Pop or soda, whatever you call it, it’s delicious. Most people can agree on that, and for a lot of families, it ends up on the shopping list every month without much thought.
When I was a kid, I drank pop probably every day. I loved the fizzy-ness I loved the flavours, and of course, the sugar. And I had the cavities to prove it! I felt bad for my cousins, who’s mom would only allow them to have one pop a day. “How strict!” I thought.
As I got older, I started hearing about the health concerns with pop. But I kept thinking, “whatever, I’m still healthy and thin, and people have been drinking pop forever.” Yes, I was blessed with a great metabolism, and weight gain was not a concern I had when it came to pop, but I failed to think about all the other ways it could be affecting me. My teeth for instance, I had cavities almost every time I went in for my dental checkup. I can also just imagine the affect it was having on my stomach, intestines, kidneys, and heart. Not to mention the caffeine. I always said, “well, I don’t drink coffee, so this is my caffeine source” But I also love my chocolate, so I was getting plenty of caffeine.
I would say I was addicted to pop. I would crave it, I would be irritable if we didn’t have pop when I wanted one, and the relief I felt having that first sip was a great feeling. This was not good.
As I begun to be more aware of my anxiety and depression, and admitting to myself that this is a problem, I started looking into what I can do to help myself. Obviously living a healthy lifestyle is a biggie. I decided to get into yoga, and go for more walks. Little changes so it didn’t feel too overwhelming. I would walk to the subway station instead of taking the bus, and instead of my sugary cereal in the morning, I would make myself a protein shake with berries in the morning.
But I also knew, cutting out caffeine and sugar would make a huge difference, and the best way to do that would be to stop drinking pop. AHH! This was a horrifying thought! There was no way I could see myself being able to do that.
I decided to start slow. I went by my aunt’s “strict” rule of just one pop a day. And with this rule, I found sometimes I would have a day here and there where I wouldn’t have a pop, because I would ask myself, “do you want this pop now, what if you want it later?” and then later I would either forget about it, or decide I may as well leave it for today.
I needed something to substitute the pop with though. I needed something refreshing that had flavour. So I tried drinking more juice. But for some reason that wasn’t enough. The 3 things that I found that helped the most was infusing water with fruit, iced tea (loose leaf tea, steeped, and iced, with no sugar added), and Arbonne’s Fizz Sticks.
The Fizz Sticks are great for giving me that fizzy-ness I miss from pop. They are very versatile as well. You can just mix them with water, or blend them with water and strawberries. There are many things you can mix them with. Maybe I will make a blog post about that one day….
So there I was, drinking a lot more water, and some juice, and a lot less pop. And you know what? I started feeling amazing! I felt like I had more energy, and generally felt healthier. And I eventually got to a point where I wasn’t having my daily pop. Now, I can have one every now and then, as a treat, without suddenly “needing” it again. But I will say, when I do treat myself, I can feel the effects almost right away since I am not used to it anymore. Boy does my stomach get bloated! And I feel the sugar crash, and generally less energetic.
Since quitting pop, I’ve had 3 dental checkups without cavities! (I went to the dentist last week and my record was broken unfortunately, but I wasn’t surprised, when I was home for a few weeks before my wedding, I had a bit more pop than usual, and a lot of sweets. Oops!)
I want to challenge you. Try limiting your pop intake for a week or two. Drink no more than 1 a day, but try to not drink any at all. And see how you feel. Then ask yourself, if feeling this great and knowing what harmful stuff is NOT going into your body, is worth not having pop all the time?
Don’t think you can do it? Neither did I.