The Apple Cider Vinegar Challenge (3:20)
Thanks to emerging research showing possible health benefits of drinking vinegar, it's now acceptable to take a "shot" before happy hour begins. Unlike their alcoholic counterparts, shots of apple cider vinegar and coconut vinegar can provide necessary nutrients, regulate your blood sugar, and kickstart your metabolism. For more information on the health benefits of these elixirs and recipe inspiration, look to this one-day meal plan.
Apple Cider Vinegar
While this powerful liquid, made from fermented apple juice, can be used as a cleaning agent, it can also boost your health. Taking three teaspoons of apple cider vinegar a day can help keep your blood sugar in check, and research has shown it has helped lower cholesterol levels in laboratory rats, says Jen Widerstrom, a diet expert and author of Diet Right for Your Personality Type. Though it's not a guaranteed way to lose weight, drinking the vinegar can jumpstart your metabolism.
This vinegar is made from a coconut tree's flowers, which produce a "sap" that is then fermented for eight months to a year and bottled as the vinegar. It's smoother and sweeter than apple cider vinegar and is packed with nutrients like potassium, iron, zinc, and calcium. Despite being new to the United States, coconut vinegar can be found at health food stores and online, just make sure you're buying a kind that's fermented and made from the leaf flowers, as some varieties are made only with coconut water.
The One-Day Meal Plan
Breakfast: Prior to munching on your favorite breakfast food, drink one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar by mixing it into tea-like beverage made of warm water, Himalayan sea salt, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. This is an easy and effective way to wake up your digestive system, and some of our viewers have noticed pairing the vinegar with a healthy breakfast helps maintain their stamina throughout the morning. After finishing the drink, fuel up with a hearty breakfast that's high in fiber, like oats mixed with almond milk and protein powder or avocado multigrain toast.
Lunch: Just like the breakfast routine, take one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar before you eat your lunch. Some of our viewers noted that doing so reduced their cravings, driving them to avoid salty snacks later in the day. To create the perfect mid-day beverage, mix water with the vinegar and infuse the blend with fruits like grapefruit, apples, and lemons. As you did in the morning, nosh on a high-protein lunch, like salmon pita pockets that can be prepped the day before.
Dinner: Thanks to its sweet flavoring, coconut vinegar is ideal to drink before you eat your final meal of the day, as it could curb your after-dinner cravings. Since it's filled with nutrients and immune-boosting vitamin C, coconut vinegar may make up for any of the vitamins you weren't able to get throughout the day. Instead of taking a straight shot of the vinegar, concoct a classy mocktail containing mint, seltzer, and lime, and sip it alongside a low-carb, fulfilling meal, like slow-cooker chicken fajitas.