Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Random tangentia

**Changed the name of post 5 minutes after publishing cuz I thought of a better one, so no you're not crazy**

Question of the day for you healthy food folks:  Do you use an artificial sweetener?  If so, which one and why?  I use Splenda because to me it tastes the least artificial of any I've tried - which is all of them I'm sure.  In fact, Splenda truly just adds sweetness rather than injection evil chemical tastes into food.  Truvia, stevia, aspartame, saccharine, and a few others I can't think of leave a medicinal aftertaste - at best.  In my humble opinion.

But...I still feel vapors of guilt over using the Splenda just because of its artificial status.  Thanks for your input.  I'm just curious, and looking for roll model bloggers to sweep away the dregs of my guilt.


I mentioned last week that prior to decorating for Christmas, my house is in dire need of cleaning and vacuuming.  BTW, can anyone tell me why a dog loses more hair in the winter?  Seems they should be hanging on to their fur coats as temperatures plunge.  Lou has always lost as much in the winter as summer, and the forced hot air heat blows the large puffs of canine thoroughly throughout our humble abode.  It seems I could build a new dog with all the fur a'flyin.  So last week's vacuuming ain't keeping the house clean this week.  Damn.

So, when one needs to get her a$$ in gear for cleaning and decorating, what better way to turn in the screws than  to schedule a party this Saturday night with 30+ of my closest AA women friends?!  Yeah - I put it out to the masses yesterday, certain that many would have previous holiday parties, business gatherings, etc... Nope.  Only 2 folks have said no so far, and several yeses are calling and "reminding" me of gals I forgot.  It could turn into quite a soiree, and it will definitely be fun with meanderings into the hilarious.  One thing I didn't know when I first got sober was that you could come close to expiring with laughter without consuming quantities of alcohol.  No like, I thought my laughing days were over. 

Anyway, it's going to be a potluck and Chinese Pollyanna, where everyone brings a wrapped gift, all of which get thrown into the center of the room.  Each person is given a number, and one at a time get to select a wrapped gift.  Well, the first person's gift is wrapped; everyone else gets to choose between the remaining wrapped gifts plus the already opened ones.  It's really fun, esp. when people get something good and try to hide it so someone else doesn't choose it.  After one round, you go around one more time so all the gifts are "known".

I'm going to make a big huge pot of soup and maybe a dessert.  But with so many people bringing stuff, I'm not going to have to prepare much.  And the cleaning and decorating WILL get done!  I'll keep you posted of the partay details!


I'm just having my new go-to mid morning protein hit I wrote about before...cottage cheese with an apple cut up pretty finely in it, with cinnamon and the aforementioned Splenda.  I realize that last week when I noted that I'm not a huge raw apple eater because of the texture of apples, I was right.  For the last week I had winesap apples, which were perfect (and coming from me that's high praise), both in taste and texture.  I ran out of apples so went to get some this morning and was greeted with a dearth of winesaps, so had to get another kind.  The had Honey Crisps, which I know are THE apple of the rich, famous, and apple loving bloggers, so I decided to give them another try.  I sampled them when they first came out and they didn't move me.  Guess what - it's not moving me today, and IT IS a texture thing.  The flavor is great, but the way it rasps my teeth in unpleasing to me.  I know, could I get any weirder?  Anyway - I'm suffering it to be so with the apple, but the rest of the HCs will be available for the men folk in my house.

Speaking of menfolk, their numbers will be increasing in the household as of this Friday when # 2 son (by birth order only, Jean (my daughter who does read the blog, so don't tell Mark he's #2 in my book) comes home from Atlanta for a 5 week winter vacation.  Hard to believe he is finishing his next to last semester in college!  There's no way I'm old enough to have all kids out of school.

That's about enough rambling from me today.  I'm feeling very Christmas-y and in a good mood.  The eating has been sane, and I've managed to get out in the sub-polar climate to walk everyday since Friday, including at 5:15 this morning.  Boy, the whole weight loss/health/fitness thing is NOT a one-walk dog...you have to do it every day for results.  I am trying to find some alone quiet time each day to meditate, or at least try to clear my mind of assorted detritus to see what comes up in terms of old pain and baggage ala yesterday's post.  That's not a one-walk dog, either.  In fact, I've been working on that stuff for many years and still remains "stuff".  But I don't have to wait until I'm all healed to reap the benefits of this journey.


  1. Love the Christmas look for blog and your obvious joy at the idea of a holiday party - despite how you might be protesting :-) I do that to me too - throw down a deadline/party/whatever to force myself in gear or face public humiliation (not that any of my friends really CARE what my house looks like). And I adore those kinds of gift exchanges - hilarity ensues, indeed.

    As for the Splenda, well I use it. Primarily for my coffee, which doesn't make much sense, because I only really drink one cup a day. I don't use it to make "lite" versions of other foods.

    As for meditation? I'm stealing it. Yep, right now all I can seem to muster is some guided visualizations/affirmations/meditations that I've found on YouTube. Maybe one day I'll get all swami-like and live in an ashram and do other-wordly things, but right now, for a few minutes every day, I watch some of my you-tube playlists. It helps.

  2. uh-oh. I can't read the font on this post. Too little contrast for my poor vision. :(

    Could you leave a comment on my blog when you change to darker? Please don't change up because of me, just let me know when you revert.


  3. Well, being diabetic, I use artificial sweeteners all the time and find that Splenda has the least "artificial" taste in the bunch. While I can't taste it in baked goods, my husband can always tell.

    Great way to motivate to clean - have people over! Sounds like a fun time Leslie!

    And hooray for having almost your last one done with school - how did we get to be so old?! :D

  4. Cute new blog design:) I use Splenda and wonder about it too. I grew up with my mom using Sweet & Low - remember when they thought it caused cancer and were going to take it off the market? Her response was to stockpile it! Some days I feel like I should adjust my taste-buds to non-sweetened drinks.

  5. Count me in the with Splenda users. ITA with you about the after taste thing with the other sweeteners. But I don't use much sweetener at all - black coffee, don't eat dry cereals so my splenda is delivered primarily through the occasional glass of iced tea. Other than that I'm 100% sugar all the way, delivered via cake, cookies and pies. Sigh.

    Funny, we call that sort of a gift exchange, a Yankee Swap. It's what both sides of our family does now at Christmas and I like it so much better than a standard draw a name exchange.

  6. :D Thanks, Leslie! I can read it just fine now. :D

    Splenda. I try not to use artificial sweetners at all, but if whatever I'm sweetening won't do with 1 teaspoon of real sugar, then I use Splenda. I probably use 2 little yellow envelopes a week. :}

    I've tried the ones that are supposed to be healthier and I hate them. And I'm not convinced that they're healthier, anyway.

    A party! Right before Christmas! You, my dear, are an official people person now! :D


  7. I use organic Stevia extract from Trader Joe's. It is stevia in its purest form and it is SWEET. It comes with a little measuring spoon and in my huge mug of green tea, I put maybe 2 of these in.

  8. We got our dog in April 2004 -- I thought I was so lucky that my adorable beagle/collie mix didn't shed -- until October/Nov of that first year when I found lots of hair on my son's dark blanket -- and eventually all through the house -- I asked the vet why my dog was shedding so much -- I was worried he might be sick -- and she said he was shedding his finer "summer coat" to make room for his coarser "winter coat." And my house hasn't been free of dog hair ever since!

  9. As to the Splenda, here is my .02. I am changing the way we eat in many ways, and the Splenda issue has been the most hurdlesome for me( if that is a word). I will use honey, blackstrap molasses, brown sugar...and Splenda. It seems that the most problematic substance to our bodies is sugar, and quite frankly sugar is sugar is sugar- be it organic, natural or so forth. With honey, molasses, real maple syrup and brown sugar it has the sweet impact but also some nutritional benefit ( blackstrap molasses is a very good source of iron and calcium for example) Stevia, while natural, becomes bitter when used in baking. Rapidura or other forms of "natural" sugar is sugar with minimal nutriants, and still spikes you blood sugar. So in cases that call for granulated sugar I choose Splenda. In applications where the taste would be a plus I use maple syrup, brown sugar, molassess, etc. What can I say...I contradict myself at times but it makes sense to me

  10. I would rather use the Splendas
    than stay where I was weight-wize....
    So it's a tough call.... but one I'm glad I made.
    And MAKE still, every day!

  11. I've given up artificial sweeteners. If a recipe calls for sugar, I use sugar. I drink my coffee and tea black. I try to reduce the amount of sugar I eat (and at one time was sugar-free for about five years!), but I'm not as concerned as I used to be. If you're attempting to eat healthful, whole, natural, unprocessed foods 90 percent of the time, a wee bit of sugar now and again isn't going to make a big difference. It's important to work on that 90 percent, though! (Something I have done too well the last two days.)

  12. Oops! I meant to say "something I HAVEN'T done too well ..."

  13. Hi Mom! I miss you!

    I wouldn´t touch splenda with a 37.5-foot pole (remember that part in The Grinch?)! Stevia is the best sugar substitute! If you don´t believe me, find a stevia plant and eat the leaves...pure sweetness :). You´ll be shocked...I know I was!

    Also, try agave nectar. It´s great in all sorts of stuff, but in particular I´ve seen it as a sugar substitute in baking.

    I think the best source of information about substitutes and how to use them would actually be vegan and vegetarian food blogs. These are a few that I love:


    Let´s talk soon!


  14. My heart is set on Stevia. Although I do admit it can be horrid in certain foods. Never use it in coffee. It invokes the gag reflex.