If you’re like most people…and certainly like me….you get a great deal of pleasure from treating yourself to “morsels of mmmmmm” on a regular basis. Maybe it stems from childhood, when our parents would take us out for ice cream or a burger. The treat would tickle every single little cell in our body, causing each to do a happy dance. Fast forward to adulthood. What’s one of the fastest ways we know to put a smile on our children’s faces? The golden arches come to mind.
Did you know that in a recent study, school kids were given a taste test. They were given carrots – some were served in a McDonald’s package, while the rest were served in a plain package. Although they were the same carrots, the vast majority of the kids said the one in the McD’s package “tasted better.”
There’s absolutely nothing you can do with that information, I just thought it was interesting.
Getting a treat with (or without) your family represents happiness and, even, fun. After all, think about it, some of the best times in our lives are often accompanied by a treat of some nature.
It all sounds innocent enough, doesn’t it? The problem is, many of these treats are anything but innocent.
I don’t mind throwing myself under the bus first, so let’s take a look at what I’ve been doing to myself with my favorite “treat.”
For nearly a year, I’ve been enjoying (no – really, really, really enjoying) a grande Green Tea Frappuccino with Whipped Topping on top, drizzled with Raspberry Syrup on an almost daily basis. If I had a blog to install or redesign, I’d go get my beloved drink and then we’d tackle it together. When my husband and I ran to Starbucks in the evening during the summer, I’d “treat” myself to my gGTFwWTotdwRS while Mr. Smarty Pants had his tea. Unsweetened. Zilch calories.
Which brings me to my recent discovery – my beautiful, colorful frap that turned heads wherever it went packs nearly 500 calories. Like I said, I had one (at least) 4 times a week.
It occurs to me that the whole experience of “treating” ourselves should treat us in the long run as well as the short one. Besides, it doesn’t really matter if the delicacy has 1 calorie or (gulp) 500. So, I’ve been outsmarting myself the past few weeks. I will not ever stop going to Starbucks – it’s the nectar of the gods and my inner diva believes that what she’s meant to drink. So, I’ve been experimenting lately with different drinks on the menu – drinks that don’t cost my calorie bank the equivalent of a big fat hamburger!
I’ve found that the green iced tea shaken with lemonade is not only delicious, but has about a fourth of the calories as the fraps. There’s also the strong and heavenly coffee – with zilch calories or a great assortment of hot teas that also have 0 calories. They’re also coming out with different varieties of “Skinny Lattes” – thank you, Starbucks!
The gorgeous green delight will now be saved for the most special of special occasions – like my birthday, anniversary, valentine’s day, Thursdays, days that begin with S….kidding about the S days.
Okay, your turn – under the bus with me! What’s your weakness? Is it fries, hamburgers, ice cream, pizza… Whatever it is, I challenge you: Look online and find out how your treat has been betraying you. That’s right, find out how many calories are lurking behind its beauty and sex appeal. When you recover (I know, I know – it hurts), determine to start experimenting with alternatives. If burgers are your thing, give Boca Burgers a try – I saw that scowl! – Honestly, with enough garlic powder, pickles, tomatoes, and onions, they’re very, very good.
If Ice Cream makes you scream, try McDonald’s fruit and yogurt parfait – they’re soooo good, even kids would love them.
As an incentive to find less trick-y treats, I’ll let you in on a little somethin’ somethin’ – for two weeks I’ve been ordering calorie-free coffee or tea, or the iced green tea. I haven’t really been doing anything else differently. I’ve been walking the same as always and eating the same foods. But, I’ve lost 2 pounds – simply by cutting out this particular treat.
Now, that’s sweet. Do a little detective work, yourself, you might be amazed by the bandits you uncover.
P.S. Since typing this post, I’ve gotten a chance to try Starbuck’s Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte – AMAZING! The “Tall” only has 90 calories. Starbucks – I love you.