4 Ways To Jazz Up Plain Water


Add fresh herbs to water for a flavorful, calorie-free treat

You know you should drink more water. But plain water? It’s so boring. Especially when you’re surrounded by a sea of tempting beverages. So what are some homemade alternatives to regular H20? Here are some ideas that can help the Lehmans drink more water–and you, too.

Try Iced Tea. Boil water and make a super concentrated batch of tea. Let it steep and cool a little, then add cold water to reach your desired flavor level.

Create Your Own Flavors. I mix peach tea with green tea or blueberry tea with black tea. Since most fruit teas are herbal blends, you’re adding health benefits by mixing in green, black or white tea bags. But you can make all herbal blends too. Try combining blueberry and peach tea or raspberry and lemon.

Get Garden-Fresh Water. Fresh herbs give a ton of flavor to water. I use fresh mint. Also try adding fresh produce, such as cucumber slices or fresh berries. Drop them into a pitcher of water and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before drinking to get maximum taste.

Put Coffee on Ice. Use decaf coffee to prevent the dehydrating affects of caffeine. To keep the calories down, go easy on the sugar and cream. Instead pour in some skim milk and a drop of vanilla extract for flavor. Or make your iced coffee from freshly brewed flavored coffee.

How do you add some pizzazz to plain water? Post a comment and let me know!

Through her Des Moines-based nutrition company, SK Health Communications, registered dietitian Stephanie Karpinske writes and develops recipes for magazines, books, supermarkets and food companies. She is the author of Read Before Dieting: Your 4-Step Plan for Diet Success and writes a blog about healthy eating, foodnuti.com. She’s coaching the Lehman family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.

Tiffany, Week 5: The Last Supper (Kind Of)

the lehmans

This past weekend Andy and I enjoyed every sip of wine or beer we had. . . maybe a little too much. But we weren’t celebrating anything. Here’s what happened.

On our weekly call with our nutritionist, Stephanie Karpinske, I had a feeling the next challenge was going to be related to water. I started thinking, “Oh this is going to be easy.” We can drink anyone under the table when it comes to water! Personally, I drink a gallon or more a day. I crave it! I have to have it! Also, I do drink coffee (about 20 ounces a day) but the rest of the day it’s water. About three times a month I’ll treat myself to a Diet Mountain Dew but that’s really it.

People think I’m nuts when I tell them how much water I drink. I get comments like, “How do you get anything done?” and “How many trips to the ladies room do you make in a day?” Lets just say that I’m well hydrated and my skin looks good as a result.

Andy doesn’t drink as much as me but I’m sure he’s not far behind. Anna drinks on average about 50 ounces and Jack around 35 ounces. The kids drink milk (Jack has rice milk) and water that’s about it. We are not big on soda or juice. That’s just who we are.

So back to the call with our nutritionist. Stephanie asked me if I had any ideas on what the next challenge would be and I belted out: “Water!” I’m walking around while talking to her almost dancing because I’m thinking we are so going to win this next challenge.

“The other family doesn’t drink nearly as much water as yours does,” she said. “But they don’t consume the amount of wine and beer that you do either.” (For the record, the kids don’t drink wine and beer, only us parents). “So their challenge is to increase the amount of water they consume and yours is to keep your water up and drink as little wine and beer as possible,” Stephanie revealed. SAY WHAT?????? OK so I’m not dancing around the room anymore.

Stephanie tells me on the call that the challenge starts on Monday so enjoy the weekend because it’s on like Donkey Kong after that. (OK, I said that last part, not her). So we took the weekend and Andy and I enjoyed our wine and beer. But now the challenge is on.

This challenge is equally as difficult as the last but in its own way. I am kind of embarrassed to talk about this because I don’t want to seem like we’re lushes because we’re not. We just love wine and beer and it’s a way for us to unwind, makes the food taste better and it’s great conversation.

But I will admit that the amount we consumed in the past was not a “healthy” level. I’m learning that we can still have our wine and beer and enjoy it as much as before just not as much volume-wise. With hundreds of calories in each glass, wine can pack on the pounds.

Would you be willing to give up alcohol to lose weight? Post a comment and let me know.