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Soda Swaps For Lent

March 15, 2011

For Lent 2011, I gave up soda.

This shouldn’t have been hard. While abroad, I rarely indulged in the sweet bubbles of Diet Coke — it was an unnecessary, unhealthy expense. The only time I craved soda was on hot days in Costa Rica, when an ice-cold Fanta (or Mirinda) was the only thing that could quench my thirst after a long hike.

Back in the U.S. and working at a company where free soda is available all day long, I fell back into my soda-drinking ways. Nothing perks you up at noon on a Wednesday like a big mug of caffeinated Diet Coke.

For Lent, I gave up soda. I didn’t used to be an addict so going cold turkey should be no problem, right? But… what am I supposed to drink? After all, drinking something is usually a substitution for snacking all day so I crave something with taste, not just water.

My three savior soda swaps:

1. Coffee – one mug with breakfast, another as soon as I arrive at work in the morning. Always accompanied by a big cup of water since coffee leaves me so dehydrated.

2. Berocca in water. A dissolvable tablet vitamin that tastes like orange-y Airborne, Berocca is a super-shot of vitamins (and a hangover cure, which is why one coworker wondered why I was chugging it at 9am on a Monday). Berocca in water is my daily orange juice.

3. My favorite soda substitution: fruit-infused water. The cafeteria combinations change daily — yesterday’s strawberry was epic, while rosemary-and-lemon tasted like drinking a Christmas tree — and today melon and lemon-lime were both tasty. With a dash of seltzer, it’s almost like drinking soda (minus the aspartame, phosphoric acid and caffeine).

I still crave soda occasionally, especially during lunch, but with these tasty soda swaps, I’m finding ways to indulge without breaking my Lenten fast.

What do you drink instead of soda? Did you give up anything for Lent?

18 Comments leave one →
  1. March 15, 2011 6:25 pm

    I actually don’t like flavored drinks much so I’m mostly a water drinker. However, I have plenty of vices I could give up- like excessive ice cream and frozen yogurt addiction!

  2. March 15, 2011 6:52 pm

    I never drink soda – just don’t like the taste – so I mostly stick with water and juices. I’ll have to try your fruit-infused water suggestion! 🙂

    • March 15, 2011 9:25 pm

      Just let the fruit soak in the water for a little while — even just a few minutes! — and you get the nice fruity flavor without all the sugar of juice. 🙂

  3. March 15, 2011 7:10 pm

    I drink a lot of Vitamin Water Zero. I love the lemonade and orange flavors. I think the other kinds are gross though.

  4. Mary Kate permalink
    March 15, 2011 8:12 pm

    I gave up soda too, Erin! My favorite swap is green tea, but I love fruit infused water too.

    • March 15, 2011 9:23 pm

      Are you drinking the green tea hot or iced? I like green tea but not sure the hot tea would quench my craving…?

  5. Marie permalink
    March 15, 2011 8:20 pm

    Oof I feel you! It was hard when I first gave soda up, but I just don’t like the carbonation so it’s gotten easy to stay away from. I’m always drinking tea or water (sometimes with lemon) after my morning cuppa coffee. And I always keep tea bags in my desk at work (Tazo, so it’s a little treat for me 🙂 )

    • March 15, 2011 9:24 pm

      See, it’s the carbonation that totally does it for me. If I could find carbonated tea (*not* a fake tea sugar drink) I’d be all about that.

  6. March 15, 2011 9:11 pm

    Good luck!!! I have been trying to drink less and less soda in life, in general. And yeah, it was crazy expensive when I lived in Europe too!

  7. Andrew permalink
    March 15, 2011 9:17 pm

    I pound water all day at work. But I do love a nice cold glass of iced tea (unsweetened, of course).

  8. March 15, 2011 9:23 pm

    I am a water drinker, but I used to drink diet ALL the time. I weened myself off of it:)
    I am giving up weighing myself for Lent!

  9. March 15, 2011 11:09 pm

    That fruit-infused water looks delicious! I love the strawberry lemonade from Whole Foods! I mainly drink three things: organic milk, water, and beer. Soda upsets my stomach, so I tend to stay away from it. As for Lent, I gave up cookies.

  10. March 16, 2011 9:05 am

    I adore diet coke! I often vow to give it up, and I can go without it for months. Then, I’ll have an intense random craving for a diet coke, and the cycle starts all over again. Good luck!

  11. March 16, 2011 9:55 am

    The only thing I drink is water, except for the occasional latte from Starbucks. That can get kind of boring though. I am looking for ways to perk my water up.

  12. March 16, 2011 11:10 am

    free soda all day long? i would die of a DC overdose.

    my battle to cut back on Diet Coke is ongoing. During college, when a fountain machine was always available, I would drink countless nalgenes a day full of it, on top of the cases of cans I had stored in my dorm room.

    I went cold turkey for a while but got back on it when I moved to DC and had to deal with job searching. Now I’m only drinking it once, maybe twice a week. Much healthier!

    I wish I had fruit infused water to help me through! YUM.

  13. March 16, 2011 11:49 am

    I drink fruit seltzers a lot and add a splash of OJ or grenadine to mix it up a little. I’ve really grown to like and prefer them over soda, although occasionally a Sunkist calls my name and I cannot pass it up. I’m also a sucker for root beer…

  14. March 16, 2011 3:26 pm

    I gave up soda for Lent a few years ago and I’ve basically been soda free since then! Well, except on vacation, but that doesn’t count, right? Water is my substitute, with tea and coffee here and there. I haven’t officially given anything up for Lent this year though… Probably should figure that out sooner rather than later! 🙂


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