Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Can I Still be Green and Keep My Addiction to Diet Soda?

Hi my name is Robin and I'm a diet sodaholic. I've tried to quit. I really have. I've gone for months without it. I was pregnant twice and went without. A few years ago I quit for months without the pregnancy incentive. But I always go back. 

I always wonder if the check out person at the grocery store is judging what's in my cart. Organic milk, eggs, oatmeal, soups, natural peanut butter, and hormone and antibiotic free meats sit side by side in my cart with bottles of diet cola. They all get put into my reusable grocery bags and then loaded into the back of my Prius. 

But the diet soda (along with a certain colored box of macaroni and cheese that is a staple in my house) make me feel like a fraud, and I know that the cashier is thinking it, too. I can hear what's going on in her mind, "Here's another one of those mommies following the green fad. She's probably also ready to switch back to leggings and skinny jeans." 

So today, I decided to go without the diet soda. Since it's not the caffeine I'm trying to give up but the aspartame, I started out my day with a great big cup of coffee (organic and fair trade, but even that doesn't impress the cashier, I'm sure). By lunch time, I was jonesing. I had to fill the Prius up before I went to get my taxes done, and there at the gas station were two soda machines. That's all it took to break my will. "Just one bottle," I thought. "16 oz and that will be all." Both machines were out of diet sodas. I had to go get my taxes done without my "drinking problem" as my mother refers to it. 

By 2:30, I was exhausted. I actually fell asleep while trying to read. If the cat hadn't jumped up on my lap just before 3pm, I would have slept right through picking up the boys from school.
I decided that it wasn't the right time to give up my addiction, but then I read a very timely article. 

Over at Natural News, Jennifer McKinley reported today on a bill in the Hawaiian legislature to ban products with aspartame. There is enough evidence that is bad for you that people are trying to pass laws to ban it. 

In addition to the toxicity of aspartame, studies indicate that drinking diet soda can actually cause you to gain weight! I've been working very hard to loose weight recently, and I've been fairly successful at it, but I wonder if I've been retarding my efforts with all of the diet soda I've been drinking. 

I'm not just trying to green the earth, I'm trying to green my body, too.  I want to treat it with respect and nourish it - not poison it. 

So, can I be green and still drink my diet soda? Sure. No one is 100% perfect at this green thing. 

But I'm not going to drink any diet soda, today. And perhaps when I wake up tomorrow, I'll make the same decision. One day at a time, right? 

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Allie said...

Oh, I feel you! I've never had a soda issue, but had a horrible time trying to kick coffee about a year ago when my doctor told me I needed to cool it on the caffeine. I finally did, but I drink so much tea now. Only 2 cups of green and the rest herbal, so it helps with the caffeine problem, but I feel like I always need a cup of tea.

Robin Shreeves said...


I did good until lunch today. Went to lunch and had one diet coke. But it's the first I've had since that post. I've definitely upped my coffee intake though.

Even when I drink tea, it's fully caffeinated earl gray.

I would think you're not doing any harm drinking green and herbal tea all day - as long as you're not sugaring it up unreasonably. There are probably some health benefits to it.