May 22 2012

Pure Leaf Iced Tea

As a kid, my mom would make sweet iced tea by pouring sugar into a large pitcher by the cup. Some days we would down that pitcher and beg her to make another. There wasn’t an extra ounce of fat on any of us (well, maybe dad) because we’d then go outside and run around for hours until we were called back in for dinner. Good times.

About three years ago I started drinking a bottled iced tea called Lipton Pure Leaf Extra Sweet.  I liked it because of the taste, the fact that there were no added preservatives or coloring, the small jolt of caffeine (~57mg), and that it was made with sugar instead of HFCS. I had been drinking Arizona Southern Style Sweet Tea for months beforehand, but preferred the taste of Pure Leaf and the fact that it didn’t have HCFS. The only problem with the drink was that each bottle of Extra Sweet had 220 calories. Now, that might not seem like a lot (it is), but when you take into account that I can down three or four of these a day without a batting an eye, the results were unavoidable (if you overlook self-control). About 20 pounds later, I’d been revisiting the idea of dieting and looking for ways to make the necessary cuts. Then I discovered that Shopper’s Food Warehouse sells these for $1 a bottle, half the cost of the same bottle at work. *Ugh* What’s a sugar-fiend to do?

Just as everything began looking bleak and I found myself searching for new pants sizes on Amazon, Pepsico (the bottler of Lipton Pure Leaf) and Unilever (what don’t they own?) made my decision much easier. They introduced a plastic bottle. Not only do the new bottles not feel cool and wet in your hands (who doesn’t like that on a hot day?!) but the taste of the tea has changed, and not for the better. I have now tried the newly bottled Sweet and the Extra Sweet varieties and have concluded that they both suffer from the same plastic taste. Truthfully, I don’t know if this is an imagined difference or a real chemical change but at this point I don’t really care. I have found my excuse and will be looking for a lower calorie substitute (water perhaps?) so that I can squeeze into my old pants again!

Now, where is that homemade eclair

 “The second day of a diet is always easier than the first. By the second day you’re off of it.” – Jackie Gleason