Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Let's Learn to Substitute!!

Bev inspired me yesterday when she said she had a craving for Hot Chocolate, but didn't like the Sugar Free hot chocolate packets so she was going to crochet instead. It is great that she found an alternative to stay away from the sugar.  But I know those feelings. As much as you try to suppress them,you still think about it and want.  (Sorry Bev for ratting you out!!! You inspired me though!)

My background is computer technical support.  Whenever you have a problem with your software and call into a help line....that would be me.  I know you are all wondering "Why can't you just fix the problem!"  Because all problems are different.  And when you work in technical support, if you are a good technician you will ask questions and learn to think outside the box. 


This is an incident that was related to us on how to think outside the box on a printing problem.  An office had to print all their documents in the morning by noonish or so, otherwise their printer would stop printing.  That is what they knew and what they saw and how they dealt with it.  It was very frustrating not to be able to print all day long.  Any documents they got after the 12:00 noon deadline was a hit and miss and had to wait to the next day, or go somewhere else to print.  I am sure you are like I was the first time I heard this and laughed thinking those stupid people!!  They were just doing something wrong!!! Printers cannot tell time.  No, the printer couldn't tell time, and no the people were not stupid.  How did they fix the problem?  The printer sat next to a window.  When the sun began to set in the afternoon it shined through the window, overheating the printer and so the printer would not work.  In the morning the sun did not come in that window, therefore the area was cooler than in the afternoon when the sun shined in.  They resolved this problem by simply closing the blinds a bit to take the sun away from the printer cooling down the printer and the work area.  This story is about 20 years old and technology has come along way since then.  But you understand how you need to be able to think outside the box to resolve a problem?  As crazy as it seems, while at Vanderbilt University I ran into something similar.  One of our networks would go up and down all day long.  I mentioned this story to our technician and discovered when ever anyone got on a certain service elevator the network went down. It had something I believe to do with the electricity in the air, or magnetics or something.  None the less once it was discovered what it was, problem resolved.

So when Bev said she wanted hot chocolate, I went on a mission for her to find a substitute on how she can still have hot chocolate, crochet and stick with her No Sugar No Soda Challenge.  Here is what I found!!  It came with rave reviews so I thought I would share it here as a reminder, if there is something you want, step back and see how you can have it within your guidelines.  

Years ago when I did Weight Watchers, I loved Bacon Cheeseburgers but of course they were not on the menu.  I looked at what I had to work with, and I could still have the hamburger patty, and cheese in small amount and bacon bits.  So that is how I made my Bacon Cheeseburgers.  If you have something you have been struggling with please share with us.  Maybe if we all put our heads together we can come up with a substitute for you!!!

Here is the recipe I found, I am not a hot drink person.  Years ago I burnt my throat and mouth and so I get leery of hot liquids.  I have tried, but it is very hard for me so I just don't go there any more.  Here is the recipe, I understand you can change the pudding out with different flavors so I would be interested to hear what you try and what you think if you make it.  The link to the website where I found it is at the bottom of today's blog.

Fat Free Sugar Free Hot Chocolate Mix


  • 3 cups nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 cup Splenda granular (or other sugar substitute)
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 (1 ounce) package fat-free sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix


Prep Time: 1 mins
Total Time: 2 mins
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Store in airtight container.

Add 3 Tbsps mixture to mug
Add COLD water (helps with clumping)
Heat to desired warmth

Fat Free, Sugar Free Hot Chocolate

Let me know what you all think!!!


  1. Sounds good, Laura. I'm up to trying it!

  2. Hi Laura & Everyone,
    Just checking in. So far, I've managed to stay away from sugar & soda. I had a slight craving for something sweet yesterday, but I ate an apple instead & then went for a walk. It seemed to work because I didn't feel hungry for sugar after that! Well, thanks for all the encouraging thoughts & stories! Have a great day!!!
    Wendy :o)

  3. Hiya!

    I'm Jenny-late-to-the-party. I've decided to try to stop drinking soda and sweet (ice) tea. I am trying to substitute water, kool-aid, and unsweeted ice tea. I've done good so far (only halfway through day 5). This is the only change I'm making rightr now to my diet, but the no sugar also sounds intresting, I may try that in the future. One change at a time for now.

    BTW you're stories are great!


  4. I have the mixture made and ready to try! I usually get my craving at night, so I will save it for then. I will report back and let you kow how it tastes. I KNOW it will be yummy! I appreciate you finding this recipe. I know my daughters will love it too!!

    Speaking of substitutions, here are some great ones I am going to try. I watch alot of Dr. Oz. I am such a visual person,(that's why you see so many pics on my blog) and that's what I love about Dr.Oz. He uses alot of visuals, and that makes thing more understandable to me. He was saying as we get older we need to reduce our calorie intake by 100 calories a day. Some small ways to do this are, not adding cheese to your hamburger, removing the skin from chicken and use mustard instead of mayo on your sandwich.I know DeLynda shared alot of great tips on Kathy's blog. She is living proof that it works! Oh, and a tip I just remembered, black pepper boosts your metabolism....that was news to me!

    I invite everyone to follow my blog if they want. I am just getting started but feel free to come on over! Just click on my avatar!

    (I posted your recipe on my blog before I saw yours here Laura)

  5. The hot chocolate was really good but....I should've followed the recipe and used the Splenda instead of adding the Stevia to my mug. I used too much of the sweetener and it left a bad after taste in my mouth. I will keep experimenting until I get it sugar or soda for 5!!!!

  6. Bev is Stevia a liquid or a powder? Can you still mix it in with your mix? If it is a liquid I can understand why you didn't add it. Just curious.

  7. It is a powder but I bought the individual little packets and I don't have a clue how many it would take. I used just a store brand artificial sweetener packette this morning and it was good!

  8. you just made the mixture without the sweetener and added one packet? Sounds easy enough!!! Thanks for experimenting for everyone!!!