It's almost bikini season and I've been working my ass off to get fit and healthy. I've been going to the gym 4 days a week and doing my best to eat well. I've cut out red meat (except on cheat days) and I've even started a bit of portion control. But let's get real, I'm a mother of two eight-pound babies. My stomach has been kicked, pulled and stretched to its limits, twice. So, you can imagine the damage my tummy has experienced. I know I can't do much about the loose skin and stretch marks, but it seems that no matter how hard I work out or how much I change my diet, I can't get rid of the "mom pouch" either. Working out has been amazing and I've managed to slim down quite a bit in my midsection. But recently, I've been feeling a bit discouraged about my progress. After two years of trying to conceal my post-baby body, I'm ready to break free from oversized t-shirts and mom jeans and start loving my body again.
I took my desire for a flat tummy and turned it into a research project. I searched google far and wide for natural ways to burn fat from the midsection. After bypassing all the Dr. Miami and "Flat-tummy Tea" ads, I finally came upon an interesting idea that I want to share with you!
Introducing: Infused Water
Infused water is the combination of cold water and various fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Infused water contains little to no calories and no artificial ingredients making it a perfect "anytime" drink. While many people use infused waters to help lose weight, infused water can also be used to enhance mood, hydrate the body during workouts, and give the body energy.
Water and Metabolism:
Did you know that drinking water boosts your metabolism? Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns the calories that contribute to excess weight. Water, in combination with fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs, can burn calories at a faster rate, curb cravings, flush toxins from your system and promote a faster, healthier digestive system.
I have to admit, after reading about this, I wasn't convinced. I mean honestly, if this was such an easy solve, why are so many of us still suffering from stubborn belly fat? So, I gave this a trial run. For an entire week, I drank nothing but infused water and my daily morning lavender and peppermint tea. After the week was over, I was beyond impressed with my results!! I was much slimmer around my tummy area and I could even fit into my jeans much more comfortably than before. My body felt generally BETTER, as I noticed an energy boost along with my "lighter", less bloated tummy.
As your personal natural care guru, it is only right to let you in on this secret! So, here are my recipes for the week. Some are quicker, easier recipes, while the others have a bit more ingredients. However, they are all delicious and helped me reach results! Check them out, try them out and share your before and afters!
Lemon and Cucumber Mint:
This one is a classic! I'm sure you have had it at a relaxing spa, at the nail salon, or at a fancy hotel. Drinking this delicious infusion was relaxing and deeply hydrating- all while burning those calories right off!
Lemon- low in calories and contains trace amounts of fiber that may help speed up the digestion process
Cucumber- contains vitamin K and antioxidants, is super filling, and low in calories
Mint- boosts metabolism, improves digestive health associated with bloating and indigestion and suppresses hunger
1 sliced lemon
1 sliced cucumber
5 sprigs of mint (slightly crushed)
Be sure to wash all fruits before using. I use a simple 1 part ACV and 1 part water soak that removes all waxes and dirt! Add all ingredients to the bottom of the pitcher and pour cold, filtered water over it. Refrigerate for at least an hour and serve cold. You should be able to refill the pitcher 2-3 times before the fruit and herbs need to be discarded.
This is my favorite recipe of the three, simply because it's just so freaking good! It's perfect for a hot day to stay hydrated or for a post-workout treat!
Strawberry- high in vitamin C and boosts metabolism
Mango- high in vitamin C and boost metabolism
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1 sliced mango
Be sure to wash the strawberries before using. My go-to fruit and veggie wash is a 1 part ACV, 1 part water soak that washes away all waxes and dirt! Add sliced ingredients to the bottom of a pitcher. Pour cold water over the fruit and refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve cold. You should be able to refill the pitcher 2 times before the fruit needs to be discarded.
Orange Ginger Cinnamon:
I enjoyed this one each night before bed! The combination of cinnamon and citrus reminded me of one of my favorite teas. After drinking, I felt relaxed and it really helped curb my night time cravings!
1 finger peeled and sliced ginger
1 orange rind (without the white pith)
2 cinnamon sticks
Please wash all your fruits before use! I like to use my 2-ingredient ACV and water soak to rid the fruits of waxes, dirt, and other harmful chemicals. Add all ingredients to the bottom of the pitcher and pour cold water over them. Refrigerate for at least an hour and serve cold. You will be able to refill your container 3 times before the ingredients need to be discarded!
If you love infused water and have any recipes to share, I would be excited to hear about them. Let me know in the comments! If you have any comments or questions, I'll be happy to answer them to the best of my knowledge.