Judy E. Buss
Our bodies are composed of about 65% water. This life-sustaining, calorie-free fluid is essential for every cell and organ. Many folks consider drinking water unimportant or boring. This is, in part, the unfortunate result of decades-long aggressive marketing campaigns by commercial beverage manufacturers. To replace daily large amounts of water lost by perspiration, breathing, in urine, and other waste-expelling mechanisms, we must drink 6 -8 cups of plain water, as well as additive-free beverages made up of mostly water. Eating more water-rich foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables is also part of a good hydration and detoxification strategy. Do not, however, drink more than a half cup liquid with or immediately after meals!
Water infused with vegetables, herbs, or fruit for daily consumption or when you are having company, is utterly refreshing, fabulously delicious, attractive in appearance, and nourishing to boot. This type of beverage is great for staying hydrated and is filled with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from the fresh ingredients incorporated in it.
When pouring a glass of infused water, strain into the glass only the amount to be served. You can garnish it with a sprig of an herb, or a slice of fruit. Twenty four hours after making the enhanced water, strain the entire amount (if any is left…), and discard its solid ingredients, to prevent them from rotting in the water.
Once you made a couple of these low-cal, delicious health-bombs, you can let your imagination and your creative juices concoct new combinations, as well as varying flavor strength: (gradually) add more water if you prefer only a hint of flavor. For a more robust taste use larger amounts of the ingredients added to the water. A teaspoon of finely grated ginger root adds a magnificent, more complex, tropical-like flavor to many of these types of beverages. Ginger root can be found in the produce section of most grocery stores. Additional ingredients that can be used for scrumptious infused water are berries, cantaloupe, peach, orange, honeydew, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, and other herbs and juicy fruits.
Make your own additive-free, caffeine-free iced tea from all natural, herbal tea bags. Do not add sugar, to any of the drinks or you will defeat your own wellness endeavor. For a slightly sweeter taste, if desired, you can add a teaspoon of honey dissolved in a tablespoon of warm water.
If you live in Sodaville, wean yourself from soft drinks and other commercial, health-wrecking drinks which marinate your body with, artificial food colors, artificial flavors and sweeteners, corn syrup, preservatives and/or caffeine. In addition, the beverages are infinitely more expensive – when you also consider the health issues they cause. Some of the terms used on the labels of these products, such as “natural” are loosely defined by the Food and Drug Administration’s laws and can be quite misleading to the consumer.
If you care about your health, cut down, or better yet eliminate, unhealthy, calorie-laden beverages, and make your own wholesome thirst-quenchers in minutes. This will also save you buckets of money, and greatly support your weight control effort. You can further save expense by investing in a counter-top water purifying pitcher and use clean, inexpensive water for drinking and cooking. Question: Do you pour junk liquids into your car gas tank? No? So drink to YOUR health as well – cheers!
Yields 5 cups
5 cups filtered water
3 cups fresh pineapple, finely chopped
10 mint leaves, torn
Place the pineapple in a pitcher. Add the water and mint. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours, stirring occasionally. Strain into a glass before serving.
Yields 5 cups
5 cups filtered water
1-1/2 teaspoons ginger root, peeled, finely grated
13 mint leaves, torn
Scrub the lemon and cucumber clean, and thinly slice. Place in a large pitcher. Add the water, mint leaves, and ginger root. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours, stirring occasionally. Strain into a glass before serving.
“Mission Nutrition” Tips and Recipe from Judy E. Buss, Health Columnist, Nutritional Cooking Instructor.
Excerpted from Judy E. Buss’ article, first published in the “Feeling Fit” Magazine, Sun Coast Media Group newspapers, Florida.
Stay tuned for more Judy E. Buss’ “Mission Nutrition” words of wisdom and recipes.