Why I won’t share a coke with you this summer, but you can have a sip of my water…

I used to drink coke like it was going out of style. In fact, before I stopped drinking coke, I couldn’t remember a time when I didn’t drink it. I grew up on it – coke went well with everything, pizza, burgers, tacos. Then one day, about 3 years ago, I quit.

I want to start by saying that I am in no way judging your decision to drink it. It’s legal, sold in stores, your children can buy it, and the FDA approves of it.  I used to drink it everyday day, several times a day. And on that note, I hope I never come across as “judge-y.” My beef with junk food is rooted deep in the fear of the inevitable disease that will occur in my life if I don’t get a handle on my nutrition and fitness. I share my stories because if there is one other soul on this planet that can relate, I’ve done my job. If this doesn’t relate to you, you may feel free to stop reading.

Now back to cola…

I loved the way a really cold can of coke sounded when it opened and felt when it hit my lips. I totally get why people drink it. It tastes good, it feels good, it makes people happy, the advertising of it is sexy and clever. I. GET. IT!

What I don’t get is what it does to our bodies when we drink it, and why I continued to drink it for over 20 years.

It’s true that you don’t know what you don’t know.

So here we go, a nice list of facts about a few of the pit falls of drinking soft drinks (I’m sorry, I just feel like I need to include it. It won’t be long. Don’t stop reading, feel free to scan if you must):

  • One 12 ounce can of coke contains almost 10 teaspoons of high fructose corn syrup (aka: sugar). According to the American Heart Association, this is 200% of your daily intake. We all know that ingesting sugar increases your blood sugar. Well ingesting 10 teaspoons of sugar, REALLY increases your blood sugar. What happens when your blood sugar spikes? What goes up must come down, right… You’re left in a post-high, crashed state, desperately craving another coke or something else sweet. When our bodies get more sugar than they need, they begin to store that sugar as fat. I think we can all agree that 10 teaspoons, is more than we need.
  • Phosphoric Acid: Phosphoric acid has a wide variety of uses, including food additive,  fertilizer feedstock, and a component of some home cleaning products. Studies link it to lower bone density and chronic kidney issues. I know lots of people drink coke and don’t have kidney issues or osteoporosis. I feel like this is a “use at your own risk” ingredient. The truth of the matter is that there aren’t enough studies of large groups of people over a long range of time to determine the effects of phosphoric acid when used specifically in cola.
  • Caramel Color: This begs the question… why must coke be brown? Brown is an awful color. Anyway, at a very basic level, it’s a food additive that has been show to cause cancer in rat studies. By the way, lots and lots of the processed foods we eat contain some kind of food dye.

I’m not going to address diet coke, but just know that if you drink it, it is not really a good substitute for fully leaded, real deal cola. Artificial sweeteners are used in diet drinks, and who wants to ingest anything “artificial.” As the saying goes, “Life is too short for fake food.” The jury is out on extended use of artificial sweeteners, and I feel as though it’s another “use at your own risk” ingredient.

Back to quitting coke. About 3-4 years ago, I kept noticing that I was always tired and I had those 5-10 extra pounds that would not go away. I thought it was the “love pudge” because I was recently married. Then I started cutting out soft drinks. I began to notice that what I thought was giving me energy (cola) was actually bringing me down. When I cut out soft drinks, I developed a new energy level I had never really experienced before because for the last 20 years I’d basically been addicted to soft drinks. I’m now 3 years cola free, and I hydrate mainly with water, a morning coffee and an occasional glass of red wine.

Here are a few things that worked for me when I quit soda:

  • Keep a refillable water bottle. I really love the Bobble. They are refillable, and have filter, so you can essentially fill it anywhere you go.
  • If you don’t like straight water, add flavoring to it. There are so many options for flavored water. You can buy a water bottle with an infuser (these are great) or just squeeze some fresh lemon and add a few drops of Stevia leaf extract. Try to stay away from flavored water with artificial sweeteners.
  • Do it gradually. If you drink 8 glasses of soda per day, going cold turkey may set you up for failure. Start small, maybe eliminate one glass per week until you’re down to zero.
  • Remember your “why?” Do you want to stop drinking soda because it’s expensive? Do you want the health benefits? Do you want to lose a few pounds? Write down your “why” and remind yourself of it daily.

I know Coca-Cola has a really clever marketing campaign this summer titled “share a coke.” I’m sorry, but because I care about you, I’m not going to share a coke with you, but you’re welcome to some of my water.

Send questions, comments or hate mail to JadaDanos@gmail.com

Looking for an all natural way to lose weight, control your blood sugar, develop healthy habits and supplement your nutrition, or kick the cola habit click here.

Sources:

If you don’t have time to read all of the articles, please at least read the Mercola article. There are so many resources about cola on the internet, just be smart about what you read. Use caution and do your best.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosphoric_acid

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/01/caramel-color-the-health-risk-that-may-be-in-your-soda/index.htm

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/01/12/what-happens-to-your-body-within-an-hour-of-drinking-a-coke.aspx

 

38 weeks in, 38 weeks out

One of the most interesting times for me was the the time leading up to and after the birth of my baby. After about 30 weeks of pregnancy, I began to avoid mirrors. The drastic changes ocuring in my body were just too much for me to handle. I watched my body stretch week after week, my clothes became tighter, I became hungrier, I was hot all the time (summer pregnancies are a really bad idea by the way), I was swollen, my shoes didn’t fit, I had gas (both ends), I didn’t want my husband to touch me (unless it was to massage my aching back or feet), I was over and underwhelmed, and I won’t even begin to talk about the hormones.

I had neither an easy or difficult pregnancy. It was somewhat typical with the exception of a few hiccups, Gestational Diabetes and twice weekly visits to my OB/Gyn and Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists. Aubrey graced us with her presence on August 12, exactly 14 minutes after I was cut open in the operating room. She cried, I cried, we all cried. It was beautiful.

The last thing I felt was beautiful. Between a c-section recovery, learning to nurse, a nocturnal baby, well meaning visitors, and everything in between the last thing on my mind was my postpartum body. I continued to avoid mirrors. In fact, there were days where I’m not even sure I brushed my teeth, got out my pajamas, or did anything “productive.” The first 6 weeks were amazing, hard, lonely, exhausting. Then reality set in. I knew I needed to put on my big girl panties and figure out how to be a mom while still being “me.”

Kudos to the women who get their bodies back in 6 weeks. I love you; however, this is not me. In reality, my body is still not the same, and I’m not sure it will ever be. It’s been stretched, pulled on, cut open and sewn back up. It looks different, feels different, fits different.

I’ve had some moms ask me what I’ve done over the past 9 1/2 month, so I’ll share my advice – I’m still a novice, so take it with a grain of salt.

Weeks 1-6:
-Sleep as much as you can.
-Wear a belly binder – this helps with the “jiggle.” My belly looked like a bowl full of jelly for a while, and I needed something to keep it tight.
-Drink lots of water.
-Take a daily vitamin and probiotic.

Week 6-12:
-Start light exercise if you’re up to it. I started walking Aubrey in the stroller around the neighborhood. This helped with my mental health more than anything. A little fresh air goes a long way when you’re cooped up in a house with a newborn. I also was not realeased for exercise, so a walk around the neighborhood was actually a leisurely stroll.
-Drink lots of water.
-If you’re starting to fall into a routine, begin to plan balanced meals (5 small meals per day).
– Take a daily vitamin and probiotic.

3 months-6 months:
– Drink lots of water.
– Take a daily vitamin and probiotic.
– If you’re ready, up your exercise routine. For me, this meant working out at home and going back to the gym. I absolutely love the Tracy Anderson Post Pregnancy DVD. She focuses on rebuilding your core better than anyone I’ve seen so far. She also has a lot of unique exercises that can be done in your home with no equipment required. On the days when I was able to leave the house, I visited the YMCA for group classes. This was good for me mentally and physically.
-Focused on eating clean. Eliminate processed foods, soft drinks, grains and added sugar.

6 months – 9 months:
– Drink lots of water.
– Take a daily vitamin and probiotic.
– Continue building your exercise program. If you’re ready, take it up a notch! At the end of Aubrey’s 5th month, I enrolled in a mommy boot camp. This really helped me mentally and physically. I also incorporated interval training (walk/jog/run) when I had time.
– Focus on eating clean. During this time I kicked my nutrition up a notch as well, and did a detox (see older posts for my detox experience).
– Incorporate a daily protein shake to help build lean muscle mass.

Now going forward:
My plans are to continue drinking lots of water, eating clean, drinking protein shakes, working out and interval training. I’m still not where I want to be physically (I’d like to continue rebuilding my core), but I’m making progress!

I never thought I’d share this picture, but I promised myself I’d share my journey. I hope I can help one mom realize that postpartum weight loss takes time for some women (not all us of can walk the Victoria’s Secret runway 4 weeks after our babies are born.) The beauty of motherhood is after all is said and done, you get an awesome reward.

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I hated taking pictures when I was pregnant. The picture on the left is actually 1 week before I delivered Aubrey. The picture on the right was taken 6/16.

Visit my website for supplements and tools for weight loss, pain management, breast health, detox and protein or email me at JadaDanos@gmail.com.