Making San Pellegrino a treat again

I love San Pelligrino. My favourite flavour is this one. I like it mixed with orange juice and ice too.

Image description: On the left, a glass of blood orange San Pelingrino. On the right, the can from which it came.
Image description: On the left, a glass of blood orange San Pellingrino. On the right, the can from which it came.

People often treat it as the healthy alternative to pop. See here.
While it’s true it’s just 80 calories, its also true that those calories are all sugar, 19 grams of it. I don’t think sugar is evil. See here and here. But I like my sugar in the form of yummy desserts. I’ve taken to drinking it weeknights and bringing it for lunch sometimes but I don’t think that’s a habit I want to keep up.

But what’s the right comparison? What’s the alternative?

When I did the Precision Nutrition program a few years ago one of the healthy habits I picked up was no liquid calories. Now I’m not recommending this to others. I’m not offering a prescription for anything here. You do you, as the kids say. But I am reflecting on how that habit felt for me.

How’d that work out, the no liquid calories thing? What were the changes I had to make?

Alcohol: Most people doing PN struggled with alcohol and empty calories. Pretty much all the perimenopausal and menopausal women concluded you can’t meet your nutritional needs, eat a reasonable amount of calories, and drink alcohol. Alcohol tips you over into the excess calorie category, they claimed. I don’t know if that’s true but I did hear a lot of whining about wine.

Luckily I don’t drink. And in the end the sub group of coaching clients I bonded with were athletic, vegan, and sober.

Pop: Diet Coke is my go to bar beverage and drive thru drink. Both are rare occurrences in my life. No sacrifices there either.

Coffee: I struggled a bit here since my preferred drink is a latte or flat white. Milk isn’t zero calories. But since I was aspiring vegan anyway, I used this as an opportunity to switch to Americanos. I realized a few years ago that the only reason I drank milk in my coffee was to moderate the temperature. But ice cubes work well for that too. Thanks Rob for teaching me that trick.

Here’s Men’s Health making the pitch for black coffee.

I do drink tea but it’s either green or mint and that’s another zero calorie drink.

Festive beverages: But what about a treat? When other people are drinking alcohol with a meal? That’s when I’ve been drinking San Pellegrino. I like sparkling water. But it doesn’t feel festive. Might be time to break out the kamboucha again! It’s even fizzy in the way that I like. See What the hell is kombucha? and Sam tried Kombucha and she liked it!

Likely I’ll keep the San Pell around for fun occasions and move to plain sparkling water on regular nights.

What’s your go to drink for fun and festivity?

7 thoughts on “Making San Pellegrino a treat again

  1. I’m a fan of juice spritzers: 1 part juice and 3 parts sparkling water. Also tea. I know it’s not festive but I’ve been known to order green tea in a bar. Also: plain sparkling water or diet bolt.

  2. I love spritzers, too. I also recommend adding bitters to seltzer (along with lemon/lime/other citrus juice). Any bitters add a zing. Grapefruit bitters or celery bitters, two of my favs, provide some interesting notes. Yes, bitters are in fact alcoholic (44% by volume– I looked it up), but since you add it in drops (like 2–3 drops), it adds virtually zero alcohol to a beverage but lots of taste. Of course this may not be an option for everyone, but I thought I’d bring it up as a way to bring extra flavor and festivity to a drink.

    I found this article from Bon Appetit that has some interesting suggestions:

  3. Sugar free Rock Star. That’s my pick me up treat when out at concerts, etc where booze is served as I don’t drink.

    I’m sure I was one of those complaining about some calories. It makes me think that alcohol abuse is much more rampant than thought….

    I drink coffee with cream daily. It’s part of my breakfast and it makes the morning more enjoyable.

    Otherwise I’m a water person.


  4. I love San Pellegrino. The grapefruit is my favourite, but it’s hard to find around here so I tend to stick to the lemon. I was so disappointed with the lime & mint – I wish they had gone for peppermint rather than spearmint. I think a couple a month is reasonable; I don’t drink them every day or even every week.

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