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Beyond Coffee

Get a jump start on your day with these  delicious, healthy morning beverages

Here’s a secret to start off your day with more energy and a dose of hydration: Ditch that cup of coffee and grab a healthy, easy-to-make smoothie or an infused water beverage. “Both can help you get hydrated for the day,  which is something coffee or tea won’t do,” says Jullian Yabut, a senior culinary services director  at CareOne.

But don’t grab them from the local convenience store. “The store-bought versions tend to have artificial ingredients and can be loaded with sugar,” Yabut warns. Here’s how to whip up these simple beverages at home.

Smoothies 101 

The tastiest (and healthiest!) smoothies are made from either coconut milk or almond milk, along with fresh fruits, which are typically high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, adding a power boost to your day. Simply blend together 8 to 16 ounces of the milk with the fruit of your choice, plus an ice cube or two. The ice cube will keep the smoothie cold while also providing additional hydration. Pour into a tumbler and, voila! you’re ready to go. Hint: Sneak in a few of your veggies, like fresh kale, to provide extra nutrients. “Tropical Bliss,” at right, provides one simple recipe.

“Drinking water is the natural way to detox our bodies,” 

—Jullian Yabut, senior culinary services director at CareOne.

Infuse Your Water

We all need to drink more water every day: It boosts hydration and helps rid your body of waste through your kidneys, liver, and skin. “Drinking water is the natural way to detox our bodies,” Yabut says. But water can taste kind of bland. The solution: Simply add sliced fruit combinations to a tumbler of water and ice. Or, purchase a water bottle that has a special compartment for added fruit. Yabut’s favorite combos include blackberry and sage (the blackberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, while the sage has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties) and watermelon and basil. (The watermelon provides vitamin C and lycopene, which appears to reduce cancer risk, while the basil contains essential oils that help protect against disease.) Simply experiment with your favorite varieties, and drink up!

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