Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pour some sugar on me. Or not.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Do one thing every day that scares you." That's a pretty good idea, although it's hard to figure out something new for every single day. I'm sure it's easier when you're the First Lady, you know, because there are lots of things you can do in the White House that would be plenty scary. Like pushing the Red Button just to see what'll happen or taunting a Secret Service agent, stuff like that.

For me, though, a working mom living the suburban Lou, it's harder. I started yesterday with dinner, when I ordered something off the Chinese take-out menu that I had never tried before: Szechwan Bean Curd. The whole idea of "bean curd" was scary until I opened the container and discovered that bean curd is just tofu, which I've had plenty of. Huh. Learn something new every day. Anyway, in case you were wondering, Szechwan Bean Curd from Wan Fu on Manchester is excellent, and I highly recommend it (if you like really spicy veggies and tofu, which I do).

Part of me wonders about the decision to call it "bean curd" on the menu, as opposed to "tofu." Did they think that "tofu" would turn some people off? Because I gotta tell you, "bean curd" ain't that much more appealing. And I like tofu.

I haven't yet figured out what to do today that's scary, but we're going out to dinner for Uncle Milt's birfday so I may try the whole "something new off the menu" trick again.

"Something new off the menu" must be paired with my desire to eat extremely well, which is not scary but is indeed different for me. I've given up the beast called Coca-Cola, and that's been easier than expected (at least for now...check in with me again in a few days), and have been kinda sorta counting calories (really more like just keeping a running total in my head, which yeah, I know, isn't totally legit but hey, it's the best I can do right now) and drinking tons of water. Since I've started exercising for an hour each day, I've developed attitude that if I'm going to work this hard physically to make my body healthy, I'm not gonna pollute it by shoving all kinds of garbage in my piehole.

My Aunt P (which could stand for "progressive" but doesn't, although she is) brought in Vitamin Water last week and has been pushing it on everyone. When she finds something great, everyone benefits (see my Neti pot post from months ago...which I still stand by although M accidentally broke my pot and has yet to replace it, grrr), and her Product of the Moment is Vitamin Water. It's candy-colored water with interesting flavors and promises of lots of good vitamins. Healthy for you, you'd think. After all, it's water, right?

The marketing of Vitamin Water is pretty good, too. Here's an excerpt from the label:

"...we created this all-in-one product containing more of the nutrients you need, from vitamin a to zinc. think of it as a drinkable swiss army knife."

Catchy. (And made even more catchy by the fact that they chose not to use capital letters anywhere on the label, except in the Nutrition Facts section which is mandated by that pesky FDA). One could easily be lured into believing that consuming this beverage is a great alternative to plain water because one is getting more of the nutrients one needs.

And then one looks at the actual Nutrition Facts label and wants to vomit.

The flavor I have on my desk (which has one sip gone, done before I read the label) is multi-v (or lemonade in layman's terms). It has 13 grams of sugar in one serving, and there are 2.5 servings in the bottle. That's 32.5 grams of liquid sugar in a 20 oz. bottle. Just for reference, a 12 oz. can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar.

So what I'm saying is, Vitamin Water is pretty much as bad as a Coca-Cola, and if I'm gonna be bad, I'd much rather have the Coke. Or a giant piece of chocolate cake. Bye bye, Vitamin Water.

Maybe my scary thing for today was reading the label on the Vitamin Water. Well, it was, at the very least, shocking enough for me to stop drinking it.


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