Healthy Beverages

simplesteps

I’ve encouraged you to knock out the soda/pop/coke…whatever you call it.  I’ve encouraged you to drink more water.  But is there anything you can drink besides water that isn’t bad for you?!

First, I need to remind you that if I can kick my Pepsi habit…anyone can.  I used to drink a ton of the stuff.  While it’s super hard to give it up…I can testify that it is 100% worth it. 

Now I mostly just drink water or raw milk (more about raw milk eventually in this series!).  But occasionally I do have a few other drinks that I consider to be treats:

  • Iced Green Tea   I don’t drink tea very often, but I love it as a treat if we ever eat out…or occasionally I’ll make it at home.  I drink it straight…I am not a sweet tea kind of girl.  I do like the occasional lemon wedge.  (See, I just sometimes like to go ALL out, huh?)  If you do like your tea sweetened, you might try liquid stevia or honey as natural alternatives to sugar.  Also, I’d think putting a little bit of 100% juice into the tea might be fun.

  green_tea

  • Homemade Lemonade or Limeade  Ooh, this stuff is refreshing and SO delicious (uh, if I do say so myself).  It can get a little pricey though since it’s sweetened with real maple syrup.  We have this very infrequently…definitely not often enough according to my children.

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  • Mineral Water with 100% Juice   Okay, THIS is what gives me my “soda fix”.  You know what I miss most about my Pepsi?  The burn.  I just love the fizzy burn of soda.  Loved.  Past tense.  I loved the burn of soda.  I miss the burn. Sometimes now I splurge on mineral water and put in just a shot of 100% juice (grape is my favorite).  I usually mix about one part grape juice to 4 parts mineral water.  Ooh, the burn is so good. If you’re used to drinking soda, this mixture will likely not taste at all sweet enough for you.  However, if you haven’t had soda for a while, you may find that this is just the treat you’ve been looking for.  I even find now that the less juice the better.  Of course…I’m really just going for the burn.  ;)

mineral_water

 

  • Kombucha    I’ve just recently fallen in LOVE with kombucha!  It kinda took a few weeks to make myself like it…but now I love it!  It’s a little bit fizzy and really refreshing on a hot day.  And it is a super healthy, probiotic drink! Right now, a friend of mine and I have a lovely arrangement worked out:  I buy the supplies…she makes the kombucha and shares it with me.  We both win!  Eventually (although I make no promises that it will be any time soon), I’ll try to go take pictures of her making it and share the process with you.  It isn’t hard…I’ve done it before.

Now, I am excited to share a wonderful comment that my friend Serenity left on a post several months ago.  I thought it was so awesome to read about how her husband gave up coffee…and to hear about how much BETTER HE FEELS!!!  Here’s what Serentity had to say…

My husband is an RN and had a coffee addiction for YEARS. He finally quit this winter when he got the flu and I can not believe how it has changed him. First, he is no longer tired. He was drinking coffee to stay awake (he works nights) but he has found that without caffeine he is actually much more alert and less tired. Second, right after quitting coffee he felt so good that he started exercising. Now he runs 3 times a week for 4-5 miles and lifts weights twice a week. He looks AWESOME! For the first time in our marriage he jumps out of bed each morning ready to conquer the day. For the past ten years I had been bringing him a cup of coffee every morning to wake him up and I would have to coax him out of bed. I am loving my energetic, motivated husband :)

What are some of your favorite, healthier drinks?

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Comments

  1. says

    Yep, I’m in love with Perrier, unfortunately. While I was pregnant, I was really, really craving some Sprite — I think because my mom always gave it to me when I had stomach aches when I was little. But I wasn’t supposed to be eating (or drinking!) that much sugar, of course. I wandered over to the local convenience store, ready to possibly buy some Sprite anyway, when I saw the Perrier and decided to give it a try. Love!! I know some people don’t like it, but I really like the way it tastes plain! It’s also quite good with juice, though. I just wish it weren’t so crazy expensive!

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  2. shorty says

    I am a Dr. Pepper addict..ok and a Mt Dew one too!LOL My husband and I quit about 5 weeks ago. It is amazing the difference I see in my husband. I would have to say it is VERY similar to how Serentity’s Hubs felt. My guy has started working out and he has not done that in the 15 years we have been married. He isn’t drained every day and looks SOOO much better. He always looked pale and drawn out or something.

    I didn’t’ want to quit because I have tried before and I just love my soda too much. I am like you and it is more about the burn than the actual caffeine. I am not sure why I didn’t have the same reaction to quitting as my hubs but I do feel better and I no longer have these little bumps on my arm…don’t know what those were but I assume some kind of impurity coming out of my skin. So far it is great! Now mind you I STILL crave them…well I did crave them but then we started drinking La Croix. It is sparkling water. Hubs bought a case and the fist can was nasty!lol But we bought a case! We drank another and now we love them and I no longer crave Dr. Pepper. It was torture when I saw billboards with ads for DP because it looked sooo refreshing. Now I have to say that the sparkling water is much more so! When we go to restaurants that have a bar I ask for soda water with lemon and it is awesome! I am super thankful for this treat because I just don’t know how I would have been able to hold off that craving much longer. I really do think I can stay away from soda from now on…don’t want it and hubs REALLY doesn’t want it. He would have been fine without a replacement. He hated how he felt and hated it even more when he felt better, if that makes sense. Sorry so long! I am thankful for the story you have told to us giving us hope that we can stop drinking soda.
    Shorty

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  3. says

    Oh, PHEW! I thought I was the only crazy person on earth who DOESN’T love Kombucha! I might have to try more than a few sips now that I hear your side! I thought there must be something wrong with me!

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  4. says

    I gave up HFCS and carbonation – meaning my life-long addiction to Coke – 3 years, 2 months, and 2 days ago… not that I’m counting.

    The reason? I had a diagnosis of osteoporosis when I was 36 years old and learned that both HFCS and carbonation inhibit the absorption of calcium. Kinda like shooting an osteoporotic girl in both feet, huh?!

    I couldn’t have done it without iced tea. I drink it straight, too. Just do NOT do sweetened iced tea – *shudder*, although I do one cup of hot teach each morning with a bit of honey to get my day started.

    When I first kicked the Coke habit I relied entirely on Tazo Zen. Nowadays, it’s iced English Breakfast. I tell you – a total blessing kicking that horrible habit and I’m so proud of myself – after dozens of failed attempts – to find that not only could I do it, but that I’m not even tempted (well, for the most part!) to go back.

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  5. Tahlia says

    I love raw milk and I enjoy green tea every now and then …other than that it’s the occasional orange juice and then the ever-present well water. =)

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  6. Anna B says

    For me it’s all about the tea – in fact, at one time I was drinking so much ice tea that I switched to decaf just to avoid dehydration!! I still drink decaf ice tea a lot – it’s cold and yummy and since it’s decaf it’s just like drinking water, right?

    I like a couple cups of good black loose-leaf tea in the morning – I know, it’s caffeine, but it IS less than coffee!! And my second cup is a re-brew of the same leaves, which I’ve heard has a LOT LESS caffeine than the first brew. Like you, Laura, I drink it straight – no sweetner, no flavor, just good tea.

    My friends teased me once when we were having brownies as a snack – they said, “Who drinks ice tea with brownies? Oh, yeah, that would be Anna.” LOL!

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  7. Kellie says

    I think I’m weird because I have never liked soda. Ever. Maybe I should consier myself lucky for that :) Really, the only thing I really want to drink is water. I don’t care for tea or coffee. Juice is ok, but I prefer water. I guess my big splure is once in a great while, I’ll dunk cookies in milk. Aren’t I exciting?

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  8. says

    I love tea. I use the loose leaf tea, some has caffeine some not. I’m not sure how “healthy” it is but very refreshing. Peach passion is my favorite. I quiet drinking sodas two years ago and I also miss the “burn”. Will have to try the mineral water. Thanks a bunch!

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  9. says

    I love cheap club soda with cranberry juice. Its that carbonation kick that hits the spot. And I’ve been weaning myself off of sweet tea. I like it unsweetened now.

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  10. says

    Instead of maple syrup to sweeten lemonade, I make a syrup out of sucanat (which I buy in bulk) and water. It makes it look pretty dark, but it tastes pretty good.

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  11. elizabeth says

    A spoon of raw honey is great in iced tea. I can’t stand green tea though. Black tea only for me :)

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  12. Linda says

    We occasionally have Izzie naturally carbonated fruit juice ‘soda’.

    We drink a lot of decaf green tea. I drink a little bit of coffee every morning(not even 2 cups). Not giving up my coffee or my sweet tea!

    Linda

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  13. Allison says

    I love dhalle. This is plain yogurt mixed with water. Then shaken so that the two combine well. You can add a bit of salt if you like. We make our own, but they sell it everywhere here(Albania). There is nothing more refreshing on a hot day. It works the best made with homemade yogurt.

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  14. Erin says

    Very interesting post. Since first doing my cleanse, and then moving to eating real foods, I haven’t had a soda (about 3 months). Now we weren’t daily drinkers of soda, but it was getting out of hand, about 4-5 times a week. I don’t have any desire to have some. Now, I drink more water, and I crave it.

    The same goes for coffee. I used to drink it a lot, every morning. And I had to put a lot of flavored creamer in it (usually french vanilla), about 1/2 coffee to 1/2 creamer. Now, I have the coffee maker put away since we don’t make it at home anymore. This weekend, the girls woke us up early, so we went for mochas, by afternoon we both were crashing so bad that we had to get more coffee. Not how I want to feel everyday.

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  15. says

    If you’ve ever grown mint (there are all kinds of it), you know it grows quickly and spreads. A friend showed me how she always picks the mint leaves, crushes them a bit to release the flavor and then puts them in a pitcher, loads ice and water in the pitcher and voila–you have a mint water. I drink it all the time now. It’s refreshing, caffine free and makes me feel like I’m drinking something other than just water.
    Find a friend w/some mint and ask her to share and soon YOU’LL have plenty to share:-)

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    Robbin Reply:

    Wow…what a great idea. I have tons of mint. Thank you!

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  16. Julia says

    This is awesome! I have gotten into the terrible habit of drinking DP within the last couple of years. I love it but am confident that it has led to my severe lack of energy…and possibly even those mood swings. I tried several months ago to quit and did so (cold turkey) but about 6 weeks later, I was out, tired, in need of a lift and picked up a DP. This post and the comments have encouraged me to stop once again…I say while drinking a DP and sad that I am at the end of the glass!

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    Stephanie M Reply:

    It’s hard to quit DP, but keep working on it. After you haven’t had it for awhile, you might get a urge for it and give in. Then you’ll really notice how bad the stuff is for you. It’s GROSS. I had one because I thought I “needed” it about two months after giving the stuff up. I took one swig and spit it out. TOO syrupy, sweet, and fake tasting. Use the ideas on here and gather an arsenal of new favorite drinks to love. You’ll definitely feel better, as people are testifying on here.

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  17. Stephanie M says

    We also gave up soda about four months ago and I am still working on giving up coffee. I used to drink my mocha daily and now I’m down to about one a week. My hubby and I are feeling MUCH better (and we’ve lost weight!). We have a few new favorite drinks (although we’re now trying to drink half our weight in ounces). Tazo’s Wild Sweet Orange tea with a tiny bit of stevia is WONDERFUL (both hot and iced!). We also make a “orange creme soda” using mineral water and a few drops of vanilla creme stevia and valencia orange stevia. Bought both on Amazon for pretty cheap and free shipping (after I also purchased Veggie Wash). We both still have our sweet tooths but we’re working on cutting out the sugar/sweets! Thanks for encouraging us to live healthier and eat REAL food! :-)

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    Stephanie M Reply:

    Whoops. Meant we’re drinking more water (half our weight in ounces). Example, I weigh 170, so I’m drinking 85 ounces of water a day (trying to, at least!).

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  18. Teresa says

    Thank you for the encouragement! I’m trying to cut Pepsi out of my diet and it’s been the toughest thing for me. I’m not a water fan, but I’ve been drinking 4-6 glasses a day. Sometimes I just need something different so I appreciate the suggestions.

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  19. says

    I gave up diet coke several months ago (it feels like it’s been longer than 7 months, but I guess not). For me, it was not the burn as much as it was the SWEET. Besides diet coke, I was addicted to a big ole glasses of sweet ice tea (made with 4 sweet and lows – acgk!) but a couple of months ago, I realized I needed to give up the artificial sweetners and sweet tea too.

    My mom recently introduced me to herbal flavored teas, and I’m so happy now to have a healthy choice that tastes good. My favorite is peach tea with a bit of truvia in it. It’s proof that you CAN re-train your taste buds, because I never EVER would have wanted to drink barely sweetened peach ice tea in those former days. It’s taken all these months to wean myself off needing/wanting my drink to be SO sweet, and it’s still not QUITE the same, but it works!

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  20. Heather says

    I gave up sodas a few months back – I used to drink a caffeine-free diet Coke every night as my “treat” to avoid eating junk food – LOL, if I’d only realized the junk I was replacing it with. Anyway, I am fine with water and milk, but my hubby gets tired of plain, and last week brought home the Kool-Aid which – AAAAHHHH! (That’s all I’m going to say about that) Anyway, I’m excited to try some of the ideas listed above. We aren’t tea or drinkers, but I’m definitely going to try some of the others.

    My favorite “treat” beverage lately is watermelon smoothies: I fill the blender with watermelon, squeeze 1/2-1 lime in it, sweeten it to taste and add ice. Really refreshing drink on a hot day, and not as messy for my kids as handing them a wedge of the fruit.

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  21. Carmen says

    We mostly drink decaf unsweetened iced-tea. (Apricot decaf tea from Market Spice mixed 50/50 w/Red Rose decaf… yum!) My DH got me a home-carbonator from “The Pop Shoppe” when I was pregnant and craving soda with my youngest. Now we use it to make “fizzy” apple juice and grape juice for the kids, maybe three or four times a week. (DH’s family has a grape farm; family friends have an orchard). It’s quite popular with young guests, too! I stick with the iced tea; I’m an addict.

    Great post!

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  22. Heather says

    Question: Stevita has flavored drink mixes – my guess is it is their take on Crystal Light. Anyone tried this? What is your take on whether or not this is a good drink option?

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    Rachelle Reply:

    I just did my post about the Stevita and then read yours. We have tried the orange, the grape and the chocolate. The kids love it. I’ve heard that the cherry flavor is the best, but I haven’t tried that one yet. The grape has a bit of a bitter aftertaste, but it’s not that bad. The orange is pretty good, I think. The chocolate is great for making chocolate milk. Now whenever the kids want chocolate milk, I gladly give it to them!

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  23. Sharon says

    I love kombucha! I make mine with the continuous brewing system which makes it super easy. It’s really good if you bottle it a second time and add lemon and ginger. It has a wonderful flavor and is extra fizzy. I have some brewing right now.

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  24. Rachelle says

    I have recently discovered two beverages that I am very excited about. First is Teecino. It’s advertised as a caffeine free, healthy coffee substitute. It can be brewed like coffee, but it does not taste like coffee at all (at least the flavors I have tried) but it is SO good and mostly organic. I think of it as a sophisticated hot chocolate for grown ups (but only chocolate flavored if that’s the flavor you choose). I put cream in it like I did my coffee and, yum! I’ve slowly stopped craving coffee and enjoy this drink in place of dessert sometimes. The other drink is from a company called Stevita and they make several flavored drink mixes that are similar to KoolAid but sweetened with Stevia and it doesn’t contain any of the artificial ingredients that are in most drink mixes. My kids love it and I’m happy to say that (per 2 qts made) it is a lot less expensive than juice even when I can get juice on sale and with coupons!

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    Heather Reply:

    Thanks Rachelle – I just saw these on Azure Standard’s website yesterday and was wondering about them.

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  25. rachel says

    I really like water kefir soda. It is really awesome. It did take me a little time to get used to it but now I just love it. I usually ferment it a second time with a little grape juice. 24 hours each ferment.

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  26. Carmen says

    I love Pepsi. For me it’s the sugary-caramel flavor that I miss.

    Being pregnant, I gave it up a few months ago. I quit all sodas for a while – until the nausea hit and then I brought 7up back into my diet. Now I’ve almost completely weeded that out too.

    I decided it wasn’t worth the hassle of figuring out which herbal teas I could/could not have – although I might try harder once the weather gets cold.

    My big consumption has been water. I’ve found that as long as I have ICE cold water, I can drink it all day long. I’ve started bringing ice cubes in a bag to work so I have a ready supply.

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