A Healthy New Year: My Husband Takes Over // His Berry Lemon Infused Water that Helped Kick his Pop Addiction
Hello everyone, it’s me again, Mathew, aka Lauren’s husband, but I’m sure you got that from the title of this post, Lauren wrote the title.
I would like to start my blog experience this week by saying thank you to all the people that commented on my last attempt at writing, I really appreciate the comments. If you’re new to this blog you can read my first ‘take over’ here.
I would like to continue by sharing that my love for coffee continues and my computer game of choice this past month is (drum roll) Total War: Attila. This choice was driven by my on-again, off-again obsession with the history of the Roman Empire. To date, I have read two books on the history which were by Edward Gibbon and Mary Beard. I am also in the process of reading a third, The Storm Before the Storm by Mike Duncan. If you love history, I strongly encourage two podcasts from Mike Duncan, The History of Rome and Revolutions. Great listens for the drive into work.
Anyway, Lauren has warned me that her target audience probably doesn’t care too much about video games or learning about history on her blog, so I better move on. And since she is featuring healthy recipes in January, I would like to use the rest of my time with you to share a delicious drink recipe and to discuss my past addiction with pop (soda), specifically pop made with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
To start, when I was young (like 7 or 8) my parents owned a restaurant with an incredible feature: a fizzy drink gun. I utilized that fizzy drink gun to consume at least 6-10 Mountain Dews (similar to Sprite but really there is no Irish comparison) a day, seriously. After the restaurant was sold, I required my Mother to purchase at least one 24-pack of pop a week or I would get cranky (gee, I wonder why that was, but at the same time, thanks Mom, you're the best). I did not think twice about my love for fizzy drinks until I got older and realized that pop was probably not the best choice and started to cut back, but did not quite quit.
Until I moved to Ireland. The pop in Ireland is not made with HFCS, they use real sugar, and it tastes very different to me, and not a 'good different'. I have come to learn that Ireland and the UK do not use HFCS because, put simply, it’s unhealthy and extremely addictive, go figure. Therefore, I had no choice but to stop drinking pop…which was unfortunate, at first.
On my first trip back to the United States, after only two months of living in Ireland, I was not over my addiction and drank so much pop that week that I made myself sick. However, this past December on a trip home, after 17 months of Irish living, I had a pop that first day and was completely over it. Now it wasn’t the flavor, because I still love the flavor, but it was the mouth dryness I experienced afterwards. I did not remember that side effect, and did not like it…so I did not drink any more. In addition to the dryness, I noticed that my brain had a general fogginess, that I didn’t remember having since college, when I used to choose napping instead of reading my school books...
I was feeling bad about my newfound negative experience after that trip so I decided to find some sort of flavored drink to create new, more wonderful memories. I replaced my need for fizzy drinks with a need for water and I add infused waters to the mix when there is an urge for flavor (I now drink about 2000ml/70oz of water per day).
Infused water is simply water and fruit that have sat together for a while. My favorite fruits are blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries, so I added them to water and now they make up my own favorite infusion water, recipe below.
At first sip the infused water might not taste sweet enough, if this is the case, you might have a HFCS addiction like me. Do you want to be friends? But don’t worry, Lauren recommends easing infused water, or water, into your diet by continuing to drink your normal beverages, but next time you reach for your afternoon pop, drink a glass of water alongside. Don't feel guilty about your addiction but hold yourself accountable to increasing your water consumption. If all else fails, come visit us here in Ireland (where we have none) and try the infusion water when you return home.
To finish, since I like to ask my readers to become involved, I would like you to comment on your favorite fruits in the link below…or better yet, tell me about your favorite history story, just to prove my editor wrong!
The remaining text was written by Lauren, but the recipe was developed by Mathew.
Berry Lemon Infused Water
Serves 4 (10 fl oz/ 280 ml) glasses
- 1 cup (130g) of Mixed Berries (Raspberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, and/or Blackberries), organic if possible
- 1 Lemon, sliced, organic if possible
- 1.5 liters Water
- Mint to garnish
In a pitcher add clean berries and sliced lemon. Top with water. Refrigerate to infuse for at least 2 hours, overnight is preferred.
Enjoy chilled, garnish with mint if desired.
- Frozen berries work wonderfully in the recipe if fresh berries are out of season. The frozen berries also color the water more vibrantly, pictured above.
- Use organic berries and lemons if possible, since the fruit is literally soaking in your drinking water avoiding pesticide toxins is ideal.
- Recycle the berries once the water is gone! Add mixed berries to blender with your favorite smoothie ingredients and enjoy a berry smoothie.
- Mathew's infused water obsession began with Detox Waters by Geraldine Olivo, check it out if you want more ideas!
Why This Recipe is Healthy
We all know we should be drinking more water, infusing your water to elevate the flavor is a great way to spice up your water consumption, and add more nutrients. Today's recipe packs in the antioxidants, which are anti-aging. Water really is a great place to start to address many health concerns. Experiencing headaches? Drink water. Feeling dehydrated while working out? Drink water. Pesky skin rash or acne? Drink water. I recognize that water cannot cure everything but challenge yourself to drink more water, and let me know how you feel. I have a sneaky feeling it will be better!
Until next week, cheers!