Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sweet Tooth Swaps

Anyone who knows me, and probably most that follow my blog, know that I have a sweet tooth.  I love baking, I adore cupcakes, and I have a soft spot for doughnuts.

I also cook with butter in just about every meal.  My coworker constantly asks me how I stay 90 pounds, which is ridiculous because I am usually between 145-150 at 5'7".  Boys are terrible at guessing weight.

But he did give me a good idea for a blog topic. As many people are starting weight loss ventures for the new year, I wanted to offer what limited advice I can, but more importantly tip you off to some very tasty alternatives to your typical sweet tooth craving.

Stop reading my blog right now, go to the Republic of Tea's website, and start shopping.  I don't even like chocolate, right? You could put a plate of chocolate chip cookies in front of me and I might take a bite of one but I will make the most horrible face. However, the Strawberry Chocolate Tea that RoT has is one of the most phenomenal things I have ever tasted.  I bought a cup at the bookstore during my undergrad, and I have never regretted that day.  RoT is actually the only brand of tea I will buy and drink, because they have NEVER let me down.

The Vanilla Almond Tea tastes like a cookie, if you are stringently against chocolate, and the Honey Ginseng Tea remains one of my all time favorites.  Panera Bread (around here at least) has the Honey Ginseng Tea and an also delicious Ginger Peach Black Tea (must brew for no less than 5 minutes as it is a black tea, I go 6 sometimes), I suggest trying it.  I brew all my teas at around 5 minutes, put in 2-4 packs of sweetener depending on how big the cup I brewed, and sometimes I add in honey.  Tonight, I made a large cup of Strawberry Chocolate Tea brewed for 5 minutes, with 4 packs of equal and a 4 second honey squirt.  Hello dessert! They have a red velvet tea I am dying to try as well.

Do you like yogurt? I do.  And over break, my mom stumbled upon a phenomenal new yogurt.  Mueller yogurt in Luscious Lemon (I believe that is the flavor name, point is look for lemon) has a top notch flavor and a really awesome texture. I found it at Meijer, I am not sure how far its reach is just yet.  There is a lemon mousse on top of super creamy yogurt.  Their passion fruit flavor is also good. The lemon, however, is perfect.

If you are lucky enough to live by a supermarket that sells it, which I never seem to be, PLEASE go buy Chobani Champions yogurt in Orange Vanilla. The orange flavors in it are insanely natural and it is like someone poured orange juice into greek yogurt heaven.  The yogurt itself is a little sweeter and creamier, as it is specifically geared toward kids.  The cups are smaller as well.  Greek yogurt is packed with protein, so I would suggest giving the Champions a go, even if you usually don't like the texture of Greek.  The champions might just surprise you.  The very berry is also rather tasty. Chobani is rolling out new flavors and new product lines, so be on the lookout!

Another really great way to come up with a quick dessert is to mix light or fat free coolwhip (or homemade equivalent) with Chobani Lemon Greek Yogurt.  You could make a refrigerator pie out of this and no one would complain.  I would like to put it on top my lemon lighty cupcakes, which I use 1 box of lemon cake mix with 1 container of chobani lemon, mix and bake. Those cupcakes were delicious, and no one would know they had Greek Yogurt in them.

Let me just pause for a minute and say the #1 rule of cooking or baking with Greek or any other substitute is to not tell people.  People are always super negative, in my experience, about trying a healthier version of anything and are just overall pessimist parade rainers.  Which sometimes is good, because it means more for me, haha.  But I have swapped out half the cream cheese for greek yogurt in a pumpkin cheesecake before, and my dad never knew the the difference.  So don't listen to the doubters.  Fool em!

In my opinion, the most important thing to making a diet work is to eat what you want, but in small and smart quantities.  And timing is everything.  You shouldn't stop going to Cheesecake Factory because you are trying to trim down, but you also probably shouldn't go there every week.  And when you do go there, plan for leftovers.  Order that delicious cheesecake in a box and take half home.  Or split one.  I know a lot of times I have tried to swear off this thing or that thing, and all it does is make me binge out on it someday when I am down (I'm looking at you, Potato Chips!).  When you get stressed your ability to resist those things you swore off become drastically reduced, in my opinion.

I also think life is too short to not eat good food, so that is why I would suggest portion control over anything else.  I can't live my life on preservative filled Lean Cuisines.


Clear broth-style soups can also be a huge help.  Most of what fills you up is a liquid, which is always a plus.  Clear broths are usually less fatty than their creamy counterparts.

Random side note, I got really sick last year during the last of my undergrad and my throat was so swollen it was nearly shut.  I could not swallow anything solid, the doctors put me on Z pack, and for about 2 full days I lived on chicken noodle soup broth (could not even get the noodles down because it hurt too bad) and Special K French Vanilla Protein shakes.  Now, don't get me wrong, I don't ever want to have to do that again, but it did some serious work on getting my metabolism in full out panic mode.

Don't like protein shakes like that? Try the French Vanilla protein shake on a bowl of Vanilla Almond Special K cereal.  Trust me.  Those protein shakes make excellent milk substitutes when it comes to the morning munchies.

I consider this a craft of the day, because with every sip of this Strawberry Chocolate Tea it is apparent that it is perfectly crafted.  I really just cannot express how good this tea is.  You can also order sampler packs that you pick yourself from Republic of Tea, so try a lot of flavors!  I have even tried odd flavors like blood orange cranberry and wild blueberry, and they were both delicious!

But, to whoever made the Dragonfruit and Lychee Green Tea that the cafe at school had for a semester...please start making it again and end my internet searches...


Happy crafting!

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the Champions shout-out, friend. That delicious real fruit flavor comes from all the real fruit we pack into those little cups. If you're having trouble tracking down Champions, check out our product locator! http://www.chobanichampions.com/products