I gave up soft drinks for Lent, which wasn't difficult. Those extra cans of Coke (from the Chinese delivery guy! Yay!) are stocked up in the back of the fridge, waiting for visitors to drink them. I'd pretty much signed off on sodas awhile ago, once I started eating clean and reading labels habitually. I stopped drinking Kool-Aid and flavored drinks when I was a kid. Thankfully, diet sodas never did it for me. There's no real sweet tea up here, either. Thank God. I love sweet tea.
It's bigger than any of that, though. I don't live in a part of the country where it's understood that I will get free refills of the soda of my choosing in my gigantic quart container of a Big Gulp from places like 7-11 -- and keep it within easy reach, whether I'm at my desk or in my car.
This sounds excessive but it's true: Americans drink roughly 50 gallons of soda per person per year. That's a LOT of sugar -- and/or high fructose corn syrup, which is basically the devil. The soft drink industry knows that people are drinking less soda these days, which is probably why they're all manufacturing bottled water now. Shockingly, it's just purified tap water. (Brita water bottle, anyone?)
Old habits die hard, though. I'd have a Coke if a bacon cheeseburger was an option. And although burgers haven't been on my menu for awhile, I wouldn't rule them out if I were flying the Japanese flag.
I don't know why I've become so curious about what happens to the body when certain things are consumed. Maybe I'm turning into a kind of Howard Hughes, of sorts. If my great-grandparents didn't eat it, neither do I. The truth is, I've been a pretty good egg, so far -- I don't smoke (never did), I wear sunscreen (always have) and I exercise (I love boxing). At this point, I don't want to consume any toxins or carcinogens, if I can help it. Not eating anything that contains cancer-causing chemicals, contaminants, GMOs or preservatives is a pretty good start -- but that's kind of huge because they're in everything. If you eat bread from Subway, you're eating a yoga mat. And it's not just Subway, either. Check this list of over 500 products and 130 brands to see if you've been eating azodicarbonamide -- otherwise known as ADA -- the same chemical that makes flip flops. Needless to say, this chemical is banned in Europe and Australia. No wonder the food tastes so good in other countries.
Do I love baked Chee-tos? Of course. Do I want to try to drive a car with my feet? Absolutely. At the end of the day, it's just not a good idea. Old habits die hard but they are dying. None of this is easy for me. Every bite of food is a struggle.
I wasn't down with Bloomberg's ban on large sodas. The bottom line is, we all make our own choices -- and after a certain age, you work hard to get your great body and your good health, period. You probably shouldn't blame God for your lousy health and whatever diseases come with that when you've spent most of your entire adult life drinking, smoking, not exercising and/or eating garbage.