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Breaking the Rules

Confession: This week I bought a lemon.  

When it gets hot, it’s important to drink a lot of water.  I am not one to drink water naturally, so need to flavour my water to get myself to drink enough of it.  One of the tricks I discovered last year was to slice up a lemon, put it in a jug of water along with several large stems of fresh mint from the garden, and fill with water.  Each time I pour myself a glass of water, I top up the jug from the tap.  The lemon and mint are strong enough to keep flavouring the water for up to a week.  I know it’s time to pour the whole thing into the composter when the mint starts developing black spots.  Then I cut up another lemon, pick more mint, and refill.

The problem is, there are no lemon farms in Ontario.  So this summer, when the weather turned hot, I decided to try and find a local alternative.  My weekly CSA organic box of goodies has included lemon balm for the last few weeks, so I tried to use that instead. The leaves smell so strongly of lemon that I thought surely they would infuse the water with a lemon scent.  

Unfortunately, they did not.

Next I bought a lemon verbina plant, which smells even more strongly.  But again, they did not transfer this flavour to the water.  I tried just using mint, but that didn’t cut it.  I wasn’t drinking my water, and as I have been fairly active of late, I kept getting dehydrated and that triggers migraines.  And migraines are just no fun.

So I broke down and bought a lemon.  It was the first time I have consciously broken my 100-mile diet rules since I started this project last summer (I’ve had a few slip-ups that happened without thinking). 

But you know what?  I didn’t find myself enjoying the lemon-mint water like I used to.  I really don’t know why.  Guilt perhaps?  Or maybe my taste buds have changed?  I’m not sure, but I’m back to my search for tasty water to stay hydrated.  I think this time I will try making some herbal tea infusions and adding them to the water.  If I find anything that works, I will be sure to post it here!


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