Wilson? photo from www.ezwebrus.com

Deep in the mid-winter slump of January, let us create a hypothetical escape. If one Miss BeFit had to make her Stranded on an Island list of Top Five Beverages, she wouldn’t even need the last two slots after 1. Coffee. 2. Beer. 3. Water.

No particular order.

We at the base of the Rockies have fairly recently become aware of a tropical phenom known as coconut water. If I’m up to date on my Gilligan knowledge, when you’re stranded on an island, you are in no short supply of coconuts. And what about those days on your island when the damn fish aren’t biting and if you see one more grain of rice, you’ll flick it right into the eye of your one companion, thus ending your last chance for friendship (and possibly procreation)? What about a nice meal-alternative in a Jamba Juice smoothie?

Coconut water is a bit of a superhydrator, in that it hydrates you as plain old water does, but it’s also chock full of nutrients like potassium (more than a banana!), magnesium and calcium. These are all naturally occurring nutrients, by the way. Nothing is added, artificial or no. But what about those of us who are actually not stranded on anything but mainland America? How do we get our hands on this holy water?

Enter Vita Coco, the all-natural and never made from concentrate coconut water.

infographic provided by Vita Coco

After exercise, “you don’t want to drink back the calories you just burned,” says Jaime, a registered dietitian who works with Vita Coco. She explains to me the function of sports drinks and the difference between those and Vita Coco. Sports drinks have, for example, sodium added to them. This is a necessary nutrient to be replenished, but for the average fitness-minder person, we get enough sodium in our regular diets. We don’t need the extra dose after our hour-long yoga class. Sports drinks are great for high-endurance athletes who need that nutrient and electrolyte replenishment, where the rest of us should put more emphasis on hydration without drinking back the calories we just killed. Coconut water is a delish, lower-cal alternative to water (forty-five calories per serving), with a little boost as well. (Random perk: After two weeks of absurdly dry lips that no amount of lip salve-smothering could remedy, I drank three servings of Vita Coco in as many days and my lips were smooth as a baby’s behind.)

Jaime told me about Vita Coco’s role in my “calorie salary,” which just might be my new favorite health food metaphor (I don’t really know how many health food metaphors I’ve actually heard, but nonetheless.). Just like you can’t spend more money than what you’ve got in your bank account, you can’t consume more calories than what you burn or else you’ll be a fat bloke, or flat broke.

from nativejuicer.com

Every choice you make influences your “calorie salary” so you’ve got to make it count. Hydration is an important part of keeping your body and mind healthy, so the last thing you want to do is hydrate with a bunch of extra calories you don’t need. Keep it simple, keep it pure. Sometimes, especially when you’re running errands or working all day, it’s difficult to make good investments in your “calorie salary”. Days like that, either here or on your island, deserve a healthy, ready-to-go meal. Jamba Juice has come out with Fit n’ Fruitful smoothies in three flavors: Berry Blend, Peach Mango and Strawberry Raspberry Banana. My 300-calorie sixteen-ounce cup of peachy-mango-y goodness kept me full until dinnertime. They’re all a good source of fiber, protein, calcium and iron, and a crazy-good source of Vitamins A and C, which is fab news if you’re like me and your multivitamin bottle lies in the depths of your medicine cabinet. The amount of sugar made me wince, but I wasn’t totally surprised, as each smoothie has a juice base, which tends to be quite sugary. All three smoothies include the Weight Burner Boost, which is made with conjugated linoleic acid, a naturally occurring fatty acid that, if taken every day, can lead to improved weight management (combined with healthy diet and exercise, of course.). There are also two or more servings of fruit in every one of these guys, too. Talk about making it count.

And so, with my revised Stranded on an Island list of Top Five Beverages, it looks like I’ll sail through my hypothetical stranding. I’ve got coffee for focusing, beer for fun, Vita Coco after yoga, Jamba Juice when rice sucks ass and water for everything else. Well, if Vita Coco really is like “sticking a straw in a coconut,” it looks like I’ve got one more slot open. How’s that for resourceful? Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.