Monday, 17 May 2010

Saccharin and Soup

Oh dear. I am officially a hypocrite. And I hate hypocrisy, which makes me one up from a hypocrite, whatever that might be.

I regularly preach to anyone who'll listen (so Daniel, really, though I'm never sure if he's actually listening or not) about the sins of 'diet' food. I don't see any reason to need 'extra super light margarine' on a sandwich every day, or a huge dollop of 'almost-no-fat mayonnaise' on a delicious salad three times a week; not when you could have real butter and real mayonnaise every now and then, thus avoiding all of the artificial rubbish that is piled into these 'diet' products in order for them to taste enough like their chubby counterparts, as well as dodging the dangerous mindset that these super-light equivalents are actually good for you.

The greatest of all these evils, in my eyes, is artificial sweetener. Apart from all of the nasty consequences is provides in later life, it's just....eurrrgh. I love love love Ribena, but I drink it with the awareness that it's packed with sugar, and so only have it a couple of times a week. Until now! A while back I had a niggling virus that woulnd't go away, and I was advised by a nurse to sip on water all day long. Well...I don't really like drinking water. I always always have three pints a day, but sipping it all day long simply isn't an option, so I hit the corner shop for some squash. Of course, they only had bright orange or purple stuff packed with every unnatural nasty under the sun. Just this once I sighed, and bought a bottle in the least vivid shade I could find.

The good news is that over these months I've started drinking loads more drinks that aren't tea. The bad news is that most of this has involved sweetners. On my weekly shopping trip I stopped by the squash aisle for some more Ribena...but there was an offer on the 'extra light' variety. I checked the ingredients; yep, packed with everything I hate. I put it in my trolley anyway, where it sat peering up at me as I continued my shop. I hesitated to take it out of there a few times, but never did. Now it sits, evil red eyes glowing in the corner of my kitchen, daring me to open it. I taste just as good as the sugar-packed variety it whispers. We'll see, if I ever manage to peel back the foil and test it out. But I'm hereby promising myself, in full view of the blogosphere, that this is my last bottle of such evil. Give me rotting teeth and a bulging waistline over the evils of aspartame any day....these consequences can at least be detected and reversed!

Now for an update on my Sunday Soup! This week: carrot, ginger and lentil (yep, them lentils once again!), inspired by a recipe given to me by my friend Annika :-)

1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 sticks celery
5 carrots
2 inch/cube ginger
120g red lentils, washed
1 litre veggie stock

Normal soup techniques apply here! Fry veggies and add lentils and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes then blend up a storm!

(Ok, so it looks exactly the same as all of my other soups! But this photo also shows my delicious homemade spelt loaf!)

Now I'm heading off to challenge Daniel at badminton!


  1. Give me the full sugar variety of drinks any day over the sweetner stuff. I'm with you on that one.
    Lisa x

  2. I don't like artificial additives - I've always preferred to just have real sugar.

    I guess being hypocritical about your dislike of hypocrisy makes you a meta-hypocrite (in the nicest possible way!) ;)

  3. Meta-hypocrite....eeek that sounds bad! Definitely no more pretend sugars for me!!! ;-)

  4. ahhhh i'm so guilty of this too.
    but somehow {water just doesn't cut it 100% of the time} and i feel so much better drinking a diet drink than one jam packed with calories.
    so i totally understand you.. its quite the predicament!!

    and holy cow THAT BREAD LOOKS INCREDIBLE. and it was the first thing i looked at.. which proves my belief that carbs are all i think about. haha.
    but that soup looks equally delicious! and not to hard to make! YUM!!

  5. Catherine, good for you for trying to be healthy!
    That's all I can say because I'm guilty of using artificial sweeteners. It's just that...I've tried honey and such but there are so many calories, and I can't do without treats, and it's kind of a bad cycle but I tell myself no one is perfect, right?

    And also, thanks so much for your thoughts on the book. I totally agree- and I think since I just finished the book, I'll write a bit more about it, because there was a lot I didn't completely agree with, and am not planning to adhere to, and don't want to give anyone a false impression.
    French women probably don't use Splenda! ha ha (hey, maybe that's a good title!)

    Have a great little Tuesday!

  6. Hi Becca! Yeah, that's how I see it too, everything in moderation! However I get annoyed with myself because I *used to* just have one glass of sugary fun a day, or even every couple of days, and that was fine!! I never needed any more sweet drinks! But for the past couple of months I've got into the mindset of 'ah well, it tastes better than water' and it's almost as if I need the sweetness now! So addictive!

    But until two years ago I always had a spoon of sugar in my tea, and now the thought of sweet tea is just gross - so water *might* be appealing to me again some day, if I ever manage to wean myself off the sweetness!

    And I really look forward to reading your thoughts on the book! :-)

  7. Well, as you know fizzy water is the more popular choice in Germany! No artificial sweeteners but not as boring as tap water :-)
    Anyway, I'll try the soup-variety soon!
    Lot's of love,

  8. Oh Annika you're so right - is there anything more refreshing than sparkling water and a slice of lemon on a sunny day!? Shame it's so expensive here!

    The lentils work well - turning a lunchtime soup into a teatime soup!

    Lots of love :-)