There is something about warmer weather that makes me want to drink all the flavored beverages ever. Somehow, it seems like plain ole water just doesn’t do the trick when it’s 75 degrees like it did when it was blizzarding back in January. If I’m being totally honest, what I really want is a really cold gin and tonic, heavy on the lime, that I sip on while swinging on our front porch swing as the sun goes down, but I’ll have to wait for that kind of beverage until June.
For now, I’m getting my fill of fun, flavorful drinks by consuming a ton of naturally-flavored waters. I know, I know. You can buy flavored waters (both regular and sparkling) at the grocery store for almost nothing, and it’s so much easier than making your own. You’re right, it is so much more convenient to just snag a bottle or two off the shelf, but I love being able to customize my own combinations. I love knowing exactly what I’m drinking. And I love seeing this beautiful jar of deliciousness sitting in the fridge. It’s like a work of art!
Even though I was a water-drinking expert pre-pregnancy, I’ve struggled a lot with staying hydrated throughout my pregnancy because the taste of water (even filtered water) really didn’t agree with my pregnancy tastebuds. Flavored waters have been a lifesaver over the past eight months.
Water is important all the time. And it’s important throughout an entire pregnancy. But it’s especially important in the third trimester, when dehydration has been shown to trigger preterm labor. If I can keep Baby J growing inside for a bit longer just by getting my fill of water each day, I’m going to do it! Plus, staying property hydrated during the third trimester helps keep me from retaining water—no swollen feet or ankles for me (yet).
What I’ve been doing is filling up a half-gallon Mason jar (we inherited ours, but I’ve seen these at craft stores—check Michael’s and Hobby Lobby) with my water flavorings, ice and water in the morning, with a goal of getting through it twice in a day. That’s roughly 120 ounces of water, or 15 glasses, a day. The flavoring fruits, veggies and herbs will easily get me through two jar fill-ups and still keep their flavor. And in fact, I usually use them for two or more days. Basically, when they lose their flavor, I toss them in the compost and start over with a new combo. But until then, I just keep on filling it up!
In this jar, I used cucumbers, lime, strawberries and fresh mint. The cucumber, mint and lime make the water taste so refreshing and bright! And the strawberries just add a tiny touch of natural sweetness. If you wanted even stronger flavor, you could also muddle the mix-ins (mush them up) before pouring in your water. If you do that, I recommend straining the water before drinking—unless you like to chew chunks of cucumber and pick out lime seeds from your water.
This combination is one of my favorites, not only because it tastes yummy, but also because it just looks so darn pretty! I’m (obviously) a visual person, and I really think there is something in my noggin that says, “Hey, that’s pretty, I want to drink that!” and makes it more appealing to me than just regular ole water.
STRAWBERRY, LIME, CUCUMBER AND MINT WATER
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 cup sliced cucumbers
- 2 limes, sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- Ice cubes
- In a half-gallon jar, or a 2 quart pitcher, layer the strawberries, cucumbers, lime slices, and mint leaves with the ice cubes. Fill jar or pitcher with water. Let chill for 10 minutes, and then enjoy!
- I can get 2-4 fill-ups out of one batch of flavorings, but you might want to change out your flavorings sooner for stronger flavor.
- Feel free to use sparkling water instead of still water.
- Obviously, the longer the water sits, the stronger the flavor. It’s mild at first, but after a few hours (or overnight) it’s quite strong.