Whole Foods Lifestyle - crystal light

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Get n healthy
05-23-2007, 10:46 PM
Hello all,

I am totally enjoying a whole foods lifestyle. I dont even have a desire for anything processed, it just seems plastic-like or something to me. I think my downfall is Crystal Light though. I really, really, hate water (even with lemon added) but i really really LOVE tea. So i have been using crystal light as a way to get all my water in. Sometimes i drink their lemon aid, sometimes the tea. It is 99% caffiene free, so that at least is one good thing. But how bad on a scale of 1-10 is Crystal light being my main stay of water?

If i drink just water, i drink *maybe* 4 glasses a day, if i drink crystal light, i can easily do 8 glasses a day. I am embarrased to even admit that i drink that much Crystal light, but what makes it all that bad?

05-23-2007, 11:12 PM
Me too! I just wanted to jump in and say, I can only drink maybe 2 pints of water, but I aim for (and almost always do drink!) 6 liters of Crystal Light a day... but I water it down - about 1:3.

Just my two cents :)

05-23-2007, 11:14 PM
Personally I stay far away from artificial sweeteners, but that's my personal decision.

I drink a lot of water, but I didn't always feel that way. Have you ever had iced barley tea? Its something I picked up from an old roommate. It's made with roasted barley and has a sweet taste to it (even though it's not sweetened.) You should be able to find the tea bags at your local Asian market. I drank that for a while until I got used to drinking water.

05-23-2007, 11:19 PM
As far as water intake is concerned, have you tried to take a mouthful here and there instead of "chugging" it? If you just took a gulp every now and then throughout the day, you'd certainly meet your quota. Also, what kind of water are you drinking? I buy filtered and distilled water from a water store (in 5 gallon jugs and refill them) because I do not tolerate the taste and quality of tap water. I love clean, pure water.

For taste, lemon with fresh mint and a bit of stevia is nice :)

Also, "sun tea" made with an herbal blend (raspberry/mint is nice) and a generous amount of lemon with stevia is good too.

There are people who say artificial sweeteners aren't harmful and there are those who say they are toxic.

You'll have to decide for yourself.

Me? I Never eat them in any amount, under any circumstances (not even in a small candy, gum or spray).

05-24-2007, 01:55 AM
Yah, crystal light is sooo yummy. It's sweet and has like 5cal/serving only. My fave is kiwi strawberry and tangerine strawberry. Sooo good ^__^

05-24-2007, 02:28 AM
Everyone has to compromise. Even people who think they never will. Those who are inflexible, ultimately break. You will make yourself neurotic if you become too fundamentalistic. ("Who pays attention to the syntax of things will never wholly kiss you"--Thank you, e.e.cummings.)

Look, kid--on this physical plane, life is finite. If you want to drink Crystal Lite to drink your water, go ahead. The Food Police will not break down your door in the middle of the night to take you away (even if some of them wish they could). Everyone has to compromise. Those who don't turn into really unpleasant human beings whom most others don't want to be around. If others turn up their noses & refuse to drink it, good for them. If others really love the stuff & need it to get down their daily water, good for them. Myself I don't much care either way; it's okay, but I personally prefer water, so there you are.

Get n healthy
05-24-2007, 11:07 AM
So what i am hearing is that the main thing that is at issue with crystal light is the artificial sweetner. If i dont have a problem with artificial sweetners then crystal light is fine, right? I just wanted to make sure i could count it as my water.

Are atrificial sweetners toxic to some because of the "rats get cancer from it" studies? I saw a sticky about artificial sweetners but i didnt see in the sticky *WHY* they are toxic to some, i just got from the article that they are, but not why they are. I know some believe it will still spike blood sugar. Is that why? I am trying to decide if i am one of those that think artificial sweetners are toxic. Or are they toxic simply because they are chemically/synthetically made?

Thanks so much for weighing my rambling.

05-24-2007, 11:34 AM
Well, "Crystal Light" and other such items definitely aren't "whole foods" due to the artificial colors and sweeteners.

Here's the typical ingredient list for Crystal Light:

Citric Acid (Provides Tartness), Maltodextrin (from Corn), Potassium Citrate (Controls Acidity), Natural Flavor, Aspartame (Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine) (Sweetener), Contains Less than 2% of Artificial Flavor, Magnesium Oxide (Prevents Caking), Acesulfame Potassium (Sweetener), Artificial Color, Red 40, Red 40 Lake, Blue 1.

There's a lot of information out there to consider. Splenda, Nutrasweet, Acesulfame Potassium and the others are all deemed safe by the FDA. Some people feel the FDA isn't a neutral source and has a vested interest in these matters, so think of that what you will. Some people have negative reactions to artificial sweeteners. Some doctors and nutritionists call them "neurotoxins" .

Some people do feel they respond negatively to them, in the form of blood sugar spikes, headaches, muscle pains and other reactions. Also, some believe that they increase cravings of cause other problems by trying to "fool" the taste buds (that the body responds as if a sweet has been eaten).

Some people feel they are a useful and enjoyable dieting tool :)

Man, how middle of the road can you get, right? Well, you are asking for information, so I am presenting both sides.

You just have to decide for yourself what you think about them.

Again, I personally don't eat them, my partner doesn't eat them and we forbid my child to eat them as well.

05-24-2007, 12:15 PM
If you're looking for a more natural way to flavor water, how about adding pure juice? I don't mean the juice you find in the typical juice aisle of the grocery store--no Juicy Juice or Mott's. Instead, I add just 1/4 to 1/2 cup pure cranberry juice (NOT from concentrate, ingredients are ONLY cranberry juice and citric acid) to about 1 liter of water. It's enough to flavor it without having to add any artificial or processed ingredients.

Just another suggestion :)

05-24-2007, 01:35 PM
Or switch to just water by decreasing the amount of Crystal Light you add to the water over time. That is if you have a problem with artificial sweetner. If not, just keep drinking it. You could also, as someone mentioned above, make a iced herbal tea (or even just iced green or black tea). It sounds like you like a sweet drink, so unless you train your tastebuds differently, you're going to be consuming real or artificial stuff. It takes 1-2 weeks for you to stop craving sweets once you stop.

But again, moderation keeps life from being crazy! :)

Get n healthy
05-24-2007, 01:57 PM
Pat, i like your idea of adding less and less crystal light to my water. I really shouldnt be drinking that much tea of any form. I am prone to kidney stones and my urologist has said, salt and tea both have a tendancy to form stones, so i think i will try to wean off of it.

Jill, i have done your suggestion in the past, of adding real juice to my water, that was a good way to get my kids to drink water too. I will revisit that idea as well. Especially with the kids being out for summer now.

Thanks so much for all your input, wow, that is a lot of info to digest.

05-24-2007, 02:09 PM
Look! You've already lost 20 lbs!! This is a good thing, a great thing! You're doing something right, aren't you?! If drinking Crystal Lite insures you're getting enough H20 to flush the fat cells, that's a good thing.

Is staying with that many artificial sweeteners/flavors,etc. a good thing? Not for the rest of your life. Aiming to wean yourself away at some point in the indeterminate future is probably a good idea. Different individuals here have made various suggestions. (No offense jillybean720, but cranberry juice without any sweetener of any kind sounds absolutely acidicly awful! Makes my mouth pucker & stomach hurt just thinking about it! Must take a whole lot of water to make that palatable, &/or it's an acquired taste. For people with acid problems, it might not even be doable.)

Actually, her suggestion of using juice--even the commercial juices--is a good one. Since you like sweetness, those would probably be more palatable, and therefore more workable for you. But ultimately weaning yourself away from all the artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners is a good idea.

05-24-2007, 03:02 PM
No offense jillybean720, but cranberry juice without any sweetener of any kind sounds absolutely acidicly awful! Makes my mouth pucker & stomach hurt just thinking about it! Must take a whole lot of water to make that palatable, &/or it's an acquired taste. For people with acid problems, it might not even be doable.
Like I said, only 1/4 to 1/2 cup of juice to a LITER (which is about 4 CUPS) of water. You can also use juices other than just cranberry--I was raised on cranberry juice since I had a UTI just about every other week growing up :dizzy:

05-24-2007, 05:06 PM
I have a bit of an acid issue and I've never had a problem with 100% cranberry juice. Now, orange juice and raw pineapple on an empty stomach is another matter... Just my 2-cents. :D

05-24-2007, 05:11 PM
Buy a hibiscus-based herbal tea (Starbucks makes one, so do most major tea-makers). It is remarkably sweet tasting when brewed and iced.

05-24-2007, 08:23 PM
Buy a hibiscus-based herbal tea (Starbucks makes one, so do most major tea-makers). It is remarkably sweet tasting when brewed and iced.

That would be "Tazo Passion Tea", my FAVORITE ever!

Get n healthy
05-24-2007, 09:13 PM
Ok, i am on the hunt for "Tazo Passion Tea"

i will pick some up tomorrow

05-25-2007, 12:33 PM
I appreciate the dialog on this thread. Lots of good information and some great tips regardless of where people are in this equation. Our family eschews artificial sweeteners, HFCS, and limits "real" sugar. It's just where we are at and I certainly understand that other folks may be in a different place. If folks want some good reading on sugars, I recommend reading the chapter on sugars in Marion Nestle's What to Eat. She has a well-researched, very balanced (imo) approach to sugar consumption.

I have to agree with the Tazo Passion recommendation - that stuff is yummy, only I drink it hot. I haven't even thought about iced, but will have to try it.

One of my favorite teas is Celestial Seasonings Honey Lemon Ginseng Green Tea. Light and lemony sweet. Perhaps icing that would also help someone who wants a little lemon in their water?

05-25-2007, 02:05 PM
If you want to eliminate sweeteners or your desire for sweet drinks, gradual dilution is often a lot easier than cold turkey.

I haven't completely eliminated artificially sweetened beverages from my diet, and don't know if I ever will feel the need to, but I do often mix fruit tea with Crystal Light (or Walmart's version) in a 1:1 ration. Usually I just heat up 2 or 3 cups of water, add 2 or 3 tea bags and steep until very strong and just put it in a gallon pitcher and add 1 tub of the drink mix and fill the pitcher with water.

My favorite tea to use are London Fruit & Herb Company fruit teas. Blueberry Bliss mixed with lemonade is my husband's favorite, and Peach Paradise with Peach Tea crystal light is probably mine, though I also love Raspberry Rendezvous, and Blackcurrant Bliss mixed with lemonade or raspberry ice crystal light.

06-11-2007, 02:13 PM
This is a good post; I too have been addicted to Crystal Light to get my water intake, but I worry about the chemicals and artificial stuff... yuck.

I like the idea someone said earlier "For taste, lemon with fresh mint and a bit of stevia is nice"

There is a new water on the market--three kinds, lemon mint, mint and orange mint--company is called Metro maybe? they're great. I don't like buying bottled water for waste reasons, but that suggestion from Soulbliss looks nice.

06-11-2007, 02:33 PM
Herbal Licorice tea is naturally sweet and is supposed to help blood sugar levels keep steady. The only tea my hubby will drink other than sweet tea.