by Angie Neal
If there's one vice I have that is truly bad for me, it's diet pop. Diet Pepsi has always been my favorite, but Diet Mug's Rootbeer and Fresca come close behind. I started drinking diet pops a long time ago, so I could cut calories and still have my fizzy, sweet drinks.
They're just so addicting! Like many vices, I would stop drinking them, only to come back to them later on after getting a random craving. When it comes to addictions (I have what you would call an “addictive personality”), if you want to stop it, you have to replace it with something else.
So far, green tea – in all its antioxidant-rich, metabolism-boosting glory – has been the best replacement for my diet pop addiction. It's by far the healthiest drink I could have used to replace them with! Hopefully, I can even reverse some of the damage I probably did to myself by drinking so much diet pop through the years.
In this heat, I got a bad hankering for a big Polar Pop of Diet Pepsi. I gave in a few times. Today, I decided to do something different to stop my craving, and it worked!
This is a really simple recipe I created with the stuff I have on hand in my kitchen and my herb garden – A lemon and my sweet basil plant. I had an empty gallon jug from water we bought at the store, so I used that as the container for my recipe.
Here's how to make a delicious jug of iced basil lemon green tea!
- Fill your empty jug with water and dump the water into a pot on the stove. Add a little more water to make up for what will evaporate.
- Bring it to an almost-boil, and add 10 green tea bags. If you have a tea infuser and loose leaf green tea, use however much you would use to make 10 cups of tea.
- Steep for 5 minutes. You don't want to steep green tea too long, or it'll be really bitter.
- Take it off the heat and let it cool down a little.
- Stir in your chosen sweetener, or leave it unsweetened like I did with mine.
- Slice up a lemon and cut the slices in half. Throw those in the jug.
- Cut 8 fresh sweet basil leaves in half and throw those in the jug.
- When it cools down a bit more so that it won't melt the plastic, carefully pour it into the jug with a funnel.
- Let it cool down in the fridge, add some ice to your glass, and enjoy!
You can always add different flavors to suit your taste. Green tea has a pretty plain, planty taste which is good by itself (I like it, anyway!), but also makes it perfect for adding other flavors. Try other citrus fruits, berries, honey and fresh ginger.
Here are some of the facts about why green tea is so good for you. They even make up for the fact that it's not carbonated.
- All those antioxidants! Both green and black tea have 10x the amount of antioxidants you would get from fruits and veggies. These antioxidants detoxify the body, which helps protect you from things like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cancer.
- It works as an anti-inflammatory, which makes it great for people with problems like arthritis and asthma.
- It can help speed up your metabolism and help with minor weight loss.
- It kills bacteria and gives your immune system a boost!
- Green tea has half the amount of caffeine as black tea, which is perfect if you need a boost in the evening, but you don't want to stay up all night.
- It's easier on the stomach than coffee. I also have a bad habit of drinking more coffee than I should. I can be more excessive with green tea, without getting too jittery or hurting my stomach.
- It can help your brain work even better, with the help of an amino acid called L-theanine, which had been found to help improve brain function.
Have you made any healthy and natural replacements in your own life recently?
Angie is a blogger and copywriter who loves to work with creative small businesses. You can find her lifestyle/beauty blog at http://thismuseistaken.com, or get blogging advice and help with blogging and copywriting at http://buzzcopy.net.
I haven't been much of a water drinker. I know green tea isn't supposed to take its place, but it's sure a step in the right direction. I've never heard of basil in tea, I may have to try that.