Slice & Slurp, it’s National Drink Watermelon Day + Watermelon Ginger Limeade Recipe

nuun ambassador jennifer fisher watermelon

The weathermen don’t need to convince me that July 24th is considered the hottest day of the year.  Here in Austin with temperatures about to pass the 100 degree mark, I think I could sear my favorite spice-crusted tenderloin steak to perfect mouthwatering, medium-rareness right on the sidewalk. Seriously.  I actually enjoy the heat and think in a past life I may have been a lizard. However, unrelenting warm temperatures create challenges when exercising outdoors  — one of the biggest problems is remaining hydrated as sweating increases.  Even becoming moderately dehydrated really puts a downer on the day – who wants to deal with muscle cramps, a nagging headache and lingering fatigue?

july 24 drink watermelon badge

I was super excited to find out today is National Drink Watermelon Day, a pretty awesome proclamation made by the National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB).   Drinking watermelon juice is a great way to keep fluid levels topped off – this jumbo-sized juicy fruit is made from 92 percent water and is a robust resource for replenishing electrolytes. Watermelon can even help your muscles recover more quickly from workouts thanks to the amino acid L-citrulline.  I talk about this in more detail in the Running & Watermelon Hydration and Watermelon & Workout Recovery posts I did for my recent week of #LivingOnTheWedge.

benefits of drinking watermelonOutdoor athletes aren’t the only ones that need to stay hydrated during the summer.  A recent Harris Poll commissioned by NWPB reported that nearly 1/3 of us don’t drink enough water – the main reason being lack of flavor. Really, you could just eat an 18 ounces slice of watermelon and it would be like drinking a 16 ounce bottle of water. However, there are so many taste bud tantalizing drinks you can make with watermelon that are so much more exciting than just putting a lemon slice in water. Some of my favorite past recipes are Watermelon Agua Fresca and Watermelon Chia Seed Smoothies. One of my favorite sports hydration companies, Nuun Hydration, even makes a Watermelon-flavored electrolyte replacement tab — I like to add these do watermelon juice for a double boost!

.However, in honor of National Drink Watermelon Day, I’ve come up with a new watermelon beverage that quenches thirst with a kick of ginger – Stevia-Sweetened Watermelon Ginger Limeade. Ginger is an awesome addition to any drink – it boosts the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body and it has anti-inflammatory properties to sooth sore muscles and joints. A glass of this lightly sweet-sour-spicy drink will make you say “hello” to hydration – who doesn’t want to drink MORE of something that tastes so outrageously good. And, please do drink more – I’ve made this healthy recipe with Stevia to keep the carbs lower!

 

 

low sugar watermelon drink for hydration

Stevia-Sweetened Watermelon Ginger Limeade Recipe

  •  4 oz fresh ginger root
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon powedered Stevia (like Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Stevia)
  • 4 cups watermelon juice
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • 12 oz sparkling water
  • Optional Garnish – lime slices, watermelon balls and fresh mint
  1. Wash and thinly slice ginger root, peeling is not necessary. Add sliced ginger to small sauce pan filled with 2 cups water.  Bring to boil and the lower heat and let simmer (no lid) for about 30 – 45 minutes or until liquid reduced by half.
  2. Pour ginger and water through fine-meshed strainer and into a bowl. Mix in stevia and stir until dissolved. Discard ginger or save for another use.
  3. Prepare watermelon juice by pureeing about 6 cups of watermelon in the blender and straining off pulp. An easier way is just to collect the juice that runs off watermelon when cutting it into chunks – I save all of mine and keep it in the freezer for recipes like this!
  4. To prepare beverage, pour watermelon juice, lime juice, ½ cup ginger “syrup” juice into tall pitcher; stir to combine. Pour in sparkling water and lightly stir.
  5. Serve in tall glasses garnished with lime slices and watermelon balls. Serves 4

gingered watermelon lime drink

 

This post was sponsored by the National Watermelon Promotion Board and I received nominal compensation to share my love for watermelon. All recipes and opinions are my own.

Seven Days of Sweet & Savory Things

Aug 24: Ran the epic Hood to Coast Relay for the second year,  on a team called Cherry Limeade sponsored by the always awesome, always refreshing Nuun Hydration.  This Seattle-based maker of electrolyte tabs is focused on creating a take-along product that keeps runners and other athletes hydrated flavorfully – in fact, they have so many flavors, it will make your head spin.  My favorites are Kona Kola and Strawberry Lemonade, oh yea — and ½ a Banana tab with ½ a Watermelon tab!  I appreciate the fact that I’m not sucking down a bunch of sugar with this product, goodness knows I’ve been the poster child for losing time on a race course due to GI distress.

hood to coast van two getting ready

I was so inspired by the women runners in my team’s van 2, that I just have to shout them out —  Allison, Tanaya and Tere from Arizona, Emily (now) from Oregon and Paige from Washington. I’m already looking at the upcoming race calendars to cherry pick (or, should I say ‘cherry limeade pick’?) a few for reunion visits! BTW, all the women I met on the Nuun teams rocked; however, these particular ones though had to put up with me for 40 straight hours with no sleep. There was no do-it-yourselfing on this trip, well except the running. We had the luxury of being chauffeured around on this 200-mile race by our fearless, amusingly foul-mouthed and seriously funny van driver Vishal, a Nuun employee who also made sure that we had our Starbucks, Diet Mountain Dew, and never-ending food and pit stops expertly arranged.  Thanks to Megan Fay for organizing the chaos and chief hydrator and company president, Mason Reay, for another year of gracious hospitality. Random side note: I knew Mason lived in Austin for a while, but found out that our children attended the same preschool at the same time! Now that I think of it, he might have been the dad at the Thanksgiving Pow-wow who offered to bring beer.

August 25: Traveled the entire day, plane had mechanical problems and I wasn’t in bed until 2:30, and shortly thereafter greeted my 5:30 alarm clock. That was neither a sweet nor savory thing. But, while waiting at the airport, I did order a “personal mix” of granola from MixMyOwn.com.  The site is so cool, you choose a base cereal, other grains, fruits, nuts and add-ins and then bag it up and ship it straight to your door! On the back of the bag, the nutrition label reflects the exact mix that you made. And, it tastes really fantastic on my Greek yogurt.

mixmyown

August 26: School started, enough said. Sweet! Okay, I’ll say more – and I don’t usually dump out this much mushy personal information, so here you go! My three sons have entered 11th, 8th and 5th grades, so proud of them and it’s going to be a great year.  Got a sweet kiss from each this morning!

my three boys

August 28: Finally read my September Cooking Light magazine and made a recipe for Quinoa-Granola Cookies that I will share on the blog tomorrow. Love to put healthy cookies in my kid’s lunches. Sneak peek:

quinoa-granola-chocolate-chip-cookies-ck-l

August 30:  Brought a post-practice treat to football practice, Jamba Juice smoothies! Seeing as it was 105 degrees, I had no trouble passing off every last one of the Strawberry Surf Rider smoothies to those hot, sweaty boys. This is one of the reasons why I love being a Jamba Juice Whirl’d Ambassador (disclosure).  If you sign up to receive Jamba Juice news and specials via email, you’ll receive a coupon for a $2 16-ounce smoothie. That’s a sweet-sweet situation!

SAMSUNG

August 31: Celebrated National Bacon Day by wrapping a piece of cured pork around a club cracker and rolling it in brown sugar – then baked at 400F until bubbling with greasy-salty-sweet goodness. This sweet-and-savory sin was not my own doing – inspired by the Pioneer Woman.

national bacon day

September 1: Shared my love for beef and why it is great fuel for an athlete at the Tri-Rock Triathlon Expo in Austin, Texas.  Looking for a delicious dinner idea that’s healthy and fast? Check out my recipe for Spice Crusted Tenderloin with Street Fair Corn, hurry and make it before grilling season slips away.

jen and jackie tri rock

My Favorite Running & Fitness Goodies Giveaway

Just because the holidays are pretty much over doesn’t mean gift-giving has to come to an end.  I want to jump-start all your New Year fitness resolutions with a care package of some of my favorite things.  Whether you are planning to run your first 5k in 2013 or complete your 100th marathon, these little goodies will help you get to the finish line just a little easier.  It’s my New Year gift to one of you!   Enter below on the Rafflecopter form to win this assortment of sporty stuff.

  • Save Our Soles Performance Socks for the Enlightened Athlete: Size Medium branded with Competitor 25th Anniversary logo.  You can never have too many socks, especially SOS socks.
  •  Sun-Rype 100% All Natural Fruit Strips: A delicious and nutritious product made in Canada but found in the fresh produce section of your local grocery. Contains no preservatives, artificial colors, and is gluten-free and nut-free.  You get one dozen fruit strips in Strawberry.
  •  FuelBelt – Super-Stretch Waist Pack in Blue ready to hold your race-day necessities like a phone, keys, nutrition gels and girl stuff.
  •  Slacklaces – “The Flexible Shoe Lace” in Pink are an inventive way to tie up your sneakers.  Don’t just lace them up old-school though; check out my old post on special techniques to lace shoes that alleviates problems like heel slip, smushed big toes, and such.
  •  Nuun Active Hydration Tablets – Enjoy one tube of 12 tablets in the Tropical flavor. If you haven’t used Nuun before, you’ll love it.  Drop one tab into a bottle of water and it fizzes up without stirring to provide you an on-the-go electrolyte drink without any sugar.
  •  Sports Legs:  Supplements to reduce lactic acid build-up and minimize post-race soreness (5-tablet supply which is enough for one marathon). I have used these a few times with some success, definitely less sore the next day.  The company told me they would make my legs feel 15 years younger, now if only the rest of my body follow suit.
  •  Chia Surge Endurance Gel – Pinapple-Orange Flavor and Raspberry Flavor from Vitalyte Sports Nutrition.  You can find these gels retail at REI Outdoor.
  •  Handana: It might not be hot now, but come summer, you’re going to appreciate wiping your brow with this stylish and easy-to-wear high-performance sports band.  Made right here in Austin, Texas!
  • Jamba Juice: Run your errands or workout in this understated but oh-so-fashionable Jamba Juice cap and then treat your healthy self to a smoothie with the 3 one-dollar gift cards. It’s no secret that my favorite flavor is Razzamatazz® with a whey protein boost.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Helping You Stay Hydrated Giveaway – Nuun Electrolyte Drink Tabs & Swag

In honor of my recent participation in the Hood to Coast Relay on a team sponsored by Nuun Hydration, I’m giving away some sweet swag to keep one lucky winner hydrated for the remainder of the summer. If you’re not familiar with Nuun, you’ve been missing out on an awesome product that features essential electrolytes, no sugars and a light, refreshing taste! Nuun is used by some of the best athletes on the planet, armies of weekend warriors and the crowds of spectators cheering us all on.

Just plop one tablet into a 16 to 20-ounce bottle of water and in about one minute you have a refreshing beverage containing the proper balance of water and electrolytes like sodium and potassium.  Each tube of Nuun is portable and the quick-dissolving tablets make it simple to hydrate on the go. Use of Nuun reduces the needless use of toss-away water bottles and the Nuun container itself is recyclable to be mindful of our beautiful Mother Earth.  Make your water count!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

With Hydration and Juice For All! Nuun-ified Watermelon-Blueberry-Pomegranate Agua Fresca Recipe

Happy 4th of July! Nothing like sitting out on the front porch, resting hamstrings fatigued from the morning’s Freedom 5000 and declaring independence from corn-syrupy sodas with a nice big glass of watermelon agua fresca in hand. Even though these “fresh waters” originated in Mexico and Central America, I am happy to pledge my allegiance to the light-bodied, fruitiness that is oh-so ultra thirst-quenching without being too sugary sweet.

Of course, I had to take my own liberties with this summery south-of-the-border sipper by adding a couple Nuun All-Day Hydration Blueberry Pomegranate tablets.  If you aren’t familiar with this new product from Nuun, you should be! Each fizzing drink tablet has less than 8 calories, zero sugar and no artificial stuff while boasting a blend of vitamins A, B, C, D and E to keep you hydrated, energized and focused throughout the day

Nuun Watermelon-Blueberry-Pomegranate Agua Fresca Recipe

  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 tablets Nuun All-Day Hydration Blueberry Pomegranate
  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, chopped in 1-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoons Stevia sweetener
  • Crushed ice for serving (optional)
  • Handful of frozen blueberries for garnish (optional)

Pour water in blender; drop in Nuun tablets and wait for them to completely dissolve. Add watermelon chunks and Stevia to blender and puree until smooth. Pour mixture through a strainer into a pitcher, forcing a bit of the pulp through. Chill at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with or without ice cubes and a smattering of frozen blueberries. Makes two servings (only 60 calories each)!

Coming up tomorrow: A Nuun Giveaway!

Running For Team ‘After Nuun Delight’!

after nuun delight team runnning Hood To Coast Relay HTCRIt’s been a crazy few weeks in my running life, from my ‘Big Boston Marathon Meltdown’ on April 16thto a jubilant redemption 12 days later with an older-age P.R. in a local 5k (18:44).   Between the highs and the lows, I’ve scarcely had time to report about some exciting news that is unfolding to become the biggest adventure of my year . . . maybe my decade. Drumroll please . . .  I will be joining the exclusive all-female blogger Team Nuun to run the famous Hood to Coast Relay at the end of August 2012. As the largest (not to be confused with ‘longest’) relay race in the world, the 31st running of the Hood to Coast Relay begins in Mount Hood, Oregon and travels all the way down to Seaside – 199 miles!  Not to worry, I won’t be running almost two hundred miles alone, I’ll have 11 other runners that I will share legs with – literally and figuratively!  Our official team name is going to be “After Nuun Delight” – cute, huh?!

How to use Nuun Hydration.

Nuun tablets are easy to use on the go.,

So if you are new to Nuun, let me give you the skinny on the important product details. Nuun is a hydration tablet that is dropped into 16-ounces of water where it fizzes up Alka-Seltzer style – oh, but it tastes so much better!  Available in 11+ refreshing flavors (I like Strawberry Lemonade and Lemon Tea), Nuun has absolutely no sugar and less than 8 calories per serving – yet doesn’t sacrifice important electrolytes needed to power through a marathon, bike race or other active endeavor. And, if your biggest workout is bar hopping, it’s rumored that a Nuun tablet dissolved in water and consumed before bed and another upon awakening will lessen the effects of a hangover. I wouldn’t know, but I’ve heard.

Oh, Yes I Did! Nuun Tri-Berry Electrolyte Jellies

Nuun recipe perfect for Hood To Cost Relay - Team After Nuun Delight

Nuun electrolyte jellies are both a novel and nutritious recipe.

A Jell-O dish of some sorts has long been on the menu at our Easter gatherings, think big 60s style molds suspending little bits of fruit and marshmallow. But, hey, this is 2012 and I need some Jell-O that’s a little more ‘on-the-go’ friendly and addresses my electrolyte needs this week as I finish up training for the Boston Marathon. So hmmm, scratching head . . . why not combine my favorite sports drink tab (Nuun) with a mixture of plain and flavored gelatin to create some mighty-fine, finger-food fuel? Can’t wait for the reaction when I set down this masterful remix of our time-warped gelatin salad tradition on the big Easter buffet.

I’ve been drinking Nuun for years out on my long runs, the subtle yet seriously yummy flavors don’t overwhelm with sweetness – in fact, Nuun tablets are sugar-free with no artificial flavors or colors, providing optimal hydration without all those carbs that sometimes upset my stomach during a race. Now, these jellies do have some sugar in the recipe . . . a girl can’t live by sodium, magnesium and potassium alone! This recipe uses Nuun Tri-Berry tablets, but after the Boston Marathon, I am going to experiment more with this  recipe and make a ‘sweet victory’ version using Lemon Chai from the Natural Hydration line along with lemon Jell-O and a little vodka . . . stay tuned for that!

Nuun ‘Tri-Berry’ Electrolyte Jellies

Jello made with Nuun Tri-Berry tablets


• 1 env. (1/4 oz.) unflavored gelatin
• 1¼ cup cold water
• 3 NUUN Tri-Berry sports drink    tablets
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 2 Tbs. cornstarch
• 2 pkg. (3 oz. each) sparkling wildberry flavor gelatin*

Pour cold water into small bowl, drop in Nuun tablets and let dissolve. Sprinkle unflavored gelatin over Nuun-gelatin mixture, let stand 1 min. Mix 1/4 cup sugar and cornstarch in medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in Nuun-gelatin mixture until blended. Bring to boil on medium heat; cook 5 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add dry gelatin mixes; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Pour into 9×5-inch loaf pan** sprayed with cooking spray. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Remove from mold by holding pan upside-down over cutting board, it will slip out. Cut into 24 pieces.

*you can use any mixture of Nuun and flavored gelatin that you prefer
** In lieu of the loaf pan, I used a 24-ct ‘brownie bite’ silicone baking mold.

Nuun Tri-Berry Hydration

This is what the current Nuun Tri-Berry container looks like!