People often ask me what’s the one thing I miss from the past that I can’t/don’t eat today. As time has gone on, this questions has become much more difficult to answer. I’ve adapted to my new life so much that I really don’t remember at this point what I once did eat and what I once enjoyed. I find more so that I tend to miss the idea of things rather than certain things themselves. I miss the idea of being able to get filled up off the bread basket at dinner, even though I usually regretted it those times I did. I miss the idea of going to a ballpark and being able to order something to snack on while watching the game (even though I wouldn’t touch most ballpark food items “with a ten-foot pole,” as my mom would say). I miss the idea of being able to share in a pitcher of beer while watching the game at a local sports bar, or being able to share a pizza at a pizza shop with friends. It’s not that I miss the pizza or the beer itself, but more that I like being part of the group. Sometimes, having a different diet can make you feel like an outsider looking in.
I felt this way recently when my parents threw a party for my brother, who recently returned home from his tour of duty in Iraq. We had his welcome-home party outdoors on a hot summer day, and I watched with envy as others quenched their thirst with the large pitcher of lemonade that looked so refreshing. I was tempted to risk whatever illness I might have to endure (and illness is almost inevitable when I start adding sugar back into my diet) just to partake. Lemonade on a hot summer day. Is there anything more refreshing? Yes, I definitely missed the idea of that.
Luckily, I figured out that it’s not too hard to replicate this one. If you can put up with the juicing, which is really the only semi time-consuming aspect of this recipe, the rest is a simple as stirring and adding ice, pretty much.
And O.K., maybe I miss tuna melts. Just a little bit.
1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 6-7 lemons worth)
1 tablespoon lemon pulp, plus more if desired
8 cups water
5 handfuls of ice
1 1/2 -2 droppers Nunaturals liquid stevia*
In a large pitcher, stir everything together and adjust stevia and/or pulp to taste. For variations, add strawberry slices or minced fresh mint leaves. Replace water with fresh brewed unsweetened iced tea for a healthy twist on the Arnold Palmer.
* Add less first, then adjust to taste