Some people travel to Lourdes, France, just for the water.
These faithful pilgrims swear the stuff will miraculously cure all manner of physical ills and afflictions. While I can’t knock anyone’s beliefs, I’d just like to make two points:
- Save your frequent-flyer miles. You can buy Lourdes water on Amazon for $54 a liter.
- There’s a miracle water much closer than even Amazon. It’s at the grocery store. Maybe you’ve heard of it? It’s called LaCroix. It could change your life. Hey, it saved a wretch like me.
On that latter point, let me offer you a little personal testimony.
Yes, LaCroix is more than just a hipster Perrier. It might be hard to believe now, with the pastel-colored 12-packs towering at the end of grocery aisles, but growing up in the Midwest, LaCroix was something that was just sort of there — lurking in the grocery store. With the kale. And the lentils.
Apparently, they were plotting to take over our lives …
MEANWHILE, LIVING ON DIET SODA
One day after noticing that my diet soda/caffeine habit had grown to truly unmanageable levels, I had to do something. It wasn’t so much the pyramids of empty soda that surrounded my desk at the end of the day that were the problem, it was the day the doctor warned that my blood pressure was elevated — seriously elevated. Who me? How is that possible? I worked out. I ate well, OK, fairly well. What else could I do? The doctor said, cut back on the soda, even decaffeinated diet soda.
Easy for the doctor to say. See, I had never been an eight glasses of water person. I tried. Water is life, yes. But water is also, sorry, kind of a bore. Sure, drinking water has other benefits, but I had lived without radiant skin this long, and I got by just fine without it.
Still, I had to do something. The thought of a premature stroke was, for some reason, not sitting well with me.
Let’s look at my alternatives:
Herbal tea? Too much effort to boil water. (Don’t judge me.) Juice? (Why not inject sugar right into my veins). V-8? (With no vodka?)
MY LACROIX EPIPHANY
In a fit of inspiration I picked up some lemon LaCroix, which, true, by this time had slowly crept out of its humble position in local groceries and was starting to become a nationwide hit in places like Whole Foods.
Another piece of fortuitous timing: a recent trip to France — Paris, not Lourdes — turned me onto the pleasure of drinking more fizzy water. Though I had never considered drinking it at home. Too fancy for a simple Midwestern boy like me.
But, miraculously, LaCroix did the trick.
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My theory: It wasn’t so much the caffeine I craved after all. Or at least not most of the time. It was the fizz. It was just a little excitement on my tongue. Simple. Convenient. Refreshment. Maybe that’s what tricked my brain into feeling like its 11 a.m. lunch break and 3 p.m. caffeine fix had been fulfilled. True, I still supplement with an afternoon tea on occasion, but my soda bills have plummeted.
Just like that, 20 years of craving my red-and-silver can of courage, suddenly, poof … gone. I changed without even thinking about it.
I think the reason is the versatility of the can format plays a big part of it, too. I grab a can chilled or at room temperature and don’t have to fuss with ice cubes. It’s there and the right size — not a big bottle of mineral water or a palm-sized bottle of expensive French stuff. If it goes flat, you can still finish it.
WATER FOR … WINE?
I have even turned to this Wisconsin miracle to curb my other liquid vice — a glass of wine (or three) at the end of the hard day. I find that having something that satisfies my adult palate is all I need. I don’t have a theory as to why LaCroix has managed to take the place of the wine-while-watching-TV ritual. Water is not wine. Even lemony, fizzy water is not wine.
Nevertheless, you’re more likely to see my cracking open a can of LaCroix than uncorking a cab on your average Tuesday night these days.
Yes, miracles never cease.