Monday, January 24, 2011

Vice Advice

Scour my house today and you won't find a single Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke. Look in my recycle bin and you won't find any discarded cans either.

This was not always the case. Thanks to an unholy addiction, it wasn't that long ago that our house was literally swimming in the fructose-flavored chemical water.

While I had successfully migrated from carbohydrate-heavy food to leaner, cleaner proteins, including an inordinate amount of salmon (much to my wife's dismay I could eat salmon, morning, day and night. I'm like a Grizzly Bear, only with more body hair), I could never kick the diet soda habit.

That is until I went completely cold turkey and replaced all that Diet Pepsi with sparkling water from Calistoga.

Then about a month ago, while hunting down an Ove Glove for my wife at Bed, Bath & Beyond, I discovered the Soda Stream. An inventive little machine that allows me to make my own carbonated water.

Now I'm not about to join the ranks of those crazy survivalists who insist on canning their own tomatoes or vacuum freezing their own meats in anticipation of the End Days. Frankly, if the Rapture or Nuclear Armageddon were to visit us, I'd prefer to take the dirt nap with the unfortunate billions than to fight off the cockroaches for scraps of sustenance. And live with no NFL package. But I will admit to a certain sense of self satisfaction that comes along with producing foodstuffs with my own bare hands.

Recently, I discovered why my body craves massive amounts of carbonated beverages.

If you ever gulped soda, or the infinitely healthier soda water, too fast, you know that it can cause a slight tingle. It's not exactly painful, in the normal sense of the word, but it is enough to trigger the brain to release pain-soothing dopamine. Mmmm, dopamine.

This can produce mild temporary euphoria. And let's face it, you can't argue with euphoria.

That leaves me with few -- if any -- vices left in my life: I still like to knock back a few fingers worth of Kentucky bourbon on occasion. And I write annoying advertising commercials for a living.

As long I do the latter, I'm not giving up the former.

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