>U Mom Knows Best: April 2021

Monday, April 19, 2021

How To Garden In the Southwest Desert

 Growing a garden in the desert can be hard but it can be done

  I have entertained the thought of growing vegetables in my backyard many times over the past 20 years that I have lived in the Southwest. When I realized the amount of water and time needed to grow plants in the desert of New Mexico, I never followed through. Then a crazy virus pandemic happened in the year 2020 and I decided to try my luck at growing veggies in my backyard. Everyone else was planting a garden and I decided to join the garden craze of the year 2020.

I had time on my hands and it was great therapy

 My family thought that I was nuts as the lack of rain here in New Mexico makes growing anything but weeds hard. I had time on my hands due to the crazy stay-at-home orders that our state had implemented. Once I started the process of gardening, I discovered that it was helping me cope with this lung virus pandemic. Preparing the soil for my garden required lots of work as the desert soil is made up of sand and rocks. So I started a compost pile to help make my dirt better. I also did my research and discovered what plants grow best in the desert soil.

Plants that grow best in the desert

+ Tomatoes

+ Kale

+ Peppers

+ Beets

+ Squash

 Since my backyard was full of rocks and weeds, I did not have a spot that I could start a garden in. Most of the yard had black plastic to kill the weeds. So I decided to use a small area of dirt by the house. I planted my garden from seeds as vegetable plants were hard to find. I planted kale, spinach, and beets. Then later in the summer, I found a tomato plant and a pepper plant on sale at the garden center of Lowes.

Natural Homemade Weed Killer Spray That Works In A Day

Growing plants in the desert requires watering twice a day

 After watering the seeds for 2 weeks, I was amazed to see plants sprouting in the dirt. I had to water the plants twice a day as it does not rain much in the desert. Like I said, I had time on my hands and watering was helping with my anxiety as it was calming. After 2 months of twice-daily watering sessions, I had grown kale, spinach, and beet greens. I only grew beet greens and not beets as the rocky soil prevented the beets from growing. I was excited to pick fresh greens for dinner from my garden.

  My pepper and tomato plants did not grow that well. I even had an episode of plucking big hairy caterpillars off my pepper plant after they ate all the leaves. So I was glad when I was blessed with tomatoes from my church food pantry. My favorite way to cook the tomatoes was roasted tomatoes in the air fryer

No-dig garden method

 Since I was successful with growing green vegetables, I decided to expand my garden this year. I needed a bigger plot of dirt to grow more vegetables. So I decided to use the space beneath the swingset. I knew that the swingset frame could be used for plant support for the cucumbers and green beans. The only problem was all the gravel under the swingset.

 I started to clear away the rocks but quickly learned that the small rocks went deep into the ground. So I did my research and discovered the no-dig garden method. Instead of removing rocks or grass for a garden space, you simply layer big pieces of cardboard on the grass or rocky area. I had plenty of cardboard so, with cardboard and bricks, I created a space for my new garden.

Buy garden soil and start a compost pile

 One of the best tips for gardening in the Southwest desert is to purchase garden soil. Most dirt in the desert is sandy and filled with rocks. So buying garden soil will help your plants grow better. I also suggest starting a compost pile. Compost is decomposed vegetable matter you can make yourself. You can also purchase compost. Mixed in with the soil, it adds nutrients. 

 Composting does take several months but it is a great way to recycle things like food scraps, grass clippings, paper, and other items. You can buy a special compost container or use a kiddie pool. I had an old kiddie pool that had cracks on the bottom so it was perfect for my compost pile. I made sure to place my compost far away from the house as a compost pile can attract bugs. 

Seeds or plants?

 Whether to start your garden with seeds or plants is up to you. A package of vegetable seeds will be cheaper than buying plants. Last year I used seeds for my kale, spinach, and beets. I tried starting my tomato plants from seed but they did not grow. So this year I bought several tomato plants. I also bought a peach tree. Then I attended a Lowes garden event and received two kale plants.

 My library also had a seed giveaway and I purchased other seeds. I decided to experiment with a variety of vegetable seeds and herbs to see what will grow best in New Mexico. I planted the herb seeds in the brick holes since they don't need much room. My seeds have been in the dirt for about a week so nothing has sprouted. So far my tomato plants are thriving.

 Time will tell about the success of my garden in the Southwest desert. That and plenty of water. I will do my part of twice a day watering. I sure do hope that my new garden space gives me plenty of veggies. In a couple of months, I will update this post with my garden photos. 

Best Homeopathic Allergy Medicine

  I was thankful that I had my homeopathic medicine for my allergies. Being outside made my seasonal allergies flare up but using Bioron allergy products helped my body with eliminating the sneezing, itchy watery eyes, running nose, and hives. Seasonal allergies are a part of spring and summer for me. I like that I can use natural products to relieve my allergy symptoms. 

What are you growing in your garden?

Sunday, April 11, 2021

9 Delicious Gluten-Free Products You Need To Buy

 I recently attended the online nourished festival and discovered some amazing gluten-free products. 

I received samples to facilitate this post

 A couple of weeks ago I attended an amazing online allergy-friendly festival and it was the perfect way to discover food that I can enjoy with my food allergies. Many brands came together and showcased their allergy-friendly foods at the Online Nourished Festival so people like me could discover food and other products that are safe for them. This online event was created since the real events of the Nourished Festival had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic. Yes, you read that right, I said events as the Nourished Festival has several expos throughout the United States at different times of the year. If you have never attended a Nourished Festival event, you need to as it is the best way to discover and taste foods that are allergy-friendly, gluten-free, and made for specialty diets.


 While the main focus of this amazing event is about gluten-free products for those with food sensitivities and celiac disease, the online event is also an amazing way to discover allergy-friendly food that is safe for me to eat. My food allergies trigger an asthma attack so I am proactive in avoiding food that contains the food that I am allergic to. Three years food that I discovered that my dairy lactose issue was actually a dairy allergy. It was over 6 months of asthma problems that led to many episodes of struggling to breathe and sleepless nights. 

 Through research and a dairy elimination diet, my asthma improved. A food allergy blood test confirmed that I was allergic to dairy, soy, and mushrooms. I had always had issues with drinking milk and eating ice cream for as long as I could remember. I assumed I had a milk lactose problem as I would feel nauseated after ingesting milk and ice cream. I later learned that my dairy allergy was related to whey and casein. 

  After eliminating the foods that I was allergic to my asthma and seasonal allergies improved. I am able to manage asthma naturally without any prescription medicine through diet and exercise. If I accidentally eat dairy, soy, or mushrooms, I struggle to breathe and I experience asthma problems. So I have to monitor what I eat. So the Online Nourished Festival is an event that helps me discover allergy-friendly food that is free of the top allergens like milk, soy, and mushrooms.

I discovered delicious gluten-free food that is allergy-friendly

 I love attending the Nourished Festival as it is a safe way for me to discover food that is allergy-friendly. This event started many years ago with a focus on gluten-free food so all the brands that are sponsored at the event sell products that are gluten-free. Over the years the Nourished Fest included products that focus on food allergies so many of the sponsors have products that are free of common food allergies. The brands make it super easy for people who have food allergies to learn about new products. 

 I was able to meet with lots of brands and they sent me samples of their products. So I had fun discovering new products that do not contain ingredients that I am allergic to. After sampling the products, I discovered that many gluten-free products are not only delicious but taste so similar to traditional products that contain gluten. While I do not have to avoid gluten, these products are ones that I will continue to buy as they taste so delicious. I attended the previous Online Nourished Festival last fall and you can see the gluten-free products that I sampled HERE.

1. Ottos Cookie Mix

 Ottos sent me their Grain-Free Ultimate Cookie Mix and Otto's Naturals Cassava Flour. I loved how simple it was to make gluten-free cookies with their grain-free cookie mix. All I had to add to the cookie mix was an egg, oil, and my favorite mix-ins. This cookie mix was dairy-free, soy-free, and even nut-free. So they were the perfect cookie to enjoy with my daughter who has nut allergies. 

 I mixed in vegan chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, and dates to the cookie mix. The cookies were so delicious and tasted like ones made with flour. My family enjoyed them. The cassava flour will be great to use in my recipes like gluten-free mocha brownies and waffles.

Check out Ottos Naturals HERE 


2. Rustic Scoop Pizza Crust Mix

 If you follow a gluten-free diet, then you know how hard it is to find a gluten-free pizza crust that is chewy. I loved learning about Rustic Scoop gluten-free baking mixes and I just had to sample their pizza crust mix that is gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free. This baking mix is also free from egg, peanut, tree nuts, refined sugar, and is also naturally vegan. 

 Having a dairy allergy limits my store-bought frozen pizza choices to ones that are gluten-free so I understand gluten-free pizza crusts that are either mushy or too crispy. Rustic Scoop has spent years perfecting this pizza crust it is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. This is a crust that rises beautifully and is perfect for your favorite pizza toppings.  

Check out Rustic Scoop HERE 


3. Homefree Treats

 I had sampled Homefree Treats last year when they sent me some from the fall Online Nourished Fest. These cookies were so delicious and I loved all the many flavors of the dairy-free cookies. The cookies are free from gluten and allergens such as peanuts, nuts, soy, and milk. Homefree cookies also are vegan, kosher pareve, and non-GMO. 

 When I received my cookies from Homefree, I knew that they would be perfect for a gluten-free cookie crust. I make a dairy-free chocolate pie for Easter using the chocolate mint mini cookies and my family loved the pie. The best part was the pie was safe for my daughter, who has a nut allergy, to enjoy.

Check out Homefree Treats HERE 


4.  Blake’s Seed Based Treats

 I am a snacker and healthy snacks are the best. So when I discover treats that are dairy-free and delicious, that is awesome. When my boys saw the box that I received from Blake's Seed Based, they tried to eat them before I had a chance to sample them myself. 

 These “better-for-you” snacks are made with Seeds, Fruit, + Chocolate and are Allergy-Friendly (nut-free, vegan, gluten-free, etc.), so almost everyone can eat them! I shared them with my boys and we thought they were so delicious. 

Check out Blake's Seed Based HERE


5. GF Naturals

 The problem that I have with making gluten-free mixes for my friends is, I always need a little bit of flour to roll the dough on or to add to thicken the batter. So the bag of GF Naturals gluten-free flour will solve my problem. I also want to start baking more healthier treats so this organic and GMO-Free flour will help me. Traditional flours have GMO's in them and baking with gluten-free flour can help me avoid GMOs.

 This gluten-free replacement for wheat flour is a cup-for-cup substitute, so that will make things simple for my baking. I love that this gluten-free flour can be used for cakes, cookies, pizza, bread, and more with no unusual aftertaste, dryness, or texture issues that often come with other gluten-free flour blends.

Check out GF Naturals HERE 


6. Goodie Girl Smores Cookies

 I was so happy to learn that Goodie Girl makes a dairy-free sandwich cookie. These Chocolate and graham-style cookies had a marshmallow creme-flavored filling and were so delicious. One bite was all it took for my family to want more cookies. I had to hide the box of Smores cookies from my boys as they wanted to eat them all in one day.

 The cookies are certified gluten-free and baked without artificial colors or preservatives. I love that the cookies contain no high fructose corn syrup and are peanut-free, egg-free, dairy-free, and vegan. They are the perfect allergy-friendly cookie for summer.

Check out Goodie Girl Cookies HERE


7. Mom's Place Gluten-Free

 I love the variety of products that Mom's Place Gluten-free offers. Some of their products are free of dairy and soy, so I can enjoy them. They sent me several products that were safe for me to eat and I enjoyed them all. Their baking mixes were so easy to use and tasted amazing. My favorite gluten-free mix was the poppy seed muffins. I make the batter into quick bread and added an orange glaze.

My boys enjoy helping me make pretzel bites with the soft pretzel mix. I loved that the pretzel mix included the special salt. The pretzel bites were chewy and amazing.

Check out Mom's Place Gluten-Free HERE


8. Lekkco Chocolate Spread

 Derived from a 50-year old Belgian recipe, Lekkco is the first nut-free, gluten-free, vegan, low-sugar, dark chocolate spread to be introduced in the United States. It’s made with the highest quality of all-natural ingredients sourced in Europe, making it a healthier alternative for indulging your sweet tooth. Enjoy Lekkco for breakfast, snacks, or dessert.

 I love that this chocolate spread is dairy-free and soy-free. So I can finally enjoy a chocolate spread on things like cookies and ice cream. This creamy spread is also gluten-free and nut-free. It comes in 4 amazing flavors.

Check out Lekkco Chocolate Spread HERE


9. Redd Remedies Natural Supplements

 Redd means “to put in order”, which is exactly what they do. This company has natural health solutions to help you put your health in order. They understand that if a person’s health is not in order, it can become the focus of that person’s life. Through the fusion of wholesome clean food, targeted high-quality supplements, and qualified doctors with expertise in natural medicine, they help people address their health from a whole-body perspective.

 Redd Remedies sent me products that will help me with my allergies and joint health. I love that all their products are gluten-free. This company made sure to send me supplements that were free of mushrooms, soy, and dairy. The Lung Care really helped open my airways so it helped me breathe better after I worked in my garden. The joint supplements will help with my running while the sinus supplement and throat drops will help with my seasonal allergies.

Check out Redd Remedies HERE 

 I am glad that I attended the Nourished Festival this year as I discovered some awesome products that are allergy-friendly and safe for me. Having food allergies that trigger an asthma attack means that I have to be careful with what I eat. So having an event that helps me discover safe products is a good thing. To learn more about the Online Nourished Festival head HERE

Allergy Friendy Gluten Free Chocolate Cream Mint Pie

 A creamy rich chocolate pie that is allergy-friendly, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Too good to be true!

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

  Having food allergies means that I have to bake my own desserts. When I am wanting something sweet like chocolate cream, I can't just run to the store or the nearest bakery as they usually contain milk or wheat. So I have learned to adapt to allergy-friendly baking as I don't want to have a severe allergy attack that triggers my asthma. I like breathing so I have been avoiding all dairy products since I discovered my dairy allergy through a blood test several years ago. 

 So I have learned how to modify most recipes and I have learned how to bake using dairy-free recipes. Most traditional recipes can be made dairy-free by switching out the milk for plant-based milk and using vegan butter. I also use dairy-free chocolate chips when I bake items like this recipe for Dairy-Free Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Then there are recipes like this chocolate cream pie that is not easy to just swap out ingredients and requires different allergy-friendly ingredients. 

A chocolate cream pie that is nut-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free

 Then there are the special occasions like Easter and family get-togethers, that require even more allergy substitutions to my homemade recipes as my older daughter has a nut allergy and a peanut allergy. So when my daughter joins us for a meal, I have to remember to use nut-free plant-based milk like coconut milk. So I like to purchase allergy-friendly products that are free of the 8 most common food allergens so I can bake allergy-friendly desserts. 

 So when I decided to make a dessert for Easter, I wanted to make my Dairy Free Chocolate Pretzel Pie but then I remembered that I did not have any pretzels. So I looked in my pantry and saw a box of chocolate mint mini cookies. I knew that these delicious Homefree Treats would be perfect for my pie crust. These minty gluten-free cookies would add a nice mint flavor to my chocolate cream pie that is dairy-free. 

 So delicious! So minty and refreshing! Enjoy the crunch and the long-lasting flavor. Tasty for every age and situation, and elegant for entertaining. Inclusive of pretty much everyone: Free of the 8 most common food allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, dairy, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish) and gluten. Also vegan, kosher pareve, low sodium, non-GMO verified, certified a good source of whole grain. These cookies are so wholesome that they meet school dietary guidelines of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and USDA School Dietary Standards!

Could your health symptoms be related to a food or plant allergy? Discover a simple at-home blood test that can test for 68 different allergies.

Safe allergy-friendly cookies

 While I don't have gluten issues, I tend to buy gluten-free products as they are usually the products that are also plant-based and safe for dairy allergies. I recently attended the Online Nourished Festival and it was at this GLUTEN FREE, ALLERGY & SPECIALTY DIET FESTIVAL that I discovered HomeFree Treats. These cookies are so amazing as they taste like cookies that are made with gluten and one would never guess that they are free of the 8 most common food allergens. When I purchase these dairy-free cookies, I have to hide them as my teen boys tend to eat them up quickly. 

Buy Homefree Treats HERE

Allergy-Friendly Gluten-Free Chocolate Cream Mint Pie is:

+ Dairy-Free

+ Gluten-Free

+ Plant-Based

+ Nut-Free

+ Peanut-Free

+ Soy-Free

+ Vegan

+ Egg-Free

+ Wheat-Free

+ Delicious

+ Allergy-Friendly

My family loved the pie

  My daughter and her husband came over for Easter dinner. After we finished dinner, I brought the pie out for dessert. My daughter asked if the pie was made with almond milk and inquired about the other ingredients that I used to make the pie as she wanted to make sure it was safe for her to eat. When food allergies run in the family, this is our typical meal conversation. While I avoid dairy products, my daughter does not and she avoids all nuts. So my usual almond milk is not safe for her. So I always have to remember to use coconut milk in my recipes. My daughter remembers the time I made a dairy-free Kings Cake and the late-night phone call instructing her not to eat it, as it contained almond milk.

 So while I told her that it was nut-free, I did not let anyone know that the pie was gluten-free. Most people, like my husband, think gluten-free equals taste-free and formulate their opinion even before they take a bite. My daughter's husband tasted the pie and said "this pie is really good!" He also asked if there was mint in the pie. I told him that I used mint cookies for the crust. Everyone else at the table must have enjoyed my chocolate cream pie as they licked their plates clean.

 Once everyone finished their pie, I then revealed that the chocolate crust was made from gluten-free chocolate mint cookies and vegan butter. They were all amazed that a gluten-free cookie could taste so good. I love that a delicious allergy-friendly cookie can be used in my dairy-free recipes. These treats from Homefree are the perfect ingredient for allergy-safe recipes. Check out this Ginger Snap Free-from pie crust recipe that uses Homefree cookies, I will be making this recipe soon with my dairy-free pumpkin pie recipe. 

Buy Homefree Treats HERE

Make sure to pin this recipe on Pinterest!

Allergy Friendy Gluten Free Chocolate Cream Mint Pie

Allergy Friendy Gluten-Free Chocolate Cream Mint Pie

Yield: 8
Author: Mom Knows Best
A creamy rich chocolate pie that is allergy-friendly, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Too good to be true!


  • 1 box Homefree chocolate mint mini cookies
  • 6 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 (13.5oz) canned (not boxed) coconut milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2/3 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter


  2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray.
  3. Place the cookies in a blender or food processor and blend until all cookies are crushed. Pour the crushed cookies into a bowl and add the melted vegan butter. Stir to combine.
  4. Place the cookie mixture into the prepared pie pan and press into an even layer. Bake for 10-12 minutes until toasted. Let cool for 15-20 minutes before filling with the ganache.
  6. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil together in the microwave at 50% power for 30-45 seconds, stopping to stir every 15 seconds. Stir until totally smooth. Pour and spread over the bottom of the prepared crust. Let it set slightly before adding the pudding, about 30 minutes.
  8. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder, cornstarch, sugar, and pinch of salt. Over medium heat while whisking, add the coconut milk and almond milk. Whisk until totally smooth. Continue to whisk until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Once the mixture bubbles continue to whisk and cook for another 2 minutes until thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips, vanilla, and vegan butter. Set the pan aside and let it cool to room temperature.
  9. Pour the pudding into the crust. Smooth, then refrigerate until set, about 2 hours or up to 12 hours.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Functional Fitness Is Important For Your Body

 Functional fitness exercises train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks 

Cute outfit from Dona Jo Inc. 

 If you are a person who does not enjoy exercise or simply think that there is no need for daily exercise, then listen up as I again talk about how important exercise is to one's well-being. One of the topics that has been in my mind as I do my daily exercise is functional fitness. For you younger folks this may be a topic that you never gave thought to but for those who are older, you may have thought about it as you struggle to get up from the floor.

What is functional fitness?

 Functional fitness is performing exercises that help you do everyday activities safely and efficiently. Simply put they are exercises that help the muscles to do things like get up from a chair or squat down to pick up something. 

 When we are under 50 years of age, we don't think about exercising to help our bodies perform better but rather we go to the gym to make our bodies look better. When you are younger, you don't think of needing to exercise but rather wanting to exercise. Then you hit old age and you realize that your body starts to rebel. Things like getting up from the floor, are no longer easy to do. You may notice that your knees hurt after walking up the stairs or your back starts to hurt after bending over to pick up something.

 That is when most people complain about how getting older is a pain in the rear. That is what I like to call the "oh crap moment" that happens when we get older and realize that we need to start focusing on our health. This is when so many people start to exercise and make changes in their diet. Chances are you don't enjoy exercise. So you either force yourself to workout or you justify the lies that your body is fine without exercise. 

My favorite natural energy drink that I use for running


That is until your body is unable to do things like rising from a chair without making grunting noises or bending over to try your shoe. So the focus of functional fitness is about maintaining or improving the quality of your life.

Everyone can benefit from functional fitness training

 While most people think of exercises for functional fitness as a way to improve aging muscles. Younger people or those who are in shape should also incorporate functional fitness exercises into their fitness routines. For example, doing squats is a functional exercise because it trains the muscles used when you rise up and down from a chair or pick up low objects. Sure squats can give you a nice-looking booty but you should instead be doing squats so you don't have to struggle with getting up from a chair. Functional fitness can keep your body in shape so you don't have to experience body issues like stiffness and pain when you are older. So you don't have to become best friends with Ben Gay.

What lead me to think about functional fitness exercises

When I turned 50,  I started to realize that my daily fitness routine was no longer about a great-looking body but rather a desire to have a body that is healthy. It started with a running injury and later knees that made noises when walking down a flight of stairs. Then there was my first yoga class and I was unable to do a plank for more than a couple seconds. Then there was the stiffness when squatting to getting something out of a cabinet. I tried joint supplements and they helped a little bit. It was when I did a squat test at a fitness conference that I realized I needed to focus on exercises to strengthen my muscles. I did not want to experience life from the sidelines and blame it on old age. I wanted to not only keep doing things that I enjoyed, like running, but also not have future body problems.

Benefits of functional exercises

  Functional exercise training may be especially beneficial as part of a comprehensive program for older adults to improve balance, agility, muscle strength, and reduce the risk of falls. For others, the functional exercise benefits may be to prevent future problems.

+ Decreased Risk of Injury

+ Increased Strength

+ Increased Balance and Stability

+ Prevent Aches and Pains

+ Prevent Future Problems

Examples of functional movements for fitness

  A great example of one of the best functional fitness exercises would be a simple squat. You squat several times a day. Using the bathroom, getting up from a chair, getting into a car, picking something up, etc. The squat uses so many muscles and joints. For your body to squat, it uses your legs, hips, rear end, core, and even your ankles. For some that squat requires the hands and arms. That is a lot of body parts! 

 A functional workout typically consists of compound exercises as these require more than one muscle group to work together. Because of that, they typically mimic everyday movement patterns—like pull, push, squat, hinge, and rotation. Think about how often do you squat to lift something off the floor? Or lunge to tie your shoe? Or push a door open? Or reach up to put something away? So these are exercises that help the muscles that are needed to do daily activities.

Some example of exercises to perform to strengthen the muscles for daily function:

+ Squats - Good form is more important than how low you can go. Leaning forward is bad form and can cause injury. Pretend that you are sitting down on a chair. 

+ Leg Lunges - Start out with what is comfortable and work into longer strides.

+ Lifting Weights - Start out with 3-pound weights and work up to heavier weights.

+ Pull-Ups - Just try doing one with a pull-up bar or even a swingset bar. This one may be tough. Just the act of hanging can strengthen your muscles.

+ Push-ups - Start with bended knees (some call these girl push-ups) or just hold a plank. 

What functional fitness is not

 Functional fitness is not about building big muscles but rather strengthening muscles. So you don't need to be bench-pressing or lifting heavy weights. For most of the exercises to strengthen your muscles, you will only need your body. While others, you will need 3 -15 pound kettle balls or dumbells. You can even use stretch-resistant bands. The best part is you can do these exercises at home and they don't take up a lot of time. You can do bodyweight movements such as pushups, situps, planks, and squats. You can use a 5 pound or more kettlebell to mimic picking something up off the floor. Here are some examples of functional exercises that you can start with. If you are just starting out, you can do these exercises with no weights.

The functional fitness payoff

As you add more functional exercises to your workout, you should see improvements in your ability to perform your everyday activities and in your quality of life. In my case, my knees no longer made weird clicking noises. The more I did squats, the easier they became. That's quite a return on your exercise investment. 

Start small

The most comfortable socks ever!

 As with any exercise program, start off small. That means do what you are able. If you can only do half a squat, that is better than nothing. Start off slow and gradually increase the movement. Then aim for 25-50 reps of each functional movement 3 days a week. Functional fitness is an addition to your cardio exercise routine. While cardio exercise is good for the heart, functional fitness is good for the muscles. They are both needed for a healthy body.

There will be pain

 When you start any type of exercise, your body may have pain. These muscles in your body have not been put to use, so there will be discomfort. Don't let that pain stop you from the benefits of stronger muscles and better body function. Use natural pain management products to help your muscles recover from the pain. I like using CBD products for my muscle aches and a trigger massage gun for the best muscle pain relief. Save $40 on a massage trigger gun.  As you are treating your sore muscles, just think of your future health. Also, make sure to include extra protein in your diet to help your muscles recover. I like to use a plant-based protein powder in a daily smoothie.

Amazing CBD products that are a part of my wellness plan 

Discovering New Uses For CBD With CBDfx

 CBD has many uses and many forms. Discover some amazing CBD products 

I received samples to facilitate this post

 I am no stranger to using CBD products as part of my wellness plan. I have been using different forms of CBD oil for about three years. I first discovered hemp products when I had a sore thumb that I thought was broken. The over-the-counter pain relievers were not helping with my pain so I decided to try a topical CBD ointment that I received from a conference. When I applied the CBD cream to my painful thumb, I was not sure what to expect as I had never used CBD before. I was amazed at the immediate pain relief after I applied the CBD lotion and I was even more amazed the next day when my thumb was no longer experiencing any pain nor stiffness.

 Through my research, I discovered that the pain in my thumb was called a trigger thumb and may have been caused by my computer mouse usage. It was that CBD experience that I was ready to explore CBD more. I was ready to discover other CBD products and other CBD uses. I then tried a CBD tincture for pain and later CBD gummies for sleep. I never experienced any weird side effects from ingesting CBD oil so I was glad that I discover the amazing benefits of CBD.

What is CBD?

 CBD is short for “cannabidiol”, and is produced within the cannabis (hemp) plant. Yes, CBD comes from the same plant that marijuana but does not contain THC, the compound that gives you the high feeling. CBD can not get you "high" since it contains no THC. This article about CBD explains in detail CBD and THC.

Cannabidiol (CBD) facts

+ CBD does not get you “high” (non-intoxicating)

+ Comes from hemp or cannabis plants

+ Is being studied for potential anti-seizure and anti-inflammatory properties

+ Indirectly interacts with CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors

+ CBD is federally legal

How does CBD Work?

Your body already contains a wildly complex endocannabinoid system (ECS) that affects several different areas and functions (more on this momentarily). That system is rife with “receptors”—sites that await the presence of cannabinoid molecules. Read more HERE

 Now that you have an understanding of CBD, I want to share some amazing new products that I discovered last month at Moms Meet Wow Summit. I met with CBDfx at the online conference and was excited to discover some new uses for CBD with their edible CBD line. While CBDfx has a complete line of CBD products, I was interested in sampling some of their CBD edibles. 

 My favorite way to take CBD is through edibles and up to now, I was enjoying a CBD gummie at bedtime to help me fall asleep faster. After viewing the different products that CBDfx offer, I was ready to take my CBD experience further and discover more ways to use CBD. 

CBD has many uses

 Most people know about using CBD for anxiety and stress while others use CBD for pain relief. CBD is also useful for sleep. The uses of CBD are many beyond these and I was ready to discover how CBD could help me with exercise and my wellness routine.

 So I requested some edible CBD products from the CBDfx website. I was excited to try some unique wellness CBD gummies, CBD drinks, and CBD cookies. My plan was to incorporate CBD into my day beyond sleep and pain. I knew that these products with CBD would help me do just that.

CBD gummies with superfoods

 Since I enjoy running, I decided to try CBDfx Gummies with Turmeric & Spirulina. I loved that these vegan gummies had antioxidant and anti-inflammatory superfoods in them so they would be useful to help with my joints. These green gummies were a delicious new way to take my turmeric and spirulina supplements. 

  I also decided to try CBD Gummies with Apple Cider Vinegar. I knew that apple cider vinegar had many benefits like helping with blood sugar, so I decided to experience this superfood with CBD gummies. These delicious gummies have all of the detox health benefits of apple cider vinegar, plus Vitamin B12 for energy and supporting immune function, along with organic pomegranate, an effective antioxidant.

I love that both of the CBD Gummies from CBDfx were made with

+ 100% organically grown hemp, extracted into broad-spectrum CBD

+ All-natural, vegan & Gluten-Free

+ No fillers or artificial sweeteners

+ superfood rich

+ contain powerful antioxidants

CBD Cookies With Protein – 100% Vegan

 I like cookies and when I discovered cookies loaded with protein, I knew that these CBD cookies would be a perfect way to help my muscles recover after running.  Each delicious cookie is packed with 20mg of broad-spectrum CBD and 13 grams of pure protein. These cookies were super delicious and I enjoyed them. I loved that the cookies were made with all-natural ingredients and were vegan. So they did not interfere with my food allergies of dairy and soy. 

CBD Focus Shots

Since I enjoy running in the morning, I like to use natural energy drinks. These CBD Focus Shots were perfect for my energy as they had 75mg of caffeine in them. The flavors of pomegranate and tropical made these ready-to-drink shots super easy to enjoy before I went running. The CBD shots also had 20mg of broad-spectrum CBD, 150mg of energizing L-Arginine, and a host of revitalizing vitamins and minerals in them. The small drinks gave my body the energy that I needed to run.

 I enjoyed discovering new ways to get my daily CBD for wellness. CBDfx has a wide variety of CBD products from CBD Oil tinctures to CBD topicals. They even have CBD products to use in the bath and on the face. From seed to sale, CBDfx uses a pure, single-pass CO2 extraction method that produces an ultra-premium CBD oil from some of the finest organic hemp plants in the world — guaranteeing a safe and high-quality experience for maximum benefit. Check out all the products that CBDfx offers here ~ https://cbdfx.com/

Friday, April 9, 2021

Sweet Balsamic Strawberries For Strawberry Shortcake

Looking for a dessert for your Easter Meal?

  Are you looking for a healthy dessert with incredible flavor? Sliced fresh strawberries are always a delightful dessert for a spring meal. I want to share with you a trick that will give your strawberries an amazing sweetness and color. The secret is a splash of balsamic vinegar and pure vanilla paste. You won't taste the balsamic vinegar but it will bring out a sweet taste to berries. The vanilla paste will give the berries a nice vanilla taste and an enticing visual flair. These berries have enough great flavor to serve by themselves or you can top them with some homemade whip cream. For a spectacular strawberry shortcake, that is so easy to make, just add some homemade sweet biscuits or storebought shortcakes. You could even spoon the strawberries and the sweet juice over angel food cake.

Pure vanilla paste adds an enticing visual flair

 Pure vanilla paste has that classic vanilla taste with the addition of specks of vanilla beans. This flavorful vanilla extract gives desserts like ice cream and creme brulee that wonderful look that just says vanilla. If you have ever had a dish of vanilla bean ice cream, you know what I mean. The sight of those vanilla bean specks just adds a special touch to desserts.

Strawberries and whip cream are a match made in heaven 

 Whenever I see fresh strawberries in the store, my mind starts thinking about homemade whip cream and strawberry shortcakes. I reminisce about the sweet homemade drop biscuits that my mom would make for summer desserts. My mom would always have a big box of biscuit mix in the pantry that she would use to make everything from pancakes to sweet drop biscuits. My mom would pull the sweet shortcake biscuits out of the oven and then split them in two. My mom would then spoon the sliced strawberries over the shortcakes along with plenty of the sweet syrup. Then she would add a spoonful of whip cream, that I helped to whip with the mixer, on top of the strawberries. This was a sweet dessert that I enjoyed. I think it was the only way that I would eat fruit as a kid. Get the recipe for my homemade sweet biscuits HERE

Homemade Dairy Free Whipped Topping 

  I like to whip up a batch of dairy-free whip topping for my strawberry shortcakes as I have dairy allergies. I always keep a couple of cans of coconut milk in my pantry so I can make this delicious plant-based, dairy-free vegan topping. This whipped topping has a great sweet taste and will make all the difference in the appearance of the delicious strawberry shortcakes. Get the recipe for my dairy-free coconut cream whipped topping HERE.

Make sure to Pin this on Pinterest 

Go here for a delicious dairy-free strawberry shortcake recipe

Yield: 1 quart

Sweet Balsamic Strawberries

A splash of balsamic vinegar adds an incredible sweet flavor to sliced strawberries. Adds some homemade whip cream and a sweet biscuit and you have the best strawberry shortcake.
prep time: cook time: total time:


  • 1-quart fresh strawberries, sliced into quarters 
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla paste


 Remove the stems from the strawberries and slice strawberries them into quarters.

  1.  Remove the stems from the strawberries and slice strawberries them into quarters.
  2.  Place the strawberry slices in a bowl and mix in the balsamic vinegar and vanilla paste. Gently stir to coat the berries.
  3.  Place the berries in the fridge for a couple of hours so the berries and soak in the flavors.
  4.  Serve the berries with whip cream or spoon them over sweet biscuits for strawberry shortcake.
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Created using The Recipes Generator
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Mom knows best