Last Year I Gave Up Diet Mountain Dew for Lent
Today is the first day of the Lenten season. It spans the time from Ash Wednesday (today) to Easter Sunday (April 20). It is a season of remembering the sacrifice Jesus gave for each one of us and remembering that He came back to life. It is 40 days to remember the fasting Jesus did during his final days. It is a time for us, as Christians, to reflect, repent, pray, and prepare our hearts for His glorious Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Many Christians decide to give up something in their life during the 40 days of Lent to try to somehow understand Jesus’s sacrifice for us. There really is no comparison, but by giving up something we love and desire, we can get be reminded daily of His suffering on the Cross. Many people will give up a food item like chips, candy, or chocolate. Or beverages like pop or alcohol or coffee (the horror!). I have also had friends who have given up social media, shopping, or TV.
For many years I was a Diet Mountain Dew drinker. I knew that it wasn’t good for me. I knew that the aspartame in diet pop was likely the cause of my upset stomachs, headaches and general feeling of blah. I really wanted to give up pop in general, so last year during Lent, I gave up Diet Mountain Dew. Before Lent, I had gone from drinking one a day to maybe just a few a week. So, I was prepared to go “cold turkey” during Lent. If you are thinking about giving up pop or any other “bad habit”, here are some suggestions.
Steps to Stop Drinking Pop or Diet Pop
- Reduce your consumption – If you drink 3 a day, start by drinking 2 a day, giving up the one that will be easiest for you to lose. If you have one in the morning, one at lunch, and one during the afternoon, give up your one at lunch. Do this for one week. If you are just having one pop a day, give up one of your days, for example, no pop on Wednesday. If you were drinking caffeinated pop, you may experience headaches as you remove the caffeine from your diet. Drink plenty of water and take an over-the-counter pain reliever to help, if needed.
- Reduce your consumption again – For the next week remove another pop from your routine. Either remove a second from your daily intake or from your weekly intake .
- Add in exercise or a sparkling water to replace pop during one of your times. You may still want that “bubbly” taste during your afternoon break. Try a drink like La Croix Coconut water that is calorie free but still offers the sweet bubbly flavor. You may also be feeling sluggish due to the lack of caffeine and/or sugar. Be sure to check the ingredients of your sparkling beverage so it isn’t adding the same amount of sugar as a soda or is “sugar-free” and contains aspartame just like pop. Drinks like Vitamin Water, Vitamin Water Zero, etc are ones you should avoid. Talking a brief walk can also be a way to help your mind forget about the pop you aren’t drinking.
- Continue to remove pop from your daily routine until you are down to just one or two a week. When you feel ready, remove all pop from your daily routine.
I didn’t go from several Diet Mountain Dew a week to nothing. I worked my way down to just a few a week so that when Lent came around, I knew that I was ready to completely remove it. In giving up the Diet Mountain Dew, I have also pretty much given up all pop. Occasionally, I will have a Diet Coke as part of a mixed drink. But, when I am out for dinner, I order water or iced tea and I have found a few drinks that are more exciting than water to drink during the day. I have greatly increased my daily water intake, but sometimes I just want something more than water.
Some beverages I have found to replace the taste I get from pop:
Both of these Steaz Beverages are very refreshing. The one on top is a sparkling variety and the one below is just like a flavored iced tea. I have not be able to find these in any of our local stores. Since they are considered organic, they may only be available in health food stores. I have gotten mine on Amazon with my Prime Membership.
The Hint water was one I tried after Amazon offered it as one of their “Lightening Deals” last year. The water has just a hint of blackberry flavor. The only odd thing I can say about it is that it seem “thick”. I don’t know how to describe it other than there seems to be a different consistency than just plain water, even though it tastes exactly like water….with a hint of flavor. I also haven’t seen Hint Water in any of our local stores.
I have been an Izze fan for awhile. They are nice small cans and are a refreshing drink anytime of day. My favorites are the Blackberry and Orange. My husband likes the Grapefruit one. Izze is available at Target and Hy-Vee in my area. It comes in cans as well as glass bottles.
I am new to the La Croix fan club. I have been telling all my friends about it. I love the Coconut and Peach/Pear varieties. I have mixed the Coconut with Simply Raspberry Lemonade for a little variety as well.
Benefits Are Worth It
There are many benefits to reducing and/or removing the consumption of Diet and Regular Pop. If this is something you struggle with, I hope that you will consider these steps and ask a friend, a co-worker, your spouse, or even your children to support you. It won’t be easy, but I promise you won’t regret it. From someone who hasn’t had a Diet Mountain Dew in a year, having just one sip made me realize how much I don’t miss it. I wonder how I ever drank the stuff in the first place. It just didn’t even taste good to me anymore. My headaches are few. My upsets stomachs are nearly non-existent. My mid-afternoon sluggish moments are revived by running on the treadmill rather than running to the fridge.
You can do it! I know you can!