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Or drowning your money in trash drinks?
Suppose an advertising company widely and vigorously advertised an oil
substitute for your car that was a lot cheaper than regular oil. It
smelled better, too. Easy to pour, pretty containers.
You had a nearly new car that was your prize possession. You wanted to
keep it in top condition. The oil substitute sounded like a good idea.
The only problem was that while it filled the lubricating system, it had very
little lubricating properties. In other words, down the line your engine
was going to be in big doo-doo. You continue to use it, though.
How long do you think this company would stay in business?
How long before bunches of angry consumers sued them?
Never the less, most households do just that with another prize
possession: the health of the family members.
Sodas, fruit flavored ades, coolers, punch, nectars, powdered drink
concentrates, and more all claim "made with real fruit juice" and "full daily
recommended amount of Vitamin C". Great taste, more pep, easy
to use and attractive containers. Available from vending machines
everywhere. This is a multi-million dollar industry; millions are spent on
The problem is that in most cases the "real fruit juice"
is a minor ingredient, often only 5% or 10% of the total volume. The
minimum daily requirement of Vitamin C is far less than most experts feel is
necessary for good health, so that isn't really a good guide to use. Most
of them are full of dyes, artificial flavors, sugars and additives, and missing
are the other vitamins, antioxidants and various healthy compound in natural
Well, perhaps you feel those drinks aren't really dangerous or they wouldn't be
allowed on the market, and besides, family members like them. So what's
the harm? For one thing, a normal person takes in only enough calories on
the average, daily, to maintain weight at its present "set-point".
Add up the calories consumed daily from these drinks, and you will see that they
are taking the place of real food in the diet.
So why do we drown our money in nearly useless and
possible harmful colored, flavored artificially made fluids? Convenience,
advertising, the kids like them, caffeine addiction, sugar craving, and overall
they are cheaper. Like the fake lubricant we bought for our new car.
And down the line we will pay for it.
What's the solution? Make a hard and fast rule:
no more junk drinks on the grocery list. Let the kids spend their
allowance on soft drinks if they want, but provide only healthy drinks at home.
Buy some nice covered pitchers or juice containers for the refrigerator door and
keep them filled. Buy some large foam-type thermos jugs for picnics, on
the job, in the car or at sports events. Stock the refrigerator with
single serving bottles or cans of favorite juices. Buy an electric
citrus juicer if you don't have one. Blenders are useful; we
especially like the stick blender for use in a large drinking glass or similar
container. Make it really convenient to prepare and drink good stuff.
What should you drink?
- Lemonade (it can be made sugar free if required for
- Iced tea (research shows it may fight
cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other ailments, especially green tea).
- Tomato juice or V-8 (contains among other compounds
lycopene, a potent cancer-fighting agent).
- Orange juice (research indicates it also fights
- Apple juice or cider
- Grape juice (recent news are that its antioxidants
combat ill effects of second hand smoke and air pollution).
- Other pure fruit juices
- Chocolate milk.
- Fruit slushies made with fresh or frozen real fruit,
sugar if required, and water, milk or yogurt. Add a little fruit
flavoring if you like, or try cinnamon.
- Herbal teas, hot or cold, with honey or a little
sugar if you need it sweeter.
- Spiced or flavored teas, such as
Lady Bird's Spiced Tea.
- For sodas, try ginger ale in small quantities, which
at least has real ginger in it.
for more healthy choices.
How to get them to drink it? Have some nice
glasses and lots of ice. Buy straws. Serve it to them on a pretty
tray. Let them have lots of choice. If they balk and there's nothing
else in the house, let'em have plain water. If they're really thirsty,
they'll drink what's available!
All this may sometimes cost a little more money, but it is
cash well spent, not thrown away on junk. Protect your personal motors!