January 8, 2009

Capping My Sweet Tooth

After all of the goodies and sweets from the holidays, you and your kids may be trying to cut back on sugar. I believe sugar is as addictive as crack cocaine, and I'm always struggling to cut back on it in our diets. It's so hard because it's in nearly everything! Even foods you might consider to be salty (I'm definitely a salt tooth) can have hidden dextrose and sucrose and the evil high fructose corn syrup in them.

One way that you can reduce your sugar intake is to de-sweeten juices you drink. I love cranberry juice, and to avoid some extra calories, I cut it with water, about half and half. I actually prefer it less sweet, and not only am I saving some calories, but I'm saving some pennies too by stretching the bottle of juice.

Another thing I do when I have more time is to brew a pot of herbal tea, like Red Zinger, Lemon Zinger, or any of the fruit-flavored, non-caffeinated herbal teas. I personally like Celestial Seasonings, which are available in nearly every grocery store.
Red Zinger contains herbs that would be safe for children, including Hibiscus, rosehips, peppermint, lemongrass, orange peel, and wild cherry bark.

I basically just do a mixture of 1/2 cooled, brewed tea to 1/2 juice. Apple, cranberry or grape would be great. I'd stay away from the OJ, which obviously wouldn't taste so good. But if that's your preference, good for you.

So there you go. Good luck with fighting those the sugar cravings. I'm right there with you.

11 comments:

  1. I have a massive sweet tooth, so I'm always looking for ways to cut back--i really like the half tea/half juice drink--so much better for you than diet soda!

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  2. Hmm...good idea! I usually cut Deedsy's juice w/ water but maybe he would like some herbal goodness.

    Jojo only drinks soymilk or milk. Not a big juice fan.

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  3. We are not big juice drinkers, rather we eat a lot of fruit. We do not drink pop either. However, my kids used to love when I would buy pure juice (cranberry was their favourite) and dilute it with seltzer water. I had forgotten about that. Since the guys began running they do not drink anything carbonated-coaches orders.

    It is a struggle around here, since all of my guys were preemies and all have always been very small and needed to gain weight. They are finally at an age where they will eat more, probably because they burn so many calories running.

    Oh yes, I also have odd children, they never liked sweetened cereals. Weird. I grew up on them. ;)

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  4. We have been cutting back on sugar at our place, too. I don't buy anything with hfcs, and I don't purchase refined white sugar anymore either. Instead, I use sucanat (dehydrated can juice, agave nectar, and honey). It hasn't been too difficult to adapt most recipes, and I'm pretty sure that is what helped me drop the last of my baby weight :-)

    We are huge fans of Celestial Seasoning's herbal goodness. We always have a gallon of it in the fridge. Rather than brewing it, I just drop 4 teabags into the jug, fill with water, and put it back in the fridge to "steep" overnight. It's super easy and tasty, not to mention a calorie-free beverage!

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  5. You're right...there IS sugar, or one of its cousins, in just about everything!

    In my second pregnancy, I wasn't permitted to have any sugar or salt, and I found that Agave syrup is actually a great (organic) sweetener!

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  6. That's how I make my iced tea usually, steeped Zinger tea and apple juice. Love it, so refreshing!

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  7. OK, bad timing. I just read your post after eating a bag of M&Ms! But thanks for the tip!

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  8. i like to cut cranberry with seltzer--lower cal, and it tastes "grown-up" without the alcohol--good for a nursing mom:)

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  9. This post has perfect timing! I've been struggling with getting enough to drink during my pregnancy without downing loads of sugary fruit juices. Cutting juice with tea is a perfect solution and would be quite a bit tastier than water! Thanks so much for sharing your tip with us this Thrifty Green Thursday.

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  10. I used to dilute juice with water until Roo caught on. I never thought about using tea, what a good idea. I'll have to try that one of these days!

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  11. My daughter (almost three years old) actually asks for tea. The Zingers are our favorites, too! I remember reading that the recommended daily allowance of juice for kids under two is zero. If kids have never had it, they don't miss it. I never buy juice, which I guess saves me money for my tea. (I have a LOT of tea!)

    Thanks for joining us for Thrifty Green Thursday!

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