Water of Life

Friday, 24 December 2010 | Tags: , , ,

Part of what I love about traveling the globe is the search for cool products and great restaurants and hotels. So much so that sometimes I forget to look in my own backyard...

A friend recently suggested I check out Organic Lives right here in Vancouver. Of course, an organic food restaurant is not a new concept, especially in a city like Vancouver where residents pride themselves on their balance of work, exercise, nutrition and general well-being. (Notice I didn’t include myself in that. I live here, but I have yet to achieve a balanced lifestyle.) And there are so many organic, fresh options here that I’d say it’s a crowded market.

Regardless, I stopped in at Organic Lives a few days ago and, while the location isn’t necessarily on the beaten path, it was worth going out of my way. My lunch was good. Everything is organic and almost everything is raw.

As many of you know, while I try to be healthy and I do always prefer organic and wild I’m also an enthusiastic meat eater, cheese eater and wine drinker.

I had a sampling of a few things at Organic Lives, but lunch got really interesting when dessert arrived. Coconut pie. One ingredient. Coconut. That’s it. I was amazed that desert could taste THAT good with only ONE ingredient. And that’s when my lunch companion passed the coconut water.

I’ve used coconut milk in cooking, and I like raw coconut. And apparently coconut pie is one of my new favourite things. But coconut water? Didn’t know anything about it. It was so refreshing, slightly sweet and it instantly perked me up. I guzzled the rest of the glass.

The next time you’re reaching for a glucose-laden “energy drink”, skip it and find yourself some coconut water. Depending on where you live, you might have to do a little hunting, but I think you’ll thank me.

Coconut water is the clear liquid inside young coconuts. The milk develops as the coconut ages. One cup contains more electrolytes than most sports drinks and more potassium than a banana. I’ve seen coconut stands on the side of the road when I travel to places like Thailand, where they cut off the top of the coconut for you so as to ensure freshness. That and a straw is all you need for a refreshing pick-me-up at the beach.

I never really thought of the nutritional value, but apparently it’s there in spades. It’s more nutritious than whole milk, with less fat and cholesterol and it’s high in chloride. It contains lauric acid and is identical to human blood plasma – in third world countries it is sometimes used in an I.V. It does contain sugar (far less than orange juice), so you don’t want to be sipping the stuff all day.

Google coconut water and you’ll learn that celebs have been on to the supposed anti-aging effects for some time. It is said to aid in digestion, boost metabolism and detoxify. All this and it tastes great? My freezer is now full of the stuff. Be sure to drink it within a couple of days of opening because as soon as it’s exposed to air, it ferments and loses its nutritional characteristics.

So take a pass on the croissants on Christmas morning, drink a glass of coconut water and get some exercise!



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