In some ways I am a child. I like my beverages really sweet.
And yes, I know it's frowned upon, but I'm one of those folks who still uses Splenda, and I have good reasons and more good reasons, but it's still embarrassing to do so if you are a health and fitness blogger.
Hi Splenda! Please don't sue us!
And I'm sorry, but I just don't like the taste of Stevia. It tastes metallic and artificial to me just like Sweet & Low, another sweetener I can't stand. And I'm also not convinced Stevia is any safer for regular long-term use than Splenda is.
Why not just use sugar in my coffee? Well, that's not great for me either and I already get plenty of it. (And, to be honest, I'm not immune from superficial vanity concerns. Swapping Splenda for sugar has made it much easier to keep my weight down.)
But recently I found two new tricks to reduce my Splenda dependence (Splendependence?) so I thought I'd share them. Just in case there is anyone else out there who excessively sweetens their beverages and wants to cut down on either sugar or Little Yellow Packets.
Trick One: Try some Erythritol.
A while back I reviewed some "satiety smoothies" that contained erythritol, which actually appears to be both natural and virtually noncaloric. I wanted to try some in my coffee. Would it taste weird like Stevia?
So I found it at a local grocery store. (Note: this may be unusual. If you don't live near hippie/foodie stores, you may have to order online). I put it in my coffee and... it tasted fine! It's only 70% as sweet as sugar, so I used many, many little packets. Which leads to a big drawback:
So far, Erythritol is really freakin' expensive! One box, which seemed to be gone in few days (OK, so I was excited and I used a lot), was like, ten bucks. (I can't remember exactly). It was a nice experiment, and I'll look for this stuff in the future... if they get the price down to more practical levels.
Trick Two: The Crabby-McSlacker Slowly Sip & Sweeten Method.
I know this is something that may seem obvious and you may have all tried it already. But I hadn't, and in my mind, I just invented it! And I'm all excited, because I cut my Splendependence in half.
1. Pour coffee or other bitter beverage. Don't add sweetener yet.
2. Take a sip of unsweetened coffee. Note the bitter flavor.
3. Add about 1/8th of the amount of sweetener you normally would and stir.
4. Sip again. Note presence of sweetener and become conscious of how Sip Two tasted Different than Sip One.
5. Add a tiny bit more sweetener.
6. Repeat, slowly and consciously, with tiny amounts of sweetener. If the trick works, you may discover that you reach acceptable levels of sweetness with quite a bit less of stuff than you usually use! You may also discover that you're late for work.
7. Do this every morning until you've reduced your consumption to less childish, embarrassing levels.
8. Notice that other food items are tasting sweeter than they did before!
So are all of you mature adults, who drink your bitter beverages unadulterated? Do you shun sodas and diet sodas? Or do you use natural sweeteners? Anyone else struggle with Splendependence like I do?