It seems over the last decade or so, every food or beverage item that I absolutely can not resist has some sort of health warning attached to it. The tasty few that don't actually have warnings seem to have calories. A lot of calories. Either way, I need to stay away from them.
So last March, after reading "yet" another article about how diet colas aren't good for us, I decided to wean myself off of them. In theory, it shouldn't be that difficult. I mean it's not like I can't drink water, tea, or something else if I am thirsty. Franky, there is just something special about diet sodas. One brand in particular is like "crack in a can" for me.
Because, I am disparaging the use of diet sodas, I won't throw it "out there" my brand of choice. I would wager that the company would be less than thrilled with me talking negatively about their calcium leaching, esophagus corroding phosphoric acid, or their questionable cancer causing, insulin spiking artificial sweeteners. But, if it is any consolation, my dear cola manufacturers, I find your product YUMMY. If you could do some sort of study that shows some undiscovered health benefits, I am prepared to drink your product in lieu of meals.
I haven't quite figured out what is in there to cause this "must have" dependency but everyone that I have talked to that is a multi-can user, agrees this is an addiction.
I know the last remnants of cocaine were removed from cola drinks in 1929 (or were they?) but I am not absolutely sure what other ingredients in there might have an addictive effect. Perhaps caffeine is the culprit or maybe it's the salt.
I am sure you (especially some of you non-soda imbibers) think I am exaggerating the "must have" effect of this. I assure you, I am not!!!
A number of years ago, I tried to kick the habit and after three days of hell decided it wasn't worth it. Also, at that point in my life, I had far fewer concerns as to the "leaching of calcium from my bones" issue. Hubby and I went to Germany in the late 1980s for a couple of weeks. We were staying in Munich at an American hotel chain that did have soda machines. However, they only contained sweetened soda. No diet products. Once you are hooked on the diet variety, there is no going back. I didn't want to come across as "difficult" so I decide, I'll just drink water. (in most places in Germany that would be tepid water) I gave it a shot but that was not doing it for me. By day three, I had a headache from which I was ready to die.
We had already lined up a rental car to drive to Austria for the day, so I took a few headache remedies and off we go. Unfortunately, I was getting sicker by the minute. Head pounding, stomach queasy...BUT as luck would have it..... As we approached the Austrian border, I see an ALDI store.
ALDI is based out of Germany but they sell a lot of American products. Kudos to ALDI!
Hubby being the white knight he is, makes a gallant gesture to buy me a diet soda. I wish this blog interface supported a picture of me doing cartwheels. WEEEEEEE
After purchasing a case of diet cola (my favorite brand no less) a Styrofoam cooler and some ice. The only thing can could have been better than having that case of cola, would have been if ALDI had beer bongs for sale (well...technically cola bongs). None the less, I made do. After inhaling a few cans, I was good to go.
Now, for all you nay-sayers that arent' thinking that it was cola deprivation making me ill, I am here to tell you .....you are wrong...so very wrong. By the time we hit Salzburg, I had added a new verse to "These are a Few of My Favorite Things". I would take diet cola over blue satin sashes any day of the week. Really Julie A. what were you thinking?
All the same, as of last March (2010) I have made a point to limit my sodas to just a couple each week. (compared to the 4 or 5 daily) So after suffering through the initial withdrawal symptoms (neither fun nor pretty) I managed to get to the point a 12 pack can last a 6 weeks. Now that I am a "user" that is in semi-recovery, I continue to try to reach for healthier options. Who knows, there may be a day that I can drive by a Sonic drive through and not feel the pull. The only thing better than a can of diet cola is 44 OUNCES of diet cola.
I am trying to stay optimistic though. Studies are being conducted all the time. Green tea with it's EGCG is being touted as the super beverage. Too bad it tastes like dirt. We found out the antioxidants in red wine is good for our hearts and there is even a case being made for beer because of Xanthhohumol and vitamin B6 will lessen the likelihood of strokes. (of course having alcohol intolerance, pretty much makes those useless to me) OK, I am back to drinking water, how dull. I can only hope that some morning I will turn on the news and hear:
"A new study has found an amazing health benefit related to drinking diet cola: Diet Colas make you immortal."
The Good for the Day....Iced tea is a fairly decent substitute (too bad, I like those little pink packets of sweetener)
The Bad for the day....Still it doesn't have the fizz.
The Weird for the day....I hate the books that talk about using cola for cleaning drains or for kicks dropping a nail in a cup of cola and watching is disintegrate. They really know how to hurt a girl.
It is NOT the sugar...It's the FIZZZZZZZ