>U Mom Knows Best: March 2020

Monday, March 30, 2020

Fifteen Best Online Gifts For Easter Basket Gifts

Check out these products that kids will love in their Easter baskets

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

  Easter is just around the corner and I have discovered the best toys to fill kid's Easter baskets. From toddlers to teens these fun toys and fun activity kits will put a smile on your child's face. This Easter my grandbaby will be 20 months so it will be a fun Easter for her and I have plenty of Easter gift suggestions for toddlers and preschool-age children. I am also a mom to older boys so on my Easter gift guide, I have Easter gift suggestions for teens and tweens. Since I don't want to leave out the kids in between, I have Easter basket gift ideas that would be perfect for the elementary-aged kids. So make sure to check out my favorite Easter gifts for kids of all ages. These are all Easter Bunny approved toys. The best part of these Easter toys is many of them can be purchased online at Amazon and other stores so you don't have to leave the house.

1. Gazillion Bubbles Storm 

 Most toddlers love bubbles and they can be entertained for a long time watching the bubbles float into the air. The problem with keeping kids entertained with bubbles is the endless blowing that most parents have to do. Then there is the spilling of the bubble solution when kids grab the bottle of bubble solution. The Gazillion Bubbles Bubble Storm is an Easter gift that both parents and kids will enjoy.

 Create bigger, better bubbles in seconds with the Gazillion Bubbles Storm! Simply slide the bottle into the bottle holder until it clicks, then flip the bottle upside down and watch the bubble magic. This innovative and new solution dispensing technology functions as the ‘on/off’ button. With its compact design, this machine is made to be taken around for endless bubble fun! Each Bubble Storm includes a tray and 8 oz. bottle of premium Gazillion Solution. The Bubble Storm is not available online at this time so I included a link to a similar Gazillion product.

Purchase Gazillion Bubbles Tornado HERE

2. Antsy Pants Cactus Ring Toss 

 The perfect gift for the Easter basket is one that can be enjoyed outside and inside. The Antsy Pants Cactus Ring Toss is the perfect gift to get kids outside to play. Not only is this the perfect indoor or outdoor activity it is also can help hand-eye coordination, motor skills, and socializing skills.

 This cute toy won my heart with the Cactus shape that is perfect in my southwest yard. This ring toss game also comes in a pink flamingo shape. For every item purchased, Antsy Pants helps national nonprofit KaBOOM! build playgrounds for kids living in poverty across America. I love Antsy Pants toys and I featured their kites and bouncy toys on my last tear's Easter gift guide. Antsy Pants Unicorn Building Set was featured on my Christmas gift guide. So take a look at those gift guides for more Easter gift suggestions.

Purchase Antsy Pants Cactus Ring Toss at Target

3. LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book™

 This cute book is perfect for younger kids who are learning to talk or read. This is an interactive book that will not only entertain toddlers but it makes learning fun. It is the perfect take-along toy to keep kids entertained while on the go.

 Join animal friends Turtle, Tiger, and Monkey as they explore new vocabulary in the Learning Friends 100 Words Book™. Explore the colorful pages and touch each picture to hear the animals say toddler-appropriate words along with exciting facts and sound effects. For an immersive language experience, slide the language switch to hear the words, songs, and instructions in Spanish. Touch the pictures to hear silly sound effects in Fun Sounds mode or press the light-up star button to hear two learning songs. Discover new vocabulary with cute learning friends!

Purchase LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book HERE


 Kids of all ages will love this sensory play sand. Moms will love that this stretchable sand will not stick to the carpet. My older boys had fun playing with this kinetic sand as it just feels good as you play with it in your hands.

 SLIMYGLOOP® SLIMYSAND™ is fun to stretch, mold and play. Watch it stretch and expand right before your eyes. This less mess SLIMYGLOOP® SLIMYSAND™ molds like sand and stretches like SLIMYGLOOP, while providing hours of fun and easy cleanup! The resealable bucket feature is great for cleanup, storage, groups, and independent play. This fun item contains 1.5lbs of SLIMYGLOOP® SLIMYSAND™ and is available in fun colors including Blue, Purple, White, Pink


5. Sew-Mazing Easy-to-Knot Burger & Fries

 Looking for an activity kit that will keep kids busy while stuck in the house? This fun learning kit will have kids learning the basics of sewing while making a fun pillow that looks resembles burgers and fries.

 Create a delicious set of fluffy pillows with the Sew-Mazing Easy-to-Knot Burger & Fries kit! Knot together the burger patty and buns, then add a slice of cheese and sesame seeds as a finishing touch. Bring your burger to life with cute kawaii face stickers! Knot together a set of fries to match and set on display.

Purchase Sew-Mazing Easy-to-Knot Burger & Fries HERE

6. Vtech Pop-a-Balls™ Push & Pop Bulldozer™

 Toddlers will be delighted to receive this fun push toy from the Easter bunny. Little kids will love watching the truck pick up all the colorful balls as they push the bulldozer. It makes walking so fun. My grandbaby will love pushing the bulldozer around grandma's house and the balls will keep her entertained.

Pop, drop and watch your child stroll along with the Pop-a-Balls™ Push & Pop Bulldozer™ by VTech®! This delightful bulldozer encourages movement and motor skills in your little builder when the colorful balls pop up through the smokestack, into the scoop bucket and back again. Load the balls into the bulldozer, start pushing the handle and watch the bulldozer come to life with poppin' balls and fun sounds! Your kid can also sit and play with the bulldozer by pressing the four colorful number buttons to learn colors, numbers, construction objects and listen to music.

Purchase Pop-a-Balls Push & Pop Bulldozer HERE

7. Green Toys Elmo's Wagon

 Now that the weather is getting warmer, a wagon that is toddler size is a perfect Easter present from the Easter Bunny. This green wagon is inspired by Elmo and is perfect for giving stuffed animals a ride around the yard.

 Load up Green Toys™ Elmo’s Wagon with all your favorite things! Sturdy and durable for indoor and outdoor toddler play, it features fun Elmo faces on each of the four hubcaps, as well as an Elmo on each side of the wagon. The 100% cotton rope handle makes it easy for little ones to haul around their most prized possessions, and also tucks inside for convenient, safe storage. Made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic with no BPA, phthalates, or PVC. Packaged with recycled and recyclable materials printed with soy inks. For ages 18 months and up.

Purchase Elmo's Wagon HERE

8. smART Pixelator

With my boys spending more time at home, this Easter present is perfect to keep them entertained for hours and inspires their creative learning. This is a fun craft item that even I had fun playing with. You have to watch this video to see how it works HERE!

 Wouldn't it be cool if you could pixelate ANY design using innovative LIGHT TECHNOLOGY? Well, you can thanks to the smART Pixelator from Flycatcher Toys! The smART Pixelator empowers kids to design and build 2D and 3D projects using Bluetooth connectivity, easy-to-follow lights, and smART Pixel Beads, Sequins or Pegs. Right out of the box, kids have a choice of creating 50 step-by-step designs using Pixel Beads. A smART Pixelator app and any mobile device also let them engineer their own projects, encouraging customization and experimentation. Additional beads, sequins, pegs, and extension sets, including the smART Pixelator Bracelet Maker, are available to keep the fun flowing. Ideal for kids 7 to 107 years old

Purchase smART Pixelator HERE

9. Green Toys Paddle Boat

 My granddaughter loves bathtime so this eco-friendly ferry boat will be an awesome Easter basket present. This unique is perfect for the bath or the swimming pool. I love that it can go in the dishwasher!

 Set sail with the Green Toys Ferry Boat for a quick bathtub excursion or an extended trans-pool voyage. Whatever the adventure, this two-story vessel is ready to hit the open water with room for eco-friendly cargo galore, and even comes with two Green Toys Mini Fastbacks. Use the slide-out ramp to load up the spacious bottom level that accommodates up to four Green Toys cars. The open-top deck features two small benches on each side, as well as eleven windows looking down into the main level. Made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic milk jugs that save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, this craft is ideal for anybody of water - durable, buoyant, and dishwasher safe. The hull also detaches for easy cleaning.

Purchase Green Toys Ferry Boat HERE

10. Fluffy Cloudz

If your kids love slime they will love Fluffy Cloudz. This colorful slime smells like fruit and is so fun to play with. My boys loved the bright colors and I loved that they came in resealable containers.

Fluffy Cloudz is the hottest new slime to hit the toy aisle this year! Sure to ooze children with delight, the colorful, super-stretchy CLOUD SLIME assortment features fruit-flavored scents including Berry Blast, Cococraze, Grape Squeeze, Melon Mania, Peach Paradise, and Piney Party. It also comes with surprise charms! Hold it high and let gravity drizzle the slime down.

Purchase Fluffy Cloudz at Walmart, Target, Walgreens

11. How Do You See the World

 Teens and grownups will love this card game that helps start conversations about opinions and beliefs. I love that there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to this family fun game.

 How Do You See the World from Authentic Agility Games is an engaging card game that encourages people to go beyond their comfort zone while truly learning how others view the world by asking important questions. The game includes one dice that will select one of the below five categories. Players then just pull the card and read the question from the associated category. With variations of game rules and suggestions available, this game can be played around the family dinner table, with longtime companions or with your newest neighbor. So whether you want to have deeper conversations in your social circles or really want to connect with your family, How Do You See the World? Authentic Agility Games will spark the conversation and is an ideal gift for a friend, spouse, loved one or co-worker.

Purchase How Do You See the World HERE

12. Thames & Kosmos CREATTO™ Light-Up Crafting™ Kits

My boys had fun creating these light-up animals. The craft took some time to build so it kept them busy for a while. When they were done building the blue elephant, my boys were proud of their light-up creation. They were excited to have it on display in their bedroom.

 Creatto™ is a simple yet versatile building system that consists of just two primary components that can be woven together into countless 3D creations. The flexible yet durable plastic tiles interlock quickly and easily for all skill levels; no additional materials or hardware required! Each Creatto kit includes assembly instructions for four different configurations, but the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Add strings of colored LED lights to illuminate your works of art from the inside out. Creatto is available in 3 fun sizes: mini, medi, and maxi. Kids can choose to build: Moonlight Elephant Safari, Magical Moose & Forest Friends, Starlight Kitty & Cutie Crew, Shimmer Shark & Ocean Pals, and Sparkle Unicorn.

Purchase CREATTO™ Light-Up Crafting™ Kits HERE

13. Magformers Amazing Construction set

 Kids love building and this construction set is easy for the younger kids to build. The pieces have magnets in them so they stick together easily. The pieces stack on top of each other to form construction trucks that are so fun to play with.

 Click and create your own adventure with Magformers AMAZING Police 50-Piece Set! Magformers are a magnetic construction toy where the possibilities are endless. Take off in a police car and chase the bad guy. This 50 piece set comes with 24 magnetic pieces, 2 figures, an emergency vehicle siren and much more to keep the city safe. Great for children aged 3 and up. Create 50 ideas with the follow-along idea booklet or build your own adventure! Each geometric shape contains magnets that never reject, so you’ll always hear the MAGFORMERS® click. When playtime is over, use the magnetic power to simply stack and store.

Purchase Magformers Amazing Construction set HERE

14. Flying Chick & Flying Bunny Popper 

 These Easter-themed popper toys were a hit with my boys and their older college-aged brother. The boys had fun shooting the soft baals across the room. The best part is the foam balls did not hurt when they shot the balls at each other.

 A whimsical and iconic Easter-themed twist on two of Hog Wild’s latest Poppers! The new FLYING BUNNY and FLYING CHICK are super cute additions for Easter baskets everywhere! HOWEVER, these lil’ animals can ‘shoot’ their own Easter-themed, brightly colored poppers up to 20 feet! They come packed with six safe foam balls – don’t forget to duck! The Flying Bunny & Flying Chick are sold separately

Purchase Flying Chick & Flying Bunny Popper HERE

15. The EggMazing Egg Decorator

Coloring Easter eggs is so much fun but the dyes can leave a mess. So this Easter egg dye kit is the best since there are no messy dyes to have to mix up and clean-up is a breeze. The EggMazing egg decorator comes with everything but the eggs and kids will have so much fun decorating the Easter eggs. 

 Mess-free egg decorating! The machine holds and spins hard-boiled eggs; you hold a marker on the egg as it spins, creating stripes, lines, and other fun designs! As seen on Shark Tank!  

Purchase The EggMazing Egg Decorator HERE

 So make Easter shopping easy this year with online shopping. Many of these gifts will also make great birthday presents and fun summer toys. So take a look at all the wonderful toys and activity kits to discover some fun toys for the whole family. 

Friday, March 27, 2020

How To Best Practice Social Distancing And Self Quarantine

The rules of social distancing are hard for people to understand

 This respiratory virus is real and people are becoming sick There are way too many unnecessary deaths happening that may have been prevented if people would choose to practice social distancing and sheltering at home. If we want to stop the spread of this terrible virus, we need to flatten the curve and everyone needs to do their part of listening to medical experts like the CDC. We may not like the CDC guidelines on the virus and they may be tough to follow but this is a time that we need to stop thinking of only ourselves but to think of others. We need to follow the advice of Jesus and Love Thy Neighbor. Our neighbor right now is not only those we have contact with but also people we don't know. We need to extend our love to people who are suffering from the lung virus and also to those who are essential workers during this virus outbreak. For those who are not essential workers, like doctors, nurses, truck drivers, grocery store workers, and many other behind the scene employees, our job is easy compared to what the essential workers are doing. The essential workers are happy that they have a job but at the same time worried if they will become sick with the deadly illness. 

This is not a time to ignore the health warnings

 If you are not an essential worker, your job is easy right now. All you have to do is stay at home! Sure that may be hard but when you consider what others who have to work are dealing with, it does not seem that bad. Sure you might have to change the way you do things or might have to make sacrifices like cooking at home or eating beans for dinner instead of fresh salad. You might have to get your groceries delivered or be creative with how you clean your tushie. You might have to drink water from the faucet instead of a bottle but you will not become sick from this. These minor inconveniences are temporary and so small when compared to the health care workers who are not only risking their lives but are exhausted. So if your city has recommended to stay at home and not go anywhere unless it is an emergency. Please do that and help flatten the curve of the illness. Staying home may also prevent you and your family from catching the virus. The longer it takes for people to listen the longer it will take to get back to a normal life.

What social distancing means

While it may be tough to have to stay away from others, it is the best thing to do right now. Social distancing may help stop or slow down the spread of the disease that affects the lungs by allowing the health care system to more readily care for patients over time. This means if you have to leave the house for exercise or for an emergency like sickness or much-needed food, then stay at least 6 feet or more away from people. This is to protect yourself or others from getting the illness. The CDC says that the virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets. These droplets can travel up to 6 feet when a person coughs or sneezes. The below is from the CDC website

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
+ The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
+ Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
+ Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
+ These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

 So when you choose to go inside a crowded grocery store, you may get infected with the virus that affects the respiratory system or infects someone else. The reality is people are contagious many days before they experience Coronavirus symptoms. So stay out of the grocery stores and don't complain that others are not practicing social distancing. If you are choosing to go inside a store or restaurant, you are not doing your job of reducing the numbers inside that store. The fact is it is hard for places to enforce the 6-foot social distancing suggestion. The law officers who are dealing with the social distancing rules can not be at all the stores. So you have to choose to follow the 6-foot social distancing rule or better yet schedule a pick-up for your groceries or get the food delivered. Don't complain that it takes 7 days to get a time-slot to pick up your groceries. Just eat the food you have at home and think ahead about what you need to buy.

Other ways you can practice social distancing
If you are one of the lucky ones who can work from home, then do just that. Choose to not visit friends or schedule playdates. Don't let your kids play with friends, not even at the park. I know that is tough to not let your kids see friends but it is necessary, I know I had to do this to my kids. When I texted their friend's mom and told her that my kids would not be hanging out at the park, my friend seemed relieved that I decided that as I think she was having a tough time telling her kids that they could not go to the park. 

+ Working from home instead of at the office
+ Closing schools or switching to online classes
+ Visiting loved ones by electronic devices instead of in-person
+ Canceling or postponing conferences and large meetings- do online meetings

What you can do while social distancing

 While choosing to shelter at home, there are things that you can do. You can go outside daily to exercise. Just make sure to stay 6 feet away from other people. Exercise is very important when you are at risk of catching a virus. At this time, no one is safe from this virus. So make sure to keep your body healthy with exercise. The fresh air and sunshine will make you feel good too and keep you from getting depressed about the situation. You can also workout inside. Check out these best exercises to stay in shape.

Some other things to do while stuck inside

Now is the time to do things that you have put off because you were too busy. So here are things that I am enjoying while self-distancing myself and family.

+ Bake some bread or cookies- Check out this pretzel bread recipe
+ Binge watch your favorite tv show
+ Call someone on the phone
+ Have an online visit with someone, your mom will love this one
+ Try a new recipe- check out these 22 meatless recipe ideas
+ Start a home project
+ Take an online class
+ Play with your kids-think boardgames
+Take a long relaxing bath
+ Start a garden
+Clean the house
+ Sew some face masks for health care workers- go here to get free materials

What is self-quarantine?

If you think that you have been exposed to the new virus or are have risk factors for coming down with this illness, like a compromised immune system, then it is best to practice self-quarantine. Health experts recommend that self-quarantine lasts 14 days. Two weeks provides enough time for them to know whether or not they will become ill and be contagious to other people. 

You might be asked to practice self-quarantine if you have recently returned from traveling to a part of the country or the world where virus is spreading rapidly, or if you have knowingly been exposed to an infected person.

Self-quarantine involves

+ Washing hands frequently, everyone should already be doing this
+ Not sharing things like towels and utensils
+ Staying at home-not leaving the house to even exercise
+ Not having visitors
+ Staying at least 6 feet away from other people in your household

What is isolation?

 For people who are confirmed to have this lung illness, isolation is appropriate. Isolation is a health care term that means keeping people who are infected with a contagious illness away from those who are not infected. Isolation can take place at home or at a hospital or care facility. Special personal protective equipment will be used to care for these patients in health care settings.

What if I think that I may have the illness?

 If you are feeling sick, then stay home. If your symptoms are mild and you are not having trouble breathing, again stay home. Staying home prevents the spread of the disease. Many states have hotlines, websites, and video doctors that you can call to get your questions answered and it is best to use these resources before heading to a doctor or ER to get tested. When you choose to go to the ER to get tested for the C virus and your symptoms don't need hospitalization, you are taking up the time and space from someone who needs medical attention. If you are having trouble breathing then go to an emergency room. The CDC website has the best information for what to do if you feel sick, so please read this before heading to the emergency room.

 The state of New Mexico is urging anyone who feels like they might have signs of lung illness contact the virus hotline before they visit their healthcare provider. 
That number is 855-600-3453 or call 833-551-0518 for general questions

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the operator that you have or think you might have this illness. If possible, put on a facemask before medical help arrives.

Why I chose to write this article

  I chose to write this article as I have many friends who are risking their lives daily to help stop the spread of the virus. These fiends are the essential workers who are needed during the C epidemic. They are providing much-needed services beyond health care. I have friends who work in grocery stores and in daycare centers. I have friends who are truck drivers and friends who are handing out meals to seniors. I am sure that you can think of friends that you have like the police and others. My husband and son are essential workers and I worry about their safety from this virus. My son is working hard to repair trucks so truck drivers can get medical supplies and food to places. So that means he may have contact with an infected delivery person. My husband works for the health department and is working hard enforcing to enforce social distancing rules in stores and restaurants. Yesterday, he had to visit over 25 grocery stores to see if people are practicing social distancing, the sad fact is most stores were crowded. So that put my husband at risk for catching the bad virus. So the best way to protect yourself and others from this awful virus that makes people sick is to do your part of social distancing and not expect others to comply when you are not following the rules. My husband had complaints from people that complained that the food stores were crowded. These very people are adding to the number who are in the store. 

Some other things I am practicing to stay safe

 I am choosing to protect the delivery service people and not opening the door when I get packages or food deliveries. I wait until they are 6 feet away from my door, that way they don't have to worry about catching the virus and they can continue their job. I am washing my hands after opening mail and packages. Right now the medical experts are not sure if the deadly virus spreads through skin contact but it is better to be safe. I have sensitive skin so my hands are reacting to all the hand sanitizer that the delivery people are using. When we got groceries delivered, my husband wiped down the packages with a sanitizing solution. Here is a good article that will help you deal with accepting packages during the outbreak. I am also having my family wash their hands often. Especially after we have been outside or in the car to pick up lunches from the school. Handwashing is always your best defense from germs. Check out these best handwashing practices. There may be other illnesses in your community and those germs may make you sick from something else. Any sickness will weaken your immune system and make it hard for your body to recover from the co vid virus if you come in contact with it. So keep washing those hands. Also, also make sure to use plenty of lotion so your hands do not dry out from all the handwashing. Dry hands that have open cracks on them are a good way for germs to get into your body.

 I am praying more and learning to trust in the Lord more. My prayer times have increased and the people that I am praying for have increased. I am learning more to not let fear consume me and learning more about thinking of others. 

Here are some other articles that I wrote about what I am doing to protect myself from the virus.

Help Prevent the spread of the virus
 Poster created by the City of Albuquerque Department of Environmental health

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Why I Don't Count Calories Or Macros~ Diets Don't Work

I gave up counting calories and my body looks and feels better 

 So many people think that the only way to be healthy and lose weight is by following a strict diet. The problem is that these crazy diets that have you counting calories, carbs, and macros don't really work for most people. Sure, in the beginning, you may lose weight but the diet plan can eventually drive you crazy with the food logging and counting the calories. So you give up and go back to your unhealthy way of eating and the weight comes back on. Or you restrict your calories so much that your body goes into hibernation mode and that can cause your metabolism to slow down. Which in turn halts the weight loss and makes it hard for your body to lose any more weight. I have seen this happen to friends who are on the keto diet or the Atkins diet. They lose a bunch of weight and never seem to get that last 50-100 pounds off their body.

Find out why diets don't work

 I understand the diet culture as I too fell victim to it but I am happy to say that for the last five years, I changed the way that I look at food and realized that it is not about counting calories or following a special diet but rather eating food that nourishes your body and listening to your body. It is about how you fill your plate at each meal, selecting delicious food that your body will crave once you start treating your body with the food that makes it happy.

 To help you understand how I realized it is about the type of food that you eat and not calories, I will share with you what I overcame with my fight with food. I will also share my thoughts on why extreme diets don't work. This post goes more into detail about my fight with food and my body image problem.

Why diets don't work

 I remember when I was a young adult and I counted my calories. I did not count macros as I had no clue what they were, I had to just now look up what macros were. Back then, I did not have a phone with a fancy app to log what I ate. So I pretty much stuck with the same boring food day after day so I did not have to obsess over counting calories. My diet consisted of a lot of low-calorie food like vegetables and food that was labeled low calorie or fat-free.  I remember the stress that I went through when I went out to eat and selecting what I ate based on calories and not taste. That usually meant that I ordered a salad. So eating out was not enjoyable. Or if I did allow myself to indulge in something like pizza, I restricted my calorie intake the next day to overcome the guilt of eating too many calories. Sure, I had a nice body but I was not enjoying food. I had to learn to not let the scale define who I was. Read more about that HERE.

Who has time to count calories

  After I had my second kid, I did not have time to count calories or macros. I did try the Slimfast diet for a day after I had my second child but found that unsatisfying. I instead gave into the thinking that low-fat food was best and I cooked and baked without any fat. I am sure many of you remember the low-fat diets and low-fat foods like low-fat cookies. As long as it was labeled low-fat it was ok, I am glad that I now realize that thinking was wrong. The sad thing is while I was following the low-fat diet, I had gained 10 pounds.

Low Carb craze

 Then the low-carb craze came in but I did not follow that one as I am a girl who loves bread, crackers, and other foods with carbohydrates. Many of my friends who were 200 pounds or more overweight lost 100 pounds but their bodies never lost the rest of the weight. Sadly my friends kept driving themselves crazy with counting carbs because they were afraid to eat carbs as they had a fear that they would gain the weight back. I was following the high carb diet and I can look back to see that I was not eating a whole lot of protein or fruits and veggies. My weight was fine as I was running 5 miles a day but my body was flabby. I enjoy bread and love baking Focaccia Bread Flowers.

The big 50 was my turning point

 Then I turned fifty. My body started to turn on me. I had a couple of injuries from running that were not healing. Through my research, I discovered that my joints and muscles were prone to injury due to my age. I discovered that what my joints needed to heal were protein, collagen, vitamins, and minerals. So I added more protein to my diet with protein powder and collagen. I also started eating more fruits and veggies. I started researching about healthy food and made a decision that I wanted my family to have healthy bodies. The younger boys seemed to have a lot of illness and stomach aches so I knew that a healthy diet would help them stay well.

Teaching my kids about nutrition

 I wanted to teach my kids about healthy eating in a positive way. So I started looking at food in a new way. I did not want any food to be good or bad so I taught my boys and myself about what the different foods do to our body. I wanted to make healthy eating simple to my boys so I did not talk about the calories in food but rather the nutrition. Protein is good for strong muscles, carbs give us energy, fruit helps our body fight germs and gives us fiber to help us digest our food.  Plant fats are good for our skin, and veggies have minerals that help our bodies. I also taught my boys that our bodies need healthy nourishing food to run properly and use the example of taking care of a car. If you give a car bad gas it breaks down and no gas means that I car does not work. I also taught my boys that a body needs exercise like a machine needs proper maintenance to work properly.

Check out my recipe for No-Bake High Fiber Breakfast Granola Bars

My simple mealtime rule that makes healthy eating easy

 I want my boys to develop good food habits that will last a lifetime. So I made healthy eating simple for them. Every meal has to include a protein source, some type of whole-grain carbohydrates, and either a fruit or veggie. The house is stocked with healthy food so my boys can make good choices. I don't restrict sugar from their diet but the boys know that ice cream and cookies are treats for after they eat their meal. Most times, the meals satisfy the boys so they don't even ask for dessert. When we do have dessert, it usually is a healthier dessert like these Keto Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookies. I am not following the keto diet but I will enjoy recipes that are keto-friendly as they have healthy ingredients in them. You have to try this keto-friendly Pad Thai.

How I shop for healthy food

 The trick to eating healthy food is very simple don't let the junk food in the house. That way you can't eat it if it is not in the fridge. Always eat before you go food shopping that way you won't reach for the unhealthy food. If your willpower is not that good, then use a meal delivery service or shop for your groceries online in your pajamas and pick them up at the store. Another food shopping tip is to fill your cart with fruits and veggies, whole grains, plant-based proteins like beans, nuts, and seeds, lean meats (if you eat meat), seafood, and healthy fats like olive oil and avocados. When selecting food, stop and think about how it helps your body. That broccoli will give it vitamin C to help the immune system while that box of cookies will just give your body no nutrition. Need some inspiration for some healthy meatless meals? Click HERE.

How I handle eating out

 I only eat out once or twice a month so when I do eat out I make it a special treat. I will order anything that I like and since my body is used to healthy food, I usually can't finish my meal. The next day I am eating the healthy food that I have at home. I don't deprive myself of any foods and will occasionally enjoy dairy-free treats like cookies and ice cream. I have to eat dairy-free as I have a dairy allergy I discovered through a blood test and food elimination diet. Dairy causes my asthma to get out of control and once I eliminated all milk products from my diet, I was able to manage my asthma symptoms with natural supplements. I have discovered that by choosing to feed my body with wholesome food, I really don't crave sweets. Healthy food gives me the energy to exercise daily.

A healthy body does not equal skinny

 My body is not perfect and I am not striving for a perfect size body. I have wiggles and jiggles on my body. My belly is cushy from giving birth to five kids so I gave up on a flat stomach long ago. I love the body that God gave me and I want to take care of it. Check out other healthy things that I do daily to stay body healthy.   

Strive to take care of your body to feel better and not worry about size. A healthy body can fight off germs better. When you eat wholesome nourishing food your body will have more energy and will be less likely to develop diseases like heart problems, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. Love your body!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

5 Dairy Free and Gluten Free Snacks For The Passover Season

Check out these safe dairy-free Passover snacks

 Celebrating the Passover should be a special time for all and people who have dairy allergies and sensitivities should not have to worry about finding foods that they can safely eat. The Passover season starts April 8th and ends April 16th so you will have plenty of time to stock up on some allergy-friendly foods that will be kosher approved.

Passover is a celebration of spring, of birth and rebirth, of a journey from slavery to freedom, and of taking responsibility for yourself, the community, and the world.

 The Torah states that Jews are to observe Passover for seven days and during that time they are to only eat food that is kosher. That even includes snack foods. The Passover dietary rules restrict many different foods so it can get confusing on what one can eat during that time. For someone who has a dairy-allergy, finding Kosher food for Passover may be even harder and your safe food choices have been more limited. So I am glad that I discover some Kosher snack foods that are made without dairy that are perfect for Passover season. These allergy-friendly foods are safe for those who avoid dairy and can be enjoyed by everyone celebrating Passover. These Kosher for Passover are also gluten-free.

 This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord - a lasting ordinance." (Exodus 12:14)

 While I may not be Jewish, Passover is an important part of my Christian faith. Jesus was a Jew and He celebrated the Passover before he died on the cross. Jesus and the apostles were celebrating Passover at the Last Supper because they were Jewish men with Jewish observances. At my last church, I had the opportunity to learn about the Passover through a Seder dinner. So I am familiar with some of the Passover customs and some of the food rules that Jewish people have to observe during the Passover season. Buying the Kosher food that is safe to eat during Passover time is something that I have much to learn about. So these dairy-free Kosher snacks that I am introducing you too, I have made sure to check their websites to get the information that they are Kosher. Some of the products also have the Kosher symbol on them.

1.Kosher cookies

 Grains that ferment or rise are prohibited during the Passover and those grains are wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt. So one would think that cookies can not be enjoyed during the Passover week. Manischewitz allows you to indulge in cookies during the Passover celebration and they have introduced two new varieties of their delicious macaroons. Tear lovers will enjoy the Cold Brew Earl Grey cookies that are made from real tea and coffee.

 For those who are celebrating a birthday during the Passover, they will enjoy Manischewitz Birthday Cake macaroons. These delicious dairy-free cookies are colorful and have fun sprinkles in them. My kids enjoyed the birthday cake flavor. Both varieties are gluten-free, dairy-free, Pareve, and can be enjoyed on a vegetarian diet.

2. Potato Crisps

 Not only are these delicious potato crips dairy-free but they are also gluten-free. Absolutely Gluten Free Stacked Potato Chips are available in 3 flavors and are kosher for Passover. So go ahead and enjoy a crispy and salty snack while you are observing Passover. These yummy crisps are also made with no artificial ingredients. My boys sure did enjoy the cans of potato crips as they were quickly enjoyed and I was glad that they offered me some.

3. Spreadable Tahini

Most people know tahini for an ingredient in hummus but tahini can also be a delicious snack spread. Tahini is a delicious spread made out of sesame seeds and Mighty Sesame Co. has packaged this creamy spread in a squeezable & ready to eat container. This plant-based snack is an excellent source of calcium so that makes this dairy-free girl happy. Not only is this smooth sesame seed snack Kosher but it is also vegan.

 I like to squeeze the creamy tahini spread on rice cakes and apple slices. I have also used the whole seed tahini spread in my homemade hummus. This versatile condiment is also great for dips, marinades, desserts, and as a straight-from-the-bottle drizzle over meat, fish, and falafel. Squeeze & Serve Tahini is sold in convenient squeeze bottles and made from 100% slow-roasted sesame seeds The tahini spread comes in two varieties: whole seed and organic.

4. Kosher tea

Tea is always a great snack time drink. Whether you like your tea hot or cold, you will enjoy this Kosher tea that is made in Israel. Wissotzky is a family-owned company that has been passionate about blending tea for five generations. Wissotzky recently introduced Nana Mint tea and it comes in five delicious flavors. I got to sample the Nana Mint Herbal Lemon Tea and the Nana Mint Herbal Chamomile Tea. The tea is made with natural ingredients and they are non-GMO, gluten-free and kosher. The tea has an invigorating minty flavor that tea lovers will enjoy.

Wissotzky also makes Artisan Spice tea that combines premium black tea with spices like cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom for a delicious chai taste. My favorites are the Salted Caramel Chai and the Ginger and Turmeric Spiced Chai. These flavorful teas are delicious cold or hot and are made with natural flavors

5. 100% Vegan spread

 I know that a vegan spread is not really considered a snack food but this kosher spread could be used to make some gluten-free cookies or used a tasty spread on gluten-free crackers.

  Betterine is a cooking and baking alternative that measures and behaves like butter and margarine, so it can be used in any favorite recipe to achieve outstanding results without compromise on taste or texture. This breakthrough product is the latest innovation from Amarlane Foods, an Israeli company dedicated to developing plant-based foods using only a few natural ingredients. It is made from just 4 natural ingredients: pure coconut oil, water, organic soy lecithin, and arrowroot powder. Unlike other plant-based butter on the market, its ability to stay emulsified at high temperatures makes it superior in transforming buttery desserts into healthier, dairy-free, vegan-friendly

 Whether you are celebrating Passover or just looking for some dairy-free snacks, these are all delicious snack selections for those who have dairy allergies. These Kosher snacks can be found in many grocery stores or online. So stock on some snacks for the Passover season that are dairy-free and gluten-free

Monday, March 23, 2020

Super Easy Keto Cacao Coconut SuperFat Fat Bombs

Delicious Cacao Coconut fat bombs packed with plant-based fats
        I received samples of SuperFat to facilitate this post

 The Keto craze has finally hit me! I have not gone 100% keto but I have discovered that some of the foods that are keto-approved are actually delicious. Especially keto desserts and keto snacks. If I had to follow a keto diet, I might actually survive. It would be hard for me to give up my carbs on a keto meal plan but I would find that I would enjoy many keto foods as long as they did not interfere with my food allergies or food preferences. As long as the keto products were made with plant-based ingredients, I could be a keto person.

 So enough keto talk and let's talk about how I discovered that fat bombs are so delicious. I also discovered that fat bombs are easy to make. I discovered that these indulgent chocolate morsels are dairy-free and plant-based so they are perfect for a vegan diet. I think that fat bombs may just be my new favorite healthy snack food.

Two ingredient fat bomb recipe

  I like easy recipes that I can make quickly. I also like recipes that have less than five ingredients. When I have a craving for something sweet, I want something that I can whip up quickly. So these Super Easy Keto Cacao Coconut SuperFat Fat Bombs made me happy. With only two ingredients and five minutes of prep-work, they are ready to eat. My taste buds were happy about that. My body was happy that these chocolatey balls were allergy-friendly and had no added sugar. For my friends that have wheat sensitivities, they are also gluten-free. Sorry, friends that have nut allergies, they are not nut-free.

Satisfy your brain and your taste buds with Keto nut butter 

  The main ingredient in my yummy keto fat bomb recipe is a delicious keto nut butter that contains super fats that satisfy your taste buds and brain. One pouch of SuperFat contains cacao, coconut, almond, and macadamia nut butter. These plant-based fats provide the body with super fuel to support metabolism and brain function so it is a pouch of deliciousness. My favorite way to enjoy SuperFat keto butter is straight from the pouch as it is the best healthy snack. SuperFat keto nut butter comes in so many delicious flavors and comes in two sizes. The smaller pouches are perfect for one person and are the perfect pocket snack while the larger pouches have six servings and are perfect for keto recipes.

On-the-Go Single-Serving Nut Butters
Throw them in your gym bag, with your morning coffee, in your car, or at the office.

One serving of Superfat has:

27g Plant-based fats
6g Protein
3g Net Carbs
5g Fiber
2g Sugars

Squeeze and mix for an easy recipe

   To make these indulgent keto fat bombs all you need is to squeeze the pouch of keto nut butter into a bowl along with coconut flour. Then you mix and form the keto dough into balls of yummy mouth-pleasing snacks. That's how simple it is to have a satisfying keto-approved snack in about five minutes. Even my boys have fun making this plant-based protein snack that is loaded with fiber. It is a mom-approved snack that is low in sugar. Make sure to store these delicious keto bites in the fridge.

Bite-size balls of super fat snacks

 SuperFat also makes their larger pouch in a delicious Macadamia Coconut Nut Butter flavor so you can make these keto fat bombs in more that one flavor. These vegan super fat bombs are the perfect on the go snack as they don't require refrigeration. One dairy-free fat bomb will satisfy your sweet tooth. I like to keep my plant-based fat bombs in the fridge so I can grab one for a between-meal snack. When you eat this keto snack, you do not have to worry about carbs or sugar grams as this healthy snack is low in carbs and sugar grams. You will love that it is high in protein. So they are the perfect after the gym snack. 

The best on the go keto snack

   If you are looking for a keto snack that is easy to take on the go, then you will like the SuperFat Keto Nut Butters. These squeezable pouches are filled with delicious nut butter and other superfood ingredients like MCT oil and probiotics. The nut butter comes in many delicious flavors, my favorite was the Caco Coconut as it tasted like chocolate candy. These keto butter are plant-based, vegan, paleo, kosher, gluten-free, and have no added sugar. The yummy keto fat also has no palm oil and no-GMOs. You have to try the variety pack as it was so delicious. 

Use my code MOMKNOWSBEST15 to save 15% off your order of
SuperFat Keto Nut Butters: Purchase Here

Looking for more keto-friendly snacks?

Make sure to check out these keto recipes.

If you like this recipe, be sure to Pin It on Pinterest! 

Super Easy Keto Cacao Coconut SuperFat Fat Bombs

Super Easy Keto Cacao Coconut SuperFat Fat Bombs
Yield: 16
Delicious Cacao Coconut fat bombs packed with plant-based fats



How to cook Super Easy Keto Cacao Coconut SuperFat Fat Bombs

  1. Open the pouch of SuperFat Cacao Coconut and squeeze into a bowl. Add the coconut flour and mix well. If the mixture is dry, add a couple of teaspoons of plant-based milk. The mixture should be the texture of cookie dough. So if the fat bomb mixture is too gooey mix in more coconut flour.
  2. Using your hands form the fat bomb dough into small balls. This recipe makes 16 small bite-size keto fat bomb balls. These keto fat bombs need to be stored in the fridge to keep them fresh.
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