Unmasked

March 24th

It dawned on me recently that as much as I talk about being healthy and loving to cook and garden, I certainly don’t practice all that I preach.

{Want to hear a secret? I’m a bit of a Diet Coke addict. The ingredients on the side of the can scare me to the point I can’t read them. I sip my soda and think, “la la la la la! This sweet brown nectar of the Gods loves me and is NOT going to make me sick one day. La la la la la!”}

I also know after slowly losing weight during the last few months that any drastic changes I make to my workout or eating routines don’t stick. If I back away bit by bit, I see success. And so, I’m cutting out the artificial sweeteners in my home. No more pink packets with the morning oatmeal or over the greek yogurt. Or in the ice tea. Or over popcorn. Instead I’m learning to taste food again. Oatmeal with a bit of cinnamon and milk tastes nutty and is remarkably good. Greek yogurt is sour enough to make me pucker a bit, but delightful in its own way.

I still haven’t cut out the Diet Coke, but I’m thinking about it. I know caffeine will be next and that makes me want to curl up for a nap with a giant bottle of Excedrin just mulling it over. I am not a pleasant person without caffeine (or at least for the first week.) Little by little, I’m cutting out the preservatives and junk. Enjoying spending time in the kitchen greatly helps; I can’t imagine trying to eat this way otherwise. We had meatloaf sandwiches on whole wheat bread last night with baked tofu chips. The only preservative was on the low-sugar BBQ sauce we used on the chips.

My diet is far from perfect and weekends, or gatherings with the girls, are often a complete wreck. But it is getting a bit better. I know I’ll feel better without all the crazy chemicals. Soon enough I’ll be buying all natural shampoo and saving the grey water for the garden. Oh, hippie life, how you encourage me to be better.

~k

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29 Responses

  1. I feel similar to you. I try to eat well, but I like food and love to socialize. And, well so I eat lots of stuff! I am moving to all natural cleaning and beauty products though. (Lately I haven’t been able to splurge as much in those areas though.) We shoudl compare products and help each other out!

  2. Oh, thank heavens! You’re not perfect…he he he!!! J/k!!! I have to admit that (although I don’t personally know you IRL) I do look to you for advice and tips on all things good and healthy, morals, giving, and just being my all-around favorite hippie! He he he! Speaking of…have you ever done a Q&A post?!?! That would be so fun!!!

    BTW – I’m SO addicted to diet soda…you have no idea. I won’t even tell you how many ounces a day of that stuff I drink – too too much!!! And, it’s not even the caffeine, but I’ll drink the decaf stuff too! Ugh…need to work on that! But, my only saving grace is that I don’t drink coffee, alcohol or smoke, so this is my one “bad” thing that I allow myself! And, social events ruin any kind of diet…unless you’re the one hosting them! Good luck! One step at a time!

  3. Just slowly wean yourself off of the caffeine, do NOT do it all at once. (I made that mistake once) Trust me once you are off of it you won’t miss it all that much, I do let myself indulge in it on the weekends.

  4. Kelli – I think you are doing a great job already and you should give yourself credit for that!! You are always trying new ingredients and cooking things from scratch. You exercise way more than the majority of us. And you are even growing your own veggies now.

    I think the 80/20 rule is a really good place to strive for. It leaves room for an occasional diet coke, beergarita or dinner out with the gals, but allows you to focus in on good healthy habits the rest of the time.

    As you know, I gave up coke for Lent and I KNOW I will enjoy one on Easter, but I really do hope to drastically limit my intake in the future : )

  5. I’m the queen of eating crap but I did give up coke/cherry coke/pepsi the end of December and it’s been fine. I still drink soda, just not the nectar of the gods! Good luck!!

  6. I think one foodie/drinkie vice is fine. Otherwise, what joy is there in life?! But I certainly support getting back to real food. Also, have you tried honey? All-natural, and perfect on oatmeal, toast (made from homemade bread, of course), in iced tea, and yogurt. It’s so delicious you won’t need a ton of it to feel satisfied. Says me.

    ps. Yay, SunnyInspiration! Definitely let’s all compare natural beauty products!! I love Tom’s of Maine for shower wash (Target has it!). Don’t have a great natural shampoo yet – any ideas?

  7. Hang in there!! You are not alone. I had to give up soda and booze for lent to actually make the change. It sucks for a while, then you don’t miss it. I’m not sure if I’ll go back to soda, but am definitely going back to booze. šŸ™‚

  8. I am currently trying Tom of Maine deod…. it’s okay, but will take some getting used to.

    Yay for back to real foods! I started using real butter again… I don’t use it that often, but couldn’t look at margarine anymore. it is SO good…yyuumm.

    I have been researching artifical sweeteners for years on the internet and my conclusion has been to eer on the side of caution… there is just too much conflicting info.

    Good luck with the caffeine… you can do it!

  9. I think they put a little bit of crack in diet coke.

  10. That’s the beauty of Lent. Anything that you do but know you shouldn’t be doing, you can give up for Lent. That way you have the guilt. Every time you drink a soda that you gave up for Lent, you make baby Jesus cry. OK, bad joke, but you get the meaning, right? Usually after Lent is over, I find that I got used to not having the thing that I gave up. I haven’t had soda in a year because of this.

  11. Rebecca March 24, 2009

    SWEET HEAVENS! The Loss of the DC is TOO FAR. I look forward to the day I birth this child and can run to the nearest extra large DC and REFILL IT. hee hee.

  12. I agree with everyone who said you do far more than the average, and I think it’s great. But I also agree that you can cut yourself a little slack regarding the fake foods. My grandmother lived to 96 on ice cream sundaes and Velveeta, plus the occasional whole watermelon.

    Re Tom’s of Maine. I love the smell of their Pine scented and their Calendula scented deoderants, but I don’t find they prevent B.O. all that well. I’ve had much more success with the big crystal that you moisten and rub around (but it’s stingsville on days you shave, hence the Tom’s as a backup). The bonus of switching to any of these is – no yellow armpits on clothes anymore.

  13. I hear you about the soda withdrawels. I usually go through phases. If I don’t keep it in the house I usually do not drink it. I try to drink Hansens or Izze’s if I’m really trying to avoid it.

  14. Once you get off caffeinne you will learn you can survive quite well without. I haven’t had any caffeinated drinks in well over 30 years. I eat much healthier these days though I do use Spenda and have thought a little brown sugar would be much better for my bodyin the long run than sugar substitutes. I need to make a change as well.

  15. LOL LAUGHING at Bec! AHhh I too am a dc fan but try to limit one a day. Of course, sometimes that one a day is in a big ole 32 oz cup! HE HE I have started shopping at sprouts does that count as healthy eating?

  16. You’re not perfect?! AAAHHH my perfect ideas of Kelli are gone, lol… j/k. Nobody is perfect and you truly are many steps ahead of me so kudos to you. Although I don’t drink caffeine šŸ˜‰ but I do eat all the other junk. I think you’re doing great and just wanted to say keep it up, you’ll be perfect one day!

  17. DC is one thing but for the love of g@d don’t give up the coffee. Afterall depending on your inclinations you can find as much research to support moderate coffee consumption as there is to refute it. Coffee is natural. (hmmm I guess opium is too-so much for that argument)

  18. Well, fair trade coffee is a good thing for the farmers who grow it, right? At least that’s what I tell myself–it’s helping their economy.

  19. rohanknitter March 24, 2009

    Ahhh, diet coke, it’s hard to resist! It’s totally my downfall, so the only thing I can do is just not bring it into the house. I try to keep it to just when we go out for pizza and such. I do have one cup of coffee every morning though, with a bit of equal in it – no way I’m giving that up! ; )

  20. Imperfections and all, you’re still a fantastic inspiration to us all! I have a friend who started slowly cutting out his caffeine intake a while back. After the first couple weeks of cutting it out only at certain times of the day, he noticed he had much more energy in the afternoons when he used to feel drained before it was even dark. I can’t remember if he ever completely cut it out or not but just cutting back made a huge difference for him. Our bodies are weird machines, eh?

  21. I whish I had your strenght, maybe I could diet a little……damn………

  22. I still enjoy your blog so much. Healthier Eating – take it with baby steps. That’s how I managed to get there. But hey, a girl needs to have fun once in a while, right ! so those weekend outings with your friends are perfectly allowed. I am also hoping to get off the caffeine but my mind is saying “you need two cups of coffee first thing in the morning”. From one hippie to another – keep up the good work !

  23. I can so relate! Mine is coffee though, just a nice cup of black coffee. Or as my kids think of it mom’s not a meanie. I have been trying to be more healthy as well, and you are absolutely one up on me. Baby steps though, right?

  24. It is possible to give up Diet Coke, but it totally sucks. My most successful attempt has been quitting cold turkey while I had a bad cold. I already felt terrible, and was sleeping all the time, so I missed out on the first couple of days of withdrawals. Good luck!

  25. I had surgery for uterine fibriods this past November.
    If loving diet Coke is wrong, I don’t want to be right!

    Since caffeine is linked to that I have had to give up caffeine (well, seriously reduce) which was hard because I already don’t drink coffee (at all) or tea (rarely). So, that left just diet Coke and chocolate. Sniff. I have a friend that is a dietitian and when she went to some fancy national dietitian conference the hotel where they stayed ran out of diet Coke. Apparently a lot of big wig dietitians also love the stuff. She gave it a thumbs up in moderation. Everything in moderation! I try to avoid it during the week, and enjoy a bit on the weekends.

  26. My daily coffee with a splash of milk is my biggest “vice”…as long as I don’t bake or buy cookies, which I canNOT resist!

    I’m hooked on Greek yogurt with honey drizzled over it (I have a jar of local honey, which I tell myself is medicinal–supposed to help w/allergies) with craisins. I’ve also been putting on a dollop of my strawberry freezer jam–which has way too much sugar in it to be good for me!

    I love your method of weaning off of things–it really is the best way to make changes stick for me, too.

  27. Tina in Duluth March 25, 2009

    You seem to have struck a nerve!

    I try not to drink too many diet cokes (actually, coke zero for me), but they are just so satisfying!

    I like my greek yogurt with chopped up cukes, minced garlic, and a little lemon juice. I can’t seem to add anything sweet to it. I always substitute it (plain) for sour cream these days.

  28. Kelli,I too have loved Diet Coke! I gave up sodas of all kinds a couple years ago (along w/ artificial sweeteners & anything hydrogenated) and life is great without them! I still have a Diet Coke once in a while, but my rule is only when eating out, and even then it only goes with certain things so I don’t get it often. At home I always have a pitcher of iced green tea in the fridge, it’s so good for you, it makes a great replacement!

  29. it’s all about balance, don’t be too hard on yourself! i eat my fruits and veggies, but there are times when i can’t resist the candy! i stopped drinking coffee a few weeks ago, and it hasn’t been pleasant. i switched to tea at first, and now am trying decaf. it’s disgusting. not sure how long this will last…

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