Thursday, February 17, 2011

Say "NO" to Sugar-Free

You might be surprised by the title of this post, but after I explain it in context, I hope you agree.

This morning while I was preparing to shower at the gym, I glanced up at the Today Show on the television. They were discussing the calorie content of specific breakfast meals. In front of Hoda was a plate of three gigantic pancakes and a small glass carafe with about 1/4 cup of syrup in it. After explaining that this breakfast has over 650 calories and the syrup alone contains over 10 teaspoons of sugar, they suggested switching to sugar-free syrup. In the middle of the locker room, I blurted out, "Oh, please, just eat the real stuff!" Unfortunately, no one was around to hear me so I couldn't preach my beliefs about food to anyone. Americans, this is why we have a problem with obesity in the first place. We're replacing real foods with synthetic CRAP that trains us to eat MORE. Yes, you could have an unlimited supply of sugar-free syrup to go with your triple stack of gigantic pancakes, but that defeats the purpose. Let's GET BACK TO THE BASICS. Had I been invited to discuss food on the Today Show, I would've retrieved two more large plates, divided up the three huge pancakes amongst the three plates and poured a little REAL syrup over each one. Heck, I would've even thrown in a pad (1/2 T.) of REAL butter on each, with an 8 oz. glass of whole milk, and a cup of fresh berries. Now how's that for a breakfast under 650 calories.

Spinach Salad

On the bright side, this syrup fiasco inspired me to do a little "cooking" today. I have pizza dough rising and sliced sweet potatoes roasting in the oven, and I just finished eating a delicious spinach salad. For the salad, I used organic spinach with beautiful, dark green, thick leaves, fresh organic basil, local roasted hazelnuts, an organic local gala apple, goat cheese, lemon, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. I like to call this salad: spinach salad with apples, goat cheese and roasted hazelnuts, dressed with a lemon basil balsamic vinaigrette.

Here are a few pictures of dishes I've prepared this week:

Broccoli Cheese and Rice Casserole

Thai Tofu with Cabbage and Parsnips

Lemon Pomegranate Scone and Latte

Now, I hope I've inspired you to get cooking with REAL food.


  1. I agree with you. Why is it in our society we find it "ok" to substitute real food with synthetic food? In this house, we eat real Amish butter, real maple syrup, and whole milk. We eat a variety of food including many fruits and veggies.

    Perhaps if people weren't so addicted to these synthetic foods, i.e. diet coke, etc. we might have better health as a society.

    I'm pretty sure the pilgrims didn't have sugar free syrup.

  2. I agree with you also. That also is what happened when people went on the fat-free bandwagon a few years back. Granted there are some people that can't consume sugar such as diabetics so they have to find some kind of sugar substitute, but your example is on the people that CAN and CHOOSE to do the sugar free thing in order to save calories instead of practicing portion control. Another example would be the person that orders a supersize meal from McDonalds and THEN gets a diet coke like Courtney said above.

    I prefer the real butter vs margarine and coke and plain ol H2O vs diet coke.