Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My Weight Watcher's Tips and Tricks

I started writing this post in October of last year!!  I'm glad that I'm finally getting around to finishing and posting it!  I am a HUGE believer in the Weight Watcher program and I love spreading the love word!!
It's a long one but I PROMISE you it's worth the read!! :)

I've talked about Weight Watchers a few times on the blog, mainly to spread the good word.  {You can check out my first review of the program - and my tips for beginning ANY "change in lifestyle plan" - here!}  I'm not into fad diets, I don't support starving yourself or taking extreme measures to reach a certain weight.  

I do believe in a "healthy weight", which is unique for EVERYONE!  I believe in eating foods from all the food groups, nourishing your body and feeling good about yourself!  I believe in indulging and enjoying without over-stuffing and feeling sick.  I don't believe in punishing yourself for "eating badly" or, vice versa, rewarding yourself with food because, honestly, we're not dogs! ;)  I don't believe in "starting Monday".

I always knew of Weight Watchers because I remembered my mom doing it when I was younger.  She went to meetings, checked everything she ate in her WW points book and wrote down everything that she ate in her journal.  It was a community, a gathering of (mostly, at the time) women supporting each other through one of life's hardest feats....getting - and staying - healthy!

I always had an athletic build and I played tennis in high school.  I went off to college and participated in late-night all-the-time eating and, since no one was there to stop me, I pretty much went for it!

I had gained some weight (obviously!) my first 3 years at college.  I didn't even notice it until I saw myself in pictures, like the one below!! - that's when I knew I wanted had to make a change!

I strictly followed Weight Watchers the summer after my junior year of college and it helped me safely, slowly and effectively lose about 20 lbs.  I continued to follow it loosely for the next couple of years.  It became intuitive in nature to me - I basically knew the points for everything and anything that I ate and I kept a mental list.  It gave me structure and I loved it.  I then strictly followed it again after both of my boys were born, losing 40 lbs and 55 lbs, respectively.  

I didn't go to meetings but I had great family support (my poor husband boyfriend at the time, we ate in A LOT senior year!!), a scale at home and the willpower to JUST DO IT!  If you choose to start a Weight Watchers journey and pay, go to meetings, invest the time and money...that's great!  If not, that's great too!  And you'll need the list below to help you 


Here are some more tips and tricks (especially if you're doing WW without going to meetings!) that worked for me that MAY work for you too....

  1. Utilize a home scale.  This one DEFINITELY may not be for everyone!  If you have/had an unhealthy relationship with the scale before (for example, weighing yourself multiple times a day) do not follow this tip!  I used the scale as accountability and to help me see my progress.  I weighed in every week and recorded it.  I still check in every week or so.  (Maintenance is a journey as well!)
  2. Drink water.  If you think you're drinking enough water, DRINK MORE!  Stay away from juice, soda or other calorie-laden liquids....the best option is always water!!  Water, water, water!  Always have a water bottle with you, take it with you like you take your cell phone or your car keys.  Hydration is huge!!  Ok, did I say it enough? ;)
  3. Utilize a food scale/measuring cups.  I LOVED my food scale when I was actively counting WW points.  And that's a main reason why I LOVED eating home....I knew EXACTLY what I was eating, how much of it I was eating and how many calories (and therefore, points!) it had!  I measured out everything - it was fun for me.  The food scale opened my eyes to portion control.  It's amazing how much over eating we do!!
  4. Individually wrapped candy/cookies/snacks.  WW is awesome because NOTHING is off limits....and, as you can tell by the name of my blog, I am a dessert-lover!  100 calorie packs of cookies and Halloween candy were - and still are - favorites of mine!  Who can be trusted with a whole package of Oreos or a 250-calorie Snickers bar?? I can't!  But when they're individually wrapped and only 50-100 calories each they're much more manageable!  (PS - now you'll never look at the Halloween candy the same again!  You're welcome :))
  5. Canned chicken breast in water.  I still eat this 1-2x a week because it's delicious!! A little mayo (or mustard!) goes a long way and you have a protein-packed, low-fat, low-calorie lunch...or dinner! Put it on a salad or some low-cal, high-fiber bread and you're good to go!
  6. Use spices and low-calorie condiments.  Spices are a GREAT way to add a ton of flavor to your meals, with no calories!!!  There are also condiments, like mustard, that pack a punch with only about 5 calories (0 points!) per serving!
  7. MOVE!  This is a really important one!  Just GET ACTIVE!!  Do more than you were doing...don't waste away on the couch watching TV!  I'm not saying sign up for a marathon or go run a 5k tomorrow...just do more, move more...in turn you'll live more, I promise you that!!
  8. DON'T CHEAT YOURSELF.  A diet program change in your lifestyle will not work for you unless YOU want it for YOU!  Sneaking food or not journaling a "mistake" is only cheating yourself....and you deserve better than that!! TRUTH: a cookie eaten in the kitchen, over the sink, while no one is home IS STILL A COOKIE EATEN!! :)
  9. Find support.  An online group, a Facebook group, co-workers, family members or friends...you need people that will support you in the changes you are making.  Someone that you can check in with from time to time, to help keep you on the right track!
  10. No one is perfect!  When you follow a diet it's black and white...you either follow the diet or not.  When you make a lifestyle change it's a process and it's a new learned behavior.  Help yourself - do all the things that you can do to make yourself successful and that is all you can ask for! :)
Do I have any WW-ers in the crowd?  Tell me your story!!

Did you have an Ah-Ha moment when you decided to make a huge lifestyle change?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sammy's Picks! My Top 5 WODs #TTT

Hi friends!  Time for a little Thoughts & Things Thursday!! (PS - I know I'm the ONLY one on this #ttt bandwagon but I like it, so I'm stickin' to it!)  

I've had an itch to write a post like this even before my *not-so-brief* hiatus.  I have posted so many unique and original WODs in the first 5 months of blogging - and I promise to start developing and posting more very soon - but I wanted to organize my "top picks" in 1, easy-to-find spot (AKA here!!).  By the way, they can also ALL be found on my Pinterest page!
Sammy's Top 5 PL&IC WODs! 
(in no particular order!)

This Cardio Blast is ONLY 5 minutes long....
but it is a sweaty and exhausting 5 minutes!  
If you're up to it after the first round, repeat another 1-2x!

It's a little cheesy but this is a fun workout with 
some of my favorite total-body exercises!
And don't forget...you can do it ALL YEAR ROUND!

I am a sucker for burpees!! And planks! 
So this is an obvious favorite of mine!

I love this one because the following day you aren't able to walk...
or sit on the toilet....
in a good way! ;)

I re-posted this one last week because I want to reiterate that
the jump rope is an AWESOME addition to any workout!!  
It is great cardio!

I hope you enjoy these! Try them out and let me know what you think!

What's your favorite Peace, Love & Ice Cream WOD??

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wanna Come to the Ultimate Mom's Night Out? {South Florida Giveaway}

I am just popping in today to share some info about an awesome event that my girlfriend helped organize....and give you the chance to win a pair of tickets to

The Ultimate Mom's Night Out (UMNO)

[[Don't fret if you don't win the giveaway; there's a coupon code at the bottom of this post to get 10% off your tickets!]]

On Tuesday, September 23rd there will be shopping, music, free samples and a fashion show, among many other exciting goodies - including guest speak for the evening, Sara Haley!  Sara is a pre- and post-natal fitness expert who was named by Shape Magazine as one of the 50 hottest trainers of 2014!!!

The UMNO, which is sponsored by Belly Love Spa and the local Whole Foods Market, is a one-night event that you WON'T want to miss!  Get dressed up, pick up your girlfriends (come hungry, and thirsty!) and make it a Mom's Night Out for the books!

Don't forget your wallet for the amazing raffles!  And please bid up, it's for a good cause...100% of raffle proceeds go to James Edwards and his family.  (James is a 2 year old boy that had a near drowning accident a few months back)

So, here are the deets...

Enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win:
  • A pair of general admission tickets to The Ultimate Mom's Night Out
Other items up for grabs through the Rafflecopter giveaway:
  • 1 winner will receive a $25 gift card to event partner Whole Foods Market Coral Springs
  • 1 winner will receive a manicure and pedicure to event partner Belly Love Spa
  • 1 winner will receive a Sweat Unlimited DVD from Sara Haley Fitness. 
The giveaway runs until Thursday, July 31st at midnight.

PLEASE NOTE: The event is in South Florida so please only apply if you live around the area.

For more information visit the UMNO website or their Facebook page!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also purchase tickets here.
Don't forget to use coupon code: 
PEACELOVE for 10% off!

Hope to see you there!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

25 Things You Didn't Know About Me!

Good morning everyone!  We had a good but busy weekend so I'm ready to start a fresh, new week, although I'm dragging a little!

I ran 4 miles yesterday (and 3 sets of 1-minute planks!) which felt great - I'm really enjoying the treadmill because it's always 0% chance of rain in the gym! ;)

So for today I'm doing an "About Me" post.  I saw a post like this on Tina's blog last week and I thought it would snag borrow the idea....it's a long one so get settled in!!

1.  I hate spending the time to blow dry my hair! On the weekends if we're going out, yes I will do it.  But 90% of the time, especially during the week, my hair will be in a bun/top knot/poof/braid/bird's nest mess on top of my head.  If it's not blow dried I just CAN'T leave it down!

2.  On the same token, I love the way my hair looks when it's blow dried, even when it's in a ponytail it looks better when it's been blowdried!  And I LOVE going to the salon to get my hair cut!  It always looks and feels (and smells!) so good when I leave, although I can never replicate it at home! lol

3.   I drink A LOT of water!  I never leave the house without my water bottle.  I bring one for me and one for each of my kids.  Water for everyone!

4.  Although I very rarely drink it anymore, McDonald's has the BEST tasting Diet Coke!  They must have a heavy hand with the syrup or something! ;)

5.  I love math....always have...and I'm good at it!  It was one of the main reasons I chose Engineering as my major in college.

6.  When I see people doing an exercise wrong - at Orange Theory or the gym - it takes all of my restraint for me not to correct them!  I repeat what my husband always tells me, sometimes it's better to just "mind my own business!"

7.  I always order a Caramel Frappuccino Light, double blended, no whip at Starbucks, unless I switch it up and get the Mocha flavor instead....sometimes I'm crazy like that!

8.  I am still having a love/hate relationship with my glasses and contacts...I love that they allow me to see clearly but I hate that they're such a nuisance!

9.  I am pretty fast (and consistent!) when I type - I actually took a computer/typing class in high school! lol

10.  I love string cheese - but ONLY the Sargento Light Mozzerella.  It's the best - yum!

11.  I love a chopped salad!  There's just something about it being in such little little pieces! And I NEVER order a salad with leafy greens....I know the darker, the leafier, the healthier but I really only eat iceberg or romaine (don't tell my healthy living blog! ;) )

12.  I REALLY REALLY love peanut butter!  My entire life I ate creamy pb....until a couple of years ago when, on a whim, I tried crunchy....and it changed my life forever!  I haven't looked back since!

13.  Speaking of peanut butter, I will only eat a pb&j sandwich if it's made with grape jelly!

14.  Again, on the topic of peanut butter, I think pb and banana makes a perfect and delicious snack - it's one of my son's favorites, too!

15.  I find strawberry based smoothies very refreshing!  That's why this is one of my favs!

16.  I was always a very good student!  (I hate to disappoint...see here!)

17.  I'm pretty competitive, especially with myself!  I always try to beat my last time on my run, or do an extra rep, or hold the plank for another 10 seconds.....

18.  I have a thing about "round" numbers (and even numbers) - I would never end a run at 3.01 miles....I'd have to go to 3.10!

19.  I totally wanted to marry Patrick Swayze growing up!  I was IN LOVE!!  I think I watched Dirty Dancing every.single.day for like 5 years!!

20.  I feel SO lucky to have a sister, it's a bond that you just can't explain and you honestly cannot have with anyone else in your life....and I feel the same way about my boys having each other!!

21.  I think that I was one of Vitalicious' first customers, and I'm definitely one of their best!! I 've eaten a VitaTop (just about) EVERY day for the last 10 years!  I love them!

22.  I rarely leave the house with NO makeup on, but for everyday it's usually just under eye concealer, blush, eyeliner and mascara!

23.  I am pretty good at polishing my own nails, but I try to go for regular manicures for the sake of my cuticles!! (My new obsession is the Sally Hansen InstaDri polish...it literally dries in 60 seconds and has the look of a gel manicure.  Seriously, check it out!)

24.  Speaking of nails, I LOVE going for pedicures!  The heel massage is my favorite! And the dead skin removal (I know, so gross...but so necessary!).

25.  I actually really enjoy exercising!  Even if I'm not in the mood at first, once I start I'm SO happy that I'm doing it! I love the way it makes me feel - very accomplished!

So there you have it....25 random things that you (probably) didn't know about me!

What's something that people may not know about you??

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Spartan Race Citi Field Sprint Recap

This race recap has been a LONG time coming!  I am going to pull from the deepest part of my brain to try and remember all of the dirty details to give you a brief, but thorough, recap.  It may sound corny but this Spartan day was very special to me!  When I posted on here months ago that I was going WAY out of my comfort zone to register for a Spartan Race, I meant it. 

For example, if my comfort zone was here in Florida, registering for this race was, like, on the planet Pluto Neptune! (Pluto isn't a planet anymore, is it?!) 
Completing this race signified something huge for me!  It solidified that I CAN go out of my comfort zone, I WAS strong enough to complete it and I OWE it to myself to continue doing things that both challenge me & make me proud of myself!  I was really proud of myself! {I was so proud I had to just say it twice!}  The whole experience was much more than just "running a race" for me!  

Now that that's out of the way, onto the recap...

On April 12th I completed my first Spartan Race!  It was my first Obstacle Course Race and, in hindsight, it was the perfect race for me to begin my OCR "career".  (Can you call it a career if YOU are actually paying THEM?? lol)

With one of my closest girlfriends (Hi Tara!) and my sister (Hi Max!) by my side, these Spartan Sistahs kicked butt and completed the New York City Citi Field Spartan Sprint - with fatigued legs, a few bruises and BIG smiles on our faces!

We arrived at Citi Field with way more than enough time before our heat was set to start.  But that's OK!  I liked walking around the stadium, looking around, feeling the amazing energy and getting comfortable before we started.  Even though I saw a few YouTube videos of last year's Citi Field Sprint, I really didn't know what to expect, which made me a little nervous and a lot excited!  

They were blasting music from the stadium speakers and the big screens were showing participants during the race around the stadium!!! They had video cameras filming the upper deck and the finish line, and a few other places too, so it was fun to watch people while they were doing the race!

Then, all of a sudden, it was our start time!  I went to the bathroom one last time (my nerves took a serious toll on my bladder!), kissed my hubby for good luck and off we went!

In a nutshell: it was harder and more fun than I anticipated!  I completed all of the obstacles except the rope climb and the spear throw (which seems like 1 in a million!).  Some of my favorites were: the weighted jump rope, the monkey bars (major personal achievement here - check me out on the video below!!!), the traverse wall (another major personal achievement!) and all of the wall climbs, even the really tall ones!

Some of my not so favorites were: the Herculean hoist, jumping up (and then back down!) 4 flights of stairs with a rubber band snugly around both ankles, carrying a HUGE water jug down and then back up a very long flight of stairs, and sitting (but just for a split second) in each seat of a very long row in the upper deck (my quads!!)!

This was the perfect first obstacle course race for me - no mud, water or fire! no barbed wire! no hills! (hey I'm from Florida!)  There were however a TON of stairs...I think we went up and down every flight of stairs in that stadium!  We were running around in the nosebleed section, carrying sandbags, for a good 15 minutes at one point!

Finishing the enormous cargo net and running in the dirt along the outside of the field to the finish line was exhilarating!

Things I want to work on for my NEXT Spartan Race: rope climb!!! I think if I would have practiced (um...where am I gonna get a huge hanging rope to practice on?!) I would have had a better chance at making it even halfway up!  It was very intimidating! But that's on the bucket list now!

I can't wait to sign up for my next Spartan!  Hoping to recruit even more friends, of course my sister, and maybe even my hubby for the next one! I'll keep you posted, obv! :)

Are you Spartan Strong?  
Do you do OCRs and, if so, which one is your favorite??

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Totally Random #ThoughtsThingsThursday

Hi guys!!!

Did you read yesterday's blog post??  So exciting!!  I hope you had a chance to check out my first official post as a contributor on ModernBocaMom!! (While you're over there, browse around a bit...there's a lot of really cool stuff!)

Anyway, back to business.  It's Thursday and with that I'm continuing my #ThoughtsThingsThursday posts.  Today's version is a little all over the place but I'm going with it!  Lots of randomness....you'll see what I mean in a minute!

So, I'm a math person.  Like, I still talk about my TI-89 graphing calculator from college....that kind of math person. 

Ahhhhh....anyway, remember in grade school when you had to determine if Column A was > (greater than) or < (less than) Column B....well that's the theme for this post!  For organizational purposes, my Column A is always > my Column B! ;)


Almond M&Ms > Peanut M&Ms > Plain M&Ms (if you like nuts!)

Running on the treadmill > Running outside (This is a total turn around from a few months ago, but....it's Florida....it's hot....there are bugs!)

Teddy Grahams + frosting > Frosting-less teddy grahams (does anyone remember Dunk-a-roos?)

A 15 minute at-home, body-weight, high intensity interval workout > Spending an hour at the gym just going through the motions (proven fact - I mean, have you ever done a burpee?!)

Home Alone 2 > Home Alone (NYC is the just the best - the snow, the Tree, the Sticky Bandits, Duncan's Toy Chest!)

The toys/food/snacks/place mats/(fill in the blank) at a friend's house > the exact.same.stuff at our house (according to my kids...I just can't win!)

Smartfood White Cheddar Popcorn > Anything else in my pantry fridge (I keep EVERYTHING that's been opened in my fridge - popcorn, cereal, chips, cookies...well, you get the drift!)

Pretzel fishies dipped in peanut butter > Pretzel fishies > Cheddar fishies and/or any other shape of pretzel (try it!)

Do you agree or disagree with me on these??
What is something you would add to my list?

And speaking of a 15 minute workout ;)...I'll leave you with this oldie but goodie, a fun Jump Rope Jamboree workout...Enjoy!!

Don't forget to follow PL&IC on Pinterest for TONS of other awesome workouts, created by yours truly!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Exciting Blogging News!!

I have some very exciting news to share today!!

I am now a blog contributor for an awesome, information-packed, mommy must-see, South Florida lifestyle site...ModernBocaMom!!

MBMom is the brainchild of Michelle (Hi Michelle!).  She decided to start this resourceful website because, well, if you can't find what you're looking for, why not start it yourself?!  It's so great and I am just ecstatic to be a part of the MBMom team (I even have a bio!!).

If you're a stylish and modern South Florida mommy (and even if you're not!) ModernBocaMom is a MUST READ!!!

It's very rewarding when something you enjoy can open new doors and exciting new chapters.  I am so grateful to Michelle for this opportunity, which is a wonderful new chapter in my blogging career!!  Everything will stay the same here at PL&IC....MBMom will be another channel for me to share my voice, opinions and advice!

So, seeing as it's the summer, and we're all spending tons of time at the beach, my first post is all about Beach'n with the Kids - MBMom Style!!  Please head over and check it out! :)

Oh, one more thing, have you heard...Peace, Love and Ice Cream joined Facebook Don't forget to (please!) LIKE our page!!!

I'll be back tomorrow with a #thoughtsthingsthursday post!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Peace, Love & Ice Cream has been RESUSCITATED!!

Holy blogging hiatus!  

In January, after 5 months of daily blogging, I decided to take a little vacation from Peace, Love & Ice Cream.  Not because I didn't love everything about it - the writing, the connection with my readers, the blogging community as a whole - but I needed a few days...maybe a few weeks....to find my blogging mo-jo again.  Blogging on PL&IC took up a lot of my time and energy and I needed just a tiny, temporary breather....

Well that tiny, temporary breather turned into almost 6 months with no tweeting, no blog writing and no blog reading!  Honestly, the first few days felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders....dramatic, but true!  I didn't have to think of witty tweets or what to post about next on the blog or whose blog I hadn't yet read that day. (Can you say overload?? Apparently, without me even realizing it, my blog had become a chore!)  My brain was on a blogging vacation....just as I had planned.

Those days led to weeks and before I knew it, it had been 6 WHOLE MONTHS!!!! 6 months that I had been completely out of the blogosphere.  I started to get a little nervous....will I know how to get back? Do I even WANT to get back? Does anyone even care that I just completely disappeared? 

And that's when I realized....the only thing that really mattered was that I truly missed this place!  I loved this blog - it was my baby!  I loved writing (typing!) down my thoughts, I loved interacting with other people that had similar interests and wanted to chat about them too, and I am not a quitter!  I am so proud of this blog....I decided to come back and finish what I started!!

I may will not be blogging every day!  I may will have to regain the trust of my followers because, let's be honest....I would've stopped following me if I were you, too.  But I will dive right back into PL&IC and, in a few weeks, I promise you won't even remember that this little (ha!) blogging vacation ever even happened!!

I'm back and I am bursting with excitement!!  I have SO much to fill you in on!!  A lot can happen in 6 months....a couple of new freelance jobs, 2 completed obstacle course races (!!), some great workouts, and, probably the most exciting (and currently the most time consuming!)....I have decided to get my NASM personal trainer certification so I can venture down a new and very exciting career path!  Who's signing up for Sammy's Boot Camp?? :)

I will elaborate on all of that and much more in future posts!  Promise! I'm so excited to be back and I am totally rambling....if I don't stop now this post will be 25 pages long!

If you're still out there, and you waited for me, thank you so so much!!  
If you're new to the blog, Welcome!
Either way let's get this party started! :)

If you're a blogger, have you ever taken an extended "blogging vacation"?
Also, fill me in!!! Tell me one exciting thing that has happened to you since we last chatted!!

I'll be back soon with more!