Monday, January 31, 2011

You Are What You Drink

This week for Eat.Live.Be. we are discussing our favorite healthy change. And while other bloggers are talking about all the ways they've changed their eating habits, if you look back to my goals, you'll notice that a majority of them focus on my liquid intake. There's a pretty good reason for this.

Back when I was a much younger Thatgirl, our house never had the typical "kids drinks" floating about. Thatmom was pretty focused on 100% juices, so there was no kool-aid, no hi-c, not even a capri sun to be found. But what we did have, was diet soda. (Well diet caffeine-free soda, but my lack of caffeine is a story for a whole 'nother day.) And so that's what Thatbrother and I drink. Juice, milk, water, and for dinner/after dinner there was soda. No big deal, right?

Then I got a little older and became a woman (if you know what I mean.) And my world turned upside down. Not just because of the curves popping out everywhere, but because every month, without fail, I was missing school, spending a majority of the day hugging the toilet, and the rest of the day cursing my luck for being a girl. That's right. I had cramps so bad they caused me to spend an entire day vomiting. Every month.

And after a couple years of this, we sought expert advice. Thatmom took me to see my very first gynecologist. Who told me I was perfectly normal, I just produced too many pain receptors. Fun times, huh? She also told me that often times the cramping could be controlled by diet, and cutting out artificial sweeteners usually led to a less painful period.

And that was the day I cut soda out of my diet. It was really difficult at first. You get cravings for the stuff. But after a few months, I didn't even like the taste anymore. And sure enough, the cramps got better. I actually could attend a full month of school! This was around the same time I started drinking water as my primary drink of choice.

The combination of less artificial sweeteners and more water didn't just affect my monthly visitor, it also helped clear my skin and believe it or not, it helped me retain less water. It kept me fuller between meals. It made it clear to me that sometimes what's healthy isn't just what we eat, but also what we drink.

Now I have a soda every now and again, but not with any sort of regularity - and I tend to go with the regular kind instead of diet. But I haven't given up the water thing. And cutting back on alcohol I'm hoping will have the same effect as cutting out soda. After all, your body is mostly water, so it makes sense to keep it flowing!

Next week's topic is all about tips on what to do when you get in a healthy goal rut.

And here are a list of the other bloggers participating:

And when you're not drinking water, it's fabulous for cooking. In general I reserve my boiling water for eggs, pasta, and of course, shellfish!

Boiled shrimp just couldn't be easier. OR healthier! No butter, no oil, and shrimp are naturally low in fat. All you need to do is bring some salted water to a boil and add the shrimp. You only need to cook the shrimp for about 4 minutes - don't overcook them or they'll be as rubbery as one of Thatdog's toys. I boil mine shell on - because it helps them retain a lot of flavor. Just wait for them to cool a bit before taking the shells off.

Because this is such a healthy and light dinner, I feel justified in pairing them with some sauteed artichoke hearts. Sure sauteeing is the exact opposite of healthy boiled shrimp, but it's a trade off!

Sauteed Artichoke Hearts
1 pkg frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
3 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp parsley, minced

1. Cook the artichoke hearts in 1/4 cup water, covered for 5 minutes.
2. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the drained artichoke hearts. Stir so they are coated with butter.
3. Sprinkle with salt and parsley.


  1. Good for you! Cutting out soda is not easy. I stopped in October and have only had a few since. It's amazing how it can cause so many adverse effects. Glad you were able to clear up the monthly issues! (being a girl can be such a pain...literally!) :) Have a great day!
    -Chris (

  2. For a while I was simply addicted to Pepsi, then I cut it out for 2 years, hence the part time job at a pizza place and the cravings returned. Since I am no longer working there either no pizza and no soft drinks. Yay!

  3. I cut out soft drinks when my children were very young. I didn't want them to drink them and I had to lead by setting a good example. It was really hard at first, but, like you, I learned that all that water is great for the skin. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  4. I have been having a hard time cutting out soda. I want to, but I haven't completely eliminated it yet ... I'm having maybe 3 a week, which is better than the 1-2/day that I was consuming. Still, I can do better.

  5. Whoa I never realized diet soda could have that HUGE an effect on cramps or just overall health! Craziness. Thanks for the info...I'll definitely be cutting more of it out of my diet!