Ginger beer will be the death of me.
No – not the new-aged alcoholic beverage that has become more popular lately with craft beer enthusiasts who are always trying for the newest trend.
I gave that stuff up a long time.
But it’s the delicious and savory sharp ginger beverage that’s made in many of the same ways that will derail my attempt at a diet faster than anything else on earth.
Some people can’t get away from fast food burgers. Some can’t get away from cake. For me, it’s Bundaberg Ginger Beer from Australia, and it is absolutely amazing.
Being that I no longer drink alcohol, I made one of those harm reduction arguments with myself that if I could somehow find something that was delicious and different from what I would drink on a daily basis, I would go with that for special occasions. There’s only so much Martinelli’s you can swill down before you get sick of it.
The first up on my list was Jarritos – the brightly colored Mexican soda that is equal parts delicious and terrible for you. I picked up a two-liter of their fruit punch soda, and when after opening it and drinking a glass and going back for more – only to discover the sugar in the beverage had actually crystallized against the cap – I knew that this was a one-way ticket to diabetes.
But not before finishing the rest of it that I had purchased.
Being that I’ve always loved ginger ale – my beverage of choice when flying, even back when I would arrive two hours early for my flight to hang out in the airport bar – I figured that I would give the non-alcoholic ginger beer I found at the store a shot.
This is where it all starts to go downhill.
It was sharp – and somewhat spicy. And while the taste was something initially I couldn’t completely get behind, I always found myself going back for another sip. And then another. And then another.
Soon I was sampling different brands, and was thrilled that when I went out to dinner at a chic restaurant I had a beverage I could enjoy that was different than the standards of iced tea or Diet Pepsi.
And then, on the morning after a night away with my wife in Monterey, I ordered a Bundaberg ginger beer with my breakfast (of chicken and waffles – don’t judge me) and drank the entire glass within two minutes.
It was that good.
Being that not many places stock it, and I have to either go to Trader Joe’s or BevMo to pick it up, it wasn’t something that I ended putting into the fridge very often.
And I never even bothered to look at the back of the bottle to see exactly how bad it was for me.
The 25.3 ounce bottle sitting on my coffee table right now has nearly 340 calories in it. It has 78 grams of sugar. That is almost 20 teaspoons. One single bottle equates to 30 percent of the number of carbs I’m supposed to ingest in complete day, which means that with my waffles and fried chicken breakfast I had probably easily exceeded that before 10 a.m.
That’s not good. At all.
I heard somebody who was fit say one time that if it tastes good, it’s probably bad for you. I laughed that off because I could think of a lot of things that I actually enjoyed that weren’t.
But maybe I should have paid a little bit more attention what they were preaching.
I’m on my third glass of water now and the guilty feeling is washing over me like a fever.
There are no shortcuts in this world.
And however delicious, this is something that I can no longer imbibe in.
Anybody want 16 bottles of ginger beer?