Hoorah it's finally winter, the leaves are falling to the floor, the air is crisp and Instagram is about to burst with pictures of red festive Starbucks cups held at arm's length #Christmas #woo. We love Christmas and we love a hot drink, I mean when else can we justify drinking hot chocolate with extra cream every day?
Whilst an occasional triple choc hot drink with flake and added whipped cream and sprinkles is ok for an occasional treat, we can't forget to keep our bodies hydrated and healthy! In the summertime we naturally reach for a glass of water to keep cool but in the winter time it's easy to ditch the h20 in favour of something a little more warm and naughty. I always find that I spend too much time consuming every drink that isn't water, mostly because I can't stand the taste of tap water and I don't understand how anyone can find it pleasurable, it tastes of NOTHING!
So in order to maintain an active digestive system, healthy joints and solid circulation I try to jazz up my water so that it is actually a consumable beverage. As it's winter I've become a little more creative with my mug of flavourless hot water, in a bid to avoid the 1000 calorie filled drinks (sob) so here goes, any fellow water detesters you might just find this handy.
A drizzle of honey
Now you might argue with me here that honey is full of sugar and no healthier than a chocolate based hot drink but hear me out. Honey can do amazing things for the body and has many medicinal values from the ability to heal wounds to fighting respiratory infections, particularly handy now that the winter colds will creep in and you'll spend a good portion of time trying to shelter from everyone else's germs. Practically impossible if you have to catch a bus or tube on the daily so get stocking up on honey and simply add 1-2 teaspoons to your mug of warm water et voila. If you fancy going all out then you could also add a slice of lemon (honey and lemon are like BFF's) which will help to boost your immune system and add a zesty kick, who could say no to that.
A stick of cinnamon
What screams Christmas more than cinnamon?! It's definitely a marmite spice, you'll either love it or be repulsed by the very smell of it. If you happen to be a cinnamon fan like myself (I have cinnamon lip balm too it's great) then try dropping a stick into your mug and what's even better as it doubles up as a stirrer, not that you need it but it looks good and well yeah. Anyway add a few slices of apple for a wintery cider tasting drink. *A Christmas themed mug is essential when using cinnamon.
A slice of ginger
Ditch your morning coffee or breakfast tea for a super healthy ginger tea. Peel a fresh stem of ginger and chop up into chunks, pop into your mug and just add hot water. The amount of ginger you use really depends on how spicy you can handle it. You can try and tame it down with a drizzle of honey if you find you got a bit overexcited with the prospect of ginger tea. You'll not only be cutting down on calories but also benefiting from ginger's anti-oxidant propertiess too. It's also said to improve digestion and circulation, so next time you're in the supermarket be sure to pick up a fresh root of ginger.
A handful of winter berries
Berry flavoured water is said to keep your sugar cravings down, and it probably does for say an hour but then I'll most definitely be thinking about a bar of galaxy. It might not do much for my sugar cravings but it does keep me away from the hot drinks and Pepsi. It also adds a little health kick and I'm adamant it's at least one of my five a day. Blackberries are particularly nifty at helping your heart and can have a positive impact on your motor and cognitive skills. Get yourself to your nearest farm and get picking those blackberries! With permission, of course.
A Christmas clementine
A bit of a wild card but it can offer a zingy drink without the sugar content of a pure orange juice. Simply slice up your clementine and drop into your mug of warm water, if you want to give it a proper festive feel then our pal's cinnamon and ginger will be perfect. It's Christmas in a cup.
Will you be drawn into the marketing mania that is the red cup? Or will you be trying out some healthier hot drink alternatives at home?