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Switch: The Soda Edition

For some, it’s an excitingly strong urge to eat healthy, go on a diet, exercise with the goal of attaining the perfect summer bikini body; for others, it’s that glorious epiphany triggered by the doctor’s report or a sudden bout of sickness. Whatever the motive, you’ve been in this place before.The excitement that comes with threading new grounds for the summer body pursuers, eventually dies down after a few days of eating truck loads of veggies and “healthy meals” they can’t maintain or even afford. They’d rather go hungry or yield to those crazy cravings and all the temptations jumping out at them. And there goes the diet.

A sudden change in diet does not really sit well with your system. It is used to the things you’ve been eating in your twenty plus years and it will take some amount of grit and effort to make that change. Allow me to give a suggestion, a few maybe.

First accept that to see results, some things have to go, some have to be reduced and new things will be introduced. Don’t be too hard on yourself but embrace the change remembering that it comes with the results.

Explore different meals that fall in line with your diet and find the ones that excite your taste buds! It also helps to be excited about what you are eating.

Introduce new meals gradually and over time, replace some of the unhealthy meals with healthy ones. Take it one ingredient at a time, one product at a time and in no time you will have a complete diet change!

It’s not easy. This will take a lot of research and exploring and try-outs to accomplish…..but we are here to help! Let’s explore new meals and “replacements” together.

In this edition, we start with the drinks! What are some of your unhealthy drink addictions? Share with us in the comments.

Water

What should you replace soda with? Water!  Water should be your best friend! 

When you think of drinking a really cold bottle of soda (Coke, Fanta, Rush, Malt, LaCasera, etc) replace it with a cool bottle of water. I won’t come and act like it’s going to be an easy thing to do, but replace as much of your soda with water. It’s relatively cheap and you can find it almost anywhere!

If you’re looking for something a little more fizzy and flavourful, you can explore some flavoured water (homemade preferably). Here’s how: add some fresh mint leaves and lemon slices/wedges to a bottle/jug of water and let it sit overnight in the fridge so the flavour diffuses into your water and viola! You can also try this with some of your favorite fruits and veggies (oranges, melon, cucumber, passion fruit, apples,ginger etc). 

*Any regular drinking/serving jug at home will do

Another way to go about this is to chop up some of your favorite fruits in an ice cube tray, fill it with some water and pop them in the fridge. Just put a few cubes in your water, and you have yourself something tasty and refreshing.

*You can get some silicone ice cube trays/ molds- to make it easy to take out the ice- at Palace HyperMarket at the Flowerpot Junction on the Spintex Road or any of the Melcom Stores in Accra; otherwise your regular ice tray will do just fine! You can get fruits from any of your local vendors .

P.S: I encourage a lot of homemade, freshly made,natural meals over the processed ones.

Fresh Juice

You can also replace your soda with freshly squeezed or blended fruit juice. I find these a much easier supplement especially when you use naturally sweet fruits like pineapples, some oranges, mangoes. You can add a tinge of flavour and spice to them with ginger, passion fruit or mint. Be extra careful with store-bought fruit juices that claim to be 100% fruit; some of them are filled with preservatives. How would you know? Check the content and the expiry date. Regular fruits don’t last too long when ripe, you don’t expect the juice to last any longer than the ripe fruit would. 

For the veggie lovers, you can make fresh vegetable juice with some of your favorite vegetables. You can also mix them with fruits as a sweetener. Be cautious of the mixtures you make, not all mixtures are healthy. Some fruits that make your veggies taste sweet are pawpaws, apples and dates (you can get dates in some local stores/stalls, you can also check Max Mart or Palace Hypermart*)

Get you fresh pressed fruit juices from us! No sugar, no preservatives, just pure local fruit. It can be delivered as well. Order online or call +233205182360

Teas

Teas can also be a fun replacement for soda. You can drink your tea hot or iced. Depending on what makes you excited, explore the different herbal teas: moringa, mint, ginger, lemon, chamomile, orange, green, black,etc. Avoid a lot of sugar and artificial sweeteners in your teas. How about we replace the sugars with pure honey? If you’re still looking for something cold, you can make some warm tea of your choice, add honey, and pop it in the freezer or add a lot of ice to make it cold and….there you have it -iced tea!

*Aside the popular tea brands on the market, here are some recommended tea brands in Ghana (If they don’t sell the tea bags, they have the dried herbs, which you can infuse or sieve out after boiling): Guaman Infusions, Minga Foods, Skin Gourmet and Spriggs. You can also get your tea infusers from Palace Hypermarket.

Smoothies

These are easy-to-make soda replacements and you can easily, DIY!

All you need is fresh fruits and/or vegetables and/or greens and/or milk/water. Like we’ve established, find the fruits that excite you, clean, peel and chop them up and pop them in a blender. If you’re a dairy fan, add some healthy milk (almond milk, tigernut milk, coconut milk, soy milk) to make your smoothies creamy!

Slowly introduce a few greens into your smoothies as well,a leaf a day maybe. You can get some spinach or kale from the local stores for this. Keep exploring with what fruit and veggie mixtures you can make and never make a boring smoothie!

If you are thinking you don’t have time for this, you can meal prep! Chop up your favorite smoothie ingredients and store them in the freezer in a ziplock bag and they will last the whole week. All you’ll need to do then will be to put them in the blender, add your liquid to blend and off you go!

I can keep going on and on about exciting smoothie options but let’s save that for another time. 

I am not promising an easy journey but have fun with your meals everyday! Replace that boring soda with something fresh and natural and exciting! Tell us about your journey this week in the comments below; we love to hear from you!

Adios,

Just Fresh

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