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Juice is Dead!

Fruit-Infused-Water

Extra extra! Read all about it! Can I be the first to report that fruit juice is dead? Or should I say, fruit juice from concentrate infused with fructose, dextrose and any other cancer causing artificial sweetener ending in o-s-e is dead? Bleh. As a a kid, I remember opening up our refrigerator when I wanted something to drink where I was met with the option of Kool-Aid, milk, grape juice and or apple juice.

iStock_000010669179MediumEven when I became a mother, I would (and still do for the most part) purchase apple juice, orange juice and other mixed fruit drinks for my boys. For some unknown reason, I’ve adopted the stigma of ruining things that people like. Killing dreams. Crushing hopes. Harsh, right? I’m guilty of none of those accusations, I swear. I will admit to informing anyone who will listen of the harsh realities of food companies and the things they would like to keep us in the dark about. I’m that person thats always reading, researching, and digging for the absolute truth.

Since I have a background in marketing, I have learned that NOTHING we see in commercials, in ads and on labels is entirely true. Advertisers play on our emotions and tell us what we need based on what they want us to buy. Sick right?

strawberriesEnter fruit juice. I used to love juice. Juice for breakfast. Juice for lunch and juice for dinner. Juice for snack. Juice just because. Juice, juice JUICE! Over the years, I noticed that I would have to start adding a little water to the beverages that I once loved. They became so sweet that they were no longer thirst quenching. So….I stopped buying them. I started buying beverages that weren’t sweetened. I’m not talking about “sugar free” drinks. Goodness! That stuff’s nasty. I mean the new stuff. “Organic” “all natural” “no artificial sweeteners” Blah, blah and BLAH! You gotta read the labels. I learned that most companies aren’t even required to disclose everything that they include in their ingredients. They can actually be discreet about potentially harmful additives and processes that they use to enhance the flavors and appearances of juices, fruits and veggies. One of the ingredients that they aren’t required to disclose are GMOs.

Lemon-2With out getting into a whole lot of details, GMOs are genetically modified organisms. Meaning….apples, by nature, are sweet. We as humans, over the years, have been conditioned to like things sweeter than they are naturally. Since “Natural” and “Organic” are large and in charge right now, food companies had to come up with an alternative. They needed to be able to make things sweeter without adding more sugar, since we’ve caught on to their sugary tactics. That’s where GMOs comes into play. Manufacturers are genetically modifying the original structure of fruits to make them sweeter. Then, they add these “sweetened fruits” to our juices and other food items. We like them because they are sweet like our artificial counterparts in the o-s-e family. Advertisers like them because they can now include phrases such as “naturally sweetened” and “no sugar added” to the bottle. Let’s face it. Those phrases SELL.

My solution is fruit infused beverages. I have had a few natural teas with fresh ginger, mint and oranges in it. It is absolutely delectable! Talk about mmmmmm! I have even had a few fruit waters. You will have to play around with the combinations to get the taste you want and to learn which fruits are more powerful in taste than others. I would even encourage reading about the benefits of different fruits. You can achieve the health properties directly versus the watered down sugary concentrated version most beverage companies will try and sell you.

Mint-LeavesI will say, that fruit water has an acquired taste. It kind of reminded me of drinking a glass of Kool-Aid….and with a sip left, pouring water into that same glass. Yyyuck! Don’t think of it that way! LOL! It has an acquired taste for sure. The taste is acquired because you will be literally retraining your taste buds. You will have to retrain them to detect sweetness naturally. If you are used to artificial sweeteners, this will be challenging. I encourage you to stick with it. The health benefits of fruit water are plentiful!

Here is a great link with fruit water combos. If you decide to try any, let me know! I’d love to hear about your fruit water journey.

Ditch the Juice Box.