But first, let me tell you why it’s best to avoid most other beverages.
Soft drinks are either loaded with sugar or sweetened with artificial sweeteners, which are toxic chemicals. So . . . . lots of sugar . . . . or toxic chemicals. Hmmm. I think I’ll pass on both!
Energy drinks . . . even worse! In addition to all the sugar, they’re loaded with caffeine! So you can get your buzz from both the sugar and caffeine!
Commercial ice teas are also loaded with sugar or chemicals.
I hate to break it to you, but fruit juice is not a “natural food.” It is a highly processed food with the fiber removed and is very concentrated in sugar and calories. In fact, there are more calories and more sugar in an 8 ounce serving of fruit juice than in 8 ounces of coke!
Fruit, on the other hand, is a wonderful, healthy food. Let’s look at the difference.
Research has shown that when we drink juice, it does nothing to satisfy our hunger. We do not eat less food when we drink juice with our meal. The juice calories are just added to the total calories we are consuming. This is also true of soft drinks.
On the other hand, when we eat whole fruits, they actually fill us up! They contain fiber, as well as all the natural sweetness in the fruit.
So just imagine . . . you could eat a whole apple with your meal and it would definitely increase your feeling of satiety (fullness). You would certainly eat less of the other food if you included the apple in your meal.
However, if you made that apple into apple juice, it would take anywhere from 3 to 6 apples to make a cup of juice, depending upon the apples and the juicer you use. AND . . . that juice, with all those calories, would NOT fill you up at all! You would not eat any less food. You would just add all those juice calories to your meal.
We really ought to eat our calories, not drink them. We’ll definitely consume fewer calories if we keep that in mind. That means we’ll find it a lot easier to attain and maintain our healthy weight!
However, all that being said, there is a place in our lives for fruit juice. We can add a little juice to various recipes as a condiment. For example, I add a little orange juice to my Creamy Citrus Salad Dressing and it’s delicious! But it only takes a little bit of OJ, used as a condiment, to add that flavor.
So I started this blog post with a promise. Even though water is our best choice, what else can we drink when we’re really wanting something cold, sparkly, and just a tad sweet that won’t sabotage our efforts at healthy eating?
Drum roll please . . . .
This is so simple, you don’t really need a recipe. There are just 2 ingredients, (or 3, if you count the ice.)
Sparkling Sunshine Drink
- Carbonated water, such as Seltzer Water or Club Soda
- Fruit juice (can be fresh, bottled, or from concentrate)
So here’s what you do: Just mix a small amount of fruit juice into a glass of carbonated water, add ice, and voila!
The proportions are up to you. If you’re used to the super sweet sodas and fruit juices, your sweet tooth will want more juice. But don’t use over half juice. I’d recommend starting with 1/4 juice and 3/4 carbonated water.
As your taste buds adapt to less concentrated sugars, you can use less and less juice and still get the slight sweetness and flavor of the juice along with the sparkly coldness that will taste like a treat.
So remember, don’t drink your calories! And don’t be fooled into thinking nature intended for us to drink fruit juice. We’re designed with teeth for a reason! Eat your apples, oranges, and grapes. Use fruit juices as a condiment.
And just splash a little juice into your carbonated water for a taste treat!
Give this a try and let us know what you think! The comment boxes below are just waiting for you to share your experiences and opinions.