Drop the Spoon and Step Away From the Sugar

Agave in the Raw There's sugar (or it's evil cousin high fructose corn syrup) in just about everything you buy in a store. It's amazing how much sugar you see yourself taking in once you start to pay attention.

I've been trying hard to fight the sugar beast. I've (almost) completely cut out soda and have cut way back on drinks like store-bought iced tea. This wasn't difficult – I 've always loved drinking water, now I just drink more. The hard part is that sugar in my morning/late morning/early afternoon coffee. Even if I use just a half-teaspoon or less, it really adds up. Artificial sweeteners are a no-go.

So now I'm trying sugar replacements like Truvia and Agave in the Raw. Truvia (made form the Stevia plant) is a great substitute – but can get really pricey (I'd rather spend the extra  bucks on some good K-cups!). A friend turned me on to Agave in the raw as a sugar substitute. It's thick, so you can use it in place of honey (great in hot tea) or syrup (on waffles). It's also great for baking. But I actually like it in coffee. I'm particularly found fo a darker roast, which can be bitter, and the Agave cuts right through it, almost mellows it out. The best part is you don't need a lot – just a real quick squirt from the bottle and you're good to go.

I haven't compared the calories, so I'm not sure if I'm cutting off my nose to spite my face, but hey, one thing at a time.

The 2012 Mummers Parade

It was a beauty of a day on Broad Street where we watched the 2012 Mummers Parade. The sun was out and it was a balmy 50-something degrees. It was also a great day for people watching – everyone was in 'fine form' due to weather and the fact that mostly everyone had off the next day.We stuck around until around 5pm. Finding a place to eat near Broad was next to impossible and as it got dark, the crowd started to change to a more drunken/aggressive variety.

Parade Watcher Pro-Tip: If you're watching the parade on Broad anywhere near Spruce, head to the Kimmel Center – they open their doors to the public and have live performances and plenty to eat. And lots of clean bathrooms, which are hard to find on parade day. You can also go upstairs and check out the parade from the second and third floors (great if the weather is bad or if you've got a kid or three in tow).

Camera: iPhone 4s | Processed with Snapseed App (top photo only)  and iPhoto (remaining photos)

A Clean Slate

Clean Slate Calendar A brand new year.  Another opportunity to fix things and to make things better. An opportunity to change your life, your surroundings, your view.

Or, another opportunity to completely fuck things up.

Either way, the choice is yours.

Happy New Year!

Camera: iPhone 4s / Color corrected in Photoshop CS5

A Bowl of Pho on a Cold Day

There's nothing better than a giant bowl of Pho on a cold day. This is from Pho Palace in Northeast Philadelphia. The Far Northeast is not known for its diverse food scene and up until recently there was no place to go in this area for food like this. Pho Palace and a few others that have just opened are thankfully filling that gap.

Camera: iPhone 4s / Post processing: Snapseed App