One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident


What do you drink?

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Question of the weekA few weeks ago I was asked to review the new Healthy Balance juices. A line of reduced-sugar juice cocktails. Sweetened with Splenda. They contain 75% less sugar, calories, and carbohydrates than traditional juice cocktails.

Normally when I see the word "cocktail" on a juice bottle I immediately run away screaming. Well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration but to me, "Cocktail" is the industry’s code word for sugar water mixed with about 10% juice.

Even the word "juice" bothers me only because so many people equate it with something healthy. I’m not saying it can’t be healthy but drinking it by the gallons isn’t doing anything but spiking your blood sugar and giving you 1600% of your vitamin C for the day.

In my opinion it should not be ours (or our kids) go to drink. That should be water. Right? I mean what else are we suppose to be drinking. No other creature on the planet drinks anything but water or milk on a day to day basis. Will a dog lap up a bowl full of apple juice? sure. It’s sweet. It tastes good. But he’ll survive just fine, if not better, on his daily intake of water.

OK, I’m going to slowly back down off my soapbox now before I get out of hand. I don’t think juice in and of itself is "bad." I just think–like so many other things–we consume way too much of it.

I really like juice. I do! But I don’t trust myself around it. I can easily gulp down hundreds of extra calories. Like eating, I don’t have a beverage shut off switch. I drink and drink and drink. So I rarely buy or keep it in the house but I do allow the Little Guy to order it when we go out to eat. This way it’s seen as a "treat" or a "sometimes food." Once he finishes it I tell the waitress to bring him water. There is no such thing as a bottomless glass of juice when I’m around.

I do like to enjoy some juice now and then too. So I’m happy when brands like Healthy Balance comes along. It was a tasty juice and at only about 30 calories a glass it’s a light option for me. Although, I’d rather give 100% juice with no sugar/sweetener added to the Little Guy instead of a Splenda sweetened one. He’s not watching his calories so whey not give him the real stuff?

So this brings me to the question of the week. What do you drink? Or should I ask… What are your drink habits? because I believe that’s all they really are.

In my house we are milk (cow & almond-more on that later) and water drinkers mostly. The husband has a nasty soda habit but I rarely touch the stuff. My goto is water. It will always be, everything else is just a now and then treat.

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There are 31 comments so far.


    June 14, 2010

    I completely agree that juice is a treat – I like to have the reduced sugar orange juice on Sunday morning when the family makes pancakes, but other than that – water or milk all the way. My 4 year old doesn’t know to ask for juice because we’ve just never kept it in the house for him. But this will be a nice alternative to the once-a-week orange juice – thanks for the review!!


    June 14, 2010

    I gave up all drinks but water, milk, and coffee (it’s a must) for Lent this year – best thing I ever did! My Diet Coke habit was getting out of control. Giving it up made me realize how much fake sugar messes with my hunger/fullness signals. That certainly wasnt the point of the fast, but a nice added bonus. Now it’s mostly water with some coffe and almond milk mixed in.


    June 14, 2010

    Coffee, tea and water, but occasionally I’ll have an old skool juice glass (read: 4 oz) of OJ. I also keep Ocean Spray Cranergy around, which is similar to Healthy Balance.


    June 14, 2010

    I drink OJ occasionally, but I try to buy the 100% juice brands, and I use the Ikea kids cups to make sure that I have a little bit. Or I do “poor man’s juice” and half it with water.

    maria @ Chasing the Now

    June 14, 2010

    We are mostly water drinkers, but the husband drinks enough milk for the two of us! I occasionally drink OJ mixed with water, but rarely. My Huz has a small glass of grape juice every morning. Trying to wean ourselves off soda.


    June 15, 2010

    In the morning I typically drink 1% milk, but the past week or so I’ve been drinking orange juice. Not real typical, since I find milk to be more satisfying, but a change is nice.

    I drink water throughout the day, but I can’t bring myself to drink water with a meal. It just tastes weird. I grew up drinking sweet tea day in and day out. I recall dropping 10 lbs when my parents switched to putting Splenda in the tea.

    Now I prefer drinking unsweet ice tea when it’s prepared. I still have a soda habit, though, and more frequently turn to diet soda. Though recently I’ve been acquiring a taste (or more accurately alleviating a strong distaste) for unsweetened flavored carbonated water, like La Croix.

    If I had my way I’d drink milk (or occasionally 100% OJ) in the morning, carbonated water or tea at lunch, tea or wine at dinner, water throughout the day, and a hot tea latte before bed.


    June 15, 2010

    I mostly drink water , milk , tea n almond milk . i do love juice specially the naked ones but even though they say it’s 100 % fruit it has a lot of sugar , i rarely drink these days as i’m on my weight loss journey.
    About the diet coke ,i drink whenever i have it around so i stopped getting it at home ,i have it only when we go out .
    The artificial sweetners like splenda and sweet n low etc are better to avoid they have ill effects on longterm basis if we use too much of it, previously ( even now i get tempted ) i use to drink a lot of sugarfree drinks, i felt that was the easiest way to cut down calories which is true but i feel i need to make more healthy choices.


    June 15, 2010

    I drink water most of the time. Sometimes I have milk. Very rarely do I have a soda – usually Coke Zero with popcorn at the movies. I’m in total agreement with you regarding juice. It’s too easy to drink a bazillion calories. My husband drinks Cran-Grape, and it’s all juice, but I try to stay away from it.


    June 15, 2010

    Im a coffee with almond milk and water girl. I LOVE diet cherry pepsi but its like a drug, cant stop so I dont allow it in the house.

    My 3 year old and husband are both milk and water guys.

    I personally drink water or milk. I sometimes use Crystal Light Pure Fitness when I want something juice-like.
    My girls drink water with a splash of juice in it – about 1 ounce of juice to 7 ounces of water. I found they drink more that way, and I figure a couple of ounces of juice won’t hurt them.


    June 15, 2010

    Lots and lots of water with ice and 2 cups of ff milk. I cut out OJ a couple of years ago, I totally agree that I’d rather chew my calories than gulp ’em down. DH and son manage to drink one of those huge Costco cans of frozen OJ every other day without any help from me.


    June 15, 2010


    I have never liked soda. Even as a child they would give it to me and I would turn it away. I seriously do not know what it is to drink a cup of soda. We hardly have any soda in the house. But I do love orange juice and tomato juice… thinking it was healthy, I used to drink alot of it… not anymore.

    Laura Jane

    June 15, 2010

    I rarely ever drink a beverage with calories. I see it as a waste of calories and juices can be pretty high in calories. I’d rather eat the real fruit and be more satisfied. Although, I think drinking mostly water would be ideal, I really don’t drink water exclusively. I drink water, Diet soft drinks, and Crystal Light. At this point, I feel like I have enough to focus on in trying to change my eating habits and since I do only drink calorie-free things, I will worry about changing those drink habits later. I probably drink 2 cans of Diet Pepsi daily, maybe one glass of Crystal Light, and the rest water.


    June 15, 2010

    I drink Turkey Hill diet iced tea by the gallon. I have tried to switch to water but haven’t had the willpower to quit the addiction. Oh well, I have quit the diet coke, only order when I go out. If it is at home, I drink it until it is gone. :(


    June 15, 2010

    I only drink water now, sometimes milk. I dont really like juice and I gave up soda 94 days ago! So its just water for me:)


    June 15, 2010

    I could go on and on about how I feel about juice just being liquid sugar (can we share that soap box, Roni?)…

    Water is my go to. I also drink coffee and tea (green, regular, herbal), milk (cow and almond). I used to drink diet soda (haven’t touched regular soda in years) but I don’t drink that more than once in a blue moon nowadays. Occasionally I like the sugar free flavored waters (both carbonated and non), but water is my #1. To me, it’s healthiest, and the quickest path to weight maintenance.

    Cynthia (It All Changes)

    June 15, 2010

    I can’t have anything with splenda so these low calorie juice alternatives make me sick.

    Besides if I want a glass of juice in place of my normal water I want something that tastes like I just squeezed the fruit. It’s a treat so I want the real stuff. And for kids it should be a treat too so why not give them the real stuff as well.


    June 15, 2010

    This is a struggle for me. I always have coffee in the morning and then drink water at work BUT I just can’t say that I like water. It’s like drinking nothing…it leaves me hydrated but unsatisfied. I drink tea sometimes but it gives me heartburn (I know, weird). Juice is delicious but like you mentioned I can’t control myself around it. I have one Diet Coke a day with dinner. I have non-fat milk with my oatmeal in the morning but otherwise I don’t drink milk. So I guess it’s coffee, water, tea, Diet Coke and milk.


    June 15, 2010

    I drink water, black coffee and skim milk. I also like to keep some 100% orange or grapefruit juice on hand, but I don’t drink it often – maybe a small glass with breakfast once a week or so.

    Boyfriend has a nasty soda habit too, and he keeps sweet tea in the fridge at all times. I rarely touch the soda at all; I might drink a glass or two of tea in a week and then not touch it at all for another week or more.


    June 15, 2010

    I love juice. I use a splash of it to sparkling water. But if I am going to drink a whole glass of it, I’d like it to be V8 fusion. At least then I know it has lots of fruit and veggies stuffed in. I also enjoy a coke zero every now and then. Other than that I stick to Water, tea, and milk.

    KCLAnderson (Karen)

    June 15, 2010

    For years and years water has been my go-to drink. I have one or two cups of coffee every day. I sometimes use milk (cow, goat or almond) in smoothies or to make oatmeal, but I don’t drink it. I will sometimes (like once a month) have a diet Coke or iced tea, especially if I am out for lunch. In colder weather, I love hot tea in the afternoon or after dinner. I am not a juice drinker unless I have a bad cold (which thankfully is a rare occurrence!).

    My biggest challenge was reducing my wine intake and I have finally found peace and control in that area :-)


    June 15, 2010

    I have never liked juice of any kind and the more I hear about it the happier I am that I’ve never acquired the taste for it. I drink water 90% of the time and milk (cow or soy) the other 10%.


    June 15, 2010

    I drink mostly water – in the morning, throughout the day at work and during/after my workout. However, I have a coffee in the morning and I HAVE to have a diet coke with lunch and possibly dinner (This is such a hard habit to break. I used to drink diet coke all the time, and I’ve finally cut down to drinking it only with food and I’m getting used to it). Also, lately I’ve been drinking a Sobe Zero or Vitamin Water Zero around 3 p.m. when I start to crash. So for me, I like to think mostly water, diet coke, coffee (and wine, sometimes, too…)


    June 15, 2010

    I stopped drinking juice when I started my weight loss journey. No matter how much I love orange juice, I just can’t justify the calories.


    June 15, 2010

    I only drink water with an occasional coke zero when we are out to eat. When I am pregnant, I will drink orange juice with extra calcium b/c I hate milk. I will drink milk in a WW Smoothie almost every day (or almond milk) but that’s about it. I gave up and diet coke a year and a half ago and now can’t stand anything but coke zero (no ‘diet’ drinks at all!). I drink about 160 ounces of water a day. :)


    June 15, 2010

    Water, unsweetened ice tea and an occasional glass of milk–I get my calcium from other sources. I used to have a horrible soda habit over 64 oz a day, but Nov 2009 I stopped cold turkey and haven’t had it since. We do koolaid (sugar free) for the boys, but they will drink water without a problem too. My hubby can take or leave pop and the boys only get it if out or at someone’s home. But honestly at restaurants they get choc milk (big treat) or lemonade (like subway). So really, we’ll pretty simple. The boys would love juice but drink it like nobody’s business.


    June 15, 2010

    Soda(seltzer) water and regular water from the tap (well) all day ,all the time. I don’t keep juice in my house for the same reasons as you. My sons (ages 3 and 1) drink soda water, water and milk. They don’t like juice because they think it is too sweet.


    June 16, 2010

    Morning java and then water w/fresh lemon when I can. It’s a shame that the word “juice” now doesn’t have such a positive meaning as so many of them have been “juiced” with sugar.


    June 16, 2010

    I drink water, black coffee, and my weekly beer or wine. Pretty boring but I’ve never been into juice or soft drinks, even when I was overweight.


    June 16, 2010

    I totally agree with Teagan! “My Diet Coke habit was getting out of control. Giving it up made me realize how much fake sugar messes with my hunger/fullness signals.”

    I recently gave up diet pop for a strict diet I’ve been doing. I have found that by cutting out artificial sugar and cutting down on real sugar and carbs, I feel totally in control of my blood sugar! No more panicked “I have to eat something RIGHT NOW” thoughts. How freeing!

    Seltzer water has been the biggest help in my quest to eliminate pop. I usually drink a few cans of Polar seltzer each day, but I also drink plain water, coffee with a splash of skim milk and plain tea. Drinking water or unsweetened coffee/tea is a great replacement for constant snacking. You’re still doing something with your mouth, so it satisfies the oral fixation without the calories.


    June 16, 2010

    At work I drink water all day at work and I drink water when I exercise. I sometimes drink almond milk at home but most of the time I get to spend my time at home with my favorite vice — Coke Zero. I love that stuff.