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What we're eating: Diet Pop Cupcakes

One of the hardest things about changing my eating habits is not eating my emotions. You know what I’m talking about. Happy, sad, mad, lonely, bored – there’s something in our minds that tells us to eat when we're overwhelmed with feelings. 

If you're lucky enough to not struggle with emotional eating. Good for you. I'll eat my doughnuts in jealousy. 

Anyway, when emotions strike, one of three things happens: 
  • I fight the urge and try to deal with my feelings a different way – dance, call a friend, go for a run, clean the house, do a little retail therapy, when I can afford it … and sometimes when I can’t ;)
  • I try to find a healthy alternative to whatever it is I’m craving (I’ll show you one below!)
  • And sometimes, I’ll admit, I just eat whatever I want and deal with the consequences later. I really don’t recommend this option, but it happens to the best of us. 
Last week, we celebrated Kenlee’s third birthday. My emotions were all over the place. 

Sad: “Gah! My baby is a big girl.” 
Happy: “Oh my goodness, I’m so excited for her to see her present.” 
Annoyed: “She’s 3 now – why the heck can’t she poop in the toilet?!”

In addition to preparing a plain, out-of-the-box, traditional yellow cake with chocolate frosting (to share with the grandparents on the evening of her birthday), I made cupcakes for Kenlee to take to the babysitter’s house. I know, I’m a horrible mother and worked on her birthday. (My mommy guilt normally tastes like chips and salsa, but this time I abstained.) 

ANYWAY, I realize a bunch of kids don’t need low-calorie snacks, but I used this recipe because it’s super moist AND super simple. Plus, Kyle and I could enjoy a couple of the “extra” ones when they came out of the oven. Kenlee asked for strawberry cupcakes, but I’ve also seen this done with white, Funfetti or cherry chip cake mix.

Yummy strawberries!
You can see what happens when you frost them before they completely cool. Ooops!

Diet Pop Cupcakes
• 1 box cake mix (strawberry, white, Funfetti or cherry chip have worked well)

• 12 ounces of diet lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite Zero, Diet 7-Up or off-brand (This is equal to one can, but I measure out from a 2 liter because that's cheaper than buying a 12 pack of cans.)

• 1 container of fat free whipped topping (instead of frosting)

• Sliced strawberries for fun!

Directions: Line muffin tin with cupcake liners (or spray with oil if you forgot to buy the liners – like me!). Take the dry cake mix and mix it with the soda. Do NOT add any of the ingredients listed on the cake mix box! This will come out fluffy and fizzy. Spoon the batter into cupcake liners. It should be enough for approximately 16-18 cupcakes. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. Let cool. Top with whipped topping and strawberry slices. NOTE: If you don't serve immediately, freeze or refrigerate them or else the topping will melt! 

Each cupcake is worth 3 points for Weight Watchers, compared to 7 points for a store-bought cupcake with frosting!

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