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So after some considerable reflection, it's looking like I need to put breaking up with diet soda into the challenge mix for this year. 

Let's be honest here. There's nothing redeeming about diet soda. It's a chemical stew of colorings and flavorings, combined with artificial sweeteners and phosphoric acid. There's nothing good in there. It's a pure vanity drink.  

Now I've got pretty firm views on food science. I can find studies which support both sides of most food related issues. So I don't fall into the "artificial sweeteners are evil" camp just yet.  I think in moderation most of this stuff is fine. The whole moderation thing is where you run into issues. When you are eating pounds of artificial sweeteners every month, that's not moderation. Same thing with soy or corn. In moderation, it's not an issue. Given that HFCS is seen all through our food supply, as is soy we've got issues. 

In this case it's not about the morality of health of the artificial sweeteners in the soda. It's about being honest. I made a decision that I was going to allow myself to use protein powder during this self challenge.  Eventually I imagine it will drop off the okay list. For now it's a good security blanket. If I'm ingesting the protein powder, I need to not also be ingesting the evil chemical laden soda too. 

That's the trade off. It's an either or situation. If I drink my sodas, I can't use the protein. Given that I'm also doing a fitness challenge right now, the protein is going to be more useful. So out the door it goes.  I've eliminated artificial sweeteners everywhere else. I don't use Splenda in my tea. I don't eat low sugar candy. So it's time to cut the final tie.

I am allowing myself sodas using real sugar if I like. The rule remains if I drink a soda, I don't get my protein powder as an option. Additionally, I don't happen to like to consume excessive amounts of liquid calories. So a soda once or twice a week moves back to "treat", not necessity. 

And so fades out the diet soda from my food list…bye bye soda!