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.


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eat for your master control center!

In case you were wondering the Master Control Center is you brain. The brain controls all functions of the body. It is obviously the most vital organ of the body and keeping it healthy is vitally important. Food plays a big role in Brain Health. I think it is often overlooked as food is overlooked in the treatment of most disease. You may see affiliate links in this post, or any of my posts.

Diet, exercise, and sleep are vitally important to Brain Health. But, today I will focus on Diet. There are 3 diets that have been shown to help improve Brain Health, and the Mind Diet has been shown to decrease the chance of getting Alzheimer’s by up to 35%

I did a post on the MIND Diet, so you can click to read. I also did a post on the DASH Diet. You can also click to read. Along with those check out my post on Trans Fats. While Trans Fats have been banned in the USA apparently they can still sneak it in, so be sure and read labels. Watch for hydrogenated oils, refined oils, or partially hydrogenated. Those may indicate there are Trans Fats in a food source. Canola Oil is a highly refined oil that raises some red flags for Brain Health, but a lot of Kidney recipes include them. I tend to stick to Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

I work with Dementia/Alzheimer’s residents, and I also have a family history. It is a devastating disease and avoiding it is prudent, if possible.

Cholesterol is another hot topic about Brain Health. You can read more about that here.

But, with all of that said, the Mediterranean Diet takes the #1 spot for Brain Health, and apparently has for some years. The 3 different diets I mentioned are all just a tiny bit different, but one thing they focus on is reducing the consumption of animal products, and eating whole foods rather than convenient, or pre-packaged foods that sit on a shelf for very long periods of time. Red meat, especially, should be limited to maybe once a week, or even just a couple of times a month. You may ask why? It is the saturated fats found in these meats that make them unsavory for Brain Health. Pork products can also be considered a red meat depending on the type and fat content. Now, I actually quite like pork, I could care less about beef except once in a while I want it, but pork I like. I try to stick to the leaner cuts with less than 3 grams of total fat per serving. These are not always easy to find, especially when you live in rural areas like me. They also tend to be more expensive, which always baffles me. Why are healthier food choices more expensive than garbage food? It’s a conundrum, I know.

I do not eat fish, except Tuna, and that is only on occasion. I am trying to add more, but I just don’t care for it. So, I have started taking Fish Oil capsules. I only take 2 a day, much less than most people take, but they can cause me bloating and gas, and well yeah who wants that. I am getting used to beans and my low fat food challenge showed me that I can quite easily eat more Vegetarian type dishes for one meal, and then have chicken at dinner. I limit my protein intake due to Kidney Disease, so I don’t get too much anyhow.

On the Fish Oil note I have noticed a nice decline in my blood pressure since I started taking them. Since I have not changed anything else I am thinking the Fish Oil is decreasing inflammation in body helping to decrease my blood pressure. It had been creeping up for a bit now and had me quite concerned. I will let you know if the trend continues.

Anyhow, with all of that said there are several videos below on the Mediterranean Diet. Note that it is not just a diet, but a lifestyle, where regular exercise is part of the diet. I encourage you to watch them and start making small changes today. You will notice as you go it will become easier to start removing some of the non-healthy food items from your diet. A note about nuts, seeds, and beans, they are higher in phosphorus than other foods so be sure and eat proper portion sizes and take your phosphorus binders if they are ordered for you.


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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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How well do you know your kidneys?

This post was intended for yesterday, however, WordPress has not been working correctly. Anyway. How well do you know your kidneys. I have been talking about Stress in the month of April, and last week I discussed Stress and the kidneys. But, do you know what your kidneys are, where they are, or exactly what they do? I have all your answers in 3 little videos. They are sort of repetitive, but each adds something interesting to the topic. Later this week I will introduce you to your heart, and how Stress can hurt your heart. If you would like to sign up for my free Kidney Education Class, click here for information.


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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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my thoughts on the dash diet

Happy Healthy Tuesday! It is cold and dreary here again in the Sunshine State. Today I want to talk about the DASH Diet. I will give my pros and cons.

First the pros, and most of it is positive. The DASH Diet which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. I believe it was created by the NIH and is an award winning diet with many blind studies to prove it works. Why does it work? Well, for one thing it has tons of foods rich in Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium all things that help to lower blood pressure. It is also low in Sodium. Low salt diets are proven to help lower blood pressure. This diet also promotes exercise and low fat foods. This diet can be used to help lower blood pressure, lose weight prevent stroke, and for heart health.

The National Institutes of Health has a whole page dedicated to the DASH Diet, and I like it much better than any information I could find anywhere else. In particular pay attention to the following the DASH eating plan tab. It has a plethora of useful and educational information. In particular look at the definitions for activity levels. It explains sedentary, moderate and active lifestyles in easy to understand terms. When you think of sedentary you may thing of just sitting at a desk, or couch surfing most of the day. But, actually it means a lifestyle where you only do light activities in your day. That could mean you walk a lot, but not at a brisk pace, or not for long enough periods of time. You will not be eating fast food, or junk food on this eating plan, or at least you shouldn’t.

So, now for the cons. For me, or anyone living with CKD, the potassium and calcium could be a problem. Dairy products, which is recommended 2-3 servings a day on the DASH Diet, contains a lot of phosphorus and that may make it incompatible with CKD diets. Also, if you have potassium limits due to CKD this type of diet may be a problem. If your doctor has prescribed this diet to you and you have CKD be sure and ask to have it clearly explained to you so you know what and how much is safe to eat. If you are prone to kidney stones, too much calcium in the diet may aggravate this condition. Always ask your doctor to guide you on any dietary changes you wish to make even if it is proven to help. Also, be aware that low fat dairy, and other products labeled as low fat are often much higher in sodium and sugar than the full fat version. If you have Diabetes or on a carbohydrate controlled diet be sure and keep that in mind.


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healthy tip Tuesday: Drink 2 cups of water to lose weight!

OMG it sounds too good to be true! Right? Well it apparently is true. If you create a habit of drinking 2 cups of water before each meal, you will help yourself lose weight. Of course you still have to eat less food also. I mean water is not a miracle worker. There are studies that prove this to be true. You can read one such study here. According to the study, the participants who ate lower calorie meals, and consumed 2 cups of water 30 minutes before their meal, lost about 4.5 pounds more than the participants who just ate a low calorie diet. The trial was over a 12 week time period. The trick here, obviously is to get yourself to remember to drink 2 cups of water 30 minutes before a meal. It has to be water, not coffee, tea, soda, or some other beverage type.

It takes an average of 66 days for a new habit to form. A habit is something that you just do without thinking about it, like brushing your teeth, or going to the bathroom. This is where Health Coaching can help you. A Health Coach can help you teach yourself new habits. For example, for the drink water before each meal habit, you could set a timer to go off at certain times of the day to remind you to drink your 2 cups of water before your meal. After a while you may not need the timer anymore because your brain will just know to do it. A new habit will have formed.

Try it! See if it works. If you have Heart Disease, severe Kidney Disease, water retention for any reason, on restricted fluids, or take certain types of medications make sure you always talk to your doctor before you try to add more water to your diet. You should always consult your doctor anyways, before starting a weight loss journey, especially if you have an underlying illness.

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Portion distortion: Alcohol

Updated 5/4/2021 So ya’ll know it is New Year’s this week, right? While most people may not have, or go to a party, they might choose to have a small family event at their homes. Below you will see a ton of videos on alcohol and how it effects the body. Because, I have CKD and I focus on that a lot, I will talk about that in relation to alcohol. A portion of various alcohols is equal to 1 beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits which I assume means whiskey, brandy, etc. The link below will explain all of that better than I can. My point only is that 2 drinks is considered drinking in moderation. Alcohol can have very negative effects on the kidneys, especially if you already have CKD. 1- Alcohol raises blood pressure and everyone who has kidney disease knows raising your blood pressure is a no no. 2- Alcohol dehydrates you which makes the kidneys work even harder than they already do, especially if you already have CKD. Alcohol can increase your chances of getting kidney disease too. Those few sentences are good enough reason to not over indulge on New Year’s or any other time. Also below you will find videos with recipes for non-alcoholic drinks. That Pina Colada sure looks like my new breakfast drink, lol. Loving your body is more important than having so called fun and abusing it. Stay safe!

Read more about portions or single serving sizes of alcohol,,which%20is%20about%2040%25%20alcohol If you would like to quit alcohol and find healthier alternatives to enjoying life and de-stressing use the contact form at the end of this blog post to message me, or you can email me at


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Updated walking Buddy Plan

Updated 8/24/2021 Ok, so this is probably the hardest one to come up with, because this is an online Health Coaching business.  I don’t have a gym, or an office.  This Health Buddy Melissa option is the Walking Buddy Plan. 

  Please see the availability calendar below to see what days I am available for the Walking Buddy plan. I do work 2 days a week out of the home, but my schedule stays the same unless I sign up for more days. This is a one on one coaching plan, not a group plan. You can use the Paypal button below to purchase. I only accept US dollars. You must be at least 18 years old. Once I have been notified of your purchase, via Paypal, within 24 hours I will send you a welcome email with instructions for the Meet and Greet. The Meet and Greet is via email, and you will have a short new client intake form to fill out. It will give me vital information as to your walking and or exercise goals, and any medical conditions I should know about. You can ask questions and clarify the plan information you have chosen. All information is confidential through my paid business email at Google Suite. After the Meet and Greet you will have 24 hours to decide if you think I am a good fit to meet your needs. During that 24 hours if you decide I am not a good fit for you, your money will be reimbursed to you. You will need to sign an agreement of service form once you decide to work with me. All of this is done via email. You must be able to open rich text format, or other forms of documents. You may have to print it out, fill it in and then send it back to me. If you absolutely can not do that, you can answer all of the questions via email and sign in the email. I am new to this too, so we will need to be patient with each other. The business hours below are only for Live Walking options for you to pick your two 20 minute sessions from.

The walking plan is for people who may want or need someone to walk with them. This is a virtual walking session that is 20 minutes in length, two days a week, and the price is 80 dollars per month. At the end of the 30 days you can either renew the plan, or just not renew it. I will send you a Paypal invoice if you choose to renew. It is your responsibility to show up for you live walking session. I will wait 5 minutes past the start time and then I will go on to my other business. I will walk with you either outdoors or in your home via a walking video. You must have access to Youtube. I am not in the video, they are videos available on Youtube. We will chat via phone call. At this time I will not do video chats, but I may in the future. This enables you to have a walking buddy. Some people don’t like to walk alone for several reasons. Please be sure to see the available dates and times that I can Walk Live, below. Once a week I will send you an email to discuss your progress, any issues you may be having and if you want a more intensive coaching plan that would include food lifestyle modification, different dieting types, label reading, how to figure out and track your macros, etc. At no time will I promote diet pills, FAD diets, or any other unproven safe ways to lose weight. There are plenty of those available already. If by chance I get a lot of people signed up I will create a waiting list.

If you have Kidney Disease or any other Chronic Illness, or are new to exercising the Walking Buddy Plan is a great place to start your Journey to a more active lifestyle.

Please always read my Updated Disclaimer.

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