Saturday, February 19, 2011

I'm a Pepper

This is going to be an informative, hard hitting expose on something big in my life. So hold on to your britches, sit tight in your seats and keep reading. I am about to tell you...

Why I stopped (and then started again and then stopped) drinking Dr. Pepper!!!

I know, you are all shocked and on the edge of your seats. If you have known me for any length of time beginning in about 6th grade you know that for most of my life, Dr. Pepper has been my drink of choice.  If allowed, I would have indulged in them 24/7. I loved the taste, I loved the fizz, I loved the way it made me feel - which most of the time was relaxed and happy.  How could a drink hold so much power??

My love for Dr. Pepper started when I was in junior high, I believe.  My parents didn't allow me to drink any kind of soda, except on the weekends, and even then it was only one, maybe 2 a day.  When we went on vacation to their camp house, I think I was allowed one a day, no matter what day of the week it was (oh how wonderful!).  When we were at the camp though, Mom always stocked up the little ancient ice box on the porch with all kinds of fun flavored soda, including the ever elusive Nehi Peach, so I usually varied my soda consumption to accommodate the availability of those rare treats. I enjoyed a Coke every now and then, but I particularly liked grape soda and the Nehi Peach. Those were my favorites. But my beloved Dr. Pepper was never far from me, even when we were at the camp.

Some day I will have to write about the camp. What an amazing place that was.

Anyway, I became really hooked on Dr. Pepper back home when my mom started purchasing those little squatty, rounded bottles of it (the glass bottles were the best). At the time, we had a pool table in the living room of our house, and on Friday nights and through most of the weekends we played pool.  It was always a treat to sip on one of those bottled Dr. Peppers while shooting with my dad or various friends. I looked forward to it every week.

The obsession with Dr. Pepper grew as I went through high school, fueled by the greatness that is a Taco Bell Dr. Pepper.  I don't know what it was about Taco Bell that made them so good, but there was nothing that compared. (That is, until we discovered Sonic. Oh mercy. My Dr. Pepper obsession was brought to an all new level when paired with the exquisiteness that is Sonic ice!)

And when my friends and I started getting driver's licenses, my one-a-day-only-on-the-weekends rule was sort of out the window. Sorry, Mom. Never mind the fact that 45 or 50 cents could buy me one in the vending machines after school; that special treat boosted my energy for after-school rehearsals and practices. 

All through college I continued to drink Dr. Pepper. When I went home on the weekends I made sure to grab a 12 pack or 2 from my parents garage and put them in my car. Mom always kept me supplied. And in my adult life after college, it was my go to beverage. It's amazing that I still have kidneys...

And so I was a Dr. Pepper drinker. Forget the cola wars (Coke wins hands down anyway), I never had to make a choice. I am not even going to talk about the laughing stock that is Mr. Pibb - puh-leeze, it's not even in the same league. That stuff is nasty. Being a Dr. Pepper drinker becomes part of your identity in a weird sort of way.

Then working 2 or 3 jobs at a time hit and Starbucks came into popularity and I developed a love for coffee. With motherhood, coffee became my best friend. I still loved Dr. Pepper though, and had one every afternoon as my pick-me-up from the 3pm slump.

But in the past few years I have developed an obsession with eating healthy and removing many of the artificial ingredients and other bad foods from my diet. Never once did I consider abandoning my Dr. Pepper - someone had to keep the company in business. But then, it's funny that when you make major healthy changes in your diet, you also start to really taste things that you may not have noticed before.  I can always tell if something contains ingredients that are chemical in nature or processed.  I still loved Dr. Pepper though, and just like an addict I enjoyed the fizz, the tickle of the bubbles on my nose, the feel of it in my throat and the satisfaction I got from drinking it. But the flavor was not what it used to be.

Then, not too long ago, I was dealing with a lot of minor health issues.  Something was causing my body to be out of balance. It was reflected in my skin, my hair, my mental clarity (or in this case lack of) and I was experiencing a lot of discomfort through headaches, nausea and dizziness. After doing a lot of research I realized that I was most likely suffering from candida, and I immediately cut out all sugar and carbs from my diet. The Dr. Pepper had to go.

At first it was tough - there was about a 2 week period that I had to actually make myself busy during the slump time so I wouldn't constantly think about getting a Dr. Pepper. It probably took a month or so of not drinking it before I stopped craving it. And because I wasn't drinking any soda at all, I had to give up on the fizz and bubbles that brought me so much delight. I developed a love for unsweetened tea (when water just got too boring) and was doing fine for a while. But like most things, after about 6 months, occasionally I would really want a soda so I would allow myself one. Every time I tried to drink a Dr. Pepper it just tasted all wrong. I can totally taste the chemicals now! It's awful! I started drinking Coke instead, which surprisingly didn't have that same chemical taste.

I have tried to drink them every now and then since, and each time the flavor gets less offensive, but it is still just wrong. I think Dr. Pepper may be ruined to me forever. I tried to drink one today and couldn't finish it.

I suppose that is a good thing.  But still, it's the end of a big piece of my life. It sounds ridiculous when I put it out there like that, but it is what it is.

And now you know the rest of the story. ;)

D :)

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