Ouch, Gas Prices!

This is a different kind of Healthy Tip on Tuesday post, but it is just as important for your overall health as any other tip, because it can cause financial stress and other stress-related issues that can affect your health and wellbeing.

If you live in the USA, then you know that the government just announced bans on Russian energy imports. Before that announcement was made, here where I live gas prices were already $4.20/gallon. Now, I am not going to go into the politics of climate consequences of oil and gas. But, you could certainly vote in favor of those topics this fall.

You are most likely going to have to conserve gas, especially if you drive a large vehicle. I think my gas tank is like 10 gallons, which means to fill my tank it would be 42 dollars. That is a huge jump from just six months ago. Since we live in a very rural area, and we have to drive at least 30 minutes to get to anything we want, you can see how expensive this could really get.

How can you conserve gas? Some of these will be related to more rural folks, than people who live in the city.

  1. Don’t drive. This is the most obvious way to conserve gas, though it is not that practical especially if you live in rural areas, but work in the city. If you can walk, or bike to work, that is an option. Car pooling when you can is another great option. We have two cars and while we both work in the same city, our schedules are no where near the same. So, that won’t work.
  2. Drive less. This will be my most obvious choice. I will try to shop in town, though their prices are high and I am not always happy with the quality of food options. I surely do not want to be buying food from Family Dollar and Dollar General. With CKD that would be a disaster for me. I will not be picking up extra shifts either, as the only thing that extra money will go for is gas. I will pray my husband does not have to return to the office for a little longer, too. Which is a good point in itself, work from home if you can.
  3. Combine your trips. I already do this, but I may have to be even more thoughtful of this. My doctor is 30 minutes away, both of them, and they may have to be more willing to do telemedicine since they don’t want to do it anymore with the pandemic winding down. I think this is totally dumb by the way, unless I need an actual physical exam.
  4. We may have to consider moving to the city sooner than we wanted to, if it persists for a very long time. The city has public transportation that we absolutely do not have access to in rural areas.
  5. Buy a smaller vehicle, EV, or only have one vehicle. First off I would love an EV, except I refuse to pay the price for one. The most affordable, the Nissan Leaf is almost 30,000 dollars. Sorry, I have never paid that for a car, nor will I. I already drive a smaller Kia, and my husband’s is not too much bigger. We used to own only one vehicle, back when it was feasible. That option really is no longer feasible, unless I was willing to leave my job and get a more local job, which I really do not want to do, but, again if it persists for a super long time, getting a job closer to home is a good option.
  6. Drive slower. Now I heard a politician suggest that on the news this morning, that going 6 to 7 mph slower would save gas. Now that is only really true if you drive at like 57 mph. Because, gas efficiency peaks at like 50mph. I looked that up. I know I am super smart, but I did not know that, lol. So, drive much slower than you are probably used to and save gas.
  7. Don’t be an aggressive driver. This just simply wastes gas on a whole.
  8. Ease into stops slower. This is something I already do, but my husband does these abrubt stops that I hate. Don’t be abrupt, it is rude, and wastes gas.
  9. Maintain your car with routine maintenance.
  10. Make sure your tires have the proper amount of pressure and rotate them.
  11. I know this one is hard, but keep windows, sun roofs, convertible tops, and moon roofs closed when you are driving at high speeds like on the freeway.
  12. Don’t let your car idle. I know I am sorry to all my northern friends who warm their cars each morning. Or, even here where we like to cool it off in the heat of the afternoon. If you are stuck in traffic for more than a minute or two, turn your car off, and then turn it back on when you are ready to move.
  13. For all of my camping friends, or people who carry lots of tools, lightening up the load saves a ton of gas. Pulling, towing, or packing up your vehicle with heavy items uses a lot more gas than if you lighten the load.

I hope this list helps you. If you have any other great tips please share them in the comments. I do not approve of spam, so don’t bother.

Stay safe and healthy!


Healthy Tip Tuesday: Sugary Drinks Are Your Enemy!

Hello, and happy dreary, rainy, Tuesday. I have talked about quitting the soda habit before, you can read it here, but what about other sugary drinks. I actually want to discuss added sugars in general not just drinks, though drinks are the main area that Americans are getting added sugars. There will be several evidence-based study links below. I urge you to read them.

Have you noticed that people are dying younger and younger? We are supposed to be the wealthiest country in the world but we are not living to ripe old ages as much and if we are we are burdened with chronic illnesses and disease. Why do you think that might be? Check out this article titled Is Sugar Evil and Addicting? Some people can actually give up sugar, or at least added sugars, while others struggle to even give up a little.

What other delicious sugary drinks are there besides soda? Tea, frappe, latte, coffee in general, juices with added sugars, sugary drinks like kool-aid, and Hawaiian punch, coffee creamer, milkshakes, frosty, and the list goes on. What about alcohol?

I will discuss three of my favorite drinks that may not be so great. McDonald’s Ice Caramel Frappe, Welch’s white grape cherry juice, and Bailey’s Irish Cream.

  1. The frappe. I love these iced caramel frappes that McDonalds offers. However, if I were to drink this more than once in a while I would be consuming for a small frappe 420 calories. There is 17 grams of total fat, and 11 grams is saturated fat. There is 60 grams of carbs of which 55 grams is sugars. Now it doesn’t specify if it is added sugar, or natural sugar, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out. There is 7 grams of protein, but other than that this drink is a nutrititional wasteland. There is no fiber, or micronutrients, except for Calcium. It is fairly high in Sodium as well.
  2. Welch’s. I do only buy the 100% juice which has no added sugars, but is still high in natural sugars. I only add tiny bits of this to my water to give it a little flavor. I probably consume a half cup in total each day of this juice. Per one cup serving I would be consuming 130 calories, zero fat, 32 grams of carbs, 30 grams of natural sugars, no fiber, no high fructose corn syrup, it has some calcium, some potassium, and vitamin C. The sodium is only 15 mg per one cup serving.
  3. Bailey’s. I love this stuff. It is great in coffee, or just milk and ice. I never have read the nutrition label, and good thing I don’t have this very often either. 1 ounce is a serving size, in case you are wondering that is 2 tablespoons. That serving contains 102 calories, 6.5 grams of carbs of which 6.2 grams is sugar. 4.9 grams of fat the majority of which is saturaated fat. And then some other minute nutrients. You can see how this can quickly add to your calories and sugar intake.

If you are drinking heavily sugared drinks, are you reading the label? Are you sure what you are putting into your body or your children’s body? For example, yesterday in my grocery haul were Little Debbie Birthday Cake sticks. My daughter wanted these and they were cheap enough. I decided I wanted to eat one today, after lunch, for a snack. I almost didn’t eat it after reading the label, but I had already opened the package and tasted it. These little cakes are literally the size of a good-sized pointer finger. If I was a food producer I would be embarrassed to call this food. Read for yourself.

Here are some studies on what added sugars, and sugary ladened drinks are doing to our bodies.






It is recommended that you do not consume more than 6 teaspoons, or 24 grams, of added sugars per day. Added sugars are labeled as such on the nutrition label. This does not include sugars found in whole foods. If you need help understanding sugars vs added sugars use the contact form at the end of the post to send me an email for a free consultation.


Gift Idea #2 For People With Dementia: Companionship

Welcome to Tuesday! Yesterday, I shared to life-like Joy dog as gift idea #1. If your loved one is still able to care properly for a real pet they make great companions. No affiliate links.

Obviously, they would need to remember to feed, water, and potty the pet at the very least. A way for the pet to get exercise would also be important, plus vet services. Dogs are awesome, I love them! There are tons that are waiting for homes in shelters and rescues all across this country. But, sometimes dogs can jump and or trip an older person. There is also the risk that the dog could get out and not come back. Being sure the dog is chipped, and is wearing proper ID tags will help the dog return home when found. Getting the dog basic dog training would be a great gift idea as well. Cats are another option if your loved one can’t handle a dog.

If your loved one can not take care of a pet anymore, or maybe is in Assisted Living, there are lots of ways to provide them companionship. Hopefully, they are taking advantage of the community outings and activities. Isolation and socialization issues can lead to depression which can make Dementia worse. Visiting them as often as you can, in person, is a wonderful gift for someone with Dementia. Maybe they can have friends visit too. Sometimes these visits may seem to cause agitation after the visit is over, but usually, it is short-lived and they resume their normal daily activities. FB Live and or Messenger are great ways to use video so your loved one can see and hear you. Zoom, Skype, and other video platforms can also be used. Facetime, for iPhones and so many others, is out there now. If your loved one can still handle technology devices Amazon offers an Echo item that you can do video calls on plus many other great features. Obviously, any of these technology gifts may need assistance to use, so be mindful of that when you purchase them as a gift. You don’t want it to frustrate them or cause them to be angry.

For adults that still live at home all of the same ideas still apply. Plus, there are community programs your loved one can sign up for. Do a search for Elder Day Cares or community groups for elders in your area. Help them if they need it to find these programs, and hopefully, they will allow you to assist them. Not all people who suffer from Dementia are willing to accept help, unfortunately.

Do you have any thoughts? Leave them in the comments.

Sign up for my Mailchimp newsletter!

Vintage Thanksgiving Music!

Turkey day is almost here. I have been out and about all day. There are people everywhere shopping for Thanksgiving and Christmas. There are some empty shelves, and a store I had never been in, Tuesday Morning, had lots of holiday stuff picked over and it isn’t even Black Friday yet. I was going to Black Friday shop with my daughter, but she decided after today she wasn’t really feeling the crowds, lol. I have been in three different Dollar Tree stores in the past week, for a craft I want to make for the holidays, and people are buying up everything. Did you hear they are raising everything to 1.25 at the Dollar Tree? I don’t know how I feel about that.

Does music bring you joy? Did you even know there was music just for Thanksgiving? I didn’t! Music is a great way to be nostalgic, festive, and happy. I found this Youtube video of just vintage Thanksgiving music. When you first listen to it you might think it is a mistake, but keep listening. Be sure and play this on Thanksgiving during dinner. I know I will. I think musicians should pay attention. This is a very underserved area of music. There is Christmas music, and even for Halloween, but Thanksgiving is neglected. When is the last time you heard a new Thanksgiving song come out on the radio? I will wait.

Sign up for my Mailchimp newsletter!

Success! You're on the list.

Can Dementia Be Prevented or Delayed?

Hello, and welcome to another Healthy tip on Tuesday post. So, what do you think, can Dementia be prevented? Well, you might be surprised, but yes apparently it can be, at least for 40% of cases. There were two things that were not on the list that surprised me, sleep and stress management. Be sure and come back tomorrow for this week’s Family Cookoff results!

The one risk factor that you absolutely can not change is age. Dementia is more common in people over age 65 as the brain ages along with the rest of the body. But, that doesn’t mean it is inevitable that you will get the latter stages of Dementia.

I will post a link to the study that I am talking about here. It is very long, and if you don’t understand medical jargon it might not make a whole lot of sense. So, I found a short video that compresses it into 12 minutes and I will give my thoughts on each risk factor below.

There are 12 risk factors that are modifiable and are related to lifestyle changes. I especially want to point out the importance of making these changes while you are young so that you won’t set yourself up for Dementia even if you feel well at a young age.

As a society, and yes that includes me and my family, we need to reconsider the way we eat, what we eat, lack of mobility, food deserts, lack of healthcare for the poor, education disparities and so much more.

You can start modifying these risk factors right now!

  1. Education Level: Studies show that those with lower levels of education level, especially before the age of 20 increases your risk of getting Dementia. Studies also show, continuing to learn even after age 20, while it may not prevent Dementia it can slow the progress of Dementia. Reading, puzzles, learning a new language, anything that takes intense thinking, or brain usage is the goal. Lifelong learning! Just do it!
  2. Hearing Loss: This one kind of surprised me and yet it makes sense. Loss of hearing, especially in midlife, and probably due decreased communication skills was actually a huge risk factor for getting Dementia. Hearing aides are extremely expensive, and if by chance anyone important reads this comprehensive hearing coverage should be offered to all US citizens as prevention for Dementia.
  3. High Blood Pressure: A lot of these risk factors relate to Vascular or blood vessel disorders. High Blood Pressure is one such case. This one is just self explanatory and everyone should monitor their blood pressure at least monthly, if not more. The studies show that even those who have BP controlled with medication the benefits are still there.
  4. Exercise and Fitness: This is a must to prevent the risk of so many diseases. It can help prevent other risk factors too. It will increase the oxygen to your brain, help with weight loss, and it has to be moderate and consistent. Meaning you can’t just exercise twice a month. You have to exercise routinely for your whole life, though some exercise is better than nothing, I guess. You have to sweat and breathe hard!
  5. Diabetes: You knew this one would be on the list. Diabetes causes all kind of vascular changes in your whole body, including your brain. They do not talk about Type 1, but rather Type 2 Diabetes. Let’s defeat Diabetes! It is possible.
  6. Obesity: Again, you had to have known this one was coming. Obesity is a risk factor for almost every chronic illness there is. The study showed even losing just 5 pounds for people with a BMI over 25 greatly increased their level of concentration and memory.
  7. Smoking: Again, this makes sense. Smoking causes all kinds of vascular changes in the body, and the brain. The study showed that even if you smoked your whole life, and then quit in later life, the benefits for preventing Dementia were good.
  8. Depression: Especially untreated Depression. If you are depressed please seek medical attention and treatment. I know the medications can be unpleasant, but Dementia isn’t exactly fun.
  9. Social Contact: Studies show that especially in older adults who are widowed, social contact is extremely important to preventing Dementia. I am not sure if they know why, but we need stimulation even when we are older.
  10. Air Pollutants: This is a huge issue for urban areas, and for countries where pollutants are not regulated. With all the talk about Climate Change these days, I think we should be talking about cleaner air to prevent Dementia, and other chronic illnesses.
  11. Alcohol Consumption: This is not a lot of alcohol either. If you are a heavy drinker, or even a moderate drinker, you may be damaging your brain and increasing your chances of Dementia. Alcohol causes all kind of vascular changes in the body.
  12. Traumatic Brain Injury: Alright all you sports lovers, you need to protect your brain. Any brain injury, that causes trauma, can increase your chances of getting Dementia. Concussions, falls, etc can all lead to TBI.

If you have any of these 12 modifiable risk factors, it is never too late to start making changes. If you are young, and reading this, you are the future of this country and you need to be mindful of taking care of your bodies while you are young. I know personally, my family needs to change some things too.


Sign up for my Mailchimp newsletter!

Success! You're on the list.

What Lurks In Your Drains?

Hello, and welcome to another Healthy Tip on Tuesday. Halloween is this week, if you live in the US, and I thought something creepy would be fun.

When you think of your sink or tub drain, do you think it contains loads of bacteria? Believe it or not, it does, and you might be surprised that most of that bacteria comes from washing your hands and it washing down the drain. Hospitals found that handwashing was possibly leading to increased levels of resistant bacteria, and when they started to disinfect down the drains their cases went down. Of course, food, toothpaste, dirt, and any other item that goes down the drain, and sits there can grow germs. Check out my post on why you should be disinfecting your home every day.

Of course, germs can live on any surface including your hands, face, phone, tv remote, handles, keys, etc. Disinfecting frequently touched items on a daily basis can keep you from getting sick. Make it a habit, and it will soon be routine for you to do it.

Below are some fun videos for you to watch on this topic. If you would like to know how to disinfect your drains you can read here, and here.


Sign up for my Mailchimp newsletter!

Success! You're on the list.

Don’t Go To Bed Angry!

Hello, and welcome to another Healthy Tip Tuesday! I think this issue is more particular to women than men. Women tend to ruminate and overthink things. Men just let it go, not all men, but I think in a general way this is probably true. So, my Healthy Tip for today is, don’t go to bed angry.

This is a Health blog, with help topics. Relationships, and emotions, are all part of Health. Being angry is normal, and even necessary. It is how you go about your anger that matters. Sleep is another Health issue and many people don’t get enough of it, except my teenager she gets plenty, lol. Going to bed angry is going to make you have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep. Your spouse, or partner, may be sleeping away and you are angry, and it probably is only making you angrier. A lack of sleep will effect you the next day, possibly making you grumpy, or snappy, at work or in other relationships such as with your children.

You might not even be angry at your spouse. Maybe it a coworker, neighbor, friend, or relative. The point is get it out in a constructive, mature, and healthy way. Yes, I just said that. An argument doesn’t have to be loud, toxic, rude, disrespectful, and violent. That is childish. One thing that annoys me more than anything is people who think everything is an argument, like arguments are all bad. People make them bad by infusing extremes into the argument. Just have an intelligent two sided conversation where each side gets to speak their grievance. Say your peace, let it off your chest. Do not expect, though, that just because you said your peace the result will be as you want. The point is to not carry your anger, or frustrations to bed with you, not to get everything your way.

I know for me this is particularly difficult. I am a ruminator, not necessarily angry, but I rethink things, and reassess. It is just in my nature. But, I have to stop myself, make a list of things to do or revisit, and then allow myself to rest my mind an go to sleep. I have a very active brain that has a hard time resting. But, I have to rest, and so do you. It is so important to good Health!


If you would like to learn about using a Health Coach to meet your health goals, use the contact form at the end of the post to send me a message.

Sign up for my Mailchimp bi-monthly newsletter below. The next one goes out tomorrow.

Success! You're on the list.

Get to know oxalates!

Hello, and welcome to Healthy Tips on Tuesday! This week’s tip is really a teaser of topics to come. Get to Know Oxalates!

I already knew some about Oxalates, because I have CKD. But, I did not know to the extent that they are toxic, and even poisonous. Oxalates are found in lots of plant foods. I have been strictly plant-based for about 2 months now, and I have noticed some odd symptoms. But, I am still researching this, and I don’t have a ton of time today to do a large post. Plus, it is a teaser. You will just have to pay attention to learn more about this topic.

Tomorrow I will most likely be doing my last post on Diverticulitis, and then I can concentrate on Oxalates after that.

If you are Vegetarian, Vegan, Plant-Based, or just eat a ton of plant foods every day, you are going to want to keep up with this topic.


Sign up for my Mailchimp newsletter. The next one goes out tomorrow.

Success! You're on the list.

what is diverticulitis?

Welcome to another Tuesday edition of Health Tips on Tuesday. August is Colon Health Awareness Month and I have been discussing Diverticulosis. Today, I am going to talk about Diverticulitis. It is a sister disease to Diverticulosis. You can read the other posts on this topic in the archives.

Diverticulitis is very common especially as we age. You have to have Diverticulosis to have Diverticulitis. Why? Because Diverticulitis is inflammation, and or infection, of the Diverticulum that are present in Diverticulosis. Remember that diverticulum are pouches that form usually in the lower colon and can not only become infected but also can blow, or perforate causing much larger issues.

There are 3 videos below that explain Diverticulitis and have images to help you visualize what I mean. It may be disturbing to some people, so watch wisely. The 3rd video is in Spanish, to explain it to any Spanish readers that may visit this blog. I only know a little Spanish, so I can not verify what he is saying. I tried to find it in Sign Language as well, but I could not locate any, except for one with signs for common symptoms. So, I will share that for any medical people so you can have at least some basic signs to communicate with hearing impaired patients.

Success! You're on the list.

Can you retire with no money?

It’s like I just realized I was 51, soon to be 52, or something. Happy Tuesday! For the next little bit Tuesdays will be dedicated to topics about retiring. This post may contain affiliate links.

I will be 52 in August. While I worked full time and then some up until I had my first child, I have only worked part time since then. Now my youngest will be graduating next year and it is time to start thinking about things beyond child rearing, and homemaking. This blog, through Health Coaching, is intended to hopefully carry me into my Golden Years with a few paying customers and decrease the burden of bedside nursing on an older body. I need to start to invest more in advertising, promoting, and or other ways of making money blogging for that to work. I probably am one of those personalities that will never fully retire. I have to be busy and have a purpose. I love nursing. It is the only job I have ever had since the age of 17. While I can keep myself busy doing other things, busy work is not really a purpose to me, so I will probably always work some. But, that doesn’t change the fact that retirement years will be upon me soon enough.

If you are in your 50’s and you have not yet started to think about, or save for retirement now is definitely the time. But, what if you have not been planning all along and now you are afraid you will retire with no money. I would say a lot of people are in this situation. Gone are the days of having a pension with a company your work for your whole life. You may have an employer that offers a 401k and they may even add some money into it too. So, if you are old enough to remember back in the 90’s when Health Care became a for profit industry and a money making boom, you may have also noticed that is when companies started to do away with a pension option and steered more towards having a 401k. Why? Well for one thing you could assume it saved them a ton of money for many reasons. But, in the bigger picture it made the Stock Market a whole lot of money with a whole new brand of investors. Most 401k’s have some kind of investment in the Stock Market. You can of course opt out of that, but it hopefully helps you add to your 401k not wipe it out. If youOf are in your 50’s and just joining a 401k be sure and read your options carefully, and ask questions. You will want to be in the lowest risk option which may not make you as much money, but usually means you won’t wipe out the whole value in a crash either.

What if you have none of that, and have not set aside money either? Hopefully, you will qualify for Social Security and there are people who live on just Social Security. Now you won’t be skiing in Aspen, or buying a new boat, most likely but if done right you can manage. Did you know the average SS payment is only 1500 dollars a month. Think about your debt and bills and could you live on that?

My husband and I have dedicated this year to spending down our debt. We have been somewhat successful, but of course the central air had to die and had to be replaced. But, because we had paid down other debts we have the money to cover this debt without having to kill ourselves working more. I am sure we will carry this into the next year, as paying off our mortgage is a big goal.

Health of course is always a concern. The cost of Health Care is exorbitant especially as we age. With Kidney Disease I do worry about medical bills that may come in the future. That is why I have tried so hard to reduce my risk for my Kidney Disease getting worse, or complications from it. Just the cost of pain medicine for Chronic Pain can be extremely costly. They don’t mention this in the video below, but to me alleviating unnecessary medical bills by making healthier lifestyle changes should be included as a way to help retire with no money.

Of course learning to cook, cutting your food budget, and never wasting food are all things that will help you retire with no money saved.

The video below is very short and will help give you some ideas to help you if think you will be retiring with no money. You can also read this article here.


If you would like to learn more about my 30 day Health Coaching Plan, just click here. If you join my mailing list you will qualify for a 25% off coupon for Memorial Day on my day coaching plan. Just enter your email below and you will receive the newsletter with the coupon code over the weekend.

Success! You're on the list.