#sundaysetup: drink swaps

Hey June, slow down. I’m recalculating as we speak. I did not get my entire garden planted and right at this moment decided not to keep it on my list. Done.

my garden

I’m swapping a home garden for trips to the farmer’s market instead. This is not a bad trade at all, thank you farmers, growers, and makers of Minnesota!

Sometimes we just need to swap out something good for something better or more fitting for the season we are in, even when it comes to our favorite things to eat and drink. 

Have you noticed any kinds of foods or drinks that push you too far towards your limit for the day, leaving no room for energy needs and wants later? 

Are you working out but not seeing the results you want?

Is there a food or drink you can pinpoint that is actually making your body hurt and sick?

Perhaps it's time for a swap.

Let's talk beverages. I love them, you love them, we all love them. And they are sneaky when it comes to weight gain, weight loss, and overall good health and wellbeing, am I right?

Drinking juice, coffee with cream, alcohol, soda and sweetened drinks on a daily basis is responsible for a lot of extra calories, cravings, and often times discomforts, in my experience. I won’t get started on how artificial sweeteners negatively affected me over time but the fact is I was at my heaviest and most uncomfortable point healthwise before giving up diet soda, the irony. Whatever your personal culprit is, here are some beverage swaps you might want to try:

1. Swap juice, soda, or any cold beverage with sparking water and a squeeze of citrus. Save around 150 calories per beverage!

la croix with lemon or lime

If you know me at all, you’ve seen a can of La Croix in my hand. It’s refreshing, it’s sparkling, it’s cold, and it is water. 🙌  With no sodium, sugar, or artificial flavor to digest, it does hydrate and work towards your water goals. While I still work on getting actual water in me (Brianna recommends 100 - 128+ ounces a day), La Croix is a great in-between meals kind of sipping beverage for me and replaces cravings for unneeded snacks and beverages while I’m working or driving around town.  

2. Swap mixed drinks with mixed water drinks. Experiment!

coconut water

My husband Tim is experimenting with replacing any possible weeknight drink with mixers on ice consisting of 2 parts sparkling water and 1 part coconut water, saving his favorite beer or cocktails for occasional instead. While he is quick to admit this does not match up to the taste or experience of his preferred beverage, he’s choosing to try this swap for weeknights to see how he feels.  

2. Swap 100% herbal tea or hot water with lemon for other pre-bedtime beverages. 

Lemon water

Add it to your water count too. 👍  Dawn says she drinks tea (especially cinnamon) in the evening if she thinks she is hungry. Brianna sometimes drinks hot water with lemon. The warm water tricks them into feeling more full, at least until they fall asleep!

3. Swap creamed or sugared coffee, iced coffee drinks, lattes, and etc for black coffee. Save 55-200+ calories per cup!

black coffee

I know, I know. I could start a support group around this one. I too thought this equaled horrible things. I gave up dairy for a 30 day experiment a couple years ago and thought it would mean the death of coffee (and therefore me!) I was wrong. Day 3 of black coffee and I actually tasted the undisguised coffee, for possibly first time, and realized I actually liked it. The affection has only grown and I never looked back. 

Dawn's suggestion for anyone who can't live with the black coffee is to mix a little protein drink and stir it into your coffee, and I know some who use unsweetened coconut milk, this coconut oil healthy coffee, or Bulletproof coffee.

4. Swap a frozen hot chocolate Dairy Queen treat with a homemade blended ice and chocolate almond milk with chocolate protein powder drink, or DIY your favorite summer treat into something better and less consequential. It’s guaranteed not to have 600-800 calories and 70-100 grams of sugar! 😱 (Actual success story by Christine, cuz those cravings can be so hard!)

Christine's DIY iced drink

5. Swap an energy drink for a Kombucha! Save 100+ calories by skipping ingredients you don’t need or want, and adding incredible things for your overall health.

picture by Nicolle Mackinnon

One of my favorite people to talk about nutrition (and all things green!) is my friend Nicolle, find her @nicollebmack on Instagram. She happens to be really good at swaps and experiments as her health journey has lead her to dramatically change her diet over the last few years. We've both experimented with fermented foods, and I love what she has to say about Kombucha:

I added kombucha to my (almost) daily routine because it's so high in probiotics and it encourages good digestion. Plus, it's a great swap for an energy drink in the afternoon because it's fizzy and just sweet enough to be a pick-me-up. The ginger flavor is great for immune-boosting too.

I just added this Kombucha, coconut water, lemons, limes, and La Croix to my #sundaysetup grocery list for today, what are you drinking this week?

Sometimes it's not just our food, it's our drinks that help or hurt us. Chances are you already know what your offenders are. If not, feel free to reach out for feedback on your food log here. We'd love to join you in discovering how to best reach your health and fitness goals. If you have a beverage swap that has worked for you, please share with us in the comments below or on our Sunday Set-Up page.