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The Best Way to Kick the Soda Pop Habit

The Best Way to Kick the Soda Pop Habit

    I’ve tried on several occasions to remove soda pop from my life – or at least curb my reliability on it. While it does give you a sugar and caffeine high, the effects on that front are brief – and the long-term impact on your health certainly isn’t worth it.

    Up until recently, I was drinking several cans per day rather than drinking healthier options like water and milk, and all for the boost of sugar and caffeine that my body craved. But I made a decision that I had to seriously cut back on the habit because I was getting tired earlier in the day, and was beginning to fear diabetes down the line. Whether that fear was founded or not, it was enough to get me started on kicking the soda pop habit.

    I didn’t try just one thing to make it stick, either. I kept a few things in mind in order to keep me on track, since I’d tried to quit drinking soda pop before and had failed each and every time. The longest I’d ever gone was one month – and after that I fell right back into my old ways. So if you’re looking for the best way to kick the soda pop habit, here it is – from someone who’s tried time and time again to do it.

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    Buy a SodaStream

    Having a SodaStream in your arsenal gives you a few advantages in your battle to the kick soda pop habit.

    Firstly, it allows you to control the amount of soda syrup that goes into your soda. That means you can still undulge in a carbonated beverage every once in a while and not get whatever sugary syrup that store bought soda pop has. Secondly, you are being more environmentally friendly in that the bottles that the SodaStream comes with are better for the planet and you won’t be buying bottles and cans from the store filled with soda pop any longer. Finally, you’ll be saving money, as the materials needed to run the SodaStream are less constly than buying conventional soda pop at the supermarket.

    Again, willpower will be one of your biggest allies in this challenge – even with the SodaStream in your corner. Just make sure you get the SodaStream to work for you in this endeavour…and not against you.

    Indulge periodically – but only with the good stuff

    Quitting cold turkey isn’t ideal for any habit you’re trying to break – and when you’re trying to kick the soda pop habit you need to ween yourself off slowly or give yourself permission to indulge every once in a while. I went with the latter this time around, because the former has never seemed to work for me.

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    Why is that? Because by weening myself off slowly I still had the soda pop easily accessible, either at home or when I’d eat out for dinner. I didn’t commit to making it an occasional indulgence – instead I tried to remove it bit by bit, and that wasn’t measureable for me. By removing soda pop for the majority of the time and allowing yourself the opportunity to have some when you’re in a situation where – for example – you may be out somewhere where you may be needed to be the designated driver, you’re not only giving yourself some breathing room in the challenge, but you may find that you really don;t miss soda pop after all.

    Since I kicked the soda pop habit, I’ve had two small bottles of soda. And while I don’t crave it anymore – and I really don’t miss it – I do know that I can now have a glass of it every once in a while and be okay with that.

    Keep coffee and tea close at hand

    I do like my coffee. I drink it black, with no sugar or milk. I like my morning coffee…and maybe drink two cups of the stuff per day. And I’m beginning to get more and more into tea, especially since I largely removed soda pop from my life.

    In fact, if you want to have some replacements for soda pop in your pantry while you attempt to kick the soda pop habit, coffee and tea aren’t bad ones to have.

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    Start juicing

    Before soda pop was part of my diet, juice was. That’s because my parents let me drink juice well before soda pop was in the fridge. Mind you, the juice we had on hand wasn’t exactly the healthiest type out there – and juicing wasn’t something done in my parents’ house. But it is in mine.

    Get yourself a juicer – it doesn’t have to be the most expensive one…there are plenty of lower cost options out there – and start juicing. It is far healthier than any juice you can buy and will do wonders to help you curb your cravings for soda pop.

    Take trips down soda pop aisles in stores

    I have made a point of going to the soda pop aisle each and every time I go to my local grocery store ever since I took on this challenge, and I still do it to this day. I walk down the aisle to remind me of not only where I’ve been with my diet, but also where I won’t be going again.

    Kicking the soda pop habit isn’t easy, especially if you drank as much of it as I had been drinking. But if you are practical about yor approach to the challenge, consistent in what you do to stay on track and take what I’ve offered above as a means to help you take on the challenge, you’ll find that you can indeed kick the soda pop habit not just for a short while…but for good.

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    And isn’t that something worth resolving to do?

    (Photo credit: Yellow Soda Can via Shutterstock)

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    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

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    Last Updated on August 12, 2019

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

    But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

    I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

    Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

    1. Nuts

    The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

    Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

    Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

    Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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    2. Blueberries

    Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

    When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

    3. Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

    4. Broccoli

    While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

    Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

    Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

    5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

    Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

    The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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    Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

    6. Soy

    Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

    Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

    Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

    7. Dark Chocolate

    When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

    Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

    8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

    Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

    B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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    Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

    Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

    To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

    9. Foods Rich in Zinc

    Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

    Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

    Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

    10. Gingko Biloba

    This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

    It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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    However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

    11. Green and Black Tea

    Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

    Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

    Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

    12. Sage and Rosemary

    Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

    Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

    When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

    More About Boosting Brain Power

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

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