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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Five Flavorful Zero Calorie Drinks (Other than Water)

Ok. I have successfully shed about twenty two pounds since New Year’s Day. I have no ambition to lose too much more as I am just about where I want to be. My peak scale moment was 205 and worked my weigh (pun intended) down to currently 183. The weight loss effort was pretty painless as I did nothing extreme or drastic to get my weight down. Not once did I have to go Atkins, South Beach, Zone, or weight Watchers. My solution has been calorie counting, pure and simple with a combination of calorie burning. I have found that forgoing “Seconds” and sneaking in four to five long walks goes a long way on shedding some pounds. One area that has contributed enormously to my weight loss is getting accustomed to having a zero calorie beverage with lunch and dinner. Yes that includes occasionally water, but we all know that runs pretty tiresome fairly quickly.  Through trial and error of exploring many different zero calorie beverages, I have found five very tasty drinks that go well with meals. If anyone out there is sick of water, I recommend any of these.
Iced Tea
In our assortment of kitchen appliances, we are the proud owners of an iced tea maker. I have put this machine to work much more now that I have been calorie counting. I usually go with about seven bags of Luzianne tea to a pitcher and it tastes great. The process can be a bit hectic on very busy days that do not leave much time to break out this contraption from the pantry and run out for a bag of ice. There are plenty of good pre-made iced teas such as Lipton unsweetened and Trade Winds unsweetened(which is a bit cheaper than Lipton and is sold in a large jug).  Sweet tea does not fit into this category as it obviously violates the zero calorie policy.
Crystal Light Raspberry Ice
I remember trying a glass of Crystal light when I was a teen and hanging out at my friend’s house. His refrigerator was stocked with nothing but zero sugar products which usually contained awful saccharin aftertastes. One item that was always on hand was crystal light lemonade which I thought was nasty.
Fast forward about twenty years and I have fallen in love with Crystal light raspberry ice. The small can comes with several small pouches that make two quart pitchers. This drink is very tasty and I have even used this as a holiday mixer with low calorie cranberry juice and vodka. This is very light and refreshing. Just be warned that the powder is capable of producing a very stubborn berry stain to hands and counter if not careful.
La Croix
When I get burned out with ordinary water I sometimes refer to sparkling flavored water made by La Croix. La Croix has been around for some time and offers up several tasty versions that include lemon, berry, lime and orange flavors. The drink pours well into a full glass of ice as it fizzes and pops for a long time;  more so than a can of coke or Pepsi.  I like the taste of this beverage and it makes a good accompaniment to dinner. You can’t go wrong with can or bottle.
Cherry Coke Zero
One of the main culprits of packing on pounds can be soda (or pop).  One of my greatest contributors to putting on weight in the first place can be attributed to cherry coke. I love this drink. Well, counting calories meant I had to say good bye to an old friend. Enter Cherry Coke Zero. One taste and you know the sugar isn’t there, though the drink still comes across with a decent cherry cola flavor. It does not taste as good as the regular version, but it definitely is worth the sacrifice to omit the 140 calories and still eat what I want.
Diet Mountain Dew
I might be on an island of my own putting this drink on the list. I always enjoyed Mountain Dew. I never really understood what went into this antifreeze colored soda, but it always tasted good. I was urged by a co-worker to give this drink a try. I was told it would taste just like the regular version. He was right. This drink is so good and the best part of all is that it is zero calories. I keep a case in the garage at all times and no other family members intrude on my supply…….a win/win situation.
Well, there is my list of five tasty zero calorie drinks that I recommend to calorie counters. Mind you, some of these beverages contain the artificial sweetener known as aspartame. Do I worry about a daily dose of aspartame in my beverages? not really. I will take my chances with diet drinks just like I do every day I get into a car and drive, eat red meat, eat food cooked over charcoal and talk on my cell phone.   Shaving calories at the expense of sugary beverages is a quick way to lower calorie count in addition to learning portion control and engaging in occasional exercise.

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