Just a Little Caffeine and Aspartame

I try super-hard to feed my family healthy food the majority of the time. Despite my best efforts, we occasionally slide off the wagon and wallow in the chicken nuggets and french fry soup a little longer than I’d like.

But I do know the problems. And I am trying to address them.

I just don’t have the time—nor the affinity—to make homemade yogurt, churn my own butter, or grind my own wheat. I applaud the women who do. And at one point in my life, I measured my own worth as a mother and homemaker by those women.

But I have been released from those chains of comparison because God had a little talk with me and told me that that’s not me. At least not now. Not here.

And I’m OK with that.

I think. 


There’s another thing standing in my way of total embrace of the natural and healthy lifestyle.

That would be my little addiction to Diet Mt. Dew.

I love the stuff. And I know it’s bad for me. And I won’t touch aspartame in any other food product because yes, I really do believe it’s a scary chemical.

But I’m still struggling with my Diet Mt. Dew.

So, Saturday, I had my cold Diet Mt. Dew in the car. Susanna and I were running errands in Green Hills. We were in Macy’s—almost to the door—when she said she was thirsty. We went back through the mobs of shoppers to the nearest restroom sign, but there was no water fountain there. I didn’t feel like going all the way back to the 3rd floor, so I told her she could finish off the Diet Mt. Dew in the car.

I felt guilty for a smidge of a second but concluded it was only a small amount. We got to the car and she started sipping.

Now, because I am the trying-to-be-healthier mom that I am, I decided we would also stop at Trader Joe’s for a few of my favorites from there. We hopped out of the car. Susanna had the Diet Mt. Dew in hand. We were headed in when I stopped.

“Susanna. Why don’t you finish that drink before we go in?”

I couldn’t let all those yogurt-making, mill-grinding, butter-churning, Trader Joe’s-shopping moms know that I had—on occasion—allowed my daughter to consume both caffeine and aspartame, now could I?

They just wouldn’t understand; I don’t care how far away that municipally contaminated water fountain was from the door.