Summer. Hot days. Warm wind. Delicious warmth on my skin. Reddish coloured cheeks. A line of wetness on the upper lip. Sunnies. Broad brim hats. Shorts. Tees. Cotton. Sandals. I am officially a rich milk chocolate colour… with Birkenstock slides permanently sun-burnt on my feet…And I am so NOT complaining.
I love summer with a capital L. If humans could live on the sun, I would be one of the first to volunteer for relocation. Hot heat. I love. And humidity. Sweating. It’s a free sauna. Detox. Bonus :-).
But with all this delicious warmth, one needs to hydrate. And hydrate pronto. We’ve heard that adults should drink about 2L per day, and possibly more in hot weather. Obviously physical activity levels play a major role in this. I recently read the “water-intake” rule in a fitness magazine – apparently it is 30mL for every kg of body weight. So for me that would = 0.03 x 58kg = 1.74L… but I actually consume nearly double this amount. Cool plain water is my beverage of choice. I drink about 2L of plain water per day. And ~800mL of lemon infused water (i.e. plain water with fresh lemon squeezed into it). And 1L of plain unsweeted, rooibos tea (it has no caffeine or tannin, but the benefits of rooi are for another post). But then again per week I do: 1hour x 6 days short high intensity interval training sessions; 5 x 45min (5km) walks (with a 5kg backpack); 7 x 20min runs (~3.5km); 1 x 1hour physiotherapist supervised clinical pilates session; 3 x 30min resistance training sessions; 3 x 30min rehab pilates sessions…and right now I’m trying to work out how to incorporate a 30min swim x 5 days a week in… (mmm…now that I put it on paper, it actually looks like a lot…) No wonder I drink so much fluid. To me, the easiest indicator of how much fluid to drink is urine colour. Urine with an intense yellow colouration is indicative of low water intake. Try to keep the colour of your urine closer to colourless or with a slight hue. The Cleveland Clinic has a great infographic on urine colour available at http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2013/10/what-the-color-of-your-urine-says-about-you-infographic/. Print this out and stick it next to your loo. ;-).
I very rarely drink juice (think about it – 1x250mL glass of orange juice is = ~3-4 oranges…! So I have the calories and sugar content of 3-4 oranges, without the fibre or satiety properties. I’d rather eat one orange and drink some water if needs be). And I never drink soft-drinks. Or alcohol for that matter…
If I’m to consume something, it’s gotta be of nutritional benefit to my body. The end.
But what do you do if you don’t like the “taste” of plain water? What do you do if actually like bubbles? And what do you if you like “flavour” in your drink…?
Who said good nutrition and yumminess can’t go hand in hand?
So that is where the Ice-T comes in. Ice-T is generally considered to be a “healthy” beverage option. Which is partially true. Unfortunately most commercially produced teas are high in added sugar – up to 25g per serve!!! :-(. (To put that into perspective, 25g/serve is approximately the same amount as in a 50g cherry ripe bar, a 250mL V or Red Bull – I’m not condoning consuming a Cherry Ripe bar – just putting into perspective…).
…My mother is one of those people who do not like drinking plain water… That said, you can’t blame her… Brisbane’s water really does taste like chlorinated watered-down mud…
So what can you do to encourage yourself to drink more water?
Solution 1: Get a good water filter.
I got my parents a Waterco stoneware gravitational purifier. It’s AMAZING!
The filtration from the Waterco stoneware filter is superior to most filters available in the market. After extensive research, including going through scientific papers, interviewing water scientists from the Brisbane City Council and Gold Coast city Council, and reading the water quality reports of major Australian capital cities, the Waterco stoneware benchtop filtration system is what I decided to purchase due to its double layer filter. The resulting purified water is the closest thing to reverse osmosis, the gold standard for water purification. But without the price-tag.
Plus you can take it with you wherever you go as no plumbing is required. We’ve had the Waterco for ~7-8 years. They’re a great company with excellent customer service. It also looks really good perched on the benchtop. It’s amazing how having a pretty water-filter encourages water consumption ALL YEAR ROUND! I’ve got a stoneware filter on order – I’m really interested to see how Melbourne’s water compares to Brisbane’s..! For more information on Waterco gravitation filters, check out their website http://www.waterco.com.au/component/virtuemart/details/110/36/water-treatment-products/drinking-water-purifiers/stoneware-gravity-purifiers.
Solution 2: Get a Ice Tea Jug
I love tea. No milk. No sugar. I don’t like the taste of caffeine or tannin, so rooibos or herbal teas like Mint and Ginger, homemade Masala Chai, Peach, Raspberry, Ginger and lemon, cinnamon and rooibos… are among my favorite. I make a 1L teapot of rooibos (or mint) everyday at work…sometimes it’s hot when I drink it. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s plain cold. But it’s still good. And still yum.
However making a big jug of ice-tea for everyone can be a bit of a tedious task to undertake (steeping in a large pot, cooling, flavouring, decanting into a 2L jug/bottle that actually fits in the fridge door…)
Until I discovered the BODUM Ceylon Iced Tea jug (at T2 of course) about 6 years ago… A perfect, useful, functional gadget for my mother…actually for my whole family.
This jug is really pretty, with its clean lines, clear BPA free plastic. I got the big 3L jug. And for a family of 5 adults, it lasts no longer than a day… which is great…because that means we get a new flavour tomorrow :-). Fresh brews. This jug has 2 compartments – the main jug. And the infuser insert that can hold fruits, lemon slices, water melon cubes, bunches of mint leaves etc… The streamline design fits easily into our big family fridge door. I only have 3 smallish issues with this jug: 1) The tea leaves sometimes seep out from the infuser into the jug. In order to get around this, I purchased reusable nylon tea bag liners (available at T2) – and filled with my leaves and spices – and hey presto problem solved :-). The other issue I have with this jug is that I’m an outdoorsy person. I love climbing rocks, climbing trees, running, bushwalking, beaching etc… I just like getting outside. As does my family and friends…However because this jug is not spill-proof, well it’s prone to spillage (unless you have someone willing to hold it upright)…Or you can decant the ice-tea into a bottle to take. It’s really not a giant size issue, just something to mention. But it does mean my homemade Ice tea doesn’t go out with me much to picnics, BBQs or surf-fishing… :-(. And lastly, whilst the jug is apparently dishwasher safe, the lid is hinged-fixed onto the jug. Hence you cannot remove the lid and invert the jug upside down in the dishwasher… Seriously not a big enough problem to NOT buy this jug. It’s a good Ice-T, Ice water, Ice-whatever-liquid jug.
My family LOVE ice-tea. Our friends LOVE it. It used to be my “job” to make the ice-tea, but as soon as we run out, someone will be making some concoction. It’s super simple to use. Place your tea, spices etc. in the infuser. Top up halfway with boiling water. Allow to steep for up to 30mins or til desired strength (in the case of rooibos, I just leave the leaves in there – I love Rooi!). And then top up with water. Or if you like fizziness, top up with sparkling water :-). Sweeten very slightly – don’t overkill. We use honey or agave. But just enough sweetness to enhance the spices, not OVERPOWER.
… And at $27-$30, it’s not too bad value considering how much use you get out of it. And how convenient it is. For more information on the BODUM Ceylon Ice Tea jug, check out Bodum’s website: http://www.bodum.com/int/en-us/shop/detail/10619-10/
Available for purchase in Australia from: http://www.kitchenwaredirect.com.au/Kitchenware/Coffee-Tea-Accessories/Bodum-Ceylon-Tea-Jug-w-Filter and http://www.domayneonline.com.au/homewares/bodum/bodum-drinkware/bodum-1.5l-ceylon-tea-jug.html
However due to these crazy dry-heat super hot days in Melbourne, I’ve been hunkering for my own ice-tea. So off to T2 I went in search of another Bodum Ceylon Ice Tea jug… But alas, instead I found that T2 is now making their own jug, originally called the “T2 Ice-T Jug”. And as much as I like the Bodum jug, the T2 jug is seriously the bees-knees of ice-tea jugs (that I am aware of to-date..!)
Why do I LOVE this jug so much? It’s vacuum-sealed versatility. And I don’t need to purchase reusable nylon bags. BAM!!
The T2 jug splits into 4 individual pieces – jug, filter, filter holder, lid. All are dishwasher proof. And super simple to screw together. I timed assembling this jug together last night. It took all of 4.37 seconds. The base of the jug is actually oval and becomes round at the top – so it fits snuggly inside the fridge door shelf. Pretty cool design actually :-). You can drop your leaves, spices, fruits etc straight into the infuser and NOTHING seeps out into the jug :-).
And, wait for it… this jug is completely spill-proof…!!! :-).You can turn it upside down, it can roll over in your picnic basket, lie down on the car floor, carry it in your backpack on a mountain hike…and NO SPILLS!!! For an outdoorsy person like me, the vacuum seal potential (coupled with the fact that every component is BPA free) was a major selling point as George, a tea-expert at T2, demonstrated by turning the jug over as he made a jug of Summer Citrus deliciousness :-).
I recently did the 1000 steps in the Dandenongs, Melbourne with some friends. It was a stinky hot day, but the bush was just stunning. I had 2 damaged ankles, firmly strapped up courtesy of my physio. The humidity coupled with pushing ourselves up and down and up and down in a timely manner aided in sweating like a tap on full-blast. Nevertheless, after a massive cardio and legs workout, my friends and I enjoyed 2L of refreshing minty-ginger-lemongrass-iced green tea (sweetened slightly with agave nectar). Insanely good. Refreshing. Delicious. Quenching. Hydrating…did I mention good?
3 people. 2 Litres Ice-T. GONE. In a matter of minutes. And all because this jug is spill-proof. I’m doing the 1000 steps again this weekend, with hopefully a better time (courtesy of better ankles), and yes I will be taking my super versatile, convenient T2 Ice-T jug with me. Again :-).
The jug comes in 2 sizes -1.2L or 2L. And various colours – green, orange, red and black. I got black. It matches my décor. But according to Callum, the T2 sales rep I met at the T2 Highpoint store, the black jug doesn’t fade as much over time as the other colours do either. The 1.2L jug retails for ~$30 whilst the 2L is ~$38. There are gift packs available as well with everything to get you started on the Ice-T making journey.
Or you could experiment and make your own flavours like me.
My personal favourite right now is – Minty-ginger green tea. And the 2L recipe goes as follows :-).
– 4 heaped teaspoons of mint leaves (or 4 teabags)
– 3 stalks of lemongrass (or 2 tsp dried lemongrass)
– 1 large stalk of ginger (finely sliced)
– 4 teaspoons green tea (or 4 teabags)
Place all ingredients in the infuser. If you using tea bags, cut the top and add contents directly to infuser. Pour over 1L boiling water, place lid on jug, but do not tighten in order to allow steam to escape. Allow to steep for at least 30mins, or as desired. I leave my leaves in the whole time.
Once cooled, top up with cool plain water (or mineral water) and sweet with agave (I used 5 flat tablespoons in 2L). Tighten and refrigerate overnight.
Hey presto! Done!
I have not received any funding from T2, Bodum or Waterco to review their products. These views are my own. These are products that I own, I’ve tried, I’ve tested, I believe in. And use on a daily basis. Friends and colleagues often find it intriguing what I come up with – food and drink-wise… This is simply me sharing my views about products that are easy to access, relatively affordable, energy saving, time efficient gadgets that make healthy eating, drinking and entertaining achievable and fun.
If you do actually purchase an Ice-T jug, like my friend Melody, you will NOT regret your purchase :-).
And tell them Anneline sent you ;-). Because I’m nice. And I like their T jugs. And they should know about how cool George and Callum from the T2 Highpoint, Melbourne store are.
And they may even learn about how amazing Waterco filters are.
Either way. Get some cool water into you. It’s hot. You’re body wants water. :-)