Or Soda, like some of you might call it. I have been trying to eat less junk and I am happy to report that I am down to maybe eating some McD`s breakfast once a month and a Sonic burger maybe about that often. The next step is to cut out drinking soft drinks all together. I am lucky enough that Bea does not like pop, so we don`t have to have it around the house. The funny thing is that we do have it, we have about 4 cases of different flavors for when people come over, but they have lasted weeks there.
My Dad used to work for Postobon back in Colombia, the distributor for Pepsi. They had some funny rules about your employees never being able to drink the competition’s, Coca Cola, products. However it was really easy for the employees to get free sodas. The $factory and offices had huge refrigerators full of all the flavors they offered. At home we would drink a lot of natural made juices, but we occasionally will get pop at lunch. When I was out with friends, pop was the drink of choice. I was around it a lot and drank it quite a bit.
When I moved to the US, I thought I was going to drink a lot less soda. I was very much mistaken… getting a actual fruit juice required going to the mall back in the 90s. Not many people thought of fruit juice here besides OJ. My family used the frozen kind, but it was not the same as all natural fruit juice and just simply full of sugar. Fruits are a lot more expensive here, a single mango is a lot more expensive than a can of soda. Pop became the default drink of choice.
I have seen how soda is made and trust me when I tell you that it is a chemical cocktail. I kept on lying to myself saying that if I drink diet soda, I would be all right. I think diet soda is just replacing high fructose corn syrup with more chemicals that keep on changing because the last one they used caused cancer. Essentially the “diet” sweeteners are a more complex molecule than sugar and your body does not absorb them as sugar (at least not for a while, there are studies saying that the body can eventually do it). That stuff is then left for your liver to deal with.
When I was addicted to junk food, a part of it was the soft drink that would was down the salty fries. It was just so refreshing… actually it was not, I would end up just as thirsty after drinking even a 44 oz. The caffeine shot that I got was just excellent and I thought, amazing little drink, cheap convenient and it tastes awesome. But did it really?
About 5 years ago I had to stop drinking Mountain Dew. It had become the drink of choice since college because it kept me “energized”. I also was working for a place that provided us with free sodas, specially the ones that were caffeine high. I started getting almost violent pain in my stomach after drinking one. I am not sure if it was all the sugar, the extra caffeine or just the combination, but that was it for MtDew. Instead of stopping to drink pop all together, even though by then I knew how bad it was for the body back then, I just switched to drinking something else.
I had also back then heard about hunger and how most of us confuse thirst with hunger. I also thought back to my youth when I also was thirsty all the time and would drink a lot of water. I can only remember wanting to drink water after actually doing something that made me sweat, but when I was a kid I would be thirsty during the day. I think it had a lot to do with having just soda so readily available everywhere and then being able to just grab some other junk food when I was just thirsty.
Giving up junk food also meant not having so much pop readily available. I also started getting water or iced tea with my meals instead of Pop. This week I heard about a report that links all soda, including diet, to your metabolism suffering. While the study was merely observational, data gathered also included soda but it was not the main thing the study was looking for, I could not ignore the rest of the knowledge I had any more. It is amazing how much we lie to ourselves to just stay in a behaviour that can be causing us harm, like smoking(which I have not done since… Bea has a counter).
So I have decided to cut my soda consumption to a minimum of every once in a great while. It is not a cold turkey kind of thing since I have been cutting it off little by little. I am however not going to buy any more soda for me at home. I also have upped my water intake, I drink quite a bit at work now which is cool. I am not saying you all should give up pop or any other behaviours that might be doing something bad to your body… but I challenge to at least think about what you are putting into your system.