You say ‘detox water’ recipe’; I say refreshing summer drinks

“You need to drink more water.” We hear this all the time. And I know it is true, but I always had sympathy for my dad, who was famous for joking that he didn’t like to drink water because it is “so thin.”

Plain, chilled water is thirst-quenching after working out in the garden or bike-riding, but it’s not exactly a tempting treat for me. It is important to replace fluid in our bodies throughout the day.

Molly Kimball, a registered dietitian who writes a weekly column for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, recommends this formula: Divide your weight by two, and that’s approximately how many ounces of fluid you need to drink daily. She recommends 16 ounces more for every pound of sweat lost during exertion.

How much water you really need, and easy ways to get it
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When “Detox Waters” (March 2017, Quadrille, $11.99) by Geraldine Olivo landed on my desk recently, I’ll admit I rolled my eyes, but as I gave the book a closer look I realized the recipes inside are simply healthful ways to enjoy sipping flavorful water, which may make me – and you – more likely to reach for it rather than a soft drink.

It’s the same concept behind mocktails, which I enjoyed frequently while taking part in Kimball’s annual Alcohol Free For 40 challenge earlier this year: If I have a flavorful mocktail at my fingertips, I’m more likely to reach for that than a cocktail or glass of wine, especially at the end of a long work day.

#AlcoholFreeFor40 inspiration: 3 steps to build a better a mocktail
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Olivo, who said she wrote the book because she wanted to offer “a more serious, fad-free approach to detoxing,” speaks French and I don’t, so we conducted this interview via email. Here is an edited version of our exchange, with a selection of recipes below to try at home.

Explain to me more about how to take a “broader approach” to detoxing. What do you mean by those words?

The truth is, detoxing is no miraculous, enigmatic process. Your body does it every day on its own. Detoxing basically means getting rid of harmful components absorbed by your body (through the liver and the skin, among other organs).

The key is to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to detoxify, thanks to a balanced diet packed with antioxidants, vitamins and good fats, as well as enough water every day.

Detox waters make the latter part easier and fun-er. They are like an upgraded version of regular water as they are rich in certain antioxidants and vitamins. And they make a super-healthy, flavorful, sugar-free alternative to sodas.

How do you incorporate detox waters in your daily life?

It’s always a good idea to hydrate first thing in the morning. I usually have a large glass of water when I get up (I prepare the detox water on the day before so it infuses in the fridge overnight). Then, I pour some into a thermos bottle that I put in my bag to enjoy it on the go. I personally don’t like to drink while I eat but if that’s your thing, go ahead, especially if you would go for soda instead.

What health benefits have you experienced or seen in others?

I am the kind of person who drinks A LOT of water/green tea/herbal tea all year long so I never get dehydrated. But one of my friends who doesn’t drink enough water throughout the day said she would never again forget about hydrating now that she has a healthy, flavorful beverage ready to drink in the fridge.

Also, I drank the infusion with detoxifying herbs last summer when it was really hot. I really felt it helped with my blood circulation and soothed that “heavy legs” feeling.

#NOLAFastFor30: Tool kit for intermittent...
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