Don't Drink Your Calories

It's advice well taken, especially if you're trying to watch your weight.  I've never been a big juice or sugared soda drinker, but in college I was a big alcohol consumer, and all those calories caused me to reach maximum density.  After college, when I began to diet by counting calories, it quickly became clear that if I wanted to put more food in my mouth, I didn't want to blow 150 calories or more on a drink.  So I quit drinking alcohol, and I quit drinking any sort of caloric beverage. 

So I drank water, Diet Coke and coffee.  I used to be a BIG Diet Coke fan.  I drank a lot of it - for the caffeine and for the taste, and I loved that it had no calories.  And although I'd use a bit of skim milk in my coffee, I always sweetened it with Sweet-n-Low.

Now, though, I no longer drink coffee and I try not to drink any artificially-sweetened drinks, either (although I confess to a continued love affair with Diet Coke from the fountain.  Once in a while I have to give into that temptation).  So . . . what do I drink?

Water and tea.  That's pretty much it!  I have a juicer and once in a while I do juice, but mostly vegetables.  I hardly ever drink alcohol - I don't get that much pleasure out of it, and there are some good studies that suggest that drinking booze is not such a great idea for women in terms of raising breast cancer risk. 

Water:  I don't drink 8 glasses a day, I let thirst be my guide.  A lot of diet guides tell you to drink a lot of water, and I have to say that frankly, I have never noticed that my weight loss is affected by water consumption.  It's good to be hydrated, and if you're not drinking other stuff, you'll likely end up drinking enough water without being regimented about it.

Tea:  My default hot tea, what I drink every morning and throughout the day for a lift when it's cool outside, is an organic green "gunpowder" tea from Special Teas.  It's bold, and it's got a lot of caffeine.  When the weather gets warmer, I make iced tea in this glass pitcher made by Bodum.  I've had it for a couple of years and it's held up well - has a stainless insert so that you can brew loose tea.  Special Teas has a great assortment of flavored loose teas to choose from.  One of my favorites is Japanese Cherry, and this year I've made a lot of the Ginger Peach Apricot.  I make iced tea every night while I clean up the kitchen, pop it in the fridge, and by the morning it's cold and ready to drink.  I usually drink a pitcher myself over the course of a day - the only downside of this thing is that it's not big enough to share!