Are your beverages a healthy choice?

Discussion in 'YAWYE' started by forluvofsmoke, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My personal beverage plan is changing to better choices, rather quickly. Based on another member's post in Pop's original YAWYE thread regarding carbonated beverages, and my own regular 3 - 4 (sometimes more) serving per day intake of said culprit to bone health, I decided to research more on that subject as well as some alternatives. I also was curious about coffee, processed sugars, and teas while checking into some other options to replace my 18-cup per work day habit of weaker/milder brewed coffee.

    Coffee isn't soo bad, as the Harvard page below reads, and may be beneficial towards reducing risks for diabetes, among other things...some things here that I never, nor cared to find out about back in the days when I didn't care what I ate or drank (not that long ago).

    I haven't read this one yet, but will as soon I post this thread:

    On the brighter side of things for my personal plan, I will continue with some coffee, but not as much (maybe 50% for now, then reduce more later), and suppliment my coffee with black tea in the morning, decaf green tea for mid-day/early afternoon, then white tea for late afternoon/evening. The variety of the three varients of tea gives a somewhat broader range of the beneficial effects while giving a varied flavor to enjoy throughout the day. Also, I can drastically reduce my caffiene intake over the last 8 hours of wake time...should be a snap. Right now, for hot or iced brewing tea, all we have in the house is black tea, but I'm ordering some more black, and of course the green decaf and white, which is naturally very low in caffeine. EDIT: found some contradictory info to the caffiene content in white tea...see the link attached to post #5.

    Oh, and to eliminated another of my biggest culprits, being processed sugar, I'll no longer use sugar in my coffee but will opt for splenda instead, at least for now...started this already a couple days ago and I felt my hunger changing within just 2 days at work. I actually wanted to eat in the middle of the day because I'm not living on sugar anymore. This should reduce my risk for type 2 diabetes by an enormous amount, as I'll no longer be pumping my arteries full of sugar. Maybe my pancrease is still salvagable? Hope so...fingers crossed, anyway.

    No more binge chocolate or candy eating, even though one of my favorites, dark chocolate, has antioxidants. I'll break out a bag of chocolate candy and put away 3 - 4K in calories in just one night. Or, another favorite (not quite as much sugar, but...) 1/2 - 3/4lb of twizzlers. I probably do this about 3 times per month, on average. No, I don't have a weight problem, it's the blood sugar spikes I'm worried about. The processed sugars are becoming highly suspect of some of my symptoms, as I'm feeling a bit like pre-diabetic more and more, now that I understand what I've been doing to myself is really is leading to. So, more regular meals, little to no junk food (especially sugar), no sugared or carbonated beverages. Fresh fruit or even a peanut butter sandwich for a late-night snack has held me over nicely and kept me away from the sweets, including the various (fake, preserved and somewhat un-appetizing) ice creams and other confections. So, yeah, kicking the sweets out of my life...may not be the easiest part, but the part with the most impact on my health.

    On the subject of caffiene, I'll slowly work into the low-no caffiene beverages in the mid-afternoon/evening...should make for easier night's sleep, or more to the point, being able to fall asleep without tossing and turning for hours.

    I know there are other changes I can make to eat healthier as well, but my historical choices for beverages appear to have been very bad for overall health. Being a change to better choices for beverages will have the largest impact on my health at this point, that's what my main goals will be for now. Eating a bit more of the healthier foods will come soon as well, but I want to make the most impact I can on my health ASAP, and that would be change of beverages. I cut way back on sodas a couple days ago and only had one tonight...the last one in a 12-pk...I instructed my wife not to buy me anymore when she's out and about, so they're done tearing me apart, for good.

    BTW, I stopped all alcohol consumption 2 - 1/2 years ago, so that's all behind me now, and I don't regret one minute of going dry.

    Moderation with all things, again being the main key, but for me at this stage, I feel a more drastic approach is order. Out with the bad, in with the good. My food intake needs some improvement, but is not as huge of a health factor right now...I'll work into that more, very soon.

    So, that's a bit more of my story and where I'm taking it from here.

    Now, I have to ask you all this question: is everyone else happy with what you drink, or could you do better? No saying you have to go with a bunch of tea like I'm opting for, but is there something you'd be better off without (like my sugar habit/carbonated soda) and replacing with something that has just a bit more health-provoking properties and still tastes good to you, too?


    Off my soap-box now...your turn!


    EDIT: just found this on caffiene contents of common beverages, effects and recommended consumption, etc:
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  2. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great discussion and great choices!

    I've had to climb that mountain 10 yrs ago once i found out i was diabetic and cut out as much sugar as possible.  I am a sodaholic but changing to Diet Rite Zero® has been my salvation (where do you think i got the nickname "Pops" from?  I was working at my dad's store and one benefit is you could drink all the sodas you wanted; but being 16 I'd have 13 half-consumed bottles all over the store and he'd yell at me to "..get your pops outta here.."  so all the employees would chant..."Pops get yer pops outta here..." and the nickname stuck!).  When I found out about the diabetes (my glucose levels were 450-700 ave) I went to diet (yuck) and finally Diet Rite Zero® with Splenda®, and grape drink with Splenda® also I alternate to reduce the carbonation).  Diet Rite Zero® is caffeine-free, sodium-free, sugar-free, and zero calories; brown fizzy water.  Sugar-free gum but only at night with my teeth out (I know.. TMI) because it sticks to my dentures.  Splenda® in my coffee, no milk or powdered creamer (sugars again).  Now at therapy drinking 40+ oz. of water daily to control BP and to keep hydrated.

    Second wave of attack is salts.  You know of my lo-salt brines already.  Well, we had a Penzey's store open in Arlington and went there, telling the manager about my strokes and looking for salt-free spices; she showed me a "Kind Heart" sample box of 4 salt-free spice blends and, even though it was on sale at $7.95, she gave it to me for free.  Here's what it is:

    These are very good seasonings and you don't miss the salt because of the bouquet of other spices!  I tried all 4 on bowls of popcorn and they were delicious, and there's enough spices in each jar to last 6 mo. to a year; if anything, order one for yourself, you'll love it!  And, they have many other salt-free spices and seasonings too.

    So, that's the second leg.  The third is controlling fats (as seen on the "chicken skin" thread that got a bit ugly but it prompted me to start YAWYE).  This is my worst catagory and a monumental life change but one I'm facing head-on; had I done it a long time ago I wouldn't be nursing a 6" scar on my neck and 90% clogged ventricular arteries in my spine and 70% clog in my other carotid, only 5% away from starting to shut down blood to my brain and the recipient of 4 strokes.

    So, any chance y'all can get to reduce sugars, salts and fats in your diet, do so.  Fat-free cottage cheese, fat-free curd cheese, fat-free milk, fat-free anything is all good!  Is it 'better' with the full fat?  Not when you're lying in the hospital thinking you're going to die and almost did - I was unresponsive for 8 full hours (10 minutes can be bad!) and they thought they were going to lose me then.  Rob Peter to Pay Paul: reduce or eliminate all the obvious salts, sugars and fats in your diet possible and lose weight; but you can still have "a little" pleasure with some bacon sparingly and cooked the healthiest way possible, or a pretzel, or a candy bar on an infrequent basis.  Your tastebuds and cravings will adjust and you will be here to live another day!
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I applaud your efforts gentlemen!
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Great info and inspirational...BUT...POPS from drinking Soda!?!...I thought it was because you are Old enough to have butched the beef for THE LAST SUPPER!   [​IMG]Isn't that you all the way to the LEFT POPS?...[​IMG]....JJ
  5. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Al & Jummy! It may seem like a lot to go through for reducing my chances of health problems, but in smaller steps like how I'm going about this transition, it's not that difficult. Baby steps...and, considering what I've put my body through for the past 35 years? Do or die brings on a whole new meaning to me.

    Great story as always, Pops! How your nick-name took hold is pretty cool, but I bet you wished it all happened differently when you turned up diabetic...that is something to look back on, for sure.

    And, as you say, reducing or eliminating sugars, salts and fats is a very good general approach. I've been reading the labels on every packaged/processed food I eat lately...even nuke-box popcorn. I've read the labels here and there before, but I don't look at them the same way as I used to. I'm actually trying to get an understanding of what the numbers mean and if there is something I could be eating that would be better for me (translated: not as bad), while making a mental note on how much cholesterol, sat-fats, sodium I'm actually eating. I haven't gone to a direct plan of using a tally sheet to account for everything I eat, but I don't currently have any serious cardio-vascular issues, either. If I keep better control of my diet now, I shouldn't ever have to go that route. Now, the sugars and sodas? Yeah, that's gotta go, right now.

    I do need to get another check-up at the doc, get blood drawn and see what the labs reveal. Was all good a couple years ago, but then, that was a couple years ago...I really haven't changed much in what or how much I eat up this point, so maybe I had at least an amount of balance that my body could tolerate.

    A little update on my beverage situation: I did some more digging on the caffiene content of the white tea, originally reading it was the lowest, and found some conflicting info that it was actually higher than green or black, based on actual sample analysis:

    Anyway, instead of regular or plum infused (sounds delicious!!!) white tea in the evenings, I found a green/white decaf blend...should fit the bill perfectly for reducing my caffiene somewhat before doing eyelid inspections. Also, I read that the white tea alone is a very subtle, sometimes slightly sweet flavor profile (depending on the region of origin), so the blend of green/white should be more palatable. I've had hot black tea on ocassion, never regularly, while mostly drinking it iced with lemon and (of course!!!) SUGAR. I am finding I actually do enjoy the hot black tea quite a lot. I'm looking forward to hot green/white tea, as iced green tea has a nice, mild flavor, and never seems bitter or strong.

    Still moving forward with plan...

  6. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    With my hinting around about what my plans are right now, the why and how behind it all, it has gotten my oldest boy to take a step forward. He saw me brewing up a mug of black tea just a few minutes ago, and jokingly asked: what, you drinking tea cuz you found out it's good for you? I said: well, I knew it was good for me, but I'm done with sodas. He said: you know, after you told us what carbonated beverages can do to you, I cut down to 1 pop a day, and I was drinking a 6-pack at work. So, he was consuming about the same amount I did in my mid to late 20's, and if he curbs it now, he'll be far better off.

    Man, that makes me feel good to know he's still willing to learn from "the old man"...and to understand that it's all for his own benefit and health.

    The word's getting out! Gotta love it!!!


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