Giving up soda is one of the goals I have set for myself this year. Diet Coke in particular is my poison of choice and that’s no exaggeration. Diet Coke is poison. I know it’s full of chemicals, and I know I shouldn’t drink it, but I really like it. I also like regular soda but the fact that Diet Coke doesn’t have any calories has allowed me to justify my consumption. I have cut way back on the amount of soda I drink. I don’t keep it in the house and I stick to water when out at a restaurant but I still sneak the occasional sip from my husband’s glass, and if a meal comes with a soda I will indulge in a little Coca-Cola dosing.
I really want to give it up altogether as I don’t want soda to be a part of my life anymore. There are several reasons, the first of which I’ve already mentioned. I also have Diego to think about. He is blissfully not addicted to soda. He has tried it, and guess what? He loved it. Who wouldn’t? Sugar is a drug. The sip or two he’s had weigh heavily on my mind and I cannot expect him to not want any as he gets older. I am sure he will soon get wise to the fact that while he’s sipping water or milk we are indulging in what many would consider sweet nectar of the gods. These gods are no doubt addicted to sugar. In order to instill healthy habits in my son I have to model them.
Another reason to give up soda is my weight. I want to weigh less and in order to do so I have to make some serious changes. Permanent changes. It’s funny how hard it is to lose weight but how easy it is to fall back on the bad habits that expanded my rear in the first place. Surprisingly, it’s not vanity that motivates me to lose weight. I mean, it is an incentive but my main motivator is my health. Now is the time to take steps to ensure I have a healthy old age. Of course, there are no guarantees but surely giving myself an advantage by reducing my risk can’t hurt.
Obviously, I don’t think that having the occasional soda is a bad thing. I don’t plan to cut it out of my life completely or for good, but for right now I need to commit to changing my eating habits. It’s so easy to say it and write it. Actually sticking to it is hard. Hopefully, but putting myself out there I will hold myself accountable. A good friend of mine is a good support in this quest as she has been soda free for over a year with great results. It’s always great to see somebody make changes that change their lives. It gives me hope that I can do it, too.
So what other options does that leave us with?
Water! This beverage gets overlooked by a lot of people because it’s boring and has no taste. I actually love water and find it very refreshing. You can flavor it with fruit. Just cut it up and drop it into your pitcher. Remember to thoroughly wash your fruits, especially lemons. Flavored sparkling water is good, too. I used to love to freeze raspberry flavored sparkling water until slushy and eating it with a spoon.
Smoothies. Fresh or frozen fruits with a splash of milk or orange juice can make a great beverage that is also a meal. Last night I made a strawberry banana smoothie that was so delicious it was hard to believe it didn’t have any added sugar. Fruit is sweet enough on it’s own.
Tea sweetened with honey or raw sugar is another great option. I have been moving towards using natural, unrefined sweeteners as opposed to refined sugars or sugar substitutes.
Green Juice- similar to smoothies except it’s a vegetable base. I recently made one with spinach, green apples (cored but unpeeled), stawberries and ginger. I also added a little bit of water to the blender and a few ice cubes. I liked the taste but my cheap blended didn’t puree to the smooth consistency I would have preferred. Regardless, Diego and I enjoyed it and I felt good about it.