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Five flavorful alternatives to sugary drinks
This summer, Let’s Eat Lunch! is empowering your path to health and freedom. To kick off this new season of blogging, Nannie served as inspiration for you to go after your own #healthgoals. Last week, I focused on how to transform your eating habits by selecting whole foods over processed ones.
The philosophy of choosing whole foods over processed ones to attain optimal health applies to selecting beverages. Sugary drinks such as diet soda, seltzer, and soda contain additives that detract from, rather than enhance, your health. On the other hand, tea (without synthetic sweeteners) and water are beverages that elevate your well-being.
This week, hone your hydration habits to be simultaneously flavorful and healthful. Enjoy fragrant and nutrient-dense flavored water with these alternatives to sugary drinks.
1. Mint Water
One of my family’s favorite breakfast places is always experimenting with flavored water. When a waiter or waitress comes to the table with iced water, it’s always a fun surprise to see the new flavor.
My all-time favorite is mint water, complete with a single mint leaf that sits atop the ice cubes. Mint water is not only energizing first thing in the morning, it also neutralizes breath odor.
2. Strawberry-and-Basil Water
Forget the strawberry-and-banana flavor combination…strawberry and basil is where it’s at! The sweetness of the strawberries pairs incredibly well with the more savory taste of fresh basil.
If you cultivate an herb garden and grow different varieties of this herb, experiment with types such as Thai basil. The vibrant hue of purple basil brightens a glass of water too. To prepare strawberry-and-basil water, hull two medium-sized strawberries, and then quarter them. Add them to a glass of iced water along with a few leaves of fresh basil.
3. Grapefruit Water
Grapefruit water is a staple at one of the dining halls on campus. It’s super easy to prepare by peeling a grapefruit, slicing it into thin rounds, and then placing the rounds into a water pitcher.
Also, it’s aesthetically appealing and a surprisingly unexpected offering in beverage dispensers at barbecues and celebrations. Speaking of festivities, a very Happy Independence Day to my stateside followers!
4. Lemon-and-Lime Water
Please do me a favor and skip the lemon-and-lime flavored diet sodas, seltzers, and sodas. Instead, opt for a DIY-verison of these sugary drinks, minus the synthetic ingredients.
This flavored-water combination is ideal to prepare after you’ve finished a recipe calling for the juice of lemons and limes (i.e. guacamole). Grate the zest of the lemons and limes into ice cube trays, add water, and freeze. Then, add equal parts lemon pulp and lime pulp to a glass, and finish with the lemon-and-lime zest ice cubes.
5. Orange-and-Thyme Water
Water with orange segments is relatively common, but a few sprigs of thyme elevates this citrus fruit to give the flavored water an edgier (savory and sophisticated) taste. If you grow an herb garden, orange and thyme water (as well as other herb-infused waters) is an awesome way to incorporate your garden bounty into your hydration habits.
To prepare orange and thyme water, squeeze the juice of one orange into a pitcher of iced water. Add 10 medium-sized sprigs of thyme to the pitcher, and enjoy. Similar to the lemon-and-lime water, the zest of the orange can be used to prepare orange-zest ice cubes in this orange-and-thyme recipe.
Looking to make healthful hydration a habit?
What’s your go-to flavorful alternative to sugary drinks?
Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,
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