Refreshing summer drinks and alternatives to alcohol

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Wow, I must get back in to good habits. I’ve been slack on everything but work lately. But all work and no play makes for a very grumpy person. I need to get some ‘work/life balance’ back in to my life.

I am still sticking to the 5:2 and the weight has definitely stayed off, however weight loss has slowed dramatically. I’ve only lost a further 2 pounds in the last 2 months, which is a little disappointing. But on the bright side I have now lost 16 pounds it hasn’t gone back on again. Which is a huge plus, as regaining the weight has happened on every other diet I’ve been on.

I think I do know the reason for the slow-down and it is a distinct lack of exercise on my part. The outcome of this is two-fold, not only has my weight loss ground to a halt but I have been feeling pretty low. Exercise, without doubt, elevates your mood.

The challenge for me recently was time, I was working really long hours, hence no blogging either. Things have calmed down a little (I think the whole world has gone on holiday) so I am managing to fit in more exercise again. What I keep reading about, probably because I’m on the fast diet, is fast exercise.  I haven’t started HIIT (high intensity interval training) yet, but I have bought Davina’s latest DVD, ‘Fit in 15′. I like Davina’s fitness DVDs, she always has good music and anyone can manage 15 minutes per day surely? So far so good. It is a very intense 15 minutes and it is hard!

WatermelonI’ve also started up walking again, even that had slacked off. I was so inspired by the performances at the Adidas 24hr Thunder Run last week that I might even start running again. That is a whole other blog post, but in short, my amazing husband ran 100k! Doesn’t bear thinking about. There were also two teams of Stotfold Runners who all did fantastic jobs of running in relay for the whole 24 hours, they were so inspiring. But, like I said that is a whole other post.

Another thing I’m doing, given it’s only 6 weeks to go to Ibiza, is trying not to overcompensate for my fast days on my other 5 days, which I do have a slight tendency to do. I’ve stopped cheating with crisps, I know, I know, they’re not Paleo either.

Being teetotal as well, I’m trying to come up with refreshing alternatives to interesting drinks that are not full of sugar.

The two I’ve come up with this week are a watermelon and ginger cooler and iced green tea and mint.

The reason for the Watermelon one was due to the fact that we had a Watermelon to take to the Thunder Run as they are great for re-hydrating, here is a photo of Mr L with his friend (apparently he needed a hat and was called Tony):

Peter

However, I made a bit of an error and took Tony with us whole. Camping and cutting up a huge melon don’t really mix, so I never gave it to him and we returned with Tony still intact. I then had a massive melon and nothing to do with it.

I can’t believe I am about to admit this but I’d never cut up a watermelon before and I was actually quite shocked by how much water poured out of it when I did eventually cut it. Embarrassing I know. Anyhow, I caught all the juice then added sparkling water. It need a bit of a kick so I boiled some ginger in a pan with some water until the water had reduced by half and then added this in. It worked pretty well and was so refreshing, I think I’m going to try this again.

Green TeaMy next experiment was making my own green tea drink as I had bought a rather nice Oolong and Elderberry the week before, made by Hampstead Teas I think. So I made some green tea, put it in the fridge to cool and then poured it over ice with some sparkling water. It was a little bland so I added some mint leaves and that picked it up a bit, I think next time I’ll add the mint to the boiling water before chilling it.  Again, very refreshing.

So many drinks are full of either sugar or artificial sweeteners and water gets a bit boring, so I am pleased with my experiments so far and I will continue to share any successes.

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