Mindful Monday – HEALTHY LIVING: The Diet Soda Dilemma & Sweeteners

Welcome to Mindful Monday – Healthy Living! Each week I try to examine new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming healthier. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I attempt to live in the present. Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

…to all of you who have left comments and cheered me on and are interested in accompanying me on this journey to healthy living! Together, we can offer support and ideas to make this road to “healthy,” a fun journey!

My hope is that you will all visit the posts of everyone who participated last week. You can find their blog links and comments on last week’s post HERE. Stop by and say hello! You just might make someone’s day!


Welcome to another week of Mindful Monday – Healthy Living! Today I want to address a subject from last week that got a lot of attention – diet sodas.

The CON:

There are virtually thousands of blogs and websites that state that diet soda is bad for you. To be fair there is mounting evidence that drinking REGULAR soda is much more harmful than drinking diet sodas. This is something that you must weigh out for yourself. Of all the sites dedicated to stating the case against drinking diet soda,

Of all the sites dedicated to stating the case against drinking diet soda, Prevention shares the best explanations. Click here to read the article, “8 Things That Happen When You Finally Stop Drinking Diet Soda,” by

The PRO:

I decided to take one of my favorites (Diet Fresca) and show you what the can says the ingredients are. Here is a link to the Diet Fresca website where you can see what the company states the ingredients are. I have listed them here so that you can click on the ingredient links to find out just what some of those ingredients are. Make sure to scroll to find the ingredient you are looking for.


Carbonated WaterCitric AcidConcentrated Grapefruit JuicePotassium CitrateAspartamePotassium Sorbate (To Protect Taste), Acacia GumAcesulfame PotassiumNatural FlavorsGlycerol Ester Of RosinPotassium Benzoate AndCalcium Disodium Edta (To Protect Taste), Carob Bean Gum.

Whenever I talk about healthy issues I always try to use websites that are tried and true. One of them, The Mayo Clinic, is always a great source to begin your research.

When Dr. Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. was posed with the question:

“I drink diet soda every day. Could this be harmful?” she stated:

“Drinking a reasonable amount of diet soda a day, such as a can or two, isn’t likely to hurt you. The artificial sweeteners and other chemicals currently used in diet soda are safe for most people, and there’s no credible evidence that these ingredients cause cancer.

Some types of diet soda are even fortified with vitamins and minerals. But diet soda isn’t a health drink or a silver bullet for weight loss.

Although switching from regular soda to diet soda may save you calories, it’s not yet clear if it’s effective for preventing obesity and related health problems in the long term.

Healthier low-calorie choices abound, including water, skim milk, and unsweetened tea or coffee.”

After hours of research, I have reached the conclusion that MODERATION is still the best suggestion. Most successful diet strategies and plans, like Weight Watchers, say there is nothing wrong with a couple sodas a day. I like to have one after a hard day of blogging. These days, that diet soda becomes my “cocktail” of choice, leaving a nice glass of wine for the weekends. I think that is the best way to address this issue. Do what you feel is right and consult your physician if you are really concerned about the issue.

Image Credit: Heavy.com

Heavy.com (click the link to read the article) shares a study that came out of Colorado:

“A new study about to be published in June’s issue of Obesity was released with the title ‘Diet Beverages Help People Lose Weight.’ The clinical study, performed at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, tested 303 people over 12 weeks. All the people in the study got weight loss help and coaching over the course of the three months, but only one group was allowed to drink diet drinks. The other control group was only allowed to drink water and no diet soda.

However, to be allowed into the study, you had to already drink diet beverages on a regular basis. So the people in the water, or ‘control’ group were, in fact, giving up diet soda and starting a weight loss coaching plan at the same time.”


Image Credit: Healthresearchfunding.org

Still confused? You are not alone. You must do what you think is the best thing for you and your body. Talk to your own doctor and see what they have to say about diet sodas and foods with aspartame named as an ingredient.

Personally, I like Stevia. I know there are some diet sodas that contain this sweetener. Here is an overview of what Stevia is:

Image credit: Healthresearchfunding.org

Huffpost Healthy Living
has a great article to read about Stevia called, “7 Things You Didn’t Know About Stevia.”

With all of the healthy living concerns we have today about the foods and drinks that we are ingesting it is always best to do some investigative work on your own. There is always that little voice in the back of my brain asking if “they” are really telling us the truth. The answer is clear: MODERATION.

Image credit: PictureQuotes.com


Wow! All I can say is WOW! It was a stressful and busy week. We bought a new vehicle and our kitchen was torn apart while our contractors finished the last items that needed to be completed in my kitchen. The tile backsplash turned out beautifully! The sink and faucet are completely done. I am so happy to have this work done at last.

The result of all this work? I gained two pounds. I had to face the truth and I knew it wasn’t going to be good! I could not eat properly all week. The stove was torn out and in the middle of the room for much of the week. What a mess. I was never so glad to have everything done finally!

You know what? I am not discouraged. I just started all over yesterday logging my food and making wise food choices. I made a huge pot of vegetable soup and a salad. I had a 4 oz piece of salmon and a salad last night. It tasted so wonderful! That is the key. Don’t give up. Not all weeks will be a success. That is alright. Just keep plugging along.

Because of stress, I have had to come to grips with my blogging. My writing time on my novel is at a premium. I have started a production schedule and have decided to trim some of the things that are just to time consuming. I will still visit each and every one of your blogs that comments and supports me. We are on a journey and it is only with the help and support from each other that we will succeed.

So here is my mantra for the week. I found this image on Facebook. It fits me to a tee! J

I did manage to walk 6.39 miles this week. That is an increase from last week. My plan for this week is to just keep moving forward. Logging my food, drinking more liquids, and getting more exercise. That is just the way this journey goes.

How about you? What are your healthy living goals for the week?

Have a wonderful week! If you would like to join me in your own healthy living journey, please do. Use whatever program works for you. You do not even have to follow a program if you don’t want to. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can become healthier and fit. This includes going gluten-free, fat-free, lactose-free, starting an exercise program, or even a new way of eating such as becoming a vegetarian. If it has to do with becoming healthy, write about it!


Remember, this is not a challenge.  Each of us has different goals that we wish to attain. This is an offering of support and a place where my online community can come to participate in attaining a healthy lifestyle.  If you would like to join in with your own Mindful Monday – Healthy Living goals you can do so in the comments, or on a separate post of your own making.  If you want to link back to my post, please feel free to do so, however, it is not necessary. Each week I will include a link to the previous week’s post where readers can find your links and comments from the previous week. My main aim here is to give and get support to become more mindful of my journey to healthy living.

Thanks for being part of my fabulous journey to a healthy lifestyle. Don’t forget to share your journey. ❤ No matter what your goals are in becoming more healthy, together we can do it!


  1. Water is my drink of choice, but I do enjoy a soda or two once in a while!
    Enough is as good as a feast, that’s what my late English teacher used to say 😊 I think labelling is misleading enough, and unless you are educated in the matters, list of ingredients don’t really help regular Joe!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the insights you provide every week. About the soda issue. Basically, I believe that whatever you consume (unless it really is poison) in a reasonable amount cannot harm your body. But we are no machines, everyone reacts differently and therefore, everyone has to check for themselves what amount of what they eat feels good. In the end, you can get poisoned by an overdose of carrots! I am drinking water all day…. and in between some coffee. I am still convinced that it is the best choice and then it doesn’t matter when you are having a diet or regular soda pop in a restaurant at times.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your kitchen is looking beautiful, Colleen. I’ve also looked into the diet soda quite a few times. You’re right. It’s like everything. I have tried to not drink any, but yes, life’s little pleasures. We must all prioritise. Good luck with your writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Olga. I am working hard on my book now. Soon you will be able to read it. ❤️ We need a few pleasures and rewards in our lives. A couple of diet sodas a week should be fine. Have a fabulous week. ❤️❤️❤️


  4. Wow, that is lots of information for one blog post. I need to digest that bit by bit. On the other hand, though: I do not drink any soda at all. Have never been a big fan, and a few years back I decided to stay with unsweetened tea. Mainly green tea and on that, I splash out a little. I order on a regular basis from Clipper Tea which does organic and fair trade which suits my values nicely :-). My experience is that you get used pretty fast to drink your tea unsweetened. So happy for you that you just got back to your eating schedule even though you put on a little weight. It goes up and down I suspect. I have been bad both with the walking and eating sweets. Just have a phase of “I need to eat something all the time”. Has probably to do with me starting therapy last Wednesday. But I get over it like I always do. My post today is about meditation and its effects on the body. A short one 🙂 http://aspiritofhealing.com/?p=278

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get like that too, Bee. I want to research and see if there is a connection with menopause or peri-menopause making you want to eat more. I think I read something to that effect. I did try to drink my tea unsweetened and it does not sit well with me. The Stevia has worked wonders. That is the only sweetener I use and only for tea. It sounds like you are coming along fine and working through things. It is difficult but you can do it. You are such a strong lady already. Have a marvelous week! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Colleen. That is a thought about eating and Menopause. I know I still have a little time for it but I think changes already happen. I’m glad you found Stevia. I heard about it before but never tried it. And thanks so much for Mindful Monday 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome post, as always, and full of such helpful resources. I’m going to share it with my daughter. She’s joined in my healthy eating habits, though we are being careful with her choices because she’s only fourteen. She has created some wonderful recipes and really enjoys trying them out for me. I’m a happy Guinea pig! I don’t drink ‘fizzy pop’ or soda, but she does, and she’s experimenting with everything at the moment. You’re a positive influence. Have an awesome week, my friend 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mel, that is amazing that your daughter is joining in. It really helps if they learn these things when they are teens. That way it becomes their choices and they have to face the consequences. The whole soda debacle is scary. They used to sell sodas in our American Public Schools! I could not believe it! I don’t know if they still do but I hope not. I have always had a rough time with my weight. I had to practically starve myself in Weight Watchers before I lost. None of this is new to me. The good thing is I feel accountable when I share my journey on my blog. That does rein me in some. I will be working on the rest of my chapters this week. I have a rough outline now of where to go. Once that is done I will send you another installment. Hugs to you and your daughter! ❤ 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I can understand how sharing the journey with others, as you’re doing, makes it worthwhile and keeps you on track. They sell all kinds of ‘crap’ in UK schools too. It’s improving, slowly, but I remember my early school days where we got a bottle of milk at break time! Good times 🙂 Happy writing this week. Have a good one. Hugs to you and yours ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a great article, I particularly liked the information on sweeteners as it is a bit of a mystery to me. I recently embarked on a trial of the new better than pasta food range. It has apparently been around for years and is part of the japanese diet – have you ever come across it – http://www.betterthanpasta.co.uk/ – Pasta is one of the things I struggle to live without 😦 I had switched to wholemeal/grain but giving this one a go at the minute 🙂 Thanks for your inspirational words Colleen. KL ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NO, and I wish they had those here in America! I will have to look around for them. This would be right up my alley. My go to for pasta like is spaghetti squash. I have been steaming it and it tastes and acts like noodles. I am going to make spaghetti this week using the spaghetti squash. Pasta is a hard one. The problem is the wheat that is grown now is modified compared to what we ate 30 years ago. It was going to be the answer to world hunger. The wheat makes you gain weight! I would love to find this Better Than Pasta …it appears that it is only sold in the UK. E-Bay has it for sale imported from the UK. Quite pricey! I know there are some other Japanese noodles out there that I can try. No wonder Americans are so fat! LOL! It is hard to find foods that aren’t fattening! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is such a great post. I honestly thought diet soda was way worse, but I’m really on the fence now. I believe in moderation and I think you’re right about smaller quantities of it or pretty much anything. Thanks for sharing! Happy Monday! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Sliver,

    Once again, thank you very much! I was going along this morning trying to figure out who in the marina I could hit up for a beer, and then I find out there is a stevia shortage. No wonder I drink!!!

    Your friend,


    Liked by 1 person

  9. Colleen, you are truly amazing. For the weight gain thing–don’t sweat it. Stress does strange things to us, and that is one of them. The walking is the best, and I sure envy that part. I miss walking so much. And moderation is the name of the game in every aspect of life, so you are definitely on the right track there. Follow that track to the end and you will love the journey and have very few detours.
    As for Aspartame, like all other additives, it can be okay or it can be bad, depending on the system of the person using it. For me it is pure poison. It took a long time to figure out that is what was causing the debilitating headaches, but by process of elimination we finally got to the Aspartame added products, and life became normal for me again. It isn’t only diet soda, but all “no sugar added” products that I have to watch out for, so trips to the grocery are not pleasurable adventures most of the time. I spend more reading time there now than I do here at home, and labels are not my first choice when it comes to reading material. I have found it impossible to use any sugar substitute, having had side effects to each one of them, with the craziest one being a tendency to overeat when using Stevia. Crazy kind of side effect, but it caused such rapid weight gain even I couldn’t find anything to laugh at, and that is serious business indeed.
    So keep up the good work, and I do mean GOOD work. You are a very inspiring person, and I realize how much time this takes from your writing schedule. It helps me to eat the right foods, even though I am underweight rather than over, and need to gain for the first time in my life. This is a new experience for me, and I’m not sure I enjoy looking like a scarecrow or a bag of bones. At least I get some fun prescriptions from my doctor, like “eat the entire loaf of bread”, given last Friday when she visited while my garlic bread was baking. I love orders like that. Hugs, A.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Angie, you are such a darling. I can’t imagine what your illness has done to you. I am ashamed to be lamenting my weight gain when you are so in need of a couple extra pounds. I would gladly share with you if I could. You inspire me to keep on my journey. I am not horribly obese or even in that category anymore. This is purely about me feeling better and not carrying the extra weight. Thank you for your guidance and kindness. I always look forward to your sweet words. Thanks for being such a great friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Colleen, before I lost my ability to swallow without choking, I was a real oinker. Then I began choking on everything and would have starved if I hadn’t tried Hersey’s squares or rectangles, or whatever they are called. I would break off a sliver and put it in my mouth to melt slowly and trickle down my throat, and that was the only thing I could get into my system — one small sliver each day for months on end, along with thickened liquids. By the time the chocolate became toxic to me, I was able to eat bananas, with peanut butter thinly smeared on them, and drink regular smoothies with added nutrients. I’ve had speech therapy to help me learn some tricks for preventing the problems, and also for clearing my throat if I start choking, so I’m eating a mostly normal diet now, just less food, and when I begin to cough that is a sign to stop.
        My only real problem is trying to find pants that are my size now. Every place I shop the smallest I can find is usually a medium if I’m lucky, and I’m not a lucky person. We have mainly XXX sizes around here, and I don’t want to have to find a ride to Louisville or Evansville just for an inflated priced pair of jeans. And I guess that does make me lucky, because if that’s the worst problem I ever have in my life, I really don’t have any problems to complain about.
        Many hugs my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I hope you don’t mind if I talk about you in my post next Monday. You have set me on a path that I want to explore about worry and taking things to excess. Thanks for that Angie. We all need to think about those issues. ❤


  10. Hi Colleen, I’m glad your not discouraged about those 2 pounds. Life happens and some things are just beyond our control. You will be back on track and loose those 2 in no time. On the question of diet sodas – I have been a diet beverage drinker f-o-r-e-v-e-r. My doctor recommends that I continue to drink diet, but there is so much controversy surrounding whether or not it will actually cause you to gain weight, I have decided to cut back to no more than one a day at most. I don’t like fizzy drinks, so my diet of choice is diet Snapple. I am addicted to it. I am trying to drink more water and iced tea. I don’t use sweetener of any kind in my tea, in fact the only sweet drink I like is the diet Snapple. I’ve also been more mindful of the steps I take vs the amount of time I am sitting at the computer or reading. I am taking more breaks to get up and move. My fitbit helps keep me aware. Tomorrow, I am watching Josie, so I know I will get a lot of activity in. That sweet little girl doesn’t sit still for a minute. We will get there, my friend. We just need to keep working together. Hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks so much! I did not get granite this time. I really love the ease in cleaning these counter tops. The floors are a vinyl that looks like tile but so much easier to care for. I really love this house. It is the biggest we ever had. Now we can have kids and grandkids visit with no worries about space. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        1. We put granite in our last house, but when we moved here the corian looked good, so we haven’t done anything with it. The granite is pretty noisy, so we haven’t decided if we want it again.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Mine is a type of formica that looks like stone or granite. I love it. So easy to clean and care for. I got sick of polishing granite. I do like the look of quartz too. 😉


          2. My son and daughter-in-law have that Formica that looks like granite. It’s very pretty. The people that lived there before them put it in, and after raising 5 boys it is still in great shape.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Michelle. I think I sabotage myself by worrying about things too much. I am going to tackle that subject next week. I really love lemonade and since I found the Crystal Light Raspberry Lemonade I have really enjoyed that one. I used to drink diet Snapple, too. I have not found it for years. My favorite is still that fizzy flavored water at WalMart. LOL! It sounds like you are doing really well on your journey. Those grandbabies will surely wear us out! Mine are all mostly teenagers so I don’t hear from them as much as when they were little. I miss that. I agree, we will just keep plugging along. Have a marvelous week! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Love the kitchen! All that work you have put into for another wonderfu informative post for us .Well Done You! I am going to make my Monday Mission one of salad’s and not any old salad but wonderful , healthy salads, salads we would love to eat….. This weeks is Pomelo Salad or Yum Som O which I think is a wonderful name, The recipe can be found @ https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/pomelo-salad-yum-som-o/
    Have a lovely week 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We tend only to have diet soda as a treat rather than too often so perhaps that’s okay then! Your kitchen looks lovely Colleen, even though you say you’ve put on weight, me too! I always do after visiting my mum and dad up in Edinburgh she’s a great cook, and we go out for quite a few meals too…. time to cut down a bit and go for a few long walks..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I turn 58 this year… I have no idea where the time went. I have always had weight issues. I worked so hard 3 years ago to get it all off that now I work harder to keep it off. Exercise is my issue. I just have to make myself do the walking. That is what really does the trick and keeps us younger! Good for you and your walking journey! I am so thankful you are here! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m quite cross with myself as I lost a shedload of weight before my gallbladder op last year but I’m starting to pile it back on… it all goes on my wee tummy.. not a fetching look in a tight dress so will have to cut down again but it’s so difficult as I love my food!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Moderation is certainly the key when it comes to all calories we consume. As noted here, diet soda can be part of a healthy balance, and in fact, these beverages are made up of 99% water. Research also reinforces that diet soda is an effective calorie-cutting tool: http://bit.ly/Ik4zjC. And, extensive science verifies the safety of aspartame, which is why regulatory agencies in more than 100 countries approve this ingredient. So, yes, enjoy diet soda and strive to strike a healthy overall balance between what you eat, drink and do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comments. I am learning that moderation is really the name of the game. I have to put down that fork and walk away from the table. Same goes for diet sodas. I figure one a day is fine. I even have my diet soda in a fancy glass. That way it seems like a treat! Thanks again for your support! ❤


  14. Good morning Colleen! I’m late for Mindful Monday but hope it’s a Thoughtful Tuesday for ya! 🙂 First of all, I applaud you on sharing your journey with us… And thank you for enlightening me more about diet sodas. I’m trying to drink more water but don’t always carry through. Must try with lemon or lime squeezed in it to make water more “exciting” for me! Have a great start to your day and sending lots of love your way!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Lia! Thanks for your kind words. I don’t like just plain water either and find it hard to guzzle the amounts I should have daily. Crystal Light Raspberry Lemonade with Truvia (stevia) has really saved me. I do like the carbonated water from WalMart also. It just has to have taste. Have a great week Lia. I am still writing! ❤


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