The Soda Challenge: Update

2269896200_95f0d684ce_zWell over a month ago Bas and I started a challenge. We decided to try to go without drinking any kind of soda for a month. We all know drinking soda is bad for you, but in our culture drinking soda is the norm, and it’s hard to break away from that.
I was supposed to make a blogpost on how we did at the end of the month. The reason I didn’t, might surprise you; I have gotten so accustomed to not drinking soda I actually forgot I was doing a challenge. Honestly, I don’t miss it at all!

At first we had some trouble. Before the challenge, I think the two of us would drink about 18 liters of diet coke in a week. That sounds like a lot, but it’s 9 liters per person, which makes it a little over a liter a day. Many people drink nothing but soda all day long. If they drink about two liters every day,  a household like ours would consume 28 liters every week. Still, the amount we were drinking wasn’t healthy. In fact, drinking any soda at all, isn’t healthy. And when we quit, we really craved sugar for a while. We had gotten so accustomed to the extreme sweetness in our drinks, we had some trouble adjusting to water and homemade unsweetened iced tea. But as the challenge continued the sugar cravings went away, and I really do feel much healthier. We’re also saving a ton of money, and we’re no longer buying those horrid plastic bottles.

Plastic bottles and garbage on the bank of a riverSince the challenge started, we’ve generally been drinking iced tea, coffee and water. We found a milk frother at the thriftstore a few weeks ago, and it’s already the best buy of the year. I really like to drink cappuccino, but the cups for our Dolce Gusto coffee machine are not only way too expensive, but also very environmentally unfriendly. I had been looking for an alternative, like reusable cups, and as it turns out, I was looking in the wrong direction. It’s nice to realize often the best solution is the simplest. Now we can get rid of the Dolce Gusto, and still enjoy a cappuccino in the morning.

The only struggle that remains is drinking out. It’s almost like drinking water is frowned upon. People keep asking you if there’s anything else they can get you. And they insist on telling you of all the other beverages they could get you, even thought you’ve told them you are fine drinking “just” water. I guess they are afraid they are being a bad host if their guests have nothing to drink but water. This, however, is their problem and not yours. If you make a lifestyle change that goes against the cultural norm, people will think it’s weird, no matter how reasonable it is. In time though, they will get used to it, just like you did. So don’t let that stop you.
In general,  I’m really proud of us for quitting sodas. It’s another step towards the healthier, greener lifestyle we’re trying to achieve. And it’s nice to keep growing as people.

Have any of you tried the challenge yet? Please tell me about it! Or, if you have any ideas or recipes for healthier beverages, leave them in the comment box or on our Facebookpage.


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