Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sweet Tea Goodness

I gave up soda.  I know, I know – I’m the Dr. Pepper queen.  But I had a little convo with my doc a few weeks ago and he suggested that if I was serious about losing weight (something he didn’t seem to think I really needed – I LOVE him!!!  But seriously, I do need to lose some; I’m not sure what he was seeing but I’ll be wearing that outfit every other day til I DIE – he also said he thought I had nice hair & that I looked young.  Best. Doctor. EVER) I needed to exercise regularly and cut out soda, snacks, etc.  Portion control is a biggie as well.  And walking my dog doesn’t count as “exercise”.  Apparently I need to get on that honking machine we keep in our basement that’s called an elliptical and do some intervals for 30-45 minutes 3 to 5 times a week.  Yes, sir!

So yeah.  I’ve done some of that, some of the time.  But the thing I have really done is give up soda.  I haven’t touched it for almost 4 weeks.  And I haven’t missed it too much either.  (We had pizza and that was hard.  Because pizza & soda GO together.  I’m pretty sure I’ve never eaten pizza without soda in my entire life.  So I made Jake stop & get me a sweet tea, at least.  Because I thought I would puke up the pizza if I had to wash it down with water.  Gross!)  I went cold turkey, just like Jake did this winter.  He feels like if he has even one, he’ll fall off the wagon.  I decided I’m probably the same way.  So we have the occasional Koolaid (though even that has decreased dramatically) and Crystal Light (for him, not so much for me). 

But sweet tea.  Oh, sweet tea goodness!  I almost bought a gallon of it at the store, but then decided that I was probably missing the point of giving up soda if I just replaced it with sweet tea.  So I have sweet tea every now & then, but not as regularly as I was indulging in soda.  My body and my pocketbook thank me.  (Work days were especially hard for me with soda.  Almost as soon as I would sit down at my desk, I would start craving that Dr. Pepper sweetness.  Thankfully, it’s really not been a problem!  This last week I started missing soda more, though.)

Let me rank my fave sweet teas for you:

  1. Famous Dave’s – sweet but not too sweet.  Light & refreshing.  Keep ‘em coming!
  2. Lipton’s PureLeaf sweetened iced tea – sweeter than Dave’s but still not too sweet.  Avoid the “extra sweet” version, though!  (The one I like comes in a glass bottle with a metal lid and has a blue band around the label, pictured below.  I think the glass bottle & metal lid makes it colder & thus, taste better.)
  3. McDonald’s – somewhat too sweet and they always overload the ice, even when I order it with “light ice”, something they have a key for but apparently don’t pay any attention to.  And I think their tea is maybe too strong or bitter sometimes.  But how can you beat $1 large sweet teas in the hot, hot summer?!  (Someone suggested I order it “half cut” –something else they actually have a button for: half sweet / half unsweetened - to cut the sweetness & I tried it.  It was much better but they don’t really mix it well so you end up with really sweet on the bottom & not at all sweet at the top.  Shaking it up yourself helps but if they’ve loaded it with ice, it doesn’t work all that well.)

I’m not a huge fan of flavored sweet teas.  And I’ve never liked “diet” drinks of any kind, though there are some I can stand more than others.  Regular tea is fine, but sweet tea is even better.

Do you like sweet tea?  If so, what’s your favorite?  Have you ever made it yourself?


  1. Olive Garden's Bellini ice tea is probably my favorite. (Sweet tea with peaches) I have been trying to kick my pop habit too. When I was teaching full time, I did a much better job. I was down to one mini size can of pop a day. I drink diet so it's not the calories part; it's just that there are probably better choices. Anyway, when I'm home all day, it's hard not to drink it. I do really like lemon in water and there are some new drink powders that are just lemon or orange flavor (no sweetener). I think they are called True Lemon and True Orange. I do like the lemon one a lot.

  2. The best tea here is at a local coffee shop called Coffee Junkeez, but I also like Chick Fil A. To make your own, I would use Lipton, and the key is to make a simple syrup instead of just dumping in granulated sugar. I love the True Lemon and True Orange, as well!