Our love-and-not-love story with fruit
and vegetable water—and how we’re better
at managing sugar addiction because of it.
This refreshingly odd (mostly) and tell-all true story is an account of how a frantically busy and (admittedly) overwhelmed couple learned to become better versions of themselves by changing their family’s relationship with recreational sugar.
It’s also a how-to guide for others who are looking to break up with sweetened beverages, beat a soda addiction, or otherwise turbo-boost a journey toward building better habits without turning their lives upside down—complete with stories, swear words, and side quests to help you get over your challenges of healthier hydration.
“The preview of the book is 100% true to what’s inside. Amazing!!” – May S
“We all have two lives. The second one starts when we realize we only have one.”
Our firstborn was about two years old when my husband and I got some great bad news—he was going to be a big brother. We genuinely wanted a second cash-suck and more time to sleep less, and I was very happy and grateful for the cosmic alignment that was set to bring us a Scorpio boy (you see, I’m a Scorpio, and proud of it). But it was too soon. Too soon.
Adulting is hard enough, but parenting is high-stakes living; profoundly complex, both rewarding and punishing at the same time (like my two favorite things: being with my kids and not being with my kids). We were consumed with life and all of its dazzling distractions. We were busy being busy, and to cope with the frantic pace of our lives, my husband and I were both consuming copious quantities of sugar, mostly in the form of soda, which we sucked down faster than gravity allowed. Was I really that bad about annihilating soft drinks in front of our son? The answer is an emphatic yes.
Joey and I both love soda pop and other sugary beverages. We’re the ones who would get the largest cup size possible, even when there’s an all-you-can-swallow fountain machine. No ice because, why take up the space when there’s more soda to be refilled? By the time we walked to our seats, our wax-coated disposable cups would already be glaringly empty. To make matters worse, we were actively training our then two-year-old to be a soda-goblin without even realizing it.
Lemon-Aid is the self-help book for people who are curious about and courageous enough for a real-life change when it comes to drinking sugar-loaded beverages and discovering solutions that are within reach.
“I love the voice. I laughed out loud in the preface.” -Elizabeth K
CHAPTER 2 - Why Drink Water
Pretty much says it all, the title of this chapter. But other than a slow and inevitable death by dehydration–really, why drink water? This chapter gets deep in some details you may find to be surprising and touches on the beginnings of something even more important: your habits. With some exercises in self-assessment, you may be shocked to learn about the reasons why you do anything at all (and how to create a system that can deliberately help you to change with ease).
CHAPTER 3 - How To Drink Water
Another self-explanator of a chapter here, but with a more hyper-focused look at various sources of water (and even the dangers of consuming too much of it, i.e. overhydration by way of water intoxication). And no, not talking about drowning, but simply an overcompensation when what should really be achieved is balance.
CHAPTER 4 - You Mean Juice?
Here we begin to breakdown water infusion–what it really is, what it in fact isn’t, some general misconceptions, and realistic expectations of how, given our day-to-day lives and routines, we can start to effectively incorporate new drinking habits to our systems of living.
CHAPTER 5 - Vessels
This is our second-favorite chapter you literati, so listen up, because we finally get to talk about shopping. With all the insights on fruit and vegetable water infusion, the actual infusing part needs to happen in some type of container (and different ways of infusing different ingredients will require a closer look at using the right vessels for the right desired outcomes).
CHAPTER 6 - Fruits
Just some fruits to consider, along with various forms of it—fresh, frozen, canned, dried, etc. What’s exciting though is that we talk about all the nastiness of fruit (or food in general when it comes to chemicals or organic contaminates) as it’s grown and processed in modern society and supply chains. So that by the time it reaches your kitchen counter, how should it be properly cleaned and prepped? Find out here.
CHAPTER 7 - Vegetables
Same same this chapter (even added some anecdotes for flavor, get it?). What’s more interesting are the numerous vegetables that can be very adequately infused with water—a lot to learn here especially since most people normally don’t think about drinking anything to do with vegetables…
CHAPTER 8 - Spices, Herbs, Flowers
And even less who may normally think about drinking these! But what’s coffee and tea but a varying degree of any number of elements submerged in or penetrated by water. The items covered in this chapter are no different—some surprisingly flavorful.
CHAPTER 9 - Recipes
Please note that our recipes are time- and taste-tested by our boys and us during a period of over two years, all prepared right in our own homes with the most basic of everyday tools commonly found in modern home kitchens. Our approaches and combinations of ingredients are simply a product of us experimenting with what we like and are able to conveniently acquire in achieving the goal of maintaining a manageable routine.
“Good read, super quick. Recipes are good. Funny that you had the music suggestions—I was actually going to ask if you had music in mind to read to.” – Nate C
About the Authors
Joey Gu has been leisurely writing and shooting photography since middle school and has published works with SPIN, The New York Times, as well as Switzerland’s largest English business magazine and a fashion publication based in Amsterdam. His wife and co-author Simona Mok has a background in banking and finance and has built a career in private equity and investment, along with an analytical portfolio of consumer trend insights and brand performances.
Simona Mok has a background in banking and finance and has built a career in private equity and investment, along with an analytical portfolio of consumer trend insights and brand performances. Her husband and co-author Joey ‘JW’ Gu has been leisurely writing and shooting photography since middle school and has published works with SPIN, The New York Times, as well as Switzerland’s largest English business magazine and a fashion publication based in Amsterdam.