My mom taught me that dessert was never to be eaten before a meal. Sweets served as a reward for eating broccoli and turnips. :-p
Surprisingly, I adopted her philosophy without much fuss. As long I knew there'd be dessert, the veggies went down easily!
There was, however, one exception to this rule.
Occasionally Mom would buy Hostess cream-filled cupcakes and sneak them into my lunch box.
These cupcakes were, in my opinion, the treat of all treats.
Come lunch time, my survival of the fittest instinct would kick in, and you better believe that cupcake was devoured before I touched my tuna fish on whole wheat (sans mayo) sandwich!
I'd almost forgotten about those cupcakes. Almost.
Last week, Katie decided to forgo a traditional cake on her birthday and instead indulge in a traditional Hostess cupcake. When I saw the picture documentation--and the look of elation on her face--I knew it was time to bring Hostess back.
But this time I was determined make Hostess homemade and healthy.
I'm really glad I snapped the above pictures before I attempted to transport my cupcakes to my friend James's birthday party.
Because after sitting in the car all day (gym + babysitting + class), they looked like this:
Fortunately, the birthday boy still enjoyed his cupcake (x3!). And that's all that matters, right?
*Homemade Hostess Cupcakes* <--- click for recipe!
While posting pictures of James, I began reminiscing about our college days together. He was my go-to date for sorority formals and semi--formals.
James was also my go-to loony face partner in crime. (And still is!)
IS SUGAR TOXIC?
The same day my homemade Hostess cupcakes made their messy debut, my good friend, Elaina (the gorgeous gal in the above picture) sent me a New York Times article titled, Is Sugar Toxic? (You can read the article here).
Toxic is a strong word with strong implications, even though it seems to be thrown around pretty lightly lately. For the purposes of physical health, a toxin is a poisonous substance that has an ill effect on the body. We all know that sugar is a source of empty calories and is said to promote cavities, but is it toxic?
In excess, maybe. But isn't every substance potentially toxic if too much is consumed?
Humans have been consuming sugar for eternity. It's found naturally in fruits and vegetables! It's found in breast milk! Is a substance that's naturally created by our own bodies to nourish growing babies really bad for us? Is a substance that humans have been consuming since creation harming our bodies? If sugar was created to taste good, how could it be a poison?
One could argue that artificial sweeteners taste "good" too...And we all know about the negative connotations surrounding those. But artificial sweeteners were created by humans. They are not natural.
Sugar is a natural substance meant to be consumed. Most living creatures rely on it in some form, as it serves as a source of energy for our bodies.
Honestly, I think the author's allegations and assertations are unfounded. Human problems associated with sugar don't lie in the chemical equation of the substance itself, but in the excessive amount consumed.
This article frightens me. Not because it has changed my opinion about sugar, but because I believe it will cause many readers to run to the store for Sweet n' Low (or other artificial sweeteners). Those who buy into the belief that sugar is evil, will banish it from their cupboards, feel deprived, and end up binging on it later.
I am going to repeat the cliche mantra that we all know so well: Anything (natural) in moderation. Including sugar. Especially that which is found in homemade cupcakes. ;-)
***QUESTIONS FOR TODAY***
What is your opinion about sugar? Do you try to avoid it? What's your sweetener of choice?
In keeping wth the reminiscing theme...
What was your favorite childhood lunch box treat?
You already know my answer, but in addition to Hostess cupcakes, I loved the following treats:
Fruit By The Foot fruit roll-ups
Ritz Bitz sandwich crackers ( both cheese and peanut butter flavors)