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Soda-Free At Last!


Diet Soda

Do you enjoy soda, either regular or diet?  It’s easy to think it’s no biggie, but the facts are readily available and it’s not pretty:  from toxic chemicals that badly confuse our bodies to weight gain and everything in between, those “refreshing” drinks are hardly refreshing for our health, our waistline or our bank accounts.

You’ve probably read some, and I have done my own research that cements my decision from 8-10 years ago to not drink soda (diet or regular) even further. However, so many of our dear friends and family can’t go without it for more than a few hours. I worry about their health.  These articles are my quiet soap box for the people we love!

We know what to do! The tea is DELICIOUS as a summertime drink with lemon and the sweetner of your choice and lots of ice! It’s perfect for helping with cravings too.

Scroll down to the very bottom of this newsletter for some other healthy summer drink options.

here is how naturopathic doctor Kristen Allott describes how our body processes diet soda:

Let’s first look at what happens when you drink a glass of freshly made lemonade (½ lemon, 2 tsp white sugar and 12 oz. water). The sucrose (white sugar) is converted into glucose and enters the blood stream. The pancreas releases insulin  when the taste buds sense sweetness on the tongue. Insulin’s job is to open the glucose gates on cell membranes so the glucose can enter cells and then be burned as fuel. This is how the body naturally processes sugar.

Now, let’s look at what happens when you drink a diet soda. The taste buds register that you are consuming something really sweet and the pancreas releases insulin expecting glucose to arrive shortly in the blood stream. The insulin starts unlocking the gates to let fuel into cells, but there is no renewed fuel supply because there is no sugar in the soda. The cells absorb the limited supply of glucose in your blood stream left over from your last meal, causing a critical deficit. Typically when the level of glucose in the blood stream gets dangerously low, the body has over ten hormones that mobilize glucose to fuel the brain. However, the diet soda has triggered the release of all that insulin, which turns off the mobilizing hormones and causes the body’s glucose regulation system to fail.

Long term exposure to these insulin spikes from artificial sweeteners in diet soda causes the body’s muscle cells to ignore insulin prompting and put up a big “Closed for Business” sign, causing insulin resistance. Once the body’s natural process has broken down like this, the glucose rejected by the muscles is absorbed by adipose tissue (fat cells) and the rest accumulates in the blood stream, causing obesity and insulin resistant type 2 diabetes.

Another problem caused by artificial sweeteners is that when insulin is released to clear calories from the blood stream and there are no calories, the body begins burning muscle mass as fuel to keep glucose feeding the brain. Losing muscle mass through this process increases health risks since muscle mass is what consumes calories and helps prevent diabetes and obesity. Additionally, our brain and body with the low fuel supplies will say, “Feed me, feed me”. Often setting up the likelihood to binge on sweets later in the day or the next day. The calories in the binge will be a lot higher than in the lemonade.

The ingredients of diet soda, particularly caffeine and amino acids, for a few hours will help improve the symptoms of fatigue and depression. However, in the long term the same metabolic processes that cause obesity and diabetes will also cause depression and fatigue.”

If you’d like some alternatives, scroll down for my P.S. for some great things to add to water and some recipes!
Once again, we know what to do! Just enjoy the tea!

P.S.  Some Great Things To Add To Water!

Here are some other refreshing alternatives from the Meridian Article:

Putting things into your water improves not only the flavor, but your quality of life at the same time. Where soda drinks are acidic to the body, lemon and lime are alkaline forming in the body. By allowing your body to be in an alkaline state more often, you allow your body to absorb vitamins and minerals more effectively while eliminating wastes.  So …

Add fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice or a little fruit juice to your water.

Add slices of the lemon, lime, orange, apples or even cucumbers to your water.

Freeze raspberries, blueberries, mint leaves, etc in ice cubes, then pop them into the drinks.  Kids will love seeing the colors floating and bobbing in the drinks.

Add apple cider vinegar to your water – apple cider vinegar has been highly regarded throughout history. In 400 B.C. the great Hippocrates, father of medicine, used it for its amazing health qualities. Internally, apple cider vinegar is rich in enzymes and potassium, supports a healthy immune system, helps control weight, promotes digestive and pH balance and can help remove toxins and lower toxicity. Dr Steven Gibb says “everyone in the world should be drinking apple cider vinegar on a daily basis.”  Just a bit adds a kick!

Add ginger to your water. Steep a little fresh ground ginger root in boiling water and then add it to your water bottles. You might also grate some fresh ginger and then simply put it into your cold water to cold steep.

For the most flavor,  chop up the fruit or veggies, put them in a pitcher of water, put the pitcher in the fridge for two hours, and you get water infused with delicious light flavor.

Watermelon and Lime “Agua Frescas”

You might want to consider  Agua Frescas!  “Aguas Frescas” are “fresh waters,” often found in Mexican restaurants. Like juice, but much lighter, less sweet, more refreshing. Make them with cantaloupe and strawberries, too. Take whatever leftover watermelon you have lying around. Chop it into big chunks, not worrying about seeds or mushy spots. Fill a blender 3/4 full with the watermelon chunks, and add about 1 Tb.  sugar (or to taste) and 1/2 c. water. Puree. Pour puree through a fine sieve into a pitcher, discarding solids when done.

Peach Agua Fresca:

1 (10 oz.) bag frozen organic peaches, thawed (or fresh if you can!) 4 cups very cold filtered water 1 teaspoon agave nectar or 2 tbsp. raw cane sugar Juice of one lime

DIRECTIONS   Place ingredients in a blender. Pulse until smooth. Pour through a fine mesh sieve, reserving the liquid and discarding the pulp. Serve over crushed ice garnished with fresh mint.  Serves 4


Carolyn Allen is the mother of 5 children and grandmother to 11 (so far!). She and her husband, Bob, have been helping people feel and look better for years with My Miracle Tea. Read More
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