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17 May 2007 @ 02:09 pm
Artificial sweetener free diet drinks?  
Hello hip domestics!

My mom has recently developed an allergic reaction to artificial sweeteners, mostly to Splenda, but can also be flared by nutri sweet (aspartame) but not as bad.

My mom used to drink Diet mountain dew, and then diet coke/pepsi, but now has an allergic reaction to all of these (red bumps on the neck, itchiness, etc)

She also hates coffee, and non flavored teas.

So, hip domestics, are there A. any diet beverages you can think of that contain minimal artificial sweeteners and B. Bonus if it contains caffeine. She's really dragging at work now without the diet mountain dew.. and she works with heavy machinery, so that's no fun.

I want to be able to suggest something tasty for her to drink that isn't too bad for her, or cause an allergic reaction.

Thank you!

*edit - you guys are fast! Just to clarify, she doesn't really like anything that actually tastes like tea, but she likes lipton rasberry white tea. (fruity, not really tea tasting)

Also, she lives in central Iowa, so trader joes, and whole foods are out. i will stop by there though, and pick her up a few things before I go to visit next. I will suggest the honey sweetening, perhaps it will make a light tea more to her liking!
red apple fallsonegirldown on May 17th, 2007 07:16 pm (UTC)
green tea!
butterpat on May 17th, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevia - she could brew regular flavored teas, and sweeten it with Stevia. I have been able to find it at both Whole Foods and Trader Joes. It's a little more expensive, but you use much less.
just meleatherfemme on May 17th, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)
Seconded. Just make sure you get the pure Stevia, not the one with extenders / fillers. I love the liquid Stevia with flavor at Whole Foods - the English Toffee is my current favorite.
angieleaangielea on May 17th, 2007 07:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I will send her this link
just meleatherfemme on May 17th, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC)
A little Stevia goes a long way, so if you get her a bottle from TJ's or Whole Foods it should last her quite a while.
semiautosemiauto on May 17th, 2007 10:45 pm (UTC)
she should be able to get stevia at wheatsfield coop here in ames.
...dancing about architecture...: pommegrantevernacular_life on May 17th, 2007 07:23 pm (UTC)
individual bottles of perrier, esp the lemon ones?

Flavored Seltzer?

IZZE beverages (via target), but those get $$ (make at home: mix fruit juice and seltzer)

otherwise, my advice would be to brew up some flavored tea and sweeten to taste and with appopriate chemicals, then take in her own bottle. Black Currant and Pommegrante teas are especially potent and non-tea like!
...dancing about architecture...: Buster and the Sheepvernacular_life on May 17th, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
oho, and forgot to add....IMHO people are too worried about calories of drinks and NOT about what things are imitating sugar...with sweetening it yourself, you can use honey which is still caloric, but takes less to sweeten than white sugar
Death Kitten: ridediziara on May 17th, 2007 09:08 pm (UTC)
Honey's good for you too, if you eat local honey, it helps build resistance to local allergy triggering pollens. :)
ashlupa on May 17th, 2007 07:25 pm (UTC)
Whole Foods brand sodas are sweetened with sugar instead of HFCS, if carbonated drinks are an absolute necessity. They also have some tea-based sodas with minimal sweetening.
Sammylibwitch on May 17th, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)
Brew up regular ice tea, but add a few bags of herbal tea (blueberry, orange or mint works very well).

Mix soda water with DaVinci flavored syrups, which are usually flavored with straight sugar and no HFCS or arfifical sweeteners.

Obviously, the best choice is just to stop drinking it all together and switch to water. I thought I hated the non-sweetened stuff too, but its really just a habit that can broken. When I still needed the caffefine, I took a caffefine pill, because at least then I wasn't getting the sugar.
Unlikelybitterdessa on May 17th, 2007 07:35 pm (UTC)
I second everyone who said iced tea! I'm a big fan of making iced tea out of flavored teas that actually taste pretty good unsweetened. My favorite is Constant Comment, which is black tea and orange and some spices and it stands up, flavor-wise, without sugar. It's also super-caffinated. Some herbal teas taste pretty good without sugar too, but they lack the vital caffine spark.
verdigrisataxia_glaze on May 19th, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC)
Oh God Constant Comment is sooo amazingly good cold. I just had to add that. (I am not a fan or it warmed, though.)
jen: pammarshmallow on May 17th, 2007 07:36 pm (UTC)
Blue Sky is pretty good, and have a few flavors in their "lite" line (The cherry vanilla cream is especially good...). If carbonation isn't needed, I'm totally addicted to Fruit Water. It's going to be a much lighter flavor than like diet Mountain Dew, but still plenty tasty, I think.
Elanadomestinatrix on May 17th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
Can she either drink things without chemical sweetners or learn to drink something unsweetened?
angieleaangielea on May 17th, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC)
She can, I'm just hoping to find something for her thats diet, and caffinated that she likes. She's a factory worker, and diet mountain do has become a morning/evening habit,depending on the shift. I'm trying to find at least 1 thing to kind of bridge the gap between 100% artificial to a more 'natural' lifestyle.
starsthatguide on May 17th, 2007 07:55 pm (UTC)
Brew up a strong cup (or pot) of caffeinated black tea, and mix it with fruit juice until she finds the appropriate level of sweetness and flavor. Strong (not bitter) tea will provide a caffeine kick, and the fruit juice will provide flavor and natural sweetness without the need of artificial stuff.

My own favorites for this are Cranberry-Grape, Concord Grape, Pomegranate, or Tangerine, mixed with 1/3 juice to 2/3 Tazo Awake tea.
angieleaangielea on May 17th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC)
that sounds great, I will try that when I am at home. My boyfriend works at starbucks, so I can get a discounted to free box of tea from his weekly allotment for her. I will ask for the "awake" blend.
starsthatguide on May 17th, 2007 08:23 pm (UTC)
Awesome -- glad it works. Personally, I will steep one bag of tea in about 10 ounces of water for 4 minutes, with a plate or lid placed over the cup to keep in the heat. But, I like my tea to be strong enough to stand up to milk and honey, too. :-)
Leialeilay on May 17th, 2007 08:02 pm (UTC)
Have her check the Health Market section of HyVee. They have regular colas, but may also have diet. I don't look because they are really expensive. >.> There are also health markets all over Ames, and I'm sure a few in Des Moines that may carry those type of things. All depends on where your mom is and can get to.

I recommend a good pitcher of Green Tea (brewed not too long, so it isn't bitter) with a can of fruit dumped in, juice and all. Very nice, and not so expensive. ^^ But check the fruit for sweeteners.
angieleaangielea on May 17th, 2007 08:08 pm (UTC)
Yay! Someone who knows hyvee! right now she shops at Fareway in Boone, and stops occasionally at one of the natural food places in Ames. She's slowly moving to a more organic lifestyle, but was holding out on the beverages. Now she's kind of been forced!

I will try the tea/fruit combination for her when I come home. I think she's afraid she wont like it, and be stuck with all this tea. I think i'll try her on Jasmine tea, as its more of a green tea blend.

Thanks for the help!
see me down to the edge of the wildfaecat on May 17th, 2007 09:11 pm (UTC)
I will say - I HATE tea. HATE HATE HATE. And then I discovered that what that REALLY means is that I hate GREEN and BLACK tea, but I love red and white tea. They're both rather milder in flavor, and go very well with fruits/juices. :) So it might be worth trying those out first, if she's not a huge tea fan.
angieleaangielea on May 17th, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC)
I think this fits my mom. She liked rasberry 'white' tea, because it didn't taste like "black tea".

My step dad makes really strong sun tea, so that probably turned her off to it as well. :)

I as well thought I hated tea, but it turns out I just hate black tea. (YUCK!)

I went to Japan, and found out I love green tea, went to china and found out i love jasmine tea! who knew??
Carrieitsjustsomegirl on May 17th, 2007 08:10 pm (UTC)
Maybe try agave for sweetening too? It's a great sweetener. I'm not sure how "diet" it is...but I don't think it's very high calorie.
Stephanie: MOAG fanlady_mariana on May 17th, 2007 08:27 pm (UTC)
I second or third or whatever the Stevia. It's a natural sweetener that's been used in Europe and stuff for years. You can find it other grocery stores besides Trader Joes and Whole Foods. I live near Detroit (it's right across the street) so we don't have any "boutique" supermarkets by us, but I've found it at a Kroeger's (I don't know that this chain exists outside the midwest, but you get my point). So, I'm sure if you called around you'd find it at plenty other local grocery stores. I know a lot of diabetics who swear by it so it's got to be available in more places besides SE MI. =)
jenviolentmae on May 17th, 2007 10:27 pm (UTC)
I just got my mom, who's trying to give up soda and drink more water, Celestial Seasonings' Zingers To-Go. They don't have any artificial ingredients and are sweetened with stevia. I didn't try any, so I don't know how good they taste, but it seems like a good option. It says they're low-cal, and that's what diet drinks are, right? I think they're suppose to be a more natural alternative to those crystal light drink thingies.
z111z111 on May 18th, 2007 03:52 am (UTC)
Stevia rocks! I didn't know anyone was using it commercially yet.
Nerd Soul Mate!meadowgirl on May 17th, 2007 11:23 pm (UTC)
and why must it be a diet type soda beverage? is there a specific medical reason she won't just drink regular Mt. Dew or other sodas?

i personally believe artificial sweeteners are the devil so it's probably a good thing, healthwise, for her to not be able to drink those types of things.

but having said that....like other people recommended Whole Foods have all kinds of "healthy" carbonated, good tasting beverages.
z111z111 on May 18th, 2007 03:52 am (UTC)
I LOVE stevia as a sweetener, but she'd have to make her own. I use it in Kool-Aid but you could use it for iced coffee, iced tea, lemonade, whatever.
Elizabeth: kitty piedustkitty on May 18th, 2007 07:42 am (UTC)
I would also suggest *checking* that it's the sweeteners causing the allergic reactions. With a doctor. Rather than being allergic to both Splenda and aspartame (two chemically different substances), there may be a different common ingredient that's causing her reactions. Differing amounts of said common ingredient could explain the differing reactions.

Also, I'd suggest caffeine pills instead of trying to find a caffeinated sugar/aspartame/splenda-free drink. One less requirement for a yummy beverage, and one pill is usually equal to two cups of coffee, so if she took half a pill at a time when she'd normally have her mountain dew, it'd be roughly equivalent. (Because while soda, even mt. dew, usually has less caffeine than coffee, people usually drink more than one coffee mug worth of soda.)
LilGreyThinghallucinas on May 18th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
Good Earth Original herbal tea is sweet ands spicy and so good!
All That Jazzjezebelstar on May 23rd, 2007 03:47 pm (UTC)
To me, all Tazo teas taste just like fruit juice, without being sweety sweet. But they definitely satisfy that "I want a sweet drink" thing.