A huge part of living a healthy lifestyle is focused on what you eat in a day. If you want to see what I eat in a day, I wrote a whole post with some of my favorite, easy, few ingredient recipes that you can find here. Although, what you eat is only half the equation.
Why What You Drink is So Important?
Most sodas, juices, sports, and energy drinks go over the recommended daily intake of 25g of sugar a day. Thats in one single beverage. Add that to even the healthiest diet of fruits and veggies, which have natural sugars in them, and you'll be lucky if you don't take in almost twice the amount sugar that you should that day.
To some people, that means you have to drop all the sugary drinks for the recommended 9-13 cups of water and never have a flavored drink again. Water isn't the only healthy option though. (Of course, drink the recommended amount of water. As MindBodyGreen lays out, theres so many benefits to it)
Heres how I stop my craving for sugary drinks without giving up the flavor flav and some of the health benefits from it:
As soon as I wake up, I like to drink a glass of room temperature water (I know, gross, I'll explain) with lemon. When you drink cold water, your blood vessels shrink, restricting digestion. Hydration is hindered and it is more difficult for the body to break down food because of this. Your body doesn't have to work as hard if you drink room temperature water instead. Squeezing half of a lemon into your water, doesn't only make the water a little less plain, but also gives you a pretty big dose of vitamin C which helps boost the immune system, give you clearer skin, and improves digestion which helps to get rid of morning bloat.
Whenever I end up having breakfast, whether its an hour later or not till almost noon, I'll make a smoothie. Its something that takes less than 10 minutes to make but is packed full of nutrients. I usually add a full banana, strawberries, blueberries, greek yogurt, and ice to my smoothies. A Magic Bullet makes for super easy clean-up. If you need more smoothie ideas or fool proof recipes, check out my Pinterest board dedicated to easy smoothie recipes.
I like to get a lot of my daily water intake at lunch. Infused water is like those drink mix packets without all the sugar. It tastes light and refreshing (especially in the summer months). I have my own basil plant at home, so my infused water usually includes strawberries cut in half, lemon or cucumber slices, and some leaves off my basil plant. Infused water is like smoothies though. There's a hundred different ways you can make it so you're bound to find a combination you like. Check out my other Pinterest board dedicated to simple (3 ingredients or less) infused water recipes.
With dinner, and sometimes again before bed, I like to have a glass of tea (without caffeine or added sugar). If you hate the taste of it plain (because it does take some getting used to) try adding a small amount of honey or milk to. In the warmer months I add ice after making it to bring it back to room temperature. In the colder months, I keep it warm. Again, you have a lot of options when it comes to tea. Experts boast that green tea has the most benefits including reducing the risk of a number of major health problems such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's, cardiovascular disease, and helps you loose weight lowering your risk of obesity. If you hate green tea though, don't worry. Almost every type of tea has a number of health benefits to it.