Cholesterol and Heart Disease

Updated 2/16/2023: I will be doing a newer version of this old post soon. This one was originally done in 2019. But, did you know that Heart Disease is still the leading cause of death in men and women, across all races? According to the CDC, one person dies every 34 seconds from Heart Disease. That is staggering to think about.

Cholesterol is a type of fat.  It can build up in arteries causing decreased blood flow to the heart.  Cholesterol is found in the highest amounts, in dairy products, meat, and eggs. 

I can remember the days of nursing when Cholesterol was the only type of fat discussed, that’s how old I am, and how long I’ve been a nurse, lol.   Now there are Triglycerides, LDL, HDL, etc.   Saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and on and on it goes.  So do we need any Cholesterol, or should it just be removed from all diets?  Actually, like any other nutrition item, Cholesterol plays a very important part in the normal function of the human body.  Cholesterol helps the body build new cells.  Well, that sounds pretty important.  Cholesterol also insulates nerves and helps produce hormones.  Again, two very important functions of the human body.  We need Cholesterol.  We just don’t need too much of it.

An optimal Cholesterol level is 200 or below, but I can promise you if you are sneaking around 190, or so, the doctor is going to start the blah blah part.  You can’t live without your heart, and one heart attack can be very debilitating if it doesn’t kill you. I say blah blah because there is so much conflicting information about Cholesterol that a lot of people are just confused and tired of trying to figure it out. Don’t eat eggs, do eat eggs but not the yolk, Cholesterol might not be so bad but sugar is. I mean it can be dizzying trying to figure out what is right and wrong.

So, now comes the blah, blah, part.  You should be having your Cholesterol checked every single year starting in your teens.  Even though a lot of high Cholesterol comes from foods we consume, for some people it can be hereditary.  Even the fittest people, with excellent diets, can have high Cholesterol due to Genetics.  I am not a fan of Statins, they have a high risk of damaging the liver, and kidneys, but if I needed one I would take one.  Exercise, controlling blood pressure, and following a low-fat and high-fiber diet, can help lower cholesterol levels.  Oatmeal is a great way to increase fiber in your diet. If you really like eggs, for your morning meal, the egg yolk is where all the Cholesterol is.  So, egg whites are a better option, and only have one or two whole eggs a week, if that.   If you have Kidney Disease, as well, egg whites are a better option because the yolk is where all the phosphorus is.   Make sure you get actual egg whites, not made from egg white substance.  I don’t even know what that means, egg white substance. Cheese, milk, and other dairy products are also sources of Cholesterol. Did you know chicken, which is a leading food choice for people who want to lose weight, if you read the label chicken is actually pretty high in Cholesterol, even the boneless skinless variety? So, even leaner meats can be high in this type of fat. If you already have a risk for Heart Disease 200 mg of Cholesterol in your diet per day is what you should aim for. If you don’t already have risk factors 300 mg of Cholesterol per day in your diet is a good goal. One small chicken breast has 100 mg of Cholesterol.  If you have CKD you are definitely at risk for Heart Disease, just by the nature of your kidneys not filtering properly.

An optimal Cholesterol level is 200 or below, but I can promise you if you are sneaking around 190, or so, the doctor is going to start the blah blah part.  You can’t live without your heart, and one heart attack can be very debilitating, and it can kill you.

Take care of your heart. You only have one.

My disclaimer is short and sweet. No information on this blog is intended to be medical or nutritional advice. It is for informational purposes only and to spark a conversation.

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medical monday: diverticulosis

Hello, and welcome to a very wet Medical Monday! I am having issues with my pool that are getting on my nerves. I have never had issues with it being nice and clean, and clear until last week. I am assuming it has something to do with the dreadful heat. Anyway, that is not what we are here to discuss. For the month of August I have decided the topic will be Diverticulosis, and Diverticulitis. At least once a week I will do an educational post on these two topics. They very much go together. This post may contain affiliate links.

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What is Diverticulosis. Diverticulosis is when you get small pockets, or pouches in the colon or intestines. Think of them kind of like tiny balloons. For whatever reason it is more common in men than women. These tiny sacs or balloons can hold waste products that moves through the intestine, and can become infected. As with any infection inflammation will occur causing pain, and that is when you get Diverticulitis. But, today we will focus on just Diverticulosis.

The tiny pockets form when the inner layer of the Digestive Tract pushes through weak spots in the outer layer. Almost like a Hernia does, if you have ever had a hernia. Most of the time these pouches will form in the left side of the colon, but you can get them anywhere in the intestines.

Diverticulosis is more common as we age. It is rare to get it under age 40, but some people do.

You may already know what I am going to say next. Studies show that a low Fiber Diet is most likely the predominant risk factor for Diverticulosis after age. Countries where eating fruit and vegetables is abundant, there is very little Diverticulosis possibly even in the over 60 age group. I will discuss this more in another post. If you would like to see what the pouches look like in the colon, watch the short video below. It is age restricted so you will need to click it to go to Youtube and watch it.

What are the symptoms of Diverticulosis?

  1. Some people have no symptoms at all until the pouches become inflamed and they have pain, usually in the lower left side of the abdomen.
  2. A change in bowel patterns. For example you may be very regular with no issues, but all of a sudden you are constipated. Or your bowels become more frequent and loose when that is not your normal.
  3. You may also experience cramping or bloating.

How is Diverticulosis diagnosed?

  1. Since most people experience no symptoms, or have vague symptoms they relate to something else, Diverticulosis is picked up by other exams you may have as Preventative Care such as a Colonoscopy, or Sigmoidoscopy. They can also be seen via a CT Scan, or Barium X-rays. If you have vague symptoms such as bloating and cramping, and are over age 40 talk to your doctor about having one of the diagnostic exams above. You do not want these pouches to rupture, especially if infected, trust me!

Most people do not need treatment for Diverticulosis other than preventative to prevent the pouches from becoming inflamed, infected or rupturing. Talk to your doctor, but most experts at this stage will inform you to eat a high fiber diet with lots of fresh fruits and veggies. This will keep your stool soft, and moving freely through the intestinal tract hopefully eliminating the pouches from becoming filled with waste and becoming infected. Try to get most of your fiber from whole grains and veggies, as the sugar in fruit can be inflammatory. Nuts and seeds are also good for fiber, but ask your doctor first because they can actually complicate Diverticulosis. If you smoke, quit smoking. If you have other dietary restrictions, or take medications, be sure and discuss with your doctor before you make any major changes to your diet.

If you would like to use a Health Coach to help you meet your Health Goals, hit me up! I am accepting new clients at this time. Use the contact form below to message me and I will email you with dates for a phone meet and greet. The meet and greet is free and should not last longer than 15 minutes. After that you will decide if you would like to hire me as your coach.


Day 3 zero point food/very low fat food challenge

This is hard, lol! I have figured up everything I have, and will eat for today. I need at least 20 more grams of protein without adding fat, salt, or sugar to the daily count. Good grief! Since it is a work day I will hope they have something appropriate at work. They allow us to eat. I will have to let you know tomorrow what I did. Be sure to read day 1, and the trial run I did, to learn why and how I am doing this. I did not lose any weight today, but I ate a ton of carbs yesterday. I was kind of worried about that when I started this challenge, but that will be for the end to talk about. I did have a serving of my pretzels last night.

Today’s foods are low calorie, and low fat. Please remember I don’t track drinks, you can read about why in the trial run I did last weekend.

What I ate today:

Breakfast: My favorite breakfast now green grapes, strawberries, a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar, and 1 tbsp of Cool Whip.

Lunch: Ok, this technically was a 1/2 gram over my fat limit, but I needed to use these up and my daughter wanted some, so I had a half of the Banquet Chicken Patties, on top of an Aunt Millie’s min sub roll, with 1 tsp of the light Hellman’s mayo. Then I had tomatoes, and cucumbers with some Hidden Valley Ranch dry seasoning one serving. The roll added a nice amount of carbs to get me through the day.

Dinner: I put the other half of the Banquet patty in my thermos chopped up, with 1 cup of Happy Harvest creamed corn, and 1 cup of Dishd plain mashed potatoes.

I also take a half of a multivitamin with a fattier meal.


Calories: 744

Total Fat: 17 grams

Saturated Fat: 3.7 grams

Total Carbs: 134 grams

Net Carbs: 123 grams

Cholesterol: 25 mg

Sodium: 1894 mg This is below my target of 2000 mg per day

Please remember to read day 1, and subsequent days as to the rules, and to see pics of items. I tend to use the same items and I don’t add pics of nutrition each time.


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what is food?

I did not get my Wednesday post done yesterday. My daughter needed my laptop all day for her school. I will do it another day.

I had mentioned before that I am reading a book called, Food Matters. It is a book that my son used for a college writing course. I am using it as a base for a Nutrition course for my daughter in the second half of the school year. A lot of the topics I choose to write about here will be writing topics for her.

I figured it would be a good idea to start at the beginning with What Is Food? There will be a lot of facts in this post, but some is my personal opinion.

According to food is defined as: substance consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, fat, and other nutrients used in the body of an organism to sustain growth and vital processes and to furnish energy. The absorption and utilization of food by the body is fundamental to nutrition and is facilitated by digestion. We will use this definition to decide if something is or is not a food, or instead a food item or substance.

One thing that really caught my attention is that water is not considered a food, as it has no nutritional value. However, water does so many vital things for the human body it almost seems odd to not consider it a food. But, by the definition water is not a food. You can read what items are considered food for the SNAP program according to the USDA. They call them eligible foods. You many notice that it does not exclude junk food, or highly processed foods. Last week I was watching a food line on TV, where they were handing out food to people who needed food, and I was surprised to see that Food Banks were handing out soda, chips and other various foods that I consider junk food, not really food. Obviously, that is my opinion because even chips under the definition can be called food, even if it is junk food. Thank goodness most states, I didn’t check them all, don’t consider soda a food, as it really is just sugared water with lots of other chemicals added. Some states consider food to be any item consumed for nutrition or taste, with some exceptions. That one is interesting to me. I chew gum because I have chronic dry mouth, but I have never considered it a food, and it really is not great for my teeth, but it is the most effective at creating saliva especially when I can not have access to constant fluids, like at work. It is mostly sugar and a bunch of additives and has absolutely no nutritional value at all, much like soda.

What about processed foods? Processed foods get a very bad rap, but is it accurate. Most foods are processed in some form or another. If you heat a whole food you are processing it. So, even organic foods that are frozen or canned are processed. Overly processed, or high processed foods are the foods that should be avoided. A lot of the processing process strips out the nutrients in foods, and then after they have processed it they have to add those nutrients back in using additives. Freezing, canning and boxed foods are made that way so they can have a longer shelf life. Does this make them less nutritious? Some people will say yes, others will say it is necessary to feed billions of people in the world without food spoiling too quickly. Highly processed foods are foods that have lots of fat, sugar and sodium added into them to, according to some, make them addicting and irresistible to the human palate. If you have ever tried sugar free cereal there is no doubt that sugar is irresistible. You will most likely add sugar to it. What about low sodium, or sodium free soup? Trust me it tastes like dishwater. You most likely will add sodium to it. As for low fat, well fat is delicious. When you remove fat from foods it doesn’t taste as good. That is why when they make low fat processed foods they add more sugar, sodium and other flavor additives to make it more palatable to humans. There are studies that show that the over consumption of these highly processed foods, even though the label may say they have nutritional value, may lead to Obesity, Diabetes and even Cancer in some cases. Don’t get me wrong we have eaten some of these foods for years at my house, and now I am trying to eliminate them from our diet, but it is extremely difficult. For one thing they are less expensive than whole foods, or less processed foods. They are easier to access than whole foods, or more lightly processed and or organic foods, especially in rural or poor areas. They last a really long time. If you don’t live close to a store and only shop 1 or 2 times a month, then you need food that is going to last a long time. I actually like frozen fruits and veggies as they last so much longer than fresh. The most important thing to remember when you live on a budget, with limited access is to buy the healthiest option foods you can afford. Eliminating cookies, candy, soda and other sugary beverages, pastries, cakes, high sodium foods, high fat foods, etc are all good places to start. After you have conquered that it is time to move to the next step. Message me to learn more. Learning to cook is one of the best things you can do for your health. Even if you don’t like whole grain flour, and have to use frozen veggies and fruit, over fresh organic, it is still a healthier option than buying highly processed already prepared meal options.

I am going to pick on a few foods that I grew up with and absolutely loved, and assess whether they are food, or not.

American Cheese. I actually love American Cheese, it melts lovely and I like the mild flavor. But, is it food? Yes, it is food, the label proves it, but it is a highly processed food, with very high sodium and completely created in a lab. Did you know that? I did not. So, while yes it technically is food, if the ingredients of the food can possibly not be digested well, or possibly cause illness should it be labeled a food? It can not even be called cheese, it has to be labelled processed cheese. Read more about American Cheese.

Next, Velveeta Cheese. OMG I loved Velveeta growing up. My grandmother always had it at her house, and it melted so nice and even made veggies taste good. Sound familiar? We always had it at our house as well. Velveeta is another cheese that is a highly processed cheese. I do not really consider it food anymore. Any nutritional value it may contain is awash when you consider the sodium in it and all of the preservatives and additives. Now, would I eat it if I had to? Of course! It has a very long shelf life and would be better than nothing. Read more about Velveeta.

Spam. While I never actually ate Spam, my grandmother did and so do a lot of elderly people I know today. Why? It is extremely affordable and lasts a very long time. Surprisingly Spam only has 6 ingredients. Yes, you read that correctly. I would say it qualifies quite nicely as a food. However, it is high and sodium and nitrates to maintain its long shelf life. There is a low sodium option. Read more about Spam.

The very last one, Kraft Mac N Cheese. A food staple in many American homes. It has a long shelf life, is easy for teens to make, and does have nutritional value. However, powdered cheese apparently has pthalates in it. What are pthalates? They actually are quite unhealthy and may show up on a food label as DEHP. Kraft recently announced no additives or preservatives in their Kraft Mac N Cheese. Unfortunately, DEHP can be leached into food from packaging. I am not saying there is DEHP in their packaging, but it should be on the label if it is, which I am not sure is a requirement. This makes me scared to let my kids eat it, or any other packaged food. Unfortunately, breaking the Mac N Cheese boxed style, has not been easy to achieve at my house, though I have at least decreased the consumption of it. Now, I am kind of picking on Kraft, but for many Americans their food products offer a easy, affordable food source. Read studies on pthalates.

So, what can you do if you rely on these types of foods to feed your family? Educate yourself as to what is in the foods you consume. Read blogs like this one, and others, to learn about food. Take a Nutrition course, or work with a Health Coach to help you find and make healthier food choices for you and your family. Write your Senators to insist on healthier foods, more food tests for safety of food, and better food labels. Trust me the food industry makes billions every year, they can afford it, they just need the will to do it. Raise awareness, such as I am doing here. Don’t nag, people don’t like that. Assess what you eat, and make small changes where you can such as removing soda and sugar drinks. Don’t expect to make changes all at once, it will take time. Don’t stress, you need food.


Is sugar Evil and Addicting?

Happy Tuesday! Is sugar evil and addicting? I don’t think sugar in and of itself can be considered evil. However, the food industry can be.

Did you know sugar is 8 times more addicting than cocaine? How would I know such a thing? Because they did a study, and you can learn about that study in the video below.

Why am I even bringing this up? Well for one thing this is a Holistic Health Coaching blog, and I am the owner. While I am certainly no one to say my nutrition status is perfect, but I choose to continue to learn and improve to be the healthiest I can be. A couple of years ago my son took Writing course at his college, but the book they used was about food. Weird right? Well, he moved out last weekend and I found the book when going through his items. It is quite a good read. It is called Food Matters and I will be using it for a Nutrition course I am making for my 16 year old daughter. I will be using a lot of the writing topics on this blog. I intended to write about Heart Health and sugar. But, it seemed better to start with a more thorough video explaining how sugar is used by the food industry in processed foods to get us all hooked on their products. The video is not short, but he does explain it in very easy terms exactly how added sugars are making us fat and unhealthy.

Have you ever read a food label. I read them all the time, but never really paid attention to sugars. Why? I don’t know. I guess because I was more interested in protein and sodium levels due to having CKD. But, as I learn about added sugars, and the deleterious effects on health, I have started to pay more attention to sugars on labels. Look at the image below. I did not buy this food item for this post. It is always in my pantry because my kids and even my husband loves them. They are Poptarts, or toaster pastries, doesn’t matter they are all basically the same. Look at the label. Do you see where it says sugars? It says 30 grams of sugar per serving with 29 of them being added sugars. That is 58% of your daily recommended sugar intake for 2 pastries. That is insane! Plus that is only one meal and some people eat these as a snack. Plus these added sugars are in the form of Fructose or High Fructose Corn Syrup that the body does not digest properly and is very addictive according to the video and other studies.

Plus, did you know there are over 60 names for sugar that are not sugar to trick you into not knowing your eating sugar? Here is a list

The video was created by the Institute for Responsible Nutrition, and this is not a paid post by them. Stanford Health Care created the video it appears as that is where the doctor is from. But, I am looking into their options for promoting their cause. Check out their website. They have some pretty great stuff.

#eatrealfood is their slogan. Have you ever heard the saying, if your food needs a label it probably isn’t real? That is one way to start deciding how to choose healthier foods.

Now, I am not saying this is easy, or will be easy. Changing food addictions are extremely difficult, and if you live in a rural area where there are no real grocery stores it makes it even harder. You could grow your own food. I really stink at that, and you may have limited space. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try or give up. Making the healthiest food choices you can, even if it isn’t the best, is the best place to start. It is even harder when you have a family that may not be as committed to change as you are, or even friends. Be more determined for success than they are to make you fail.

If you would like to work with me to help you start your journey to healthier eating, message me at or use the contact form at the end of this post to email me. I offer a free online meet and greet.

Don’t forget there is still plenty of time to sign up for my August Healthy Kidney Class on Facebook. Go here. It is completely free, and I do at as volunteer service. I still have three spots open.


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Can Losing Weight Improve eGFR for People with CKD?

Updated 3/17/2021 When I was first diagnosed with CKD way back in 2017, one of the first things my Nephrologist told me was that losing weight would help my kidney function. Like many of us who are over-weight, I was yep here we go the fat bandwagon. But, apparently he was right. As I have been researching topics for this blog, and for my own personal knowledge of CKD, there have been a few studies on this topic. As with all things CKD there are not many studies, and they are not particularly large, and are often sponsored by companies with products to sell. But, some is still better than none. While I have very good muscle strength and do not find it difficult to build new muscle, even on a protein restricted diet, like most women who have had babies and have reached Menopause, I do carry extra weight around my middle and hips. I have never been super slim, even before children. I have always had a bulky strong look to me, and the smallest I have ever been was 20 pounds over where my doctor said I should be for my height. It is very hard for me to lose weight. I lose inches, but the weight just really takes a long time to budge. Because my ultimate goal is to heal my kidney function, or at the very least get back to stage 2, weight loss is a very important part of that goal. Through all of the trials and errors, I think I have finally found a system that will work for me, not just in the short term, but in the long term as well. It is not an easy plan, and it is not fast, either. But, when I stick to it strictly, I can lose a half a pound a day, safely. I may write an ebook, or I may make the info a pdf for my newsletter followers. I haven’t decided yet, and it will be some time before I am sure the results are not just water weight or something like that. Plus, I need to have my labs checked to be sure it is completely safe.

Read my exciting March 2021 Kidney Update!

For the month of March 2021 I am giving away free coaching sessions related to Kidney Disease. Click to read more.

I found several articles on weight loss and egfr. But, I found this one easy to read, and with lots of information. Some of it you may not understand, but you will get the idea. My husband can lose weight very fast, I can not. I am not sure why, but I am sure it probably has to do with my CKD.,and%20without%20overt%20renal%20disease.

The article above talks about how difficult it can be for people with CKD to lose weight, especially if you also have Diabetes, or HTN. I do not have either of those, but I am right at the borderline for HTN. Again, weight loss will help keep my blood pressure in a good range. Weight loss will also help egfr by decreasing inflammation, proteinuria, and hyperalbuminuria. I do not currently have any of those, but I did when first diagnosed. I do get inflammation occasionally when I exercise too hard, but some of that is normal body response. I also have a tendency to retain water in my fingers. I always have, but if I am not careful it can get worse. Most of the time it is when it is extremely hot and humid and I have not hydrated myself well enough. I have labs done at the end of next month, so I will have a good idea how my diet and exercise plan is effecting my kidneys.

The article also talks about Bariatric Surgery for those with CKD who are morbidly obese and just can not lose weight. The study showed positive results. While I am not a candidate for Bariatric Surgery, and I believe in Diet and Exercise, if you just can not lose weight due to issues with your CKD, you might want to look into Bariatric Surgery to see if it is a viable option for you.

Obesity is such a huge problem in the USA. With Obesity being a risk factor for getting CKD, or at the very least renal dysfunction, there is every good reason in the world to lose weight. If you follow my Portion Distortion posts on Mondays, you will know that most of us are consuming way more calories in portions than is recommended. I read a blog where they lost weight just by controlling their portion size. They didn’t follow any other restrictions such as Keto, low carb, low fat, a certain amount of calories per day, etc, they just ate the proper portion sizes according to package labels. Hats off to them! Now I don’t know if they were successful in maintaining that, and keeping the weight off long term. But, if you stick with something for at least 3-6 months it will hopefully become ingrained and a habit in your every day lifestyle. Of course, family and friends are huge obstacles to losing weight. You have to have more will power to succeed than their will power for you to fail.

If I stick to my plan I can lose 1/2 pound per day, and I have already lost several inches on my arms, waist, hips, and thighs, but not my chest, sadly. Vacation was tough and I did not stick to it, and gained back 5 pounds of the 6 I lost. But, I am back on track and have lost 3 of those 5 in just a week. Follow this blog to read future updates and how I am progressing on my Diet and Exercise plan. Don’t forget to read the article. It has some great info.

I am also a certified American Kidney Fund Health Coach. This is a volunteer position. Before covid came I was setting up in person classes, but that didn’t last long. Now, they have approved for us to do virtual classes, which I am very excited about. I can reach so many more people virtually. Anyway , I am doing the first class next Wednesday. It is kind of practice to see how it goes and what I need to change. Then I will be doing them publicly. I will post the info here on this blog as well as my Health Buddy Melissa Facebook page, and my personal page. The class is free, and anyone can attend that can read and understand English. The first one for the general public will be in August, after my son’s wedding. I will try to do two a month. Right now I am using Facebook events as I am familiar with that format. But, once I upgrade this blog I can do them right here. Or, Skype and Zoom are other options. I thing Google Connect also could be used, but I have no idea how to use that. So, I will have to familiarize myself with that.

If you would like to learn about using any of my Health Coaching services, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page, after the images, to contact me. Or, you can email me at Ask about my brand new It’s A New Day, 30 day coaching plan.

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Wellness Wednesday: Canola Oil

I follow some Kidney boards on various websites, and there was a lot of discussion about Canola Oil.  I don’t use Canola Oil, I prefer Olive Oil, but it piqued my interest because a lot of kidney recipes call for using Canola Oil.  So, I thought I would do some searching around to find answers.

Canola is an oil mostly made in Canada and apparently was created by Canada.  It is derived from crushing rapeseeds.  The biggest complaint I was reading is that Canola Oil is unhealthy because it contains a very small amount of Trans-fats.  Trans-fats are known to cause or complicate many illnesses.  The US has banned Trans-fats which went into effect in 2019.  That means companies can no longer use trans-fats in their products.  However, some foods will still contain small amounts, less than 0.5 percent is still considered no trans-fats.  Canola Oil does have a very small percent of low trans-fats, as do all vegetable oils that go through processing procedures.  So, people saying Canola Oil is bad need to know that all vegetable oils go through this process.  Unless you purchase cold-pressed vegetable oils which are apparently quite expensive and hard to get.  A better approach would be to limit the amount of oil you use.

So, why is Canola Oil used in so many kidney recipes?  It is high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 in good proportions. Canola oil has a ratio of 2 to 1 Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio.  These fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation and may help prevent heart disease.  Individuals with kidney disease have an increased risk of getting heart disease.  Canola Oil has been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels which also may lead to heart disease.  I use Olive Oil, but I may very well switch to Canola Oil.  I will try to find cold-pressed Canola Oil.  Olive Oil is very healthy, but it has a 13 to 1 Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio.

Below are some sources for you to read about Canola Oil and other oils.  Use the contact form below to message me if you are interested in my Health Coach services.


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Mindful Monday: You Are What You Eat!

How many times have you heard that in your life?  Do you believe it?  Does it offend you?  I have two ways that I used to look at this idea, one good, one bad.

First the bad.  I used to get offended by this statement.  Mostly because I was ignorant of what the people who would say these things meant.  What does that mean, even?  Well, even though nurses get  Nutrition education in school, Dietitians do most of the counseling, educating, and advising.  So nurses never really get to explore more about Nutrition and how it really affects the body. You know if you don’t use it you lose it.   Plus, let’s admit it, there is a new study every week with a new do this, and not that, or go back to doing that.    It is confusing, time-consuming and downright frustrating.  Working, raising kids, and not really understanding what is really in the food we were eating, led us to eat fast, convenient, easy, processed foods instead of cooking which was more time consuming and took a lot of energy.  Plus those processed foods a lot of times were in fact cheaper.  Living on a tight budget, so I could homeschool my kids I was convinced fast and convenient was OK.  But, it really isn’t.  All the salt, fat, and preservatives in these foods can be very unhealthy and pretty void of nutrients.  I had to relearn what I learned 30 years ago in my Nutrition class, plus update all that for all the changes.  We now mostly cook fresh foods, at least my husband and I do, the kids are a bit tougher.  They are at the stage where fast and convenient works for them.  I am working on them through education.  Knowledge is power!

Now for the good thought.  I knew deep down in my heart the way we had been eating was not healthy for any of us.  I let commercials, other people, and convenience rule my mind.  I had to become more mindful of what I was putting in my body and the bodies of my family.  Some of you may be wondering if that way of eating caused my Kidney Disease.  No, according to my Nephrologist there is no proof of that.  My kidney had slowly been feeling probably since my teen years and is probably genetic.  Plus, thank goodness we didn’t eat awful too many years.  But, eating all the processed, cheap and convenient foods did nothing good for my kidneys.   My family and I still have lots to learn.  It is hard to break old habits and replace with new ones.  It is a marathon, not a sprint.   I don’t eat the way I used to.  I have conformed myself.  Now that doesn’t mean I don’t cheat or fall of the good eating wagon.  That would be a lie.  I still have a weakness for potato chips and salty snacks. But, by being mindful of what I put into my body, and yes I now realize it is true, I am what I eat, has helped transform my thought process.   It helps to just not buy them, lol,  I wish I had a Health Coach back when work and life started getting more stressful, to help me learn to cook healthy easy fast meals that didn’t cost a fortune.    My husband and daughter are doing ok, and it is my son that I worry about the most.  He is in college and working full time.  The perfect scenario to eat awful foods, and yes that includes fast food and most restaurants.

Do you want to learn how to be more mindful of what you put in your body?  Do you need to learn how to cook, shop on a budget, create a meal plan?  These are all things that I as a Health Coach, can help you with.  If you would like to learn more about what plans I offer, use the contact form below to message me for a free meet and greet.  I am running an October special, so be sure and ask about that.  I am still doing signups for the November small group weekly sessions, also.  You can see all of my available plans here, and feel free to message me with any questions.  I am always adding new plans, and a new monthly special each month.  So check back often.  I will be offering gift certificates for Christmas, starting November 1 for people to purchase.  Yes, my prices are probably more affordable than others.  I do that for a reason.  I can’t help people if they can’t afford to pay me.  I don’t want to be a millionaire, or make 6 figures.  This is an extension of my nursing career to grow and help others in a changing market for Health Care.



Food on Friday Chocolate Cupcake Day CKD and Diabetes Variations

Before I dive into the cupcakes, a quick update.  Tomorrow, I will be sharing how you can buy Health Buddy Melissa gift cards for loved ones for Christmas, and a cool freebie for five lucky people.  So, be sure and check back tomorrow.

Now for the cupcakes.  October 18th is Chocolate Cupcake Day.  If you have CKD then you know chocolate has Phosphorus and Potassium, and store-bought cake mixes have added Phosphorus in the form of preservatives.  These added phosphates are 100% absorbed by the body and are a hidden danger for people with CKD.   So, here are a few tips to make the chocolate cupcakes more CKD friendly.  For starters make them from scratch, not a box mix.  There are tons of lovely recipes all over the web for mixes made from scratch.  Use white flour to get the lowest amount of Phosphorus and Potassium.  I don’t particularly like frosting from scratch, but that is another great way to know exactly what is in your cupcake.  Another great tip is to have a vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting or chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting.  Again, store-bought frosting is going to have phosphates added to it as a preservative.  Only eat one cupcake, and freeze the rest, or give them away.  Now at my house, they would get eaten and I would be lucky to get one.  Davita has a great cupcake in a mug recipe.  However, it uses store-bought mixes and goes in the microwave.  I don’t microwave food.  But, that is another whole blog post.  You could make your own dry mix and store it then make a cupcake in a mug when you want one.  If you don’t own a microwave, simply make one cupcake in a muffin tin at a time.  If you have food allergies, or sensitivities just alter the recipe as needed, but there are tons online for people with food sensitivities.   Instead of adding eggs to your mix, if it calls for eggs, use applesauce.  You would use a 1/4 cup of applesauce for each egg required.  That will cut way down on Phosphorus.  If you decide to make a Peanut Butter frosting, remember it may very like have Protein as well in it.  If your doctor or dietitian has recommended you avoid any ingredients I have mentioned, then please do so.  I read a very interesting article on Phosphorus in food, and I will be doing a blog post on that soon.

For Diabetics use unsweetened applesauce in place of eggs, especially if you also have CKD.  Use the mug method mentioned above, use Stevia when making your own mix, or frosting,  if sugar is called for.  You could use other sugar substitutes I just prefer Stevia.  Stevia is much sweeter than table sugar so be aware of that.

Just because you have CKD, or Diabetes does not mean you can not enjoy a chocolate cupcake.


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Type 3 Diabetes

So, I talked about Type 1 Diabetes, and Type 2 Diabetes.  Did you know there is a possible Type 3 Diabetes?  In the quest for answers to the explosion of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, studies are starting to point to a type of Diabetes being the possible link to Dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Now as far as I know this is all kind of new.  I only just heard about it and I have worked in the Health Care Industry for 32 years.  It is kind of complicated, and the articles I read were not easy to follow along.  Instead, I chose to share two videos for you to watch.  Some of this information is why Doctors are always saying to reduce sugar consumption for everyone.  Sugar is literally in everything, just like Sodium, or so it seems.  It adds flavor and can be a preservative.


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