I Don't Like Water - How to Make Better Beverage Choices
I was recently asked if it is necessary to drink the recommended eight cups of water a day. Does it really have to be water? Can I just drink a 64 oz Big Gulp and call it a day? After all, eight 8 oz cups adds up to 64, though some 800 calories also comes with it.
All of those super sized lattes and iced coffee drinks, regular soda, sports drinks and energy drinks, they all come with the added bonus of calories, calories, and more calories. If you eat the recommended daily 1800 calories in food, and then consume another few hundred in drinks it adds up to pounds on the scale and inches on the waistline.
Get a small latte instead of a giant one, and have it made with skim milk, or save money and make your own at home. You can get flavored syrups to make your own coffee beverages anywhere, even at Wal-Mart, and not just the standard chocolate and strawberry. You can also get flavored powdered or liquid coffee creamer, light versions to boot, in flavors like hazelnut, mocha, French vanilla, and even eggnog and pumpkin pie come the holiday season.
Switch from regular soda to diet soda, or seltzer mixed with some juice. Make your own flavored water with herbal and fruit flavored tea bags. Put one bag in a 16 oz bottle, let it sit for about half an hour, and enjoy. Use low calorie powdered drink mixes like Crystal Light, they come in flavors like Cranberry Apple and Peach Tea.
Switch to skim milk, and do it in stages. Going from full fat, or even 2% milk to skim is a drastic change, every week buy the next percentage down, going from 2% to 1%, to 1/2%, to skim.
Do you really need that sports drink after a workout, or do you just need something with taste? Unless you are a serious athlete working out more than two hours a day you probably don’t need it, and in a few gulps your drink the calories you just worked so hard to burn off. With the adrenaline and endorphins of a good workout do you really need the rush from a sugary drink? With a balanced diet you shouldn’t need the electrolytes either.
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Lemon Garlic Chicken
- 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 3-4 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
Wisk together juice, garlic, and oil and pour over the chicken, and bake, covered, at 350°F for 45 minutes.
Makes four servings.
Nutrition information: 181.375 calories 5 grams fat, .875 grams saturated fat, 95mg cholesterol, 51.375mg sodium, 2.975 grams carbohydrates, .625 grams fiber, 1.23 grams sugar, 33.625 grams protein.
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Millet is not a grain, but actually a seed. It has a nutty taste, a little over 5 grams of protein, 12% of daily magnesium needs, B vitamins, and about four grams of fiber in a half cup serving. Millets versatility allows it to be cooked like a hot cereal or polenta (which is made from cornmeal) with a little extra liquid and a few more minutes, or it can be cooked like rice. Millet is gluten free and because it doesn’t have a strong taste it can be seasoned with just about anything. Cook it in chicken or vegetable broth (one part millet to two parts water) with some chopped onions and carrots for a pilaf, make it plain and serve it instead of rice, throw a handful into vegetable soup instead of barley, you can even serve vegetarian chili over it to make a complete protein.