Tuesday, March 12, 2013


New York City Mayor Bloomberg's so-called soda ban has made headlines over the last year or so, and came to a head this week when a judge dropped the kibosh on the new law.

In reality the legislation is not actually a ban on soda, it is a ban on the size of the beverage container. Certain stores and restaurants may not sell a sugary beverage that is 16 ounces or larger. The issue is really about how much sugar is in each ounce of the beverage. When you look at what is recommended for our diets, vs. what is in an 8 ounce soda, it is a wonder people can drink 16 ounces of soda and still live. The average soda in the average deli has 40 grams of sugar in one serving. That is already double the recommended daily amount of added sugar, per day for an adult female (20 grams or 5 teaspoons). For men it is slightly more (9 teaspoons, or 36 grams) . So if an 8 ounce can of soda puts you over your limit for two days, a 16 ounce soda is enough added sugar to last you most of the week. Drink one of these a few times a week and you're already on your way to moving the needle on the scale.

A lot of opinions have been given on whether this ban is good for New Yorkers, ineffective for controlling obesity, bad for businesses, or just plain overstepping boundaries. News outlets have looked at this issue from different perspectives. I've even seen beverage delivery trucks with signs painted on suggesting that our freedom is being encroached upon.

However, for me, this is a none-issue. As someone who is trying to be frugal, I generally make an effort not to buy beverages at all! With my lunch, if I'm thirsty I drink water. At home we do purchase bottled juice from the supermarket but try to stick with the cheapest ones. And then I water them down for myself as they are bit too sweet for me. At restaurants, mostly we stick to water. This is good for my wallet, and good for my waistline. Oh yes, and my kidneys too!


Friday, March 8, 2013

Yes Takeout!

Well, actually, still no takeout. But now we can eat out! And we did. . .and it wasn't that great.

Last weekend I finished a 28 day challenge of no prepared foods from outside our home. It was difficult and I was often frustrated. However, now that it's over, I don't really want to stop. We would like to go out to eat for special occasions or for a date night. However, we will not be just ordering food because we don't feel like cooking.

On Saturday night we had the pleasure of attending an amateur production of a mystery play at a really progressive church in Manhattan. We had an awesome time. Afterward we went to J0e's Shanghai on 56th street. The food was reasonable. The price was not. I understand it is the city and rents are high. However, the food was no better than (maybe not even as good as) the food from the takeout place around our neighborhood with just two tables and four chairs and a flypaper hanging from the ceiling! Maybe it's our fault and we should have tried something we never had before. I had chow mei fun and my husband had sweet and sour chicken. Both tasted okay. But just okay. Okay like I could have made this if I bothered to buy all the ingredients and worked at it while listening to the Knicks game on the radio. No offense Joe. It wasn't bad. It was okay.

Last night we resisted ordering Chinese. Instead I made pancakes, turkey bacon, and eggs. We put it away in front of a movie from the library. Such a delicious penny pinching moment!