>”Things do not change; we change.”
~Henry David Thoreau

Hah…so maybe I have really changed!

I think back to the things that I’ve changed in my life over the past few years: qutting drinking diet soda, quitting smoking, and quitting eating processed food.

These are things that have changed so much. I used to be so addicted to diet soda…all I drank was diet coke or diet dr. pepper. I’d drink 2 2liters a day. Can you imagine? And I LOVED it! I wonder how much money I spent on soda with a habit like that for almost 30 years? I quit drinking diet soda over 2 years ago. It has almost been 3 years. I can’t believe it has been that long. I don’t miss it at all. And the couple of times that I’ve tried to drink a soda it has tasted so horrible that it’s actually kind of shocking. The taste of that fake sugar is so nasty. I can’t believe that I ever loved the taste of that crap.

What do I drink now? Unsweetened organic iced tea, soda water (nothing in it but water!), filtered tap water, and wine (or the occasional beer). And miracle of miracles, I love water! Just plain, filtered cold water is fantastic.

Just a few words on quitting smoking…I can’t believe I was ever a smoker. It’s so gross…which I knew but didn’t really appreciate how smelly it really is. I can smell a smoker or a lit cigarette so quickly now. I can’t believe I ever let myself smell like an ashtray and god knows what I was doing to my lungs (well, I know because I developed asthma!).

Quitting processed foods though…now that is a whole new world for me. For so long, especially in my 20s, I ate so much fast food. And it’s been almost my whole life that I ate tons of processed foods. In my 20s and 30s I practically lived on Lean Cuisines and Weight Watchers meals. Now just the thought of them grosses me out. I can’t believe I made myself eat those little boxes of processed foods. Sooo much sodium and corn and corn derivatives and such tiny portions. Since I’ve started eating clean, whole foods, I feel so much better. And I feel cared for in a way that those little tv dinners never made me feel. When I ate those I felt deprived. I felt like I was on a diet. Yet, ironically, I didn’t end up losing weight no matter how many of them I ate (I used to eat one every day for lunch!).

I have finally lost the taste for processed food. Like I used to eat peanut butter like Jiff or Skippy…and now it tastes like candy fluff…peanut-butter flavored fluff. I love real nut butters…nothing but ground nuts and a little salt…tastes like peanut butter, not candy.

This morning, I woke up late. I didn’t have time to make my usual cup of organic coffee so I decided to stop at McDonald’s for my caffeine fix…a large unsweetened iced tea (no styrofoam! at least I can recycle the plastic cup!) and as I pulled out of the drive thru I thought, “Wow…it’s been a really long time since I stopped there in the morning.” I thought about it for a minute…used to be a time when I would have McDonald’s for breakfast every morning (bacon, egg and cheese biscuit with a side of hash browns and a large SWEET iced tea — don’t even get me started on this…suffice to say, read the first part of Omnivore’s Dilemma to learn how all of that is just corn and corn derivatives…a high calorie/high fat/high fructose corn syrup meal!). Now I have zero desire to eat something like that. Not saying that I would NEVER eat a McD’s meal again…but the craving for that kind of food is gone.

This transformation…these changes…are nothing short of magic that I have worked in this past year!