Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hello, my name is Audrey...and I'm a chocoholic.

Hey, y'all. I apologize for the lapse between blog entries. I've been out of town for the past week - sort of a last-minute vacation - and haven't had any time to log on. But since I'm sure you have all been sitting on the edge of your seats, eagerly awaiting my next post, here goes...

I found this fabulous recipe today on the Hungry Girl Web site. Like many people do on vacation, I spent much of the recent trip eating and drinking in various restaurants and bars. When else can you go to breakfast, lunch and dinner all in one day without suffering major food guilt?

Sadly, I've discovered that even though I'm back to my normal routine again, I'm still craving heavy dinners and delectable desserts. Those salads, veggies and chicken meals look downright boring in comparison.
Here's a quick-hit cocktail recipe I'm hoping will help satisfy my newly-reawakened urge to mix chocolate and alcohol.

Chilly Chocolate Mudslide (approximately 130 calories, 1g fat)

Ingredients:
1 packet diet/sugar free 25 calorie hot cocoa
3 oz. hot water
2 oz. 8th Continent Light Vanilla Soy Milk
1/2 oz. Sugar Free Torani White Chocolate or Vanilla Syrup
1 teaspoon Hershey's Lite Chocolate Syrup
2 packets of Splenda
1 oz. vodka
5-7 ice cubes

Directions:
Dissolve hot cocoa, chocolate syrup and Splenda in hot water. Add light soy milk, vodka and Torani syrup. Pour into blender. Blend with ice on the highest speed for about 45 seconds. Pour, and top with a squirt of Fat Free Reddi-Wip!

More Splenda recipes here.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Celsius is on fire!


Celsius continues to rack up "cool" points, with the most recent example being an appearance on Extra! The new energy drink - which is sweetened with sucralose and marketed as the first calorie-burning soda - was deemed a 'hot new discovery' on the "Gimme, Gimme" portion of the entertainment television show. In late June, Celsius won the first-ever 2007 Qatrah Award as "Best Carbonated Soft Drink" at the Arab Beverages Forum Held in Dubai. I still have yet to taste this particular beverage, but between the accolades and labeling artistry (the cans are pretty cool looking), I figure it's time I gave it a shot. Plus, it was apparently hip enough to be included in the 2007 Oscar "gift bag" and the 2007 Vision Awards goodie bag. You know, it's so important all those poor movie stars and celebrities get free swag!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Would you like some Splenda with your scones?


Several summers ago, when I was backpacking across Europe with friends, we were fortunate enough to experience "afternoon tea" at an upscale hotel in London. The United Kingdom was the first stop in what was to be a whirlwind tour of 10 different countries - all in the spirit of experiencing the world, celebrating our college graduation and doing "as the Romans do." And for the most part, we did. We befriended locals, watched the opera in an ancient amphitheater, saw the running of the bulls, went skydiving in the Alps and ate the local cuisine. It was fabulous. Sadly, our high tea adventure was one of the few times we fell prey to the Ugly American syndrome.
Only in London for two days before heading to Belgium, we were determined to make the most of our time there. After wandering from one end of town to the other, we passed by a fancy hotel late one afternoon and saw a sign advertising high tea. We marched straight in - wearing dusty cargo shorts, flip-flops and tank tops - and surprisingly got a table. Surrounding us were people in white gloves and dresses. However, despite our rag-tag appearance - and the cigarette lighter with a crude message one of my friends pulled out of her pocket - everyone was lovely to us.

Anyhoo, the moral of the story is, that afternoon tea fostered my love of dainty, crustless finger sandwiches, mini-pastries and, particularly, scones. Served with clotted cream and strawberry jam, the English quick bread just melted in my mouth.

For any other scone fans out there, check out a TasteTV video detailing how to bake candied ginger scones using Splenda.

Looks dee-lish!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Tough statistics to swallow…

According to a new study, 75 percent of adults will be overweight by 2015. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health say the obesity rate nationwide has skyrocketed over the past three decades. Most alarming, to me anyway, is the study found that women between the ages of 20 to 34 – regardless of race or ethnicity – are becoming obese and overweight at a faster rate than men and children. Time to make some lifestyle changes, if you haven’t already.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

It’s all fun and games until someone spoils their pants….


Okay, so I hate to dump (pun intended) all over something that may genuinely help people lose weight, but this Alli drug pretty much makes me want to toss my Splenda-baked cookies. You’ve probably heard all about it by now. It's the new over-the-counter weight-loss drug that has been garnering numerous headlines (and punchlines) thanks to a multimillion-dollar advertising blitz. The fact that a few of it's nasty side effects have been perfect fodder for comedians telling fart jokes has only furthered its publicity. Here are my thoughts, for whatever it's worth. I don't care if Alli shaves 20 pounds off my fat butt in a week. I still don't want to have anything to do with it. Why? Because Alli pill poppers are encouraged to keep an "extra pair of pants handy" in case of leakage. Approved by the FDA, Alli works like this: it prevents the gastrointestinal system from absorbing about 25 percent of the fat you would typically consume. However (there's always a however), if you eat more than the recommended fat grams at any given meal, you may experience cramps and the uncontrollable escape of those extra fat grams. My advice is: if you really plan to use this pill, expect to follow the rules. You'll probably also have to buy the companion book, "The Alli Diet Plan" to see any real weight loss. Either way, stick to the guidelines or prepare for gas, oily discharge and loose stools.