September 28, 2011

Date night

Jerry and I actually did end up going out last night. We went to dinner at Red Lobster (I've been craving that for a looong time). It was such a strange experience, because I actually felt like a normal person in a restaurant. Usually, I'm either dieting or bingeing due to my all-or-nothing mentality. I eat like a horse or I eat like a bird.

Last night, I decided to just eat normally without putting too much thought into it. I knew I didn't want to leave the restaurant feeling stuffed, like I have in the past, so I kept that in mind. I ordered what sounded the best to me--shrimp scampi and shrimp linguine alfredo. Instead of getting a heavy side (because I didn't want to feel super full) I got broccoli. When I ordered my shrimp, the waitress said, "If you get the all-you-can-eat shrimp, it's $1 cheaper."

Oh, come on, now!

So I thought for a second and then said sure--not because I wanted to pig out, but because I know that the all-you-can-eat portions are usually smaller. And of course I'm going to get the one that's cheaper!  I ate half of my caesar salad and one biscuit (in the past, I would've eaten the whole salad and a whole basket of biscuits, with an appetizer, followed by a huge plate of food, and dessert). I ate my meal slowly, and I stopped before I was stuffed. I ate all of the linguine (about 1 cup) and all but 4 of the shrimp scampi (probably 8 shrimp); and a few pieces of broccoli. I was full, but not uncomfortably so.

I went home feeling so GOOD about the whole experience--which to a normal person, probably sounds ridiculous. I actually made decisions based on how my body would feel with it; that is some good progress! Like I've mentioned before, we very rarely go out to eat, so I haven't had much experience eating out since losing the weight.

Anyway, today I got a package in the mail! About a week ago, NuNaturals contacted me and asked if I wanted to try out some of their stevia products (no strings attached). I know that a lot of bloggers get free stuff from companies hoping to promote their products, but this was a first for me. I'd only tried stevia once, years ago, and wasn't crazy about it. It's pretty expensive, so I didn't buy any after that. But to try it out for free? Sure! As long as I get to write my HONEST opinion about it on my blog, I'll try pretty much anything.

They sent me way more than a sample...
All those products plus a ton of recipes. I was excited to try it out right away. I found a recipe for chocolate peanut butter cookies (you all know my love affair with cookies, and chocolate + peanut butter? yes please!)  The best part is that the recipe only made 6 small cookies, so I wouldn't be eating a whole batch ;)

The recipe called for 1/4 cup of the baking blend, which apparently measures the same way you'd measure sugar, (plus flour, peanut butter, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, egg white).

I was on the phone with my mom, so I got distracted and forgot to taste the dough (doh!!)  ;)

Jerry was here and willing to try the cookies as well. I definitely tasted the stevia (which, no matter what anyone says, does not taste the same as sugar) but I actually really liked the cookies. The stevia was most pronounced in the first two bites or so, but after that (I ate two of the cookies) I quit thinking about the stevia and just enjoyed the cookie.

Jerry said, "It tastes kind of healthy. But I like it." and then a few minutes later, "Yeah, I like these a lot!" My kids came home and each ate one, and they liked them--which really surprised me. Every time I make "healthy" treats, my kids sense it and tell me it's gross. I kept waiting for them to say, "Eww, what's in these cookies?" but they just asked for another. I think maybe I'm just hyper sensitive to the taste of sugar substitutes. I've never liked Splenda or any of the artificial sweeteners. I'm definitely going to try out some more of the recipes with the stevia, though.

Have you tried stevia? What do you think of it?


  1. I think you've hit the big time in the blog world if companies are sending you products, and asking for reviews. WOW! You go girl! I knew your blog was great, now it's been verified. I use Splenda all the time, yeah, it's not as good as sugar, but it's better than nothing and 0 calories as compared to many, many calories in sugar.

    I was at Red Logbwster last thur. night. Everyone at the table except for me and my son had the all you can eat shrimp. I had Parmesan crusted tilapia, no cheesy biscuits, salad with low fat vinaigrette and broccoli, and, oh I forgot, half a baked potato with about a pat of butter. And I was rewarded this morning with about a 4-lb. weight gain. Hope that doesn't happen to you. But then I know you--You'll just run it off! GO KATIE!!!

  2. I've never tried it but I've wondered about it. My youngest son has PKU so he can't have any aspartame but he doesn't like Splenda so I've been looking for healthy alternatives to plain sugar. I've also heard of agave nectar being a good substitute, but again it's expensive. Enjoy your samples and the cookies!

  3. It's nice to not feel neurotic about food (one way or another) at restaurants. I definitely want to maintain that balance!

    And good job on only eating one of those biscuits. I'm not a huge Red Lobster fan, but those biscuits are to die for.

  4. I use any and all sugar substitutes and don't notice a difference. I will take any substitute over not having something, like frozen yogurt over ice cream or reduced fat crackers over full fat. My husband is ok with a few substitutes, but won't put up with most, like skim milk! If I bake or cook something the "light" way he won't say anything, but I know he's thinking "God, I wish I could just have some BUTTER!"

  5. I hate stevia! I can't stand the stuff. I can definitely taste it in everything. That's why I can't drink the vitamin water. It's really gross. I recently just tried truvia and I like it. Major congrats on Red Lobster! The biscuits there are to die for, can't believe you had enough will power to eat one. :)

  6. I read somewhere that Stevia tastes different to different people. Some people are supertasters and others are undertasters - it has something to do with the number of taste buds on your tongue. Mix some Stevia with a bit of water, does it taste sweet, or bitter? If it tastes bitter (or chemical-like) you are a supertaster.
    I can't seem to remember where I read this but I always remember it when I think of Stevia.

  7. Those cookies look awesome! I love going to restaurants now because I have a system! My husband is so much bigger than me and needs quite a bit of food to feel full, so I end up eating half of my meal and give the rest to the hubster. He gets full, I don't get fat! Win win!

  8. I actually haven't tried stevia! I may just have to look for some soon :)

  9. I've tried stevia in coffee and tea and I like it alot better that other sweeteners. I think its so healthy of you to pay attention to how full you are feeling when you are at a restaurant. I'ts really hard for me to do that because restaurant portions are usually too much. When it's right in front of me and I'm with a friend I tend to just eat it all! So I opt to eat out as little as possible.

  10. I've tried Stevia once and it tastes bitter to me. I like Splenda, but I don't cook with it because it has a bit of an aftertaste. Plus, it "melts" so fast in liquid that it can turn out weird. I've never tried the baking blend, so maybe it doesn't act the same. When I bake, I usually stick to simple tricks like reducing the sugar or subbing applesauce.

  11. I can always taste when there's a sugar substitute in something...can't stand it! I'd rather have the real thing, or do without! Great job at Red Lobster!

  12. Yay, I'm so happy that you not only went out for your date night and that it went so well! Not overeating at a restaurant is really hard and you should be really proud of yourself! I have not used splenda because it is so expensive but the cookies you made look yummy so I might buy some!

  13. I love Red Lobster, haven't had it in forever. Way to go on eating like a "normal" person. I always go when I am "off" my diet & leave feeling like crap. We love NuStevia! That is all we use as a family. I buy it in this huge bag from I think it is about $50 & we have to order about 3x a year.
    Deb N.


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