If you missed them, please catch up on
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 , Part 7 and Part 8.
I had just been released from the hospital from complications from asthma and Malachi was miserable with his eczema…something had to give. We were starting to make several changes in the way we ate (more whole grains, more organic produce) and the way we cleaned (no harmful chemicals in our cleaning products)…but I was NOT willing to give up my Pepsi. I did feel a little ridiculous drinking a Pepsi (or three) with my organic, free range chicken…but what-ever. I needed my Pepsi!
So, do you want to know what FINALLY broke me of drinking Pepsi? I’m sorry if it’s not as exciting or enlightening as you were maybe hoping it would be…but this is my Pepsi quitting story nonetheless:
We had several thousand dollars worth of medical bills from my hospital visit (insurance didn’t touch it because there was a rider on my asthma). Nor did insurance cover one bit of the Osteopathic treatments we were experimenting with to try to get my asthma and Malachi’s eczema under control. (This is not an insurance bashing post…we just had a lame insurance plan.) Bills were stacking up like crazy. Our financial reserves were pretty much gone.
I basically had to make a decision: Keep eating poorly and drinking lots of Pepsi and remain sick, while spending LOTS of money to try to improve my health. (Sounds like money down the drain, huh?) Or, stop hurting my body and let the money we were putting into my health be WORTH SOMETHING.
I was an all or nothing Pepsi drinker. I couldn’t just have a little. If I had a little…I would have a lot. And then I would have some more.
I was going to have to quit.
As I was wrestling with all of this and “trying to quit”, one of my friends who was quite a few months ahead of me on the healthy eating journey (and who was worried sick over my health) said to me, “Laura, you’re so sick. Your asthma is out of control. You can’t keep up with your kids. You need nourishment.”
Nourishment. I needed nourishment. My family needed nourishment.
Funny isn’t it that although I’d already read through Nourishing Traditions and looked into eating a healthier diet…I still hadn’t equated food with nourishment.
I had taken all the information I’d learned and just worked to avoid pesticides and avoid hydrogenated oils and avoid high fructose corn syrup…but I’d forgotten that the big point of eating is to fill our bodies with nourishment!!
Until then, eating and food was all about “dos” and “don’ts”. Don’t eat fat. Oh wait, do eat healthy fat. Don’t eat red meat. Oh wait, do eat grass fed red meat. Don’t eat eggs. Oh wait, do eat free range eggs. Don’t eat food coloring, additives, pesticides, chicken from the store, etcetera, etcetera. But do eat organic produce, free range chicken, food without preservatives, etcetera, etcetera.
That simple statement from my friend, “Laura, you need nourishment” was a light bulb moment for me. I suddenly saw food for what it was: a way to nourish every part of our body.
And the Pepsi? Not only was it not giving me nourishment…it was completely wrecking me. What in the WORLD was my body supposed to do with all the Pepsi I was putting into it?
I quit drinking Pepsi that day. I missed it, I craved it, I had withdrawals from it. But I knew that I had to just give it up. I had lots of support. And I had so many reasons to stop my Pepsi madness. Five of them are my most precious men who count on me to take care of them every day.
I then had to change the way I thought about Pepsi. I had to stop believing the lie that “I needed my Pepsi”. I had to change my afternoon “relax with a Pepsi” habit and I had to replace it with a healthy habit. I had to pray. I had to be strong.
I’ve been Pepsi (and all pop/soda) free for four and a half years now. Now, I simply smell Pepsi when I have a chance. Pitiful (and weird), I know.
So now that I’d conquered the Pepsi addiction…what was next in our healthy eating journey? Ugh, so many other healthy eating changes I thought my head would fall off.
To be continued…
This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday.
I soooo hear you. I gave up Diet Coke (and all pop) for Lent this year because there was this quiet voice that said I needed to stop being controlled by things, including my feeling that I “needed” Diet Coke.
I, of course, didn’t keep listening to that voice, and yesterday had my first post-Lent Diet Coke. Well, I should say had three sips of it. Ahhh! Why in the world didn’t I remember how awful that stuff tastes? And the way I felt afterward? No, thank you! I’m back on the wagon for sure, and all the other “healthy eating” things we do make so much more sense when I’m not putting aspartame and preservatives and calcium leaching carbonation into my body everyday.
So glad to finally hear how you gave up Pepsi! I drank my last soda on February 25th and I feel happy that I’m not hurting my body with it anymore, but I am kinda disappointed because I don’t really “feel” any healthier. I was hoping for some huge transformation and because there hasn’t been one I am struggling with sticking with it.
I’m just like you with the all or nothing. I’ve given up Dr Pepper several times and every time I think that I’ll have just one, I end up back in the deep end again.
Since the 1st of the year, I’ve cut back a ton and haven’t had a soda in over a week. I hope that I’ve had my last one and that I can continue learning healthier ways to live.
I just sat and read the rest of the series. I’m loving it. I know I’m going to have to kick my Pepsi addiction as well. I went from Pepsi to caffeine free Pepsi to Nehi Peach to Pepsi throwback (made with real sugar, not corn syrup, which is disgusting). But i dont need the caffeine in my system. And I’m dealing with bad health these days –low iron, cant breathe very well, aches and pains which my doc (a member of the Church!) says is not fibromyalgia as I’ve been told I have. So what is it?? I’ve been wondering. We gave up margarine and are eating real butter. Margarine is only a step or two away from plastic in its make up so that wasnt a hard switch for me. I’m trying to get away from white bread. I love my Ezekial bread but it’s expensive and now Jim says that Dr Asa, a Christian doctor from Tennesse who has his own show (and a page on facebook) says even that is bad if you are gluten intolerant. Hmmm. I’ll have to look more into whether I actually am gluten intolerent or not, but I do know with some carbs i get a serious stomach ache. Gluten free pancake mix didnt do that.
I’m going to look for the book y2ou mentioned, Nourishing Traditions. And I’m looking forward to the next installment.
Ok, I am at the stage where I feel like my head might fall off.. or explode either one! I’m still drinking my Diet Coke. Sigh. I only allow myself one a day. Maybe I’ll get to the point where I can stop it all. I linked you today in my most recent blog post, I’ve made several of your recipes over the past two weeks. I’m on a search for local raw honey. Someone told me today that I could get it at the local co-op, so I’m headed there tomorrow. I also got my first dozen of farm eggs today too!! They are so pretty (you can see a pic of thm in my plog post as well)! Baby steps!
I gave up my beloved Dr. Pepper a little over a week ago. The first few days were rough, but overall it hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it would be. One thing I have realized is how much the caffeine effected me. I have been going to bed much earlier! I always thought it didn’t effect me at all. Thanks for the encouragement to keep going. I love this series!
Amy @ Raising Arrows says
I’m a Pepsi & Dr. Pepper drinker. Honestly, I’m afraid to give it up. I’ve said I would many times before and then didn’t. I like how you said it was about “nourishing” your body. Someday…
Thanks for sharing this. It is inspirational that you made the changes with four kids. I have three little ones (4,3,1) and we try to be a nourishing traditions. But I gotta tell you, since the birth of #3, I have REALLY struggled to do all the things I used to do. We’ve gotten sloppy for sure. I’m really hoping it gets easier in the future to be more organized. I guess I need to keep remembering the ideal and then striving toward that, even with my set backs.
thank you for including the “I had to stop believing the lie that “I needed my Pepsi”” part. it reminds me of THE LIES WOMEN BELIEVE, AND THE TRUTH THAT SETS THEM FREE book. It is hard to look at your own life and try to see the ‘lies’ that you do believe. maybe this will finally kick my mtdew habbit. thanks =)
I had to quit Pepsi, too, about 11 years ago. I was addicted to the stuff!! Once my husband finished off a can I had been drinking – there was about 1/8 of an inch left in the bottom. I lost it. I mean seriously lost it. Once I calmed down, a little voice said to me, “You’ve got a problem!” And I quit buying it and that was that. I’ll still have one if we go out but they do NOT enter the house :-)
I hear you. I LOVE diet soda (Pepsi or Coke). I have recently quit buying the cans. Occasionally I buy the 2 liter bottles. What a difficult thing to give up. It is my worst vice now. We eat all this organic food too, but I don’t even want to quit with this terrible chemical rubbish! Pray for me :)
I didn’t take note of the exact day, but I’m in my 3rd week of being Diet Coke free. I’ve been thinking about it forever, and finally one day I just knew that I had to quit. I’ve been drinking about 1 1/2 liters a day for more years than I care to count. We’ve been on our Nourishing Traditions journey for 2 years, and I was still drinking that poison every day. Yes, along with the organic fruits and veggies, raw milk, pastured chicken and grass-fed beef. Ugh… so glad to be done with it! Next I vow to kick the coffee habit (or at least cut back). :)
Such a great way to look at food…it’s meant to nourish us! That will really help my mindset. I too feel like I’m always thinking about what I should/shouldn’t have. Instead I should be thinking about how I can take care of my body…and my family. Food is my friend, not my enemy :)
Thanks for sharing your struggle! I, too, have struggled with Dr Pepper. I gave it up for about a year once. I recall feeling really good and healthy. However, I’ve been firmly back on the sauce for years now.
I’m curious if you replaced it with anything. Do you drink tea or coffee? Or did you go straight to water all the time? I currently have coffee only a few times a week, but Dr Pepper several times a day. I wonder if it is the caffeine or sugar (corn syrup) or both that I crave so much.
As always, Laura, the post is very inspirational and informative!
At the time, I just went to drinking only milk and water. Now I have green tea on occasion or mineral water mixed with a little juice for a special treat. But usually…just milk and water. I really didn’t want to get sucked into another bad habit! I know myself too well!
Jen B says
I gave up my pop addiction almost a year ago. It was VERY hard, and I had withdrawl symptoms also, but I did it. It is still hard every day. I don’t drink coffee or tea, so I don’t get any caffeine, so I need a nap everyday just to function. :) Sad, I know. But this is my life. And it’s worth it to be healthier for my family. I want to be around to see my grandchildren. :) I’ve got a loooong way to go, but still.
Jeanne Robertson says
I have just stumbled onto your site. From what I have read…I love it! I am curious though….are you the Laura that used to post on hearts at home? If so, I am robertdaughter! If not…good to meet you!! lol
Hmm, nope…different Laura. But yes, it’s very nice to meet you!
I love the “smelling” part! LOL – I actually have a friend at work that smells everyone’s food when she’s dieting. Hey -if it works for you…it certainly doesn’t bother me. Eating is for all the senses!
Congrats for kicking the soda habit! I quit too, but switched to sweet tea. I don’t think that was quite as healthy as quitting altogether, but at least it’s not carbonated. ;)
Yeah, I quit soda.. only to go to Snapple.. then I went to Crystal Lite… then to lipton diet decaf iced tea to and now I’m on green tea! but I get teh decaf. The ONLY caffeine I get is from the OCCASIONAL piece of chocolate.
I did lose 15 mins in 2 weeks when I quit cold turkey w/Pepsi. I keep on forgetting how many years it has been. SEVEN years this coming June!!! WOW!
Sorry, what do you mean by “I did lose 15 min in 2 weeks when I quit cold turkey w/Pepsi”?
Oops!! Sorry I meant 15 lbs.
Okay, I just finished reading parts 1-8 (I read part 9 when I first found your site…lol) I am so encouraged by what I am reading. We are so totally half and half on nourishment in my family of 6. We have been eating real butter for about 13 years. We have free range chickens and raise our own cows on corn, grass and hay….no toxic sprays or hormones. My goodness, I have so much to say, it could take pages and pages… maybe I should start my own blog. I am clueless on how to do that though. I need motivation to do better for myself and my family…thank you for giving me a little boost!!
Ugh.As I read this post I was slurping down a large glass of Diet Coke, which I start my day with, like most people do with coffee. This will be my first glass of many today.
Like you I am a pretty healthy, “clean” eater, except for this habit. I drink the caffeine free kind, so I know I’m not addicted to the caffeine.
I have some health issues to, which I know is exacerbated by the Diet coke chemicals. I really need to stop!
Megan Southerland says
Laura, I have tried so hard to quit the pop thing and the coffee thing… especially now since i Have been nursing, however my problem is the MAJOR headache I get from not having my morning coffee… Im pretty much off the pop, its the coffee addiction that is SO hard to break… Do you have any suggestions to “bear” ;-0 through the headache? I really dont want to take any meds but really cant deal with the headache either…
Drink LOTS of water. Tylenol is fine… there were more chemicals and junk in the pop that you were drinking than a couple of Tylenol :-). My withdrwal only lasted a few days, I thought I had the flu… if it wasn’t Summer, I probably would have thought so. and I practically drank pepsi by the CASE, and for YEARS.
Good luck! I know you can do it. Your baby and body will thank you for it!
Unfortunately it just takes some time and you have to push through. Your body will detox for a few days. :( But yes, drink LOTS of water and rest. Get sunshine if you can. Take something if you need it just to get through the day. But NOT an Excedrin Migraine pill, because that has caffeine and will not help the withdrawal.
You can do it!
Megan S says
Thank you SO much! I had thought about herbally detoxing anyway, so this will just help push that idea… My prayers are with everyone that has to go through what I am… It really stinks!!! Hopefully by this time tomorrow, I will not have had a cup of coffee at all and will be doing something ALOT healthier! :-)
Try a different hot drink, with no caffeine but with some flavor, like
herbal tea. The warmth alone may help your headache and also will
make you feel more satisfied than a cold drink.
But from everything I’ve read, caffeine in moderation is NOT so bad
for you, and both coffee and tea have various health benefits–
Great post! I gave up drinking sodas about a year or so ago. My stomach does not like them. I do drink 1 cup of coffee in morning as I am dragging if I don’t. Do you have any recommendation on that?
Water! And get some extra sleep.
You’re usually dragging because your body is dehydrated from lack of fluids from the night before. And your blood sugars are generaly lower in the mornings, so eat a good breakfast.
Your body will naturally stop dragging after it gets used to relying on coffee. Really, it will!
Maybe I need to change around my breakfast. I usually drink coffee while reading my Bible. Maybe if I eat breakfast and then read my Bible or do at same time. I usually have a bowl of oatmeal or a smoothie for breakfast most mornings and water.
Try orange juice, or an herbal tea with vitamins (red tea/rooibos
has some great antioxidants) and a little milk and honey, instead of
water. Your brain needs some energy, and I find that fruit sugars
are very good for a quick pick-up.
Can you please tell you how you got your asthma under control? I have a son with asthma and I would like to learn about more natural ways to control it. Thank you!
Well, it’s not completely under control. :( But cutting out pop and eating only a little sugar has helped so much, making my immune system stronger. I also find that chiropractic adjustments help SO MUCH to keep my lungs working more efficiently. I can tell a night and day difference from before an adjustment to after the adjustment on how clearly I’m breathing!
Also, getting ALL chemical cleaners out of my home has helped.
My 9-year-old son has asthma and his has gotten so much better since he started using the neti pot to flush out his nose before bed every night. Before that, his nose would always get stuffy in the middle of the night and that would trigger his asthma. Also, we have found that having a fire in our fireplace or burning scented candles is a big asthma trigger, so those are no-no’s in our house.
I agree- food should be nourishment. I’ve also thought about it as food should be fuel, it’s not just about “the party in your mouth”- it’s about what it does to you when it goes from there!
Thanks for the reply. Also, are you using any type of inhalers? My son uses Advair 2X a day and a rescue inhaler as needed. Those are the things I would like for him to get off using. I have switched my cleaners to just vinegar and water. I make my own homemade clothe detergent. I have a Neti-Pot but only use it when we have colds, sinus infections.
I do have an inhaler, but I only use it when I’m absolutely desperate! I don’t remember what I read about daily use inhalers, but whatever it was made me determined to stay away from them and work to improve my lung health (immune system especially).
I, too, have a Pepsi addiction that I’m trying to end. I went pop free for my first pregnancy, but started drinking it soon after. Then I only had 1 a day with my 2nd pregnancy. That led to 2 with my 3rd. I also thought I NEEDED it. I’ve been slowly cutting back & have gone from sometimes 3 or more a day to 1/2 a can now! It’s amazing how much better I feel. It’s getting to where I can hardly stand the taste of it anymore, which I’m very happy about because less chance of falling off the wagon! Thank you for sharing your story & making me realize I’m not the only one drinking a Pepsi with my healthier food. :)
Your post was so encouraging to me! I have been trying to quit drinking Diet Coke for months! I went for years without drinking it while I was pregnant and nursing, then we moved into a new home and I started drinking it again. Now it’s way to much to often, I can hardly get out of bed in the morning. I have tried quitting many times in the last 6 months and have always gone back the withdrawl is so bad.
But after reading your post, I dumped the soda I had half finished down the drain. That was at 10:00 this morning. It’s now 8:30 and I have a terrible headache, dizzyness, the shakes, and blury vision! I have never had this much trouble going cold turkey. I even had a club soda with some fruit juice which helped a bit. I know the first 48 hours are the worst, but that feels like an eternity right now… I am determined this time, my children need me. Although I am sure I won’t be up to much tomorrow! I am off to take some advil.
I actually stopped my this morning to say thanks for your recipies. I made the granola cookies last night and my family loved them! They will be a staple at our home from now on.
Oh, bless your heart. GOOD JOB! You can do it! You’re already through the entire first day!! It’s awful at first (which proves how awful this stuff is!).
I’m praying for you!
who knew so many people were stuggling with the same pop addiction. I too am addicted and drink 2 or sometimes 3 cans a day :( I know I have a problem because it has control over me. I’ve tried to quit only to start again. Thank you for this encouraging post.
I just wanted to say what a blessing this series has been to me! We found out two weeks ago that our 6 month old son has eczema. I have just recently started my family on our journey to healthy eating and I am so thankful to see what can happen. I look forward to seeing the difference in my little man. Thank you so much for letting people know that not doing what people think is the “norm” doesn’t mean you don’t care.
Also thanks for the awesome recipes!!!
Boy it is encouraging to read your story – and all the other responses. To know you are not alone is truly powerful (of course – AA proves that – so what is this SA (soda drinkers anonymous) – or PA (pop drinkers anonymous!!). I am like you – all or nothing. I have stopped drinking soda for a few years at a time, and something will happen to make me say “oh – I will have one ” and that starts it again. Unfortunately I did that 2 years ago and am determined to quit within the next week. I drink caffeine free diet – so at least the caffeine is not an issue. The worst is the kids – telling my kids how awful it is for them (thankfully 2 do not like it – one discovered he liked it at a party last year :-( ) and then continuing to drink it myself. Fortunately I am healthy and have mostly a very healthy lifestyle, but that also makes it difficult to quit – not “feeling” the effects every day. Even as I am drinking it though, I am very conscious that I am pouring chemicals into my body – YUCK!
Thanks for your inspiration Laura!
Call it SPA for Soda Poppers Anonymous, and you can have your meetings
at a spa! :-D
I’ve had an on-again/off-again addiction with Pepsi for years. One thing I learned this winter from SparkPeople (http://www.sparkpeople.com) that helped me was to drink your water! You should get at least 6-8 cups of water a day. If you MUST have a Pepsi, then just make sure you drink your water FIRST. I found that either I no longer craved the Pepsi by the time I had all my water, or it was late enough at night that drinking a caffeinated beverage would keep me awake.
I was off my Pepsi “diet” in March – dealing with my father-in-law’s illness and death, but I’m back to drinking herbal teas and water. Hopefully it will last this time!
Wow, so many others struggling with the same addiction to pop. I gave up my Diet Pepsi a few months ago and was doing great for about 3 weeks. Then my husband and I went out to eat twice in a week and I had some with my meal. Before I knew it I was hooked again. Sometimes 4-5 cans a day! I’ve been struggling with memory loss of a few years and also poor sleep and have decided again that it needs to go. I’m on day two. I came down with a sinus infection and am feeling like crud anyway so I thought it would be a great time to do it.
I know now that it has to go, I can’t believe how much it can control you and I related with the woman who lost it with her husband when he drank some of hers. Wow… I don’t want anything like that to have that much power over me.
In January I decided that I was turning 40 this year and needed to get healthy. I have had a few kidney problems the past few years and a high pulse rate due to my 24/7 use of soda and tea. I went and had my lipids checked and that was great. I stopped all caffeine cold turkey. A few weeks later I am in the ER with chest pains, high blood pressure and heart palpatations. SO I am 3 months without caffeine, on beta blocker until they can find why my heart has decided to go crazy.
My husband is an RN and had a coffee addiction for YEARS. He finally quit this winter when he got the flu and I can not believe how it has changed him. First, he is no longer tired. He was drinking coffee to stay awake (he works nights) but he has found that without caffeine he is actually much more alert and less tired. Second, right after quitting coffee he felt so good that he started exercising. Now he runs 3 times a week for 4-5 miles and lifts weights twice a week. He looks AWESOME! For the first time in our marriage he jumps out of bed each morning ready to conquer the day. For the past ten years I had been bringing him a cup of coffee every morning to wake him up and I would have to coax him out of bed. I am loving my energetic, motivated husband :)
I gave up drinking Coke (and all pop, really) when trying to get my acne under control (gave up all sugar for months). Amazingly, I started being able to breathe again! Not to mention, I lost a TON of weight. I’ve now been pop-free for about 1 1/2 years or so. I did have one home-made root beer at a special restaurant this past summer. It was worth it, but not a habit I want to take up again!
Thank you for sharing your story. I have a 7 yr old son with eczema. I’d like to know what you’ve found that helped with your sons eczema. Our doctor gave my son a topical steroid and it clears up the skin condition, but as you’ve stated. It comes from within. I came to that conclusion, just watching my son.
I also had an addiction to soda. I just feel so much better without it. less bloating too. lol
I’m just now readin thru your journey, congrats to you for kicking the pepsi habit. I was addicted to diet pepsi. ADDICTED! i would get soooo mean without it, i even made my husband go to the store around midnight before to get me diet pepsi. it was BAD! I was having major anxiety and depression like symptoms, i was always tired. so of course, if i’m tired, that means i must need more caffeine right?? WRONG! so wrong. my defining moment was when i had a super painful, horrible, nasty kidney infection. I ahd to pay out of pocket for doctors visits and meds, and the first round of antibiotics didnt kick it so i ahd to pay for another. I felt so bad cuz my medicine had blown our family budget. I had started to see a counselor for my anxiety, he asked me how much caffiene i consumed, it stumped me, i ahd never broke it into numbers before, but it boiled down to i was drinking a 12 pack every 2 days!!! my therapist said, sharon im not putting u on any meds for anxiety, this anxiety and depression is caffeine induced. I was like what??? i did the research and its true, so i kicked it!!! i stopped drinking diet pepsi then and there. enough was enough. my kidney infection cleared up, and hasnt been back. my anxiety and depression is now manageable thru counseling. and my ebergy level skyrocketed!! after i finished my withdrawal symptoms, my energy was amazing!! Caffeine and carbonated beverages are bad news!!!!! kudos to you laura!!!
Thank you for all the recipes on your site. I am at the beginning of my journey, and i Just finished reading ALL the parts of yours! I am at the point where I am almost discouraged by an information overload, but then the health of my four (and one on the way) kiddos & husband keep me going!!
I am the kind of person who needs a SIMPLE plan, and then once I’ve invested the time and research, I stick to that without even thinking about it again. I kind of do the work once, then forget everything, but still do it cuz its right! see what i mean?
So I guess I am asking – what are some basics I need to know in order to get STARTED on MY journey? I have already gotten Nourishing Traditions, a quarter cow form a local and reputable farmer, the nutrimill, my wheat berries, I order from Azure…but I cannot think any further beyond this…..eeeek!
Now I am (slowly) learning about soaking, about other types of flour (i had no clue about any of this spelt, kamut, etc), about kefir (?!), about rapadura…I obviously need a bit more help! Thank God I have your site!
So before I think I know it all, I need some guidance. What are the basics? Which kinds of flour should i buy in bulk, and which things should i just grab as needed? How can I simplify my life without the information overload? Perhaps your “part 10” will focus on the changes you made? What do you stock up your pantry with? what can you NOT live without? WHat are you doing for corn since it seems as though Azure is out of stock? HELP!!!
(Sorry for the long comment, but I would love and appreciate any response!) THANKS for everything you do for your readers!!!!!
This series of posts may help: https://www.heavenlyhomemakers.com/category/simple-steps-toward-healthy-eating
i’m crying reading this–every day i wake up feeling like a cancer patient (at least my bloodwork is normal for that!) and my lymph nodes are always swollen. we are making a dedication to switching over to healthier foods this year–for me and for our daughter who still has allergies and asthma left over from all of her medical problems from being born a preemie. thank you for sharing your journey..i’m hoping to read the next series to know where to start.