National Kidney Month 2023!

Welcome to National Kidney Month 2023.

As you know I am passionate about kidney health and I finally just completed the updated version of the AKF Kidney Health Coach classes. I actually was pleased to see that the new classes focus a lot on the prevention of getting Kidney Disease and preventing CKD from progressing to Kidney Failure. I think this class will be much more effective for people to understand and get information from. So, you will start seeing me share the information on this blog, and people can request to do the class with me if you don’t want to wait for each slide to get shared. More about that later.

All this month, not every day, because I have other topics I like to share, but I will be sharing information from various kidney groups to highlight National Kidney Month.

My second exciting update is that I have finished my Medical Billing and Coding Classes, and now am ready to take the certification exam. I say ready, but there are a few more areas I would like to refresh my memory on before taking the certification exam. The exam can take up to 5 hours, which is hard for many reasons. I will be talking more about Medical Coding and Billing in relation to me as a nurse in future posts.

That is it for now. Come back tomorrow to see what I share.

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14 days of Gratitude: Day 12, Plus My Dollar tree food challenge and a few updates

Updated 11/20/2021: We are almost to Thanksgiving 2021. Have you been practicing being Grateful? I have!

Welcome to Tuesday! I hope everyone is having an amazing day. I am so loving the weather in Florida right now. 70’s during the day, and 50s at night. Windows can be open, fans in the window. I love it!

Thanksgiving is 2 days away, and it will be much different this year, but I will post more about that on Thanksgiving. But, I am doing so food prep today. This year I am making homemade stuffing, check back Thursday to see how that went, homemade apple pie, again check back, and I am making homemade cream of mushroom condensed soup. It is super easy, and I am hoping super delicious. That of course will be for the green bean casserole. I am making that later today, and will share the recipe and results tomorrow.

Today, I am grateful for my car. For many years, like 15, we had only one vehicle to save money. I worked night shift, and my husband worked the day shift. It was hard, but it worked and it saved us a ton of money. It allowed me to work less and homeschool my kids, basically on one income, and a quarter. I was so happy, though, when we were able to buy a second car. I do not take my car for granted, and I protect it like it is gold. Because in a lot of regards it is. I hate working the night shift and I never want to do it again. I can shop, or take my daughter places without issues. I am so very grateful for that. If you live where you can access the bus or an Uber, then a car might not be important. We are very rural and have no access to any of those options.

Today, is Dollar Tree Food Challenge Day. You may have seen some of these on Youtube from other people. Mine is different. I am not going to buy 20 dollars worth of Dollar Tree food and then try to make meals out of it. But, each week, or so, I will buy two items and then compare them to each other, and taste them. Some I even eat completely. This week I chose Baker’s Best soft pretzels and Arctic Classic Cookies N Cream.

First, the pretzels. You can put these in a microwave, but since I don’t own one we baked them. You can see the ingredients below, but honestly I was impressed by the ingredients list. They have less than 1 gram of sugars and added sugars. That is impressive. I left the salt off of one pretzel for me, because I knew these were going to be salty. These were delicious and exactly what I expected a soft baked pretzel to taste like. There are six in a box, for a dollar, and to me, this is a steal of an item from the Dollar Tree. My daughter and husband love these. My daughter dips them in melted butter, and my husband dips them in mustard. I don’t dip, lol.

Now, for the Arctic Classic Cookies N Cream. On the label it says it is a frozen dairy dessert. I grew up in the ’80s and this tastes like Ice Milk that we used to get. It honestly was not awful, but definitely not like ice cream. I only ate a few teaspoons, because if you look at the ingredients the second ingredient is High Fructose Corn Syrup. So, I simply was not going to eat this. It was only a dollar so I don’t feel horrible throwing it away, but my husband might not mind the HFCS. I left it to see if he wanted it. I guess I could put it in very small amounts in a smoothie, but I honestly don’t even think I would do that.

You can see both product pics below.

I have a couple more updates. My Rosemary Challenge is almost over. I am so thrilled that I added this herb to my cooking skills. I do find I do not care for it on meats, but it really adds awesome flavor to veggies. In the image below is what I ate for dinner last night. I added Rosemary and Lemon Pepper seasoning to the steamed veggies and it was so delicious. Check out that adorable plate I found at Hobby Lobby. I bought the whole set. I don’t switch out for the seasons, we just use them all year. I can’t afford that kind of nonsense, and even if I could I wouldn’t bother. That plate is 8 inches across. I try to always eat on those as it keeps my portions in check. There are large ones, too. The mashed potato serving is only 1/4 of a cup, keeping my carbs in check, and the chicken thigh was 3 ounces even. I weigh all of my meats, and try to eat 2-4 ounce portion sizes. This keeps my protein in check and allows me to still eat low-carb and not get too much protein for my kidneys. I have been really bad about my carbs lately. I have not gained any weight, and have maintained the 11 pounds lost. But, I need to lose more, so I need to pay more attention. Remember I eat 70-100 mg of Carbs per day. That is Low Carb, not Keto. Keto can be very dangerous for anyone with Kidney Disease. I eat a ton of veggies. Update 11/20/2021: Since this post, I have lost 20 pounds and have managed to maintain plus or minus 2 pounds.

If you would like to work with a Health Coach to learn more about eating Low Carb, making meals to fit into your needs, or any other Health needs, please use the contact form after all of the images to message me.


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health buddy updates!

I have a few updates for all of my awesome readers!

1- The food budget challenge will run from Tuesday to Monday, not Thursday to Wednesday. All other rules apply. Tomorrow will be the start of the first food budget challenge. Yesterday, my daughter and I did inventory of what we already had on hand and made a list of all the items. The idea will be to create a menu for the week using items already on hand, and then buy only what we need. If after we buy what we need there is any money left we will buy good deals or things we would like, like coffee creamer, lol. Or, extra milk for the week. My husband is a huge milk drinker and he will have to learn to portion it to make it last a week. When something is used off of the inventory list it is to be subtracted. Likewise if we add something it will be added to the inventory list. This really did not take that long to make, maybe an hour total, and will help me keep track of what needs to be used, and avoid spending on stuff we don’t need, and avoid food waste. My Misfits box came yesterday, three days late, but it was Fedex fault. So, I won’t need much fresh veggies, except lettuce. We also have a good inventory of meat. I buy meat in bulk, on sale, and then portion into 3-4 oz portion sizes per family member and freeze in Ziploc baMy gs. This saves a ton of money. Meat is a huge budget expense in any budget. If we had to buy meat this week that 25 dollars would not last very long. When our meat inventory is depleted we will have to get used to meatless meals, which is fine with me. My other point to make is when on a budget don’t make meals no one will eat. This makes no sense and is counter productive. Luckily my husband and daughter like rice and pasta, and while I prefer fresh veggies and fruit I can eat frozen or canned. I eat a ton of veggies, as I am low carb. Watch for a post this week on that topic. Tomorrow I will post our very messy food menu for the week, and what we bought with our 25 dollar Save A Lot budget. On the non challenge weeks I will shop as usual and stick to the same concepts as the budget challenge weeks.

2- My Turmeric Challenge is going great! I am really loving this spice and wish I had incorporated it earlier. Last night I put it on popcorn. Oh my Yum! It was also great on my baked potato and love it on chicken. Are you doing the Turmeric Challenge with me? Share in the comments.

3- I am working on a video and post on Guided Imagery. Watch for that in the coming weeks.

4- I am almost 75% done with my Mindfulness course. If you would like to learn more about Mindfulness and how it can help you meet your health goals, use the contact form to message me.

5- I will be doing posts this week on my Low Carb life, Hot Flashes, Food Industry, and an apple recipe to die for.

Don’t forget I am low Carb, as well as Low Protein, so my challenges have to revolve around that. Got questions? Leave me a comment!


upcoming health topics week of 9/20/2020

Happy Saturday! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend so far. It is actually cooler here, today in Florida, and I got a ton of yard work done, though I was still dodging rain all day. I am quite tired of rain now.

I have some interesting health and wellness topics for my readers coming up this next week. I have been trying to find some extra time to record some new Guided Imagery scripts. I think I have one just about ready to be recorded for Self Grounding/Self Control to relieve stress, maintain self control, relieve anxiety, etc. I am still working on one for weight loss. Weight loss is such a complicated topic, I just can’t decide which direction to go with it. At any rate if you would like to purchase any of my Guided Imagery sets, visit my Etsy shop, or email me at

I keep forgetting to mention the Kidney Class coming up next week. It is completely free and sponsored by the American Kidney Fund. If you are interested, please visit the event page, here.

Don’t forget my first month of coaching is only 25 dollars for all new customers. Use the contact form at the bottom of this post to message me for more details. If you are unsure of how a Holistic Health Coach can help you, contact me for a free meet and greet.


coming up this week!

Come back, or follow by email to see this week’s upcoming topics. Saturday and Sunday I will possibly throw in a couple of extras. Don’t forget about the free Kidney Class coming up on September 25th. You can read about it here. No one has signed up yet, so it is fully open. I do like to keep it to around 5 participants. There is no obligation, and it is completely free, sponsored by American Kidney Fund.


my kidney update

My labs came back within 24 hours this time. That has never happened! Before I get to that I want to share an app I discovered that I love. It is called My Healthy Kidney, and I found it in the Google Play Store. It is free and it helps me keep track of nutrients for my level of Kidney Disease. I mostly use it for Phosphorus as that is the one nutrient that is not listed on labels. I still like Eat This Much, their website is great, but I don’t care for their app.

I have been following a mostly Plant-Based diet, but I was still consuming small amounts of animal proteins mainly because I didn’t want to get anemic. My Creatinine did come down slightly, and my eGFR went up slightly. As I continually read about these issues it is somewhat confusing as to whether the body can completely rid itself of Creatinine, once the kidneys are damaged, or just reach a baseline. There is a well known book available, that I have been reading, that basically states a Vegan diet and VLP diet can allow your kidneys to completely clean your blood of elevated Creatinine. I follow a lot of groups and I have not seen yet where this has been successful or true. I am not saying it isn’t possible, I just haven’t seen it yet. I am not Vegan, nor do I care to be Vegan , for several reasons that I won’t go into. So, now for the next 6 months I will try to eat no meat at all and see what happens. I will continue with an occasional egg, glass of milk and I do enjoy ice cream every now and then. I frequently consume 1 oz of cheese per day. When my next set of labs come due I will be able to evaluate whether this method helps or not. All of my other labs were perfect. This still leaves me at stage 3, but I have been stable for almost 4 years now and for that I am grateful. I did find a very lengthy article on new standards of care for people with CKD, that is being suggested for doctors to use. Of utmost interest to me was the amount of protein to be consumed in a day, and whether it was plant or animal protein. There was no recommendation as to whether protein should come from animal products or plant products, as to the healthier option that is for kidneys. I found that interesting with so many people opting to go Vegan for their kidneys. I was very much surprised by the new calculation for protein intake, which I will share in a future post. I have figured out the amount recommended for my stage and have been following that since I read it a few weeks ago. Organic and whole foods is another way of eating that I have been focused on. I have been able to not only maintain muscle mass, but build muscle mass using the protein intake calculation suggested and regular exercise with light weight training.

Remember that your body needs Protein. It is very important to the maintenance of your body. How much protein is the magical question, especially if you have CKD. Ask your doctor if they know about the new standards of care and if they are recommending them to you? Come back to this website to see when I post them if they are. Mine isn’t, and I intend to share them with him. They are fairly new though, and I haven’t seen him yet this year due to Covid.


It’s Wedding week!

The week is finally here. My son is getting married this Friday. From now until Monday August 3, 2020 Health Buddy Melissa will have no new blog posts, and I will not be able to do free meet and greets. You can email me to request them, or about services, but no emails will be responded to until August the 3rd. Thank you for your understanding in this very exciting time for my family. Stay safe!

Updates From Health Buddy

Happy Wednesday! I have a few updates for you today.

First, I would like to take a moment to talk about leaving comments on this blog. I love comments. I love to hear what you think, want to know, or if you want to use any of my Health Coaching services. However, I do not enjoy having to moderate 100 spam comments every single day. This is really a waster of my valuable time. Plus, since comments are moderated you are wasting your time as well, as they will not be approved. I also understand the importance of back links. I will not be allowing back links to user profiles, or other questionable websites. I also will not approve comments where the comment has absolutely nothing to do with the topic you are commenting on. This includes, but is not limited to generic comments such as I love your blog, and I just found it, etc. That just tells me you didn’t actually read anything I wrote, and you just want the back link. These types of comments will not be approved.

While you can leave me a comment if you are interested in using my services, if you don’t leave a way for me to contact you this is not helpful. The best way to contact me is by using the contact form at the end of every blog post, or emailing me at Again, if you are just wasting my time and sending me spam, please don’t bother.

My business hours fluctuate depending on the needs of the potential client and things going on in my personal life. So, if you need Health Coaching services, I am flexible to what you may need.

Those who do read, and follow this blog, know that I am a certified AKF Kidney Health Coach. They are now allowing us to do virtual classes, which is absolutely great news. I can reach so many more people this way, as opposed to in my very small community. I will be doing the first virtual class in a couple of weeks, so be sure and watch for me to post the details, probably next week. This is a totally free class.

The easiest way to get updates from this blog, is to follow this blog. As I continue to learn about advertising myself, and the best options that will suit my needs both personally and financially, following this blog will send new posts right to your email.

After my son gets married at the end of this month, I anticipate being able to offer the monthly specials again. Until then, please continue to request info if you are interested in using any of my services.


breathe: learn about asthma!

Updated 5/4/2021: Be sure and sign up for my Mailchimp newsletter to receive a Mother’s Day 50% off code for my 30 Day Coaching Plan.

When I was a kid I had exercise-induced Asthma, which I did not realize meant my Asthma was not well controlled.  I actually don’t ever remember seeing a doctor for Asthma as we had no Health Insurance, but I do recall at one point in time having an inhaler so I can assume a doctor prescribed it to me.  It used to make exercising extremely difficult growing up.  I thought I outgrew it as I didn’t need an inhaler anymore and I just learned to stay away from tiny particles that would get in my lungs and cause symptoms.   What is Asthma?  Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes episodes of wheezing, coughing, breathlessness, and tightness in the chest.  It can happen in boys and girls, but after age 15 it is more common in girls and women.  There is no known cause, but there are ways to help avoid Asthma attacks.  Since Asthma affects the bronchial tubes in the lungs it can be very dangerous to ignore Asthma.   On my next doctor visit, I  will be discussing Asthma with my doctor, if only to give him a heads up that I have been having symptoms and to discuss options.

Now that I am older I feel like Asthma is returning, which it probably is because it never really goes away it just kind of gets better.  Some studies show women after Menopause have less likelihood of getting Asthma especially if they don’t take Estrogen replacement drugs.  For me, that does not appear to be the case.  I have to be very careful about smoke, pollen, pollutants, dust, mold, certain pet danders and other small particles that get in my lungs and cause me to have cold-like symptoms that seem to take forever to go away.  I will probably have to start running air conditioning the whole year rather than opening windows.  I hate that, though.  I love the fresh air coming in.  But, since I have CKD and I want to avoid steroid medications I will do what I have to keep symptoms under control.

I no longer have exercise-induced Asthma I work out quite fine.  However, if you have Asthma and you want to exercise be sure and discuss with your doctor so they can prescribe medication for you to take before exercising.  If you have CKD or Diabetes discuss those medications in relation to those illnesses as well.

Here are some other tips to help prevent an Asthma attack:

1-  Know your triggers and avoid them or wear a mask if you can’t avoid them.

2- Keep your home clean and dust-free.  Wear a mask when dusting.  Vacuum all rugs at least once a week.  Clean window fans at least monthly and try to buy a Hepa Filter.

3-  If you can remove rugs and put down tile or wood floors, do so.

4-  If dander bothers you keep your pets well-groomed and clean.

5-  Don’t let cockroaches take up space in your home.  Eliminate them as quickly as you can and seal up cracks in your home to prevent them from entering.

6-  Be careful what chemicals you clean with and use a mask to clean if you need to.

7-  Don’t smoke and don’t let others smoke in your home or vehicle.

8-  If you are say raking, mowing or other tasks where pollutants or small particles may get on your clothes wash your clothes as soon as you are finished.  This goes for visiting homes of others who may have pet dander on their furniture.  Remove your clothes as soon as you get home and wash them.

9-  Take medications prescribed to you as prescribed.  If you are having side effects or you think the medication is having adverse reactions to other illnesses discuss it with your doctor to see if something else can be prescribed.  Never just stop taking medications for your Asthma.  If you have an attack and you can not get relief call 911.

10-  If you live in highly polluted cities, wear a mask, or if possible move to the countryside.

If you would like to work with a Health Coach to help you make healthy goals to help with Asthma, or any other issue, use the contact form below to message me and sign up for a free meet and greet.  Or email me at

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Happy Sunday!  Our internet is so slow today, bleh!  Normally I would do a Sweating on Sunday post, today.  But, I wanted to post some updates for my readers, and prospective clients.  As you know you can contact me anytime to start working with me. I only accept 3 to 4 clients at a time, so everyone gets the attention they deserve.  So, what is new?

1-  I made a introduction video.  However, I am not very good at taking videos of myself, and it is not the greatest.  Hopefully it will load soon, so I can share it.  I will be doing more videos in the future, keep reading.

2-  I am now certified with AKF as a Kidney Health Coach.  I will be making a video presentation for their criteria.  It will cover early symptoms, tests to have done yearly to check for kidney disease, and prevention.  It will be a lot of info, and it will be free to all readers world wide.  Watch for that.

3-  As I have stated previously, I am a LPN- Licensed Practical Nurse.  As such, I am already a Health Coach, it even says so in my Nurse Practice Act.  However, I am taking a certified Health and Fitness program, to better my knowledge mostly about fitness.  I will be making some walking videos for my Walking Buddy Program.  I am uncertain as to the timing of that, but stay tuned, soon I hope.

4-  Another thing the Health Coach Certification will teach me is about owning a business, and getting leads which lead to clients.  Some of this I already know from owning an Etsy store, Blogging, and working as an Independent Contractor Nurse, but there is so much to know.  Like, writing a Business Plan.  They definitely did not teach me that in nursing school.

5-  I am also updating my plans, to better reflect my Business Plan.  I will not be raising prices, just making them look neater, and professional.  The current ones are still valid, and I won’t change them until the new shiny one is ready.  I also need to upgrade this blog, which should happen soon.

If you would like a free meet and greet, to see if I can help you reach your Health and Wellness goals, use the contact form below to message me.  Please remember to allow 24-48 hours for me to return your message.