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from a really average woman who lost 100 lbs.
and works every day to keep it off.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2003  

Drinking in the Heat

Well, okay. When I said it was hot before, I didn't know what I was talking about. That wasn't hot. THIS is hot.

This is really damned hot.

My pop's outdoor thermometer read 102 degrees F at 6:30 p.m. This is the kind of hot that makes hot look cold. At least in Michigan. My Texan and Arizonan friends laugh in my face. But we're ill-equipped for this kind of heat. The air goes on, the water gets rationed, the brown-outs commence.

My dear husband, who loves nothing better than extremes in temperatures will not have turned on the air conditioning today. He'll have opened the windows. He'll be relying on breezes, sitting on the porch, sipping iced coffee, reading Calvin Trillin or something. Having a summer.

I am used to this picture, and it used to annoy me. Mainly it used to be very hard on my system when I came home from my air conditioned workplace in my air conditioned car to my sweltering house. I couldn't ready myself in the morning without sweating through my clothes before I could get away from our hot little home.

But after losing a little over 100 lbs., my body's still acclimating, and this heat hasn't touched me yet. It feels like an oven, yes, but my body more easily regulates, adjusts, cools. My muscles are closer to the surface of my skin, so my blood is cooled more quickly.

And frankly, these days I don't mind changing into skimpy stuff to cool off.

The only thing that bugs me this time of year is finding stuff to drink.

Despite my big beer binge in Ireland, I rarely drink alcohol any more. I would rather eat my calories.

But when the temps soar, I want to and need to drink a lot to stay cool, to replace what I've sweated off, and after awhile, pure water bores me. I try to stay away from diet soda, because the aspartame can induce migraines and other problems for me. Of course, I won't drink the HFCS-sweetened stuff, because I'm allergic to death.

Here are my options, so far. If you have more aspartame-free, sugar-free, alcohol-free ideas, please post them at

Iced coffee - really strong coffee over ice, with half-and-half, if I can afford the calories and the caffeine.

Iced tea - all sorts. Green tea, iced and sweet or not, is really a fascinating drink. Try steeping it with a couple of rose petals before pouring it over ice. With or without sweetener. Nice.

Iced Ginger infusion - Pulverize a couple of ounces of fresh ginger and steep for 6 minutes in 3 cups of boiled water. Pour over ice, sweeten with a non-toxic sweetener like stevia drops.

Lemon or Orange Water - Two drops of lemon or orange oil (use an eyedropper, or you can so easily overdo it) or a big curl of lemon or orange zest (I use a carrot peeler to get this) in a big glass of ice water.

Lime Water - Two slices of lime slightly muddled over a pinch of salt in the bottom of your glass, ice water over top.

Cucumber Water - Slice a half a large cucumber into a large pitcher of ice water, stir. Discard cucumber after an hour or so. You'll be surprised how great this is.

Basil/Mint Water - Steep a handful of fresh basil and fresh mint, in equal parts in a few cups of boiling water for 4 minutes. Use more, and you'll have a richer brew, of course. Remove the basil and mint and add ice and water to taste. Makes a whole pitcherful. This is great sweetend too.

Fresh Vegetable Juice, well watered - Carrot, cucumber, pepper, celery, beet, spinach, tomato, all the veggies that work in your juicer (you have a juicer, right?, make great juices that can be watered down and iced. The fresher the better. Don't try to keep these overnight.

Virgin Marys - the spicey tomato mix without the booze, on ice.

Grapefruit Juice - I don't do many fruit juices, but this one's lower on the old' GI. So I will indulge, watered down, over lots of ice, sometimes in a salt-rimmed glass, for an alcohol-free "salty dog."

Plain old Tonic Water - With lime. On ice. A quencher.

Most of these recipies can be finished off with soda water to give you the carbonation you may be craving if you gave up soft drinks.

Yogurt smoothie, blended with ice.

Lime juice, an herbal sweetener, Soda water, and lots and lots of ice to make a lime slurpish thing I generally eat with a spoon or from an ice-rimmed glass.

There. I'm less thirsty already.

Stay cool, friends,


Lemon and Orange and Lime Oils
Need a Juicer?
Virgin Mary Recipe
Freeze any of these using these killer pop-up molds (Note to my family, JuJu's August Birthday?)

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posted by Julie |
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