Though I've always strived to make healthy choices and keep active, it wasn't until this year that I really made it priority. I'm certainly not perfect -- I totally believe in mindful indulgences from time to time (Hawaiian pizza & s'mores anyone?:) and might skip leg day a little more often than I should. BUT, I'm coming up with new (simple) tips and tricks every day to curb some of my unhealthiest habits -- AKA cracking open a diet coke at 8 in the morning.
I can't even believe how addicted I used to be to artificial/processed goods. Luckily I've always had a decent metabolism, but I'd still crash at 3 p.m. with frequent headaches or fatigue due to my massive junk intake! Don't get me wrong, it wasn't that bad. I still ate fruits and veggies on the reg, but mostly had a major soda issue that pretty much couldn't be stopped...until I read Skinny Bitch. (FYI, I don't read books like this to go on a diet or lose weight. I read to learn more about nutrition and mindful consumption, which I think is ALWAYS more important than a dress size or number on the scale.)
Though I don't agree with everything Skinny Bitch preaches, the section on soda and aspartame really spoke to me. You can read about it in-depth in the book, but the bottom line is that it's not safe. It was denied eight times by the FDA for approval. EIGHT TIMES. There's also a really sketchy story behind it all, which you should definitely look in to -- not just for the entertainment value, but because it's some important shit. Oh and guess what? According to the American Cancer Society, aspartame has been linked to cancer. No thanks.
I'm not hating if you're a big soda drinker (I'll still sneak in a regular coke or root beer every couple of months), but diet soda was definitely off the table for me once I read into how it's actually made. I also wasn't about to replace my diet soda with regular soda. With the amount I was drinking, it would have been a complete sugar overload.
So how'd I stop drinking diet soda?
Fruit infused water.
That's a major duh, right? We've all pinned it before, but have you actually taken the time to try it? Most people haven't, but it's soooo worth it. I'm also a huge iced chai fan, which can be a great low-cal treat too (recipe here).
Fruit infused water though is seriously the key to upping your water intake, which can lead to weight loss, better digestion and overall health improvement. Plus it has just the right subtle, fruity undertone to keep you invested in your H2O. Love it.
I'd also recommend investing in a 32 oz. water bottle. You should be drinking 64 oz. a day, which is so much easier to do knowing you only have to down two bottles. It still feels like a lot at first, but trust me on this one.
Ever heard the saying don't drink your calories? It's a great rule of thumb, but I never say never. For me, balance is key. If I want a frap once a week, I'm gonna get a damn frap. However, my 64 oz. is a priority. No sugary drinks until it's downed. And how often do I feel the urge for sugary drinks?
It feels good to have a goal that resets every day. Plus, there's no excuse for why you can't achieve it. After all, it's just drinking some water.
So, here's the mix I just can't get enough of lately:
♥ Mint (not pictured)
Keep in mind, I'm not always into measuring when I'm cooking/baking. I like a lot of fruit in my water so I can eat it after, but you can add the ingredients to taste depending on how much water you're making. I also like to let mine sit overnight in the fridge for extra flavor, but it's still just as good if you make it on the go. Enjoy!
What's your favorite alternative to sugary drinks? I'm always looking to mix it up!