My neighbors in Mason probably think I’m crazy. Many of them saw me running though the neighborhood the other day with my Blackberry in hand. No, I wasn’t trying to keep up with emails, texts or phone calls…I was taking pictures…of their recycling bins. Now you think I’m crazy, too.
But hold on a minute…I’m using the pictures as a means to educate! Today is the first in my series about the specific foods we’re eating. And drinking. So just how are we doing? As you might expect, some good, some bad. I’m guessing you know which ones are good and which ones are bad…
Since liquid calories seem to be one of the biggest struggles we face in losing or managing our weight, let’s start here. This recycling bin is loaded with material for our first “discussion”. Let’s first try to be fair and see a silver lining here. I see two water bottles…and…ah, er…oh, then there’s “light beer” cans and a Michelob Ultra bottle. Um, that’s all I can come up with!
Weighing in on the calories we find that Bud Light has 110 calories/12 oz; Coors Light has 102 calories/12 oz, Michelob Ultra has 95 calories/12 oz. All of these “lighter” versions save you from 35-60 calories per can, a good thing if you’re going for volume, but if the added flavor of the full octane version would have you drinking less, that’s certainly a better calorie option.
We have all heard the stories about the empty calories in soda pop and the spoonfuls of sugar, so I won’t go too much into that except to say that I spied Mountain Dew and Coke cans in this bin. Coke has less calories, 140/12 oz vs. 170/12 oz when compared to Mountain Dew, and Dew has more caffeine, 54 mg vs. 35 mg. For comparison, a cup of instant coffee has about 57 mg of caffeine. On a few fronts, Coke is the “better” option.
Finally, do you see what I see in the upper right – it’s the familiar Starbucks green logo on top of a bottle that used to contain their calorie loaded Frappacino drink. For 12 ounces, you’d get a whopping 255 calories! And be aware that a visit to Starbucks for a simple hot chocolate or coffee drink could land you in calorie heaven, with some of the beverages topping out over 400 calories. You can go to the Starbucks website to check out the calories (and fat) in your favorite beverage – and then you might need to check your waist at the door!
Hopefully this information will help you make better calorie choices when it comes to liquid refreshments. Water with lemon, iced tea and even fruit juice (but watch the calories) are better choices than alcohol, soda pop and even “vitamin water”, which is most times laden with fake sugars. Go natural (without additives) and as close to the “real” sources as possible.
Come back soon for the next installment and we’ll check out some food items. Until then, beware of the woman running around with a Blackberry in your neighborhood!