So I completely understand that every time someone mentions healthy eating/living, people typically roll their eyes and immediately think “oh no, here is some crazy, natural freak who doesn’t want me to have any fun in life and give up chocolate”. I realize this because I completely used to feel that way! I constantly said that I would rather workout hours a day and get to eat whatever I wanted than change my eating habits. But I quickly learned it just isn’t that simple. I was in blissful ignorance of what I was putting into my body. I may have thought that all that mattered was staying relatively in shape despite what I was eating or drinking, but that was such a dangerous mindset!
The truth is that staying ignorant about what all the refined sugar, preservatives, chemicals and completely artificial ingredients are doing to our bodies is not going to leave us blissful in the end. Once I realized the type of ingredients that were in the things I was eating, it made it that much harder for me to put them into my body. And soda was at the top of the list. Guys, soda is just so bad for you.. If there is a single form of processed junk food you should give up, this would be my suggestion. It’s practically liquid sugar- empty calories that don’t really fill you up. You’re essentially drinking 10 spoonfuls of sugar while getting no nutrition at all. Your blood sugar spikes and you just crave more and more. Soda also doesn’t hydrate you, so it doesn’t even do the job that a drink is intended to do! Not to mention the hormone disrupting chemicals in the aluminum cans, and the carcinogenic artificial coloring just so your coke can be that beautiful brown color… Plus the aspartame in diet soda which is linked to many, many health problems and disorders. Diet soda also has been shown to cause more weight gain than regular soda! I’m addition to all of this, soda is terrible on your teeth.. the acid erodes them, while at the same time making your body itself much too acidic. When you really look at all of the extremely questionable ingredients and side effects, is it really worth it?
I know that it can be so overwhelming. Once you begin to discover these things you get depressed and all you want to do is stuff your face with a package of oreos and chug a coke. I understand, and there was a time when I would have absolutely done it. So for this post, I want to give a few tips that I implemented when I first started trying to drink healthier things to make it a little easier! I know we tend to feel that giving up our favorite soda feels like cutting off an arm, but I promise, it’s not too difficult! If I can do it, so can you, and you will feel SOOO much better. Just give it some time, and you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
So here goes- tips for switching out soda for something better-
Two of my favorite healthy options – La Croix sparkling water (add a few drops of stevia for extra sweetness!) and stevia sweetened iced tea.
There are lots of options! My first suggestion is to figure out what it is about soda that you crave. Is it caffeine, carbonation, taste, etc? Figure out what it is and find a good alternative! Substitute organic tea or coffee if you need the caffeine (I know some people will argue that coffee isn’t 100% healthy either, but it is a VAST improvement over soda!). If it’s the carbonation, try something like LaCroix sparkling flavored water. It is still in a can, but it is very natural with no calories and no artificial sweeteners. They even have a cola flavor, so that takes care of the taste too! Or something like Zevia which is a stevia sweetened cola with no GMOs (genetically modified organisms), no caramel color (that dangerous artificial coloring I mentioned), and no phosphoric acid which is what is so damaging to your teeth and bones. If none of those options are exactly what you’re looking for but you’re still determined to kick the soda habit, just try to find another drink that you love the taste of, and start switching it out when you get that soda craving. There really are options- tea with stevia, coffee with stevia or coconut sugar (even add cocoa powder or cinnamon! My weakness!!), organic juice, or water with fruit. Water with lemon is delicious but can get a little boring if you’re used to soda, so try adding raspberries, strawberries or any other favorite fruit. You can even go to Sonic if you’re craving something while out and about and order a water with real fruit added! My favorite is to add lemon and strawberry 🙂 Or order an unsweet tea with fruit and add some stevia yourself! I carry around a little bottle of stevia in my purse for tea of coffee which is so helpful when you’re craving something sweet to drink!
I hear so often (at least here in the south) that it’s basically soda, sweet tea, or water. That’s just not true. There are delicious alternatives, and if you’re determined enough to get the dangerous substances found in soda out of your life, then you will be more than satisfied with these other options! Despite what you’ve been told by the media, life is still enjoyable without soda.
Another big thing I discovered in my personal experience of giving up soda was that this was what was keeping me from losing those fluctuating 5-10 frustrating pounds that I just couldn’t get to go away for good. It was so much easier to lose weight without soda! And before too long I didn’t even miss the Dr. Pepper that I couldn’t have lived without a few months earlier. Now I can’t even drink a soda without my throat screaming at me and the sugar hurting my head. And I feel SO much better!
I would not be so passionate about this if I didn’t see the amazing benefits from it. It’s crazy how cutting out something you think you love so much can drastically change you for the better. Now you couldn’t force me back into my old ways for just about anything!
Another great alternative is kombucha or kefir. I need to start making my own kombucha sometime soon. Love reading your blog, lady!
So true! I’ve tried making kombucha and love it but just got out of the habit once Ezra was born so it wasn’t fresh on my mind. 🙂 But we are obsessed with kefir- one of Ezra’s favorites! We usually eat it more like yogurt instead of a drink, but I like that idea too!
For me – it was the carbonation. We love La Croix. Orange is my favorite at the moment. Great article! Keep up the great work.