Gift Idea #3 For People With Dementia!

Hola! That means hello in Spanish. I am learning Spanish! I actually remember quite a bit from years ago when I was doing it with my son for Middle School Spanish. I do know some basic words but really can not put a sentence together. That really has nothing to do with the gift idea for today, but it is an update to the topic of Dementia prevention which is to learn a new language.

While it is true that a lot of Dementia is related to memory issues, but there are also socialization issues as well. Today’s gift idea is thinking games, especially games that can be played in a group with family or friends. Did you know from my research that the #1 game that was shown to help people with Dementia was Tetris? Do you remember Tetris? I used to play it on the Nintendo 64 as a teenager. I just downloaded it from the Google Play store for free. If your loved one has a smartphone help them to download it and play away. I am sure they probably have it in a plug-and-play version for the TV or is available on the laptop.

These ideas are from this article.

  1. Card games. If your loved one is like my loved one they probably played card games a lot when they were younger. If they have mild cognitive decline ask them which ones they loved to play. Pinochle was a big one for my loved one. Then learn how to play it and set up a game. You can play easier card games like War, Go Fish, and Memory. Memory can be very fun if you attach pictures of loved ones, or pets to the cards. Or, old magazine ads I think would be super fun. Have a discussion about those ads, events, or loved ones.
  2. Bingo. Where I work the ladies used to love to play Bingo. It has kind of fallen out of favor recently but every afternoon they used to sit down to play Bingo. They really only liked it though if there was a snack for a prize, lol. If you are playing in a group of Dementia residents be sure and have someone available to assist those that need it.
  3. Visual Games. This is similar to the Memory cards I mentioned above.
  4. Word Puzzles. This does not mean Soduko or crossword puzzles, though those are amazing if your loved one can still do them. Word search puzzles, hidden object puzzles are awesome! Way down at the bottom of that link I shared is a topic about Memory Cafe’s. Which sounds awesome, btw. There are none near me, but my loved one is in a facility where activities are done daily. Anyway on that website is a free game called Memory Joggers. It is perfect as a word puzzle game.
  5. Video Games. I have already talked about Tetris, but what about other video games. They can help with hand eye coordination, as well as memory.

Some games not mentioned are games about music from their generation. Board games like Chutes and Ladders, Dominoes, Uno, Operation, and possibly others. I found this game that was precisely designed for people with Dementia.

Just remember to be Mindful of their Dementia. You don’t want anything too complicated, or that goes too fast. A game that maybe they played before Dementia might be easier as they may remember the rules and how to play. My loved one absolutely loved Pac-Man, while she couldn’t play it on a smartphone she could play the plug-and-play version of the game.

Search the archives and see the other two gift ideas! Ask me about my Health Coaching and how it can help meet your health goals.


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Snowman Puzzle


Gift Idea #1 For People With Dementia!

None of these are affiliate links. I am currently not doing any affiliate links for many reasons.

Sometimes it is hard to know what to get someone suffering from Dementia as a Christmas gift. Whether they have mild cognitive impairment and can still manage at home, or they are in Assisted Living or Memory Care, I will be sharing gift ideas right up until December 20th. I will try to post five times a week. I can’t do weekends as I am working.

Not only do I work as a nurse on a Memory Care unit, but I also have a LO that we just had to admit to Assisted Living for her own health and safety. I have noticed that things that people bring their loved ones as a gift are not always appropriate for the cognitive level they are at. They may not enjoy the same things they used to either.

The first gift idea I want to start with is this Golden Retriever animated dog. We have two of these at my job and the ladies all love them. The gents don’t care so much, but every now and then one will pay it some attention. One of my family members just bought my LO one and I brought it to her today. At first, she was not super impressed and was very distracted by something else. Once I turned it on she came to life too. She really did love it and gave it a name. She used to have dogs of her own but forgot to buy them food, and feed them. This was actually more stressful to her than bringing her joy. This little dog is just cute, and cuddles, and she doesn’t have to worry about feeding or taking it to the potty. A win-win. Some people feel these are childish. You are entitled to your opinion, but honestly, it is about what helps them to relax and be happy, not your opinions. They do also have them in cats, and we have one of those at my workplace too, but most of the residents prefer the dogs.

This is not cheap and I would recommend anytime you buy your loved one with memory issues a gift, that you take a picture of it, keep the receipt, and write their name on it. Just trust me.

Let me know what you think in the comments.


Cardinal backpack

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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Taking a one day pause from the zero point food challenge

Today, I am taking a pause from the challenge. I am experiencing some GI upset, most likely from the fat free, and sugar free food items I have been eating. I have said this before when they remove fat from foods, they have to add other things to make it taste good and these things include sugar substitutes, among other things. I could also be getting too much Phosphorus. So, I am taking 24 hours off, and see how I feel tomorrow. I may have to make adjustments to the challenge as it isn’t worth getting sick over. Come back tomorrow to see what I conclude. In the meantime you can check out some awesome products that I have started to be an affiliate for.

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tis the seasonings!

Happy Wellness Wednesday! My daughter already ate lunch so I will have to do the Dollar Tree food challenge item tomorrow. It is a damp, rainy and chilly day here in Florida. We did get in a driving lesson and a dog training session before the rain came, so now on to the school day. This gift idea is is more of a knowledge type gift idea. Last week I posted about herbs and spices as a way to cut back on sodium for people with CKD. However, as I found out my Lemon Pepper seasoning I use all the time has some sodium in it. Now, it is very strong and I only use small amounts, but it still has hidden sodium in it. So that got me to thinking that I could probably make these seasoning mixes myself and just keep them in the pantry. Most of them are made with common herbs and spices that would be included in a spice herb gift kit. However, if you really want to go organic and avoid all preservatives and additives, buy from a specialty website like Mountain Rose Herbs. I also shared the gift idea of growing an herb garden in which case your loved one could dry and save their own herbs. But, what if you wanted to learn to make herb and spice blends to give as awesome gifts? The video below will show you how easy it really is to do it and avoid all the extra stuff you may not want. The lovely lady in the video offers some great learn to cook options on her channel. You will need jars to put all your herb and spice mixes in, and here are some to choose from. If you are cheap like me, I mean frugal, you could just save old jars to use. But, since this is a gift idea I would recommend buying the lovely jars.

I hope you have been enjoying my gift idea series. It will come to an end on Friday. There are so many great gift ideas for people with CKD and I hope I have been able to narrow it down a bit. Because today is Wellness Wednesday, and I believe laughter is the best medicine be sure and watch the funny kitten video below. I hope it puts a smile on your face as it did mine.

Starting next week my year in review will begin, as well as into the first couple of weeks of January. I will be rolling out some new Health Buddy plans, so be sure to watch for those. If you think your loved one, or yourself, would find benefit in working with a Health Coach use the contact form to email me. Be sure and check out my Fitbit walking stats from yesterday and ask about my Walking Buddy program.


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Happy Feet!

Welcome to Tuesday! I hope everyone had a fabulous Monday. Today, for gift idea #13 I am paying homage to feet.

I have had painful feet my whole life, long before I ever was diagnosed with CKD, so I know what it is like to live with painful feet. I have also suffered from Plantar Fasciitis which took forever to heal and set me back a lot with my fitness goals. So, today I am paying respect to our feet. Our feet provide balance and mobility. We need to love and protect them. I am a nurse, so when I am at work my feet bare the brunt of the stress. I rarely sit and go home with achy feet. I also love to walk barefoot so keeping my feet clean is of utmost importance. If you are a Diabetic then you should have already been taught the importance of taking good care of your feet.

I don’t personally like my feet to be touched by others, but a good foot massage is a great gift idea. A way to soak the feet is another great gift. If you have Diabetes be careful of the temp because you may not have good feeling anymore. Here is a whole page of foot soaking options. Some are super fancy with all kinds of cadillac features. I just use a simple basin with warm water and peppermint oil If you have CKD and choose to use Epsom Salts, be sure and ask your doctor first as the Magnesium may be absorbed in the feet to the body. Once my feet are done soaking, and dried, I apply a peppermint lotion. Are you noticing a theme here? I love peppermint! It makes achy muscles feel better. I put peppermint lotion on my forehead when I have a headache. I like the Teatree brand, but there are tons to choose from.

To enhance this gift idea even more, a pedicure gift set would be a lovely idea. If you want the Hummer of a Happy Feet gift idea, then a good pair of shoes is the ultimate gift. I love Crocs, Sketchers on the Go and the ultimate would be a pair of Orthofeet which I do not own a pair of, but I almost forced myself to buy when I didn’t think the Plantar Fasciitis was ever going to go away and it was really inhibiting my mobility. New Balance ultimately helped cure my Plantar Fasciitis.

Believe it or not we are still eating Lasagna! Casserole type meals are definitely the most economical because they make tons of leftovers. I think I will freeze the rest as everyone is getting bored of it. Tomorrow I will do the next Dollar Tree food challenge item. Also, below see my Fitbit walking stats for the past two days. If you would live a virtual walking buddy ask me about my Walking Buddy program.

If you are interested in learning about any of my Health Coaching Services, please use the contact form at the end of this post to message me, or email me at


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Wheels up!

Happy Sunday! Only 12 days until Christmas! The week after Christmas will be a lot of clean up on this blog, reflection and goals for next year. So, if you enjoy those kind of posts, stay tuned.

Today, is gift idea #12 for people with CKD. As you know I have CKD, and as I get older I have to start to think about things I never really thought about before. Like what if I couldn’t work anymore, or afford my car, what would I do? I am fortunate enough to live in a small town where I do have options for groceries, and other needs, within walking distance. They are not my favorite options, but that is OK. So, what if I had to walk to get my needs met? I would need something to put bags of items in if I didn’t want to carry all of those bags, which I wouldn’t want to, lol. Not being able to work or maintain self sufficiency would be a very hard thing for me. So, maintaining my independence as much as possible would be vital to my well being. That is why I chose carts with wheels for today’s gift idea, and I think I will actually be purchasing one of these myself. I think in January, when my daughter starts the Nutrition course I have created, I think it would be great for her to learn about what if we were poor. We have lived on very tight budgeting in the past, but she was very little and has no memory. Hard times can fall on anyone for any reason and being able to adapt to survive is vital. She is a very picky eater, and really loves garbage food. This has to change. Anyway enough of that. You can find all kinds of great options to fit any number of needs, here. If I did not live close enough to shopping areas, I would be recommending to my husband to consider moving for our elder years. We are not to our elder years yet, lol, but it is wise to think about before hand.

I probably won’t have a gift idea tomorrow, as it is a work day. So, come back Tuesday. Next Friday will be the end of my gift ideas. I hope you have been able to find some awesome gift ideas for that special person on your list with CKD.

Be sure and check out my Fitbit stats from yesterday. It was a rough day. I was extremely tired and I didn’t think I would make my goal. But, I just got by. Lots of energy today, and the weather is lovely. I have tons of outdoor stuff to do before my Bills play my husband’s Steelers tonight. That should be fun!

I threw a quick menu plan together for the week. I didn’t put a lot of thought into this week, but it should work. Tuesday and Friday is shopping days and I have increased our budget to 70 dollars a week for 3 people. That is still a huge cost savings for us, and just will work better for our needs.


Sunday: Leftover lasagna. I really suggest making these kinds of large meals that do not cost a lot and last for days for lunches and or dinners. Texas toast and salad.

Monday: Still leftover lasagna, lol I forgot to say that I made homemade sauce with tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. It saves a ton of sodium and needless added sugars. Plus, it was delicious. I made one without meat, and one with. The meatless one had mushrooms and onions.

Tuesday: Cheesy chicken and broccoli over brown rice. I will share this super easy recipe Tuesday, and how I modify it for CKD.

Wednesday: Ham, sweet potatoes and pasta.

Thursday: Chicken, mashed potatoes, and veggies

Friday: Leftovers from Tues, Wed and Thurs.

Saturday: Ravioli. This is a work day for me and I won’t be having ravioli.

If you would like to learn how to cook, meal plan, or shop for your Chronic Illness, use the contact form below to message me for a free meet and greet.


Gift idea #8 for ckd, kidney education and more

It is Tuesday, and again it is cold here in Florida. It is quite a nice change from heat and humidity, but I am not used to it lasting for over a week now. I had to change up our dinner menu for the week as yesterday there was some kind of pipe issue in town and our water was turned off. So, we ate pizza take out. We will have the chicken alfredo tonight. I was going to make lasagna on Thursday, but I realized I have lettuce that is going to go bad so I decided to make a taco casserole to eat over lettuce, or not if they don’t want the lettuce. But, I want mine over lettuce. I will probably make a side of rice if they want that. I will share the recipe when I make it. I also had to do next week’s grocery shopping today which is early, but my husband needs my car to get a large Christmas gift for my son’s wife back to our house, and then I have to work. So, I went today. I was supposed to only spend 30 dollars, but I spent 50. Again, I gave myself a little break because some of it was baking ingredients and gift tins for homemade cookie gifts. We won’t be eating these so they really should be in the Christmas budget I guess. I also bought frozen veggies instead of fresh as warm dishes this time of year is more popular than cold salads, or cold dishes. I also have apples that need using so I will make apple banana muffins, and freeze the rest or make apple butter.

I will stop sharing gift ideas on the 15th. The final one is a humdinger. Today, gift idea #8 is a set of walking videos. I chose these particular ones, because I like Leslie Sansone and she is who I started with. Remember you don’t have to do the whole thing. Do what you can, and work up. Walking is gentle on the body, and low intensity exercise. The set here, comes with an exercise band to help increase strength as well. This is a great set, for a great price. It may take some time, but as your loved one, or yourself, builds strength and stamina you will see great improvements in the body. Exercise helps relieve stress, pain, tension, burns calories for weight loss, improves balance and strength, is good for the heart which is the most important muscle in the body and so much more. Of course, if you have not exercised in a while be sure and ask your doctor, but we all walk, and walking exercise should be ok. I offer a Walking Buddy health plan where I walk over the phone with the customer. If you are interested in that, please use the communication form at the bottom of this post to message me, or click here to read more about it. I think I am going to start sharing my walking stats here on the blog. I wish I had been doing it all this year so people can actually see that you can make great progress with walking. You can see my stats from yesterday, below. I aim for 10.000 steps a day, at least.

I found this great video from the American Kidney Fund, on Youtube. I am a member of a kidney forum where people discuss kidney issues. Someone asked a question about diet, one of the hardest things about having kidney disease, and I found the video for them to watch. You can see it below. The second half is in reference to people with CKD and Diabetes. If you don’t have Diabetes then just watch the first half. It is a great video.


Gift Idea #5 For People With CKD

Updated 12/2/2021: I did get an air fryer for Christmas, and if you have a larger family the smaller one shown in the post is really not going to be great. I do use it a lot for reheating food though, and it is awesome for that.

Happy, Happy Saturday! I hope everyone is well and staying away from the Covid.

Today, I chose an air fryer as gift idea #5 for people with CKD. Why? People with CKD are more prone to Heart Disease and decreasing fat intake is part of prevention of Heart Disease. Air fryers are a great replacement if you love deep fried foods, but don’t want all of the fat. I actually asked for one of these for Christmas. Not that I really love deep fried foods, but I do love the crispiness of deep fried foods. With the air fryer I don’t have to heat up the house with the oven, or the stove, to get crispy fried chicken or french fries. I can not wait to get mine and play around with it. My husband ordered mine at Belk because they had an awesome Black Friday deal. It is similar to the one shown below and it can be bought at Amazon. All of the major department stores are selling these. But with Covid it might be safer to order online. The air fryer may benefit everyone in your home by decreasing fat intake.

Read about air fryers here, and how much they reduce fat intake, here.

Be sure and research what breading, or batter is best used for CKD when frying. As always this is confusing as different websites say different things. I like to use a mixture of baking soda and all purpose white flour, with herbs and spices added in. Bread crumbs and batters can be very high in sodium and phosphorus, and sometimes potassium. I use the bare minimum of breading needed and depending on what else I ate that day instead of an egg dip, I may just use water.

A note about my daily meals. My daughter is having pizza today, but I decided to make bbq pulled pork, with the leftover pork, and have it with fried cabbage and onions. The pork needed to not be wasted and I am still working my way through that large head of cabbage. If I had my air fryer I could try putting the cabbage in there, Yum. For my work dinner I will just take a large salad. You are probably thinking that is way too low of carbs. Well you would be correct, except I had homemade sunflower bread for breakfast, two slices with over 50 grams of carbs.


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