Once upon a time my favorite teacher, we'll call her "Sophie," ordered a slice of chocolate cake and a diet coke at a restaurant. At the precious, non-dieting age of ten, I was mystified but chose to keep my trap shut in hopes of understanding once I reached the glorious state of womanhood, where ordering nonsensical combinations of food would be my forte and my perogative.
As a young mother in Los Angeles, my friend, we'll call her "Barb" had a refrigerator so nicely stoked with lemon, lime, vanilla, cherry and "regular" diet cokes that I always felt I was either at a drug supply store, a toy store, a restaurant for dehydrated people or a hoarder's convention and, needless to say, became very quickly enamored of her ways and began stocking up on caseloads of vanilla myself.
These days, my husband has spearheaded a "no more aspartame" campaign in our home. After years of working nights and drinking enormous quantities of diet soda substance, he has become terrified of the stuff and with good reason.
We've largely bought into the crazy idea that if there aren't any calories in something, that's GOOD! Yet bypassing water, lemon flavored water and sparkling water or fruit juice because we're craving something sweet and decadent feeling without wanting to feel guilty have cost millions of people their health.
In fact, aspartame related disorders run the gamut from depression to contaminated breast milk, anal fissures, compromised kidney function and much, much more. For an in depth look at this issue, please follow this link: http://dorway.com/dorwblog/
While sugar is bad for you, aspartame is no walk in the park. As with anything in life, there simply is no quick fix, there is no magic bullet and there is no instant feel good guilt free treat. Hitting heavy on the little pink, blue or yellow packets of "stuff" in the name of being "healthier" is simply not a risk worth taking.
Aimee Boyle now refrains from soda all its many forms. She is happy and honored to be a regular contributor to EmpowHER