Today I want to talk to you about drinks! These are drinks that I incorporate into my healthy living, and are great options for you, too! Before I get into it, though, I just want it to be clear that I don’t drink all of these every day; I’d float away! Instead, use this list as a guide for choosing your beverages.
Still Water: This is my beverage of choice. I know that sometimes reaching your water consumption goal can seem like a chore, so I try to make it enjoyable in little ways. Try to find a container or a cup that you really love because you’ll love using it! I’m aiming for about 70 ounces of water every day, and you should be, too.
Flavored Water: These can be such a great way to make drinking water more fun! I found a great flavored water recently called Hint, and it’s called that because it just has a little hint of fruit. The pineapple is my favorite! Of course you could also simply put frozen fruit in the water. It’s a great idea during the summer, and it’s a much better choice than a sugary sports drink.
Sparkling Water: My husband just loves when I bring home flavored sparkling water. I’d actually say that he’s a little addicted to it, but what a harmless thing to be addicted to! It’s fun because it’s carbonated, so it kind of takes the place of pop without all of the sugar. On the weekends we sometimes like to make a little cocktail with some muddled berries, vodka, and flavored sparkling water. It’s so good and so healthy (or as healthy as a cocktail can be)! If you’re trying to break your pop habit, try giving sparkling water a try!
Coffee: It is absolutely no secret, I love coffee. I always put raw honey in my coffee; I only use about a teaspoon or so. I’m still fasting when I drink my coffee, so I try to stay under about 50 calories or so, and I technically won’t break my fast that way. I’ll also splash in whatever coffee creamer I have on hand, usually an almond or a coconut creamer. Sometimes, if it’s a low-carb day, and I’m using high amounts of fat for energy, I might use a little heavy whipping cream. I also like a little cinnamon.
Now, once in a while, if I’m having coffee later after I’ve broken my fast, or not fasting at all that day, I use MCT oil. It is pure coconut oil, and I just add a splash. It is so good for you and super delicious!
Tea: I’ve been really big into tea lately. It’s such a warm, healthy drink to enjoy during the cold months. I find that the fruit flavors, like peach, help mask other supplemental things you may be adding to it, like apple cider vinegar (which I certainly don’t drink because it tastes good!). I also like to add a little bit of raw honey to make it even more of a treat.
Good for the Gut
Apple Cider VInegar: So, this one kind of counts for a drink! Apple cider vinegar is a daily thing for me because I’ve noticed such a difference in my skin tone! I try to have a tablespoon or so every single day, and my skin has cleared up! It’s so good for your gut, and so much of your health starts there. I even give it to my kids, but I have to sneak it in when I can (usually some tea with honey is a good way)!
Kombucha: This is an acquired taste, but I actually kind of crave it now. I’ve tried to make my own, but, let’s be clear, I’m actually kind of lazy about that. I’d really just prefer to get something ready made (my favorite brand is GTS). Just make sure that if you aren’t going to drink the whole bottle, you pour it into a glass so that you aren’t mixing your own bacteria with the good bacteria in the kombucha.
Cleanse Juices: I’ve started doing a 24-hour fast with a juice cleanse one day a month. I order from The Weekly Juicery, and it comes with six juices. They have a tiny bit of fruit juice for flavor, but they are packed with a TON of veggies and other healthy ingredients. The juices flood your body with wonderful ingredients, and because the fiber is filtered out, you're continuing to fast. If you want to try the juice cleanse, click here!
Shakeology: I'm a big fan of Shakeology. It’s higher in carbs, so on my low-carb days I’ll have a normal protein shake instead, but the taste and nutrients in Shakeology are just so good. It is meant to be a meal replacement because it has so many nutrients aside from protein, but I usually use it just to supplement what I’m already having that day. I’ll have this a few times a week.
Protein Powder: Protein is essential for feeding our muscles when we are working out, and protein shakes are a great way to make sure we are getting enough. I love protein shakes for snacks, but I also like to keep some powder around to cook with. Things like cookies or pancake batter can really get an extra boost, and a healthy addition, with a scoop of protein powder.
BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids): These are really handy for the intermittent faster. If you’re working out in the morning before you break your fast, you want to protect your muscles from breaking down because you’re not feeding them. BCAAs coat your muscles, allowing you to burn fat instead. It also helps you not be as sore and to bounce back faster. This is especially great if you are new to working out or are just getting back into it. It’ll keep you from breaking your routine to recover from soreness.
Pre-workout: My favorite pre-workout is called Start. It’s a clean pre-workout with no artificial stuff added in. It does have caffeine, so I try to be careful about how much I am taking in. If I know I am going to have extra coffee that day, for example, I will skip the pre-workout. When I do drink it, though, it just wakes me up, and it gives me enough of an edge to tackle my workout. It really helps me get through teaching early morning classes coherently, as well!!
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Orange Juice: I like brands that are simply oranges with no added sugars or anything else. The thing to keep in mind, though, is that this kind of juice is not essential for our health! Juice contains a lot of sugar! However, I do drink orange juice a few times a week on my high-carb days. I only drink a little bit each time, though (maybe 4 oz).
Milk: My kids drink cow's milk in their cereal and my son drinks it ALL DAY. I usually have almond milk or, preferably, coconut milk myself. We’ve tried to switch my kids to non-dairy milk, but we just can’t yet. In the meantime, what we buy is whole, vitamin D milk. Yeah, you read that right! This was hard for me because I used to buy skim milk and fat-free everything, but all that really is is just milk with so much (both good and bad) taken out and water added. If you’re going to buy milk, just buy the vitamin D milk and monitor your intake of it.
Wine: So, I really just include this here because I wanted to talk about how, when I do drink, which is really only once or twice a week or so, I choose a red wine. They say it’s good for your heart. It’s just a low-calorie drink that is as health conscious as possible. Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t ever have sugary cocktails, but I try to make sure to save those for vacations or really special treats.
I hope that these suggestions help you decide what to drink throughout your day. Keep in mind that I don’t have ALL of these every single day. Just practice moderation and balance. Sometimes we need to eat or drink something just because it’s good for us. Not everything has to taste like a party in your mouth. At the same time, treating yourself on occasion with moderation is totally okay, too.