Wellness Wednesday: Wear A Face Mask

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April is National Florida Tomato Month, but What if You Have CKD

One of my most favorite things to eat, before being diagnosed with CKD, was fresh garden tomatoes.  Tomato sandwiches were my favorite.

April is National Florida Tomato Month.  But, what if you have CKD?  Tomatoes are low in sodium, protein, fat, and calories.  They are, however, high in potassium.  One medium tomato has almost 300 mg of potassium.   Tomatoes have 24mg of phosphorus per 100grams, so that is good too.  One medium tomato also will provide fiber as well as multiple healthy minerals.

So, if you have CKD, like me, how can you still enjoy fresh garden tomatoes?  Well for one thing substitute half of your recipe with roasted peppers instead of all tomatoes.  There are two recipes, below, both from Davita.  One is for a tomato sauce to use on pasta, or as a pizza sauce, etc, and the other is for a salsa.  I will add how I would make them, to make them, even more, CKD friendly.

The lower potassium tomato sauce   I would roast my own red peppers to decrease the sodium amount.  If you can find low sodium roasted peppers they could be used as well.  Plus a lot of pre-packaged items will be higher in phosphorus than making it yourself.  I would also substitute garlic for red pepper flakes because I don’t want hot spicy.  Note that a serving size is 1/4 of a cup so be careful how much you consume.

Salsa  I would eliminate the jalapeno pepper because I don’t want spicy salsa.  If you have GERD you might want to eliminate any of the spicy items in these recipes.

You can still enjoy some delicious fresh Florida tomatoes.


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My Number One Tip for Time Management

Time management, a skill we can all take advantage of.  Are you always late getting out the door, getting to work, or leaving work?  Do you just seem unorganized and behind?

OK, a little about me.  I am a time management freak.  I do not like to be late, and I loathe leaving work late.  I have 3 goals at work:  be the absolute best nurse I can be, be on time, and go home on time.  I do not want overtime, and I don’t want to stay late finishing stuff I didn’t do efficiently.  I have worked in many types of nursing including big hospitals, little hospitals, nursing homes, home care, and assisted living.  My day looks basically the same no matter where I work.  Why?  Because I have established a routine, or schedule.  This routine will fit no matter what environment I work in.  Now, when I start a new job it may take a bit to get my routine established because I have to get to know where everything is, who people are etc.  But after a few days, I am right into my routine.  Now that doesn’t mean I am not flexible.  I can have a routine and still manage to be flexible.  The routine just allows me to pick right back up where I left off with ease.  I can tell you 95% of the time my routine gets me out on time.  Sometimes, on a really bad day, I will have to stay late, but that is a really bad day.

I have a work routine and a basic home routine.  The one routine I have not worked out yet is my work from home routine.  But, I am working on that.  Right now, because I don’t have any clients,  I am mostly learning and writing content.  So, it seems very relaxed and no need for a routine.  But, trust me I need a routine.  So I am working on that.

If you would like to learn how to make a routine for your day, use the contact form below to message me for a free meet and greet.  All new customers get my basic 30-day coaching plan for $24.99   If you would like to know what my basic home plan and work plan look like, sign up for my weekly newsletter and I will send it to all subscribers.  Use the contact form below to message me, or email me at healthbuddymelissa@yahoo.com


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Wellness Wednesday: How To Monitor Your Family for Coronavirus

Before I get to the main topic of this post, I would like to make a few updates.  I had every intention of expanding this blog in 2020 and aggressively monitoring my Health Coaching business.  However, with everything going on with this novel virus, I have decided to postpone spending any money on new projects for this blog.  It just does not seem prudent at this time.  However, I am still accepting clients for the business, I am just not spending money on advertising and other programs.  I also am continuing with my education.  I just signed up to take a Mindfulness certificate class.  I had started one before but was not happy with the layout of the class.  This will also distract me from all the negative stuff in the media.  I already offer Reiki, Guided Imagery plus several one on one coaching options.  If you are interested in learning about any of them, use the contact form at the end of this post to message me.

I have already discussed disinfecting our home, good handwashing technique and social distancing, and how we are incorporating all of those things in our daily lives.  Now I have added a few more things to help me monitor for any Coronavirus issues in our family.  Why am I doing that?  Well, most importantly because I still have 3 working adults in my home, and acting quickly should any illness show up is very important.  As you know, if you read this blog, I have CKD.  It is vitally important that anyone who gets sick be isolated and monitored very quickly.

1-  The first, and most important thing I have now started is monitoring everybody’s temperature every single day.  A fever of 100.4 is the very first sign that something may be wrong for this new virus.  I have a forehead thermometer, but you can use any thermometer you choose.  If you take a temperature via the armpit mode, you will need to add one whole point to the result you get.  So, if an armpit temp is 99.6, adding one point would make the temp 100.6  On top of a temperature, a cough, new confusion, chest pain, and bluish lips are signs of this new covid-19 virus.

2-  We do not generally wear shoes in the house, but I have now started having each working adult clean the bottom of their shoes with a Lysol wipe as soon as they are in their car from a workday.  Eventually, we will run out of Lysol wipes, and I will have to consider how to continue this action.  All shoes are left on the front porch in the sunlight to help kill germs.  I work in health care, so I am also cleaning my car after each shift, ie the steering wheel and door handles.

3-  I am washing clothes with a 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide to disinfect clothes.  I put the hydrogen peroxide in the bleach option of my washing machine.

4-  If anyone gets a cough or other symptoms, we are staying away from others in the house just to be safe.  We are practicing social distancing at our workplaces as much as possible.  We will self-quarantine at home away from work if any of us get the symptoms of Coronavirus.

5-  If you need to learn how to keep a loved one in isolation, and care for them to not infect others, read about that here.

6-  I do not sew, but I do crochet.  I have crocheted a face mask and then added a cotton liner on the inside to use with my family if we need it.  You can see the image below.  This type of homemade mask is not certified to be used in medical facilities, but if you can sew and can make some for your family, it might be prudent to do so, as they are very hard to come by at this point.  I will make about 10 or so, as I can wash these, disinfect them and re-use them.  Obviously, I am hoping it does not come to need to use these.

7- If anyone in my house gets Coronavirus I will instruct them on using a garbage bag over clothes to care for the sick person.  If you can get gloves that is probably not a bad idea either, but be sure and only buy what you need.  Hoarding and buying up supplies that healthcare workers need will help no one in the long run.  If they get sick and can not care for sick people, who will do it?  Be prepared but don’t be greedy and selfish.

Be safe and take care of yourself.  Be kind to others.


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Wellness Wednesday: Fabry Disease and CKD

If you follow this blog then you know I have CKD, and you also know that there is no apparent cause for my CKD.  I do not have Hypertension, Diabetes or any of the other major risk factors.  I had signed up for an AAKP seminar, today, on CKD and Covid19.  Unfortunately, the webinar was not working correctly and they had to reschedule it.  But, I went to the AAKP website to see what other tidbits they have to offer.  I saw something about Fabry Disease and I clicked on it.  Interestingly enough,  it seems I may actually have Fabry Disease.  Most notably one of the symptoms that caught my attention was the inability to sweat and heat intolerance.  Plus, protein in the urine starting at a young age.  I have had foamy urine since at least the 90’s.  I also sweat very little and have huge issues with heat intolerance.  Even more important to me is my daughter appears to also not sweat and also has heat intolerance.  I see my Nephrologist at the end of April.  I had to change my appt due to him being out of town, but believe you me I will be asking him about this, and if he disagrees with me, I will contact the UCLA in the video below or this Fabry Disease website to be tested.  The gentleman in the video below said if someone has CKD with no known cause, Fabry Disease should be considered.

I hope everyone is practicing social distancing and doing well.  It is a very trying time right now.

Making A Family Meal Plan In A Coronavirus Panic

It is getting real now!  On Friday my daughter and I went to go grocery shopping.  I had initially planned on going to Publix but changed my mind at the last minute.  Instead, we went to Walmart.  I could not believe the toilet paper and paper towel shelves were completely bare.  There was a motor home toilet paper at 6 dollars for 4 rolls.  Sorry not paying that.  But, don’t worry I got toilet paper at Dollar General.  Dollar General and Family Dollar still had toilet paper but not much on the side of cleaning supplies.  As I had mentioned before I don’t buy Lysol, too much of a pain and not cost-effective.  But, I was looking for alcohol and bleach.  There was no alcohol in any store, and we went to five, bleach was just about gone also.  I had to buy alcohol on Amazon and there were only 3 bottles left on there.  Well, unless you wanted to pay 25 dollars a bottle. Hydrogen Peroxide in proper dilution will work just as well, if not better than Lysol. It is also very cost-effective.

I also found frozen chicken thighs at Family Dollar and I bought those.  I do not really want to be eating processed foods, due to my CKD, however, I also have to be realistic.  So much stuff was selling out, peanut butter, bread, Ramen noodles, etc.  So, I had to do the best I could for this week’s menu.  Luckily I stock up on frozen veggies and salad was still readily available.  The fruit was also not sold out, but I had bought frozen fruit at Family Dollar and threw it in the freezer. Some places are running out of fresh meat.  Oh, and bottled water was completely gone too.  I don’t get that.  The virus does not infect the water supply.  I do need to drink bottled water due to CKD, but we bought a water filter instead.  We also only buy what we need not ransack the store and buy everything in sight so others can’t get any.  Don’t forget to come back Friday to see how I adjust my family menu to meet my CKD needs.  My menu runs from Sunday to Saturday.

Yesterday:  Spaghetti with Italian sausage and a side salad.

Monday 3/16/2020:  Leftover spaghetti and a side salad.

Tuesday:  Garlic chicken and pasta.  Veggie and fruit.  Right now  I am buying oranges and bananas fresh fruit.

Thursday:  Ground turkey and brown rice casserole.

Friday:  Hot dogs, mac n cheese, and a side salad. This is not an optimal meal for CKD, however, in a pinch, it will work. Be sure and follow proper portion sizes and buy the healthiest option of hot dog available.

Saturday:  Crockpot BBQ pork roast, mashed potatoes, a vegetable, and fresh fruit.

If you need to learn how to cook, meal plan, meal prep, etc, ask me about my paid subscription Meals With Melissa. I am a Health Coach with a background in nursing. I also have CKD. Use the contact form at the end of the post to send me an email.


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How I Make My Family Meal Plan CKD Friendly

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone is well.  It is getting real here in FL.  I went to Walmart today and there was literally no toilet paper, paper towels, alcohol, hand sanitizer and most importantly the Ramen is sold out.  However, Dollar General and Family Dollar both still have toilet paper and paper towels.  Not so much of the other items.  I did find some on Amazon, so I bought it there, but it is almost all gone there too.

Today’s Foodie Friday topic is on how I made my weekly family meal plan CKD friendly.  I am stage 3, stable labs, no Diabetes and no HTN.  As I stated Monday it was our anniversary this week, and since we are avoiding crowds right now we did have pizza.

Sunday was my homemade chicken noodle soup which there were no leftovers.  I did keep the carcass to make my own chicken stock.  I added carrots, onions, and celery to the crockpot for the soup.  Add your noodles in the last 20 minutes of cooking. Making it homemade helps you control the sodium.  I also parboiled the whole chicken to reduce phosphorus and potassium levels, prior to cooking in the crockpot.

Monday:  Leftovers.  Self-explanatory here.  I worked so I am not sure what they had.  I took a salad to work with me.

Tuesday:  Italian pasta, with chicken and broccoli.  It was supposed to be pork but I already had the chicken out.  I parboiled the chicken prior to pan-frying it in olive oil with no salt seasonings.  Broccoli was steamed, if you have potassium restrictions pick a different, not green veggie.  Pasta with butter, fresh lemon juice,  and garlic.  You could certainly make this fancier with other herbs.

Wednesday:  Anniversary pizza.  This was take out so no way to make it more CKD friendly.

Thursday:  Workday for me, they had grilled cheese and chips.

Friday:  Pork cube steaks pan-fried in olive oil with onions.  Mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli.  I eat only 3 to 4 ounces of meat at any given time.  The mashed potatoes are instant today because I had them on hand.  I only eat 1/4 of a cup of them.  Again, if you have potassium restrictions choose a non-green veggie.  I have never tried to parboil pork, but I am sure it could be done.  We were supposed to have cheddar biscuits but it is too hot to run the oven right now, so they will be saved for another day.  I do not generally eat these.

Saturday:  Crockpot BBQ pork ribs, mashed potatoes, and salad.  I am going to try and parboil the ribs for this one and see how they come out.  I do have to work but I will have it ready for me to eat a nice lunch before I go to work.  I use Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce but you could make your own to keep sodium levels low.  I will make a baked potato in my Instant pot for me, and the rest will have the mashed potatoes.  I add some Kale to my salad but again it is very high in potassium.  Iceberg lettuce is best for CKD.  I also add small amounts of Kale to my smoothies.  Kale is high in Iron and has some protein also.

If you have any questions please use the comment form below to message me.


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Menu Plan Monday

If you are following along with my #walkingchallenge be sure and visit my Health Buddy Melissa Facebook page to add your stats too.  Friday I posted about a new dish we were having and it was a huge hit at our house.  Read the post to learn which one it was and to get the recipe.  This week’s meal plan has a kind of pasta feel to it.

My menu plan for the week of 3/2/2020-3/8/2020:

Monday:  Miracle Pasta, pork on the side for those who want it and fruit

Tuesday:  No cream Italian pasta, broccoli, pork on the side for those who want it, and fruit.

Wednesday:  leftovers of choice

Thursday:  Mac n Cheese, cauliflower, pork on the side for those who want it, fruit

Friday:  This is a workday for me, and kids are going to a play, so dinner is Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup.

Saturday:  Ground orange chicken, brown rice, broccoli, and fruit.  This is a new recipe for us.  I will let you know how we like it.

Sunday:  Skillet turkey meatballs with lemon brown rice, cauliflower or broccoli, and fruit.  This is another new recipe for us.

Come back Friday to see how I made all of these recipes more kidney-friendly for my CKD stage 3.

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Foodie Friday: Are You Eating For Chronic Disease?

Hi, everyone!  I am so happy to be back to my regular scheduled posting schedule.  I am still debating how I want to move forward with my Foodie Friday topics.  Recipes are great, but there are so many other topics that can come under that heading.  So, I will be mixing it up a little bit each Friday.  I am now up to 88 followers.  My goal was to meet the 100 follower threshold by the end of 2019.  As I continue with my Integrative Therapies classes, I am learning so much about ways to improve Health that have nothing to do with dieting, pills, or extreme exercise.  It seems so much of the Health Coaching world focuses on diets and exercise.  I have said before I hate the word diet.  We all follow a pattern of eating, a diet is so negative.  I am currently studying Guided Imagery, and I can not wait to finish so I can start making some audio Guided Imagery files, for people.  Pain, Stress, Weight Loss, Anxiety, and Sleep  are just some of the things that can be helped with Guided Imagery.  Don’t forget about my Better Sleep live group sessions, starting in just a few weeks.  You still have time to get in!  It will be fun, I promise.  Read about it here.  I am optimistic someone will want to join me in that adventure.

Back to this week’s topic.  Are you eating for a Chronic Disease?  What does that mean?  Basically, are you eating in a way that will increase your chance of getting a Chronic Disease, or already have one and still not eating in a way to help your Chronic Disease.  Maybe you need to learn how to meal prep, especially for busy work or school days.  I know those are my hardest days to stick to my healthy choices.  I am tired, and just want something easy.  So, you might turn to fast food, eating out, frozen meals, canned foods, or other highly processed foods, that are convenient but not very healthy.  Maybe you think you can’t afford healthier food options.  That of course is not true, and I can attest to that as well.  It does take a little more planning, and thought, but it is completely possible.  Maybe you have no clue how to cook.  Cooking can actually be therapeutic in itself, and a complete joy.  I actually very much enjoy cooking, it is the clean up I hate.  I can also attest to the fact in FL, in Summer it is sweaty and stinky, making the thought of cooking daunting.  There are ways around that too.  If any of those things describe you, and you want to work with a Health Coach to help you meet your Chronic Disease goals, use the contact form below to message me.  Your initial meeting is free, and there is no obligation to work with me after the initial meeting.  To see all of my available plans, click here.  



Portion Distortion: Corned Beef and Cabbage and CKD

Updated 3/7/2022: Sign up for my newsletter below, and on March 17, 2022, I will have a special offer for my newsletter subscribers.

Happy St Patrick’s Day.  This is the day that everyone is Irish, and wears green.  But, what about the most popular meal served on St Patty’s Day, Corned Beef and Cabbage?  Can you have it if you have CKD?  Of course, you can!  You just have to calculate how much you can have.  To do that you need to know the nutrients in Corn Beef, or at least the ones concerned with CKD;  Sodium, Potassium, Phosphorus, and Protein.  Read on to find out that info.  I will break it down according to how we made it.  I am unsure of the spice package my husband used, so leave a little more room to add some more Sodium.  I used Eat This Much, to figure out the amount of each item.  Don’t forget if you add anything to it when eating it, like Catsup, Mustard, Butter, whatever you have to consider that as well. Also, cooking methods, leaching, etc can change the nutrient values in food.

For 1 oz of Corned Beef, that is not a lot of corned beef folks, so if you eat 3 or 4 ounces be sure to multiply the amount by 3 or 4 depending on how much you eat. The nutrients are as follows and may not be exact so plan wisely.

Protein:  8 grams

Phosphorus:  31.5mg

Potassium:  38.6 mg

Sodium:  254 mg

Carrots, one serving is 1 cup:

Protein:  0.7 grams

Phosphorus:  25.2 mg

Potassium:  230 mg

Sodium:  50 mg

Potatoes, one serving is 1 cup:

Protein:  8 grams

Phosphorus:  210 mg

Potassium:  1553 mg   this is a very large amount

Sodium:  22 mg

Cabbage, a serving size is 1 cup:

Protein:  2 grams

Phosphorus:  50 mg

Potassium:  294 mg

Sodium:  12 mg

Since all kidney patients are different, one item may bother you more than others.  Like, for me Potassium is not an issue, but Protein and Sodium are.  Phosphorus is a complicated nutrient that I think more education should be centered on. So use the info to adjust how much you eat to stay within your limits.  If you do not know your limits,  or how to calculate what you are eating, message me using the contact form below, to set up a free meet and greet to see if I can work with you to help you learn how to track your intake.   Remember I am not a Dietitian, I am a Health Coach with a background in nursing, and a Kidney Patient.   I will assist you to learn how to calculate what you are eating, find resources that will help you to learn how much nutrients are in each food item, keep a food diary, etc.   Or, if you need to learn to communicate with your doctor to advocate for yourself in making health decisions, like requesting a Dietitian referral, requesting easier to understand education tools, etc.

Check out my Meals with Melissa subscription plan. It is not geared towards CKD, but rather a family, but I include tips to make it more CKD friendly, and one on one coaching can further assist.


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