Drinking My Way to Happiness

by Heligirl on August 8, 2012

in Beyond Mommyhood

If you’ve been following along with my sporadic ramblings you might have caught that mention of losing weight and trying to up the old energy level. I’m starting to believe this is an urban myth that only Olympians who’ve not been told their Gran-Grans died two years ago because they were in sequestered training by their communist governments can achieve. Though much taping of their bodies is involved. I’m not sure I’d be that into the taping. But on the positive side, I’d not need to shave much due to the follicle removal with every tape rip.

I digress. Where was I?

Oh yeah, weight loss and energy boosting.

Well, I’ve heard people tell me I need to up my exercise in addition to watching my calories. I laugh. Like chasing around two little preschoolers, two dogs and three cats isn’t enough exercise. Like the three times a week trips to the grocery store, running errands every other day, racing toward whatever two- or four-legged creature is currently in the process of spilling some kind of destructive bodily fluid on the carpet in a vain attempt to reduce the damage wouldn’t count as exercise.

A girlfriend of mine uses one of those body bugs by that crazy woman Jillian Michaels. She tells me that she racks up like 4 billion steps each day chasing after her kids. She has one more child than me, and one of them is in school. So can I count at least 1 billion a day and call it good?

Yet, despite all of this, lack of energy – 1, Jen – 0.

In the good news department, I have lost five of those 10 pounds I wanted to lose. I’ve lost an inch off my hips, which has reduced the tightness of those work pants. That was the thing that made me start adjusting my calorie and type of food intake in the first place. Carbs are down, portions are more closely monitored (thank you myfitnesspal.com for showing me what I pig I was in my former life), and I’ve boosted the vegi intake (easy to do when it’s like 300 degrees outside and all I have the desire to make is a cucumber salad and eat it by the open freezer).

The other thing I was notoriously bad at was keeping the fluids up. I’m just not a fan of water. Don’t get me wrong, I drink the stuff. I just like a little flavor on my fluids. I tried those flavor powders and liquids, which make your water taste like flavoring and aspartame. Gag. I’ve been pretty hooked on DRY Soda (damn that is some good stuff, I tell you what, and made right here in Seattle too). DRY is so good they tell you right there in big numbers the calories you’re taking in. Right now I’ve just finished off a 50 calorie 12 oz Blood Orange Soda. Scrummy.

But then last month I was in Starbucks getting a snack for the kids when the barista said all innocent like “would you like to try our new refresher?” and handed me a little cup filled with what looked like green tea. I took a sip and I swear I looked like Wind in His Hair in Dances With Wolves when he first tasted sugar, but with a lot more expression. It was a little explosion of happy in my mouth. I stopped and turned around to the barista, who apparently anticipated my response.

“What’s in this?”

“It’s green coffee extract, less caffeine than a cup of coffee. Only about 80 calories depending on the size of drink you buy.”

I lasted a whole two days then started buying one a day. Those babies we AMAZING. Though I did determine the reason they were low in calories was the massive amount of ice put in with the little bit of drink. Then my girlfriend who works at Starbucks HQ told me the Via version was good to.

VIA VERSION?!? Me must have now.

They were good. Oh so very good. And for the price of one drink at the store, I could make five at home. I started having about two a day. About 100 calories a packet so not much more than DRY and I was drinking more – 16-20 ounces of water in the via versus 12 ounces in the DRY. I’m increasing my fluid intake too, I told myself. The little caffeine boost wasn’t enough to make me all shaky and anxious with an ominous sense the sky is falling, but kept me plowing through the afternoon. And unlike other caffeinated drinks, I didn’t have to stay up and watch reruns of Angel at 1 a.m. because I was still wired. Sweet!

Then, just as they had me hooked, Starbucks stores ran out of the Lime Refresher Via, my favorite. Completely ran out. Underanticipated the demand, they said. They should have asked the opinion of that barista with the “you’re mine now” gleam in her eye at the Westwood Village Starbucks when they set manufacturing goals. She seemed pretty in the know that she was serving legal crack.

Then when on my next tri-weekly run to Safeway I noticed there were a bunch of Vias left at the Starbucks in the store. Did I grab one? Hell no. I took all 29 that were left. That blasted Starbucks takes away my Pumpkin Spice Latte every spring; I didn’t trust them to make more Refresher Vias before next May. Corporate control freaks.

So there you have it. I’m a hoarder. But miraculously my fluid intake has risen, my weight hasn’t gone up and would you believe my energy level has too? OK, so there is caffeine in the Refresher. A lot less than an espresso, so I’m doing better.

At least, that’s what I tell myself.


Liz F August 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm


Susan August 23, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Ok. You got me looking for this now. I gather it has no coffee taste at all? Because I detest the taste of coffee. Glad you got your stash. If I am able to find some, only to get hooked on it and then can’t find any, I’ll be heading down I-5 looking for you!
Susan recently posted: Another Vacation Interlude

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