companion blog to the e-book the 24/7 Low Carb Diner

Companion blog to the e-book
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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Cranberry Diet Drinks

My final installment in Cranberry Week. For this beverage, I have been in experimental mode. I had read about the Biggest Loser weight loss drink with unsweetened cranberry juice. It seemed interesting. Several different recipes are online, most with varying ingredients. One constant seems to be the unsweetened cranberry juice. Since I was needing to place an order at Swanson's, I added some of that to my list. I honestly have not looked for it locally. You may be able to get unsweetened juice at your health food store. I used this. I have always been a fan of cranberry juice. Until recently, I only knew about the sugary kind on the grocery store shelves. Never too old to learn! Cranberries are loaded with antioxidants, and are great to support urinary tract health. I struggle in that area a bit from time to time, so I think this will be a terrific addition to my diet.
I have also been checking out some essential oils to add to my beverages. I love grapefruit juice. It is one thing I really miss. I used to drink the grapefruit flavored Crystal Light. Now, I don't do aspartame. I bet the loss of my sales alone led to the company discontinuing that flavor! I have to say, I love a simple grapefruit water. Just water and 2 drops of essential oil. Just enough flavor to make water more interesting. I drink that at school. Grapefruit is one of the oils recommended for weight loss. It is supposed to help with appetite suppression and metabolism--among a host of other good things. This is not a review for any weight loss promises. I just figure it is good to do what I can. We older gals have such a hard time dropping weight. If it happens to work like magic, I assure you, I will share. Even if you aren't looking for weight loss, these drinks are healthy and amazingly tasty. 
Before you look for a sales pitch, I am not a distributor for any essential oil company. In fact, I did some research on therapeutic grade essential oils because I just couldn't tolerate the mark ups and shipping costs my friends endure. Most of them signed up to be representatives just so they could afford the oils. That  just irritates me. I want to get a high quality product without a business entanglement. I found Native American Nutritionals. The prices are much better, the quality is good. Shipping was--well, free. Win. Couldn't get a better deal even if I bought from one of my friends. Sorry girls. I get no money or product for endorsing this company, just sharing a tip. While I was ordering my grapefruit oil, I noticed a blend for weight loss called Slim and Trim. It says it will help with cravings and appetite control. Yes! I added a small bottle to my order. It is a blend of pink grapefruit, lemon, peppermint, cinnamon bark and celery seed. From the reviews, some love the taste, others, no so much. I was surprised to like it as much as I did. But it needed some tweaking. See the recipe below. We shall see how the appetite control works out. 

All of these ingredients I am sharing today are easy to mix and match. Add them to water or tea, add spices or other oils. Make a custom cocktail! Be sure to use glass containers, since essential oils are thought to pull toxins from plastic. I love to drink from mason jars with lids and straws. Remember the Diner News issue where I showed you how to make you own lids with holes for straws?  Here are my favorites from this week: 

Biggest Loser Inspired Weight Loss Drink
(My version is a combo of several found online. I chose less cranberry juice. Some add cinnamon and cayenne, not a great flavor combo with the lemon in my opinion.)

1 bag green tea
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon flavoring
Ice and water to fill 1 quart
Stevia to taste

Steep green tea in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove and discard bag. Stir in cranberry juice, lemon juice, and  lemon flavoring if using. (This really does make a super lemony boost) In a quart jar or glass bottle, add ice and water to the top. Add liquid stevia to taste. (I used Hungry Girl Stevia with honey flavoring.) My favorite lemon flavoring is Simply Organic Lemon flavor. You can always just add a couple of drops of lemon essential oil instead of the juice and flavoring.

18 calories   4 g carb

Simple Cranberry Grapefruit Slimmer 

1 bag green tea
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate
2 drops Grapefruit essential oil
Ice and water to fill 1 quart
stevia to taste

Steep green tea in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove and discard bag. Stir in cranberry juice and grapefruit essential oil. Add ice and water to fill a quart jar. Drink as is or add stevia to taste.

14 calories   3 g carbs

Slim and Trim Appetite Slammer
Cayenne pepper has a thermogenic effect to boost metabolism. It is optional.

1 bag oolong tea (or green)
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate
2 drops Native Nutritionals Slim and Trim blend essential oil
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
Ice and water to make 1 quart
stevia or other sweetener to taste (I use E.Z. Sweets Stevia with Monkfruit)

Steep oolong tea in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove and discard bag. Stir in cranberry juice, Slim and Trim essential oil, cinnamon and cayenne if using. Fill a quart jar with ice and water to the top. Add stevia to taste.

15 calories   3 g carbs

So there you have it. No excuses for sodas. Add some nutrition to everything you take in--even your water. If any of you try these recipes and the essential oils, please let me know if you see results. In the past, I have been terribly inconsistent when I try to evaluate a supplement. I kinda fail at doing the body hacking thing. Worth a try?

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arlene said...

I love your blog, and I believe you to be completely sincere in your comments about taking essential oils internally. But that can be a very bad idea with terrible results. You may like to read the following article and give it some thought! (I'm not selling anything either!) Further in the article is some info on the dangers of consuming the oils.
Thanks for the wonderful recipes!!

Lisa Marshall said...

Thanks for the heads up. I am checking with the company now. Yours is one of the articles that led me to Native American.


Lisa Marshall said...

This is how the company replied to me.

"Hello Lisa,

All of our oils are safe to ingest with wisdom and safety. We don't recommend taking more than 1-2 drops at a time, more than 3 times a day. We also recommend diffusion or topical use over internal use, as ingesting oils can cause damage to the digestive tract and/or kill the bacteria therein, and as ingesting oils tends to be less effective than topical use or diffusion.

For internal use, especially with hot oils, it is best to dilute the oil before ingesting to protect the digestive tract. And again, if it is possible to apply topically or diffuse, we recommend those methods first.

Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.



I guess we can all make the choice we are most comfortable with.

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