YLW (Mar 2023)
Monthly follow up from my Year of Living Without. March was no beverages other than water and black coffee.
My month of living without beverages other than water and black coffee was mostly a success. I only failed two days of the month. The first was sometime mid-month when my mother-in-law asked me to try something “garlic”, but it was in fact so hot that my mouth was on fire, and I drank a Coke to try and ease the heat. Looking back on it, I should have just attempted to weather the discomfort with water alone.
The second time was just yesterday, the last day of March. I drank soda during a field trip with my daughter because it was “free”, and then had another when I returned home with pizza that my oldest daughter had for a sleepover. I can say with certainty that I only drank the second soda because I’d already failed with the first. In both cases, I should have gone with water, but I was weak.
All the other days, I only drank water or black coffee. I did start using my carbonator more often than I had in recent months to make sparkling water. That’s something I’ve always enjoyed, but I just didn’t take the extra few moments to do it regularly. I invested in a new carbonator mid-month because the plastic SodaStream model I had wasn’t much fun to use. I’d also decided by this point that by making sparkling water more consistently available, this new reduced beverage intake was likely to stick longer than just the month of March. I’m going to start refilling my own carbonator cartridges, as it is way more cost-effective than SodaStream canister swaps. I drink sparkling water almost daily now, and that’s likely to continue.
While I will start bringing some milk or creamer back into the mix with the occasional espresso-based cortadito or cafè con leche, I don’t think I’ll go back to drinking juice regularly. After the couple of sodas I had yesterday (and another today with leftover pizza), I’m pretty resolved to say even those can be cut out. A reduced-beverage diet feels right to me, for a few reasons. I haven’t had juice regularly for years, and the soda does nothing for me health-wise. I’ve been drinking my coffee black for years too, so no major shift there. I think that by just focusing on water, both sparkling and still, and coffee, I get everything I need and what I actually want. This exercise proved it to myself, so it was worthwhile.
I made an update to my scheduled monthly sacrifices. April was originally slated to be “No Apple Watch” month. I realized that by removing the Apple Watch, I’d almost certainly use my phone more often, which is the opposite of where I’d like to be headed habitually. I decided to switch it to “Pooping in the Dark” month. It was inspired by this article and the main point is to eliminate electronic distractions and return to a more natural and minimalist approach to ... elimination. I had my first go of it today, and while my 4-year-old twins decided it was a great time to barge in and ask me a question or ten, overall the goal of feeling more present with the act was achieved.