Kicking the Pop Habit: 1 Year later

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on March 22, 2011

"Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny."


If you are a new reader, you may not know that just over 1 year ago, Eric decided to eliminate pop from his diet.

Since he was a young boy, he was hooked on pop, specifically Coke. During university, he often drank up to 6 cans a day as a way to stay awake during late nights. He cut back after university, but he still drank 2-3 cans of Coke during the work day to give him a boost.

Back in 2008, Eric wanted nothing more than to have his picture taken beside this retro Coke truck in Istanbul!


If you would have asked him back then if he would ever give up pop, he would have laughed in your face!

But he suffered from constant sugar cravings, migraines, fatigue, cavities, and more which he believed were mostly due to the large amount of pop he consumed each day. He knew that something needed to change, but he didn’t quite know how to make the change. Or if he could succeed.

When we vacationed to Florida last March, Eric decided to drink pure fruit juice to satisfy his cravings instead of relying on pop. The sunny, warm weather and delicious fresh fruits and vegetables made it relatively easy for him to focus on drinking natural juices and smoothies while on vacation. It was also during this time that he decided to give up his favourite cereal that contained High Fructose Corn Syrup, instead opting for an organic cereal by Nature’s Path. It took a couple bowls to get used to, but after he did, he said it was a really easy switch. Now he eats Nature’s Path Spelt cereal and sprinkles some raisins and chia seeds on top. I never thought I would see the day!

He also discovered that he really loves drinking juice and smoothies and felt more energized than ever.


This vacation was truly worth its weight in GOLD health!

Inspired by how great he felt while away, he decided to stick with his new eating plan. He drank 100% pure juice, tea, or smoothies when he craved pop and he also kept buying organic cereals free of HFCS.

And then he said something that I never thought I would hear come out of his mouth…

‘Ange, I have decided to completely cut out pop from my diet….for good.’

I was so proud of him at that moment because I know how difficult it would be for him. I could tell that he was a bit scared, but he was also very proud of his accomplishments, now 2 weeks without pop. With each day, he gained momentum, but the road wasn’t always a smooth one!

When Eric told some coworkers that he was cutting out pop from his diet, he got a lot of flack and teasing for it (in addition to his healthier eating in general) and this made it difficult for him, but the resistance from others actually made him want to stick to his guns even more! He was more convinced than ever that this choice was the right one for him. Whenever someone scoffed at him for passing up pop or junk food, it only made him more determined to stick with it. And he has also become very well versed with comebacks. ;)

Today, we celebrate Eric being 100% free of ALL POP for 1 year! Congrats Eric!

I asked Eric to comment on his journey over the past year, so you can hear it straight from the man himself.

We did a little Q & A together last night…

How did you do it?

Cold Turkey. :)  With lots of support from Ange.

Did you ever feel tempted to cheat, if so how did you overcome it?

Not really tempted to “cheat”, but there were times after doing work outside (in the yard) when I craved a Coke.  I usually would try to get my fix through something else. Originally, I thought it was the caffeine that I craved, so I would try to drink Tea, but then I realized that didn’t really help much. I figured out that it is the sugar that I craved so I would drink a juice instead.  While juices aren’t much better in terms of sugar, I would make sure there was no HFCS/glucose fructose in it, and at least this way I’m having a more natural sugar source. I also realized that it is very difficult to find juice without HFCS/glucose fructose hiding in it. Sometimes, the restaurant or café I go to for lunch doesn’t have any options at all. I tend to look for 100% pure apple juice and I can find it at places like Subway. I would guess that 98% of the juices for sale have HFCS/glucose fructose in them.

Was it as difficult as you thought to kick your pop habit?

I actually didn’t think it would be that hard, but it was fairly difficult.  Mostly from peer pressure.  Co-workers constantly try to give me pop and they place them on my desk in front of me. Sometimes they would hide cans of Coke in our house too.  Most of my co-workers don’t see the need to eat healthy so it is difficult on me when I am the only one out of the group who wants to eat better.

Do you think you will ever go back to drinking pop?

No.  I’m tempted to get a rum/coke sometimes for a drink when we go out as I used to have it as an alternative to beer every once in a while, but I feel like I would be cheating so I don’t even do that.

How do you feel now?

It took quite a while to feel any difference. While drinking coke I would get the 2 or 3pm slump, but to get over it I used to drink even more coke (it’s a vicious cycle).  After a few months of not drinking coke (and I think it took at least 3 months to feel this way), the 2 or 3pm slump wasn’t nearly as bad.  Sure, every once in a while I’m tired in the afternoon, but nothing even close to what I was back then.  I also don’t drink juice as much as I did when I first quit drinking coke, so now I’m probably a little lower in sugar intake. I don’t get the highs and lows as much as I used to. The juice was a good substitute initially, but I find I don’t ‘need’ it as much anymore. I also lost about 10 pounds which was an added bonus.

Any final words to those people out there who want to kick a bad habit?

Definitely go for it! You may think it is such a small change and it may take time to notice anything, but it will make a huge difference in your life. I found that by making this healthy change in my life, I was inspired to make other changes in my life that I never expected. One healthy change gives you momentum for other healthy changes. When I eliminated pop my coworkers stopped drinking it as frequently too. While my coworkers would argue that it had nothing to do with me, I think healthy changes rub off on other people overtime, even without asking anyone to change.


We made one of his favourite smoothie combos to celebrate. :)


Strawberry Banana Chai Smoothie

Yield: 2 servings


  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 3/4 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 scoop Vega Vanilla Chai protein powder


Serving Suggestion: Close your eyes, sit in front of a space heater, and pretend you are in Florida. ;)


Have you ever made a healthy change in your lifestyle? If so, what was it and how did you do it? Did you have any peer pressure or resistance from other people?

Or are there any changes that you want to make in your lifestyle this Spring?

Eric’s 1 year anniversary has encouraged me to question what positive change I could make in my own life this Spring. Yesterday, I decided to bring out my juicer and start juicing a few times a week again. We juiced a lot last summer and felt amazing, so I would really like to start this up again. Spring is always a great time to make a new change!

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

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Heather Dawn March 22, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Congratulations to Eric!

I have made a few lifestyle changes-quitting soda in high school, becoming vegetarian and later vegan.
This Spring I am implementing a lot more Bikram yoga in my routine-striving for 1-2 times per week. I am suffering from a small knee injury that has postponed my half marathon training. It is very frustrating but I am trying to take it easy and strengthen my body by doing yoga and eating healthy. Sucks to have to go through an injury to really appreciate what your body is capable of.


Stephanie March 22, 2011 at 8:31 pm

I was literally just thinking about that quote today! Crazy.
Love this post! I sent it to my mom because she has pop around the house and I don’t think she gets how bad it is for her or my brother.


Kat @ Cupcake Kat March 22, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Way to go Eric!
I actually do not like pop and never drink it. I wish more people would lessen their dependence on it because that stuff is addicting
One goal I have for myself is to eat less sweets. I’m usually ok but I still sometimes can’t resist buying some unhealthy pastry when I’m out. The sad thing is, most of the time it does not taste as good as something I can make myself!


Mary March 22, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Congratulations, Eric!

I gave up Diet Coke in January 2010, and since then I have never had one. I went cold turkey also. I used to drink 3-6 a day. It was my first step in Eating Clean. My problem was more with artificial sweeteners than sugar, and I completely cut them out as well. I have never felt better in my life, and I think without artificial sweeteners to dull my taste buds I can now really taste real food. I eat almost all veggies now and love them. A year ago I wouldn’t eat any. Small changes truly do lead to bigger ones!


Angela (Oh She Glows) March 22, 2011 at 8:43 pm

artificial sweeteners dulled my taste buds too. I used to make things SO sweet with splenda.


Lee March 22, 2011 at 8:51 pm

My husband decided that he was addicted to diet coke so he stopped (for the month of march – he says he doesn’t want to stop for good, just cut down which is better than nothing, he was drinking like 6 a day) and says that by making that one change, he’s had less unhealthy cravings and eating healthier in general.


Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day March 22, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Soda can be soo addictive. I go through phases with diet soda… and it’s really hard to break them. The more soda I drank, the more I wanted to eat sugar. (and this is diet soda!)


Christi March 22, 2011 at 9:29 pm

I have actually been making some huge changes in how I eat. I deal with a lot of health problems, mainly allergies and asthma when it comes to what I eat. Last summer I decided to cut dairy from my diet completely, which for a cheese and ice cream lover has been very difficult. It was really hard at first, but I can tell a huge difference. I also have a mild allergy to soy, which is in EVERYTHING. I work my hardest to stay away from anything with even trace amounts of soy in it, but it’s very difficult. So that was big change number one.

At the beginning of this year I decided to change the rest of my diet completely. I’ve cut out all processed food and sugar. Also very hard to do. I’m learning a lot though about how to eat healthy food– whole grains, fruits, veggies, and lean meats. I’ve started following a few health blogs (yours was the big inspiration). I’ve already dropped 16 pounds since the beginning of the year and I’m feeling great! i’m really enjoying learning about foods and healthy alternatives. I always thought that eating healthy meant eating boring, but that is so very not true! I love experimenting and trying new flavors and I’m learning to be more creative with my food. I love it!

Thanks for the inspiration and flavorful food! And congrats to Eric!


Adina March 22, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already been a year?! Congrats to him!!! (I wish I could get my dad to do the same)

I definitely made some healthy changes this year! I think I can safely say that I overcame anorexia.
-I made the change to eating enough!!
-I made the change from forcing myself to suffer and relearned how to feed and take care of myself
-I made the change from exercising out of pure addiction and learned how to exercise for the right reasons. I now do it for pleasure and to train as an athlete.
-I also changed from using food as a means to seek spiritual truth and put food back in its place. As fuel.

I did it with the support of a nutritionist and counselor and a loving family. I got sooo much opposition from others, everyone has their own idea of what people “should” do and tried to force their opinions on me. One of my friend’s parents was convinced that my problem was that I don’t eat red meat. (25lbs heavier and I still haven’t eaten any). Mostly it was God.
And I owe a great deal of these changes to blogs like yours. Thanks for being such a great example and a source of inspiration when my motivation is low.


Angela (Oh She Glows) March 23, 2011 at 7:38 am

Congrats on your changes!


Jolene ( March 22, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Wow – that seems like just yesterday that you wrote about Eric giving up pop!! Time flies!!

Congrats to him on one year clean :-) Hehe.


Gail March 23, 2011 at 12:09 am

Congrats to Eric – that’s a really great accomplishment. I used to drink diet soda a lot a few years ago. I gave it up about 4 years ago, and never looked back. Since then I’ve gone to more organic food, homemade food, no processed food, no white sugar, no white flour, etc. I did it all in baby steps. Because of recent issues, I’ve slowly been incorporating white sugar and flour back in my diet (emotional eating), and I have to say I feel like crap. I need to get that stuff out of me! Anyway, I feel so much better after changing so much of my diet. I’m happy to say that my husband finally has given up soda. He still drinks a lot of juice spritzers, but at least he’s off the soda. There was some “retro” soda at the supermarket recently that he was tempted to drink, but I was able to stop him from drinking it.

I don’t understand why people are so negative when it comes to someone trying to do something healthy for themselves. I’ve experienced the same types of comments from co-workers that Eric experienced. It’s almost like deep down they know this stuff is bad for them, but they don’t want to admit it and instead give the person who is trying to change a lot of grief. I get it all the time. Good for him for standing up to those people and continuing to do what he wanted.


Foxy March 23, 2011 at 2:48 am

Congrats Eric! So strange- I was also thinking over the weekend that I need to juice more again and plan on starting next week!


Erika @ Health and Happiness in LA March 23, 2011 at 2:49 am

Way to go, Eric!! That is awesome!!

I have made lots of healthy changes throughout my life (like going vegan, giving up HFCS, etc) and I agree that cold turkey is the way to go!


Kate @ the pseudovegan March 23, 2011 at 5:02 am

CONGRATS ERIC!! What a wonderful journey! I have been gluten free for 4 years and dairy free since August-ish 2010. Although my changes are from allergies, it has ‘given me the momentum’ to eliminate other toxics out of my diet, and the result is amazing! I just accepted a new job offer in Philadelphia. My co-workers in Pittsburgh told me I am not allowed to eat at my new job for a few months, because I have to “break my new co-workers into my food.” As if I am some kind of alien?! My food is delicious and nutritious, their food– usually easy-mac, cheeseburgers, etc etc. Some of the NURSES I work with bring a 2L of Mountain Dew to work for the day. They don’t drink ANY WATER. And tried to tell me that “actually, the body does not need water to hydrate itself” Hoping for some healthier co-workers in Philadelphia!!!


Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner March 23, 2011 at 6:58 am

Good on your husband for making such a big change and sticking to it.. that’s so awesome!! That smoothy looks amazing.. I’ll be honest though, I think I may wait until summer, or at least until this snow storm is over, to make it. It looks so nice and thick… YUM!


jillian m. {coffee, light and sweet} March 23, 2011 at 7:32 am

congratulations to eric! what an accomplishment.

i also gave up of soda. and to be honest, it wasn’t that hard for me. i feel like fruit juice is 10x tastier! the only time i really crave it is when i have pizza, but i’ve been very careful not to give in.


Lana March 23, 2011 at 7:51 am

Wow! Send a huge congrats in his direction!! I too gave up soda’s my sophomore year of college and it was really hard because soda’s were included in our meal plans and it actually cost extra to get a bottle of water. I initially gave up soda’s for lent and decided to just keep rolling with it. That has been of of the many healthy changes I made.

Juicing sounds like a great spring change. I made a juice with carrots, tomatoes and parsley the other day, which is a combo I highly recommend!!


Kelly @ Cocktails and Cardio March 23, 2011 at 8:51 am

Congrats to Eric! I know how addicting Coca Cola is. I used to swear by it. For headache relief, for the 2 PM slump, for breakfast instead of coffee. You name it I wanted Coca Cola to cure it. I used to say that I would probably never be an alcoholic, or a drug addict but if you took away my Coke I’d be a hot mess. Last year I decided to drop the habit. I used to drink it a ton when I was in HS but through college I used to drink maybe 1 a day, then maybe 2-3 a week TOPS. If it wasn’t around I wouldn’t drink it. When I was working full time I usually had one with lunch and that was it. I started noticing I’d get kidney infections due to too much coffee and coke. That is another reason I scaled back.

I stopped drinking regular coke last year. I switched instead to Diet Coke when I would have it or want a fix. Personally I hate diet soda so it did the job but didn’t make me want to finish the diet soda. I still don’t finish it. All in all I’d rather drink water. Once switching to diet soda – fast food didn’t taste the same, it didn’t work well with the diet vs. regular coke. I then just went with water if I went to a place like that and soon just gave up going to those places unless I was in a pinch on a lunch break which is rare since I’ve been planning out my meals.

I now only use diet drinks for mixers when having drinks and most times stick to wine or beer instead.

I feel better and never thought I’d be able to say good-bye to coca cola. So I feel you 100% Eric and I agree one change really does lead to other changes!

Thanks for sharing girl!


Sarah March 23, 2011 at 10:40 am

My hubby is a huge Coke Zero drinker. He packs 2 for his lunch each day then drinks 2-3 more when he gets home at night. I’ve tried getting him to stop drinking it so much and he did agree to switch from regular Coke. He was diagnosed with T2 diabetes so he really needs to quit drinking it. He thinks there’s nothing wrong with it.

Recently, I’ve tried giving up my darned SBux grande 1 pump vanilla non-fat latte addiction! It’s been a really bad daily habit for the past year (since I got back from France). I’m not sure whether it’s the caffeine or sugar addiction. I was dumb and tried to cut it out cold turkey, but had such bad headaches I have to now phase it out slowly. I went from grande to tall size last week (1 less espresso shot) and it seems to not be causing a lot of withdrawal. Next, I’ll be giving up the shots. After that I’ll just trade for regular black coffee. I think my body (and wallet!) will thank me. We’ll see how it goes!

It’s just amazing to me how much our food addictions/habits take over our lives. So pleased the Eric was just able to make that decision and act on it so quickly. Good job!


Suzanne March 23, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Angela – I LOVE your sight – I am a bit older than you but so resonate with all that you say on here. I have quit the diet pepsi thing many times and realized the last time (over a year ago) that it had to be for good – it is like alcohol for an alcoholic – 1 sip and I am back on it! I love your balanced approach and healthy outlook – esp as someone who has had an eating disorder, works with people with ED and still struggles at times with all that goes along with body image/ food issues…You are an inspiration! I still struggle with some fake sugars and a big sweet tooth – but we eat 95% all natural whole foods. I know a big part of my growth is in kindness to myself when I do not live up to the perfection I want to live. Thanks for your wonderful encouragement in that area.
I love your recipes too – made the Peppermint Patty Green Monster for St Paddy’s day for my boys and they loved it (I did not tell them it had spinach in it -they assumed it must have been food coloring!


Sam @ the neurotic yogini March 23, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Congratulations Eric!!!! I quit drinking sodas at the age of 12 (around then at least). I am lucky it was so easy for me.. I did have a mild coffee addiction a few years ago.. though I broke that relatively quickly as well. I don’t like the idea of false energy, which is all that sugar, caffeine, and crap provide! I want real, healthy energy.. produced from fresh fruits/veggies/and other healthy yummies!! :)


LauraJayne March 23, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Congrats to Eric! I’ve tried (successfully, I thought) to cut diet coke out of my diet – the longest time was for 3 years – I thought I’d truly kicked the habit! However, I started drinking a bottle or two when I needed the boost, and it grew back into a daily habit! Since then, I’ve stopped for a month to three months at a time, but I always go back! I definitely need a new motivation to quit again!


Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf March 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Good for him! I still have a diet soda habit, but it has gotten better. I use it for the caffeine, mostly. Though this week I’m participating in a challenge which requires me to only drink all-natural beverages (coffee, tea, water, 100% juice, etc) for one week. I’m on day three and right now I could really use a caffeine boost. I’ve been drinking tea like nothing else, but there’s not enough caffeine concentrated in tea or coffee to help me. Ah well. Otherwise, I’m feeling quite a bit better! I wonder if my bloating had to do with all the diet sodas…


Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner March 23, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Congrats Eric!!! :D Angela, your smoothies are so much better than any pop! :D



Veronica March 24, 2011 at 1:00 am

Angela, first of all I want to thank you for adding an email subscribe button to your page! I’m so glad you figured that out (I was the one who bugged you about it a while back and at that time, you weren’t sure how to get it). Now I get notified each time you post and don’t forget to check back like I used to. Second of all, this is a great story about your hubby’s success with kicking the pop habit. I forwarded it to my own hubby who has been addicted to coke since he was a child and has tried to quit several times without success. I can identify with your hubby, as I think many of us can, who have people in our lives that try to derail us when we make choices to be healthier. I tend to think these people, who generally do love and care for us, might be jealous or think that they should be making changes too and instead, do the easier thing and give us grief. Well, way to go for not letting them win, Eric!!


thehealthyapron March 25, 2011 at 8:14 am

yay for ERic! My hubby would drink pop at least twice a day when we first started dating. It took me a few years but he doesn’t drink it anymore! He’ll opt for 100% homemade juices or water! I’ve never been prouder. While he’ll occcasionally still drink a pop, say at a cookout, he doesn’t even finish the can. So proud :)


M March 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Congrats to Eric- BRAVO!!

I gave up coffee a couple of years ago-I was really addicted to having wayyyy too much coffee every day ( and spent a lot of money on fancy coffees out).
Now coffee isn’t bad for you, but I didn’t like feeling so dependant on it and spending so much.

I quit by going cold turkey-and had HORRIBLE headaches for over a week but toughed it out.I still absolutely love the smell of good coffee,but haven’t had a drop since.
Switched to gunpowder green looseleaf tea instead(now I spend too much buying fancy tins of that-ha ha!)

I would like to reduce my eating portion sizes in half this spring and start doing some form of cardio(even walking) -I only do yoga now.


Vegan Radhika Sarohia December 18, 2012 at 1:28 am

Great to see this follow-up post abt kicking the soda habit, congrats! (Over a year late haha)


Fit Missy November 15, 2013 at 10:17 am

That smoothie looks delicious!!!!

Going to have to make it!


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