Sugar and caffeine do “crazy things” to the body. Sugar is debilitating: Lacking in any nutritional value, sugar deteriorates the teeth and the internal organs, contributing to disease (including, but not limited to: diabetes, obesity, depression, arthritis, etc.) In addition, like caffeine; it’s addicting and mood altering.
Combine caffeine and sugar, and you are bound to wind up in the doctor’s office, and/or… in the principal’s office (for misbehavior).
Call me an evil step mom, but when I am in “mommy role” (which is very often):
- I don’t stop at fast food joints (trust me, they still get the stuff elsewhere).
- I also don’t grill up hot dogs,
- or pack lunches with processed and refined foods, or artificial ingredients (like cheese food, bleh, that stuff runs rampant in the snack aisle…
- I also do not use your average hydrogenated, sugar ridden peanut butter),
- Oh… and I definitely don’t allow regular sodas at any meal.
That being said, I kid. I kid. While that may have sounded like a whole lot of “don’ts,” I go out of my way to make eating “healthier” enjoyable. (Thankfully B and I are on the same page).
In other words: I am really not that evil, I promise.
Friday night is Family Pizza Night! While I don’t join in the pizza fun, this has become a family tradition I love. Palio’s pizza is thin crusted. It is just the right amount of crunch, and topped with the perfect amount of cheese: a.k.a.: it is not smothered in cheese. (A Foodie and nutritionist: I always observe these things).
Palio’s is B.Y.O. Which typically means that one is supposed to bring their own cocktail. But with the family in mind, I decided to create my own B.Y.O. rules.
My line of thought: FRIDAY MEANS CELEBRATION and RELAXATION. There is no reason we should not all celebrate with a beverage of our choice. While we steer clear of the soda fountain (which equates to: caffeine, refined and processed sugars, artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, in addition to other ingredients I have no desire to learn to pronounce), I take advantage of the B.Y.O. and (B.Y.O.S.), or Bring [Our] Own Sodas.
While the family rule is: No Caffeine, the kids are loving Zevia (the caffeine free flavors, that is). Zevia has been around for a few years now. While I can remember when they barely had two flavors, I am impressed by the way they have taken over the health market shelves with their vibrant colors and “familiar” tastes.
What is Zevia?
Zevia is a more natural approach to soda. Sweetened with the natural herb (Stevia)*, according to their website: “ZEVIA contains none of the chemically processed artificial sugar substitutes, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives found in other diet sodas. ZEVIA is 100% natural, has zero calories, zero net carbs, zero fat, and little or no sodium (depending on flavor).” (*Zevia does contain sugar alcohols).
While carbonated beverages are not great for optimal digestion (and soda is blatantly never going to be a “health food”), if you are a soda addict, Zevia is one way to curb the cravings, transition away from addictive soda guzzling, or have a healthier option for you and the kids.
Soda is a treat— not something to be had at every meal (like American society would have us think)… or so says the evil step mom.
We do soda on special occasions (like Fridays)– which gives the kids something to look forward to and keeps costs down (as opposed to having it every night, or for use in lunch boxes).
On Easter dinner, the kids drank Grape Zevia from little wine glasses. It made for a fun family dining experience (and the 5 year old even managed to keep it in her glass ).
Easter baskets were a hit too, and knowing that the kids would be enjoying plenty of processed candy on Easter, I did my best to create a memorable, and “healthier” version of what I grew up receiving.
- I found gummy worms, and other sugary treats that were without refined and processed ingredients (Whole Foods).
- Instead of a Chocolate Bunnies, I found little glass piggy banks ($3.00 from the Craft Store) that we later decorated with paint (and ($1) play-dough and a drawing pad ($1.00) for the littlest– and baseball cards for the boys).
- Because we had our fair share of candy-packed Easter egg hunts, B and I hid Easter eggs with loose change around the apartment. The “special” eggs had… a DOLLAR!