Copyright Sandra A. Gutierrez, 2016; All Rights Reserved.
Finally… It’s a brand new year of possibilities, filled with perfectly unused calendar days ahead. Like most people I know, you’re thinking about healthier eating. Most of us promise to eat well and exercise every day (at least until Valentine’s Day when chocolate is suddenly everywhere, right?)
Admit it. Everybody (and their brother) has a favorite diet to recommend. Your best friend swears by a carb-free diet and another tells you to eat only grains. Vegan, Paleo, Vegetarian, Whole Grains. There are so many diets with so many names that it boggles the mind!
Everyone has an opinion of why you shouldn't eat something. Yet, have you noticed that no one ever tells you what you should drink?
When all is said and done, I’m not good at making or keeping resolutions. However, here’s one that I can honestly say has stuck with me over the years. Come every January, I pledge to drink more water.
Water, doctors tell me, flush away toxins, keep me full between meals, and make my skin hold on to moisture (a wonderful little bonus that helps prevent the deep-set lines that want to peek back at me from my mirror). But honestly—water tastes so…blah. There. I said it.
Until now, that is. A few years ago, I began to teach cooking classes at a spa, and lo and behold if I didn’t love the flavor of the water they served. Everywhere I turned, huge pitchers of iced water beckoned. Believe me, I was the most surprised at how much I loved their water and found myself re-filling my cup often during the day without giving it another thought.
Their secret? Adding something from their garden to the water each day—sliced lemons, cubed peaches, crushed mint, etc.
I don’t have a garden but I recognize a good idea when I see it. Every day, I make myself a pitcher of what I call “spa water.” That is water that tastes really good, without added calories. My favorite things to add to my pitcher are sliced cucumbers or citrus fruits (from grapefruit, to clementines and everything in between), berries, apples, and herbs.
Anyone can make spa water. No recipe is needed. Simply place any combination of fresh fruits or vegetables, thinly sliced in the bottom of a pitcher; then fill with ice and lots of clear water. Drink up all you want. You can refill the pitcher with water (with the original ingredients) a few times a day; after 48 hours, ditch it, discard the solids, and start again.
It’s simple, I know, but it’s made all the difference in my days. My husband loves to come up with new combinations of spa waters (such as one with crushed, fresh cranberries and oranges; and another with cucumbers, Meyer lemons, and mint). Try celery, fennel, pears, plums, kumquats, star fruit, kiwi, strawberries, pomegranate seeds, and more.
The sight of the vibrantly colored ingredients floating in the water lifts my spirits—no matter how dark a wintry day begins. And if I feel like eating the fruit at the bottom of my glass, I do. Guilt free.
So go for it. You might not know what diet to follow, but surely you can easily add some flavor to your water and feel good about it all year long.
Now that’s a resolution I can keep.
©Copyright Sandra A. Gutierrez, 2016; All Rights Reserved. No part or whole of this blog post may be copied by any means without the express, written consent of the author.