There are numerous discussions these days about people watching their weight and decreasing their meat intake. So much so that there seems to be this growing trend of people turning to the vegetarian diet, and with good reason. The vegetarian diet if carefully monitored can lower you fat intact and help you lose weight leading to a longer life. The misconceptions that some people have is that vegetarian food doesn’t always taste so great – but I have compiled a list of drinks, foods and even some great restaurants in the city that will please your taste buds and will do your body good. Because there is a long list of items, I thought it fair to myself and to the readers to post this in sections.
Part 1: The Drinks:
It’s the kombucha that powers your energy for the day. It’s perfect if you want to detox for the day, as a morning pick-me-up or to re-energize after a workout. Gingerberry is a mix of blueberry juice, ginger juice and kombucha; it helps increase energy, decrease appetite and improve digestion. Traditionally kombucha was a medicinal drink, a fermented tea, that has healing and detoxifying properties. The glucaric acid activated during the fermentation process makes the liver more efficient in eliminating toxins from the body. There has also been claim that kombucha is the miracle drink for fighting cancer but scientific support and research has still not been substantiated.
Enlightened Synergy Organic & Raw Gingerberry tastes like a berry seltzer but is so much better for you than just the berry fruit.
Organic Raw Kombucha Gingerade is a mix of ginger juice and kombucha that kinda taste like a lemonade but more on the bitter side.
No sugar or preservatives in these drinks – they’ve got nothing to hide.
So good for you – just read the ingredients: over 2 servings of apples, ½ banana, 1/3 kiwi fruit, 1/3 mango, spirulina, chlorella, broccoli, spinach, blue green algae, garlic, barley grass, wheat grass, ginger and parsley. Okay I know what you’re think – gross – so did I at first but then I tried it and it was really good, you taste the fruit and a bit of bitterness. Just close your eyes and try it!
I use this sweet drink for my morning smoothies. It’s the same concoction they use in the Starbucks Orange Mango Vivanno. I mix ½ a 15oz bottle of juice with a banana, whey protein, a teaspoon of matcha green powder and a cup of ice. I great breakfast supplement when you’re on the go.
The perfect post workout drink if you want something sweet. It has 35% fewer calories than the regular Naked juices with a blend of cherry, mango, passion fruit and coconut water. It’s the coconut water that helps replenish your electrolytes after a workout.
Made from ground almonds, unlike cow’s milk, this drink contains no cholesterol or lactose with fewer calories (70 calories for 8oz.) and saturated fat. Almond milk also contains a healthy amount of protein, magnesium, manganese, selenium and Vitamin E. Vitamin E protects the cell membranes; selenium helps the immune system and manganese activates the enzymes in the body. It comes in a few flavors – plain, vanilla and chocolate – I recommend trying the vanilla. It’s great with cereal and a nice sweetener to your coffee (though I would recommend using less sugar in your coffee, almond milk does contain a bit of sugar).
Matcha Green Tea Powder
Matcha is a potent concentration of Japanese green tea. Traditionally, green match powder was used in a Japanese tea ceremony. Matcha has many health benefits. Researcher found that there is a high concentration of the antioxidant EGCG, 137 times greater than the average cup of green tea. It also has been suggested that Matcha boosts your metabolism, high levels of antioxidants and helps reduce cholesterol levels. As mentioned before, I enjoy using the powder in my smoothies but it’s also great mixed with hot water.
Rooibos Chai Tea
Known as “red bush” in Africa is actually a member of the legume family grown in South Africa. This tea contains no caffeine and low tannin levels. It aids with nervous tension and digestive problems. Rooibos has a nice sweet flavoring so there is no need for sugar and it makes a great pairing with dessert or as an after dinner drink.
Iron Goddess of Mercy Oolong Tea
The complexity and the labor in making this tea make it the premium tea. Oolong tea is harvested from the youngest of tea leaves and this particular tea is “monkey picked,” meaning that long ago Buddhist monks would train monkeys to pick the leaves. There are over 8 steps to process this tea from plucking to rolling to drying, in a cave no less. Like other green teas, Iron Goddess contains antioxidants but also helps with indigestion and lowering cholesterol.
Water (pure and simple)
Water is pretty obvious of its health benefits. Just make sure to drink enough water throughout the day. It helps clear you complex, hydrate and detox the body. There are many varieties of water but my favorites are Poland Spring, Fiji, Ethos and just plain filtered tap water. Another one to try is Smart Water which is infused with electrolytes so it’s a great refreshment after a long workout.