I’m a fan of Chick-fil-a — specifically Chick-fil-a Diet Lemonade. I can drink a gallon of it in a little over a day. It’s the only diet drink I’ll have because, as a rule, I hate artificial sweeteners. They just don’t taste right. But, on the other hand, I have this issue with sugar — I love it! It is a one-sided love (as love often is). I’m trying to figure out a way to cut the sugar, avoid sweeteners and still satisfy my sweet tooth.
Honestly, I was shocked when I realized that Chick-fil-a Diet Lemonade is made with Splenda. I thought I despised Splenda. You can’t taste it, everyone says. Uh, yeah, you can and it tastes disgusting. But, somehow, some way, the geniuses at Chick-fil-a took the disgusting out of Splenda before adding it to their lemonade. Impressive.
And, in full disclosure, I would be chugging down the Splenda-laden Chick-fil-a brew this moment if it wasn’t almost $9 a gallon. I’m trying to keep my Latte Factor in check and 30 bucks a week for lemonade is ridiculous no matter how delicious it may be.
So I googled lemonade recipes and my old friend Paula (Deen, that is) popped up. Two cups of fresh squeezed lemon juice, two cups of sugar (that’s my girl!) and enough cold water to fill a gallon pitcher. Easy enough, but two cups of sugar is a problem. I bought Z a box of Truvia packets for his coffee. He hasn’t touched it, but he has been through half a bag of sugar since he’s been home (that’s my boy!). I calculated that 24 packets would be the equivalent of about two cups of sugar. The first batch turned out pretty good, so I decided to make a second.
A three pound bag of lemons at Sam’s Club is $3.98. A gallon of lemonade requires the entire bag. The price for more Truvia was a bit bothersome at $7 for four ounces, but I shelled out for it anyway. The cost of my lemonade comes out to about $6.35 a gallon. So that’s a savings of $2.65. I won’t be able to buy a beachfront property off of my savings, but at least I can cough up the change for more lemons.
On a side note, the Truvia packaging made me pause before I dumped a heaping cup into my lemonade pitcher. It was a little too sunny about being all natural and free of side effects. Supposedly Truvia isn’t as potentially detrimental as Splenda, Equal and Sweet n’ Low. After watching Food, Inc and reading Micheal Pollan last summer, I’ve been trying to be more mindful about the food I consume. So I know that any time you have to make a statement about being free of side effects, things get a little suspicious. One Google search unveils a ton from the natural food conspiracy theorists about the origins and not-so-great attributes of Truvia. Turns out that Truvia was developed with the help of Coca-Cola. And everybody knows that that mass consumption of Diet Coke is responsible for every social malady from misbehaving children to voting Republican (threw that one in there for my fantastic Diet Coke swigging, Republican voting husband). I don’t drink Diet Coke. I drink real Coke. If it’s good enough for car batteries, it’s good enough for me (but don’t tell Michael Pollan).
So I remain conflicted. Stick with sorta-natural, really cheap sugar or go over to the dark side with it’s expensive and somewhat funny tasting artificial sweeteners? I think it will all be settled in the next day or so. For the past few nights, my skin has itched like mad. No, I don’t have a rash, nor any bug bites. And, yet, I’ve been going insane with the creepy-crawlies. As I laid awake in bed scratching my ankles, my forearms, my head, my stomach, I couldn’t figure out what was causing the incessant itching.
And tonight I read that one of the main side effects of Truvia is an allergic reaction that causes itching. Score one for sugar.