Many people turn to artificial sweeteners as a way to get healthier or lose weight, but I think this is a huge mistake. For one, it goes against my philosophy of eating whole foods as close to their natural state as possible and avoiding chemical, man-made ingredients, fillers, and add-ins. In addition, no matter what you think about the safety of artificial sweeteners, they send the wrong message about the way we should eat. What I mean by that is, when you turn to an artificial sweetener to "save calories" what you're really doing is continuing to operate within the same frame of mind as before, rather than changing it. You're perpetuating a diet that emphasizes sweet. What really needs to happen is to change your diet to contain less sugar and allow your taste buds to adjust. This does take some time (a couple weeks), but the result is a wholesome diet without being tied down by a sugar obsession. One area I used to be dependent on artificial sweeteners was my yogurt. I always bought the low-calorie, artificially sweetened brands. Giving them up was a struggle because I just didn't see how I could eat yogurt without them. However, once I really got serious and dedicated, I was able to make the switch and I haven't looked back since. Now, I buy bulk tubs of plain yogurt instead. It's much cheaper than individual containers and I can flavor it however I like. Frozen berries and other fruits are a great option, but when I want to make my yogurt my whole breakfast, I use the recipe below.
1 cup organic plain yogurt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 apple, chopped
1/4 cup homemade granola or your favorite whole grain cereal
1. Measure yogurt and mix with cinnamon in bowl.
2. Mix in chopped apple.
3. Add homemade granola on top.