Weekly Nutrily Recipes: Nutritious, Delicious, Quick, and Easy!
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Summer has started and you are thirsty!


Are you drinking enough fluids? People need different amounts of liquid in a day. For example, according to the Institute of Medicine, the Dietary Reference Intake of water for adult men is about 16 cups a day! Yes, that’s a lot, but keep in mind that some of this fluid comes from fruits and vegetables, soups, teas, etc.

This time of the year you should pay closer attention to what you drink, how much, and how to maintain a reasonable intake of fluids, so you can avoid dehydration. The effects of dehydration can cause headaches, muscle cramps, fatigue, irritability, lack of memory, and confusion. Also, when you are well-hydrated, your skin and hair are healthier (read about restoring your hair and skin here), you are able to detoxify properly, and your heart, brain, and muscles work correctly.

During the summer heat, people tend to choose whatever cold liquid is easily available. But if you don’t pay attention to what you are drinking, you could be getting excessive amounts of sugar, calories, and food additives. 


What to avoid


You should eliminate highly sugary drinks from your diet, like sodas, frappuccinos, and sugary shakes. But which other drinks can be bad for your health?


Flavored water

An artificially flavored bottled water can have ~150 calories of sugar and when consumed in place of plain water, can increase your weight by about 15 pounds in a year!

Carbonated water

Carbonated water may be detrimental to your gut health. Also, club soda has added sodium and tonic water has added sugar.


Sugar-free / diet 

These drinks could be even worse to your health as they probably have artificial sweeteners. These chemicals may upset your indispensable gut health and cause insulin resistance over time, leading to pre-diabetes. Read more about choosing sweeteners here.


Processed teas & juices

Don't forget about sugar and artificial colors and flavors that are added to canned / bottled teas and boxed juices. These additions can contribute to the increased toxicity in the body. 


Iced coffee

Be careful when purchasing your iced-coffee, because that also, can contain large amounts of sugar. 


Natural juices

Fresh-squeezed unsweetened fruit juices can be a better option if drank in small amounts. When you make fruit juices, you use a larger portion of fruits than what you're used to eating in one meal/snack. So, when you drink fruit juice, you get large amounts of fructose. Excessive fructose can increase fat in the liver and contribute to extra pounds.


Energy and sports drinks

Avoid drinking energy drinks due to its large content of caffeine that causes an increased risk for dehydration. Also, avoid drinking artificial sports drinks that usually have artificial additives and high-fructose corn syrup. Most importantly, you probably do not need an isotonic sports drink if you were not exercising heavily or for a certain amount of time. 



I do not recommend that you drink alcohol either. Alcohol contributes to dehydration, increases your risk of developing cancer, and has a detrimental effect on the liver health and its ability to detoxify. If you are choosing to drink alcohol, avoid wine coolers, beers, and cocktails, as they have a lot of calories, sugar, and / or food additives. Choose wines or distilled spirit with ice. Remember to drink plenty of water between your sips and only have one drink. 😉

Now let’s take a look at some healthy, quick, and easy recipes for delicious drinks this summer!

Naturally Flavored Water 

The method of preparation is basically the same for all naturally flavored waters: add pieces of desired food into a jar of water.
Prepare your flavored water and let it sit in your fridge overnight to acquire nutrients, taste, and coloring. Please use filtered water and ice cubes.
  • Add slices of organic fruits: citrus, berries, or any other fruit.
  • Add pieces of organic vegetables: cucumber, ginger, squash, rhubarb stems.
  • Add organic herbs: mint, basil, lemongrass, rosemary, basil.
  • Add intact spices: cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, black pepper.
  • Add flowers: chamomile, rose petals.
  • Add a drop of an essential oil (FDA-approved for internal consumption): these need to have a supplement facts label.
You can also make infused water ice cubes!
 Add in herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables, and freeze into creative silicone ice cube trays.

This is a great idea for special occasions.
  Photo by Nutrition Stripped
Powerful Juice + Tea Drink
(a.k.a. Suchá in Brazil)

A mixture of fruit / vegetable juices and fresh tea makes a great summer drink and together they enhance the nutritional benefits of each other.

It is ideal to combine fresh fruits / veggies with natural teas that have similar properties, so the nutritional result is even better.
  • Detoxifying your body: vegetable juice (recipe below) + green tea
  • Avoiding fluid retention: watermelon juice + horsetail tea
  • Improving digestion: pineapple juice + peppermint tea
  • Boosting concentration: blueberry juice + sage tea
  • Speeding up your metabolism: ginger flavored water + yerba mate tea
  1. To make teas using stems, roots or seeds - boil these parts with filtered water for 15 - 20 minutes.
  2. To make teas using leaves - boil water by itself and pour it into a cup. Then add your leaves, cover the cup with its saucer, and wait 5 minutes until it's ready to serve.
  3. Add equal parts of juice and cold tea to make this drink.

Detox juice

This drink is a great idea to help you increase your daily intake of fruits & vegetables.
  • Add 1 cup of an organic dark green leafy vegetable*: spinach, kale, arugula, watercress.
  • Add 1 cup of organic non-leafy vegetable: cucumber, celery, carrot, beetroot.
  • Add 1 cup of organic fruit: berries, citrus, apple, pineapple.
  • Add 1/2 cup of organic herbs: basil, mint, cilantro, parsley.
  • Optional additions: ginger, flaxseeds, coconut water.
some raw leafy greens should not be consumed by certain people, those with hypothyroidism, for example.

Stay tuned for more refreshing and healthy summer drink recipes!

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Livia Ly, MS, RD, LDN
(312) 870-0150

Livia Ly is a registered dietitian and nutritionist trained both in Brazil and in the U.S. She is the owner and founder at Nutrily
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Nutrily, pronounced nutri-lee, is a nutrition consultancy company that follows a holistic approach.

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