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12 Refreshing, Healthy Summer Drinks

TeendrinkingWater_400Put down that saccharin-sweet diet soda, bid goodbye to the calorie-laden whole-milk café mocha. Sip something healthier and low-cal with one of these ideas from The FastBeach Diet.

• Vanilla tea—hot or chilled. Add a slice or two of fresh ginger root.

• Coconut water—a good alternative to sports drinks, it’s natural and low in sugar (it still has 83 calories per 11 ounces, though, so go easy).

• If tap water doesn’t turn you on, buy a water filter and keep a jug of filtered water in the fridge, perhaps with added slices of lemon, lime, mint, lemongrass, basil leaves, or cucumber.

• Chilled herbal tea—try peppermint tea over ice with crushed fresh mint leaves. Iced cranberry and pomegranate tea are great too—keep them in the fridge and serve with slices of fresh orange.

• Hot water with lemon and ginger; or with cloves, lemongrass, or even a slice of red chili peppers.

• Green tea—plenty of people believe in the fatbusting, antioxidant power of green tea. But all you really need to absorb is that it has virtually no calories, and about half the caffeine of coffee.

• The same goes for Chinese pu-er tea, which comes in cake form, to be crumbled into boiling water. Devotees speak of its capacity to reduce cholesterol and raise the metabolic rate; again, the jury’s out—but if you enjoy it, dive right in.

• Virgin mojito, made with soda, mint, lime, and a bruised lemongrass stalk to stir. Serve on the rocks in a tall glass.

• Homemade lemon iced tea—make a tea of your choice (English breakfast can’t be beaten), chill, add lemon or orange slices, or a squeeze of juice and thin tendrils of the zest. Add a teaspoon of agave if you need a little sweetener.

• No-added sugar cordials diluted with still or sparkling water. Freeze diluted elderflower cordials into popsicles or ice cubes to have on hot days.

• Iced black coffee—simply pour espresso over ice cubes and sip.

• At bedtime, if sleep is elusive, try warm skim milk with nutmeg, a dash of vanilla extract, and a cinnamon stick to stir.


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