Explore these simple, refreshing beverages!  It is so important to replace any sodas (even diet) with water.  Water will actually hydrate you and give you more energy.  Drinking caffeinated beverages, even ice tea will deplete your body of important nutrients.  Diet sodas, even though they are promoted as sugar free are just totally bad for your body.  Sodas are full of terrible chemicals.  I know, you're probably thinking  "so what the heck CAN I drink??" So...here are some interesting options to quench your thirst!

~Donna

Simple Water with Lime or Lemon

Adding a squeeze of lime or lemon to your water can make a world of difference.  you can use fresh squeezed lemon or lime.  Another option is  bottles of lemon and lime juice that you can use at home and even take with you to help make drinking water more enjoyable.

Infused Water

Infused water is another interesting twist to just plain water.  The key is you use only a small amount of fruit that you slightly press to let the flavor seep out into the water... you do NOT use a ton of fruit and create a concentrated fruit juice. Why?  Because even a concentrated amount of fruit juice is sugar, and it will spike your blood sugars.  That is why any fruit juices that are on the market are not recommended for diabetes.  (yes, some organizations say fruit juice is ok.. but the experts I personally rely on for accurate information say to avoid concentrated fruit juices )  Below are some ideas for infused waters!

Strawberry Infused Water

SERVINGS: 10

INGREDIENTS:

4-6 strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 lemon, sliced
Small handful of basil, scrunched
2 cups of ice
Cold filtered water

DIRECTIONS:

  • Thoroughly rinse fruit.
  • Fill pitcher with ice, strawberries, and lemon.
  • Twist basil to release flavor and put in pitcher.
  • Add filtered water.
  • Allow fruit to infuse/soak for up to an hour.
  • If you want to drink immediately, poke holes in strawberries for fruit to release flavor faster.

~Enjoy!

Citrus Infused Water

SERVINGS: 10

INGREDIENTS:

2-3 liters filtered water
2 large oranges, sliced
1 lemon, slice
½ large cucumber, sliced
1 handful of fresh mint 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Put oranges, lemon and cucumber in the water pitcher.
  • Using a long spoon, gently push down on fruits to release more flavor.
  • Add filtered water to the pitcher, and stir.
  • Drink or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

~Enjoy

Cucumber (or blackberry) and Mint Infused Water

 

SERVINGS: 6

INGREDIENTS:

6 cups chilled filtered water
12 thin slices cucumber or 1/4 cup rinse blackberries ( you can use fresh frozen if not in season)
3 sprigs of mint

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a 2- to 2 1/2-quart pitcher, combine water, cucumber ( or blackberry) and lemon.
  • Serve, or cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.
  • Add ice cubes just before serving.

~Enjoy

Blueberry and Raspberry Infused Water

SERVINGS: 10

INGREDIENTS:

¼ cup of blueberries (you can use fresh frozen berries if they are not in season)
1.4 cup of raspberries (you can use fresh frozen berries if they are not in season)
2-3 cups filtered water

DIRECTIONS:

  • Thoroughly rinse fruit.
  • In a 2- to 2 1/2-quart pitcher, add berries.
  • Add filtered water to pitcher.
  • Serve, or cover and chill.

~Enjoy!

Sparkling Water

Another way to mix things up a bit is drink sparkling water.  You can make your own, or there are actually some pretty good flavored, sparkling waters out there.  I have listed some of the brands that are sodium free and free of artificial sweetener.  You don't have to stick with just these brands I have in the picture.  There are many different brands out there, too many to list.  I just recommend you look at the actual ingredients to make sure it is free of: sodium, artificial sweetener, sugars, corn syrup

Home-Made Lemon Basil Sparkling Water

SERVINGS: 8

INGREDIENTS:

3 lemons
1 bunch basil (save a few sprigs of basil for gar­nish)
2 25 oz. bot­tles chilled sparkling water (pure, with no added flavors)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Rinse the basil, set a few sprigs aside for gar­nish.
  • Put the rest into a large pitcher or glass con­tainer.
  • Take a wooden spoon and crush some of the basil gen­tly against the side of the con­tainer-–or twist the leaves.
  • Cut 2 of the lemons into 1/8 inch slices and place in the con­tainer with the basil.
  • Pour the sparkling water into the con­tainer with the basil and lemon.
  • Juice the remain­ing lemon and pour into the water.
  • Stir and serve over ice, gar­nish drinks with a sprig of basil.

LaCroix Sparkling Water

SERVINGS: 1 can

INGREDIENTS:

Variety of flavors: Apricot, Mango, Lime, Lemon, Berry etc. infused flavor
Sodium free, caffeine free, aspartame free, sugar free sparkling water

DIRECTIONS:

  • Pop open can and enjoy over ice!

Hansen’s Sparking Water

SERVINGS: 1 can

INGREDIENTS:

Variety of flavors: Apricot, Mango, Lime, Lemon, Berry etc. infused flavor
Sodium free, caffeine free, aspartame free, sugar free sparkling water

DIRECTIONS:

  • Pop open can and enjoy over ice!

Almond Milk Hot Cocoa

Well, when it is cold outside, it is really nice to enjoy a hot beverage!  I actually found a way to make hot chocolate without the sugar!  So enjoy this warm treat without spiking your blood sugars!

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz (1 cup) Unsweetened Almond Milk
1/2 tsp unsweetened Baking Cocoa
2-3 drops Pure Stevia Extract

 DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat Almond Milk in Microwave or sauce pan (be careful not to boil).
  • Add Cocoa and stir in.
  • Add 2-3 drops Stevia to sweeten (make sure you get PURE stevia extract, with no other chemicals or ingredients. Studies have shown stevia will not raise blood sugar).

~Enjoy!