Being You Lower Sodium

Sodium: the silent killer for millions of people. Scary, right?  Why is it we can’t lose the salt shaker then? Because it’s the “silent,” unseen residual killer. It’s not “in your face” obvious.

Now to start, sodium does have its purposes. Your body needs some sodium to function properly. Mayo Clinic says sodium helps maintain the right balance of fluids in your body, helps transmit nerve impulses, and it influences the contraction and relaxation of your muscles. Your kidneys naturally balance the amount of sodium stored in your body for ideal health. If your body sodium is low, kidneys hold on to the sodium. If your body sodium is high, your kidneys excrete the excess in urine.1

The National Kidney Foundation says 1 out of 3 American adults are at risk of kidney disease because of two major risk factors including diabetes and high blood pressure, or a family history of kidney failure and being age 60 or older. Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD is strongly linked to hypertension control.2, 3

Why is this important to me to help you?

About 3 years ago, my primary care doctor saw a slight elevation of protein in my urine which if untreated causes proteinuria which can lead to chronic kidney disease. He sent me to a nephrologist (who, I must say, was awesome). He was thorough with explanations, even giving examples in pictures. I tease him about that, but I needed pictures.  He set up a few things to have done.

  1. Blood work and a 24-hour urine test
  2. A kidney biopsy IF my blood work and urine weren’t acceptable
  3. Dietary changes to my sodium (yes sodium!).

If your blood work and urine show levels for proteinuria, that is a strong predicator for increased risk of chronic kidney disease. CKD is slowed in progression by blood pressure control which is controlled by (among a few things) most importantly, sodium intake.

Now my blood work and urine, didn’t come back with proteinuria, but my numbers were close enough that he said I was in danger of progression towards CKD. Well I can tell you that scared me.

He went on with the kidney biopsy a week or so later. The biopsy showed a level being okay, but he said if I didn’t get my numbers decreased to something like 0 as opposed to my 1800, I was going to have to sign up for dialysis if I didn’t make dietary changes to lower by blood pressure which in turn would help the progression toward proteinuria.  It’s about the GFR or glomerular filtration rate.  My kidney should have been getting rid of the sodium it didn’t need and it wasn’t.

So, for starters he increased my blood pressure medication which I was already on for maintaining a 120/80. This had been controlled for a few years. He said that specific bp med was utilized for lowering numbers for this very diagnosis he had indicated I was headed towards. He also introduced another blood pressure medication to help with lowing my numbers further.

Lastly, he said my sodium in my diet had to be decreased because my levels were at point that my kidney was overworking.  Which leads me to the difficult portion of his plan. CUTTING MY SODIUM, A LOT!

 Which brings me to this course of sorts.  Showing you that even though it’s been hard for me, I have gotten my daily sodium intake for everything that goes in my mouth to 2400mg of sodium daily or less. Now as that sounds like a lot, it’s not! I was eating takeout pizza 2 times a week, lunchmeat sandwiches, diet cokes from McDonalds, fast food for 2 more times a week, and lots of milk. I work M-F, with a commute of 40 minutes each way. Time is not a thing I want to waste in the kitchen. So, I’ll show you what I did to help with cutting my sodium, save time in the kitchen and bring down my BP for my doctor.

Looking forward to seeing you in the next supplement of Be You Low Sodium!



Credit goes to the following sites:


1Mayo Clinic. 2017. “Sodium: How to tame your salt habit.”  Retrieved from

2National Kidney Foundation. 2017. “Prevention.”

Retrieved from

3Lascano, M., Nurko, S., & Schreiber, M. August 2010. “Chronic Kidney Disease.” Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved from

Be You When Others Matter

I overthink everything, leading to some ridiculously magnified indecisiveness. The overthought thoughts in question can physically manifest themselves in many ways. It can look as simple as carrying a pair of jeans around a department store for an hour before I decide whether or not to purchase them, or as important and multifaceted as when we were deciding where to send the kids to school (and I bugged all my relatives and friends in different school districts for intimate, silly details about those schools). But here’s the thing, it’s not because I don’t know what I want-it’s because I don’t know what everyone else wants. That’s stressful!

Why do I do it? Why do I walk around beating myself up? Why do I stress myself out? Why do I care so much about disappointing people and how does that apply to these stupid jeans I’m carrying around? And the people whose judgement I’m adding into the question… I’m fairly positive they don’t even look at my jeans! Why do we do these things?

For me, a lot of the worrying that stemmed from the fear of disapproval tended to surround bigger life decisions. My parents, my extended family, and even people at church were high on my list of people to impress or at least to do well by; most especially at the top of this list are my father and my grandmothers (even though one of them has been dead for years now). I wanted them to approve of me, and more so, to be proud of me.

You’ll notice my kids and my husband were not on that list. They should’ve been at the top. At the time, they were not. It took years for me to realize this and to understand the small cracks of derision it had caused.
Now, there are other reasons (beside the inane judgements of others) to overthink and come to indecisive conclusions. Continuing with the jeans example, it was a whole inner argument in and of itself as to whether I really needed jeans, or if I could just walk around in the holey, oversized ones for a while longer. There are always so many other things- I have to take some snazzy dish to the church picnic this weekend; the porch could use painted-do I need to spend this money? The more I learned about myself though, the more I realized that these money type decisions.. well, they were just a little root from the bigger problem; why would I buy myself something when I could use that money to improve something more relevant for gaining the approval of others in the long run?

These days, I am trying to keep myself reminded that those people who I had been basing my decisions around: they don’t have to live with the consequences of my choices. I do. I have to do right by myself so that I’m a better mom and wife to the people who really matter most, and, for me, I want to do right by my heavenly Father, and sometimes (most of time) that means not taking into account what other people would say. God has blessed me with this insight into myself, and it has improved my relationship with myself, with my husband, with my children, and even has improved my spiritual peace. My extended family of course matters, but not to the extent it effects my health. I also finally realized, they didn’t want that either. 

Is there someone in your life whose opinion you prize maybe a little too heavily? Is this causing you unneeded stress?


Quick Tip For A Potluck

What happens when you want to go to an upcoming family reunion, but work 40 hours+ a week, have needy children, needy pets, needy husband, and have a million other responsibilities?

I consider options that don’t require me to be in my kitchen at 6am on a Saturday. There are so many options these days. Fast food restaurants make it easy to bring a giant pizza or a bucket of chicken. Some Mexican restaurants will even sell you a whole 9×13 pan of rice or refried beans.

And, well, why not? You want to spend time with your family! Not resent them for making you spend $80 and six hours over a hot stove. And those people who do, who go above and beyond… well, guess what? the picky eaters won’t try it, the nay sayers will still say nay, and the people you’re trying to impress? Yeah, you see them once a year. You can’t catch up with them if you’re bragging about your fancy French dish.

This is my favorite though: one fun option if you get signed up for a dessert! McDonald’s Apple Pies. They are 2/$1.00, they are warm and yummy, and they are individually wrapped. The kids and adults both love them. They are convenient and inexpensive. I bought 20 for $10, and it took ten minutes in a drive through.

What are your favorite quick tips for reunions and pot lucks?



Only I Can Do Me: Carla

About me:

My name is Carla; I am a Christian, a mom, a sister, a wife, a daughter, a crafter, and fill many other roles.

I was a stay at home mom for 21 years. In 2013, my oldest son was graduating, my daughter was in her junior year, and my youngest son was in middle school. I decided it was time to do something for myself. So, I got a job in retail. Now, I’m a store manager. It’s been challenging between my health and the transition I went through from living to take care of my children, to living to find my place, so I would have something for myself.

My blogs will be about my health, my life, how I relax, crafts, and how all of those things have helped my health and life to be of better quality. Anything I can say is my opinion, experience, or based on friends and family. I hope through blogging my experiences, I may help someone else.

I have chronic pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, panic attacks, and anxiety. It is all linked back to my fibromyalgia. My journey with my health began as a teenager. It’s only been in the last couple of years that I’ve figured out, was diagnosed with, and was treated for fibromyalgia which has changed my life for the better. I look forward to sharing.

When I was a teenager, my life was turned upside down. Though I’m not ready to go into details on that, I will admit now that I struggled in the aftermath. I felt like the ugly duckling. My siblings were way older and way younger than me; they were in a different place in life. I was consumed with anxiety. How did I look? Did I talk right? Did I say something wrong? I was extremely shy. This is where panic attacks and sleeping problems began.

Thankfully, after 27 years, through proper treatment, through God, through simple steps, I feel more comfortable in my skin and my head. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had these challenges with life and with fibromyalgia. Maybe through blogging we will be able to help each other. There is always room to learn, experience, and improve. We will never find ourselves perfect, but we can strive to be better a little everyday.

You’re welcome to respond with comments or positive feedback. I do not acknowledge negative of any kind, so I would appreciate those things be left to yourself.


Just Breathe: Tips For Anxiety

Just Breathe: Tips For Anxiety
Through all of the challenges in life, I have found that there are only a few things that you can really do in moments of chaos, anxiety, or trials.
I have fibromyalgia, panic attacks, chronic pain, TMJ, and migraines. I am also married with three kids, work, have pets, family, and friends that can all add to frustration and anxiety. Over the years, I’ve tried prescriptions which have only helped a little. I’ve tried prayer, dieting, and just to breathe. No one by itself seemed to be the answer. What I’ve found is, all of these combined is what helps the most.
To just breathe helps in the moment to distract. I inhale, and I hold the breath to a count of ten, then exhale for a count of ten. 
For panic attacks, if possible, I remove myself from the situation or environment. That option is not always there.
Take time to just breathe, and then, however you pray and be close to God-stop and do it in that moment.
Ways I relax:
1. Breathe!
2. Go to Bible Study
3. Concentrate on only 1 Bible verse
4. Bible journal
5. Bullet journal (a mixture of art therapy, journaling, and planning)
6. Look around you: find five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. This is called grounding. It can help when you feel like you have lost all control of your surroundings.
7. Take time for you, whatever that is that you enjoy. Even five minutes of ‘you’ time will be rewarding.
I also have many journals with uplifting quotes, verses, and things that I keep everywhere to read. So, I will end with two verses I’m always quoting to myself when I need reminding. Now, as a teenager, I loved the movie “Road House.” In it, the character played by Patrick Swayze says something to the effect of, “pain don’t hurt.” Well, I know differently, but your pain is whatever it is. It doesn’t define you unless you allow it.
Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything.

Who’s Worthy Of Forgiveness

Who’s Worthy Of Forgiveness

What makes you the holder of who is forgiven and who is not?


“For God so loved and dearly prized the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

John 3:16-17 AMP

The Holy Bible


  1. John 3:16-17
  2. Mark 11:25
  3. Matthew 18:21-22


  1. I am not giving this to judge anyone.
  2. I am merely making reference to God’s plan for his followers.
  3. Pray about your situation and God will speak to you as he deems appropriate.


  1. Pray
  2. Meditate
  3. Journal

Quick Tip For More Than A TP Holder

The toilet paper holder has been used for all kinds of crafts over the years in preschools every where.

The family members that live in my house like to make stacking games out of them on the bathroom sink, eventhough the garbage is right next to the counter.

Here’s a use the ladies in your home may like. When you finish with your disposable razors and don’t have the plastic cover it came with, take one of those paper tubes, flatten one end and slide your used razor into it. Then put it in the trash so no one gets injured when taking out the trash. 🙂

Quick Tip For A Time Out

Need a five minute time out?

Stressful jobs require additional rest time. There are businesses now that are putting in these nap pods for an employee to take a nap to be more productive.  So what do I do when I need a time out and no pod in sight? I go to my car, lay the seat back and stretch out for five minutes.

If I have a particularly rough, mentally exhausting day, I may get off my exit,  go through a drive-thru for a diet coke and just take five in the parking lot listening to music. Why? Because it makes me a nicer person when I walk in the door at home.  Do what you can to rejuvenate yourself! ☺

Dishware vs Papergoods

With so many people trying to find time for more family time as opposed to work, errands, and school activities, there comes a time you have to tell yourself it’s okay to make shortcuts where you can. Dishes is one of those areas I don’t have trouble doing shortcuts.

Back when I grew up, which was late 1960’s- early 1980’s, I remember coming to the dinner table to eat and it was set fully including food. Everyone had a designated seat and unless someone was gone, we all ate at once. Dishes were glass plates, three piece silverware, glasses. The food was in bowls, biscuits or rolls were on a plate and we came to the table when we were called. 

Flash forward to the year 2010 or later…

Having dinner on the stove in one pot, a vegetable in a side pot or pulled as a steamed veggie from the microwave and set on stove, and the rolls pulled from oven and set on stove. People are called to eat buffet style and then they go to a table, bar top or couch in front of the TV. Whats the one thing I haven’t mentioned that is missing? Dishware. Choice at my house? Paper plates and plastic cups. 

Now you may say what happened to the family values. Well, Im not saying I did anything different based on who was there and how we interact. I just choose to pick what I want to spend my time on. Sure, I could set table and put food on it. I would be in the kitchen longer with more dishes and less time for me or my family.

The table talk for today is buy the paper and plastic dishware. Get out of the kitchen quicker. Life is too short to spend it at the sink!


Click N Pull-Save Time!

Anyone who has ever had to go the grocery, after work on a Monday at 5:30, in the rain, maybe even with a child knows the frustration of just hating it. Why? We are tired! These superstores have made it impossible to get a quick gallon of milk as their marketing team says in the back corner is good placement since the customer will pick something else up on the way to the milk. And guess what? Those marketing teams are right.

Now I’m going to preface this by saying I am not affiliated with, paid by, or even know anyone at Kroger Corporate, but online shopping for groceries has become my new favorite thing. I don’t even care that it costs me $4.95 an order. I probably saved that much doing it. My Kroger marketplace is fantastic as it has Click N Pull. You order online and pick it up in 24 hours. I always set my time for 5:30 pm and go right there from work. Better still, I don’t have to get out of the car at all. I pay at my window and the employee loads.

My store now has that if you place an order early enough in the day, you can pick it up the same day! What!?!  I KNOW RIGHT!?!  I don’t even mind if they are a little backed up. I have a mentally stressful job and I enjoy just sitting in my car, giving them the time they need to make it to my turn. Best $4.95 I spend in a week. It is a YUGE 😉 time savor for people wanting to get on to more important things.

If you haven’t tried it, give it a one time try. I believe Kroger gives you first couple for no fee. I may be wrong about that, but it’s definitely worth it.