The Recipes of Student Health 101


Image taken by Keith Zevallos

Keith Zevallos

College Life can be maddeningly busy and stressful. Many students have a hard time balancing their school work with a healthy lifestyle. Student Health 101 is an online magazine distributed by Montgomery College, and they hope to make it easy.

This month’s issue explores a host of topics regarding physical, emotional, and mental health. It’s worth a look. Among the advice offered are several healthy drink recipes that you can make at home. But are these drinks something you will make at home? I was curious, so I decided to try them myself.

On the menu today are two varieties of fruit-infused water-“Lemon Berry Fizz” and “Apple and Cinnamon”-and a “Moscow Mule Mocktail”. The infused waters don’t offer proper recipes or directions, so I had to wing them based on their names and the pictures provided.

The first thing you’ll notice if you attempt to make these yourself is that it’s really ridiculously expensive—or it is if you intend to try them all as I did. Blackberries and raspberries alone cost me over five dollars. I haven’t even bought the ingredients for a whole drink yet and I’ve already spent more than I do on a typical Starbucks run. However, I ended up making these about a half-gallon at a time, so I did get a fair bit of mileage out of the investment.

The rest of the shopping list included: lemons, limes, apples, cinnamon sticks, blueberries, basil, mint, and ginger beer. Not an experienced shopper, I spent most of the time on this project trying to find ginger beer. Nobody seemed to carry it. I eventually found a six pack of the elusive beverage for four dollars.

The infused waters ended up being quite good. The “apple and cinnamon” recipe had a subtle flavor just strong enough to appreciate. The “lemon berry fizz” was much sweeter, but not overpowering. Infused waters are helpful in maintaining a healthy diet because they offer a flavorful, light alternative to convenient sodas and juices. If you want to cut a significant source of sugars and empty calories from your diet, try investing in a water bottle and one of these recipes.

Up next came the Mocktail. The recipe provided was simple: mix mash blueberries, lime juice, and basil with six ounces of ginger beer over ice. They also suggest mint as an alternative to basil based on drinker’s preference.

My mistake came from indulging in a large swig right after I had finished making it. I like ginger beer, mint, limes, and blueberries. What I failed to account for is just how strong any one of those flavors is on their own. Combined they nearly knocked me off my feet.

The strength of the drink does work in its favor if you approach it differently than the waters. It’s very aromatic. A lot of my enjoyment came simply from smelling the drink as I typed up homework. After the ice had melted some, I did enjoy it in a series of small sips. The original basil variant is just as good, but the aroma isn’t as sharp as with mint. If you’re feeling adventurous you can give it a try, though I suggest caution. A fun novelty, the “Moscow Mule Mocktail” probably isn’t going to become a staple for anyone.

If you’re looking for ideas on how to eat healthier and be more productive, Student Health 101 is a good place to start. Even if every idea isn’t a winner, you’ll probably keep something from the experience.