> Mom Knows Best ~ Healthy Recipes, Fitness & Parenting.: February 2019

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. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Dairy Free Mardi Gras King Cake In The Bread Machine

A King Cake is a perfect treat for the Mardi Gras Season

 This year the Mardi Gras Carnival season is going to be a long one since Easter Sunday is not until April 21st this year. The last day of the Carnival Season ends with the big Mardi Gras celebration and that is always the day before Ash Wednesday. So that means more opportunities to enjoy a delicious King Cake. This super yummy cake has the texture of a cinnamon roll and is best served with a delicious cup of coffee. My favorite coffee for the Mardi Gras season is Community King Cake Coffee. I just love how this sweet coffee has flavors of vanilla and cinnamon in to remind me of a slice of sweet King Cake.

The history of the King Cake 

 The Mardi Gras or Carnival season officially begins on January 6th to coincide with the Epiphany. The Epiphany is a day to celebrate the three Wise Men's visit to baby Jesus. The King Cake tradition is thought to have started in New Orleans in 1870. The colorful wreath-shaped cake is a cross between a coffee cake and a French pastry and is colored with the royal colors of purple, green, and gold. These colors have special meaning. The purple represents Justice, The green is for Faith and the gold is for Power. The colors as represent the jeweled crown of the Wise Men that visited the Christ Child on Epiphany.

Why is a plastic baby in the King Cake?

 The baby that is hidden inside the King Cake is a symbol of the Holy Day and the baby Jesus. In the past, such things as coins, beans, pecans, or peas were also hidden in each King Cake. The person who finds the baby in their cake is named "king" for the day and they have to host the next party and provide the King Cake. Some workplaces in New Orleans like to enjoy this delicious cake once a week from the beginning of the Mardi Gras Carnival, January 6th all the way to Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. This year Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras is March 5th so that is a whole lot of King Cake to be enjoyed.

Why a big celebration before Ash Wednesday?

 For most people, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and during this time people choose to give up things like alcohol, sweets, coffee, and many other things that they enjoy. So it makes perfect sense to have a big celebration and party before you have to give up things.

Each year, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and is always 46 days before Easter Sunday. Lent is a 40-day season (not counting Sundays) marked by repentance, fasting, reflection, and ultimately celebration. The 40-day period represents Christ’s time of temptation in the wilderness, where he fasted and where Satan tempted him. Lent asks believers to set aside a time each year for similar fasting, marking an intentional season of focus on Christ’s life, ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection. 

Today, over half a million king cakes are sold during the beginning of the year until Fat Tuesday.

 King Cake that my husband brought home from New Orleans

 Last year my husband traveled to New Orleans during the Mardi Gras Carnival season and he bought a King Cake while he was there. While the cake was tasty, it was a bit on the crunchy side. I think that you will find my recipe for King Cake so much more tastier. My King Cake recipe results in a moist sweet cinnamon roll taste with a sweet icing on top. This cake was so much fun to decorate also. The colored sugars added even more sweetness to the cake. If you don't have purple, green, or gold sugars, just use any color sprinkles as it will still look and taste great.

Make sure to place a small round oven safe dish in the middle of the dough while it is rising and baking. The round dish is needed to prevent the hole from closing.

Yield: 12 

Dairy Free Mardi Gras King Cake In The Bread Machine


For The Cake
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons vegan butter, softened, cut into 12 pieces
  • 4  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, gently beaten
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dark green, purple, and yellow or gold sugars, if desired
  • Miniature plastic baby, if desired


  1. Oven 350F
  2. 1. Place all the cake ingredients, except egg,  in the bread machine in order and set the machine to the dough setting. 
  3. 2. When the dough is finished, take it out of the machine and knead it to form a soft ball, adding flour as needed.
  4. 3. On a baking sheet that is lined with a silicone sheet or parchment paper, form the dough into a large donut shape.
  5. 4. Place a small round oven safe dish in the middle of the dough and place the dough in a warm place to rise for an hour. The round dish is needed to prevent the hole from closing.
  6. 5. Once the dough has risen, brush it with the egg.
  7. 6. Bake 30 minutes or until lightly brown. Let cool ten minutes before decorating.
  8. Icing Directions
  9.  In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth (add additional milk if the mixture is too thick or powdered sugar if too thin).
  10. Spoon icing over top of the cake. Immediately sprinkle on colored sugar, alternating between the three colors.
  11. If a baby is desired, cut a slit in the side of the cake and push the plastic baby in the cake
Created using The Recipes Generator

Celebrate Mardi Gras With A Unique King Cake Coffee

Grab a package of King Cake Coffee and start the celebration

I was sent samples of coffee to facilitate this post.

 This year the Mardi Gras does not happen until March so that means the celebration will be a long one this year. The official kickoff of Mardi Gras Carnival starts January 6th and ends with the famous Fat Tuesday parade, the day before Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent, a time that people choose to give up something to represent the 40-day period of Christ’s time of temptation in the wilderness. So the celebration of Mardi Gras is a time to not only party but it also has some other unique traditions. So grab a cup of coffee and learn some unique facts about Mardi Gras. If your store carries Community Coffee, you will want stock up on their Mardi Gras King Cake coffee for the long Carnival Celebration. 

 Mardi Gras King Cake is a sweet blend of cinnamon & vanilla

  The one thing NOLA is known for beyond their food is knowing how to party. Did you know that their biggest celebration Mardi Gras actually starts in January? Called the "carnivale" season, it officially begins each year on January 6. This Feast of the Epiphany, 'King's Day', starts with traditional balls occurring in the weeks that lead up to the big event- Mardi Gras. The people of NOLA love to celebrate weekly with the delicious King Cake. This is a traditional sweet cake that has a plastic baby(the King) in it and whoever finds the baby has to bring the next cake the following week. We all know that coffee goes great with cake, so Community© Coffee introduced Mardi Gras King Cake coffee so people could have a great cup of coffee to go with their cake.

My son and I made a Kings Cake-Get the recipe HERE

Its party time so grab some a mug of King Cake Coffee 

Mardi Gras is also known for its colorful beads and fun masks. Here are some other unique facts.

1. The Mardi Gras colors are purple, green and gold. 
Remember to coordinate your outfit appropriately. Rex, the King of the Carnival, selected the signature colors of Mardi Gras in 1892. The purple represents justice, green represents faith, and gold indicates power.

2. Any beads shorter than two feet long are unacceptable unless they are made of glass.
 The bigger and longer the beads, the better. The beads are tossed from parade floats and balconies but you don't have to flash anything to get the pretty beads. So keep your shirt on as this misconception came about after some late night parties and a few spring break-aged tourists who had too much to drink.

3. Cool Coconuts
 Beyond the beads, a coveted souvenir from Mardi Gras you may not have heard of is the Zulu krewe's decorated “golden” coconut, which is tossed out to crowds during the parade. So stand close to the floats and you might just catch this lucky souvenir.

4. Mardi Gras Masks
 The signature look of the celebration, masks, are more than just a colorful decoration. Masks were used as a symbol of hiding from social and class constraints and were considered a way to hide from the “evil” deeds that were done on Mardi Gras.

5. First U.S. Mardi Gras
 While New Orleans is now considered the home of Mardi Gras, it actually did not begin in the Big Easy. In 1699, French-Canadian explorer Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville declared what is now known as Mobile, Alabama, the "Pointe du Mardi Gras" after he and his men realized they landed there on the eve of Mardi Gras.

6. King Cake Baby
 Why is there a baby in a cake? The King Cake continues the celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany, the coming of the wise men bearing gifts to the Christ Child, with a special cake to honor the Three Kings. This tradition originated in Europe where a bean or a coin would be hidden inside of the cake for good fortune to the finder.

7. Shrove Tuesday
 Mardi Gras is also linked to Shrove Tuesday, a tradition that is now informally known as “Pancake Day.”Pancake Day is a way to use as much milk, fats, and eggs as possible before Ash Wednesday begins. Coffee is the perfect drink for pancakes,

8. King Cake
 What is a King Cake? King Cakes are a delicious sweet braided dough that is covered with purple, green and gold sugar, the traditional Mardi Gras colors. Some cakes make be stuffed with different flavors like cream cheese and fruit fillings. Community Coffee knew that this delicious cake needed a delicious coffee to enjoy with it. So they made Mardi Gras King Cake coffee, a delicious blend of cinnamon and vanilla flavored coffee that is made from only 100% select Arabica coffee beans.

 So grab a cup of coffee and celebrate the season of Mardi Gras! The Mardi Gras King Cake coffee is only available for a limited time in stores and then it is gone until the next Mardi Gras year.

A slice of Kings Cake deserves a delicious coffee

Do you want to taste this delicious coffee and celebrate?

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Twelve Things Your Skinny Friend Wants You To Know

Do you have that friend who is in great shape?

  We all have that friend who seems to be one of the lucky ones who can eat whatever they want and not gain a pound. You know the one who likes exercising and eating veggies. The ones who can wear a size four and complains about her love handles on her flat stomach. The friend who talks about going to the gym for fun. The friend who can go swimsuit shopping and find a swimsuit that looks good on her.

The friend that has the good genes

You may wonder why she has the good genes and not you. You may wonder how she stays so fit. Well, I may be that friend that you consider to be one of the lucky ones but I am not really lucky. I  have the same battles when it comes to food and exercise. I have just learned over the years some healthy habits to help me win the war against the battle of the bulge. I want to share some things that I do to stay in shape.

1. I don't diet
 I tried a diet once and I failed miserably. I think I lasted a couple of hours on a diet once and gave up. I simply love food and I was not willing to go hungry. I lack the needed discipline to stay on a fad diet and while I admire those who have the will power to do the whole 30, paleo, keto, or any other current diet, I shake my head and think I could never give up bread.

2. There is no magic pill
Stop believing all those ads. There is no magic pill that allows you to eat whatever you want and be skinny. It takes hard work and sweat to lose weight. It also takes a while to lose weight. You did not gain that weight overnight and you will not lose 10 pounds by Friday.

3. There is green tea matcha 
   While there is no magic pill to help you lose weight, there are supplements that can help give you the energy so you will feel like working out and they may also put you in a good mood so you will make wise choices. One of my favorite supplements is matcha or green tea powder. Matcha is simply green tea leaves that are made into a powder. We all know how healthy green tea is for antioxidants so 1/2 teaspoon of matcha is equal to about 10 cups of green tea. Matcha is also said to be great for the metabolism. I like to add matcha to my morning smoothie but it also tastes so delicious in a cold fat-free green tea latte.

4. Exercise is not always fun
 Sure you see or hear me talking about having a blast at the trampoline park with my kids but you don't hear about the days that I have to drag myself out the door to go to the gym or for a walk. There are plenty of days that I would rather not workout but I force myself to do so five days a week because I know that it is good for my health and I like the way I look. I do find that once I get myself off the couch and start exercising, I start enjoying it. I also find that upbeat music helps me workout.

5. I need still need the motivation to stay in shape
 Sticking to healthy habits is not easy. So I rely on my kids and husband to keep me healthy. Now that my husband has joined the gym, he helps me stay fit by asking me to meet him at the gym after work. Me saying yes also helps him get his butt to the gym. The kids love going to the park so I walk laps around the park while they play. I don't let my kids be my excuse for not exercising and instead, I make fitness a priority. See some fitness tips for stay at home parents.

Powerful Muscle & Joint Inflammation Relief

6. No pain no gain
    A bit of muscle pain is normal when you first start working out but don't let that pain stop you from getting in shape. It does get better after a while and there are natural ways to treat muscle pain and other body aches. My favorite healthy supplements that I use after a good vigorous workout session is turmeric and CBD oil. I tend to push myself hard when I run or lift weights and feel good when I experience some muscle pain as it means that I am doing my body good. I also know that once I get home, these supplements will help take my pain away. Make sure to read this article to learn more about the benefits of CBD oil and why I love it.

7. I don't weigh myself
 I stopped weighing myself years ago as that scale just made things worse for me when I was trying to get in shape. I would step on the scale and see that I lost a pound, so I would reward myself with food or I would discover that I gained weight. That would then set me in a bad mood so I would comfort myself with food. So now I just stay away from any scale and instead have a mindset that I need to eat healthy food and exercise to stay healthy. I also judge my progress by the way my clothes fit. If my pants are hard to button, then I will workout harder that day.

8. I crave cookies and pizza
 Sure, most of the time I eat healthy food and yes I enjoy veggies, but I do want pizza or cookies some days. So I enjoy a cookie, not the whole bag. I will also make a healthier pizza with lots of veggies on it. I also make my cookies healthier with less sugar or with lots of healthy ingredients like oatmeal and chia seeds. Check out this recipe for Guilt-free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies. If I do indulge in a bakery cookie or take-out pizza, I enjoy every bite without any guilt as I know that I will go back to my healthy foods the next meal. The key for me is to make a list before a shop so I only buy healthy foods at the store. If that is hard for you, then order your groceries online and pick them up so you will not be tempted by junk food. Another way to not be tempted at the grocery store and try some new healthy food at the same time is to get a meal box subscription. Lots of the meal boxes are allergy and diet friendly.

Take a look at this organic meal box that includes healthy recipes- click HERE

9. I don't judge 
  When I see someone who is struggling with their health, I don't judge you. I instead think about how I can help and encourage you when you are ready to make a change. When I see you out walking or at the gym, I smile as you took that first step of wanting to feel better. I want to high five you or encourage you at the gym but I am afraid of reaching out to others. That is something that I need to work on. I may also be enjoying my music and getting my stress out.  I just hope you are not judging me for being the crazy one on the treadmill going way too fast. I enjoy fast intense workouts and sweating. Sweating is a good thing. So don't worry about how you look when you are working out at the gym, as you are loving yourself and that is all that matters. Exercise is so good for your heart and your well being. People who exercise have fewer colds as their bodies can fight those germs better.

10. It took time for me to develop healthy habits
  I have been working on my healthy habits for quite some time. I also have had times in my life when I was not so healthy. I know that healthy eating and exercise makes me feel good. I have really been sticking to exercise and an almost plant-based diet for the past 7 months as I had a rough year of asthma problems that first started affecting my exercise, I felt so out of shape as breathing was hard when running. Then my asthma symptoms got so bad that I was having bad coughing attacks that left me gasping for air. It was finally after eliminating all dairy, soy, and mushrooms that my asthma now only happens when I am exposed to smoke and chemical fragrances. Exercise also helps me get the gunk out of my lungs so I can breathe better. Eliminating foods that I am allergic to has allowed me to stop taking allergy medicine this winter and I have not had any sleep apnea episodes either. I am hoping when spring comes that I won't have to start back on allergy medicines but with my children having diagnosed allergies to weeds and grass I will have to wait and see.

My best healthy habit is drinking 8-10 glasses a water a day! 
  Drinking a glass of water before meals will help you to eat less so that will help with weight loss.

11. I was a fat child
     People don't believe me when I tell them I was a chubby kid. I remember shopping as a kid and having to buy my clothes in the pretty plus section and even then those sometimes did not fit. I was made fun of because of my size and I never had that many friends. I also was always the last one to get picked for any school team. I was also the kid who had bad eczema and frequent stomach aches. So I know what it is like to feel like to be unhealthy and I read way to many books as a teen to take charge of my health. So that is why I am passionate about helping others achieve a healthy body. I love teaching my kids about nutrition and I make them look at their body like a car. I tell them that if you put bad gas (food) or no gas into a car it does not go. If you don't do regular maintenance on a car (exercise) the car needs to be repaired.

12. I start my day with a protein smoothie
   I too get tempted to eat foods that are not the best for my body. So I have found that starting my day off with a glass of water and then a protein smoothie that is loaded with nutrition and superfoods like fruit, veggies, and flaxseed. This ultra healthy drink puts my mind into healthy thinking for the day. My smoothie also has 25 grams of Time Released MacroMeal Protein to sustain my energy. My delicious smoothie also has 10 grams of fiber from chia or flax seed so it keeps me full for several hours and helps with my potty habits too.  I find that starting my day with healthy foods helps me to make healthy choices all day long. I know what you are thinking, that sounds boring and it probably tastes bad. If you use a great tasting protein powder that comes in vanilla or chocolate and then I add different fruits to it, then it is delicious. I never add any vegetables to my daily smoothie, instead, I add a green or red superfood powder, depending on the flavor I want, for awesome nutrition. When I want a chocolate smoothie, I use chocolate protein powder, blueberries and sometimes I add peanut butter powder. When I feel like a fruit flavored smoothie, I use vanilla protein powder and fruit. My favorite smoothie is a Tropical Coconut Mango Smoothie. Get the recipe HERE.

Tip: stock your freezer with frozen fruit and your pantry with vanilla and chocolate powder so you can drink a healthy smoothie every day.

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

Friday, February 8, 2019

Say I Love You With The Best Flowers And Dessert

Flowers are the perfect gift for Valentine's Day!

      I received a floral gift from Teleflora to facilitate this post.

  Looking for the perfect gift for Valentine's Day? I think a pretty bouquet of red roses and white mums in a gorgeous glass cube that dances with red and silver hearts says "I love you" in the best way. When you choose beautiful flowers for a girl that you love, you don't have to worry about things like size or spoiling her diet. You don't have to worry about food allergies like a dairy allergy either. If you deliver the flowers to her workplace, you will look a knight in shining armor as she makes all the other girls so jealous. Your special girl will be smiling all day as she gazes at her pretty flowers and smells their wonderful floral aroma. That special arrangement of hand-picked flowers will be the start of happy together. So celebrate your love and affection to the one you love, whether that be your wife or your girlfriend.

 A gorgeous glass cube that dances with red and silver hearts says "I love you" 

    I do love receiving flowers for Valentine's Day from my husband. From the moment the doorbell rings and I see the bouquet of red roses that is decorated with other pretty flowers to several days later when I am admiring my flowers, I know that my husband loves me. I know that my husband put thought into this special day as he took the time to order the flowers several days before Valentine's Day. Unlike those guys who are last minute shopping at the grocery store on the eve of Valentine's Day. I find it quite amusing that most grocery stores have a special line for all the last minute men shoppers. I always avoid any stores on Valentine's Day as they can be quite crowded with people who are buying Valentine's day gifts.

I still love chocolate for Valentine's Day 

  Since I have a dairy allergy, the only chocolate that I can enjoy is dark chocolate and I am not a fan of dark chocolate. There is only one dairy-free dark chocolate, that has peanut butter in it,
that I enjoy and I have only found it at one store in town. It is also hard to find at the store so I can't chance my husband buying chocolate anymore and I give him hints to buy me flowers. My husband used to buy me the best chocolate for Valentine's Day and hide them all over the house. He would give me a heart-shaped box and inside that empty box would be a clue to help me find a piece of chocolate. Each piece that I found would have a clue to lead me to the next piece of chocolate. I love how much though my husband put into my gift.

I always bake an indulgent dessert for my husband

  The way that I show my love to my husband on Valentine's Day is through making him a sweet treat. My husband loves these  Chocolate Mint Mousse Brownies and they are so easy to make. This indulgent chocolate dessert is a perfect dessert for our Valentine's Day dinner. I also make a dairy-free dessert so we can delight our sweet tooth together. I made this dairy-free Chocolate Pretzel Pie last Christmas and my family loved it. I barely got more than a slice of the pie. So maybe with me making two desserts, I will get to enjoy more than one slice of the pie.

The vase is the best part of the flower arrangement

 Long after the flowers have wilted, I will still enjoy my Valentine's Day gift. I will use the beautiful vase dances with red and silver hearts to store things like candy, pens, make-up, or other small items. I think this special vase will look good in my kitchen, right next to my pink Kitchenaid stand mixer that I got for Chrismas last year. Every time that I use my stand mixer, I will remember the special flowers that I received from the man that I love.

Say I Love You With The Best Flowers

 The best place to buy flowers is at Teleflora. This place has so many fresh flower bouquets that are hand delivered and they come with the most beautiful vases. I just love their selection of hand-picked flowers. It is so easy to order flowers for Valentine's Day online.

4 Benefits of Attending a Trade Show

I enjoy attending trade shows. I try to attend several a year as it is a great way to network and meet new brands. I always walk away with a wealth of information. I also look forward to these shows as I get to do some traveling to places that I have never been to. It is like a mini business vacation and these trade shows help me to earn more money. Check out this article that has four benefits of attending a trade show.
Attending a trade show is one of the best forms of marketing there is, generating more than 12.8 billion dollars in 2016, according to Statista.com. It tends to bring the highest return of investment too, with plenty of budget-friendly solutions for marketing your brand and selling your products or services. All you need is a simple booth, a few tech accessories and a winning personality and you’ll have one of the best ways to get your brand on the market.
Utilizing one or two of the best trade show display ideas can really help you stand out from the rest so that you can look forward to a wealth of benefits by attending, including these. 
The Opportunity to Analyze Your Competitors

By attending trade shows you’ll get to see the offerings and strategies that your industry’s top brands utilize, something that can work wonders for your own business, as you’ll be able to take note of what the best performing booths are doing and find out what others may not be doing so well. This is the opportunity to learn from the best by focusing on booths that are attracting the most attention, and then taking that research back to your own so that you can do the best job possible next time.
Promoting Your Brand

Of course, the most obvious benefit of attending a trade show is the opportunity to promote your brand. This is the chance to raise brand awareness among industry professionals and a host of key decision makers. You’ll be most successful by creating eye-catching graphics, placing your logo, brand name and message strategically throughout the exhibit space. Try to place your booth near some of the best-known, major companies and you’ll present the impression that you’re an industry leader.
Solid Leads

Trade shows are the ideal opportunity for a sales team to get solid leads with a big crowd of targeted potential buyers all in one place. Many trade show attendees go because they’re actively looking for the best products and services to meet their particular needs and requirements. That means all that your sales staff needs to do is highlight which solutions are the right ones to close sales. In some cases, salespeople can close the deal right on the spot.
Networking and Building Relationships

Attending trade shows is all about networking and building relationships too. Most likely you’ll not only have the chance for face-to-face meetings with potential customers and partners but current clients too. There is nothing better than face-to-face interaction when it comes to influencing decision-making. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling a new product or marketing a service, those in-person presentations and conversations afterward are one of the best ways to close a deal and grow current relationships. In addition to booth interactions, you may be able to attend related social events where you can mingle with industry leaders and possibly exchange contact information. 
Trade shows are always so fun for me to attend. I always walk away with new healthy products. If you have never been to a trade show, then check out what to wear to a trade show and what to pack for a trade show. This was some of the great items that I received from a trade show about healthy products.

Mom knows best