I’ve been reflecting recently on points in my life when I have decided to make healthy changes and I was thinking way back as far as I could remember. I’ve always been active and have enjoyed sports, working out, fitness classes, yoga, you name it, which is why I went to college to study Kinesiology and just recently became a certified personal trainer. Staying fit has always been a part of my life, but when exactly did I become aware and more conscious of what I was consuming? That’s a bit harder to recall.
I remember in college my diet consisted of chemical and preservative filled Hot Pockets, Healthy Choice TV dinners and that Special K chocolately delight cereal…hmm I actually don’t miss any of those things… Anyway, at some point I discovered that these weren’t the best options (some of the worst actually) to be consuming on a regular basis. I’m sure it was research of the ingredients over time. Maybe something I read or watched scared me shitless (this is probably and usually the case), but I don’t really know the exact point I started to make a change.
I can recall, however, one of the first food or rather beverage items that I basically swore off and haven’t gone back to since and that is soda (a.k.a “pop”). I haven’t had regular soda in over 8 years (other than a curious sip of my husband’s) and here are a few reasons why:
- There is absolutely no nutritional value to soda whatsoever. Basically empty calories, all from added sugar with no value as far as minerals, vitamins or even quality carbohydrates.
- Speaking of sugar, just how much sugar you ask? One can contains 9+ teaspoons of sugar! WHAT?! Soft drink companies are actually the largest user of sugar in the country. To put it in perspective, candy bars typical have around 5-6 teaspoons.
- Studies have shown soda is bad for your teeth and for your bones. Why? Phosphoric acid, which interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
- Can we just talk about those Wiki articles that say to use soda to clean your toilets and get rid of that ugly ring? If it can clean your toilet, just imagine what it’s doing to your insides.
- Diet sodas are even worse, and aspartame is controversial, but can be addictive and cause weight gain just to mention two of the many health problems it and other artificial sweeteners have been linked to. How do they do this? They can trick your body and spike your insulin levels which actually can send your body into fat storage mode.
- Soda contains high fructose corn syrup from corn that has been genetically modified and also contains high levels of mercury. Enough said. I don’t care about the corn companies spending thousands of dollars on campaigns that say it’s okay and that “our bodies don’t know the difference.” It’s not and the research shows that our bodies do know the difference. Read more here.
- There are natural soda versions made with stevia and monk fruit that taste even better and that have no calories, artificial sweeteners or colors etc. My favorite is the caffeine-free cola by Zevia.
So there’s just 7 reasons why I quit soda and never looked back. And on the topic of reflecting, I don’t think it really matters when or what triggered these healthier changes for me because for those reading that may not be there yet, that breaking point is going to be different for each one of you. Just being interested in knowing more about what is in the things you are eating and drinking is a great place to start.
I’m happy I’ve made the healthy changes I have so far and that I know the things I know now. I have researched and educated myself over time to where I am today which is more aware, but still learning every day (still a newbie). It is a process and takes time to find all the answers, read all the articles, watch documentaries etc. etc. but the truth is, the government is not regulating the food and beverages on our shelves, so in order to protect ourselves we have to do the work. 😉
Thanks for reading!
Lots of love and good health,
Tasha, The Non-Toxic Newbie