"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." ~Lao-Tze
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
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!