Inspiration from Meghan

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Diet Coke For Breakfast


A rather annoying article popped into my feed, coincidentally while I was putting the finishing touches on our UnDiet Meal Prep Course. I posted it on Facebook and got a lot of response, and so I thought I'd share here.

We all have our methods for keeping up with the demands of the day. Some of us have a green smoothie, maybe some coconut water, maybe even plain old-fashioned water. Some of us take the time at the start of the week to get prepped and ready with all our meals.

Then there are those of us who down a half dozen bottles of artificial chemical beverages a day.

To each their own right?

Right... sort of. I am all for people making the decisions that best suit their needs, but what happens when they start imposing their decisions, ones that may not be in the name of health and optimal brain functioning, on their children?

Did you see the interview last week in USA Today with Coca Cola's president of sparkling beverages Katie Bayne? The one where she makes sweeping and inherently wrong nutritional statements like " a calorie is a calorie" and "sugary drinks can be a part of any diet as long as your calories in balance with the calories out"?

A little outraging right?

Here is an excerpt:

Q: Is anyone at Coca-Cola trying to figure out a way to get sugar out of all drinks?

A: There is a large portion of the population that relies on the carbohydrates and energy in our regular beverages. When my son gets home from school, he needs a pick-up with calories and great taste.

Q: How much Coke should a kid drink a day?

A: We don't make recommendations on what kids should drink. But a 12-ounce can of Coke has 140 calories, the same as a lunch-box-size bag of pretzels.

The metabolic effects of sugar are widely known- or at least I thought so.  And a 12-ounce can of coke is comprised of 39 grams of sugar which is 7 1/2 teaspoons, 7 1/2 sugar cubes or an addition of over 10,000 calories per year just by sipping.

This much sugar in anything that also happens to be completely void of any protein, fat or fibre -which could potentially help to offset the flood of the addictive white stuff through the blood - throws your adrenaline into high, essentially abuses every organ system of your body, disrupts brain chemistry, and can actually have a serious affect on your perception of the world.

How about this one:

Q: What do you say to those who believe that sugar — particularly in soft drinks — works on the brain like an addictive substance?

A: There is no scientific evidence.

Ms. Bayne, I encourage you have a read of this study and this one. Pretty sure that's what we call scientific evidence. Sugar is more addictive than coke. The irony. Is Coke more addictive than coke? (Share today's tweetable!)

When asked what she drinks in a day, Ms. Bayne offered the following:

  • Mini Diet Coke while cooking breakfast for my family. 
  • After the kids leave for school, I go for a run and then have a Powerade Zero. 
  • At work I may have a Diet Coke in the morning.
  • Gold Peak Tea in the afternoon. 
  • In the middle of the afternoon, I may have an 8-ounce Coke. 

She caveats that list by saying she'd "rather have that than a candy bar or cookie for a pick-me-up".

Here's my question, what comes first? The consumption of artificially sweetened, mineral leaching, dehydrating, brain buzzing followed by energy crash-inducing beverages? Or the need for a pick-me up?  Some may even argue that to give a child a can of Coke after a day at school is a bit of child abuse. Children need "pick-me-ups" after school because they've been burning up glucose all day long with all the learning they're supposed to be doing. Same, actually for adults. Kids don't need a sugar caffeine cocktail. Neither do adults.

Our brains will only work as well, and our energy will only be as steady as what we are using for fuel. Getting a 'pick-me-up" from sugar or worse, artificially sweetened, caffeine laden beverages is only feeding a cycle of lower brain function, nutrient malabsorption, and nutrient leaching. Need I even mention the chemical leaching that goes on by putting the highly acidic drink that is Coke into a plastic bottle?

Now Coke will likely come after me again, like they did when I talked about how Coke Makes You Fat and I may even get more hate mail like I did that time when I stated that the only thing Coke was good for was cleaning my frying pans- but typically those responses just feed the notion that we are what we eat. Is it any coincidence that the Coke junkies typically have the most aggressive, adrenaline fuelled acidic responses to anyone who suggest it may not be the best choice?

Were I given the opportunity to interview Katie Bayne I would have four questions for her.

  1. How is your sleep?
  2. How is your pooping?
  3. While sipping your Diet Coke pre-run, early in the morning, what are you cooking for your family?
  4. Would you be open to a challenge where, for two weeks, you replaced every naturally or artificially sweetened Coke brand beverage with a green juice?
If you're seeking another load of propaganda hooey from the toxic drink makers check this out, and be sure to also visit the sponsor of that massive load of hooey.

Question Of The Day: Do you feel the need for a regular afternoon pick-me-up? What is your strategy to either prevent this or resolve it?

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17 Responses to “Diet Coke For Breakfast”

  1. Shannon C said…
    Oh golly, I used to pick up a diet pop on the way into work and gulp it back at my desk first thing in the morning. How things have changed! The chest pain, intensely painful heartburn, effects on my blood pressure, and sluggish feeling that came with my pop consuming is so not worth it anymore. For pick me ups, I'd now rather: go for a quick walk and get some fresh air; have a healthy snack (eating on a regular schedule helps me); or enjoy homemade iced tea with a friend. Feeling good on the inside has become a priority for me. That's why I kissed pop goodbye.
  2. That Coke article infuriated me when I read it on your wall. I am still so annoyed by it. As a mom I find it so completely backwards, irresponsible and abusive to make claims such as these. I also can speak from experience that MANY parents sadly follow this woman's mindset, clearly, because on a regular basis my husband and I have experienced parents allowing their kids to down powerade or pop at the park. There was a line in the movie Hungry for Change (I can't remember the exact quote) comparing refined sugar to crack and stating it should be seen as abuse to give it to children, as would any other drug. I think this is so true. We need to stop thinking of this stuff as acceptable... in any amount. Some things we just SHOULD NOT be ingesting in any level and we definitely shouldn't be filling our children's growing bodies (and brains) with them. I personally grew up in a house that never had pop (or juice for that matter). I can remember going to relatives at holidays and being given "sips" of the stuff, but that was the extent of my sugary drink experience. I never acquired a taste for the stuff. My friends all found this bizarre and thought it was so weird when I would order water with my meals wherever we went, but to me this was the norm!! If your kids grow up not thinking this stuff is normal or healthy to consume, they won't want it... trust me!! More importantly they won't be addicted to it. As far as what I use for a pick me up... I am a mom to a VERY active toddler, so yes sometimes I feel the need for a little afternoon pick me up. Here is what I use: 10 minutes of meditation or good stretching/dancing around to upbeat music (seriously does wonders!!), a superfood smoothie or ball, or some fresh green juice. One of those things will always work (and if they don't there is a bigger issue like fatigue or illness I need to address). Once again Meghan, thanks for sharing such an important issue and not being afraid of the bullying you may receive because of it!!! I for one will always stand in your corner on these issues ;).
  3. Vaishali said…
    Seriously, how can anyone feed their child a can of coke? This woman has absolutely no knowledge about nutrition or the ill effects this is going to cause her family or maybe she does not care. I too am a mom to a very active child. We do not drink any pop or sugary juices at home. I actually tell my son what the particular sugary food/juice is going to do to his body. There was a time when eating at food courts was easy but it has been several years now and it is impossible for me to eat there anymore. We always carry out own home cooked food and it makes me feel good about what I ate or drank. For pick me ups, I drink some protein shake with berries or eat a fruit or drink some caffeine free tea, read a book or just take a walk.
  4. Danielle said…
    That terrifies me to read my kid needs a pick-me-up so I give them a coke.
  5. Jamie Langlois said…
    Well said usual!! Also, so happy to hear that your dad is recovering well!! :O)
  6. wow, what a great post! the sugar in coke is horrible and the artificial sweeteners in diet coke are even worse! and the sugar isn't even sugar --- it's high fructose corn syrup -- from genetically modified corn!!!.....stop me before I get on my soap box:) thanks for sharing!
  7. Alex said…
    Outrageous! Growl.
  8. Erin said…
    Ditto what Ami said.
  9. Eleanor said…
    Sometimes I forget that people still drink soda/pop... one of the very first things I did when i started making changes for better health was cut out anything with a huge a amount of sugar, genetically modified ingredients and artificial sweeteners out of of my diet I remember being a kid and in school when my diet was full of, basically, crap and coming home so tired I could do nothing but sleep for 5 hours and while in school my focus was awful. I can't take back those years of tiredness and grumpiness and poor grades but at least now I know what was causing it all! Just like most kids I was a completely addict to sugar and it made me feel awful. I see so many parents who feed their kids soda and sugary cereal and "fruit" snacks and then they even go further and even feed them drugs for being hyper or unstable before they've even entered the first grade. I've seen this happen right before my eyes so many times and it's always so surreal. I mean, do these parents even stop to think for a second that maybe, just maybe, that in order for their child to function well they first need some food that isn't pure sugar and starch and maybe some veggies and quality protein and fat instead? I do not have kids so I can't say I understand the challenges of being a parent in any way at all. But what I do know is what it feels like to be child and I know that I looked up to family a lot when I was one. I didn't grow up with perfect health habits or a flawless diet but I drank water, green tea and juice not soda, I ate home cooked meals not frozen dinners or takeout, and I understood that food came out much more delicious when cooked stovetop and in the oven instead of the microwave at a young age. Why? because it's what my parents showed and taught me. Even so, I struggled, so to think of how it would have felt to live off nothing but the bad stuff scares me. If adults were to first of all stop seeing kids as just kids, and instead as soon-to-be-adults and took the time to teach them how to actually cook, and why to eat and drink certain things versus others they would be surprised at just how quickly their children would start making smart decisions all on their own. That's supposed to be the beautiful thing about young minds. And one of the few things thats makes me truly angry is knowing that some children struggle so much when they shouldn't have to, especially when it comes to their schooling and social life. My all time favorite edible pick me up is tea and fresh fruit. Taking a walk and stretching is pretty great too. But lately I've been finding that adding in some maca to my mid morning juice or smoothie allows me to skip the pick me ups all together. Thank you Meghan, as always, for a thought provoking post!
  10. Jules said…
    Her "cooking breakfast for the family" probably means throwing some pop tarts in the toaster. Unfortunately, like I was, so many people don't care about what they eat until they or someone they love feels sick all the time, but no doctor knows what's wrong with them. That's when they investigate and make the connection. A food either heals you or slowly makes you sick.

Before you post your comment, please note that I am unable to offer nutritional advice or recommendations via my blog.

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