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Finally Kicked Soda Habit Thanks to Green Iced Tea

I am a life long diet soda addict. Mom started buying Tab and Fresca in the 60's and I've been hooked ever since. Lately it's been Sprite Zero, Tab and Coke Zero.

My switch to green iced tea was not a conscious one. I still have Tab in the fridge. I realized yesterday that I probably haven't had any diet soda for days. I'm ok with that.

I've always consumed more water than soda. However, with meals I had to have a diet soda. My tastebuds simply demand something other than water with certain savory foods. Anything with cheese, for instance.

I used to not like iced tea. I love all sorts of hot tea (though I buy the cheap stuff). I like Bigelow Green Chai and Target's Simply Balanced Green Ginger. These are teas I drink hot before breakfast. One morning I thought I'd try a combo and reheat the leftovers. Then I decided I'd try iced tea. I added one drop of EZ-Sweetz (sucralose) and I liked it, but it was too sweet. I've been making and consuming batches of the stuff without sweetener like mad ever since.

I'm not done with soda altogether. I simply don't need it anymore. Who knows, maybe by the time I hit 60 I'll learn to love just water with meals. Could happen.

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  1. As another big diet soda fan - another kind of tea I really enjoy is hibiscus tea (both cold and hot). The easiest way to get hibiscus tea in the US is Starbucks Passion tea, but personally my favorite brand is Isis (it's an Egyptian brand, but I'm able to get it via Amazon).

    Traditionally hibiscus tea in the Middle East is served sweetened, but I really like it both sweetened and not. It has a really strong tartness, almost similar to that cranberry pucker.

    1. I cut down on diet soda years ago but I always had to have one with lunch. I recently got a craving for iced tea and bought a bottle of Pure Leaf unsweetened (which I sweeten with a half packet of Splenda) and I haven't had a Diet Coke with lunch since.

      I actually quit Diet Coke a number of years back and I remember the first time I took a sip of one after several weeks it was disgusting. Not sure how I got back to 1-2 cans a day but c'est la vie.

      Good luck cutting soda out completely!

      1. Have you tried different temperatures for the plain water you drink? When I realized some years back that I needed to drikn more water, I discovered that tap water and room temp water are easier for me to drink than cold/ice water. Unless the weather is oppressively hot, Cold water seems to sit in my stomach like a rock. The gastrointestinal equivalent of a brain-freeze. But I can comfortably chug a pint of room temp/cool water. Mostly I drink water but sometimes enjoy cold/cool tea that has been diluted by half, with water. Ditto for diluting fruit juices. I gave up soda many years ago when I learned how bad it is for tooth enamel.

        3 Replies
        1. re: greygarious

          I drink at least 2 liters of water a day. Plus iced tea with meals. I know the amount because I used to have my water delivered. 15 gallons a month on average just for me. I stopped that when delivery became a pain. Now I use a water pitcher system that would make Rube Goldberg proud. I read that people waste a lot of water running the tap to fill pitchers so I have refrigerated gallon jugs of unfiltered water that I filter. If you tasted Minneapolis water in the summer, you'd understand. Yeah, I'm a MN loon who is also part camel.

          1. re: MplsM ary

            good for you! All that hydration, plus the benefits of green tea, with no sugar has to be good for you!

            (I'm keeping this thread for inspiration...)

            1. re: sunshine842

              I got the idea for this particular iced tea because in a weird way Bigelow Green Chai tastes a little like diet Dr. Pepper. It's very odd. I throw in the green ginger tea because it seems to balance out the flavors.

        2. Good for you!
          I am a brewed iced tea lover and for store bought stuff, I really like Tejava...get it at TJ's and they have the Green Tea version too.

          Hibiscus tea is another fave and I will do a sun tea container and let it steep with the flowers from the Mex markets..also, you can buy the Celestial Seasonings, Red Zinger that is delicious.

          1. We kicked our (diet) soda habit years ago and haven't looked back. It's mostly water with dinner these days, save for the very, very, *very* rare exception when we'll each have a Mexican coke - tiny bottle, doable amount.

            I find soda unbearably sweet now, and thus can only drink it with extremely salty food.

            9 Replies
            1. re: linguafood

              as you go back an forth between Europe and the US, do you find yourself surprised at the salt and sugar in most US products?

              1. re: sunshine842

                Sugar more than salt, but I'm a salt fiend. I'm continuously surprised at how many products in the US have added sugar/HFCS, tho.


                1. re: linguafood

                  a full year after our return to the states, there's still just an awful lot of food that we find is just nauseatingly sweet.

                  We figure that much can't be good for us, so we're hoping we never re-adapt.

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    I don't eat much bread in the US, and each time I try a bit from my man's sandwich, I remember why: too fucking sweet. It's almost like eating cake.

                    1. re: linguafood

                      You do know that there's more than 1 variety of "bread" out there? Some are sweetened, others not.

                      1. re: ferret

                        Almost all of the available "sandwich" breads available at the supermarket have added sugar.

                        We do have a local bakery that doesn't add that crap, and TJ's sliced bread is slightly less sweet than the other shit.

                        Too sweet for me in any event. Have at it.

                        1. re: linguafood

                          So this is more a function of purchasing practices? I buy bread at the supermarket and it's pretty easy to avoid sugar.

                          1. re: ferret

                            I'm happy to hear that it works for you, ferret. As I said, I don't sweat it much here since the commercial bread is so inferior to what I am used to, I can live without it for the larger part of the year and have my fill in Germany (like every summer).

                            As I also mentioned, my man found an acceptably non-sweet sandwich brand at TJ's.

                            1. re: linguafood

                              but then...I'd be pretty hard-put to tell you which one I prefer -- a warm baguette or a warm broetchen.

                              Can I just have one of each? :)

            2. We are fans of the Sanpelligrino fruit sodas but For over a month my beverage of choice has been unsweetened iced decaf coffee.I rarely had coffee when I could have caffeine. Now it is hitting the spot.

              1. I actually quit my two decade diet coke habit a while back- i used to be a 20oz bottle or two cans a day girl. Not obscene amounts but enough.

                I found swapping out a flavored drink was way easier than a glass of plain water. Initially i did sparkling water or a flavored seltzer since i missed the fizz, or an iced coffee if i needed the caffine kick. I would still have one every few months but then i bought one as a "treat" and it was so horrible! All of my fond memories ruined, just tasted like a weird fake chemically mix. Two sips and it went in the trash.

                And green tea is so good for you! If you like it then make big batches and just have that- there are plenty of people who don't want a plain glass of water with a meal.
                After kicking soda for a few weeks i noticed i was less bloated and overall my tummy was much happier, neither of which i had realized until soda was gone. And you'll save $!

                5 Replies
                1. re: Ttrockwood

                  I actually drink even more water now, since the tea is diuretic. I drink more iced tea than I ever did soda.

                  Since my late 20's I've been a little sensitive to caffeine. After a while I had built up a tolerance so I could have one cup of tea in the morning and a diet soda during the day. A few months ago I had a very strange medical crisis, starting with a monster headache that would not go away. After three weeks of that I woke with a droopy eyelid. When trying to make an appointment to see my doctor I was told I should get to the ER ASAP. A long MRI and some X-Rays and it remains a mystery as to the cause but I have Horner's Syndrome. But, the upside (I am a silver linings girl, believe it or not), I can mainline caffeine like the rest of the country. Thankfully my headache has become intermittent, though the other symptoms remain (one droopy eyelid, that same eye's pupil has a mind of its own and the inability to sweat on that side of my forehead (which I think is kinda cool and am trying to figure out if it's the first step in some odd superpower)).

                  1. re: MplsM ary

                    do be careful if you're borderline anemic -- the blood banks here have told me that tea and coffee suppress hemoglobin production. They said that in the summer, they typically have higher rejection rates because of low hemoglobin -- and it's because people are drinking more tea when it's hot.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      Good tip, thanks! I never would have known that and I am a pretty faithful blood donor. I've been waiting a bit to donate again until I feel 100%. I will load up on the leafy greens and black beans. And I will watch my tea intake.

                    2. re: MplsM ary

                      Not sweating is totally a superpower!! I actually only have decaf teas, in the morning i'm a fairly serious coffee lover but due to some sleep issues years back i cut myself off from caffine at 1pm (sometimes i need an iced coffee at lunch!)
                      Glad the headaches are less frequent- the caffine likely helps with that actually.

                      1. re: Ttrockwood

                        I'm with you there -- I used to be able to drink coffee any hour of the day or night and sleep like a baby.

                        No more -- even a coke with dinner will have me pacing the floor.

                  2. I got off all soda over a decade ago and have never looked back. The diet stuff is worse than the sugared version. My daily drink of choice is water, followed by the week-end with an occasional beer or glass of wine.

                    1. I am have been constantly making, consuming and refilling a pitcher of unsweetened iced tea for the past year. I am pleased with most anything, but the Luzianne always comes out well.