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Molokai Fitness: Healthy Alternative for Soda

Community Contributed

By Ayda Ersoy

I already talked about soda in a couple of my articles, and why you shouldn’t drink it. I got a big response, lots of you asked me questions. Yes, I think we all know that soda is not good, but what can we drink instead?

Actually, the best answer is water. Remember our body consists of almost 90 percent water. But I understand that sometimes drinking water alone can be a little boring! Great news though, I have some awesome and delicious recipes for you.

A good friend here on Molokai, Skylla, is setting a great example of how you can grow your own food and feed your ohana just from your own garden. What she’s doing is so inspiring, I’d like to share one of her recipes first.

Do you have lemon grass and basil in your garden, or maybe in your friend’s garden? If you don’t, then here’s a perfect reason to grow your own.

Lemon grass is a rich source of minerals like potassium, zinc, calcium, iron, manganese, copper and magnesium. Potassium helps control heart rate and blood pressure. It also has vitamin B1, B5, and B6 too, and its leaves and stems are very high in folic acid content. By the way, soda has none of these — just empty calories with simple cheap sugar and chemical colors and flavors.

Basil is very low in calories and has many essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins for your optimum health. Basil herbs contain really high levels of beta carotene and vitamin A, which help your body protect your lungs, and prevent oral cavity cancer. It’s also essential for good vision. Basil leaves are an excellent source of iron and vitamin K too.

Now if you mix these two simple ingredients, with so many health benefits, you create the most delicious, refreshing tea!

Just boil lemon grass with water for about 30 minutes, then add the basil and let them boil together for another 15 minutes. You can add something to sweeten it if you like — you may like to use raw honey or organic stevia powder. While making the tea, also enjoy the beautiful smell in your home! The tea also helps aids digestion, and will help calm you down too. When you drink it, you will feel as if you’re drinking heath and nature.

A second alternative comes from my country, Turkey. We call it “Ayran,”and it’s super simple to make. You just need plain Greek yogurt, water and sea salt. The key is to mix them together really well. Add a little ice too, and you have a delicious, refreshing and healthy drink. The yogurt also benefits your gut health by increasing the good bacteria in your gut, and it will improve your digestion too.

No more reasons to drink soda!

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