One of the most important, yet often overlooked ingredient in any beverage is the ice cube. It can take a glass of water from ordinary to outstanding, iced tea from delicious to divine. The size, shape and taste of ice are all important factors when creating the perfect beverage.
So what is the perfect ice cube? Here at Aquasana, we think the best ice cubes are crystal clear and made from pure, clean, chemical-free Aquasana filtered water. Undesirable cloudiness in ice cubes occurs when the water contains dissolved solids and minerals and freezes too quickly. Give boring ice cubes the cold shoulder with these great tips:
Use Aquasana Ice: For beautiful, crystal clear ice cubes, start with Aquasana filtered water. Boil water for 2-3 minutes to remove air bubbles, then pour into ice cube trays. Cover trays with a piece of parchment paper and put in freezer. The hot water and parchment keep the cubes from freezing too quickly.
Once you have mastered the crystal clear ice cube, try jazzing them up to create a delicious, and visually impressive iced beverage perfect for entertaining guests. Half the fun is experimenting with interesting beverage and ice pairings.
Here are some tasty combinations to try:
To make lemon ice cubes, prepare crystal clear ice cubes and add slices of fresh lemon, lime or mint to the ice cube trays before freezing.
Aquasana Lemonade with Strawberry Mint Ice Cubes:
To prepare ice cubes: Put a mint leaf in the bottom of each ice cube section. Top with blended frozen strawberries, pack down to form compact cubes and freeze. Prepare your favorite lemonade with Aquasana filtered water. Serve lemonade over strawberry mint ice cubes—delicious!
Aquasana Iced Tea and Lemonade Ice Cubes:
Freeze lemonade in ice cube trays. Pour your favorite Iced Tea, made with Aquasana filtered water, over frozen lemonade cubes.
Make up your own combinations–the possibilities are endless!
From all of us at Aquasana, we hope you have a fun-filled, happy, healthy holiday!
It’s not JUST water
We can all remember the days of high school chemistry class and learning the basic components of water, H2O: 2 hydrogen molecules attached to 1 oxygen molecule. You may also remember that our bodies are composed of 70%-80% water and we must drink enough of it to survive. Today we face major problems regarding safe drinking water, not only because of mass contamination from environmental and synthetic chemicals, but an even bigger problem is growing due to corporate and governmental control of our bottled water system. We are being forced to buy more bottled water than ever and the only people who benefit are the big corporations who mass produce this highly consumed product. It’s not easy to find clean, affordable drinking water but there are things that we can do.
The EPA has set standards for more than 80 contaminants that may occur in drinking water and pose a risk to human health. The EPA claims its standards protect the health of everybody, including vulnerable groups like children. Is there really a safe standard when it comes to drinking toxins? And, what happened to the countless other contaminants found in our drinking water? According to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) two-and-a-half year investigation, tap water in 42 states is contaminated with more than 140 unregulated chemicals that lack safety standards. In an analysis of more than 22 million tap water quality tests, most of which were required under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, EWG found that water suppliers across the U.S. detected 260 contaminants in water served to the public. One hundred forty-one (141) of these detected chemicals — more than half — are unregulated; public health officials have not set safety standards for these chemicals, even though millions drink them every day.
According to the EPA, contaminants fall into two groups based on the health effects that they cause. Acute effects occur within hours or days of the time that a person consumes a contaminant. Chronic effects occur after people consume a contaminant at levels over EPA’s safety standards for many years. The drinking water contaminants that can have chronic effects are chemicals (such as disinfection by-products, solvents, and pesticides), radionuclides (such as radium), and minerals (such as arsenic). Examples of the chronic effects of drinking water contaminants are cancer, liver or kidney problems, or reproductive difficulties.
Go here for more information.
The bottled water scam
With so many of us becoming aware of our contaminated tap water, the world is embracing the bottled water industry like never before. In 1999 the sales of bottled water in the US was around $6 billion in one year. By 2007 the sales of bottled water jumped to over $11 billion. Some believe that drinking bottled water is no more pure or better for your health, nor is it safer than community or municipal water. The purity standards for bottled water are no higher than those applied to tap water — in some instances they are lower or less rigorous. Studies have shown that chemicals called phthalates, which are known to disrupt testosterone and other hormones, can leach into bottled water over time. There are no regulatory standards limiting phthalates in bottled water. The bottled water industry waged a successful campaign opposing the FDA proposal to set a legal limit for these chemicals.
Go here for more information.
What can you do?
The majority of the contaminants found in our drinking water can be traced back to improper or excessive use of ordinary compounds like lawn chemicals, gasoline, cleaning products and even prescription drugs. As a consumer, you might consider buying eco-friendly cleaners, avoid using toxic toiletries, and dispose of your medications properly. By doing your part in creating a less toxic environment, we will be able to create safer water for generations to come.
The benefits of bottled water are convenience and novelty. Instead of buying bottled water you can carry a canteen or a reusable athletic bottle. My personal favorite is to use a glass bottle and filter the water at home using a water filter. It is good for the environment and lowers the risk of chemical exposure such as BPA, a common toxic chemical in plastics. This change will save you a lot of money and will help the environment because water bottles are one of the major sources of plastic going into landfills today. Shipping billions of gallons of water every year also uses a lot of fuel.
Lastly, recycle empty water bottles, EVERYTIME! And don’t WASTE your water by letting the shower or faucet run. Use old water for things like watering plants and invest in water saving devices for you home. Be a responsible and conscious water consumer. We will all benefit from it.
—Dr. Wendy Norman, D.C.
And for more information on how to dispose of your pharmaceuticals:
March 22 every year is World Water Day. And what is World Water Day? Not another Hallmark holiday, I can assure you. World Water Day is an education and awareness program that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Environment and Development Conference. World Water Day 2005 marked the beginning of a Decade of Action, between 2005 and 2015, during which Word Water Day each year would focus on a specific problem facing global water supplies. 2010 was “clean water for a healthy world,” 2009 was “transboundary waters: sharing water, sharing opportunities,” but my personal favorite was 2001’s discussion on “water for health – taking charge.”
World Water Day 2011 is about water for cities and the many issues and challenges facing cities regarding sanitation, waste water and drinking water. According to the World Health Organization, in 2005 40% of the world’s population did not have access to even a simple pit latrine, and 20% did not have access to a source of clean drinking water. I hope advocacy and education programs like World Water Day have improved those numbers, but the situation for so many people is so grim.
There are World Water Day events going on in a lot of cities worldwide today, with the main event taking place in Cape Town, South Africa. Learn about the issues and challenges, and take part in some local events if you have the time.
Ever heard this one? “I want to drink more water, I just get so bored with it! I need taste!”
Some people are happy with a slice of lemon, some just guzzle water when it is super cold to avoid having to taste it. But there are more interesting ways to liven up your water to make it taste great and still enjoy the numerous benefits to your health and well-being. Our favorite way at Aquasana is to infuse the water with various vegetables, fruits and herbs. We served our three favorite recipes at the Natural Products Expo West last week, and they were such a big hit, we wanted to share the recipes in detail here.
Yield: 1 ½ quarts or 4 servings
- 6 cups cold Aquasana filtered water, divided
- 20 thin slices cucumber
- 2 lemons, sliced thin
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, slightly crushed
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, slightly crushed
In a 2- to 2 ½-quart pitcher, fill the bottom with about 1 cup of water. Add the thyme and rosemary and use a muddler or wooden spoon to lightly crush the herbs. Add the lemon and cucumber, then the rest of the water. Chill for at least 1 hour. Add ice cubes made from Aquasana water just before serving and enjoy!
Yield: 1 ½ quarts or 4 servings
- 6 cups cold Aquasana filtered water, divided
- 10 strawberries, sliced thin
- 2 tangelos, sliced
- 4 sprigs fresh mint, slightly crushed
In a 2- to 2 ½-quart pitcher, fill the bottom with about 1 cup of water. Add the mint and use a muddler or wooden spoon to lightly crush the leaves. Add the strawberry and tangelo, then the rest of the water. Chill for at least 1 hour. Add ice cubes made from Aquasana water just before serving and enjoy!
Watermelon Cooler (not served at Expo West)
Yield: 1 ½ quarts or 4 servings
- 6 cups cold Aquasana filtered water, divided
- 1 ½ C watermelon slices
- 2 lemons, sliced thin
- 4 sprigs fresh mint, slightly crushed
In a 2- to 2 ½-quart pitcher, fill the bottom with about 1 cup of water. Add the mint and use a muddler or wooden spoon to lightly crush the herbs. Add the watermelon and lemon, then the rest of the water. Chill for at least 1 hour. Add ice cubes made from Aquasana water just before serving and enjoy!
- Plum and cinnamon (served at Expo West—tasty but subtle, and the plums sink!)
- Pineapple and mint
- Raspberry and lime
- Cilantro, lime and jalapeno
- Tarragon leaves with blueberries and raspberries
- Cucumber, honeydew and mint
- Tomato slices with fresh horseradish
- Strawberry, kiwi and mint
What are your favorite ways to dress up your water? Do you know more infused water recipes? Share your secrets with us!
The Expo was a huge hit! Preparing for the Expo was a ton of work, but our efforts were completely worth the trouble. We met so many lovely people and introduced them to Aquasana and the realities of filtered water, which is always a good thing.
New bottle cap colors
We showed off our new bottle cap colors at the show. Everyone loved choosing their favorite color! The blue seems to be the most popular, then red and green. These will be on sale on our website soon—stay tuned!
Dr. Mao joined us on Saturday afternoon to sign books and advise people on improving their longevity and overall health. There was a line of people waiting before he even got there! We loved hosting Dr. Mao, and will continue to work with him to help spread the word about the importance of filtering water and taking care of yourself.
Amid much excitement, we debuted our new booth at Expo West. The more streamlined and softer construction brought people in on all sides, and we got a number of compliments! People especially loved the ability to fill up their free glass water bottles (that we provided) with chilled water from the twin Aquasana water chiller taps at the end.
We supplied samples of yummy infused water concoctions for our new friends. From left to right, we served
1) Lemon, cucumber, rosemary and thyme
2) Strawberry, tangelo and mint
3) Plum and cinnamon
Women tended to like the cucumber/lemon infusion the best, and men generally preferred the orange and strawberry. The plum was tasty, but very subtle, and the plums sink, so it didn’t look as appealing as the other two.
And last but certainly not least, we’d like to send a big, happy shout-out to all of our new friends: Seventh Generation, Dr. Mao, True2o, Rodale News, Evolution Fresh, Bert’s Bees, Tom’s of Maine, Kor bottles, Ciao Bella Gelato and all our new friends!
Natural Products Expo West is right around the corner (next week!) in Anaheim, California, and we’ll be there! We have a new booth, some great giveaway items, delicious samples and guest appearances! There will be something for everyone, so come on by and say hi.
Come visit us at the Aquasana Oasis and refresh from the exhaustion of the Expo: enjoy a bottle of delicious water (and keep your bottle), have a seat, relax. We’ll be sharing some great infused water concoctions each day (while supplies last), so make sure to stop by early!
• Tangelo, strawberry, mint
• Lemon, cucumber, rosemary, thyme
• Plum, cinnamon
We’ll be serving the water only while supplies last each day, some come by early!
Special guest appearance by Dr. Mao!
And Saturday ONLY from 3 pm-6 pm, come by to see Dr. Maoshing Ni (Dr. Mao), author and longevity expert. He’ll be signing copies of his latest book, Secrets of Longevity: Dr. Mao’s 8-Week Planner, and talking healthy tips for a long life!
We’ll also be giving away products every day: drinking filters, shower filters and bottles. If you want a bottle, just come by and tell us you’re thirsty. And to score a filter, follow @aquasana on Twitter and keep an eye out for instructions on how to enter the at-show giveaways.
We hope to see you there!
Did you see Ellen this morning? We sure did!
Spotted: Aquasana made a flash appearance on Ellen this morning with Pam Anderson, actress and spokesperson for Waves for Water. Waves for Water is a non-profit organization dedicated to getting clean water to every single person who needs it. We believe so strongly in their mission and vision to provide families the world over with healthy and clean drinking water that we donated $10,000 to the organization. Pam accepted our donation to help get clean water to people in need on behalf of Waves for Water.
Find more about Waves for Water on their website.
Detoxing your life means more than just losing that holiday weight or nixing the caffeine. It’s a good idea to examine all aspects of your life to uncover places you can cut down on the number of harmful chemicals and contaminants that affect you every day. Here are some places to get the ball rolling.
Filter your water: You know how we feel about this one! I won’t go into all the detail so well covered on the rest of our site, but suffice it to say that filtering both your drinking and bathing water can do wonders for your health and well-being (and peace of mind).
-Did you know that in 2010, one of the top five recommendations of the President’s Cancer Panel for the prevention of environmentally caused cancer is to filter the water you drink? Every water source is different, even in taps from home to home. Variability is driven by local pollutants, water treatment techniques, the age and material composition of the pipes that deliver your water, and the faucet that you use. Even if you have the purest water being delivered to you by your municipal water source, your pipes may leach unwanted contaminants into the water in transport. Unfiltered tap water can contain harmful contaminants like chlorine, lead, pesticides, herbicides and cysts, and what’s in your water varies by your geographic location and municipal water supply.
-Sodium tri-poly-what? Anything containing an ingredient you cannot pronounce has got to go. I’m not necessarily advocating a return to the hunter/gatherer diet regimen, but it’s a safe bet that all those complex chemical formulas for extending the shelf life of food is not doing a heck of a lot of good for your body.
-Sell by 1997: Whoops! Check your sell-by dates and toss/recycle the stuff that has expired. If it’s just a bit past the date and you feel comfortable eating it, that’s all right: what I’m going for here is to get rid of items that may have been named in an FDA recall sometime in the mid-90s.
-Green/Yellow/Red: Categorize your cabinet and fridge contents into Green, Yellow, and Red categories. Green being healthy: can eat whenever I want; Yellow being okay in moderation; Red being SPECIAL OCCASION ONLY. I’m not a nutrition expert, but I strive for a mix of 50% Green category foods, 35% Yellow, and no more than 15% Red. (Hey, I never said I was perfect!)
Trash harsh chemical cleaning supplies: Some of the airborne toxins and residues of popular cleaning supplies can do more harm than good to you and your families. And my suggestion for an alternative is… vinegar. That’s right, plain and simple old white distilled vinegar, which is natural, non-toxic, and friendly to the Earth. It’s mildly acidic, which allows it to clean effectively and help keep your family healthy and safe. See www.vinegartips.com for 1001 uses for our lovely (inexpensive) friend.
Check your clothing: The word for health these days is organic, and when it comes to clothing, the story is no different.
-Holy cotton! There’s new and trending research out there that states that the pesticides used to grow that cotton that makes it into our clothing can be deadly. The manufacturing processes add in more chemicals and toxins, and some dyes and ink are also highly toxic.
-Detergent degenerates: And check what you wash your clothes in, too! Those fragrant and ultra-whitening detergents can exacerbate skin conditions like eczema and wreak havoc on people who suffer from allergies, which says nothing about the possible toxins seeping in through your pores. I know some of those organic and non-toxic detergents don’t have the same “get it whiter and brighter” promises that the Big Brands do, but I think I could buy a new blouse a little more often or be more careful if it meant remaining healthy for a few more years.
Guest Post by Dr. Maoshing Ni (Dr. Mao)
It’s January, that time of year when we start to see cases of colds and the flu pop up like flowers in May. Each year, one in three Americans suffers from the common cold or the flu. In past blogs I have suggested natural ways to support the healthy functions of your immune system in raising your resistance against the common cold. Common sense practices include washing your hands frequently with soap, and wash your face at least twice a day. Refrain from touching your nose and face with your hands except with tissues. Also, protect your upper back and neck area when it’s cold or windy by using a scarf, because this is where most of the colds will attack the body leading to stiff and achy neck and head. Here are six more natural strategies to avoid the common cold and the flu.
1. Rest up to restore your immunity. Studies show that your immune system function drops by an average of 60% after just three nights of poor sleep, so be sure you are getting plenty of quality rest, at least eight hours each night. Can’t fall asleep or stay asleep? Try taking a hot bath at night before bedtime or soak your feet in Epsom salt bath for 15 minutes. It will help relax your mind and body in preparation for your sleep.
2. Eat sweet potatoes and mushrooms. These foods help optimize your body’s immunity function. Sweet potatoes contain higher amounts of vitamin C and beta-carotene than carrots, as well as being rich in plant source DHEA, a potent immunity booster. Certain types of mushrooms, like shitake, maitake and reishi, contain polysaccharides, sterols, coumarin, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that have been found to increase immune functions and activities.
3. Garlic keeps more than vampires away. Throughout human history garlic has been loved as well as loathed. Loved by those who enjoy its intense aroma and pungent flavors and loathed by those who are repelled by its odor. The strong odor of garlic actually comes from a sulfur-compound called allicin that studies have found to be a powerful antibacterial and antiviral agent. Not only has it been shown to be effective against colds, flu, stomach virus and candida yeast, it has also been shown to be effective against antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria such as MRSA. Besides repelling microbes, apparently even vampires don’t like it either.
4. Vitamin C to your rescue. The late Nobel laureate Linus Pauling did pioneering research on the benefits of vitamin C. It is regarded as the safest and most effective nutrient. A recent look at over 100 studies on vitamin C in the last 10 years revealed many conclusive benefits of the vitamin. Not the least is its well-known property of supporting immune functions especially when the immune system is suppressed by stress. It may not prevent the common cold or the flu but it can reduce the risk of complications like pneumonia and lung infections. One can safely take up to 2,000 mg of vitamin C daily.
5. Look to nature for ammunition. Throughout Europe and Asia, pharmacies offer herbal medicine alongside drug medication. It’s indicative that people in other cultures recognize the benefits of nature’s herbal remedies. As a result these cultures are generally healthier than ours. Luckily the U.S. is catching up. It’s easier now more than ever to find herbal remedies in your local drug and health food stores. Herbs with known immune system properties include ligustri, Cherokee rose, honeysuckle, astragalus, and all heal (prunella). These and other herbs constitute a formula called Perpetual Shield that I put my entire family on during the cold-flu season.
6. Play stronger defense with acupuncture. Acupuncture is part of a complete medical system from China. By stimulating select acupoints in the body to elicit innate healing responses, acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to support the body’s defense against diseases such as the common cold. Studies of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy have found that acupuncture increases production of white blood cells — an indicator of an active immune system. Other studies have found acupuncture to possess immune-modulating properties, which means that it can also help decrease inflammation in conditions like allergic asthma and arthritis. For a directory of licensed acupuncturists in your area, log on to acupuncture.com.
If it’s too late to prepare, and you are already suffering from the runny nose, sore throat, headache and fever of cold and flu, we often recommend to patients the Cold and Flu Formula that contains natural herbs like burdock, kudzu, forsythia, indigo, mint and others that support healthy immune function, and comfort cold and flu symptoms. I hope you use these suggestions in times of health and sickness and that they serve you well.
For the start of the New Year, and to help our friends and fans get a great head start on those New Year’s goals, we rounded up 11 expert tips from nationally renowned health & wellness and culinary experts, including bestselling longevity expert Dr. Maoshing Ni, bestselling weight-loss expert Dr. Ann Louie Gittleman, and Chef-to-the-Stars Lulu Powers, whose clients have included Madonna, Will Smith and Bill Clinton.
Read the original release.
If you’re like most people, losing those last few holiday pounds is high on your list of to-dos this month. Fortunately, one of the best diet aids is free, abundant and right at your fingertips: water.
According to research from Virginia Tech, dieters who started each meal with two eight-ounce glasses of water lost an average of five pounds more than those who didn’t. Researchers say this is the first study that provides real evidence that water’s appetite-suppressing benefits translate into actual weight loss.
But you know the saying, “You can lead a horse to water…”
Fortunately, these 11 easy tips from a variety of health and wellness experts are sure to make you drink:
1. To make water taste better, Todd Bartee, the CEO of Aquasana, a leading maker of water filters for the home, recommends using an easy-to-install countertop filter to strip out the chlorine and other chemicals that are put in tap water to disinfect it. Says Bartee, “Once you remove the contaminants, you’re left with the most pure and delicious water you’ve ever tasted. You’ll notice a difference immediately.” Top consumer rating organizations recommend Aquasana’s AQ-4000 counter top filter, which uses a patented process to remove the chlorine, pesticides, lead and other chemicals in tap water.
2. Chef-to-the-stars, Lulu Powers, who just released a new cookbook, Lulu Powers Food to Flowers, recommends adding slices of orange, mint or cucumber to your water to complement meals.
3. Powers also suggests adding specialty ice cubes made from fresh fruits and herbs for an extra hint of flavor and to up the aesthetic factor.
4. Ann Louie Gittleman, Ph.D., author of the national bestseller, The Fat Flush Plan, recommends diluting your juice with water, adding less and less juice—and more water—as time goes by.
5. Dr. Gittleman also recommends including in your diet water-rich foods like broth-based soups, lettuce, broccoli and citrus fruits.
6. Dr. Maoshing Ni, author of the bestseller, Secrets of Longevity, and the just-released follow-up, Secrets of Longevity: Dr. Mao’s 8 Week Program, refers to filtered tap water as “a key to losing weight.” Says Dr. Mao, “Filter your own water with a high-quality water filter like the one from Aquasana and drink it throughout the day to help with fluid retention. It is also a natural appetite suppressant.”
7. Dr. Mao also suggests making a “detox soup” with filtered tap water, seasonal vegetables like kale and winter squash, dried beans and legumes and aromatic herbs and spices. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer for a couple of hours.
8. Track and monitor your daily water consumption by downloading an application for your phone such as Water Me or Water Your Body. www.itunes.com/appstore
9. Substitute a cup of warm water with a drop of honey for the coffee you might have after lunch and dinner. This will also help you eliminate caffeine, which dehydrates the body.
10. Outsmart the mid-afternoon blood-sugar blues. Set the alarm on your phone to ring at 3 pm to remind you to stop and drink a full glass of water before the afternoon munchies hit.
11. Design your own, one-of-a-kind, stainless steel water bottle to make drinking water more fun and a way to express yourself. This works especially well with kids. www.siggskins.com