I dread lunchtime. Recently, I opted for a dairy and caffeine-free life for two weeks, and I’ve been miserable ever since.

A list of what dairy free means exactly can be found here, but what it means to me is I don’t get my strawberry banana yogurt, Zone bar or Diet Cokes every day. It means my lunch has become bland and not exciting.

When listing the items I can’t have like that, it doesn’t sound like such a big deal. But it is. Cheese, ice cream, milk — and anything made with them — are off limits. What we like to eat becomes such a part of us, even the vices. Food is not only a necessity, but our comfort, our friend. I don’t know which has been harder – giving up the dairy or the Diet Coke.

I think about the Diet Coke every morning, to the point that I can almost taste it in my mouth. And apparently I’m not the only one. Plenty of people struggle with giving up Diet Coke.

My significant other and I embarked on this journey because we both have weak stomachs. The idea is to see that if we take away all of the things that aggravate it, what it would feel like. But so far, the only thing we both feel are headaches. But I have a little incentive.

The next time I drink a Diet Coke I will be in Whitefish, Montana, at the base of Glacier National Park. It feels like an eternity, but I hope that should definitely be enough incentive to pull me though.

In the meantime, if I could just find something to eat for lunch …

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Michele Capots has been writing for various newspapers and magazines for the last 10 years. Her favorite color is purple. Currently, she works in public relations for Livingston Communications. Be sure to also check her out in the Buzz Bin. 

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