I used to love diet sodas
From the time that it was released to the public, I loved drinking diet soda! There was nothing more refreshing than this cool, bubbly, beverage that promised me I could drink to my heart’s content without any calorie guilt.
However, after many years of consumption, I started doing research on the chemical artificial sweetener used in my soda. I soon made the connection with the soda and the migraines I was getting when I drank it. Many, like myself, never make the connection with their headaches, joint pain, dizziness or other symptoms. Some people may not experience immediate reactions, but (in my opinion) should still heed the warnings of what these chemicals are doing to their bodies! Just because you don’t notice it now, you just don’t know what havoc it could wreak over time.
I was so appalled by what I and millions were putting in their bodies, that I did a bunch of research about aspartame. In 1996, I wrote a pamphlet called, The Silent Nutri-Bomb and handed it out to all of my friends and family.
Of course, I heard every excuse in the book. The biggest one I have heard is that the person is diabetic. Well, I am sorry to say, but the artificial sweeteners block insulin, creating an even bigger blood sugar issue, fat storage and increased cravings for carbohydrates. Not good.
In most cases, people are simply addicted to sodas and don’t want to face the facts. Nevertheless, 18 years later, thank goodness there is so much more research and tons of studies available, that more people are finally becoming concerned artificial sweeteners.
Kicking any soda habit
At any rate, I could go on and on, but this article is not really just about diet soda. It is about all sodas. After I quit drinking diet drinks, I started drinking regular ones now and then.
But let’s be honest. Those aren’t good either! They have about 10 teaspoons of processed sugar, high fructose corn syrup, phosphoric acid, dyes and/or preservatives (like benzene and sodium benzoate). The high amounts of sugar alone can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, then the body reacts by putting out insulin, leading to hypoglycemic lows.
I realize people like to toss up their arms and say they don’t have a choice or why bother trying to be healthy, because there are too many things to be worried about. But these are our bodies, friends! We only have one and putting stuff in it that is harmful is a choice … and it is not a good one!
I began looking for alternatives. Of course there is water and I, for one, was very against water most of my life. It tasted awful and made me feel nauseous. Come to find out, it was all the junk they put in our tap water (chlorine, pesticides, fluoride, etc). Now I drink highly filtered water that is clean of all impurities and I add back essential minerals that are vital to our bodies.
So, for decades, I have been good and I do usually drink half my body weight in water a day. Nevertheless, I admit there is nothing like a cold glass of wet bubbly from time to time! So, without going on and on about all of my experiments, I would like to share with you some great alternatives that I came up with.
These are so delicious and refreshing that I can’t even stand a sip of soda anymore! All I taste is the gobs of sugar and grossness!
Sherri’s Bubbly Yum
My first simple, delicious alternative is to use Crystal Geyser Sparkling Mineral Water. These come plain or with light flavors. I like the plain or lime, then I add additional flavors. I use Wisdom Natural Sweet Leaf Sweet Drops. They have flavors like Valencia Orange, Berry, Vanilla Cream, Root Beer and Toffee. I tested this out on my great niece when she was 8 and she LOVED them!
OK at first, they may taste just a tiny bit bitter (though my great niece didn’t notice). But have no worries, after a couple of weeks, you don’t notice either. You see, a diet on sugar makes us insensitive to sweets. Get rid of the sugary sodas and you need less sweetness to satisfy you!
My second amazing alternative is to use just plain fruit in the sparkling water! Yup! Do you like lemon lime soda? I used to. Now it just tastes like a fake, sickeningly sweet goop! It’s easy! Just pour yourself a glass of lime sparkling water and add the juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, then stick half of the lemon (with the peel) into the drink. The peel will help alkalinity of your body! Of course you can also use lemons, limes, oranges, pineapples or whatever you like! I promise you, you will love this SO much more than soda!
Sherri’s Refreshing Infusions
For this, you can use the sparkling mineral water or just clean, filtered water. It’s going to sound so simple, cuz it is! Just put fruit, cucumber and/or herbs into a mason jar and fill it with filtered water. Put it in the fridge for a couple of hours. Remove and pour into a glass for an amazingly refreshing treat! The ingredients will last about 2-3 days.
With our processed diets today, most people are way too acidic which can cause many health issues. Not only do these infusions taste good, but they are full of nutrients and can be alkalizing to your body and blood! Even though lemons and limes are acidic fruits, they are actually alkalizing foods! Cucumbers are alkalizing, as well as lubricating and hydrating to the cells and tissues. These infusions are truly thirst quenching!
If it is not flavorful enough for you, squeeze the fruits into the water as well and infuse over night.
Here are some recipe ideas:
Cucumber, lemon, ginger and mint.
Grapefruit, cucumber, lemon and mint.
Orange, cucumber, lemon.
Lemon, lime and cucumber.
Watermelon, cucumber and mint.
Apple slices, cinnamon stick, mint and a teaspoon of (raw, unfiltered) honey.
Be bold and add parsley or cilantro for their detox properties. Play with the ingredients. It’s your drink and you know what you like!
Need Healthy Sweeteners?
My favorite sweetener is Like Sugar. It does taste much like sugar, without any bitter aftertaste. However, it is not quite as sweet and can be pretty expensive if you want to use it for a lot of baking. Nevertheless, Like Sugar is made of inulin, which is also a pre-biotic which helps feed the good bacteria in your gut and it is a great source of fiber! So, it is really good for you and is wonderful for many uses!
My next favorite sweetener is Sweet Leaf Stevia by Wisdom Naturals. In addition to the stevia, it has inulin in it to help cut the bitterness of stevia. It works great in drinks or baking to sweeten things!
Many people enjoy using xylitol (not made from corn). Some of them I do OK on, but I get headaches from all other sugar alcohols like erythritol and maltitol. This is probably pretty rare, because I don’t know anyone who has this problem. So, I don’t want to discourage anyone.
Anyhow, as you can see, there are many wonderful alternatives to drinking artificial sweeteners and sugar!
So, ditch the soda and drink healthy!