The heat is coming back to the prairies this week. I'm sure it's close to cranking up where you are at as well, dear friend. When the thermostat starts going up, it's time to increase the water intake, mon amie. This is to replenish those fluids lost in sweating, in order to keep our temperature in the safe zone.
Never mind the heatwave, water is just all-round good for you. But sometimes plain water just doesn't cut it. Today's #mondayhealthbasics post explores good alternatives to plain-jane-water in order to wake up those tastebuds and inspire you to guzzle the good stuff.
First and foremost, let's be clear: water is so very good for you. My very first #mondayhealthbasics post touched on the importance of consuming water in your day, talking about the timing of your intake as well. You can find MHB post #1 right here. (Key point: stop drinking 30 minutes before a meal, try to reduce your water consumption in meals to none at all, and wait one hour afterwards to resume your drinking.)
It should also be noted that reaching for filtered water or spring water will be of benefit to you, as opposed to tap water. Find that MHB post here.
The third time we explored the importance of water, it was in the spirit of supporting your liver and detox function. Find that nugget here.
For this fourth time talking about this most integral component of our body's functioning, necessitating its daily consumption, we're going to look at easier ways to get that stuff down the gullet.
I personally love water, but I do find aiming to consume two litres per day can sometimes feel like a bit of a chore. Spiffing up the flavours of the water encourages my daughter to reach for a beverage more often. ... OK truth be told, not just her. Let's go over some ideas then, to get you started. I look forward to hearing the flavour combos you will dream up!
Stretching The Strawberries
Berry season is upon us, and who doesn't love gorging on these delicious fruit when they are at their peak? I am a frugal one, and so this is how I like to stretch this abundant season, using up every morsel: after I wash the berries and before consuming them, one needs to trim the tops off, yes? I simply pop those in a jar, and top up with filtered water and tuck the jar in the fridge. Next day, yummy strawberry-flavoured water awaits.
You can also add other fruits or herbs to the mix here, fresh or dried. Imagine strawberry and basil, wouldn't that be yum? You can toss in a few chopped cherries to the mix too, a pinker hue shall ensue.
Minty Cuke Refresher
This combo is perhaps one of the most popular ways of adding zing to your plain-jane-water. Simply toss a few leaves of mint at the bottom of your jar, up to 1/4 cup if you are going for a full litre of water. Using the back of a wooden spoon or a proper muddler, bruise the leaves in order to release those volatile oils; this is the trick to really enhancing the flavour. Add in half a cucumber cut into rounds, and fill up the brim with filtered water and again, tuck in the fridge overnight. Tomorrow morning's water will have everyone at the office jealous of your tastebuds.
I grow a few different kinds of mint every year for just this purpose. It isn't too late to add a pot to the deck, and pick up a few interesting flavours of mints at your favourite local garden centre. This year, I planted Pineapple Mint, Chocolate Mint and Orange Mint. Yum!
Liver Loving Lemon + Citrus Delish
It may seem tried and true, but it's a stalwart for a reason: lemon is probably one of the most refreshing flavours out there. Double bonus, you get to take in some additional vitamin C whenever you add citrus to your drinking water! Lemon is a great liver-lover, helping you detoxify as the day goes on. (Remember that MHB post?) A good rule of thumb is to aim for about half a lemon per litre of water. You can juice it yourself, or slice the fruit up into quarter or rounds.
If you want to try something new, add some lime slices to your beverage. Or switch it up and toss in a few rounds of orange slices. Better yet, toss in all three and make it a citrus-y kind of day! Wouldn't grapefruit be incredible here? Best combo for the hottest day of the year, or for toting around to the events at Stampede or for Folk Fest.
I have a friend who used to bring her water bottle filled with watermelon to yoga classes. I was always jealous, and then I tried it myself. And realized sheesh it's as easy as pie, why hadn't I thought of this before?
Slicing up some watermelon, honeydew or cantaloupe into cubes adds an almost ice-cream kind of flavour to the water. You will get bonus points for adding fresh basil or mint to this combo.
So the heat is rising, and you start to wonder if you haven't ended up in the tropics: there's a drink for that. To your litre-sized glass jar, add a handful of fresh pineapple cubes along with your water, and allow to mellow in the fridge before consuming.
Want to jazz it up a bit? Grate some fresh ginger in the mix. Or toss in some cucumber here too. Could be a fool-proof way for your littles to get the water down in order to save them from heat stroke, keeping them cool!
The Sun Infuser
You don't have to simply use fresh things and allow them to meld in the cool of the refrigerator. Why not add a few dried hibiscus petals to your litre of water and allow to brew under the heat of the sun on your back deck for the day? Pop it in the fridge to cool it down, and consume this zinger over the course of the next day. Bonus again here, extra vitamin C for your sweet self. Why not try this way with any kind of flavoured tea brew or herbs? One of my favourites these days is the Okanagan Rooibos blend that I purchase at my favourite local health food store. It screams summer, mon amie.
The Ice Cube Method
Another option might be to blitz some fruit together a bit until chunky, and toss in an ice cube tray in the freezer. When fully frozen through, pop them out and tuck into a freezer bag and when you are ready to consume, simply toss a cube or two in some water first thing in the morning, allowing them to melt right into the water. A great way to prep for 5 minutes for a week's worth of flavoured water.
Combos I'm thinking of right off the top of my head: frozen mango and raspberries; lime and blueberry; peach mint and blackberries. The flavours are only limited by your imagination! I have some rosemary growing on the deck, I wonder what kind of fruit will work with it... rhubarb maybe? I'll have to report back. What about adding edible flowers to your ice cubes? Violets are gorgeous, and yummy.
There are no hard and fast rules here, other than aiming towards that 2-litres-of-water-a-day rule. Sure you can use filtered water or spring water, but why not try some mineral water for extra fizz? Might just hit the spot, plus give you that mineral boost.
And why stop at fizzy? Coconut water might be a delightful vehicle as well.
It is my intention to present you with some frugal and delicious ideas in today's blog post, in order to help veer you away from those powder packets they sell to you to add to your water. They're full of chemicals and sweeteners or 'alternatives' to sweeteners which really, are just chemical poop-storms.
This post is hopefully enticing you to also try something as an alternative to pop or juice; they too are full of added chemicals and white refined sugars. Say nay friend, to those nefarious drinks and say yay to the infused waters. Your body has been asking for you.
Go play with your bevvies!