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I’m a Coke-head Tea-bagger

September 21, 2011
Ice cubes in a glass of iced tea. Lighting con...

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Ok, that headline may be a tad leading.

I have an addiction to Coke and iced tea. It’s not that I can’t drink other beverages, I just don’t like any as much. I have a need for the sugary goodness that only Coca-Cola and Lipton/4C/Arizona/Snapple can provide.

In my prime, I had a 100 ozs. of Coke a day problem (1210 calories). My prime being from college to about 3 years ago, a span of 18 years. Over time I was able to reduce it to a morning shot of 12 ozs. on most days. I finally kicked the Coke habit about a year ago.

Unfortunately, I was never a one drink guy. There was always a secondary drink, iced tea. That beautiful brown elixir. It never does me wrong. My first taste was probably pre-high school, my parents bought Acme brand iced tea mix. I used to make it by the jug, nearly daily. It was sweet, lemony tea deliciousness (about 5 years ago Acme changed the recipe and it’s now undrinkable – iced tea should never be red). 4C is my current iced tea preference. There are two excellent benefits: 1) it’s cheap, you can make about 28 quarts for about $6; 2) it does the job – tastes great, refreshing, sweet and has just enough caffeine to give you a little jump in the morning. The downside of iced tea? While not as bad as Coke calorically, my 2 quart or 64 ozs. a day problem equates to about 560 calories.

If you’re wondering about my opinion on coffee. I never developed a taste for it. As a child my mother warned me that drinking coffee would stunt growth. As the child of average height parents, I didn’t want to be a little feller and heeded Mom’s advice. My sister didn’t. I’m 6’2″ and she’s 5’2″ – perhaps not validation of an old wives tale, but I won’t be quibbling with the results.

So why the sudden beverage quandary? My drinking habits are not aging well. As I’m getting older (and losing the fight against my expanding midsection) I’ve finally come to the point where I have to give up the empty calories and move onto something less caloric, if not altogether healthier.

I need to find my beverage methadone.

However therein lies the problem, I literally have no idea what the alternative is. I know it isn’t pomegranate flavored tea. For that matter, I’m not a fan of any flavoring or use artificial sweeteners. I don’t like the taste of either (well, except for high-fructose corn-syrup, since it’s in everything unhealthy that I love to eat or drink).

As for the, “just drink water” suggestion, that’s what I’m doing now, and it sucks. Who drinks water unless they’re working out? Have you ever tried having water with your breakfast in the morning, yech. Lunch and dinner are barely tolerable.

Thankfully, dry red wine is a healthy beverage, fairly cheap and goes good with everything – but I think drinking a glass at work while eating lunch may be frowned upon.

I need your help, what’s a good alternative to Coke and Iced Tea? Something sweet to the taste, cheap to make/buy with a hint of caffeine, but without the heavy calories.

If you can suggest a good alternative I will be forever in your debt.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 21, 2011 6:42 PM

    We are considering having Turkey Hill Diet Green Iced Tea (0 calories, some Aspartame, but with honey and ginseng) piped directly into the kitchen faucet to facilitate our ever growing consumption. We buy two gallons at a time, usually three times a week.

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