Swapping soda for iced tea has been pretty sweet


I’m Corey Parent – a dad, a husband, and State Senator for Franklin County and Alburgh in Northwestern Vermont.  I have never been a real coffee drinker – I never really had a taste for it, so I relied on soda for caffeine – usually a Diet Coke or Dr. Pepper.  On a typical morning, I’d open my first one by 7:30 am, and I typically followed with one mid-morning, lunch, and mid-afternoon. It wasn’t uncommon to have 4 to 6 sodas a day. I knew it wasn’t good for me, but I struggled to find a replacement. I tried coffee again but couldn’t get into it. Then I tried tea, and I found that I liked it both hot and iced, both black and green, and most importantly, unsweetened.

The first few months I made a hard break from soda, just focusing on bringing my tea in the morning and I noticed I began to slide a little as the weather got warmer and would sneak a soda in after work—I tend to prefer a cold drink when it’s warm out. Ultimately,   I switched to iced tea and have found that that is my favorite. I like green tea and will add extra ice and nurse it throughout my morning or afternoon.

Life is Sweet EnoughWhile those first two months I did cut out soda completely, I now have a soda every now and then. We don’t have it in the house. It’s treated much more like a treat now, than a habit. My wife was never much of a soda drinker, and my son is only on milk and water since he is so young, but I think it’s smart to keep it out of the house, not just for me but for all of us.

For anyone thinking of swapping out some of their sweet drinks for a low or no sugar option, it will definitely be an adjustment. You certainly don’t have to cut it all out at once as I did—it took me a few weeks to get to a point where I wasn’t a little off, but eventually I hit a point where I got passed the cravings. Starting small might be a better way to go for you, though. If you have several sugary drinks a day, start by just swapping one of them out. It’s amazing how your taste buds can change, and you can begin to develop cravings for less sugary options.

Senator Corey Parent

Senator in the Vermont State Senate