Healthy eating

Liquid assets

Save for a sip of one the other day, I haven’t had a diet soda since the new year began. This is a major feat for me, on par with Bill Gates making his first bajillion or when Hangin’ Tough went platinum.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and posit that this explains the crankiness, headache and overall dull, sluggish feeling I’ve had lately. It’s as though I’ve been half a beat behind the rest of the world, and everything is just slightly out of focus. But instead of letting the nagging dread creep in — Am I OK? What if this is a subtle early symptom of depression? Could I need new contacts? — I’m holding out hope that my little homeostatic soldier cells will kick in and do what they do best. Namely, get me back to my “normal” state of awareness without the crutch of caffeine. (For all you medical-minded people out there, I know that these cells of which I speak don’t really exist. But I’m exercising my creative license. So there.)

I don’t plan to cut caffeine out entirely. For me, coffee is the nectar of the gods. And being the good Southern gal that I am, it’s hard to pass up sweet tea when I’m eating out. But the nutrition-free, chemical-laden sodas I’m going to try to purge. Which will be about as easy as R. Kelly giving up midgets and underage girls.

Most of us aren’t drinking enough water, myself included. Why would we, with so many other tasty liquids to let trickle down our gullet? But I’m ready to simplify my life, down to what I put in my body. So so long aspartame and all you man-made -zoates. Farewell caramel color and Yellow No. 3. Goodbye phosphoric acid that is probably slowly eating away at my bones.

This isn’t to say I won’t crave diet drinks. I am having withdrawal symptoms now. But I know in the long run, this is a big first step in getting away from processed foods in general. Besides, have you seen how expensive sodas are these days? Talk about hard to swallow.

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