Thursday, June 11, 2015

Good-bye, fake Zero; hello actual zero.

Have I ever mentioned how much I like this stuff? Some time back, a friend posted a link on Facebook to an article describing how horrible soda pop is for you. I probably don't have to provide the link (a month of scrolling on FB wouldn't help me find it anyway), since you can google such research for yourself. Old-school pop has like a zillion teaspoons of sugar, and diet pop has artificial sweeteners that probably cause things like depression and brain cancer (and don't even help you lose weight, and I can think of no other reason to drink something that tastes like dishwater).

After reading that Pop is Evil article (I think it was near or during Lent), I decided to give up soda pop forever, and I did really well for a few months, but somehow, I fell off the wagon and started drinking it again. Not just diet pop, but the sugary stuff too. I have gained a lot of weight since my daughter's wedding last November (that's another story, still to come) and recently decided --for the umpteenth time-- that I have to make a lifestyle change, or buy a whole new wardrobe (I can only afford to do one of those things).

I think I was sorta addicted to diet Pepsi and Coke Zero for a while. A too-long while. Back in 2000 (after the birth of my 5th baby), I lost 50 pounds in about 7 months. At that time, I was more or less following a diet guru who advocated for consumption of diet soda (in order to stave off hunger pangs, and so forth). I had never liked diet soda, but eventually got used to the taste and even began to enjoy it. Previously, our family had consumed pop only on weekends (say, during movie night, or a special celebration), but this became a daily thing for me.  I justified it, saying it was helping me lose weight, or it was my afternoon caffeine fix (easier to flick a tab than brew a pot of coffee). Sometimes I was so tired, stressed and thirsty, when I cracked a can and started chugging that ice cold chemical refreshment, I almost felt like a junkie getting a hit (although of course, I can only imagine what that's actually like).

Buying large cases of soda became a twice-monthly event on grocery runs. For years I gave it very little thought, but at one point I began to read more about the chemicals I was ingesting and it hit me like a ton of bricks: I'd been drinking one (or more) cans of this stuff per day for over a decade. Yikes. And it wasn't even helping me lose or maintain my weight. Double yikes. So I'm trying to quit again. I'm trying to drink more water and herbal teas (yes, you can ice them, and control the amount of sugar).

But since I still like a fizzy beverage on occasion, I've begun to drink this President's Choice stuff. It comes in other good flavours too (lime, lemon, and blueberry-pomegranate). For a real treat, you can mix it with a tiny bit of fruit juice and (need I say) vodka or whatever you fancy. PC Sparkling Water has no calories, no artificial sweeteners, no sugar, and no sodium. Some would argue that it has no taste either, but I have found that when I cut back on highly processed and sugary foods--and eat less in general-- my taste buds seem to adjust, and become more able to pick up subtle flavours. In other words, food tastes better, and I savour it more.

By the way, I will not become a Nutrition nazi, and give others lectures or disapproving glances if I see them drinking soda pop. (I still shudder to recall a Crunchy Homeschool mom I once knew, holding forth about how "poisonous" tap water was. I did not have the courage to tell her that I allowed my kids to drink Coca-cola.) All things in moderation. I don't think pop is evil; I just don't think it's healthy for me to drink the stuff every day.  Cheers!

Note well the serving size;  
you can't maintain a 1950s figure on post-Millennium portions.

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