What I Drink for Breakfast


My family drank boiling hot Dr Pepper every morning for breakfast the whole time I was growing up, and as a matter of fact, we drink it still.

The rest of this post has been deleted, because I revised it substantially and included it in an essay.


Does Dr. Pepper contain caffeine? Can Mormons drink other caffeine containing beverages besides coffee? May they eat chocolate?
I'm really curious. I'm going to look this up & get back to you if you don't post first.

Well, yes it does contain caffeine. I also found out that Mormon women have a terrible problem keeping their weight down, especially after having a lot of kids. Maybe it's the high fructose corn syrup in their Dr. Peppers.
This strikes me as amazing hypocrisy. No coffee, no coke or Pepsi, but Dr. Pepper is OK.
I need a coffee jag, because I have a slow metabolism and need that little jolt in the a.m.A shot of espresso does it.

Eck. I remember when you made me try this vile concoction (OK, I voluntarily drank it, but still....). I despise Dr. Pepper under "proper" conditions; the hot stuff was like sweetened battery acid coursing down my esophagus. But maybe that slice of lemon makes all the difference! :-)

Dietary restrictions is one of the many, many things I just don't get about religions. In Naguib Mahfouz's Cairo Trilogy, there's a great deal about the domineering, strictly Muslim father who goes out and gets drunk and sleeps with prostitutes every night. To question his drinking is to question his devoutness, which is forbidden. Anyway... made me think of that.

Hi Hattie--

Sometimes people don't notice that my posts are continued and that you have to click on a link to read the rest of them, which I suspect might have happened in your case, since both of the questions you ask in your comments are answered later in the post itself. As I mention re: caffeine, it is still the case that in official church policy, "Soft drinks are a matter of personal discretion, although plenty of Mormons won't drink any soft drink with caffeine in it and condemn anyone who does. But as my family is happy to point out, you can still get a temple recommend if you drink Coke or Pepsi." Whereas "Chocolate, hot or cold, liquid or solid, white or dark or milk, is OK despite its caffeine content, and one of the biggest candy counters I ever saw was in the student union at Brigham Young University."

I wouldn't be too quick to blame the weight problems of Mormon women on Dr Pepper, since many Mormon women I know like no beverage in the world as much as Diet Coke.

Hmm. Diet sodas may not be all that slimming, if this is true:

I personally avoid aspartame assiduously, but no matter what its effects, if people drink diet Coke and not Dr Pepper, then Dr Pepper cannot be blamed for their weight problems.

Wow, you are so prolific! Just when I think I'm commenting on your latest post, I return to find a new one! Alas, I'm sadly behind the times, yet again - ;)

I must admit to being completely ignorant on food and religion, but the subtleties you note between what’s acceptable and what’s downright dirty is truly fascinating.

“So when my dad found an advertisement for hot Dr Pepper in a 20-year-old issue of Good Housekeeping, he ripped it out, framed it, and hung it on our kitchen wall.”

This is just plain wonderful.

Ultimately, the coffee and tea prohibition isn't about health, it's about creating social boundary markers (and about control and devotion--Judaism is very good at this as well). When I look at it this way, I don't see any hipocrisy between someone choosing not to drink green tea but washing down Big Gulps full of fluorescent Mountain Dew. They don't drink tea because their Mormon, the way that some of my friends don't eat bacon 'cause they're Jewish.

Keep in mind that all this is coming from a tea-drinking fringe-Mormon who doesn't like sodas.

I think that the rule is also about creating tension between Mormons and non-Mormons. I think that Mormons are the only large denomination coming out of the Protestant tradition that doesn't have a Coffee Hour before or after church. It amazing how much of our social relations are tied up in our eating habits. I know my vegan friends are very aware of this.

It's a work ethic thing, Frankengirl. One of the ways I justify writing a blog is by telling myself that I'm busy generating material I'll turn into longer work at some point in the future.

But I think you might be right that I have earned a day off some time soon.

John wrote, "It's amazing how much of our social relations are tied up in our eating habits. I know my vegan friends are very aware of this."

Very true, John--and although I now rely on coffee and alcohol as both occasions for socializing and social lubricants when I do hang out with other people, I never felt deprived because I didn't use them when I was growing up. I realize this sounds so wholesome it's nearly sickening, but in Mutual (the Mormon youth organization, for those of you who don't speak LDS) we used to get together and make chocolate fondue or homemade ice cream or cinnamon rolls and it was both very delicious and a heck of a lot of fun. It's one of the things about my Mormon upbringing I remember with real fondness. There was also the fact that we had homemade rootbeer and homemade ice cream at family reunions, and because there was no alcohol, no one got drunk and obnoxious (though I had some relatives who were obnoxious even sober). Not until I attended parties with people who got shit-faced and belligerent did I realize how lucky I was to have missed all that in my childhood.

I'm drinking Dr. Pepper on ice, even as I type. My mother likes DP hot and I've heard hot DP is standard fare in the southern U.S., but I still can't bring myself warm a cup and try it. Just seems sacrilegious somehow. One of these days, I'm sure I'll break down. It'll probably take a dare to get me to do, since I hate to tamper with a good thing.

And speaking of Mos and caffeine: I remember when my dad worked at the Y, he had a fridge in his office for storing film. Film, as you may or may not know, is best stored at the back of the fridge where it's coolest. Time and time again, he'd go to the fridge to get out film, only to find it all pulled to the front. His student employees had rearranged it so they could store their illicit caffeinated beverages in the back and out of sight!

I also remember the first time I went to an Institute party in grad school in Berkeley and the beverages included a big ol' liter bottle of Pepsi! I was shocked, I tell you, shocked! The irony of all of this is, my grandfather (may he rest in peace) was a prolific Coke and Pepsi drinker, so seeing Mormons consume caffeinated drinks wasn't a surprise, but seeing them at a church function in a church building was startling. And then it was amusing. And then I got over it.

Bottoms up! Here's to DP--the beverage of gods and goddesses!

Hey Janet--thanks for stopping by. Glad to find another DP lover--though I admit I rarely drink it cold.

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This page contains a single entry by Holly published on March 27, 2006 10:10 AM.

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