Breakfast

My usual morning work routine was delayed this morning. I was groggier than usual when I awoke. I took advantage of a little extra sleep by opting for the later commuter bus.

Upon safe delivery to my employer a few hours later, I spotted my brother-in-law’s mother on the way to my desk. We chatted for a few minutes before heading off to our respective destinations. Nice chat.

Then I got wrapped up in checking out my workstation. Monday morning the hard drive failed. Yesterday morning a gentleman from support took it for repair. He was able to copy the contents of the drive to another and return my workstation late in the afternoon. This morning I doubled-checked for any missing or damaged files. All appeared to be as it should.

By then my stomach signaled hunger again, and this time I could not ignore it. I was craving a cranberry-orange scone from Barnes & Noble Café, 400+ sugar-laden calories be damned. My alternate choice was a huge cinnamon roll topped with cinnamon cream cheese icing. Probably tops out at over 500 sugar-laden calories.

Fortunately, to the benefit of my waistline and continued good health, B&N didn’t have any cranberry-orange scones, fresh-baked or otherwise. (And really, if you are going to indulge, do opt for fresh-baked and still hot. You’re welcome.) By the time I paid for my coffee I no longer wanted the scone or roll.

Ultimately, I ended up skipping breakfast altogether. Not a recommended habit, but occasionally is fine.

The peanut butter bacon cheeseburger and fries at lunch made up for the caloric deficit.

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More than a spoonful of sugar

Let’s go back two or three weeks. Maybe it was four, but surely no more than that. How long ago is of little consequence to the fascinating educational joyride you are about to embark.

I am on my way to lunch, and notice a display table in the employee cafeteria. A sign called to me: how many spoonfuls of sugar in the bottle of Sierra Mist Natural? Closest guess earns a copy of The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook. I’m a bit of a sucker for a good cookbook at no monetary expense to myself, so I’m game.

First things first. (1) What kind of spoon, and (2) how much fluid in the bottle? Teaspoons, and the label says 15.7 fl oz.

After getting lunch and finding a table, I whip out my trusty Windows Phone for a little Internet research and calculation.

How many grams of sugar per teaspoon? I find multiple answers, and see the more reliable sources agree with each other on 12.55g per tablespoon. Good enough. I will multiple my answer by 3 for teaspoons.

How many grams sugar in the bottle? I could have read the label, but didn’t think to do that. Multiple Internet sources agree on 25g per 8 fl oz of Sierra Mist Natural. A little math (15.7oz / 8oz * 25g) yields 49.0625g sugar in the bottle. I’ll round that number in my final answer.

Finishing up, I do the math on 49.0625g / 12.55g per Tbsp * 3 tsp per Tbsp. I stop by the table again, on my way out of the cafeteria, and record my entire answer: 11.73 tsp sugar in a 15.7 fl oz bottle of Sierra Mist Natural.

11.73 tsp is almost 4 Tbsp. For comparison, 4 Tbsp is 1/4 cup. That’s a lot of sugar in one beverage. Oh, the label says 8 fl oz is a serving. But how many people stop at 8? Not many.

Fast forward back to the present.

I received an email telling me I won the cookbook for having the closest guess. I have to smile, because I didn’t guess.