So, eschewing my coffee in the AM all week and I'm back on a serious Diet Coke/Coke Zero/Cherry Coke (yes, I had a real, calorie laden Cherry Coke at lunch yesterday) binge. This was so not the plan and I'm even feeling a bit acidy--which might come from, you know, all the acid in soda. I think that, in my mind I was going to "get on the wagon" with a more planned and sensible eating and exercising regime this weekend, so this soda thing was only temporary. Were those conscious or unconscious thoughts? I can't quite tell--they were fleeting in and out of my consciousness, never trespassing too long. Regardless, they offered justification for a bender. I'm not beating myself up about this--certainly a diet coke addiction shouldn't be compared seriously to alcohol or drugs, but it hadn't done me any physical or financial favors.
I'm going to try a couple of these soda alternatives suggested at Mark's Daily Apple:
One of my favorite herbal teas is a Thai delicacy: iced lemongrass tea. Get a few stalks of lemongrass, trim and peel them, then cut and smash the stalks with the flat of knife blade to release the “juices.” Bring them to a boil in a pot of water and cover. Cut the flames and let it steep for twenty minutes. At this point, I’ll even add a touch of real sugar for some sweetness, but you can leave it out. I prefer this stuff chilled, but you can drink it hot. Optional: add fresh mint leaves.
Another tea I like to make is iced ginger root tea with lime. Depending on your tolerance for ginger, peel and grate a sizeable amount of ginger root. Boil it in a pot of water, then reduce the heat, cover it, and allow the concoction to simmer for twenty minutes. Add the juice from five limes and let it cool before drinking. Pour it over ice when it gets hot. Some claim ginger tea promotes digestion and fights cold symptoms; I just like it because it tastes great.
Kava root tea is another interesting one. Traditionally consumed throughout Polynesia, Vanuatu, and Melanesia, kava is a mild sedative that relaxes without disrupting your mental alacrity. You can find it at health food stores, and it actually tastes pretty foul, but it’s an incredibly relaxing way to spend an evening. Just be sure you strain out the actual root (you don’t want to gag; cheesecloth works best here, especially if you have kava powder) and you avoid steeping it over 140 degrees (which is the temperature at which the active ingredients are destroyed). It won’t win any taste tests, that’s for sure. There’s also some evidence that excessive amounts are hard on the liver, so be cautious, but a single glass won’t hurt you every once in awhile.
And of course, my old standbye--iced blueberry herbal tea with green tea and cranberry juice (and a splash of stevia) pre-brewed and brought in old water bottles.