Saturday, November 24, 2012

Soda Replacements.

When diet soda was introduced back in the 1960’s, my mom was thrilled. She bought a dozen cans a week, thinking she was doing a great thing by cutting out sugar. Mom was on a constant diet, and tried everything that came around. I think the worst was the hardboiled egg and coffee diet. Constant irritation and whew…the smell!
Like Mom, I figured that I could drink soda, as long as it was diet. So, a couple of cans a day, for years, went down my throat. What have I done to myself with all of that?

On, they say “regular consumption of diet soda may indirectly lead to weight gain, because it may make you crave sweets”. This was based on a report from Harvard School of Public Health. The taste of something sweet makes your body think it needs energy. Since the diet soda doesn’t produce any energy, your brain sees that that food does not make you feel full, and makes you hungry for more. So, consuming diet soda could contribute to overeating. Just what I need. So, one of my first small steps is to eliminate soda from my life.

So, the sugar in regular soda is an inflammatory, and the lack of real calories in diet makes you hungrier. And this is just the first bad effect soda has. I’ve looked for substitutes that don’t have artificial sweetener, and found this great tasting tea in one of my books:

Herbal Juice: From the Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book: Protect Yourself and Your Family ... By Jessica K. Black
½ cup hawthorn leaves
½ cup hawthorn berries
½ cup rose hips
½ cup dried peppermint leaves
¼ cup dried hibiscus flowers
Zest of one lemon
Honey or stevia to taste
Mix dry ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Use 1 Tablespoon tea mix per 10 ounces boiling water, and allow to steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain and sweeten.

If you like to make a gallon at a time like I do, use ¾ cup tea mix and one gallon of boiling water. Strain through a very fine strainer or a couple of layers of cheesecloth. You can drink this warm or cold.
The ingredients in this tea are generally considered safe for all ages. Hawthorn is great for the heart, hibiscus can lower blood pressure and help with weight loss, and rose hips are full of vitamin C. This tea is a beautiful ruby color, and sweet/tart on the tongue. Enjoy! I’ll be bringing a thermos full to work as soon as my new shipment of hawthorn berries comes in from Mountain Rose Herbs (

Herbal references from