OK, I finally figured out how to break my Diet Coke habit. Say hello to my not-so-little friend:

For the last week or so I've been filling this bad boy, all 64 oz of him, up to the brim at the 7-Eleven... until today. Today I quit. Yeah, just like that.

The habit started when my husband was diagnosed with malignant (metastatic) melanoma, just about 11 months ago. The ritual carried me through the three months of his decline, his death, and the utter WTF-osity of the eight months that followed. And now it's officially over.

Here's the scoop: A couple of days ago I started feeling queasy, and it never quite went away. Last night I got this really weird metallic taste in my mouth, and no, it's not my braces. Somehow I just knew it was from the DC.

I was distressed. I didn't WANT to stop my habit. I'm not ready! But apparently my body is. I went to bed queasy and woke up queasy with that weird taste, like I was sucking on a metal washer. This morning even the thought of DC made me swallow real hard. Twice.

On my way into work I stopped at the drive-thru. Medium unsweetened tea, please. Could I live with that? I took a sip, and apparently I can.

I'm a little disappointed that it's not June 20th, approx. the anniversary of the diagnosis that started it all, but I'll just have to get over that.

Still got nothing against DC and I will enjoy it again, on occasion. But the required daily ritual dosing of myself with whatever-the-hell-that-shit-is-made-of is so over.

The body has spoken.


Doing The Math

So, yeah, I've been using the Costco weight loss shakes to wean myself off fast food lunches. It's been working pretty well, but I've been nagged by the sense that I've been drinking nothing more than YooHoo with a fancy label.

Today I finally crunched the numbers. Guess what? Turns out that about 1.7 of the 6.5 oz YooHoo drink boxes (plus 2T of protein powder) come pretty damned close to the values on the nutrition label of the Costco canned shake. It's short on fiber -- YooHoo has none -- but the shake only has 4 grams, just over 1/8th ounce, anyway. To be fair, I didn't compare vitamins, etc., but that's why we have multi-vitamins. What shocked me most was that the sugar grams were almost exactly the same.


Well, now I can't un-know that data, so it looks like the shakes are out. Reminds me of the day I discovered that Jiff peanut butter contained hydrogenated vegetable oil, aka Crisco. I swear, from that point on, I could feel it in there and haven't been able to buy it since.

So what else can I use for mindless lunches? And, while we're on the subject, how does my default smoothie recipe stack up?

Well, not surprisingly, my smoothie recipe plus some protein powder kicks the can to the curb. Also, it's a larger serving and has WAY more fiber. And, oh yeah, there's that 'whole food' thing, meaning it's actually made from real food.

But making a smoothie takes time. Also, the banana-heavy smoothie tends to oxidize and ends up looking uncomfortably like sewer sludge by lunchtime. OK at home, not so much on the road (or at the desk.) Is there anything else?

Why yes, there is. Turns out that good old Carnation Breakfast made with unsweetened almond milk and some protein powder is also a better choice than the canned shake, being higher in fiber and lower in sugar/calories. And if you go with the sugar-free variety, sugar and calories are lower still.

Fascinating, no?

After I kill the last few cans of shake (hell, I paid for 'em!) it's off to stock up on good old Instant Breakfast... excuse me, Breakfast Essentials, as it's now known. Sugar-free for me, regular for my 5'2", 90 lb. son, who can definitely use the extra calories for breakfast on non-smoothie days.

I always knew that math degree would come in handy someday.