Archive for Drinks

Fun With Watermelon

I realized today that one of my favorite things about Summer is having watermelon.

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy this pretty and yummy and refreshing fruit.

I used to not like the fact that watermelons can be so big and heavy, but then I discovered mini watermelons! It’s really no wonder why I love the mini watermelons better. They’re small 🙂 The mini watermelons are so much more manageable, too. This was like discovering a small box of gems.

Small Watermelon

 

Watermelons make me think of my beloved Grandma. When I was a little girl, she’d affectionately tease in Spanish that I seriously must have melon head because I would tear up so easily. She’d say “Cabeza de Melon!”. ♥♥♥

Ripe Watermelon

So how’d we end up with this pretty mini ripe watermelon that was ready to eat? We just knocked on it.

Picking out watermelons is kinda fun. If you don’t yet know how to pick ’em, now you do. You just knock all over them. You should hear a nice knock of a sound. It should sound hollow and crisp, with an slight echo,even. It shouldn’t sound like a thud. Your knuckles should bounce off the watermelon. If a watermelon is ready, it should make you want to play the drums on it. 🙂 !

Now this baby right here is a knock out.

Summer Watermelon

I diced up the watermelon, fit it into a glass, and decided to add some color. How about some yellow? Yellow is a summer color, right?

Watermelon & Lemon

I ended up with a watermelon & lemon fresh summer drink. I added just a wee bit of honey to it, added ice and it was so refreshing. Fun with watermelon!

Watermon Lemon Juice

You can add alcohol to this one, like Tequila and consider adding soda or seltzer water and turn it into a sexy little summer cocktail.

Simple and sweet, because …. it’s the little things.

P.s. on one last note, I found this wonderful post  on some of the health benefits of watermelons. I’m sharing it because I’m an experienced believer in the health benefits of eating alkaline foods.

Juicing with Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Is So So Good

Along with the lifestyle change of low carb and low sugar eating, this household has also been experimenting with juicing. Now I’ve mentioned before how much we love drinks around here but I’ve never been too into smoothies, nor am I particularly into fruit juices.

As for smoothies, they seem to always taste too sweet and fruit juice has never tasted like fruit to me. The juices I’ve actually enjoyed are Aguas Frescas. Aguas Frescas is Fresh Waters in espaÑol. I grew up with Agua de Sandia (watermelon), Agua de Fresa (strawberry) and Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus). There’s more than that, but these are my faves. Basically, these aguas frescas are fresh fruit juice mixed in with sugar, water, seeds, and sometimes soda water. I don’t know that they are the healthiest, but at least they taste fresh.

My mom and dad had a juicer growing up, so we always had fresh orange juice, apple juice, carrot juice and I’m sure other green stuff I didn’t drink back then. I don’t know why I never thought of getting a juicer before my Mother suggested it. She got to thinking about getting a new one after a woman told her how much weight she lost just juicing.

The juicer we have is a Breville BJE200XL Compact Juice Fountain 700 Watt Juice Extractor for just $100 bucks. Check it out here on Amazon. This is it here.

Image of Breville BJE200XL Compact Juicer

Life has gotten so sweet since our introduction to this juicer. It’s compact which I love. It’s pretty quiet. The price point is right on. And the juice is sooooo yummy! I make easy fresh fruit and veggie drinks that taste out of this world and go straight to the blood stream. All I have to do is cut up the fruits and veggies and in the shoot they go. I give the pulp that’s left over in the juicer carrousel thingy to my pups, mixed in with their hard food.

Honestly, the juice is addicting. Who knew! Drinking veggies like kale, celery, spinach, carrots, beets, ginger or whatever greens I want is really delish. It’s filling and can even replace a meal if I wanted. I actually miss drinking the juice when I don’t drink any for a few days. Crazy!

I don’t claim to know the health science behind juicing, but I do know how much better I feel since making fresh juice and veggie drinks. It’s also pretty neat to see my husband enjoying them, too, especially since he’s been a grocery packaged fruit juice drinker since he was a kid. He’s actually making and enjoying the fresh fruits juices now. I haven’t gotten him to drink the veggie drinks though … well, not yet. Even if he only drinks fresh fruit juices, it’s still a healthier move than drinking a packaged fruit juice.

Image of Beet Juice

Bowl of Fruit and Vegetables

 

Juices can be very simple or more elaborate. Because I’m a simple gal, I either mix fruits and veggies based on colors or I just make a simple 2-3 ingredient juice, like apples, oranges and lemon.

And just to put it out there, if you are on a low carb low sugar lifestyle, you might think fresh juices or juicing is like a contraindication. Not necessarily. I am a firm firm believer in Balance. It is so important to monitor yourself whenever making changes to your diet or lifestyle. Introducing new things should be viewed as an experimental process. When I drink a veggie juice at night,  I often don’t feel the need to eat a full on meal, but I do know that the next morning it’s going to be important for me to eat something with lots of protein and probably fiber to ensure I get good long lasting energy. If I have a fresh fruit juice, I watch what other sugars I’m eating through out the day. I check in with myself to see how I’m feeling.

Lots of life is made up of wee compromises. Those small decisions for this or that are actually moving us towards balance. The changes that we’ve been making in our home are beginning to show just that.

Image of Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Bowl

Low Carb Low Sugar Starbucks Drink

We’ve recently begun a low carbohydrate and low sugar lifestyle. We’ve been doing it for about two months now. We each had good reasons to finally just do it.

It’s not always easy, sometimes we get cravings or sometimes we are in situations where it gets hard to choose something low-carb, low sugar. Overall, though, we are making really good progress and I’m proud of us!

My husband and I are both drink lovers. We can really appreciate a fine beverage. For us, drinks have always been a satisfying way to treat ourselves. We’ve considered them desserts on many occasions. Needless to say, we are fans of the major coffee houses — Peet’s, Starbucks, and we have a special place in our heart for Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Why? Mostly because they have all these yummy coffee combination drinks.

Since our low carbohydrate/low sugar lifestyle change, we’ve been missing some of our Starbucks favorites. I’ve been finding myself googling all the nutritional content of the Starbucks drink that I’m craving only to have my smile turned upside down.

But then I found Low Carb Layla: How to order Low Carb at Starbucks.

In her post, she suggested something I’d never heard of — substituting the milk for heavy whipping cream. She also suggests opting for the sugar free syrups that they have. How come I never thought of that? Well, it’s because I didn’t know that you could customize a Starbucks drink so much. And maybe if I did know that, I  wouldn’t even know where the heck to begin my customizing or how to order (you know Starbuck speak). This is why the Low Carb Layla post was so helpful to me.

I took her suggestions and asked for my first customized Starbucks order. I warned the barista that I was trying something new. I asked for a Grande Sugar Free Cinnamon Dolce Latte with Heavy Whipping Cream instead of milk and whip cream on the top. I reiterated that I meant heavy whipping cream and not whip cream. The cashier was like, “so basically you’re getting a skinny cinnamon dolce latte, right?” To which I was like, “uhhhh, I don’t know, this is new for me, is that what I’m getting?” I think she probably needed to know what the heck to type into her cash box. Whateva! As long as I got Sugar Free in there and Heavy Whipping Cream in there, I’m easy! [probably not anymore with my customized personalized special starred starbucks order] :).

So, this is what the Iced Grande Sugar Free Cinnamon Dolce Latte with Heavy Whipping Cream no whip on top looks like:

 

 

 

Image of Starbucks Iced Latte

 

What I learned for next time – go with a Tall because the heavy cream really does make it heavy. I couldn’t finish the Grande. Another reason to get a Tall over a Grande is that the aim is to keep carbs low; a grande is still low at about 6 carbs per 1 oz of heavy cream, but if you’re watching your carbohydrate intake then you’d feel better with a Tall.  Another thing – because the cream was so heavy, I think that it overtook the coffee flavor. Next time I’d go with double shot in the tall to make sure I get that roasted coffee bean flavor I love so much.

The thing I really liked about this drink was that it was a robust filling drink. Yeah, it didn’t have that Frappucino texture but it was also a nice change to a basic no frills iced coffee (which I what I normally have to get my thrills these days).