I’d be skinny if weren’t for soda.
At least I think that I would be. It seems fairly safe to blame soda for many of the cushioned areas of my body. On average, my diet isn’t too bad. I naturally desire fruits and veggies and will always opt for them when available. The occasional chocolate craving aside, I don’t overall fiend for sweets or sugar every day. Or at least not in the form of cookies, candies, pastries, etc. Because soda, that I do crave. I literally cannot resist it. There is nothing so satisfying, so unbelievably all-quenching as the feel of that cold, carbonated “burn” going down!
Of course, as a diabetic, this presents a major problem in my life. Soda is one of (if not the) worst beverages for me to drink. My condition is such that after even one can of regular soda, I will begin to feel the side effects of a high rise in blood sugar, and it’s not fun. A desire to avoid that bodily state is actually my best motivation in refraining from these drinks. And so I’ve taken considerable steps to change the way in which I consume it. Years ago I had a multiple-cans- per-day habit. Now, at most, I have one serving with dinner, and that’s not even necessarily every day.
The greatest challenge for me was not in cutting back but rather in finding an alternative that satisfied my craving and yet wouldn’t send my endocrine system into a tailspin. And regular “diet sodas” are not an option. Aspartame literally feels like poison to me. My body has an absolute intolerance to it, and I despise the taste of it anyway. The aspartame-containing drinks that I’ve tried never taste even remotely close to the original, they leave a horrible aftertaste, and they can possibly make me even fatter? No thanks! Then came sodas made with Splenda and life was (somewhat) good again. No aftertaste and no stomachaches, but my super-sensitive palates can still discern a complete difference in taste. I reasoned with myself that sometimes you may have to give up a little taste in order to still enjoy the overall product. And so, with a shrug, I quietly accepted that this would probably always be just as good as it gets.
And then I was introduced to Zevia soda. And ever since, my life has not been the same. I imagine that you may scoff, thinking such a statement to be quite the hyperbole. And I will tell you emphatically that it is not. Zevia is a zero-calorie, stevia-sweetened soda sweetened with no artificial ingredients and which does not raise my blood sugar to perilous levels! Before Zevia, I had never tasted a diet soda with just the right amount of carbonation to be satisfying and that tastes so close to the original flavors of popular brand giants. The cola tastes like cola! The grape and orange (sugary flavors that I would normally recoil from) are nuanced instead of syrupy sweet. The cream soda may be the best I’ve ever tasted, diet or otherwise. And while at first I was not sure about the “ginger” in the root beer, I tried it and found it to be delicious. Some flavors I find to be tastier than others. The Dr. Zevia seems to be missing a few of the 23 flavors that make a Dr. Pepper so delicious, and the Mt. Zevia perhaps doesn’t climb quite as high a summit as a Mt. Dew. But those are actually the two Zevia flavors that the Hubs enjoys the most. Conversely, he is not quite as big a fan of my aforementioned favorites. To me, that means this soda brand overall still wins! With 15 different flavors, there are bound to be a few that you will love. I’ve tried all but the strawberry and even after devouring my way through all the other flavors thus far, I am still marveling that this “smarter soda” even exists to begin with. If there is a catch then I don’t want to know!
My only gripe is, of course, the cost. At an average of $6 per 6-pack, Zevia is quite pricey. But I have often found it on sale for only about $3.99 per pack at both Kroger and Target. And the manufacturer does make coupons readily available. Usually I’m all-for the lowest possible cost but, for someone like me: a bubbly-drink addict for whom regular soda can actually cause significant harm to health, an alternative like this may well be worth the price.