Growing up, I drank A LOT of soda and sweet tea. I totally get that it is a hard habit to break for people.
For those that find it difficult to break the habit of drinking soda or sweet tea, and who also don’t care for plain water, I wanted to offer some healthier alternatives.
When trying to break an old habit, it helps to have a new one to replace it with! It is much less challenging to give something up when you aren’t making a complete sacrifice by leaving an “empty place” where that thing once was.
First things first… If you can’t give up your soda and/or sweet tea, start by cutting back on the amount consumed. I am a firm believer that every small positive change really does help! The small changes, when practiced consistency over time, usually actually result with more success than does attempting a complete and immediate overhaul.
Next step would be to replace the regular soda with diet soda and the sweet tea with tea sweetened with a sugar substitute (such as splenda, stevia, etc). Some would argue that this is still not ideal, but it is (in my opinion) better than full sugar beverages. Especially for anyone who deals with blood sugar regulation, or who is looking to cut back on calories coming from added / processed sugars.
Finally, consider replacing with healthier swaps. Here are some of my favorites:
Fruit-infused water: You can buy a water bottle or pitcher with a built in infuser, or just add fresh sliced fruit and some of the freshly squeezed juice into a pitcher and keep it in your fridge. My favorite fruit to use is fresh oranges, but I love cucumber infused water with a hint of lemon and lime too.
True Lemon water flavors: You can add these to bottled water for flavor without adding many calories (about 10 per packet). My favorites are watermelon, raspberry, and cherry. I have not found the strawberry yet, but I am on the lookout!
Zevia: These are stevia sweetened carbonated beverages like soda, but they have no artificial ingredients or additives. My favorite is the grape, but I haven’t tried them all!
Yogi Tea: They are not sweet per say, but do have some stevia and monk fruit in most of the blends. I find that they don’t need added sweetener. For those not accustomed to the mild sweetness of these teas, 1 packet of sugar substitute would be plenty until your taste-buds adjust. I especially like drinking these in the winter as they help warm me up! I usually drink at least one cup daily all year long, as they give me an energy boost. Not all of their blends are caffeinated, but my favorites are the energy blends / slim life blends (Blueberry, Tangerine, Caramel Apple Spice, Vanilla Spice, and Mint) because they have the added energy! I also recommend some of the healing blends when you are under the weather. Check them out here.
La Croix: Another carbonated soda-like beverage, but they are not sweetened like Zevia is, just flavored. I started out drinking these with squeezes of fresh orange in them, but eventfully worked my way to enjoying the taste without the sweetness needing to be added. I like the grapefruit and coconut in the original flavors, and the apple-berry and cherry-lime curate flavors the most, but have not tried all the flavors yet. Must find keylime!!
1/ Have you tried any of these items before?
2/ What are your favorite healthy beverages?