Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cold and Dreamy Treats To Beat The Heat

It's hot. Being outdoors after 9am and before 8pm is just not sane. Car seats are hot, swing sets are hot, backyards are steamy, tempers are short, bickering is plentiful, and fall seems so far away.

I would like to spend the daylight hours of summer indoors, basking in cool, air-conditioned comfort. Pudding Pie and her friends do not. They clamor to be outdoors. They want to be sprinting through the sprinkler, whizzing down the slip 'n slide, splashing in the pool, digging in the sand, hanging out on the back porch, daubing paint on anything they can, and so on.

Every day, they laugh, squeal, and play their way through their various sweaty outdoor activities while I lug toys around, set up the paints, wash off the paint, fill the pool, apply sunscreen, arbitrate disputes - and gently wilt.

I have my secret weapon though; it lives in the freezer and summer cannot be conquered without it: ice cream!

I recently tried the new Breyers Smooth & Dreamy Chocolate Caramel Brownie ice cream bars. I was not disappointed, and neither were Pudding Pie and her friends. the bars are rich, creamy and delicious!

The Breyers Smooth & Dreamy ice cream bars and sandwiches also come in five other rich and creamy flavors, including Vanilla Caramel Chip, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Covered Strawberry, Vanilla Fudge Brownie, Triple Chocolate Chip.

These tasty delights are not only the perfect refreshment on a sultry summer day, they also contain no artificial flavors or colors, are 160 calories or less and have only 4-6g of fat per serving.

Think you'd like to try a new Breyers ice cream bar or sandwich? Leave a comment before midnight on Friday, August 6th, letting me know what you love most about summer, and you could win a couple of Breyers coupons!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Breyers and received products necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Drop those extra pounds the Smart way

Twenty years ago, when I wanted to drop a few pounds, I cut back on the junk, ate sensibly, exercised more frequently - and watched the pounds disappear in a relatively short space of time. Today, banishing those extra pounds is a far more challenging task. Back then, I had no real commitments other than to myself, my career, my personal goals. When I needed to accomplish a task such as weight loss, I applied myself completely. Today, I begin each week filled with resolve, determined to get off the fat wagon, convinced that this time I'll stay the course and fit back into those 'skinny me' jeans. Usually I don't make it past noon on Monday.

Why have I continued to fail in my struggle to drop the unwanted pounds? Well, aside from being rather weak-willed in the face of glistening jelly donuts and the like, I have a far different lifestyle from the one I had twenty years ago. Today, my well-laid plans to follow a strict diet and exercise regime are tested and then sabotaged by daily life. I always begin Day One well: I crunch on my breakfast apple and feel good, sated, pleased with my iron will. Then I prepare breakfast for Pudding Pie and the other kids I care for. Perhaps this is Bacon and Cheesy Scrambled Eggs day, the smell wafts around the kitchen, I can't help but have a quick taste ...

I serve my pint-sized customers and they eat but, at the end of the meal, there are still a few forkfuls left. I can't bear to toss out good food so I gobble up the last few bites. And so the day goes. By evening, my diet has been abandoned. I am supposed to go for a brisk power walk when we get home from work, but Pudding Pie wants to come too - and bring her bike (which she is just learning to ride). The power walk turns into a slow, bent-double walk as mommy ends up pushing a suddenly tired Pudding Pie after the first five minutes of the excursion. We return home, I concede that my new diet and exercise regime has failed, so I console myself with a bowl of icecream. This is a typical Day One ...

Before you start feeling awful for me and my endless cycle of failed diets, let me tell you about a breakthrough in this sad cycle. I've shed a several pounds over the last week and a half! I am so excited! My will power cannot take all (actually any) of the credit. I have had help in the form of some great products from underWAY and Smart for Life.

I tried the underWAY supplement drink, which works naturally to suppress appetite while it quenches your thirst. The drinks work to curb hunger in two ways: the underWAY formulation takes longer for the stomach to absorb - and it also slows the absorption of what is already there, making you feel fuller for longer. Each drink is infused with a special HeroFiber and heart-healthy vitamins and contains no preservatives, sodium or caffeine. I sampled the Acai Pomegranate flavor and the Grape flavor. I found the Grape on the sweet side, but the Acai Pomegranate was just delicious.

I also tried out several of the Smart for Life products. These products are all natural and 60% organic, containing Omega-3 fatty acids and HeroFiber. Working on a 7-meals-per-day schedule, the Smart for Life philosophy is a perfect fit for someone who likes to snack throughout the day - that's me! The 7-meals-per-day schedule features 6 cookies or other products, plus a balanced dinner. This allows the body to maintain steady blood sugar and glucose levels, and burn more fat for a longer part of the day.

In a recent study done at Boca Raton Smart for Life Weight Managment Center, 46 people visited and used a portion-controlled, protein-rich, low fat cookie with fiber technology. All 46 lost weight, with the average being 13.1 pounds in 35 days. Five subjects lost over 20 pounds in 35 days and 20 subjects lost over 15 pounds in the first 35 days. The 46 participants lost a combined total of 601 pounds, with one participant losing 38.7 pounds in 35 days!

I loved the oatmeal raisin cookies. They were perfect for keeping hunger pangs at bay and they are really tasty, too. I also tried the THINADVENTURE cupcakes: Carrot Sunshine and Chocolate Mountain. I really couldn't say which I preferred, they were both good and it was hard to believe I was still on diet! I was pretty possessive over my Smart for Life products, but I had to share a few bites of my Chocolate Berry cereal with Pudding Pie as it was so good. I also tried the vanilla shake, (yum!) the Smart Bagels and Momma's Chicken Noodle Soup. All tasty and all worked well to keep me feeling pleasantly full.

I'm thrilled with what is finally a decent start to healthier eating habits. Now I've got to keep the momentum going - guess I'm going to be stocking up on those tasty cookies and the Acai-Pomegranate underWAY drinks!

If you're looking to drop those extra pounds quickly and safely, both underWAY and Smart for Life products can be purchased with a 10% discount! The discount code for underWAY products is MCUS100FFUW at and Smart for Life products can be purchased at http://www.smartforlife/, with the following discount code: MCUS100FFSL. The codes expire on August 30th.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of underWAY and Smart for Life and received samples of the products to review.