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Friday, January 15, 2021

Stop Making Excuses And Gain Control Of Your Health

You know what needs to be done in order to get in shape so stop with all the excuses!

 As a mom, I tell my kids over and over that they are the only ones who can control their bodies. Despite me giving the rules and helping them learn, they are the ones that choose to follow them or not. They are also the ones that live with the consequences of their choices and actions. So it is you who is responsible for your health and no one else. It is not the grocery stores or restaurants' fault. It is not the state's fault for gyms not being open. It is not your kid's fault for you not finding time to exercise or for eating their leftover chicken nuggets. When you treat your body by doing healthy things, it just feels better. The question is do you want to make improvements in your health or do you want to stay where you are?

How bad do you want to gain better health? 

 I understand that it is hard to lose weight or to stop eating junk food. Change never comes easy and it never happens quickly but change will never happen if you do not try. You can read fitness articles and buy a gym membership but you have to be the one to make the changes. You can keep using that exercise equipment as a clothes rack. You can tell me that I am lucky that I can run. You can say all these things but they ain't going to make a difference in your health.

 I am a huge fan of love your body and not letting that number on the scale define who I am. I admit that I own a scale but I rarely step on it. My scale performs a Full Body Composition Analysis so I use it for that. I exercise and eat healthy food because it makes me feel awesome. Exercise helps me manage asthma naturally and I look at healthy food as my medicine to avoid health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other health problems. 

 I am allergic to dairy products. I can eat them and suffer through an asthma attack or I can avoid all dairy products, which is not an easy thing to do. I control my diet because I like breathing and not feeling sick. Trust me it was not an easy thing to eliminate all dairy from my diet but it was so worth the hard work.

  A fitness trainer can tell you how to exercise but they can not do the exercise for you. You know that you should eat REAL food and stop eating junk food. No one puts that donut in your hand. You are the one selecting the food that you eat. You are the one buying the food that is in your fridge. You have to be the one to make that desire into a reality. This article is not about body size as we need to stop body-shaming but rather a healthy strong body. Look at your body as a machine or a car. A car that gets bad gas or no regular maintenance will not perform well.

We ALL know that eating better and exercising improves your life in so many ways

 I can hear you say "but healthy food does not taste good!" My husband loves using this line with me as I remind him to eat his veggies. It is not that healthy food does not taste good, it is simply that you have conditioned your body to like certain foods or you have not learned how to cook healthy food to make it taste good. As a kid, I hated veggies and now I love them. The way to make veggies taste amazing is to oven roast them. Even my husband enjoys oven-roasted vegetables.

I know I should exercise, and I know I should eat better, but I just don’t have the motivation and don’t know where to find it!

  I can also hear you say " but I don't have the time to exercise!" My husband likes to tell me that exercise is no fun. These are just more excuses. I don't think that brushing my teeth or cleaning the house is fun but I do them because I don't like the end result of a messy house or tooth decay. That is how I look at exercise and healthy food. I don't want a body that is sick and tired all the time. I don't want a body that is more prone to illness like a lung virus. I don't want health problems that may not show up for when I am older. 

 We can make all the excuses in the world but it is you who has to live with your health problems. Yes, making time for exercise and choosing to eat food that our body needs are tough but so is feeling like crap when you are sick. Yes, sometimes the viruses are strong and will make us sick no matter what we do but things like the best handwashing tips and taking care of your body will help. The last time my family got sick with a strong virus (earlier this year before there was testing for Covid-19), my symptoms were milder than my husband and I recovered faster. I truly believe that my healthy body had a part in this as I rarely get sick. I have made exercise, nourishing food, and these immunity supplements a part of my life. 

Why I chose To Purchase a NordicTrack Elliptical

Start now and not tomorrow

 Own up to your excuses and start doing what you need to do to gain back your health to prevent future health problems. Sure today you may feel awesome today and think that eating that crappy food is not going to hurt you. Just talk to someone who is older and ask them if they experienced what I like to call THE OH CRAP I JUST TURN - fill in the age- SYNDROME. For me, it was when I turned 50 that my body turned on me. I started having running injuries and I started gaining weight. Thankfully I was already exercising and eating somewhat healthy food so I was able to correct things within months with some simple diet changes and lifting weights. 

 My husband, on the other hand, had a different OH CRAP experience. He turned 50 and went to the doctor for the first time in many years. He discovered that his blood pressure was high as well as his cholesterol. The doctor wanted to put him on medication but I convinced my husband to try diet and exercise first. My husband realized that his body was on the pathway to a heart attack. So my husband, not willing, made changes to his diet and started exercising. His blood pressure and cholesterol started to improve but it took a long time as he did not already have a healthy foundation like I did. 

You Got This

 You know what you have to do to take control of your health. Start by loving yourself and tell yourself that you deserve better health. Stop saying that I will start tomorrow as start now. Don't quit. You might stumble but keep starting again and again. They say it can take 30 days for something to become a habit.

Make goals ~ Make a plan ~ Make I should into I will ~ Eliminate temptation

 ~ So grab a piece of paper and write down some goals that you want to accomplish. The goals should be attainable and small so you don't set yourself up for failure. These goals could be as simple as drinking more water or eating vegetables with every meal.

~ Having a written plan will help you succeed. Place this plan where you can see it every day.

~ When you say "I should exercise", it never happens. Instead, say "I will exercise!"

~ Eliminate things in your life that get in the way of eating healthy food and exercising. That can mean not turning on the TV until you go for a walk or get on the treadmill to watch your favorite show. Eliminate food temptations by throwing away or giving away the food that you don't want to eat. Don't buy unhealthy food for others in your house and instead make the same meals for all. The best way to eliminate food temptations is to do a grocery curbside pickup so those donuts will not land in your cart.

Make it a part of your day - like work and sleep

  A healthy routine is a lifestyle thing, not a quick-fix diet to lose weight and then return to unhealthy habits. I don't like diets as they never work. Diets are hard and strict so they are hard to follow. There are some good diet plans out there that can help you with making healthy changes. So use a healthy meal plan and try some new recipes to discover a new way to eat.

11 Healthy Products That You Need For The New Year

Fix your diet

- Switch out unhealthy foods with healthy options 

- Try new healthy recipes ~ check out these meatless meals

- Add a fruit or veggie to every meal ~ will give your body nutrition and fiber to fill you up

- Eat more meals at home ~ take out meals usually are unhealthy

- Try to use less fat in your diet

- Eat smaller portions of your favorite foods

- Serve the food then box up the rest and put it in the fridge ~ makes you think before grabbing seconds

- Sit down to eat ~ this will help you eat less and enjoy your meals

- Add more fiber in your meals ~ fiber fills you up quicker ~ check out this recipe for no-bake fiber bars

- Drink more water ~  try this Fruit-Infused Cold Brew Ice Tea 

Just Do It

- Start small ~ take a walk around the block- next day walk 2 blocks- keep increasing until you walk for 30 minutes

- Try morning exercise ~ getting it done first thing helps eliminates excuses the rest of the day

- Sneak exercise into the day with these fitness tips

- Switch it up with exercise and try different forms of exercise

- Grab a friend ~ go for a walk with a friend and use this time to talk

- Listen to music ~ music always inspires me to keep exercising

~ Invest in an exercise machine ~ Check out the exercise machine that I love

It starts with you!

 Nobody is going to do the work for you. It is your choice to decide to take care of your body. Decide today if you want to have a body that feels better and operates better. A healthy body also can resist and fight off germs better. If you don't start and give it a chance, you will never get there. Be kind to yourself and realize that no one is perfect. You will have setbacks in this fitness journey but you have the power to keep trying. Don't be hard on yourself and forgive yourself when you eat that pint of ice cream in one sitting or when you did not exercise. Use the next day to try again. There will be days that you are amazing with your health goals and there will be days that you did nothing. That is ok as long as you keep trying. You got this!

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Allergy-Friendly Dairy-Free Sunflower Seed Cream Cheese

 A creamy spread that looks and tastes like cream cheese but is safe for those who avoid dairy and nuts. This recipe is dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, and perhaps even keto-friendly.

 Having a dairy-allergy can be difficult at times when it comes to eating and making recipes. When I discovered that a dairy-allergy was the cause of my severe asthma attacks, two years ago, I have been learning how to adjust. I have also been learning new ways to recreate my favorite foods and discovering many dairy-free recipes. I like when I discover dairy-free recipes that are also allergy-friendly to other common food allergies.

 My oldest daughter has many food allergies that are not in the top 8 common food allergies as well as being allergic to peanuts and all other nuts. My older daughter is married so she does not live with me but when we get together, it can be quite the chore to make food that we can both safely eat. I am so used to making my dairy-free recipes with plant-based nut milk while she is used to making her food without any nuts. So we have to always ask each other about the food we are sharing as one slip up in a food ingredient can land one of us in the hospital. I remember the time when I brought a slice of dairy-free King Cake over to her house for dessert and it totally slipped my mind that she can't consume almond milk. Thankfully, we did not eat it and when I got home, I called her to tell her my mistake. My daughter was about to call me to ask about my recipe. 

 It is things like this that make me not eat food that friends bring over at the holidays. People do not always know that things like butter is a dairy product or they add another ingredient to the recipe that has dairy in it. So I have learned to be a label reader and bring my own food when I visit people. 

Allergy-Friendly Dairy-Free Sunflower Seed Cream Cheese

 I have adjusted to buying dairy-free versions of my favorite milk-related products in the grocery store. Many of the substitutes for dairy products, like cream cheese and ice cream, are quite tasty and taste very similar. The problem with allergy-friendly foods in the store is the price as they are always more expensive than the non-mock food products. So I don't buy dairy-free food products that often and make them at home when I am able to. Although it can be hard to make dairy-free cheese slices like the ones at the store, I have been able to make delicious dairy-free caramels

So I was excited when I saw a recipe for dairy-free cream cheese as I enjoy vegan cream cheese on crackers. My local grocery stores sell allergy-friendly cream cheese and I can consume it in a couple of days. So to be able to make a dairy-less cream cheese spread at home is awesome. This dairy-free cream cheese recipe uses only a handful of ingredients and is so easy to make. The main ingredient in the recipe is raw sunflower seeds which is a seed that my daughter, who has a nut allergy, can eat.

Allergy-Friendly Dairy-Free Sunflower Seed Cream Cheese is:

+ Dairy-free      + Egg-free  + Plant-based

+ Gluten-free    + Nut-free

+ Peanut-free    + Soy-free

+ Vegan            + Vegetarian

+ Paleo             + Keto-friendly

Ingredients to make dairy-free cream cheese:

+ Raw sunflower seeds

+ Lemon juice

+ Salt

+ Apple cider vinegar

+ Garlic

Many uses for allergy-friendly cream cheese

This delicious dairy-free cream cheese spread is cream and has many uses. While this spread that is made with sunflower seeds tastes similar to cream cheese, it is not something that can be used in recipes like a dairy-free cheesecake. Instead, it is a savory dairy-free spread that can be enjoyed on crackers, sandwiches, vegetables, and more. I like to spread my sunflower seed spread on flatbread and crackers. Then I top the spread with a sprinkle of homemade everything spice and oven-roasted sun-dried tomatoes. I always have a stash of sun-dried oven roasted tomatoes in my freezer from my garden surplus.

 Last summer when I had an abundance of plum tomatoes from my church food pantry, I discovered a delicious recipe for roasted tomatoes made in the air fryer. So if you don't have all day to sun-dry tomato slices then roast the tomatoes in the air fryer for a delicious topping for the cream cheese spread. This delightful creamy dairy-free spread would be great in a wrapped sandwich that is made with Lavash Flatbread. Whatever you choose to spread this spread on is up to you. Just take a knife and spread away. I like to eat this dairy-free cream cheese spread by the spoonful. This spread is made from sunflower seeds so it is healthy and loaded with protein. 

Looking for other dairy-free, allergy-friendly recipes?

Natural Homemade Honey Sunflower Seed Butter  


Non Dairy Date Salted Caramels


Vegan Pea Pesto Sauce

Gluten-Free Chocolate Mocha Protein Brownies

Whipped Dalgona Coffee 

 So if you are looking for a plant-based spread to enjoy on crackers, then you have to make this delicious vegan recipe. This is a spread that is so easy to make and can be made ahead of time for a party. You do have to soak the sunflower seeds for 4-8 hours but then you simply blend all the ingredients in a blender until creamy. The spread can be enjoyed immediately after you make or you can store it in the fridge for a week. 

Pin this recipe on Pinterest so you can make them later

Allergy-Friendly Dairy-Free Sunflower Seed Cream Cheese

Allergy-Friendly Dairy-Free Sunflower Seed Cream Cheese

Yield: 8
Author: Mom Knows Best
A creamy spread that looks and tastes like cream cheese but is safe for those who avoid dairy and nuts. This recipe is dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, and perhaps even keto-friendly.


  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked for 4 to 8 hours
  • ¼ cup water, plus additional as needed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic


  1. Place the raw sunflower seeds in a bowl of water in such a manner that they are completely immersed in the water. Set aside at room temperature and let the sunflower seeds soak for 4-8 hours.
  2. After the sunflower seeds soak, drain them.
  3. Place the seeds in your blender or food processor with the water, lemon juice, vinegar, and garlic. Blend until smooth, adding more water to resemble a cream cheese texture. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. This may take up to three minutes to blend.
  4. Serve immediately on bagels, crackers, or bread. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Why I chose To Purchase a NordicTrack Elliptical

Investing in your health is always a good thing

This page may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases 

 The year 2020 is one that most people will look back at and have stories to tell. The year 2020 was a year that will go down in the history books. It will be a year filled with memories, both good and bad. The Covid lung virus took us through a year that I am sure most people would never want to revisit. This crazy year had me investing more time in my health as I realized that a healthy body could fight the virus better.

 At the beginning of 2020, my family, including me, all came down with a nasty cold. I never get sick and this illness had me feeling miserable for a couple of days. Covid was not in the headlines but I look back at this time that I documented my illness and it could have been the dreadful Covid-19. It was that experience and the pandemic that made me rethink my health. I began to eat more immune-boosting foods and upped my exercise. My husband even started exercising more, now that he was working from home. I was proud of my husband as he was doing great on his fitness routine. I think having my college kid home inspired him to work out at the gym more.

 Then the gyms shut down and the college kid went back to school. So my husband stopped exercising. When the gyms reopened, my husband went to the gym a couple times of a week but without his son motivating him, my husband stopped going to the gym. I could not join him at the gym as the required face mask rule did a number on my asthma. So my husband just stopped exercising. I could not even motivate him to go on walks with me. I did not want to see my husband get sick with Covid, especially since he was working outside of the home. So I started to look into home fitness equipment.

NordicTrack was the answer to my husband's health

 There were many options for at-home fitness equipment. So I had to do my research on the best fitness equipment for home use. I wanted a piece of exercise equipment that was similar to the fitness equipment at the gym. I started with browsing exercise equipment at local stores like Walmart and the reviews did not look favorable. Most people who left reviews stated that the workout machine needed repairs after the first year. I wanted something that would last so I realized that I would have to spend more money. With not knowing when things would be back to normal and when we would stop wearing face masks, I made the decision that my husband's health was important. So I needed to invest money in his health.

  I decided to look at other fitness brands like Peloton and when I did I saw NordicTrack in the search results. I compared the two brands together and decided on NordicTrack for many reasons. The prices between Peloton and NordicTrack were similar but NordicTrack had a better warranty and the iFit interactive fitness program was free for a year. I also liked that NordicTrack could ship out their product quicker than Peloton.

 So I told my husband that we should purchase an exercise machine for the home. My husband was hesitant as he knows that I don't like spending money. When I explained to him that the fitness machine would make it easier for him to work out and that it would benefit me on cold winter days when I could not get outside to run. I also remembered all the fires last summer that made the air unhealthy for my asthma. So a piece of indoor fitness equipment would also be good in the summer.

Make sure to check out some awesome new products that I discovered for the New Year!  https://www.momknowsbest.net/2021/01/11-healthy-products-that-you-need-for.html 

Treadmill, Bike, or Elliptical?

 Since the machine for exercise was needed for my husband, I let him decide which type of exercise equipment that we would purchase. I love exercising so I knew that I would enjoy working out on a treadmill, bike, or elliptical. My husband selected the NordicTrack elliptical as he mentioned that the treadmill hurts his knees. NordicTrack makes three types of ellipticals: front-drive, rear-drive, and freestride. Each elliptical has different uses and different measurements. Since we were placing the elliptical in my college son's bedroom, we were limited on space. The NordicTrack front-drive elliptical took up the least amount of space and was available in two styles. The main difference between the NordicTrack Commercial 9.9 and Commercial 14.9 after price, was the screen size.

 We decided on the more NordicTrack Commercial 14.9 as it was available to ship out right away directly from NordicTrack's website. The other elliptical models had a month or more waiting list. My husband was happy to get the bigger screen which was 14 inches, double the size from the 9.9. After I placed my order, it took 2 weeks for the machine to arrive at our home.

Building the Elliptical was simple

 With the pandemic, the elliptical was delivered to our driveway and that meant we had to build it. I searched the internet for videos on how to assemble the Nordictrack equipment at home and I found one that included step by step instructions. When the elliptical arrived my husband and boys were able to build the machine in about an hour. The included instructions made the job simple.  

NordicTrack comes with one free year of iFit

While all NordicTrack fitness equipment comes with a free year of iFit interactive personal training, there are plenty of free workouts on the machine. While I don't require the interactive personal trainer to work out, music is my thing, the iFit personal trainer motivates my husband to exercise. 

The iFit app is pretty cool. This interactive training thing allows you to remotely workout with someone. You can use the iFit program even if you don't own a NordicTrack exercise machine and Amazon has deals on iFit programs that you can use with a different fitness machine. I like that I can run with someone in Hawaii on my elliptical. The iFit guides your fitness with a variety of personal trainers leading the way and automatically adjusting the speed, incline, or resistance of your machine. 

 Using the iFit interactive training is taking me to places like beaches, mountains, and even pyramids. Since the iFit fitness program adjusts the incline and resistance of the machine, I get a tough workout while climbing steep hills with a personal trainer. I like that I can choose my workout based on place, type, time, intensity, and more. While I like running, my husband prefers walking. So the NordicTrack elliptical is a machine that adjusts to our workout levels.

 Even my teens are enjoying the NordicTrack Elliptical. They are learning history as they exercise through different places around the world. One son enjoyed walking through a pyramid and the other son took a walk around Washington D.C. I am glad that we can use the iFit program free for a year to motivate my family to work out.

Just like the gym exercise machines

 The NordicTrack elliptical machine feels like the elliptical machines at the gym. In fact, I like the NordicTrack better. The main reason is that the elliptical automatically adjusts the speed, resistance, and incline so I get a better workout. Sure I wish that the NordicTrack had a TV so I could watch my favorite shows while working out. My husband solved the TV problem by hanging a smaller TV on the wall. 

  I like having an at-home fitness machine and I am glad that I decided to invest in one. On cold winter days, I can workout inside. Next summer when the air quality is bad for asthma, I will be using the elliptical. I like having different options for my daily exercise and I may never return to the gym. I am having fun with my fitness workouts and the NordicTrack elliptical is giving me an awesome workout. I like to increase my intensity to challenge myself and this gives my abs a great workout. After 2 weeks of regular use of the elliptical, I lost 2 pounds even though that was not my fitness goal. 

Make sure to check out some awesome new products that I discovered for the New Year!


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Mom knows best