Confessions of a Diet Cola Addict
I was a Diet Cola Junkie
I began my journey into diet cola addiction in the 1970s. I discovered Tab at the tender age of 15 and viewed it as the answer to maintaining my Twiggy-esque figure. I transitioned to a variety of diet colas in the 1980s when aspartame hit the market. I gave up diet cola from time to time but always went back to it just as any other out-of-control addict might return to his favorite vice. I hit the ground running for my cola first thing every morning and kept one near at hand all day long. Unlike other addictions my caffeine and cola cravings did not interfere with my life. At least not for a time. I could drink a diet cola and drive and work and carry on with my life. On the other hand, I was growing more and more conscious of the controversies surrounding the use of aspartame and I became tired of the psychological dependency I had on diet coke. It was time to quit. I was not ready to cut myself off from caffeine but the aspartame had to go. I developed a 3-pronged approach to quitting.
First I gave myself permission to drink caffeine in any form except diet cola. I do not care for coffee so I turned to tea. I am not a hot drink fan so tea, for me, is always iced. Fortunately I have never cared for sweet teas so I did not replace aspartame with sugar. I still consume caffeine but I do not consume nearly as much and I do not consume aspartame.
Secondly I developed a number of great substitutes for diet cola. I look forward to my ginger refresher, muddled fresh mint, and lemon verbena beverages. They are both refreshing and good for me. I made the transition much easier when I created alternatives.
When I had the nerve I put my third strategy into place. Perhaps it should have been my first strategy but an addict does not always think so rationally. As a last resort I set my pride aside and entered into a buddy system. I found a friend who was willing to hear me whine and to ask me how it was going. As it turned out, she wanted someone who would help her with her own silly habit. We have helped each other through the roughest part and now laugh at our old habits.
The health benefits of giving up my favorite vice began with weight loss and is morphing into numerous other health benefits such as fewer headaches, clearer vision, and better sleep patterns. As it turns out aspartame carries some pretty potent risks. It feels great to be free.
An Introduction to Teas
This is a gem for tea lovers and for those who would like to know more about tea. there are so many different varieties to explore. This book is a stellar introduction to the many varieties of teas.