Monday, March 18, 2013

What should I drink? -- Guest Post by Lydia Liu

30 Day Mediterranean Lifestyle Challenge

Lydia Lui is a senior at the University of Maryland working with LifeWork Strategies as a Community Health intern. She has a particular interest in nutrition and really enjoys food, hiking and playing all kinds of sports.  She is very excited to be a part of this 30 day challenge and is looking forward to hearing about other people’s experiences with this new diet.

In most cases, your body would be satisfied if the only beverage that you drank was water. Yet, on a typical day, two out of three U.S. adults and four out of five U.S. children gulp down sugar-sweetened beverages in too large of quantities. The USDA recommended daily allowance of sugar is 12 teaspoons for someone eating 2,200 calories per day.
The Sonoma Diet beverage options are pretty limited; they recommend coffee, tea, water and wine.  Not a huge variety—but with good reason considering drinks, such as soda, juice, lemonade, sports or energy drinks, contain approximately 10-12 teaspoons of sugar (usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup) per 12-ounce can. 

Consider making the next beverage you drink water. Your individual daily requirement may vary, but many people find it easy to remember to drink “at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of liquid each day.” By drinking about two liters of water a day along with a healthy diet, you will typically replace your lost fluids.  You may need to modify your total fluid intake depending on how active you are, your health status, and if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.
The following are some tips for reducing the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages in your diet:

  • If you are craving something sweet, it may be a sign that your body is dehydrated. Drink a glass of water and than re-evaluate your craving. You might also be satisfied to eat a whole fruit or vegetable that has a high water and fiber content. Strawberries, grapefruit, blueberries, green peas, spinach, and zucchini are low in calories and energy density. 
  • Make your own “spa water” or “agua fresco” by infusing water with fruit. Try adding lemon, lime, orange or cucumber to water to give it more appeal. You can even try adding slices of apples, grapes, or cantaloupe with some basil or mint leaves.
  • When out to eat, stick to water if possible or request non-water beverages in a “kid-sized” cup and politely decline free refills.
  • Try to avoid soda, juice and sport/energy drinks as much as possible. If you are trying to beat the soft drink habit, try seltzer water with some lemon and lime.

Another fun way to jazz up your water is with flavored ice cubes.  Use a ice cube tray or mini muffin tray, fill each cube about 2/3 full with a low sugar juice, add in a piece of fruit or two in each cube and stick in the freezer.  We like lemonade with raspberries and cranberry juice with blueberries—very refreshing!  They are easy to make and can be used through out the week.  For an even easier option, just add frozen fruit (watermelon, pineapple, mango all work great) directly to your water.

Here are some sites we like with some fun spa water and tea recipes:

No comments: