I’ve never gotten into the habit of drinking Coke or other carbonated beverages (aka pop, soft drinks, etc.) the way some people doas if they were water. I might have one a week, sometimes more, sometimes less. But I’ve always known there was nothing good about it. With a chocolate bar, you can at least claim the benefits of the peanuts or almonds, maybe even the chocolate. With drinks that are basically sugar and chemicals, not so much.

So when I decided I needed to lose weight, it wasn’t a huge deal to switch to the diet variety. Yeah, it took a while to get used to the taste difference. But I added some lime  to my Coke or Pepsi and things weren’t too bad, although I knew inside I was just substituting one bad thing for another. It was even better when I discovered diet A & W root beer, my drink of choice.

And then the news. Diet drinks are actually worse than sugar drinks. And they may make losing weight more difficult. What to do?

As I said, I’d known all along that every drink of pop I took was like putting garbage in my body instead of nutrients. So, what to do? Stick to tea, my usual drink (green, black, or herbal)? But now and then I like something cold, especially when I go out for lunch or dinner. Fruit juice? Iced tea? Water?

Water can get a bit boring, even with lemon or lime. And I don’t like the carbonated water stuff. Fruit juice has too many calories. Iced tea? I live in a country where there is no such thing as unsweetened iced tea. Well, unless you make it yourself. So I never order iced tea or buy the bottled variety. Sugar water here we come. (I do drink unsweetened iced tea as soon as I get into a state where they serve it.)

So, my solution? Tomato juice. No, not very original. But when you add a slice of lemon and sip it slowly, it’s actually not bad at all. And the best thing is, despite adding virtually no calories, it’s actually good for you!

Last week I went out for dinner, and while the other ladies ordered iced tea and put down all that sugar, I drank two glasses of tomato juice with lemon and felt not only virtuous but satisfied.

Diet beverages? You can keep them. Sugar syrup? Not me. I’m sipping healthy these days.

May 2, 2008

About the author 

N. J. Lindquist

N. J. Lindquist is the award-winning author of books, articles, short stories, and blog posts. She also edits and publishes the "Hot Apple Cider" anthologies. A former high school teacher, N. J. co-founded The Word Guild and teaches workshops for writers as well as speaking on various topics including creativity and leadership.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Click on one of these covers to get a Gift from me!

    And you'll also get my occasional newsletter.