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Fruit-flavored Water

Friday night, 1 October 2004, after dancing at Stardust Ballroom, Heather Doherty and I were talking at the nearby diner. Part of the conversation was on bad habits: hers was not replying to Emails or letters; mine was drinking over 2 liters of soda a day. We entered into a pact: she would start replying to Emails and letters, I would cut down on soda.

One of her suggestions was diluting juice. For Heather, straight orange juice is too sweet. Although I don't like the idea of watering down orange juice (I'm too spoiled on "not from concentrate" OJ) I thought it was a good suggestion. For example, apple juice is essentially diluted apple cider, yet it retains the apple flavor.

The next day I did some hunting on the Internet and found that drinking Concord grape juice had very good health benefits. The natural chemicals that make moderate intake of red wine beneficial also exist in Concord grape juice. Cranberry juice also has health benefits, but since straight cranberry juice is usually too tart, it is often mixed with other juices - such as Concord grape juice!

These were some of the facts from which I based my current recipe.

My daily goal is the following.

For work I pack two Nalgene (or equivalent) 32 oz. bottles with diluted Concord grape juice, with the ratio 3 parts juice to 5 parts water. That works out to 12 oz. juice per bottle, with the remainder as water. Once I finish the two bottles I'm free to drink anything else. At this ratio the drink is still well colored and more importantly, still delicious! It is a "light" juice, it goes down easily and quickly. I also keep some bottles at home.

I noticed a difference the first week. When I was drinking over 2 liters of soda a day I was thirsty most of the day - when I drank soda I would get thirstier. I would also go to the restroom frequently. But the first week with the diluted juice, the constant thirst went away. So did the frequent trips to the restroom. This was with the same amount of liquid during the day!

At home I made a decision not to have any soda in the house, so I wouldn't be tempted - very quickly I found I no longer craved soda like before. I haven't gone cold turkey from soda, there will be times and places when soda is my only real choice, like restaurants, or if I have dinner guests. But otherwise soda is not part of my life like before.

Heather might not have saved my life, but I think her suggestion added a few good years to my life, for which I thanked her. Via Email.

She did not reply.

I found out later that some important things were happening in her life, good things, so I accept that she's distracted from our pact. And if the pact will be dissolved, I hope it has already made a difference in my life such that I will continue with my diluted Concord grape juice. Or as I like to call it, my "fruit-flavored water."