Chill! Best beverages for summer

What you can drink during the summer months that’s refreshing and different? And not soda!

The reality is, sodas are bad for your health. Want details?
 
Harvard School of Public Health: Soft Drinks and Disease
13 Ways That Sugary Soda is Bad For Your Health
Diet Sodas Tied to Dementia and Stroke
 
Ok, but it’s summer! Summer means that we tend to get a little more dehydrated because of the heat, and we’re THIRSTY for something really refreshing. Soda isn’t the right solution, and water just won’t do. Something with a little fizz, a little delight, right?
 
You KNOW I’m not going to leave you in the lurch :)
 
In fact, summer is the perfect time to experiment with DELICIOUS tonics and elixirs, and discover interesting ways of hydrating yourself without sacrificing taste and that happy, thirst-quenching fizz.

Enjoy the awesome benefits of homemade, healthy hydration! 

  • Keep your brain happy. Hydration is the key to neuronal nirvana! Neurons actually shrink when they don’t get enough fluid.  
  • Don’t just hydrate — nourish! My tonics and elixirs (see below) include nutrients and fiber that slows down the liquid passing through your body, giving your gut time to absorb the powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Control what goes into your body. Want to relax? Choose a chamomile drink. Need to recharge? Try a ginger-mint combo. Looking to banish mental fatigue? You can’t go wrong with my Pomegranate Mock Mojito. Customize.
  • Taste liquid ambrosia! The tastes are unique and unforgettable. #yum

So I’m not going to push water, water, water on you. I’m going to suggest delicious, nutritious options which are much more fun! (Especially if you are hankering for a soda, let’s face it.)

You control the experience.

When I met my husband, he was one of those people who drank soda. And I would cringe, but I pretty much didn’t say anything because I know better. (Being a nutritional nag doesn’t work) Instead, I set the stage. I bought a whole bunch of different tea bags and left them on the kitchen counter with a large glass pitcher. Gregg got curious. He threw 6 different kinds of tea in the pitcher — cinnamon, ginger, green tea and more — and let them steep. He added a splash of lemon, and got a little Arnold Palmer action going. He invented his own chai iced tea -- my husband, The Great Assembler. Now he drinks this all day, and he stays really well hydrated! Plain water just wouldn’t happen. 
 
I byob all over town in my favorite, no-spill, keep it cool tumbler. A fizzy party at my fingertips :)
 
If you bring a pitcher of your favorite brew or have it on hand for outside barbecuing as an alternative to sodas, you’re done! The sparkling water is definitely the element, the secret ingredient, the thirst-quenching thing, and along with the enchanting flavors of any of these recipes, your family and friends will be delighted. Guaranteed. 
 
People who make this conversion are often surprised to actually feel a difference in their brain health. A lot of people don’t realize the effect the sugar / caffeine high-then-crash has on their daily productivity and mood. Also, ironically, sodas can be very dehydrating! You think you’re hydrating, but… when you actually hydrate, your head feels clearer, you feel brighter and more positive.  It’s rather... amazing

Fabulous chill drinks for summer

Whether it’s kids, traffic, work, marriage, or any combination thereof, stress is an ever-present factor in most people’s lives. I’ve long turned to chamomile’s relaxing properties to pull some of that stress out of my system. A lot of folks like chamomile as a hot tea, but that’s not exactly a summertime go-to, thus the inspiration for this lemonade that combines chamomile tea, green apples, lemon juice, and a hint of maple syrup. A delightful and effective elixir!

When it comes to improving your well-being, green tea is a slam dunk. It’s a phenomenal immune booster and can protect against tumor growth. But when it comes to taste, let’s just say it needs a good point guard to help it set up the alley-oop. In this recipe, that would be papaya, which Columbus called “the fruit of the angels.” Papaya’s sweetness balances the natural bitterness of straight green tea. The two dance nicely together in the lab as well; one study suggests that the combination of green tea and papaya may cut the risk of prostate cancer. I have to admit, I get a kick out of it when I choose ingredients based on taste and later find out that they’re also great for you. 
 
No papaya handy? Feel free to experiment and substitute ripe peaches or nectarines… or whatever suits your fancy :)

One of my faves! This one’s a straight shot of joy juice to the brain, with antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice, lime juice and sparkling water, with mint leaves crushed to release the essential oils. Refreshing. Tantalizing! 

 When I want to go from “wow” to “YOWZA!” with a drink, I boil it down into a syrup. This one’s made with grapefruit, lemon, and orange. And sometimes inspiration will strike and I’ll add fresh herbs, in this case thyme. Then I boil, watch, wait, and strain. Surprise — I have a syrup of epic proportions that is bracingly refreshing. Drip this infusion over sparkling water and you’ll find yourself in summer heaven!

DON’T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT—TRY THESE FOR YOURSELF! IT MAY NOT BE A LOT OF FUN TO STAND BEHIND A HOT STOVE IN THE SUMMER, BUT IT IS SUPER FUN—AND NOURISHING!—TO CONCOCT WILDLY REFRESHING ELIXIRS. ENJOY :)