This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Splenda. The opinions and text are all mine.
Hello! I have a fun ‘Hydration Challenge’ and delicious light Strawberry Iced Tea recipe made with SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener to share today. Cheers!
I’m oddly obsessed with making sure I’m well hydrated – it’s been a priority since high school for some reason?
But recently I’ve had some trouble drinking enough water and cutting back on diet soda and seltzer. There are 2 reasons for my water drinking fail:
1. I bought new stainless steel water-bottles! Awesome! They keep water cold (or hot) for a long time. They’re easy to clean and BPA free!
But… My previous water bottles were transparent. I didn’t realize that was really encouraging. I guess seeing how much water I had helped me drink more?
After a few weeks I felt like I was gaining weight. I was snacking more and drinking more seltzer water. I didn’t really stress about it since I try to practice intuitive eating and figured maybe I was just hungrier than usual and it was okay.
But part of intuitive eating is also being aware of what your body is craving or telling you. I tried to observe myself from a neutral place and realized – I was drinking less water than before. And eventually figured out that my body was dehydrated and nudging me to eat more and drink more seltzer in an effort to quench my thirst.
2. I heard a study that carbonated drinks might cause weight gain. (I drink seltzer – the study included soda, diet soda and carbonated water.)
Seltzer is expensive mainly because I drink A LOT of it. So, even though I don’t think seltzer water in moderation is bad – I wasn’t drinking it in moderation and going through my Soda Stream canisters super fast.
I decided to cut back on seltzer and diet soda… but now what?
And that brings us to my new obsession and hydration challenge!
Since I’m trying to drink more water based beverages but less carbonated beverages I’ve been making iced tea. I bought a big glass drink dispenser and brew ‘sun tea’ in the morning so it’s ready for the day.
I’ve done green tea, black tea and tropical tea mixes. And they’re good! But I miss the fun flavors of seltzer! So, I made this Light Strawberry Iced Tea to switch it up and it’s delicious!
Light Strawberry Iced Tea Recipe
Light sugar free Strawberry Iced Tea Recipe – serves 4 – 6
- 6 green tea bags
- 4 cups boiling water
- 2 cups strawberries
- 1/2 cup SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener
Directions: Boil water and pour over green tea bags. You can do this in big mugs or a heat-safe container. My glass container says note to put boiling water in it so I do this step in big mugs.
Steep tea for 3-4 minutes. Remove tea bags and let cool a bit.
Wash and hull strawberries.
Blend 1 cup of the strawberries, 1 cup of the cooled tea and the SPLENDA® Naturals in a blender.
Combine the cooled tea, strawberry blend, remaining strawberries and 3-4 more cups of water in a drink container and refrigerate.
Serve over ice and enjoy!
Tip: Freeze the 1 cup of strawberries you are not blending and serve the iced tea over those to keep the drink cool and avoid it getting watered down.
I used 1/2 cup of SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener, Granulated – you can adjust the amount to your taste preference. When you’re cooking or baking with Splenda Granulated, it’s a one-to-one substitute from real sugar so that makes it easy to cut back on extra sugar and calories in recipes. But if you’re unsure just use a little less, taste it and add more as needed.
I love sweet drinks and treats but don’t want to eat a ton of sugar so this is a good swap for me. Splenda Naturals is made with stevia extract Reb D (other stevia sweeteners that use Reb A can have a bitter aftertaste). Stevia is my go-to sweetener for iced coffee, iced tea, oatmeal… basically most things I want to sweeten up! (Stevia is a plant and probably one of the best natural low calorie sweeteners you can use.)
Now I want to try and make other delicious iced tea combinations with different types of tea and fruit!
And finally back to the challenge…
Hydration goals (as well as nutrition) are different for every body. These are mine:
Hydration Challenge Goals:
- Drink my entire water bottle before drinking other ‘fun’ beverages. After coffee since I drink that before running. This includes low calorie drinks and seltzer.
- Limit myself to 2 seltzers a day.
- Make a batch of iced tea every other day. (One batch lasts about 2 to 3 days when it’s just me drinking it.)
Question: What’s the last thing you had to drink? (Or are drinking now?)
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