7 Great Summer Drinks

Summer Shrub Recipes

Pineapple and Strawberry Mint Shrubs Refresh on a Hot Summer Day

No Soda?  What to Drink?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about kicking the soda habit. Having not had soda for so many years, aside from the occasional Izzy or ginger beer (a really gingery ginger ale), I have don’t find most commercial soft drinks appealing. However, there is always the lure of something carbonated and refreshing…I am always looking for that perfect summer drink.

All this has led me to a search for the perfect summer, non-alcoholic drink. To be truthful, I have been known to spike a few of these, feel free to experiment.  I have discovered many options over the years and thought to share some with you.

Iced tea

One of my favorites in summer months is the old-time standard of iced tea–black, green, or herbal. Now, I still like my black tea, sweetened, but a teaspoon of sugar sure beats the 11 teaspoons found in bottled iced tea. Herbal teas are my favorites during summer months. Many of them, particularly those with some fruit flavorings have a natural sweetness. They require no additional sweeteners.

Lemonade & Agua Fresca

Homemade lemon or limeade is an easy treat. When you make your own you can control the sweetness/tart ratio. Agua Frescas are Mexican fruit waters. Easily made, they are a favorite with my kids, particularly Watermelon Lime. I make a lot of these in the summers, particularly as if I make to much, I can freeze them and make popsicles for the kids. When you make these, consider the sugar optional. Puree the fruit first, and taste. Usually the fruit is sweet enough without adding sugar. A few recipes for Agua Fresca to get you started:  Honeydew Basil, Watermelon Lime, Cucumber Lime Mint.

Essential Oils with Sparkling Water

One quick and easy drink is a glass of carbonated water with one drop of essential oil. I love this with any of the citrus oils–grapefruit is my favorite–refreshing with no sugars. A not on essential oils, make sure that any essential oil you consume is pharmacuetical grade. My favorite site for essential oils is Mountain Rose Herbs.

Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink. Made for over 2,000 years, this fermented beverave creates a probiotic drink. Many claim it has health benefits, others claim the drink is harmful because it is often homebrewed using a culture of bacteria and yeast. No studies have been done on the benefits or harm of Kombucha. I personally feel that it is beneficial, but I do think that if you homebrew, you need to be aware of proper sanitation and I would not serve Kombucha to anyone whose immune system is compromised. Kombucha can also be purchased in health food stores & Whole Foods. To learn more about the Kombucha debate click here.  My family really enjoys Kombucha’s refreshing tartness, it is a regular favorite.

Horchata

This is a lovely, Mexican summer time drink made with rice, milk cinnimon and honey. It is refreshing on a hot summer’s day. Here in Chicago, it can of course be found in Mexican restaurants and grocery stores. None of these can compare to a homemade version! It takes a little extra effort, but is definately worth the effort, especially considering the ingredient list in that commercial beverage.  Here is a link to the Horchata recipe I use.  Don’t be intimidated by the steps to make this drink.  The hands on time is less than 15 minutes!

Shrubs

Shrubs are an all time favorite in our family. Shrubs date back to colonial times as a way of preserving fruits. They are very easy to make. I have seen several methods of making shrubs although I opt for the easiest methods as described below.

The basic recipe is simple. Two of my favorites shrub recipes follow.

Blackberry Ginger Shrub

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c blackberries
  • 1 inch grated ginger (optional)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup raw apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Mix in a jar 1 1/2 cups blackberries, grated ginger & 1 cup sugar. Muddle (mash) the fruit to help draw out the fruit juices.
  2. Add 1 cup apple cider vinegar. Let sit in the fridge for 24-48 hours.
  3. Strain the resulting liquid into a clean jar. Store in the fridge. Due to the sugar and vinegar, this will keep for a long time.
  4. Mix 1 to 2 tbsp of the liquid with carbonated water for a refreshing summer beverage.
http://apmt.us/2013/05/7-great-summer-drinks-2/

Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar Shrub

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c strawberries
  • Mint leaves (optional)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Mix in a jar 1 1/2 cups strawberries, mint, & 1 cup sugar. Muddle (mash) the fruit to help draw out the fruit juices.
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar. Let sit in the fridge for 24-48 hours.
  3. Strain the resulting liquid into a clean jar. Store in the fridge. Due to the sugar and vinegar, this will keep for a long time.
  4. Mix 1 to 2 tbsp of the liquid with carbonated water for a refreshing summer beverage.
http://apmt.us/2013/05/7-great-summer-drinks-2/

What about you?

What are your favorite summertime drinks?

Jolie Jolie (5 Posts)

Jolie Patel is a counselor and educator by trade, having been a faculty member at the College of Lake County and Oakton Community College. She also served as the Director of Program at the Counseling Center at Illinois Institute of Technology. She holds a M.A. in Clinical Psychology and completed doctoral coursework at Loyola University, Chicago. Presently, she is homeschooling three precocious children and working at her husband's (Dr. Vijay) practice. There she has found a place where her interest in living a healthy life can merge with her passion for education. She is particularly interested in how to make healthy lifestyle choices practical for those with busy family lives.


Permanent link to this article: http://apmt.us/2013/05/7-great-summer-drinks-2/

Kick the Soda Habit!!

Popular Beverages, from least to most sugar per oz, left to right

Popular Beverages, from least to most sugar per oz, left to right. Please note, Vita Coco is sweetened with fruit juice and uses that as its sugar source.

Giving Up Soda, Once and For All

by Jolie Patel, (the doctor’s wife, writing about health care with a family perspective)

I can’t remember exactly  when I stopped drinking soda, but it was sometime in the late 1990’s.  I was a faculty member at a community college and taught a course on college success strategies   When we discussed money management,  I remember saying to my students, if you buy a bag a chips and a soda with lunch everyday, that’s $1.50.  Multiply that by 20 odd days a month, 12 months a year.  $360 a year on soda.  Wouldn’t it be great to have $360 to spend on clothes, entertainment, books, whatever.  But really, chips and soda is it worth $360 a year?  The reality of what I was saying hit me.  $360 a year..even as a single person with a good job, I could find things to do with that money. By the way, it’s about $600 a year today.

I stopped drinking soda (chips too).  I didn’t really miss it all that much.  Along the way, a funny thing happened.  When I was at someone’s house about a year later, I had some soda.  Blahh, I didn’t even like it anymore.  It tasted so incredibly sweet, it was like eating sugar, even the diet soda, to me it tastes sweeter.  Over the years, I have tried soda on many occasions, it’s not for me.  I still like the idea of flavored drinks.  15 years ago there were not many options other than Gatorade.  Not an option.  It’s not a drink I like and changing one high sugar, chemical laden drink didn’t seem to do it for me.

As I have gotten older and become a parent, I have realized there are many more reasons to avoid soda other than the cost.  Chemicals, sugar, artificial sweeteners, you know the drill. None of these things are good for us.  As parents, Vijay and I have decided not to give the kids artificial  sweeteners.  The research on artificial sweeteners indicates that they exacerbate the very problematic behavior they were created to reduce (sugar consumption). While we don’t want our kids sugared up, we truly believe that if it is choice between naturally occurring cane sugar and artificial sweeteners, sugar will win hands down.  Due to the tremendous amount of sugar in today’s beverages, soda is a once in a great while indulgence.

 I recently went to the drugstore to buy a whole bunch a drinks, in preparation for today’s blog.  I had the kids help me and they were amazed by the amount of sugar in some of these drinks.  I have seen blogs citing this, but I really wanted to see for myself.  Like the kids, I was floored by what I found.  It made me think about the people who don’t add sugar to their coffee because of the health concerns, yet from the amount of these beverages that are sold in the U.S. we, as a culture, don’t have a problem drinking up almost a 1/4 cup of sugar in one sitting.
Drink Drink Size (oz) Oz per servings Servings per container Tsp Sugar per bottle Tsp sugar per 8 oz
NeuroSonic 14.5 14.5 1 2.25 1.24
Gatorade 20 8 2.5 8.75 3.50
Vita Coco*sugars from fruit juice 16.9 8 2 7.5 3.55
Arizona Green Tea 23 8 3 12.75 4.43
Pure Leaf Sweet Tea 18.5 8 2.5 11.25 4.86
Honest Tea Tea with Lemonade 16.9 16.9 1 6 2.84
Nesquik Low Fat Chocolate Milk 14 7 2 12 6.86
Vitamin Water 20 20 1 8 3.20
Coca Cola 20 20 1 16.25 6.50

Being married to a doctor, when I have overindulged on sugary sweets, I have heard many times over the years, “Do you know what eating that much sugar at once does to your pancreas?” (A quick lesson in human biology, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone involved in the regulation of blood sugar & the development of diabetes).  Imagine how much damage it does in liquid form, when it has a fast track to our bloodstream.  Imagine what happens when that much sugar is pumped into the little bodies of our children.

Whether you drink the diet or regular version, soda really has nothing to offer you in terms of health promotion.  The sugared stuff is a high calorie harmful drink.  The diet version, started to provide an alternative for sugar, may cause more health issues than the original.  Is either form really worth it?

I would like to challenge you to try to give up soda…for a month at least.  If you choose to give it up, pay attention to your triggers?  Why specifically are your drinking the soda?  Drinking for caffeine?  Try a cup of coffee or tea instead.  Looking for something refreshing?  Try carbonated waters if you miss the carbonation (I do).  Remember that sugary sodas do not quench your thirst, just like salt, sugar will make you more thirsty. Remove the soda from the fridge, so it is not there in front of you every time you open door.  I promise a follow-up blog with idea’s for soda alternatives.

In the meantime, have you ever contemplated giving up soda?  If you have, what has stopped you, or what have your experiences been?

Jolie Jolie (5 Posts)

Jolie Patel is a counselor and educator by trade, having been a faculty member at the College of Lake County and Oakton Community College. She also served as the Director of Program at the Counseling Center at Illinois Institute of Technology. She holds a M.A. in Clinical Psychology and completed doctoral coursework at Loyola University, Chicago. Presently, she is homeschooling three precocious children and working at her husband's (Dr. Vijay) practice. There she has found a place where her interest in living a healthy life can merge with her passion for education. She is particularly interested in how to make healthy lifestyle choices practical for those with busy family lives.


Permanent link to this article: http://apmt.us/2013/05/kick-the-soda-habit/

Products We Love – For Springtime Allergy Sufferers

Looking for an allergy free spring?

Spring has finally arrived in the midwest and if you are an allergy sufferer, so has your stuffy nose.  D-Hist and D-Hist Jr, by Ortho Molecular Products are here to save the day.  The great thing about the D-Hist line is that it works on preventing allergy symptoms before they start, without the side effects found in many

D-Hist for Seasonal Allergies

D-Hist for Seasonal Allergies

over the counter allergy medications.  D-Hist consists of the following active ingredients:

Quercetin
Naturally found in onions, quercetin supports mast cell stability (these are the cells that cause your allergic reaction).  Quercetin  promotes sinus and respiratory health.

Stinging Nettles Leaf
Studies show stinging nettles provide positive support for nasal passageway function.

Bromelain
A strong pineapple enzyme, bromelain supports normal mucousal tissue function and enhances the absorption of quercetin.

N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (NAC)
An amino acid, NAC helps to promote the normal viscosity of mucus.

These supplements together form a wonderful combo to help you enjoy spring without a stuffy nose!  Ask Dr. Patel or Dr. Kolbaba if these supplements are right for you and can help you enjoy an allergy free spring without over the counter drugs!

Permanent link to this article: http://apmt.us/2013/04/mt-prospect-allergy/

Get Outside and Walk Already

Enjoy Spring Weather

Take advantage of the warmer spring weather and take a walk!

In case you haven’t noticed, spring is here! This might be a shock to anyone who has been outside lately. It’s still freezing and just downright cold. Many of us have been hibernating indoors, eating lots of unnecessary calories, sleeping for longer hours, and engaging in sedentary behavior. I know I got caught up on my movie watching and sleep. Some of you may even be a little depressed from being without the vitamin rich and energy carrying sunlight all winter long, a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to the CDC, one in ten people over the age of 18 are clinically depressed. This number of depressed people tells me one thing. It’s time to get up off the couch and get moving again.

Before you know it, the birds will be chirping for no reason, the sun will be shining without interruption by snow clouds, and the days will be longer. We already had our traditional “springing” forward an hour for daylight savings time. So it’s time for a new hobby, activity, or exercise that involves being outside. Patients in my office are always asking me what they should be doing to get into better shape. I ALWAYS recommend walking.

Walking is one of the best exercises you can do. It’s easy, fun, allows for alone time (I call this time “me” time or Tim-me time) and gives you an opportunity to burn some calories while getting some exercise. Walking does great things for your body and mind. The top three killers in the world are heart disease, circulatory issues in the brain resulting in strokes and respiratory illnesses. Amazingly, all three of these conditions can be combated by simply walking every day. Walking allows for better circulation and helps build up the muscle tissue in your heart. Good circulation is also very important for lung health, brain health and even helps with mental health. Walking can even help improve your mood and make you less depressed.

Many of us suffer from bone density loss from being inactive and not doing weight bearing exercises such as walking. It use to be a prevalent problem in the elderly, but recently conditions like osteopenia and osteoporosis are showing up in middle-age and even in  young adults. When I see a patient with either of these conditions in my office, I put them on two great supplements and instruct the patient to walk. If the patient adheres to this protocol for 6 months, they will see significant progress in fighting bone loss.

The three main minerals that make up bone are calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. So, when a patient presents with bone loss, I put them on a supplement called Cal-Mag by Douglas Labs. This supplement, if you couldn’t tell by the name, has calcium citrate (a form of calcium that is highly absorbable) and magnesium. There is only one problem. The body also needs vitamin D to absorb calcium in the gut. You can get vitamin D three ways: through the skin (sun light), through diet or through supplements. If you are not getting enough vitamin D, the body can’t form enough of the hormone called calcitriol (active vitamin D) which is needed to absorb calcium in the gut. This then results in insufficient calcium absorption from the diet causing the body to take calcium from your bones. So, I put my patients on Vitamin D3 with K2 by OrthoMolecular Products. These two supplements coupled with weight bearing exercise such as walking will fight the bone loss and help make new bone.

So how long or how far should you walk a day? I know we live in a fast paced society here in the Chicagoland area. But just 30 minutes a day can really impact you and over time lower your risks for the top three killers in the world. It’s just that simple.

I practice what I preach. Besides motorcycling, walking and running are my favorite ways to get outside and enjoy this body of mine. I recommend you do the same. If you have any questions about anything in this blog, let me know. Until next time, get outside and walk already.

References:

CDC. Current Depression Among Adults — United States, 2006 and 2008. MMWR 2010;59(38);1229-1235.

Dr Tim (3 Posts)

Dr. Timothy Kolbaba is a chiropractor at Advanced Physical Medicine & Therapy in Mt Prospect. Dr. Kolbaba has earned numerous degrees during his extensive education including Bachelor’s degrees in Biochemistry, Biology, and Human Anatomy, a Master’s degree in Human Anatomy, and he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic from the prestigious National University of Health Sciences. Dr. Kolbaba also served in the military, flying CH53E Super Stallion helicopters for the United States Marine Corps. Dr. Kolbaba grew up in West Dundee, IL in a family filled with chiropractors. As a chiropractor, it is Dr. Kolbaba’s goal to help people get out of pain and become well, and to teach people lifestyle modification and ways to improve health. Dr. Kolbaba offers the most recent knowledge that is out there to help patients achieve their goals in health.


Permanent link to this article: http://apmt.us/2013/04/get-outside-and-walk-already/

Products We Love – For Detox

Douglas Labs Core Restore

Douglas Labs Core Restore

There are many detox programs out there.  Dr. Vijay particularly likes this product from Douglas Labs, that helps restore healthy liver function.  The liver’s purpose is to remove toxins from our body.  Our bodies are assaulted everyday with chemicals and toxins that tax our liver.  It makes common sense to provide our liver with the nutrients it needs to detox and repair its cells.  This formulation provides high quality vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements to heal and support liver function.  If you are not sure about the need to detox, this link can help you determine if detox is right for you.  Call our office and schedule an appointment to begin a detox plan with one of our doctors.

Permanent link to this article: http://apmt.us/2013/04/products-we-love-for-detox/

Older posts «

» Newer posts