In a struggle to be happy and free

Drystone Wall

Resolution status II

My Coke embargo is coming along very nicely. Since I last mentioned the topic, I’ve had another Long Island Iced Tea. I don’t consider this a failure, but if you think the Coke in two mixed drinks over a month’s time is a failure, I’ll somehow manage to sleep at night.

Cutting out sweet carbonated beverages has fuelled my search for a replacement. I can’t drink diet pop because Aspartame is completely disgusting. I’ve read that some people cannot taste the nasty aftertaste. I salute and envy them! I’ve also read that another sugar replacement, Splenda, is supposed to be far less objectionable than Aspartame. I’ve never been able to find any diet drinks that use it … until I looked more closely this past weekend.

Tanya and I went grocery shopping and we discovered Splenda-sweetened Schweppes Ginger Ale, Orange Crush, and Crush Cream Soda. I didn’t know it at the time, but they’re all distributed in Canada by Cadbury Beverages Canada. Also interesting is that Crush Cream Soda is a Canadian exclusive. I bought only a case of 12 Schweppes Ginger Ale just in case I didn’t like the Splenda.

So how does Splenda compare to Aspartame? Favourably, though no one’s going to switch it for sugar and fool you. With Aspartame, the taste is there from the moment the liquid hits my tongue until long after I’ve swallowed the liquid. I tried to drink a can of Diet Pepsi, and I poured it out after one sip. The taste of Splenda isn’t nearly as strong, and what taste there is isn’t as toxic. It only makes its presence known as an aftertaste, when you’d expect the flavour of the beverage to begin to fade anyway. I’ve learned that the secret to minimizing the Splenda aftertaste is to keep the beverage cold. I pour the drink into a glass and add ice. The aftertaste is barely there.

While I have no plan to move back to pop as my primary liquid intake, having a can of these diet beverages here and there will certainly lessen any craving I have for Coke. The only real difficulty I’ve experienced is not drinking enough liquid of any kind. I drink plenty at home, but there’s been at least one day at the office during which I drank nothing. You don’t have to tell me this is not good. I just have to try to be more aware. The Splenda drinks won’t help because I’m not going to try to keep the ice trays full at the office. I strongly suspect I’d get one drink worth of ice before others would help themselves, leaving me with an empty tray. Hmmm, come to think of it, I’m not even sure there are any ice trays at the office.

Tanya swears she can tell I’ve lost weight just by looking at me but I’m not convinced it’s so visible. I’ve weighed myself a few times and the results are variable. I’ve lost, but I don’t think it’s much. The problem is that while I’ve cut out the Coke, I am now eating more to make up for some of the caloric deficit. I’m certain the result is a net reduction of calories, but it might not be a large reduction. Still, I’m very pleased with the situation. I thought of perhaps treating myself to a can of Coke to celebrate my one-month achievement, but perhaps I’ll get some Diet Crush Cream Soda instead!


Three wearing Mary Janes


Is that a big lens or…


  1. Kyp

    Hey Rick, long time no talk, love the new content management system, it’s very swish! I’d avoid the diet drinks if I were you… aspartame and splenda are alleged to have some seriously nasty side effects. You may be better off drinking plain Coke in the long run! Congratulations on your resolution though… I couldn’t do it!

  2. WTL

    I know how you feel. I stopped drinking pop at home (I work from home so this is most of the time) shortly after xmas, and in my casting about for new liquid delivery systems, I’ve stumbled upon Chai tea. I use (real) maple syrup to sweeten it — caloricly expensive, but oh so yummy.

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