i took the plunge!

Hello, and Happy Tuesday to all of my wonderful readers. I took the plunge today. Keep reading to learn more.

You probably are thinking I went sky diving or something, right? Nope. I took the plunge off the deep end of online grocery shopping and pickup plunge.

I have never tried this feature before and I don’t know if I will ever go back to in store grocery shopping. Why?

If you read here often than you know we are trying to follow a strict budget this year, to spend down debt. I was doing good with the budget grocery shopping, but then I got off the rails and have been going over, not by a little, for a while now.

So, reason #1 for doing the online shop and pickup is to stay on budget. I order exactly what I know I will need on the app, hit submit, pick a time to pick it up, show up, park, and they even pack it in the car. It was super easy and super fast. I was not there more than 5 minutes. Grocery shopping, normally, was at least a 2 hour event, from start to finish the old way. It could even be longer with my teen, or hubby with me. I have to say shopping with teens, and our spouses, is definitely not budget friendly. My bill was at least half by doing it on the app, and pickup, then when I shop in the store.

The #2 reason for doing online and pickup shopping is because Covid is running rampant here where I live. 1 in 3 people are likely to have Covid according to the numbers. I am vaccinated, but because I work in health care I am extra careful right now, and with a lot of people choosing not to wear a mask, I have to consider my own safety, and the elderly people I care for. The Delta variant has shown to be able to cause breakthrough infections in vaccinated people, though much less severe than unvaccinated, and it can be spread by the vaccinated at least for Delta.

Some of my favorite stores, like Trader Joe’s does not offer this feature, and that makes me kind of sad. But, I do not get to shop there that often anyways due to distance.

Have you tried online ordering and pickup? Is it something you find useful, or no? Let me know in the comments


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food for your eyes!

July has been a bumpy, and rocky month so far. If you would like to learn more about why, sign up for my Mailchimp newsletter below. You will get my weekly newsletter on Wednesday where I share content not shared here on the blog, plus lots of other great stuff. This post may contain affiliate links.

July is Eye Health Awareness month, here on Health Buddy Melissa. I really don’t have a lot of experience with eyes, except for my own. I have weird eyes, read about it. But, I am wondering if some of the weirdness is related to my diet. I need to start keeping an eye log so I can compare the weird eye days to what I ate the previous day to pinpoint if diet is the issue. Nothing else has worked, though I do think Phosphorus intake has a part of it too, which is of course diet.

According to Healthline, there are 7 foods that can possibly improve, or slow the progression, or night blindness and Macular Degeneration. I will talk more about those two subjects in a future post. Be sure to read the article and watch the video below for more details.

The 7 foods are:








Along with those 7 foods there are some other things that can help keep the eyes healthy.

Visit an eye doctor every 1 or 2 years. If you can not afford one, see this post.

Don’t smoke

Wear sunglasses

Wear safety goggles at work if needed

Maintain a healthy weight

Manage blood sugar

If you would like to meet your Health Goals, message me to discuss my coaching services. I am accepting new clients!


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day 7: Low Fat macaroni and cheese

Hello to all of my happy readers! Today is day 7 of my Zero Points Food Challenge, which is sort of based off of the WW Zero Point Food List. You can read the rules for my challenge, here. I do my meal plans monthly, but I have had to change this month around a bit to accommodate the challenge. I have had no red meat at all in 7 days, and honestly I am OK with that since with CKD I don’t eat much red meat anyways. Where I live it is hard to get low fat cheese, except Mozzarella, but I was able to go to Publix and find some Low Fat Cheddar cheese. You may see affiliate links in this post.

Today was a weird day of eating for me, so far. I was starving when I got up but didn’t really have time to eat anything. So, it was just coffee, but by lunch it was so hot and humid I didn’t feel like salad, or cooking, lol. See below to see what I have, and will eat today. You can see images of the items below. If you have a website and you need a sponsor, check this out.

Breakfast: Just coffee with my Premier Protein creamer. I do not count drinks in my nutrition info.

Lunch: I just wanted something light and I wanted to try the Cabot cheese that I was going to use in my mac n cheese tonight. My husband also needs a low fat diet, though he hates it, but this cheese has a really good flavor. The texture is off a little probably bc of low fat, but I think the half and half will make it creamy. I also had the Good and Gather bitesize Everything Crackers. I was very surprised at how awesome these are. I had one ounce of the cheese, 7 crackers so it fit the 3 grams or less of fat per serving, and then I made 2 cups of air popped popcorn topped with 1/2 tbsp of the Land O Lakes whipped butter.

Dinner: Will be Butterball Turkey Cutlets, 3 ounces for me. I do not use oil, or any fats to cook right now. 1/2 cup or 1 cup of green beans. For the macaroni and cheese I will be making a whole box of elbow macaroni which is 8 servings, add 7 ounces of the Cabot low fat cheddar cheese, and 8 ounces of the Land O Lakes Half and Half. The whole dish, according to my calculator has 2,220 calories, which equals 277 calories per 1/2 cup serving. At the 1/2 cup serving size it is only 5 grams of Fat. So, technically I could have a whole cup for 10 grams of total fat. Add some hot pepper flakes to spice it up while cooking. I will let you know if my husband approves.

Nutrition Info: May not be exact.

Calories: 606 calories

Total Fat: 13 grams

Saturated Fat: 5.1 grams

Cholesterol: 80 mg

Sodium: 912 mg

Total Carbs: 72 grams

Net Carbs: 64.5 grams This is a nice lower carb day for me

Protein: 51 grams This is the highest I go on protein, so if I need a snack it will have to be low in protein, probably fruit, which will add carbs and boost my calories, but I have room. Yesterday I did not have to add anything. What I ate was perfect and satisfying. If you would like to learn more about any of my Wellness Plans, use the contact form after all of the images to email me.

My food tracker app is way off on Phosphorus in foods, by like a lot. So, if you track your Phosphorus due to CKD, I recommend the website Eat This Much. It is way more accurate.

Do you have Chronic Pain from CKD, or other illness? Talk to your doctor about CBD Gummies.


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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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potassium and kidney disease

Below is a webinar from the AKF on the topic of Potassium and Kidney Disease. Not all kidney patients have issues with potassium, but a lot do. Knowing how to monitor your diet for Potassium intake is vitally important.


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What is carb cycling?

There are so many diets in the public arena, that I thought I would go over them. It used to be you just exercised and cut calories to lose weight. Now there are so many different types of eating styles that it can be really confusing.

Carb Cycling is exactly what it sounds like, you eat your carbs in a cycle. Why? For one thing dieting is hard, if you didn’t already know, so for some people taking a break per say, allows them to eat more carb calories on certain days. Athletes also use Carb Cycling with higher carbs on training days and lower carbs on rest days. Pretty easy, right? Well it can be if you already have a general idea of which foods have how many carbs in them. For a beginner it can be very time consuming especially with the planning of meals and the cycle of eating. Low carb would be 50 grams of carbs or less, moderate carbs about 100 grams of carbs and high carb days above 100 with some going as high as 350 grams of carbs that day. This type of eating may also help reset your metabolism when you have hit a weight loss plateau. Unfortunately, there are no randomized controlled studies saying how effecting this type of diet is, but you can admit it makes sense. This is sort of what I have taken up doing as I have hit a plateau. I never go less than 60 grams of carbs in a day, as I don’t want to be in Ketosis. On the days I work at my nursing job, is a moderate to high carb day for me, because I am literally walking the whole shift. I do lower carb days when I either have a rest day, or low intensity workout days. With some basic food knowledge and good planning I think Carb Cycling can be a good approach to losing weight, or losing fat if that is your goal.

As always if you have any questions about certain diets, or eating habits, discuss them with your doctor. You can read more about Carb Cycling here, and there is a short video on the topic below.


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Healthy tips on tuesday: the 1 ingredient diet

I thought it would be fun to talk about the varying and different diets that are promoted and marketed everyday. I read about the 1 Ingredient Diet just yesterday and I thought well that is strange. Then I saw one of my favorite chefs had a brand new cook book coming out on this topic. So, I watched the trailer and was still like that is strange.

After some more research it seems to me the 1 Ingredient Diet is really a Whole Food or Eat Real Food Diet. You eat real, whole food, not processed or convenient meals unless they are made following the 1 ingredient rule. No additives or preservatives either, except maybe salt, because salt is a one ingredient food item. At least I think most salt is. You would need to learn to read labels very carefully. It also means no fast food, or eating out. In other words fruit, veggies, eggs, meat if it has nothing added to it would all be considered one ingredients.

But, I am a but confused because even some processed foods, such as canned veggies or beans are not technically one ingredient if you read the can, but if you had to cook them yourself the ingredients are probably things you would need to add like water and salt. Water and salt are obviously one ingredient on their own. So would canned veggies and beans be OK? What about pasta? If you buy an organic or whole food pasta it may have more than one ingredient in it, but to make the pasta homemade you would need those same ingredients. I am thinking yes, as long as the ingredients can also be declared as a whole one ingredient. But, what about pizza? One of the posts I read said he splurged on pizza before he started the diet because he knew he wouldn’t be able to have it. But, can’t homemade pizza be made with whole 1 ingredient, ingredients? I think it can.

If you were to try this diet it would take some planning and thinking. You would also have to be determined to do it. There is a 30 Day 1 Ingredient Challenge, that I saw some that dated way back to 2012. So, this diet has been around for a while. I think if after 30 days you were able to stick to this diet you would be on your way to kicking the junk food diet.

There are a bunch of recipes on Youtube, and you can find a whole website dedicated to this topic. I like the banana ice cream recipe in the video below. At the end she sprinkles something unknown on the ice cream. I assume this is Cinnamon. Just make sure it is Cinnamon the one ingredient kind, and not Cinnamon Sugar. Or is that still one ingredient combined into 2? LOL!

Here is an article from Healthline that doesn’t call it the 1 Ingredient Diet per say, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/21-reasons-to-eat-real-food Use the contact form under the video to learn more about my One on One Coaching Options.


You can lose weight with me, https://healthbuddymelissa.coach/2021/01/20/lose-weight-with-melissa/ Lose weight over 50 and with CKD.

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