Sunday, January 29, 2012

Diet Soda Desserts!

We attended not one, not two, but three birthdays this weekend. That's a lot of cake and cupcakes to account for, which is not the best excuse when you're trying to stay healthy. Fortunately, one of my friends loves diet soda as much as I do and actually made a low-calorie birthday cake using Diet Sierra Mist. And let me tell ya - it was dee-lish! So here's my deal: when it comes to candy, I'm a chocoholic. When it comes to cake or milkshakes, I prefer vanilla and or fruit-flavored. So a white cake with whipped cream and strawberries made with diet soda? Hello heaven!

Here's the recipe she used, courtesy of sparkpeople. You better believe I will be whipping this up sometime very, very soon.

White Cake w/ Strawberries (Diet Soda Cake)

Minutes to Prepare: 10
Minutes to Cook: 30
Number of Servings: 15

1 pkg White Cake Mix
1 can Diet Sierra Mist
Cool Whip Sugar Free (or light cool whip)
Fresh Strawberries (sliced)

1. Mix together cake mix and sierra mist.
2. Coat 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
3. Pour cake mix into pan.
4. Bake at 350* for 25-35 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
5. Let cake cool completely.
6. Top with whipped cream and strawberries.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Best of 2011?

Wow. I thought I was pretty "in the know" when it comes to the world of diet drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks, but in looking at BevNet's "Best of 2011" list, it seems there are a lot of new products I need to check out.

Both big and small companies had representatives among the winners. The "product of the year" award went to ZICO Chocolate flavored Coconut Water, while Monster Rehab took "best energy drink" honors. Mamma Chia won the "best non-carbonated beverage" category and "best social or interactive marketing" went to Coca-Cola Freestyle, the on-site soda delivery system that allows consumers to build custom tailored beverages. A few of the unfamiliar? Deluxe Honeydrop, Greater Than and Aloe Gloe. Looks like I've got some taste tests to do soon!

So it seems 2011 was another good year for beverages. What types of products would you like to see more of in 2012?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A glam can

Diet Coke has done it again! The beverage brand just keeps rolling out new high-fashion cans that I covet, because yes, I like shiny, cool things. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like these will be available in the US. The new cans were unveiled earlier this month in the UK as part of the product's "Love it Light" campaign and will be rolled out in seven European countries in the coming weeks. The campaign also includes new ads and a Facebook app that apparently helps female consumers ‘get glam.’

Sooo, if any of my readers are in Europe or UK, feel free to send me a can, strictly for research purposes! Seriously, though, how cool is that houndstooth can? J'adore! The new ads are pretty adorable as well. Check it out!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Simple steps to stay on track in the New Year

Bleh. Ate too many chicken wings and tater tots this weekend thanks to playoff games and birthday parties. But it's all good. I've been hitting the gym and eating healthy other than these "special" occasions. And I just came across some great advice in this article. Should help to keep me on that healthier path.

1) Take small bites: We don’t mean to literally take smaller bites; we mean start slow and simple when going for a lifestyle change. The whole idea of changing your entire diet is unrealistic. If you want to change the way you eat, change your breakfast – start with one thing, because it’s feasible and more often than not, if you change your breakfast, you’ll feel differently at lunch and make a healthier choice then. If you push too hard or make it extreme and different from your regular life, then you won’t continue it. So go slow and take small bites.

2) Make it fit: If the idea of getting up an hour early to go for a run or head to the gym makes you cringe now, you likely won’t actually get up and go when the alarm is blaring at 5am. Make your goals fit in with your lifestyle. If you don’t like waking up early then then try to tackle your workout after work. Buy free-weights and use them and do a few sets of crunches while you watch your favorite TV show if you can’t get the gym. Make working out a group activity. Go for a brisk walk with your friends or children.

3) Give it three weeks: Don’t buy a gym membership or start a crash diet thinking that after a week, you’ll have lost 10 pounds and gained a brand new set of abs. That’s just not how it happens. Wellness doesn’t happen overnight, lifestyle is something that is created. Habits get ingrained over 21 days, so you have to give something at least three weeks to stick.

Hmmm...simple steps to live by. I think I can handle it!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dreaming of a vacation...already

I know, I know. I'm awful. It's been two full weeks since I've updated this blog. But in my defense, 2012 has been pretty insane so far. From holiday travel to moving into a new home, long hours at the office to furniture shopping, I've barely had any downtime. By the way, are any of you interior decorators? If so, holla! I'm at my whit's end trying to figure out what paint colors would work best, what pieces of art should go on the wall, what type of mattress is ideal for back support and where to find a sofa that is stylish yet comfortable. Who knew these decisions would be so difficult?!

Fortunately, life seems to be slowing down a bit, which is much needed, as far as my sanity is concerned. And thanks to the upcoming three-day weekend, I'll have a little more time to get my chores done. Other things we'll be doing this weekend? Hosting a little playoffs gathering so our buddies can check out the new pad. I've already got a bunch of Trader Joe's snacks, light beer, Diet Sunkist, Diet Coke and Fresca Black Cherry Citrus soda on-hand for the masses.

Anyway, I promise to be better about posting in the weeks to come, umkay? That's my resolution to all of you, dear readers. On a different note, since Martin Luther King Day is Monday, I'm attaching a video clip of the Reverend's famous "I have a Dream" speech from 1963. May his words continue to inspire generations of people worldwide.