Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Crystal Light & Ritter Sport Chocolate

Sometimes I get really obsessed with something for a while, then I completely forget about it.  It's very weird but it happens to me all the time.  Crystal Light is one of them.  Last summer I was seriously obsessed.  I tried pretty much every single flavor out there, and I would even carry the packets around with me "just in case".  It really helped me drink lots of water.  For those that aren't familiar with this product, it's basically powdered flavor packets that you put in your water.  It's sugar free, fat free and has only 10 calories per packet (I usually only use half of the packet for a 16 oz glass of water).  The flavors are great and there's a whole lot of variety. You can get them at any grocery store.

My nutritionist told me to drink lots of water - 3 liters a day to be precise.  Now that is a lot of water!!  The daily recommended water intake for an average person is 64 oz and most people don't even drink anywhere close to that.  3 liters = about 105 oz!  So when I first started doing it, it was hard!  But putting Crystal Light into my water helped me drink easier because of the nice flavor.  Like I said, I've pretty much tried all of them, and the Green Tea Raspberry as pictured above is my absolute favorite.  But all their flavors are good actually, it really just depends on your mood.  I have about 5 different flavors sitting in my kitchen cabinets.  

So Crystal Light is pretty much made of the same stuff as Splenda, which is my nutritionist's #1 recommended sweetener.  I've read about the differences between different artificial sweeteners and they are very interesting, me thinks - I'm a nerd sometimes.  For example, Splenda is made of Sucralose which is a blend of sugar molecules and chlorine (doesn't sound nice), and is 600 times sweeter than natural sugar.  Sweet n' Low, which used to be my favorite, is made from Saccharin - a product from the reaction between sulfur dioxide, chlorine, ammonia, and 2 biochemical acids, and is about 300-500 times sweeter than sugar.  It's known to cause cancer in rats but not in humans.  Finally, Equal, or Nutrasweet, are both made of Aspartame which is combination of two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine.  This sweetener is found in diet sodas.  It's 180 times sweeter than sugar, but some people with the genetic disease called phenylketonuria (PKU) can't process phenylalanine. 

Ok back from nerdland.  After my body got used to drinking 3 liters of water a day, I didn't need Crystal Light anymore.  Plus I know it's not good to use it so much since there are chemicals in it.  Although Splenda has no known side effects, it also hasn't been around long enough for us to really know.  Better be on the safe side!  So I stopped using it for months and completely forgot about it.  Recently I re-discovered it in my cabinet and remembered how much I love putting it in my water and having it with dinner.  It's kind of like my dessert!  It really takes care of my sugar cravings at night when I KNOW I should NOT be having it!!  So I'm back on the Crystal Light bandwagon.  But in moderation!

By the way, I also use Crystal Light packets with my alcoholic beverages.  I hate drinking my calories because I rather eat a cake.  And most of the calories in drinks come from the mixers.  So what I always do now is I order a shot of vodka in a glass of iced water.  Then I mix in some Crystal Light and voila!  It takes SO good and only 50 calories from the shot and that's it!  People do look at me weird until they try it and agree with me!  Plus there's no hang over factor since hang overs come from the sugar, not alcohol itself.  I find that the Wild Strawberry flavor is best to mix with alcohol.  It would be a little weird to mix alcohol with tea flavors.

So I must go from my "healthy" food to a less healthy snack now.  It's the Ritter Sport chocolate!  I've recently discovered them at Trader Joe's, and I love love love it!!  Trader Joe's only has the dark chocolate hazelnut flavor and the butter biscuit, which is just amazing.  Basically just butter biscuit covered in milk chocolate.  Sweet, crunchy, yummy.  I can get the packet and finish it in less than 5 minutes.  That's almost 500 calories!  Sad face.

The Ralphs market by my work has a few more flavors, so I was able to get the white chocolate hazelnut one, which is amazingly good too.  I've always been a big fan of white chocolate.  It has whole hazelnuts and rice crisps in it.  OMG heaven.

By visiting Ritter Sport's website, I see that they have TONS of other flavors too! Like the cappuccino flavor, praline, and yogurt - those are the top 3 I want to try.  But where do I find them???  Trader's only has 2 flavors and Ralphs has about 5 or 6 but not those ones.  Must find them!!!

These are so addicting.  They are quite expensive too - the little square costs $3-4.  But yummy.  I will now be on the hunt for those other flavors.  I guess having Crystal Light and chocolate is really counter productive.  This is probably why I've been trying to lose 5 pounds forever.  Oooo well, what can I say.....

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