Sweetened beverages are said to be the #1 source of calories in the diet of Americans.* Each 12-ounce serving of regular cola contains 10 teaspoons of sugar, usually high-fructose corn syrup. Why so much? Carbonated water tastes bitter and it takes a lot of sugar to counteract it. (Taste a flat Cola to see how sickeningly sweet it is.) Make your own drinks for your family using fresh ingredients and get the sugar and caffeine out.

Per serving:
1 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
EZ-Sweetz or other liquid sweetener equal to 2 tablespoons of sugar (6
drops) or to taste
Ice to serve

Mix together and serve over ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
Makes 1 serving: Cal: 6; Fat: 0g; Protein: 0g; Fiber: 0g; Net Carbs: 1.8g

*A study from Tufts University reported that sweet drinks are the main source of calories in the American diet. (Preliminary Data Suggest that Soda and Sweet Drinks Are The Main Source of Calories in American Diet, Science Daily, 27 May 2005. Web. Jul 2012.)

This old fashioned soda fountain drink is still the perfect summer cooler.

Per serving:
2 fresh limes or about 1/4 cup lime juice
EZ-Sweetz or other liquid sweetener equal to 1/4 cup sugar (12 drops EZ)
or to taste
A dash of Angostura bitters
Crushed or shaved ice
3/4 cup carbonated water
A Lime Twist, below
A fresh cherry, with stem, for garnish, if

Roll the limes on the counter or soak them in warm water for a few minutes so they will release more juice. Squeeze limes. Fill a tall glass two-thirds full of crushed ice. Add lime juice, sweetener, and a dash of bitters to the glass. Top with carbonated water. Stir and garnish with a twist of lime peel and a cherry and serve.
Makes 1 serving. Cal: 7; Fat: 0g; Protein: 0g; Fiber: 0g; Net Carbs: 3.6g

A twist of lime is more than just a pretty garnish; it adds a burst of intensely-flavored citrus oil.

Cut a 1/4-inch slice from the center of a lime. Lay it flat, and using a paring knife, cut around the lemon flesh and remove, leaving a ring of rind with a small amount of white pith. Split one side of the ring and use a spoon to scrape away most of the pith. Roll up the rind and rub the colored side around the rim of the glass and then twist it into a tight spiral and pull on the ends to release the oil. Drop it in the drink or drape it over the side of the glass.

This is similar to India’s popular yogurt-based drinks, the perfect cool-me-down, pick-me-up on a hot summer day.

Per serving:
1 cup whole-milk kefir
1 cup cold water
2 tablespoons lime juice
EZ-Sweetz or other liquid sweetener equal to 2 tablespoons sugar (6
drops), or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom or nutmeg
A few grains of salt
1/2 cup crushed ice or about 6 ice cubes

Blend kefir, water, lime juice, sweetener, and spice. Pour over ice in a tall glass and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Carb Wars; Sugar is the New Fat, by Judy Barnes Baker.

Makes 1 serving. Cal: 60; Fat: 2.7g; Protein: 3g; Fiber: 0.4g; Net Carbs: 6.6g

Fermented dairy products with live cultures must list the same number of carbs as the milk that goes into them, but according to Stephan Phinney, MD, PhD, and Jeff Volek, PhD, RD, authors of “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living,” most of the sugar has been converted to lactic acid. The amount remaining is about 4 grams per cup.


Cultured dairy products, such as buttermilk, yogurt, and kefir provide “good” bacteria for the digestive system that can often be tolerated even by those who are lactose intolerant. While both yogurt and kefir contain friendly bacteria, kefir also contains beneficial yeast cultures.


Many people with dairy allergies can tolerate dairy products made from goat’s milk, Kefir can also be made from coconut milk.

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Disclaimer: I will receive a commission from the sales of the book above. I have received samples of EZ-Sweetz.


(c) 2012, Judy Barnes Baker;

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Judy Barnes Baker

The working title for my first book was, “You’ll Never Know What You Are Missing.” It summed up my goal: to make eating for health synonymous with eating for pleasure. Once you discover the secret, you will find that the very best food for weight management, longevity, the treatment and prevention of disease, and over-all health and happiness is also the most sumptuous, satisfying, and indulgent way of eating the world has to offer. You are invited to the feast. Enjoy!
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Judy Barnes Baker
10 years ago

Thanks for the tip, Gluten free beer.

gluten free beer
11 years ago

If just a few drops of juice are needed, pierce the skin with a toothpick and squeeze out what you need. To store it, reinsert the toothpick, put the lemon or lime into a plastic bag, and refrigerate.