So I’m hard at work on my August Pinterest Challenge!
And by hard at work, I mean: I made one thing.
Behold: yogurt trail mix bars.
Mine don’t look nearly as white and dainty as Lindsay’s, but that’s not a huge surprise. I’ve never really been a natural in the kitchen. (Also, I think Lindsay used frozen fruit while I used fresh, so I’m pretty sure the fruit juices are to blame for the color change.)
In fact, I was completely shocked that I made a few tweaks to the recipe and it still came out edible.
I stirred in a little honey and sweet coconut (yes, I’m the only healthy living blogger alive who doesn’t strictly use unsweetened) to counteract the tart taste of Greek yogurt, which I’m not a huge fan of. (Why didn’t I just sub in regular yogurt? Why, that would be way too easy and logical of me.)
Conclusion: they’re good! They taste just like Nature Valley yogurt granola bars (I went on a short kick with them once, so I remember that taste well.)
So that’s one task down. I’m planning to tackle one of the workouts and another recipe tomorrow, which leaves…5 things to make/do next week. Gulp.
I was supposed to make the Smirnoff Sorbet Ginger Lady on vacation last week, but I couldn’t find the vodka at the Ft. Myers Publix (I didn’t realize some grocery stores don’t carry hard liquor?), and now I’m not sure if I want to invest in an entire bottle that I’ll inevitably have to drink by myself. My current plan is to miraculously find a bar that carries those exact ingredients within the next week and a half. (It’s a shaky plan, at best.)
In other news, I’ve decided it’s finally time for me to kick a long-time habit I’m not proud of.
I’m breaking up with Diet Coke.
Actually, I’m breaking up with all soda. (Which is not a huge leap, actually, since Diet Coke is the only soda I ever drink.)
I wouldn’t say I’m an addict…I’m not guzzling gallons of the stuff, and I don’t go bonkers if I unexpectedly run out. (I just calmly sprint to the grocery store…haha.)
But I have had a little “afternoon DC” habit for quite awhile, and I know it’s a problem for me because I’m embarrassed to talk about it. I also know that I’ve been getting a lot of random headaches lately, and I don’t think I can blame all of them on hormones.
So the soda has to go. Actually, my real beef is with the aspartame, and so, all aspartame of any kind—including any fake sugar in coffee—has to go, too. And now that I’m finally doing it, it feels looong overdue.
I’m sure you’ve heard about aspartame’s not-so-glowing reputation, including:
–Its association with weight gain (because the sweet taste tricks the body into thinking it’s getting energy when it’s not, making it desperate for more).
–Its links to cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart attack. (This article says that even one diet soda a day increases your risk for stroke and heart attack.)
–Its ability to make people psychologically, and even physically, addicted.
–Its intense withdrawal symptoms.
I always knew my Diet Coke habit wasn’t the healthiest thing ever, but since I wasn’t consuming crazy high quantities of it (never more than a can a day), I didn’t think it was that horrible. (Things like caffeine aren’t wonderful for your body either, but in small quantities, they’re not the end of the world…or so I would reason, weirdly defensively.) And I certainly didn’t think I was addicted.
That is, until I read this line (from this article):
According to the American Psychiatric Association, a key sign of substance dependence is when a person continues to use a substance even when he or she knows it’s causing physical or mental health problems.
Honestly, my conscious has been nagging me about this for a long time, so obviously I’m recognizing that there’s something wrong with it.
And when I think I’m “craving” a Diet Coke, am I really craving the taste, or am I just having a conditioned response? (To, say, the fact that it’s 2 PM and I usually have a Diet Coke around now.) This article says…
“You can get into a situation where you crave a diet soda by conditioning yourself,” Dr. Urschel says. “[If] you stop for gas and always get a diet soda, the craving will start to come first, before you even pull into the station.”
And so, I’m going Diet Coke and aspartame free, cold turkey, starting now. These are the moments when having a blog becomes so handy—I can make a public commitment, and I’m automatically so much more accountable!
I was encouraged by this article, which has a few brilliant ideas for soda alternatives that might actually work (in case the age-old “just drink more water!” doesn’t come through). Here we go!
Has anyone else struggled with a habit you’re not proud of?
It’s crazy how many stories you find if you Google “giving up Diet Coke”!