you decided to join, and how you are progressing in the comments. I would so love to hear from my readers. Don’t be shy!

Below are two short videos. One explains the Soleus muscle and what it’s function is. The second will show you how to do the Seated Calf Raise. If you would like to learn more about my new coaching plan, click here.


low calorie food #1

Hello, Friday! I hope everyone has had a good week. I have not been doing a lot of food posts, but readers seem to really like them. Each Friday I will showcase a low calorie food, that is under 40 calories per serving. So far I have found about 40 but I think there may be more. If you are trying to lose weight incorporating these low calorie foods into your meal plan can help. Please remember your body needs calories to survive so eating just low calorie foods is probably not going to be a very healthy eating plan. Try to buy organic if you can.

Cucumbers is the low calorie food for today. I love cucumbers and this year we are trying to grow our own. They are very easy to grow and I am hoping for a ton. Well, maybe not a ton. Did you know the seeds and the skin are the healthier parts of the cucumber? I always peel mine, but I will try to start eating the skin. Cucumbers are fairly affordable and you don’t have to eat a whole one each time. According to my Basket app the cheapest cucumber is only 59 cents per each one at Save A Lot. That price is for non-organic. Another thing I did not know about cucumbers is that they can help the Pancreas produce Insulin. When I first read this I had to research it because I had never heard that before. It is only a theory but there are studies being done. If you have Diabetes eating cucumbers could be a good idea. One note, if you have Kidney Disease and are on fluid restrictions, 1 cucumber contains 287 grams of water which apparently is about 10 ounces of water. That is a lot of water, so consume them mindfully. There is a short video below on the health benefits of cucumbers.

According to my Nutrition Facts app 1 cucumber with the peel contains:

Water: 287 grams

Calories: 45. If you wanted it to be less than 40 just chop off a bit of it.

Protein: 2 grams who knew

Fat: .33 grams

Carbs: About 11 grams but 1.5 grams of Fiber which makes net carbs about 9.5

Sugars: 5 grams

Calcium: 48 mg. I consume very little dairy, to none, so I try to get Calcium from other food sources.

Iron: .84 mg

Magnesium: 39 mg

Phosphorus: 72 mg not bad for a vegetable

Sodium: 6 mg I found that interesting

Vitamin C: 8.5 mg

Folate: 21 ug

Vitamin A: 330 ug

Vitamin K: 49 ug

Cholesterol: 286 mg

There are other trace minerals in cucumbers.


If you would like to learn more about setting healthy eating goals for better health, use the contact form at the end of this post to ask about my new 30 day coaching plan. For the month of May I will be focusing on Hypertension and my coaching freebie will be centered around that topic. To be eligible for a free session you must be a subscriber to my Mailchimp mailing list. So sign up below to be eligible. I will also be sharing a Mother’s Day coupon code to my mailing list subscribers.

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can food relieve stress?

What do you think? Some of you may consider comfort foods as a stress reliever. But, what does the Science say? First lets start with what is Serotonin and Dopamine. They chemical messengers that help regulate emotional well- being, among other things. Some foods are high in these chemical messengers and thereby can help relieve stress. If you read this blog often enough you may notice I focus on food a lot and how a better diet can help alleviate a lot of issues.

According to Healthline there are 18 foods that can help relieve stress. They are:

  1. Matcha Powder
  2. Swiss Chard
  3. Sweet Potatoes
  4. Kimchi
  5. Artichokes
  6. Organ Meats
  7. Eggs
  8. Shellfish
  9. Acerola Cherry Powder
  10. Fatty Fish
  11. Parsley
  12. Garlic
  13. Tahini
  14. Sunflower Seeds
  15. Broccoli
  16. Chickpeas
  17. Chamomile Tea
  18. Blueberries

How many of these awesome foods do you eat daily? Try including some of these, or all of them, into your daily diet and see if you notice a difference in your Stress levels. Notably, dark chocolate did not make the Healthline list, but it did make the video and other articles I have read. I had also read that Pistachios are also helpful, but they did not make this list, or the video I share below. The video list, and Healthline list are almost the same.

Do you want to learn more on how to relieve your stress? I am giving away 10 coaching sessions in April. Read here how to claim your free session.

Watch the second video to learn how one on one coaching can help you learn and deal with stress.

Don’t have an issue with Stress? Check out my new 30 day coaching plan for any other issues you may want to learn to manage.


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stress And common stressors!

Welcome to Thursday! My car was in the garage today, and my husband was out of the house. This gave me the opportunity to get some extra cleaning done that doesn’t get done when I have to be quiet while he is working. My daughter and I accomplished a lot in just a couple of hours. We have more to do though. Then I got online to do this post and my internet was so slow I could not do anything. Now it is 245 and I am finally sitting down to compose this post. I will be having a guest post in the near future. He is working on it now. Be sure to watch for that. I think you will like it.

You know I always say, you can’t change something if you can’t even define it. So, lets define Stress. Stress is a feeling of tension. The tension can be either physical or emotional feelings. Examples of physical stress are headache, stomach ache, muscle pain, tightness of the neck and shoulders, teeth clenching, sweating, nausea, etc. Examples of emotional stress can be Depression, sadness, crying, anger, outbursts, yelling, aggression, etc.

Stress can be either acute or chronic. Acute stress is a short lived stress such as when you experience fear, danger, or pain. Chronic stress is a long term stress and is the more dangerous of the two as it can play a large part in illnesses and disease. Anxiety is a from of stress that is a persistent stress even when a stressor is no longer there. It is a complicated condition. You may experience nervousness, for example with Anxiety.

Stress can be both good and not so good. If you need to run away from a bear then the stress and the reactions it causes can save your life. Some people thrive on stress and it is a driver of goals for them. Some people actually like the high, or euphoria they sense with stress. The not so good stress is the stress that keeps you from doing things you enjoy or things you may want to do or even need to do.

Stressors are things that cause the stress response. You probably already know some of the most common stressors. Finances, relationships, work related, never have enough time in a day, and commitments. Some more uncommon stressors that maybe you aren’t aware of can be pain, illness, aging parents, deaths, injuries, being a victim of a crime, retirement, anger, expectations, assumptions, and perceptions. You may not even realize you are stressed out or that these things are possible stressors to you.

For the whole month of April I will be talking about Stress and how it affects the body, mind, and spirit. Ways to handle, manage, cope, and alter Stress will also be topics of discussion. There have been tons of studies on stress and how it affects the body. There have also been tons of studies to learn about the best ways to deal with Stress.

Are you Stressed Out? Check out my video below of how a Health Coach can help you with Stress. You can get a free 30 minute coaching session on any topic of Stress. Click here to read how.


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