Healthy Kids and Healthy Me : Giving Up Soda for a Cause

On May 5, 2012, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

cfkI’m not going to lie.  I’m wincing a little as I write this.  Not because I’m in physical pain, but because mentally I have convinced myself that I need something — something that this month, I’m not going to have  — something I love — something that I have been known to hide from the rest of the family, so I can have the last one for myself so they can be healthy — SODA — specifically, a particular brand of cola that I drink multiple servings of every single day.  I’m wincing because, now I’ve said it out loud, or…well, I’ve typed it out loud.   Anyway, now you know about it and I’m accountable.  :-|   Geesh!  No pressure!

Here’s the thing.  I don’t drink diet soda, because I’m terrified of the effects of aspartame; which leaves me with the alternative of 100%. real McCoy. delicious nectar. that is plain. old. wonderful. cola.  (Sorry, I got distracted and went off on a tangent.  I’ll try not to drool.)  I’m embarrassed to tell you that it’s NOTHING for me to consume 4 – 6 cans a day.  It’s camouflaged to casual passers-by, because I have my very own giant glass, packed full of ice and almost never empty of it’s liquid lusciousness sugary beverage.  no one ever sees all the cans.  I’m NOT a huge overeater (probably because I’m always full on soda!  Oy!) but I am  definitely overweight.   I easily consume 700+ empty calories a day indulging in my soda habit.

glass

My nemesis -- my love :)

A 12 oz can of my brand of cola contains the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar!  As I mentioned in a previous post, sugar is an antibiotic, and unfortunately as a bacteria killer, it doesn’t discriminate.  It takes out the good bacteria, needed for digestion and a healthy immune system, along with the bad bacteria in our bodies.  Excessive sugar consumption contributes to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes and heart disease and may possibly contribute to some cancers.  There really is no verifiable evidence of how much sugar is too much, but it’s obvious from the state of American health, that in general, we’ve exceeded it.  I have definitely exceeded it; and it’s a bad habit to pass on to my kids.  It’s time to make a change and Champions for Kids has motivated me to do it NOW.  Have I mentioned lately that I love CFK?  If you missed my previous posts about them and the projects, I’ve worked with them on, then I want to encourage you to follow them on Facebook and Twitter, to stay up-to-date on the fabulous work they are doing.

list

The fun and inviting, healthy cooking cookbook, just for kids, that we got our recipe ideas from. Once we picked the recipes, we were able to make a shopping list.

So, with the knowledge that, now, giving up my crazy soda addiction, can not only improve my health and weight, but also provides me an opportunity to help provide healthy food choices for children in need, I’m jumping in with both feet and just going for it.  I have given myself a month, the entire month of May, to abstain from buying soda.  I’m guessing if I can go the whole month, I’ll be able to make the change permanent.  The money I save, not buying cola, is going to be used for a new Simple Service Project with Champions for Kids that I’m over-the-top excited about!  In collaboration with Jennie-O, they, I, and thousands of others like me, (even you, if you jump on board) are going to spend May donating healthy food options to organizations, shelters and food pantries that serve children in need.  The money we’re using for that is going to come from what we save, giving up something that isn’t healthy for us.  How could I say no to this fabulous idea?  How can you!??!  There’s no better time to go for it and make good on that healthy resolution.  Making the change can help needy kids make healthier choices, too.  How about it?  Will you join me in the Jennie-O Champions for Kids Simple Service Project for May?  What do you need to give up?  How can you use the money you save, giving it up, to help kids in need have healthier food options?  Check out the Jennie-O CFK project page, linked above, for ideas.  Be sure you report your own projects, too, so everyone can be inspired by your generosity and healthy success!  I can’t wait to see what you do!

Jennie-O turkey ham

Jennie-O Turkey ham will be used to create one of the inspiration dishes for our healthy cooking recipe cards.

Jennie-O ground turkey

Jennie-O Turkey ground turkey will be used to create another of the inspiration dishes for our healthy cooking recipe cards.

And just to give you a little inspiration, here’s what I’ve decided to do for my Jennie-O Healthy Switch donation.  We have a fun cookbook that is just for kids and all about healthy eating.  I thought it would be fun to take some ideas from that book and make our own laminated Recipe Pages, complete with pictures of our kids preparing the recipes, and include them with the food donation we make to our local food pantry.  We’re going to put together a healthy Kid’s Cooking Basket, with ingredients to make some healthy and delicious snacks and meal items.  We want to donate food that is needed in the immediate, but we also want to share an enthusiasm for healthy-eating over the long term.  So, we’ll include the ingredients to make three healthy, kid-friendly recipes, and pack them in a basket with the picture-tutorial recipe cards we make.   We’re so lucky that our local food pantry has the facility to be able to accept fresh produce and refrigerated products as donations.  Jennie-O lean turkey products will be a great addition to the kit!  After looking through the book with my daughter and deciding on the recipes we would make and photograph, I made my shopping list and headed out to our local Walmart to start building the healthy kid’s cooking basket for our donation.

shopping

We headed to the local Walmart, to find the ingredients for our Jennie-O Healthy Switch donation basket.

 You can check out my complete shopping trip by visiting my Google+ album.  I’ll be back in a few days to share the recipes with you and then to show you how we put together the recipe cards and donation basket and made the delivery.  In the meantime, remember to check out Champions for Kids and decide how you can get started on your own Healthy Switch and help kids in need!

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™. #JennieOCFK #CBias #SocialFabric

 

21 Responses to Healthy Kids and Healthy Me : Giving Up Soda for a Cause

  1. stephanie says:

    You are stronger than I! Good luck on your endeavor, it is well worth it. I couldn’t completely give up my soda, but I am trying to limit it this month while making a few other small sacrifices.

    • Stephanie, thanks! We’ll see how strong I am by the END of May. -lol- It’s such a good cause and honestly, it’s time to make the change. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Debi H. says:

    I think this is wonderful!! A way to help others and yourself all at the same time. We’ve been cutting way back on sugar here too. Mainly just in baking…I don’t drink cola on a regular basis anymore. I have a little bit once in a while when I’m really craving it.

    • If I didn’t love Champions for Kids, so much, I don’t know if I would have done it. This is my third opportunity to work with one of their monthly campaigns and I am so excited about the work they do!

  3. I love that you talked about the unhealthy parts of drinking sugary soda and I must say, you are BRAVE!! I drink diet soda and LOTS of it!! I don’t think I could give it up!! I love the CFK Simple Service Projects too and I think (I “think”) my family might be giving up one of our favorite “on the go” and “lazy” meals…but I can’t say it (type it) out loud just yet. :)

    • Janet it’s definitely a hard thing to break such a long-running habit. I understand completely. After caring for my husband’s mom the last two and a half years of her life, I don’t have artificial sweeteners in the house, but sugar is something we are still working on reducing. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Janet, I do hope you participate in the Jennie-O SIMPLE Service project this month too! Isn’t Glenda great inspiration?? Please let me know if you give up your unspoken meal! I’m here to encourage you :)

      • Ki, We did participate in the challenge and decided to go for it and give up PIZZA!! We love to use Jennie-O turkey meat for taco salads and I posted about it on my blog as well. :)

  4. Moe says:

    Does your favorite soda contain real sugar or that high fructose corn syrup? I treat myself to 1 real sugar soda per week. Watch the lunch meats and some turkey meats as they are full of corn syrups :O(
    Moe

    • Moe, it’s high fructose corn syrup in this one, but with so many diabetics and insulin resistant people in the family, we found out that the human body makes no differentiation between sugar, high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners when it comes to the release of insulin to balance blood sugar. The brain reacts to all three, identically. As a matter of fact, both table sugar and high fructose corn syrup are 55% fructose – identical, in calories and the way the body absorbs them. So, I’m stuck. I just have to bite the bullet and do it. I’m so glad you were able to stop by!

  5. Lacy says:

    That’s a huge challenge! I’m rooting for you, keep us posted!

  6. Linda says:

    I am keeping my fingers crossed for you. I am sure it will not be easy, but I think you will notice you feel better. I figured out that soda gave me indigestion when I was in my 30s and in 1970 I quit drinking it and wow did I fell good. I was not a heavy soda drinker, usually with lunch and diner. Because I was not a big drinker it was easy for me, but I have watched my daughter try to give it up, so am wishing you good luck. I switched to ice tea unsweetened, no lemon and if I had to give that up I am not sure what I would do, drink water I guess LOL.

    • Linda, thanks so much for your encouragement and well wishes. It is NOT easy, but like you, I am drinking unsweetened ice tea and so far, so good. The nice thing I have discovered is that I am craving it when I feel stressed or frustrated. Better ways of handling those issues, than drowning them in soda, will be a benefit, too. Thanks so much for coming by!

  7. Hi Glenda,

    First, WAY TO GO on giving up SODA. I hope you are staying strong!! After reading that post, I’m not sure if people raced to the fridge to grab a soda for themselves because of your enticing description or gave it up themselves! ha.

    I can’t wait to hear MORE about your SIMPLE Service Project! A cooking basket is such a great idea!! Way to be creative.

    Thank you so much for your participation!

    • Ki, it hasn’t been as hard as I expected. I even grabbed bottled water, instead of soda, when I was helping with our Sr. High Youth group, last night. I anticipate that hectic, stressful times will be when I crave it most, but I’m working on some fun and tasty summertime beverage recipes to ward off those unhealthy urges! Thanks for letting Busy-at-Home be part of the CFK Jennie-O campaign. I love all that Champions for Kids does for kids and its a privilege to be even a small part of it.

  8. Stephanie says:

    Ohhhh…. I am so with you on giving up the soda. It’s so difficult but I know it’s such a good, smart and healthy decision! It’s amazing how much can be spent each month on soda – and what good that money could do when donated to a great cause!

    • Stephanie, thanks so much for stopping by and yes, it’s unreal how much we spend. The idea to use it for this fantastic project is what pushed me over the line to making the change. I’m so excited to be part of the project!

  9. [...]  ”Jennie-O lean turkey products will be a great addition to the kit!”  Read more here. Creating a healthy recipe book and Healthy Cooking Basket to [...]

  10. Hi there

    I just committed to a “No Soda Pledge” myself and am encouraging my readers to do it as well. You are a few months ahead of me, wondering how it is going?
    You can read about my story here: http://www.momskitchenhandbook.com/kitchen-wisdom/the-no-soda-pledge/

    • Hi Katie! I’m definitely not 100% soda free (and probably won’t be), but I have cut back so dramatically that I have actually dropped two pounds and am ENJOYING drinking water. That’s definitely something new for me! I discovered that I am eating better, too. I think I was always filling up on soda and then not hungry for actual food. And when I did eat, I was craving even more sugary tastes, like the soda. Cutting back on the soda has changed my “tastes”, for the better, and I am enjoying more balanced meals — really enjoying them — they taste good to me. Woohoo! I still indulge in a soda. I’m not going to lie, I love it; but it is a treat, not the first thing I grab when I go for a drink. Moderation in all things is saving my health AND our budget! Good luck on your journey! Be sure to let me know how it’s going.

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