> Mom Knows Best ~ Healthy Recipes, Fitness & Parenting.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Plant based & Dairy Free Avocado Chocolate Pudding

This pudding will satisfy a chocolate craving without the guilt 

  Are you following a plant-based diet or choosing to be vegan? Then you know that the struggle is real when it comes to chocolate. Chocolate is one of my favorite foods and the hardest to give up when I discovered that I was allergic to dairy. I still crave chocolates and once in a while, I will sneak a piece of milk chocolate, thinking that I can eat it. Then about 2 hours later, I am having a coughing fit and having troubles breathing. I need to stop being in denial about my dairy allergy but it is so hard as I was fine with chocolate up until a year ago or maybe longer. I think that my allergy medicine was helping with my milk allergy or my body just became more sensitive. People can develop food allergies later in life. My daughter ate peanut butter all the time until she became an adult and now is allergic to peanuts plus all other nuts. So much that she carries an epi-pen after she had a bad asthma attack. While I am glad that a dairy elimination diet helped me discover that all milk products were making me sick, it is tough being dairy-free. So I am glad for a Facebook group that I belong to that shares plant-based recipes.

Avocados are the answer to creamy plant-based pudding

 Someone on the Facebook page posted this recipe for a pudding that is made with avocados and they also included a picture. I was instantly drooling and I knew that I had to try this healthy dairy-free recipe. I love avocados and eat a whole one several times a week. My favorite way to eat an avocado is with sea salt sprinkled on top. I am a salty person and love sprinkling it on everything. The sea salt that I use has minerals in it and does not cause any blood pressure issues. I discovered this delicious sea salt three years ago at a food conference and it is the only salt that I use. Did you know that most table salts have sugar in them? Real Salt has no added sugar in it so I also use it in my son's homemade toothpaste. I make toothpaste for my son because he is allergic to SLS and glycerin. I discover his allergies after he tried a sample of a natural toothpaste called Earthpaste and his mouth sores went away. When he used regular toothpaste, the mouth sores came back. The poor kid can't even chew gum as that has glycerin in it and he brings his toothpaste with him to the dentist as they use regular toothpaste. My son does give into gum once in a while and the mouth sores come back.

Check out my recipe for dairy-free caramels HERE

  So I have been making my sweet treats at home and learning how to adapt recipes. I have also been discovering when restaurants are allergy-friendly. I used to love going out to eat but it has become complicated. I also have not been attending food conferences as it is hard to be a foodie with food allergies. This was the first year that I missed the big restaurant food show as I didn't want to be tempted by all the unsafe food. Once my body adjusts and I get more familiar with ingredients in common food products, then I will attend that food show again. So enough rambling and on to the delicious Avocado Chocolate Pudding recipe that brought you to my website. This recipe is so simple to whip up in a blender. When avocados go on sale I stock up on them to make this healthy pudding. You can make ripe avocados last longer in the fridge. After the avocados ripen, place them in the fridge and they will last for about 2 weeks. I like to buy my avocados in the non-ripe stage and ripen them at home.

Check out another delicious dairy-free avocado dessert HERE

Enjoy this delicious pudding for breakfast by adding a scoop of chocolate protein powder.

Plant-based & Dairy-Free Avocado Chocolate Pudding 

Serves one-two people
2 ripe avocados
2 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder
1/4 cup plant-based milk, I like cashew
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple or agave syrup
sea salt

Blend all ingredients, except sea salt together in a blender until creamy. Place the pudding in a dish and lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Enjoy!
Tip: Make this pudding even healthier by adding chocolate protein powder for some amazing protein. I like to add 1/2 to one scoop of my favorite chocolate protein powder and that adds 12-25 grams of plant-based protein so I can enjoy this delicious creamy pudding for breakfast. Add 1 tablespoon chia seeds for fiber and wondeful omegas.

++ Discount does not apply to MacroNutrition packages-United States orders ONLY!

Make sure to sprinkle some salt on top of the chocolate pudding for amazing flavor!

Alternative Hot Tub Chemicals for Those with Sensitive Skin

  Owning a hot tub comes with a variety of health benefits and the ability to relax in the warm, soothing waters whenever you please. Some hot tub owners might find that they’re skin is easily irritated by the waters of their hot tub, particularly with regular use. However, it isn’t the water or the heat that irritates the skin, but rather, it is the chemicals used to ensure that the water remains safe and clean. While chlorine and bromine are the most popular chemicals for sanitizing your hot tub and the water within it, these are not the only options available to clean a hot tub. For those with sensitive skin that is easily irritated by hot tub chemicals, the following products are ideal alternatives to traditional hot tub chemicals.

UV Light

  One of the best alternatives to hot tub chemicals is to avoid chemical use altogether. The sun has amazing powers to eliminate bacteria that irritate sensitive skin. Now, a simple solution here would be to ensure that your hot tub is positioned such that it absorbs direct sunlight on a daily basis. However, that’s not always possible. You may not be able to move water lines and electrical around or physically move your tub. Additionally, indoor tubs are hard to position where direct sunlight can be effective long enough.
Fortunately, there is an alternative. UV light systems can be used to cleanse water in your hot tub. The ultraviolet purifiers work by passing water through tubes with UV bulbs where the radiation produced by the bulbs helps to kill everything in the water that can cause irritation.


  An ionizer system releases copper and silver ions into the water in your hot tub. The ions have the capacity to kill bacteria and algae in the water to ensure it remains safe for you to use without irritating sensitive skin in the process. As an added bonus, ionizers make it easier to balance the acidity in your water. However, if you want to ensure your water remains clear you’ll still have to shock the tub on a regular basis to avoid clouding. Ionizers require regular replacement as the supply of copper and silver ions depletes with time.


 An Ozonator system takes the science behind the Earth’s protective ozone layer and uses it to protect your hot tub water. Ozonator sanitizers have been shown to be far more effective than traditional chemicals such as chlorine and bromine. You can find Ozonators for sale in various shapes and sizes ranging from those capable of cleansing a hot tub to larger Ozonators that can cleanse an entire pool.


 Known technically as polyhexamethylene biguanide, it’s much easier to refer to these chemicals simply as biguanides. This alternative hot tub chemical is known to be extremely gentle on eyes and skin, but still effective as a sanitizer for your hot tub. Like other alternative chemicals, biguanides won’t prevent cloudy water so you’ll still need to shock the hot tub from time to time. One important note, biguanides and chlorine/bromine don’t mix. You’ll have to shock the hot tub with a non-chlorine and non-bromine based product. Fortunately, those are readily available as well.

Common Examples of Skin Irritation

 The most common form of skin irritation reported from hot tub use is known as hot tub folliculitis, or hot tub rash. The rash develops from a common organism found in soil, on plants, and in almost all sources of water. The organism is also commonly found in man-made environments. Hot tub rash is identifiable as small bumps on the skin that are red, itchy, and tender. In most cases, hot tub rash occurs on portions of the body covered by swimsuits and results from chlorine and bromine breaking down the enzymes that prevent hair follicle irritation in the first place. Given this is a common skin irritation, those with sensitive skin are well-served by alternative hot tub chemicals.
Additionally, the chlorine and bromine chemicals you’re using to clean your hot tub can actually be the direct source of irritation for your sensitive skin. Itching and dry skin can result from too much chlorine and bromine in the water.

Additional Benefits of Alternative Hot Tub Chemicals

 Beyond helping you avoid skin irritation, switching to alternative hot tub chemicals can also help reduce the occurrence of eye irritation and the thick smell of chlorine or bromine. If you’ve found that traditional hot tub chemicals are bothering your skin, it may be time to switch to alternative hot tub chemicals for a more enjoyable soak the next time you use your hot tub.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Making Valentines Day Goodies With Gramma In A Box

Check out this month of goodies in the Gramma in a Box

 My boys are always happy to see the familiar red box that comes in the mailbox every month. The boys know that this is their monthly box of sweet treats that they get to make all by themselves. My boys can't wait to open up the box and tear through the red polka dot tissue paper to see what food crafts Gramma has made for them this month. I love that Gramma in a Box does all the work of gathering up all the supplies and puts just enough frosting and sprinkles in the box so I don't end up with leftovers that sit in my fridge for months. Having just the right amount of frosting also means that my kids don't eat too many sweets.

use code 10off to save $10 off your first box

Cute Valentines treats to create in no time

 I love that Gramma thinks of the projects for my boys and does the shopping for me. I try so hard to create those items that I see on Pinterest but it never seems to happen. I pin plenty of creative treat recipes every month with good intentions to make them but time gets away from me and I always forget to buy the ingredients. So this monthly make it box allows my boys to make treats for the holidays. This month's box of sweets was Valentines Day themed. Every box always contains three recipes for my boys to make and I love that step-by-step instruction with pictures are always included. When I saw the candy canes in the box, I said to the boys that Gramma is a smart shopper. I love that she repurposed holiday candy canes into a Valentine's Day craft.

I love that she repurposed holiday candy canes

 My favorite recipe craft in the red box is always the cookies. I love frosted sugar cookies and ones made into cute shapes like hearts taste even better. My boys know to put lots of frosting and sprinkles on a cookie for me to enjoy. The other crafts in the box always involve melted chocolate. The boys are a pro with melting the chocolate melts in the microwave. They know to never lick the spoon that they are using to stir the chocolate with. I once did just that and the water made the chocolate turn into a bunch of unuseable crumbs. I love my chocolate and I hate to see it go to waste.

Candy hearts are my favorite Valentine candy

There was candy hearts in the yummy box of make and eat treats this month. I tried sneaking one but my boys would not let me. They said that I had to wait until they made the treat with them. Do you like reading the sayings on the candy hearts? I remember as a kid and how I would enjoy reading the messages on those delicious candy hearts. That reminds me, I need to go buy a bag of Valentine's candy hearts from the store. I like the big hearts the best.

use code 10off to save $10 off your first box

Monthly subscription box filled with cookies and candy treats 

 This monthly subscription box is filled with plenty of fun items like cookies, candy, frosting, and sprinkles so kids can make some delicious treats. Each box makes plenty of treats so my boys can share them with others. Each month the box has a different theme. Last month my boys had a blast dressing up in clothes that matched the cookie box theme. You have to go check out how cute my boys looked while making their treats- click HERE to see what the theme was.

The boxes are making my boys excited about cooking

 These delicious monthly boxes are inspiring my boys to want to be in the kitchen more. Every weekend, my boys want to help me with cooking and baking. Last week my son helped make healthy pancakes for breakfast and it was so cool to see my husband show him how to tell when to flip the pancakes over. I think my son is ready to make pancakes on his own and maybe I will get breakfast in bed on Mother's Day.

Head on over to Grammas Instagram page to see some past treat boxes and get a sneak peek on what will be in the next Gramma In A Box. Make sure to use code 10off to save $10 off your first box 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Understanding Life Insurance Settlement Options

Today’s blog post on Mom Knows Best is about understanding  life insurance settlement options as part of a sponsored post with Mason Finance

  Having life insurance is always a good thing as it is a way to protect the ones that you love after you pass away. You never know when an emergency might take the life of someone, so being prepared for an emergency is always a good thing. Having life insurance is a piece of mind that the ones you leave behind will not have to worry about things like bills and other things. Like everything, it has its season and the day might come when you feel you no longer need that life insurance policy. If you, decide that your life insurance policy is no longer needed, then maybe a life insurance settlement may be the answer. When my husband became the caregiver for his dad, we discovered that his dad had an unneeded life insurance policy on his deceased wife. His dad could no longer afford the rising premiums as he needed his money for retirement expenses and health care expenses.

What is a life settlement?

  A life settlement is the sale of a life insurance policy to an investor for an amount more than the policy’s cash surrender value, but less than the death benefit, or payout value to the beneficiaryIt is simply a transfer of a life insurance policy to another person who takes over the premiums of the policy and becomes the new owner to the policy. The former policyholder receives a cash payment that is larger than the surrender value of the policy.

Read on to learn more about life insurance settlement options

Am I eligible for a life settlement?

 You may have a policy that is no longer needed and you would like some cash for bills or retirement. The first thing that one needs to do is to first see if your life insurance policy is eligible to be sold to an investor for cash. Things that investors look at before buying a policy is the age of the person and

 Age/Health: Is the policyholder 65+ or have a serious medical condition?

Policy Type: Is the policy universal, whole, and convertible term? These are all great candidates for a life insurance settlement.

Policy Size: Does the existing policy have at least $50,000 of face value?

Reasons to sell my life insurance 

  You may be wondering why you should sell your life insurance policy. Some of the reasons people sell a policy are due to the fact they can no longer afford the premiums or they no longer need to protect the spouse or children on the policy. Perhaps the policy is approaching its expiration date or you are looking to supplement your retirement. You may also need money to pay unexpected medical bills. These are just some of the many reasons people sell their life insurance policies. Before you sell your life insurance policy, make sure to check out the pros and cons of a Life Settlement. You may be getting some much-needed cash but it may affect things like taxes and Medicaid.

Is a life settlement right for me?

 The first step to determine if a life settlement may be talking to your life insurance agent to see if your policy can be transferred or sold to an investor. Then look at all the available options. Make sure to look at the pros and cons before you decide to sell. A life settlement may be a good option for a loved one that you take care of.

Do you have a life insurance policy that is no longer needed?

When you decide the time is right and you want to sell a life insurance policy, it is always good to do some research. One needs to know the life insurance settlement options that are available before they decide to sell a life insurance policy. 
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