Giving up the little yellow packets

Everyone has something that they know probably isn’t the best for them, but it isn’t the worst, so they make excuses not to give it up. For me, that is was Splenda.


Ah yes those little yellow packets of zero calorie fake sugar so common at every coffee bar around the United States. I have been [fortunate?] around the stuff everyday since I started working in food service when I was fifteen. Like most children, I grew up thinking the colored packets were for old people. I didn’t express interest in coffee until I was a senior in high school and I was allowed a cup on Sunday mornings. It was hard to ignore my family’s dependency on the stuff though. We still pick on my dad about his religious cup of coffee at 5pm everyday. Without fail.

For me, I enjoy the taste of coffee. Not black, but with almond or soy milk and a bunch of Splenda. I didn’t want to get attached to fancy coffee drinks because they are really expensive and also did not think eating tons of sugar in my drinks would be the best for my health. Sugary drinks are the only known direct correlation to adult onset diabetes. I also didn’t want the calories to be honest.


I was never an addict. I drank decaf just to make sure. I regularly went without it if I did not have access or the cash. Since working at CTB I usually only have one iced coffee per day laced with a lot of sucralose [the main ingredient in Splenda]. It was my crutch. I didn’t need it, but I could have it and tried not to think about the psychology of that.


Thinking about running and the importance of proper nutrition actually spurred this change. Coffee often knocks out my appetite. I get a rumble in my stomach and grab a swig of the iced beverage and I don’t feel as hungry. The more I read about becoming a better runner, the more I want to be in tune with my hunger signals. I don’t want to crash because I have been busy and not eating. I want to understand my body’s signals more completely.


Two days ago I really wanted a drink and made an iced coffee. I took a drink and my stomach seemed to say “I WOULD RATHER HAVE THAT KOMBUCHA!” So I drank the Kombucha instead and felt a lot better. I began to think about how my gut might be affected by the chemicals in Splenda. Althought I’m probably overanalyzing this effect, I decided then to stop drinking coffee for a while and Splenda at all.


The past two days I’ve drank either water, tea, juice or soy milk. It is amazing how much better food tastes when there isn’t a sugary drink taking some of the spotlight. When I feel like I would want an iced coffee, I had an ice water and the thirst relieving qualities remained. My palate feels cleaner and I am acknowledging my hunger.


Have you ever given anything up just because?

What is your “crutch”?



  1. Good for you! My weakness used to be chips. Sure they’re vegan, but they’re not healthy. It feels so much better to munch on carrots and hummus. It’s like, you don’t get sodium overload πŸ˜‰

    Btw, agave nectar is a great sweetener. I’ll probably never touch processed white sugar again. But that’s just me πŸ™‚

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