Thursday, February 5, 2015

new things to drink

One of the reasons that I didn't want to stop drinking soda was that I couldn't think of what else to drink. Wouldn't I get tired of just tea and water? The answer is, "yes" I do get tired of just tea and water, so I've been discovering other things to drink.

I make different kinds of tea now. When I make gallons of it for normal everyday use, I switch between decaffeinated black tea and decaffeinated green tea. Sometimes I combine the two. When I make hot tea, I experiment with many different tea blends (and there are so many to try). I find that sometimes I'm in the mood for a fruity flavor, or a mint, or an herbal soothing variety.  If you're in a "tea rut", I encourage you to try some new variations!

I have also enjoyed trying out various brands of coconut water. I first enjoyed coconut water when on a cruise to the Caribbean. During a break day at the beach, a young man was carrying a bag of fresh coconuts and cutting off the tops for people who purchased them. The lady in front of me bought four, and when I asked her about it, she confessed that they were all just for her. She said "nothing keeps me hydrated like coconut water." Since I'm interested in hydration, I found this new information valuable. And, certainly, nothing is as good as fresh, right-from-the-beach, coconut water. But there are many good brands to try. Be sure to read the labels; many have added sugars or other flavors. I don't like coconut water enough to drink a lot of it, but it's a nice change of pace.
Kefir is another new drink for me. It's a liquid form of yogurt, flavored with many different things. I first saw this on Dr. Oz, and I was primarily interested in it for it's probiotic component. It's a pleasant treat and reminds me of "lassies" at Indian restaurants. Maybe it's the same thing?
At any rate, be sure to read the labels for Kefir, as many of them are highly sugared or 'improved' with chemicals. (Why do "they" think that adding other stuff  will actually improve the taste? I suppose our American need for sugar partially drives this process.)
Have you ever tried Kombucha? I'm not sure I would call this a 'drink' as much as an 'experience.' I've never tasted anything quite so striking and yet strangely pleasant! I feel very healthy when I drink Kombucha, in part because it is very healthy, and in part because the vinegary-fermented-jolt-of-flavor let's me know that I'm really doing something out of the ordinary. Also, it's really good for my body, and I think my taste buds may somehow know this. I always drink the multi-green... not quite sure why... I'd love to know what you think of the other flavors... anyone out there drinking Kombucha?
Finally, let's talk about drinking juice (not 'juicing' at home; I'll discuss that in a later blog). A good rule of thumb is that eating the whole fruit is always better for you than just drinking the juice. However, there are some times when I don't have the whole fruit available, or it's not in season. Also, a 100% juice will concentrate all the goodness of the fruit, minus the fiber. I especially appreciate the POM juices; the one mixed with coconut water has become a staple in my fridge. I only drink half of the bottle at a time, being aware of the calories and natural sugars present in this treat.

ALWAYS read labels when purchasing juice - NOT ALL JUICE IS JUST JUICE! I'm stunned at how many things that look like juice have almost no juice in them. Or, items labeled 100% juice contain apple, grape, and other juices you didn't intend to drink. More in my next post on "what not to drink!"

Addendum: For fun, buzzfeed has a fun list of 33 Signs that Coffee Owns You"

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