Posted by: Brad Stanford | May 31, 2011

Going To Old Doc’s

I have a meeting today down out Old Doc’s Soda Shop, which is the store at the Dublin Dr Pepper plant in town. That’s always a treat for me. Dublin Dr Pepper is not only my favorite soda, but it changed my life.

No really!

I used to be a city boy, into the instant microwavable city life. I started off life in a Coke family, ended up getting married to a Pepsi wife (and converting, as Pepsi tasted more syrupy to me), and that was about the end of it. A pinnacle meal would’ve been Pizza Hut with said choice beverage.

On my second visit through Dublin, we managed to be coming through during business hours, and I finally got to get a good taste of Dr Pepper made the old fashioned way. I was hooked! I bought a month’s worth of the stuff and headed home.

Dublin Dr pepper is made with real Imperial sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. So all that month, my HFCS intake was limited to whatever was in the other foods I was eating at the time. At the time, that was just about everything I ate, but not in the amounts that you find in soda. So my HFCS intake was cut in half quite suddenly by my Dr Pepper binge.

The first thing I noticed something was off was when I went to have a bowl of one of my most traditional meals – Wolf Brand Chili. For some reason, it tasted horrible to me. And some other foods weren’t tasting right, either. I finally traced it back to the Dr Pepper – a simple reduction of nasty stuff in my diet made me aware of the taste of nasty stuff. I was beginning to be able to taste the junk in my junk food.

This was a problem for me, because I was a very picky eater of processed foods, and I loved the junk. The alternatives to my diet were neither cheap nor plentiful. Sure, I could replace my fishsticks with excellent seafood, but I didn’t have the money for that. So fish dropped out of my diet for awhile. And I couldn’t live off of my Mexican food TV dinners, or my two-dollar frozen pizzas anymore, because I was starting to taste the titanium in them. (No really – titanium is listed on the label. Go look through your frozen foods section). And I’ve never liked fruits and vegetables. My only vegetable intake over the years has been salsa, ketchup, pizza sauce, and spaghetti sauce. And the only thing close to fruit intake has been fruit juice. No kidding.

So I was in a bind. I couldn’t continue to eat the bad stuff, and I didn’t have a good alternative for it. And on top of all that, I hate trying new foods, because 7/8 of the time, I don’t like what other people like. I’ve heard, “You don’t like this? It’s incredible! What’s wrong with you?” about as many times as I’d like to hear it in my lifetime. There was both a physical displeasure on my tongue, and a social displeasure of being different So trying new things was no fun.

But because of the healthier path I inadvertently started on at Old Doc’s, I’m slowly trying better foods and climbing out of my processed food dungeon. I’m drinking local raw milk (licensed by the state, you frowning detractors!), I’ve found an apple that I like (Honey Crisp – when in season), I’ve eliminated HFCS from my diet as best as I can (and I’ve noticed the market has shifted to saying “No HFCS!” on the labels, so I’m not alone in that, though some of those labels are outright lies), I eat locally grown grass-fed beef (a vegetarian I will never be), and I’m trying a few other things here and there. It’s not possible for me to drop everything and become a crunchy foodie, or I would. I would love to live off the land. It’s just not in my taste buds – yet.

(It’s not just taste – textures are a big problem for me as well.)

But you know what? I’m trying. I’m doing what I can do. And you should as well. And if you don’t know where to start, I know this great soda shop…

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