Sunday, January 10, 2016

5 Delicious Low-Cal or No-Cal Alternatives To Soda



I spent 15 minutes on the phone last week with my BFF talking her off the Diet Coke ledge. She is trying to cut back on soda in 2016 and says going off of it is about to kill her. She is having caffeine withdrawals, she misses that wonderful Diet Coke fizz and gets bored with water.

I feel her pain. I was a soda addict in the 90's and early 2000's. When I worked for the Dallas Cowboys we had free sodas all throughout Valley Ranch. I would drink two or three Diet Dr. Peppers and a Diet Mountain Dew every day. The whole 'diet' thing didn't do squat for me. I was still fat.

When I started scaling back my soda consumption and, not coincidentally, eating better the weight started dropping off.

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I am not gonna lie. My favorite drink, to this day, is a Cherry Diet Coke from JD's Chippery in Dallas. There is something special about that cherry syrup they use. I could drink one every day but you, me and everyone in between knows that a daily soda habit isn't good for you. To that end, I limit my consumption to one delicious drink a week.

There is no disputing the fact that water is the best beverage out there. I love water but sometimes we all just get tired of it. Whether we're stuck at work and need something for that 3pm break or simply want a more interesting alternative to drink when we're running errands, water all day every day can become monotonous and, in turn, has us craving a Coke. Fortunately, there are some awesome low-calorie or no-calorie beverages you can drink in place of water and soda without damaging your waistline.

5 Soda Alternatives

Fruit, Vegetable or Mint Water
This is the easiest thing out there. Simply drop your favorite fruit or vegetables in some water and enjoy throughout the day. Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges and grapefuits are the fruit water classics. Try watermelon with some mint leaves or blackberries and pineapple. Whatever you create will  be delicious. The great thing is that your only limit is your own imagination. Experiment with vegetables like cucumbers, they add a subtle yet delicious flavor to any water.

You can buy these special fruit water bottles that are genius. They really do work.

Tea
Tea is your best friend when you need a mid-afternoon pick-up, especially green tea. The good green stuff reportedly has a slew of magical, medicinal and weight-loss-promoting properties. Some experts debate those claims. I do know that once I started consuming green tea regularly, I stopped getting colds. I get sick maybe once a year, if that.

There are so many wonderful green teas on the market. I love Mighty Leaf teas. They're strong enough to brew once to drink as a hot tea and then, don't judge, pour ice water over the used tea bag to have a flavored ice water. Their fruit teas are delicious iced.

I also love Kusmi Tea. I discovered it in Paris a few years ago and became addicted. I order their BB Detox Grapefruit Green Tea, Rose Green Tea and Be Cool Tea by the canister. They also have a great sampler set if you want to try them all.

Tea Forté Wild Berry Hibiscus Tea - delicious iced!

Don't stop at green. See what else you like. Rooibos and white teas have unique flavors and also reportedly deliver a slew of healthy benefits. Tea Forté has a great tea set that helps you brew iced tea.

What types of tea do you like? Please let me know in the comments section.

Sparkling Water
I am one of those Costco shoppers who has blown a paycheck on a case of San Pellegrino. I would drink five bottles a day of that Italian acqua...if I could afford it. Sparkling water is like the champagne of H20. San Pellegrino is delicious.

Perrier, Topo Chico and La Croix waters are outstanding, too. Ozarka and Trader Joe's, along with Perrier and La Croix, make some interesting flavored waters that contain no calories.

8G Greens Superfood Supplement

You will love 8G Greens Superfood Supplement.

I read about 8G Greens Superfood Supplement Alka Seltzer-like tablets on a flight to LA this summer. They contain eight greens (spinach, wheatgrass, kale, blue algae, spirulina, chorella, barley grass and aloe vera) and claim to deliver, among other things, as much vitamin B5 as 20 cups of broccoli, as much B6 as seven cups of lima beans and as much B12 as nine cups of milk. I was commuting so much that I felt the need to get as much green stuff in my system as I could so I ordered a pack from Nordstrom.

Friends, they're fabulous. They have delicious sparkling citrus flavor and contain only nine calories per serving. At $12 a tube for 10 tablets, they're not super-cheap but they're cheaper than fountain soda at most locations and cost significantly less than any green juice you can buy. I gave these as gifts as Christmas.

You're allowed to roll your eyes right now.

Emergen-C
I usually drink Emergen-C in the morning with breakfast. It's a great way to start the day. It's also a delicious afternoon pick-me-up. One packet of Emergen-C has 1,000 mg of vitamin C as well as zinc, manganese and 7 B vitamins. Each serving has about 25 calories.
Emergen-C, Alternatives to soda
Love Emergen-C! I drink it in the morning.

My favorite flavors are Strawberry Kiwi, Açai Berry, Berry Bliss or Dragonfruit. In honesty, they're all pretty good. You can find basic flavors at most Walgreen's, Target or other similar stores. Many of the flavors are sold exclusively at Whole Foods. Boxes of Emergen-C containing 30 packets are generally cheaper online at places like Drugstore.com.

What About You? 
Do you have a soda sub? I would love to know what it is. Please share your favorite with me in the comments section.

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