Thursday, August 9, 2012

Summer Water

We are big water drinkers around here. I definitely love an occasional cup of coffee or tea, but I have never been a fan of what we Midwesterners call "pop", or any of the other gimicky drinks that are on the market today that magically give you energy, help you focus, make you lose weight, cure a hangover, etc. We need even more of it here in CO because we are at a higher elevation. I know I don't keep up as much as I should and my body can really tell when it hasn't had enough water.

Most of us know our bodies are comprised of 60-70% water which means we need to replenish often to keep an optimal level of hydration. Dehydration can cause dry skin, dry mouth, sleepiness, constipation, headaches, weakness, dizziness and more. In fact, we often mistake being dehydrated with feeling hungry so instead of recognizing that our body is thirsty for water, we fill it with unnecessary calories and are still left feeling like something is missing. Drinking a glass of water when your body is having a craving for food is a great way to not only get more water, but to put a curb on your cravings. 

I personally love good old fashioned water, but I realize that many people want some sort of flavoring. Well, what better way to flavor your water than with the abundance of fruit and herbs that grow in the summer? I always make flavored water when I have company over and showcase it in a big glass water dispenser (it looks just as good as it tastes...great way to add some elegance to your next party!) So after having some neighbors over the other night, the next day when my son was asking for juice for the third time (I try to limit his juice to one diluted cup a day), I thought, why don't I always have flavored water on hand? My son loves it so we can maybe even eliminate juice in the summer. I love it and might actually drink more water. And I always have an abundance of fruit in the fridge and herbs in the garden. So far I have been adding a sliced lemon, several watermelon slices and several sprigs of mint because watermelon is cheap and we can rarely finish a whole one. Plus I have mint growing like crazy. I think any fruit would do though, especially if you have a huge supply of fresh picked berries. Just smash a handful up in the bottom. Cucumbers and cantaloup would also be good along with rosemary and basil. I will definitely be playing around with some combinations. For starters, here is what we have currently been doing but don't be afraid to get creative!

1 lemon washed and sliced
2-4 slices of watermelon
3-4 stalks of mint
1 large pitcher
filtered water

Put the sliced lemon, watermelon and mint into the pitcher. Add water and refrigerate. We were going through it so fast that I was just adding more water to the pitcher whenever we poured some. I will toss the fruit and start over after two days in the fridge.

Bottoms up!