Addicted to cold, fizzy drinks.
Years ago, you would not find me without a diet Coke in my hand. I drank it for breakfast. I drank it after going to the gym. I drank it on road trips. I drank it all day long. I had the cutest little mini-fridge in my office that held exactly 6 cans of diet Coke. That 12oz can of deliciousness and I have a long history.
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The whole routine of going into a QT station (they have the best convenience stores and drink fountains), getting the BIG cup, filling it with ice, diet Coke, and if I was feeling particularly daring, a splash of vanilla, cherry, or Rooster Booster (that's their brand of energy drink), was comforting and familiar. On a long trip up to the doctor's office, knowing that I would stop & get the giant fountain Coke was the bright spot in the day.
Later on, I learned that the caramel color in diet Coke is derived from corn. I was VERY sensitive to corn at that time- even putting on makeup that contained cornstarch made me break out in a rash. Eating corn made my eyes swell, and I'd be asleep for days. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I would have done anything, given up anything, just to feel better.
That was it for the diet Coke. That was how ready I was to feel better. If that was it, if that was the last thing holding me back, it was GONE! It wasn't easy, but I kicked the habit.
My health did not improve right away, as I'd hoped, but I was glad I stopped the diet Coke. I'd tried to quit in the past, but with no real incentive to stick to it, I didn't. Those thoughts of "c'mon, how bad can it be? I don't drink or smoke, if diet Coke is my worst vice, so be it" would creep into my psyche, and I'd start up again. But at times, it really was ridiculous. I spent way too much money on diet Coke. I was way too grumpy in the morning if I didn't have one. I never wish to be a slave to anything, but I was pretty addicted to diet Coke. It was a good feeling to let that addiction go.
So, let's fast forward a bit, shall we? I didn't drink anything but water and fresh juices for a time. And I was happy with that. But, because of my health issues, I was exhausted ALL OF THE TIME. Nothing helped. There was a point when I was sleeping 23 hours/day, and I was still exhausted. I wanted to get up. I wanted to be productive. I needed to work. I had medical bills out the wazoo, and how in the world was I going to pay them if I couldn't... drag... myself... to... my... desk?!
That's when I discovered energy drinks.
I discovered an organic energy drink with ingredients I tolerated. At first, I hated the taste. I didn't care. Caffeine would be the answer to all of my problems. It would get me by, until my health improved. It would help me function.
As you might imagine, I was quickly hooked on energy drinks. I started ordering them by the case from Amazon. That was a huge cost savings, but then I had ample supply in my pantry, and one a day became two a day... and you see where that is going.
Later, I found a commercial brand of energy drink that seemed to be safe for me (ingredients). I switched brands because that was cheaper. Again, I hated the taste at first. But I got used to it. Those became my crutch.
Never mind that of course caffeine was NOT the answer to my problems or a good way to mask my symptoms. I know that. And now, I'm trying to kick the caffeine habit as well.
Enter... light bulb moment. I realize... I really, really like cold, fizzy drinks. Perhaps my addiction to diet Coke and energy drinks is less about the caffeine (doesn't really help much anyway) or the taste (not great, but bearable), but all about the sensation of cold and fizzy. I like the sound of the pop-fizzzzz when you open the can or bottle. Obviously, I am not the only one, Coke even uses that sound in its commercials. I like seeing the bubbles rise up to the top. I like the feel of the bubbles on my tongue. Bubbles make me happy!
So- my NEW thing is sparkling water. No chemicals, no colors, no flavors. Just water. I am trying to switch to sparkling water instead of soda/pop/Coke/energy drinks.
My favorite one at the moment- and this preference is very much influenced by cost- is Whole Foods sparkling mineral water. There are some other fizzy waters out there that I like very much, but they are not at the price point where I would want to drink it every day.
Today, I am trying a new Whole Foods sparkling water- Lemon Raspberry flavor. Just for a little extra flavor with the fizz.
Do you have any favorite sparkling waters, or favorite items to add? I'm thinking I'll try watermelon in my fizzy water this summer.