>U Mom Knows Best: September 2019

Monday, September 30, 2019


 Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MoreJackLinksJerky #CollectiveBias

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Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Store333 Has Free Size Dresses That Fit Almost Anyone

If you are looking for a comfortable dress keep reading

      I received samples from Store333 to facilitate this post.

 I was looking for a dress that I could wear to the pool when I travel and I found a cute dress that is so comfortable. I wanted a dress that was not form-fitting so it would cover up my swimsuit. While I was browsing online for dresses, I discovered a place that had a nice selection of dresses that were made to fit almost any size of body and look good at the same time. The dresses that Store333 sold were available in free size. This is the first time I have heard of free size. This size is like one size fits all but better.

 The dresses that came in a free size were lightweight dresses that were made to look great on ant shape of body. I was skeptical that a dress could fit almost any size. The dresses were so cute that I took a chance I decided to try the dresses. Store333 sent me two dresses to review and they arrived just in time for me to take them on a trip to Texas. I will be staying at a hotel that has a pool and these pretty dresses will be perfect to wear to the pool. That way I do not have to walk through the lobby in my swimsuit as the dresses will make a perfect swimsuit cover.

So when the dresses arrived, I tried one on and it not only fit me but it looked nice. The dress was very generous in size so it can fit people who are larger than me. I wear a size 6 and this dress looked nice on me but I could see this dress fitting a plus-size lady also. The dress had plenty of fabric that would expand to people of large size. 

 This dress was very versatile. I could wear the dress as a swimsuit coverup or I could add a belt around the waist and wear it as an everyday dress. This dress is perfect for hot weather. The designs on the dress that I received was very pretty and I love how the white looks against the black fabric. I loved that the dress was made of a lightweight fabric and it was also a soft fabric. Store333 has a big selection of dresses and they all have unique designs on them. The dresses that I received were made out of rayon material. I like that the dresses are not tight and they do a good job of hiding my stomach bulges. These dresses are great for any occasion and can be worn for a casual event or a fancy party.  To me, these dresses are perfect for a summer getaway or for a lazy day by the pool. You need to head to Store333 and check the dresses out. I also have a coupon code so you can save money on your dress. Just use MOMKNOW10 at the checkout. 

The Best Place For Unique Halloween Costumes

The most fun day of the year is almost here!

 I received a sample from TV Store Online to facilitate this post

 It may be the end of September but my boys have been thinking about Halloween for the past two weeks. It might be due to the fact that the stores are stocked with everything that you need for Halloween or that it is fall. It also might be due to a costume party that they had at church. I am not sure but I do know that my boys have been planning what they want to be on the best night of the year, that is according to two tween boys who love scary things and collecting way too much candy. My boys also love dressing up. When my boys start dreaming of the Halloween costume, they always want a unique costume that will wow their friends.

The winning costume
 I think this year my youngest son will win the most unique costume award, if there was one. My son was looking at costumes at TVStoreOnline and he found the Inflatable Chub Suit® Teen Costume. He knew that this was what he wanted to be for Halloween. So, I went ahead and ordered the inflatable blue suit for him. I selected the teen size for him as he is 11 years old but this blue Chub Man suit comes in adult sizes too. It even comes in a lot of other colors.

Costumes are great year-round
 My boys were originally thinking about Halloween and trick or treating when they selected the costume that reminds me of Violet from Willy Wonka but once the costume arrived in the mail, they knew that this dress-up clothing would be perfect for their church youth group event. The youth group had divided the kids into teams by color and each week they were having competitions. My boys were in the blue group and the next competition was a dress-up event. The team who had the best costume would win lots of points. So when my boys tried on the inflatable blue suit, they knew that they had to wear it to youth group.

The best costume ever
  All their friends loved the inflatable blue man suit and the boys won the contest. My youngest son loved how comfortable and quiet the costume was. The blue suit is inflated by a small fan that is whisper quiet. My son told me that he did not feel hot inside the suit, which can be a good thing. Last year it was 70 degrees n Halloween. If it is cold this year, then my son can wear sweats under the blue suit and it does not matter what he wears under the costume as the blue inflatable suit is not see-through.

One of the largest online retailers on the internet
    I am glad that I discover a retailer on the internet that had a big selection of unique costumes for kids, teens, and adults. TVStoreOnline has costumes that are available in many sizes. I was amazed at the selection and how unique the selection was. When you take your kids trick or treating they will not be wearing a costume that looks like all the other costumes. That is what my boys liked about this store as they want their Holloween dress-up outfit to be different from their friends. I liked that I did not have to leave the house and drive way too many miles to a store that sells Halloween costumes. That way I would not be tempted to buy Halloween candy or Halloween decorations. I ordered the costume from my comfy chair and it arrived in a couple of days.

Halloween is right around the corner, have you bought your costumes?

How To Deal With Exercise Burnout

You have made some fitness goals and have been going to the gym regularly. You have even seen some results from all that sweating. Then it happens, life gets crazy and you can't seem to fit exercise into your day. You have lost your fitness motivation and start feeling guilty about not exercising. Take a deep breath and relax. it is ok to take a break from exercise.

 The other day when I was at the gym, I stopped to say hello to a lady that I see at the gym frequently. She usually arrives at the gym as I am finishing up my workout. I always ask her how she is doing. Usually, she just gives me the usual small talk and says things are good. Well, on this day, my gym friend was honest and said: "I am feeling bad as I did not go to the gym at all last week." I told her that it is ok that we take breaks from fitness as our bodies need rest. My friend went on to say that she felt guilty as she also ate tons of junk food, like chips and cookies, last week.

 I love that the gym where I am a member is small so I get to know people 

 After I gave her advice about not having junk food in the house, my friend told me that her husband had bought the junk food. So I talked some more with my friend and tried to encourage her that it was perfectly fine to take a week off from the gym. My friend felt better and said, "You should be a motivational speaker." That made me feel awesome as this is the reason I write about health and fitness so I can encourage others. I told my friend about my website and how I write about fitness tips.

I love observing people at the gym

 When I am at the gym, I listen to people talk about fitness and observe what they do. This inspires me and helps me to select what I write about. The one thing that I really notice while I am working out is most people tend to do the same workout routine day after day. I also noticed that most people are not happy when they are working out. Call me crazy but working out makes me happy.

 So friends always buy me fitness-related gifts for the holidays. When I work out, I listen to great music and move fast. This gives me that runners high that people talk about. Most people on the cardio machines are not moving fast enough to get that happy feeling. They are usually checking their phone. I want to tell these people to put away their phones and just get the exercise done.

Exercise Burnout is real

 Just like we need a vacation from work, our bodies need a break from exercise. I usually only exercise five days a week as I like to give my body rest. I work from home so I can be flexible with my workout routine. I usually run five days a week and visit the gym for three days for my weightlifting. I plan my workout schedule around the days my husband can get to the gym. My husband is doing a great job with exercise and meets me at the gym when he gets off of work. 

 Sometimes I just don't feel like working out for the day and I will take the day off or do a different exercise like biking or walking. When I take the day off from working out, I don't feel one bit guilty as I know that I will make up for that day another time. There are even times I take the whole week off from exercise, like when I am traveling, except when I am attending a fitness conference. and that is ok because I know that after taking a week off I will want to get back to my exercise. It may be just me but my body craves movement as fitness is my time that makes my body feel good.

How to avoid exercise burnout

 I think fitness burnout comes from when we do the same exercises day after day or when we make our fitness schedule too strict. It is good for our bodies to do different exercises as that means more muscles are being used. So I think it is a great idea to change up your fitness routine with different forms of exercise.  You might find that even switching the time you exercise might help. There are so many ways to get that daily exercise, so switch it up. 

 One day you can go for a walk and another day you can put on some fast music at home and dance. You can even get the exercise by biking for errands or by swimming. If you belong to a gym, try a fitness class like Spin Cycle or Pound Fit. Working out with a friend can also help so skip the gym and meet up with your friend for a walk around the neighborhood. You can even use your walking time to chat with your mom on the phone. As a mom, I enjoy it when my boys join me on their scooters while I am running. If you are a stay-at-home mom you need to check out these workout tips for moms.

Do a shorter workout

  You may feel like skipping a workout because you are short on time. Then just do 15 minutes of exercise instead of 30 minutes. Every little bit counts. That short workout is better than sitting on the couch eating a whole pint of ice cream. 

 You don't have to go hardcore to benefit from exercise even a short walk with a friend, a yoga session on YouTube, or some dancing while doing housework is good for your body. When I am short on time and have to clean, I will incorporate a couple times up and down the stairs to get some fitness in. I even walk fast when I am shopping to squeeze in some exercise. Check out some other ways to sneak exercise into your day.

Seek help

  Sometimes you just may need a bit of help to motivate yourself to exercise. You may feel tired in the morning or after a long day at work so you just don't feel like exercising. Sometimes you just might need a bit of energy and drinking a natural energy drink 20 minutes before exercising is what I do in the morning when I wake up before I go running or in the afternoon before I head to the gym. I find that 50-115 mg of natural caffeine gives me the energy I need to get an intense workout in. By the time the workout is over, my body has burned up the caffeine so I don't feel jittery. I don't recommend coffee as it may cause stomach problems.

Challenge yourself or set goals

 Another way to avoid workout burnout is to challenge yourself or set goals. I was getting tired of using the weightlifting machines at the gym so I challenged myself to try free weights and core exercises. I started out with two 10-pound weights, one in each hand and just lifted them in ways that made my muscles feel a slight burn. I also did different sets of situps and pushups. I set a goal of 2 months to do my new routine to see if I could get stronger and to see if it would tone my muscles. So knowing that I only had to do this for 2 months helped me focus better. After 2 months, I was able to do 10 pushups in a row! So that made me feel good!

Reward yourself

 Sometimes the best way to get the workout done is with a reward. This reward can be something to look forward to. When I am running, I run knowing that I can have a Salted Caramel Cold Brew Coffee Latte or a piece of chocolate when I get home. Another reward that I love is soaking in the tub with new bath salts or giving myself a spa treatment in the shower. 

 After my sweat session at the gym, I love to take a long soak in the shower or tub. I use this long soak time to wash away the sweat odor and exfoliate my body. I love using a scented plant-based body wash.

 Since I am spending extra time in the tub soaking, I use this time to pamper my feet. My feet are always dry so this 4 in 1 Foot Buffer & Brush helps me get the dead skin off my heels. This amazing foot brush also cleans the rest of my feet. I can remember to use this brush, I may just have pretty feet by summertime. This brush also gives my feet a mini massage. Did you know that a foot massage can help the overall well-being of your body? Different spots on your feet lead to different parts of your body. Head over here to see a foot reflexology diagram and see how to touch your feet for a healthy body.

Buy some new workout clothes

 Sometimes a new outfit may be a motivator to get some exercise in. Think about how a new outfit makes you feel and how it lifts your mood. So treat yourself to a new pair of exercise clothes or even a pair of new socks. 

Don't feel guilty

 If you miss a couple days of working out or even a week, throw away the guilt and don't beat yourself up over it. You will be able to get right back to your workout routine on maybe this is a good time to start fresh with a new exercise routine. 

 Just remember that exercise is good for your body and will help you feel good. My motivation for working out is to keep away diseases like heart disease, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes. Exercise has helped me to be able to manage my asthma symptoms and it helps keep my muscles from getting weak as I age. 

 I have gone through the change and have yet to experience a hot flash or night sweats. Exercise gives me natural energy and helps me to think better. So I am willing to spend 30 minutes 5 days a week for these health benefits and many others.

So take a break from exercise for a week or two. The break will help your mind and body. Then when you are ready to sweat again, your body will be ready.

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Benefits Of Black Maca For Ladies And Hormones

We ladies can be a hot mess when it comes to hormones

               I received a sample of black maca to facilitate this post

 Depending on the time of the month or the season of our life, we ladies are not happy with the hormones in our bodies. We start the hormonal journey with puberty and then for about the next 45 years, those hormones can make our lives miserable at times. The main hormones estrogen and progesterone have many functions in our bodies and our very useful for ladies but at the same time can make us miserable. Hormones are awesome when we want to have a baby but not so much when they cause us to have PMS symptoms or acne. We can have too many hormones in our system or too little depending on that time of the month or the season of our life or because there is an imbalance in our bodies. It can be a love/hate relationship with female hormones. I am glad that I discovered a natural hormonal balancing supplement that can help ladies.

  Hormone Balancing Wonders of Maca
 I have experienced many things that I can blame on my hormones, some good and some bad. Hormones have helped me to conceive and become pregnant with my five children. Hormones have also been the cause of the monthly things like cramps, acne, and that monthly period that I dreaded every month. Hormones have caused me to have mood swings and be a crabby person at times. My current stage with hormones is perimenopause and I am questioning if I am at the beginning or the end of this stage. I have had some small symptoms that made me realize that I need to start balancing my hormones before I start experiencing the awful symptoms my friends have talked about like hot flashes and night sweats. So I started taking a natural supplement called Black Maca and I want to tell you about the benefits of this supplement for our hormones.

 Black Maca for balance in Peri- and Menopause
  I am 54 and I thought that I had escaped the miserable symptoms that come with peri-menopause. Up until this month, the only indication that I had that I was in peri-menopause was that I had my period three times in the past 12 months and that was it. My friends talked about hot flashes, night sweats, and weight gain but I did not have these problems. I think my fitness routine helps with maintaining my weight. Then one day I start feeling warm in the middle of the day and I was not sure if that was a hot flash or it was because it was summertime and the house was eighty degrees and I needed to turn on a fan. I was not bothered by this warm feeling in my body so I thought nothing of it until I woke up in the morning and needed to kick off my blanket because the room was warm. I decided that I did not want to experience a miserable hot flash that my friends have described so researched what supplements could help with Peri- and Menopause symptoms and discovered Black Maca.

 I learned that black maca, a natural dietary supplement could help balance my hormones and be a natural HRT. Black maca is a root that is packed with many nutrients and has beneficial plant sterols that are biochemically related to hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. This supplement could help balance my hormones and hopefully reduce any menopause symptoms so I did not have to experience the dreadfull hot flashes or night sweats.

 So I liked the sound of that and decided to give this hormonal supplement a chance. I added the organic gelatinized black maca supplement to my daily supplements for ladies over 50. The vegan capsules were easy to swallow. I like that I did not have to add a powder to my daily smoothie. I also liked that this black maca dietary supplement contained high levels of protein, fiber, vitamins & minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin b, magnesium, selenium, and potassium.

 While I was not experiencing any other change of life symptoms, I was happy to learn that maca could help with hot flashes, night sweats, depression, insomnia, nervousness, and anxiety, as well as improved concentration. So I added this supplement into my day with hopes that I would enter into menopause with no symptoms other than the end of the monthly bleeding.

Check out this unique mattress pad that helps night sweats 

Black Maca for PMS Relief
 Research has also shown that black maca can help with PMS symptoms that are caused by an imbalance of hormones. PMS is caused by the low levels of estrogen at the start of the menstrual period and the mid-cycle increases of hormones. So the rise and fall can be evened out by black maca. This adaptogen supplement may even bring relief from the mood swings, fluid retention, and breast tenderness. Black Maca may also help boost fertility and help with libido. Did you know that sweating is healthy and is also good for your libido?

Benefits and uses of black maca
 Black maca has been shown to help with other things besides hormone balance. The below list shows some other benefits that you may experience and could be beneficial ways to use this organic supplement.

Support Fertility
Improve Sexual Function
Increase Memory & Concentration
Help promote rapid muscle growth & endurance
Boosts immunity
Supports stamina, memory, and focus
Aids in balancing hormones and stress levels for men & woman

Did Black Maca help?
 I took the organic black maca supplement for one week and I did not experience any side effects. I did notice that I no longer experienced those small feelings of feeling warm during the day or that weird sense of warmth in the morning. I am not sure if those warm feelings were the beginning of hot flashes or something else like the weather. It has been in the eighties here. Research has show that black maca may work for balancing the hormones, so I will take this supplement as I am entering menopause. To be able to keep the hot flashes away would be awesome. To be able to say goodbye to that monthly friend and not experience any menopause symptoms is something that I like and I will continue to take the black maca daily with the rest of my supplements.

Friday, September 20, 2019

How to Stay Social When Homeschooling

 One of the main reasons many people shy away from homeschooling their children is that they worry about raising kids that aren’t exposed to the social aspects of traditional schooling. Homeschooling is on the rise and what many parents don’t understand is that there are many different ways that you can socialize children who are homeschooled. Here are a few tips on how to stay social when your children are involved in a homeschooling program.

Socialization Starts at Home

 One major aspect of your child’s socialization is often missed by those who feel like homeschooled children are under-socialized, and this is family socialization. When you are part of a family, you are constantly exposed to others, and often these are the people who teach you how to act appropriately in other social situations. For this reason, at-home socialization with family members might just be the most important socialization that your kids can receive.
Beyond this, there are many ways for your children to meet new people. Let’s take a look at a few great ways to make sure that your children are socialized.

Plan Regular Playdays

 Every week or two, plan a day where you meet up with other homeschool children around the same age as yours. During these playdays, your children can enjoy the same kind of socialization other kids would get at school. Playdays can include one-on-one time with a single friend or lots of fun with a larger group. If you have more than one child that you are homeschooling, try to plan time with each of your children’s friends in this manner.
 If your child is friends with a lot of children that go to public or private schools, you might also want to have evening and weekend play dates so that those friends aren’t left out.

Get Involved in Sports

 Playing sports is a great outlet for energy as well as meeting new people and making friends. Team sports are the perfect opportunity to get involved with a lot of children of the same age. Many schools allow homeschoolers to compete in sports activities. The YMCA also offers many sports programs.
If your kid doesn’t seem interested in team sports, you could also sign up for things like dance or swimming or gymnastics. There will likely be other students in the classes without a team aspect. These types of recreational activities are good for both physical and mental health in children.

Participate in Summer Camps

 Summer camps are a lot of fun for all children. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get your child involved in summer camps. In the spring, start looking at different options and help your child pick a camp that best suits their wants and needs. If you believe that your child is mature enough and can handle it, overnight camps can be a great opportunity for young children to experience time away from family to learn new skills and make new friends. Day camps are also an option for kids that aren’t quite ready to be away from home for so long.
Summer camps can be based around outdoors, sports, arts, and much more. This is why we suggest that you sit down with your child to choose a camp that suits their interests.

Join Homeschool Specific Clubs

 It is always a good idea to get your child involved with children who are also homeschooled. For this reason, it is a great idea to find clubs that are specifically designed for homeschoolers. You will likely find a lot of different options in your area. For example, there are often health clubs, religious groups, scouts’ clubs, and more that your child could easily get involved in.

Start Volunteering

 It seems like there are always so many organizations in need of volunteers. Volunteering is a great way to get some social interaction with people of all backgrounds, which will help your child learn to interact with all different kinds of people. While volunteering, you can also teach your children about helping the community in which you live. You can try to get involved in many different types of volunteering as well. Maybe one year you spend time volunteering for an animal shelter, but the next year you help at a food bank or clean up trash at a local park or lake. Even better, some volunteering activities can help your child get a little exercise.
Volunteering can also look good on college and job applications in the future—especially if you can find opportunities that allow your child to showcase leadership qualities and experience.

Go to Local Music and Art Classes

 Lots of children really enjoy art and music. While you are probably including both art and music in your homeschool lessons, you can use art and music as a good excuse to get your child out of the house to meet new people. If you can’t find any local music or art classes in your area, contact someone who offers music lessons or teaches children how to play instruments. If you can find someone who teaches multiple kids at once, your child will not only be able to find positive interaction with another adult, but they can also work with other kids.
It might take a little more work to introduce your kids to other children as homeschoolers, but it isn’t impossible. You can also make friends in your neighborhood or at church. Find what works best for your family and get out there and socialize!

Back To School Fitness Tips For Kids In Middle School

The new school year is here and it is a perfect time to focus on a healthy body

          I received a Razor scooter to facilitate this post.

  The new school year is here and parents are pretty much done scrambling to get everything on their lists from backpacks to notebooks, and even a new school wardrobe…but what about those overlooked items to keep kids happy, healthy and on track the rest of the school year? What about a fun item that will keep kids healthy and may even help them learn better?

 This fun item needs to be on every kid's back-to-school wish list alongside those fancy gym shoes that you kid wants. The item that I am talking about is a fun Razor Scooter that will make being healthy fun. Every kid needs fitness time and the sad thing is most do not get enough exercise. Kids are in school all day and they may only get gym class once a week. If kids are getting any recess, they usually are not running around as too often the schools are worried about kids getting hurt so recess time is usually kids standing around talking. Older kids who are in middle school get no recess so they are getting even less healthy body exercise. Lack of exercise may affect their school work.

Are my children smart because of genetics?

Find out here Helping Your Child Succeed In School 

Make exercise a part of their day
 For the purpose of this post, I am talking about tips that may only pertain to kids who are in middle school and up as that it the age of my kids but you may find that these tips work great for younger kids also. Middle school kids may not be getting enough exercise as they no longer have recess and some schools do not make gym class a requirement. So as a parent, I encourage you to help your kid make fitness a part of their day. Exercise is important and will even help kids stay healthy.

Exercise can help with independence
 One of the best ways kids can get some healthy exercise is by allowing your kids to ride their bikes or scooter to school instead of having you drive them. This is best if you live a couple miles from the school.  Middle school is a perfect time to give kids some independence. Now that my boys are older, I allow them to go to the park by themselves and ride their bikes around the neighborhood. Yes, I worry about their safety so I use the buddy system. My boys can only go somewhere if they are with a friend. So have your child and a friend head off to school on their own with a fun scooter. The best part of riding a scooter instead of a bike is no worries of flat tires. If you are worried about their safety, get them a cell phone so they can call you once they get to school. Most scooters can be locked up with a bike lock or if your kids are lucky, like mine, the teacher will allow them to leave the scooter in their closet for the day.

Exercise will help improve their grades
 If biking or riding a scooter to school is not an option for your kid, then encourage them to play outside when they get home from school. It is amazing what 30 minutes of having a blast on a scooter can do for their brain. The exercise will help your tween be able to focus on their homework better. Better study time may just lead to better grades in school.

Encourage them to take part in sports
 Most middle schools or junior high schools offer after school sports so now is a great time to encourage kids to get involved with sports. My oldest son loves playing basketball and running so he participates in basketball in the fall and track and field in the spring. These sports teams not only give my son some great exercise but also a chance to make some friends. My younger son is participating in archery and PT with his leadership class so two days a week he gets some fun fitness also.

Make it a family thing
 After work or dinner, the whole family can spend some quality time together going for a walk or playing at the park. Instead of sitting in front of the TV watching a show, set the example for your kids and get some exercise with them. Razor makes scooters for all ages, even adults so get in on the fun and scoot around the neighborhood with your kids. Exercise is a great stress reliever so you may find that the family exercise time benefits you too.

Play some music
 If your day is busy and there is not the time for your kid to get outside. Then blast some energizing music and start dancing. Your teen might think you are crazy but they may just join in on the fun.

Stop driving them everywhere
 When you were a kid and you wanted to go visit a friend or go to the store, did your parents drive you? No, chances are you had to walk or bike so encourage your kids to do the same. Again, work on that independence thing and let them walk. If they participate in after school activities, let them get home on their own with a fun teen-size scooter.

A scooter designed for off-road fun 
 My boys love Razor scooters and own several of them. The best about scooters after the crazy fun is not having to worry about flat tires like you do with a bicycle. My boy's recently got a scooter that is designed for off-road fun. This durable scooter is built to handle a variety of riding styles and is design and tested by John Radtke. My boys think the scooter is cool and has a killer look. My older son could not wait for the weekend so we could head to the skateboard park with his awesome scooter. My son wanted to see how this scooter performed on the ramps. This Phase Two Pro Scooter Radtke has some awesome features that my son loved like the Die-cast aluminum spring brake cartridge that had a push-down feature. The scooter deck had an awesome looking cool-kid design that my tween loved. This is a dual-purpose scooter that can be also used on the sidewalk making it the best transportation for tweens. My boys enjoy using this awesome scooter at the skateboard park near our home and they also use their scooters when they go to places like the store or a friend's house.

How do you encourage your middle school kid to exercise?

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Don't Let Your Weight Define You

Our bodies are so much more than a number!

 Who hates going to the doctor? I really don't like doctor visits for many reasons and I have not been to the doctor for a health check-up in a long time. It is not the outrageous cost of visiting the doctor or having to sit around and wait that keeps me away from the doctor. The one thing that keeps me away from the doctor is that big piece of metal in the exam room. You know that one that has numbers on it. That dreadful scale. I hate stepping on the scale in the doctor's office as that number can make or break my day. I can just hear the doctor say to me "you could stand to lose a few pounds."

I don't know how much I weigh
 Yes, I sure don't look like I need to lose weight, and I don't as I am perfectly happy with my body. Doctors have that stupid weight chart that I don't think anyone can measure up to. According to the scale and that weight chart, I am overweight. The only way I can beat that weight chart is if I don't eat or drink anything and have my doctor appointment first thing in the morning. Even then, my weight is near the top of the chart for my height. That weight chart is messed up and doesn't take into account that my body has a lot of muscle or that I may have had a glass of water or that my body is healthy. The doctor sure doesn't look at my body to notice these things but just that number on the scale.

 My skinny teen son has the opposite problem at the doctors and is told he is not healthy because of his weight. This boy eats like a horse, can run super-fast, lift super heavyweights, and is all muscle but has been told his whole life that he needs to gain weight. As a baby, the doctor even did unnecessary blood tests on him because he was meeting up to the number on that weight chart, even though he was gaining weight. I think it is time that we stop letting that number on the scale determine our happiness or who we are.

Throw away your scale
 It is time to throw away your scale or maybe just hide it. That's what I did many years ago. I have a scale but I stopped weighing myself five years ago and instead started focusing on health and not a number. I look back and wished I had done that sooner. I wished that I had focused on a healthy body and not a number on the scale when I was younger. I wished that I had focused on exercise as a thing my body needed and not a punishment for eating too much. I wished I had not focused on calorie counting and instead on nourishing my body with the nutritional food that it needed. I wish I had body positivity when I was younger and loved my body no matter what size it was.

I wished that I had focused on a healthy body and not a number on the scale when I was younger

Do you love my new running skirt? It is so comfortable and I wear it even when I am not working out. This pretty skirt comes in sizes to fit everyone. Check it out HERE so you can get one.

 Focus on health and not weight
 When I started to focus on health and weight, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I started focusing on feeding my body healthy food, most of the time. I still enjoy things like cookies, and candy but they are for after I eat my nourishing food. I focus on eating food from the farm and not the factory. I now exercise as it makes my body feel good and helps my lungs work better. It is amazing how 30 minutes of a high-intensity workout gets the gunk out of my lungs from my asthma symptoms. Eating food that my body needs and not ones that make my body sick like dairy and exercising helps me to control my asthma without prescription medicine. Sure I still have asthma attacks from many other triggers like smoke, pollution, weeds, and chemicals but keeping my body healthy means I can manage them better.

Breathing in peppermint oil or menthol helps my lungs to open up when I have an asthma flare-up

A dairy allergy was causing my asthma to be out of control

Teach your body to love healthy food
  Now that you are learning to love your body and not that dumb number on the scale, it is time to treat your body with love. If you want your body to feel good and be able to do things like walking, playing, and not ache, then give your body what it needs. Be kind to your body. I think most people treat their stuff like a car, a job or even another person better than they treat themselves. You would not give your car bad gasoline or not drive it for long periods of time as it would not work properly. So why do we expect to be able to put crapy food into our bodies and expect to not feel sick, tired, or have body aches? Why do we expect that we can be way too busy and not have the need for exercise? Then expect our bodies to feel good and not tired?  We don't need to obsess over exercise and eating healthy food, we just need to make them a lifestyle just like going to work and sleeping. If you don't have a lot of time then you need to learn how to sneak exercise into your busy day. I talk a lot about fitness because I enjoy it and it makes me feel awesome! I share my healthy tips because I want everyone to feel amazing!

 Healthy food does taste good and you have to give it a chance. Your taste buds have been deceived with chemically processed food. How much better would you feel if you were eating whole, nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein to supply your body with energy that lasts throughout the day? Give the nourishing food a chance and allow your taste buds to enjoy it. Trust me, the more you eat good food like an apple instead of sugary sweets, your body will start to like them. If I had a choice between a slice of everything spice bread or a cookie, I would reach for the bread as that is what I enjoy better. I find that with eating healthy food that has fiber and nutrients, I don't need to count calories as my body gets satisfied.

So why do we expect to be able to put crapy food into our bodies and expect to not feel sick, tired, or have body aches? 

What is the best exercise to stay fit and in good health?

Look at fitness in a new way
  Instead of looking at fitness as a chore start looking at it as something that makes your body feel good. Look at your exercise time as something powerful that your body is able to do. Exercise for me makes me feel good, look good, and keeps my asthma symptoms away. At 54, I have no medical problems like so many of my friends do. I do not have arthritis or high blood pressure. I started to go through the "change" or menopause and have not had any symptoms like hot flashes or weight gain thanks to exercise and healthy eating. So if 30 minutes a day of exercise and eating healthy food leaves me feeling terrific than I will keep doing this program. I may not have the ideal shape as I have plenty of cushion around my middle but I am ok with that as I exercise to feel great. I know that making exercise and healthy eating a lifestyle choice will keep me healthy as I age. So don't exercise and eat healthy for a number on that scale but as a lifestyle choice.

Get healthy for yourself not to reach a number on a scale!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Rosemary and Caramelized Onion Sun Dried Tomato Focaccia

Focaccia is a flat oven-baked Italian bread product similar in style and texture to pizza dough.

               I received a sample from Secolari to facilitate this post

 The other day my church had a celebration that included a cookout with burgers. I helped with the preparation of the food and that included slicing onions and tomatoes. While I was slicing the tomatoes for the burgers, I placed the top slices of the tomatoes aside so I could take them home. The top slices had the stems in them so they were not going to be used for the burgers and I hated throwing them away as I knew that I could use them in my cooking. When the church event was over there was also leftovers of onion slices and tomato slices, so I took those home with me. One of the perks of helping in the church kitchen is being offered the leftovers.

I thought of sun-dried tomatoes
  On the drive home from church, I decided to make sun-dried tomatoes with all the leftover tomato slices. This is my go-to recipe when I have an abundance of tomatoes as it is a great way to preserve them. I have a wonderful recipe for making sun-dried tomatoes in the oven that is so simple. I love tomatoes that are roasted in the oven as they are so flavorful and sweet. My favorite way to use oven-roasted tomatoes is on focaccia. I love using rosemary on my focaccia as it gives it a great flavor but my family is not too fond of the wood-like texture that rosemary has and the fact that the pieces tend to get stuck in your teeth. So I decided to use a Fused Rosemary Flavored Olive Oil. My favorite olive oil is made from fresh-picked rosemary leaves and has the full flavor of rosemary without the woodsy pieces. That way I get the taste of rosemary on my focaccia without upsetting my family. When my youngest saw this bottle of olive oil, he asked me if we could use it to make my Lemon Frosted Rosemary Holiday Sugar Cookies. That boy loves cookies and already is thinking of Christmas cookies. I told my son that since this olive oil has a light smooth flavor, it might be great for cookies.

         I love my new cobalt blue pans. This non-stick ceramic pan is a safe pan for cooking as it is free of PTFE & PFOA chemicals. Head over HERE to find out more about this pan that comes in so many beautiful colors.

Caramelized onions
 Since I had an abundance of onions, I decide to make a batch of caramelized onions. Caramelized onions are also great to use in my recipes like pizza and focaccia. When onions are caramelized they last longer in the fridge so I would have plenty of time to use them in many recipes. I knew that my Secolari Rosemary Oil would be useful for sauteing all the onions and would give a unique flavor to my caramelized onions. Secolari makes so many gourmet Artisan oils that I know will add some intense flavor to my cooking. To me, quality olive oil is like a fine bottle of wine. Good olive oil equals the best flavor. So I don't skimp on that bottle of olive oil. You will love that this recipe is vegan and plant-based. 

Focaccia is like a pizza
 Focaccia is so similar to a pizza and is the perfect canvas to so many pizza toppings. So I decided that my homemade focaccia bread needed some olives. My favorite olives are black olives and green ripe California olives. I always have a can or two of these delicious olives in my pantry for snacking or for recipes. I knew that that the jumbo ripe black olives would add some additional flavor to my chewy focaccia. So I sliced the black olives in half. You can slice the olives anyway you like for this recipe but I thought that halved olives would give this homemade bread a cool look. If you like pizza, you need to make my Wild Mushroom Pizza With Caramelized Onions.

Fused vs infused olive oil
An infused oil is when the flavor or extracts are added after the oil is pressed which causes the oil to breakdown faster. When olives and fresh-picked rosemary are fused, cold-pressed, together at the same time, the result is a better quality flavorful olive oil.

Kneading dough is so relaxing
 I love kneading dough and find it to be so relaxing. It takes away any stress if I have any, but I really just enjoy the way it feels in my hands. I love making homemade bread and pizza when the weather cools down as the oven heats up the house. The smell of fresh-baked bread is a pleasing aroma that I also love. Have you ever walked past a bakery when they are making bread? It is one of the best smells in the world. The smell of bread baking in the oven is so intoxicating! Fall is the perfect time to make my homemade pretzel bread or honey whole wheat bread for sandwiches. 

 Once the dough rises, press it to fit a 13×9 inch lightly oiled baking pan.  Dimple the dough all over with your fingers and drizzle with the fuse Rosemary Olive Oil. Add the topping and press them gently into the dough. I love the art of making bread. To bring out the taste of the garden-fresh ingredients, sprinkle the focaccia lightly with some sea salt.

Bake until golden brown then transfer to a rack to cool

Yield: 12

Rosemary and Caramelized Onion Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia

Focaccia is a flat oven-baked Italian bread product similar in style and texture to pizza dough.
prep time: cook time: total time:


  • 1 Package Dry Yeast
  • 1 Cup Warm Water, 110°F – 115°F
  • 1 Teaspoon Honey
  • 2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil, I love using Rosemary Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, thinly sliced and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, for cooking the caramelized onions
  • 1/2 Cup Sundried Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup Black Olives,  pitted and sliced into half or quarters
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil divided in half for drizzling over the dough


How to cook Rosemary and Caramelized Onion Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the water and honey. Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow it to stand for about 5-10 minutes or until foamy.
  2. When the yeast is ready, stir in the flour, 1/4 cup olive oil, and salt. Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead until dough is smooth 5 to 10 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour
  3. While the dough is rising, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion slices and cook until onion is golden brown, stirring frequently about 20 minutes.
  4. After the dough has doubled in size, remove dough from bowl and press it into a lightly oiled 9- by 13-inch baking sheet until it touches the edges. Using your finger, poke holes all over the dough. Drizzle the dough with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Let rest until the dough becomes puffy, about 20 minutes.
  5. Once the dough has rested, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly press the sundried tomato slices and olive slices into the dough. Sprinkle or press the caramelized onions into the dough. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over the toppings and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  7. Cut into pieces and serve.
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