Healthy Drinks

Nearly everyone needs to drink more water. Too often we are drinking highly sweetened teas and coffees from the coffee shop, soda from the grocery store, artificial fruit juice, and high fat milk. One of the most important parts of a whole foods diet is to limit, or get rid of, refined sugars like those found in many of these drinks.

But what can we have for our early morning energy boost? Two of the best options are tea and coffee. The trick is to learn to make them yourselves.

Properly brewed tea made from high quality leaves does not need much sugar added to taste good. The first step to having a good cup of tea in the morning is to find a local tea store. Talk to the owner and buy tea. Loose tea is made from larger leaves which usually leads to a less bitter flavor. Less bitter means you need less sugar. Black tea generally has the most caffeine, which may be what you want for the morning. Green and white teas generally have less. Herbal teas depend on what is in them. Ask the store owner about the steeping time and temperature. It may also be good to ask for a sample to know how it is supposed to taste. From there all you need is a pot and some way to strain the leaves when you are finished steeping.

Most people think coffee tastes terrible without cream and sugar. The truth is old coffee tastes terrible without them. Coffee beans, like many spices, get their flavors from essential oils that are released when they are ground and break down quickly. Whole coffee beans taste best when used 2 to 3 months after roasting. Ground coffee tastes best when used within minutes after grinding. So the trick to having healthier coffee is to buy fresh beans and grind it yourself. Find a store that can tell you when your beans were roasted, can roast them as light or dark as you want, and can give you any hints on how to brew your coffee. If you take the time to purchase fresh coffee beans and grind them minutes before using brewing, the bitterness will be far less noticeable and you can use far less sweetener and high fat dairy.

While it may be a good idea to limit caffeine while on a whole foods diet you do not have to give up your morning drink. Just learn how to brew them yourself and coffee and tea can be a healthy part of your new lifestyle.