Halfway into my freshman year of college, I stopped drinking coke (Note: When I say coke, I’m referring to all soft drinks. It’s just a Southern thing). I don’t really recall what motivated me, but I suspect it was just a need to control some aspect of my life. That first year of college was rough, y’all.
Giving up coke was sort of a Big Deal. I’m from Mississippi. Coca Cola runs in my veins. When I was a kid, coke was what I gave up for Lent (except on Sundays when I got one bottled Coca Cola from the machine at my daddy’s church). We always had a bottle of Coca Cola in the kitchen. To this day, my momma still drinks straight-up Coca Cola every day (She prefers a cup of the fountain variety with three-quarters ice; I’m well trained.).
Actually, now that I think about it, this means I was essentially caffeine-free for several years, including my last three years of college. I don’t drink coffee. I’m not a big sweet tea drinker – a chink in my Southern Armour. I didn’t pick up my hot tea habit until the winter after I graduated from college. How did I survive college without caffeine? I’m pretty much incapable of pulling an all-nighter. B always jokes that I can fall asleep on command. While that’s not really true – I’m incapable of napping – my body is pretty insistent when it decides it wants to go to sleep. I can count on one hand the number of sleepless nights I had in college. Interestingly, none of them were due to deadlines. If I needed to skimp on sleep, my strategy was to work until two or three in the morning, go to sleep, and wake up at five or six to finish my work.
So anyway, in my ten years of attempted coke abstinence, I’ve succumbed a few times when I needed a mixer for my alcohol or I needed a boost when driving or I had a craving for a fizzy drink. Enter kombucha, my new, go-to fizzy drink. Kombucha is a fermented tea-based drink that is all the rage now for its purported medicinal values. I don’t know about the health benefits, but I LOVE the flavors and the fizz. My two favorite brands are Kombucha Wonder Drink (try the Asian Pear & Ginger) and Synergy (Gingerade and Multi-Green). Kombucha has a distinct vinegary bite to it. Be prepared!
[Images from company websites]