What’s an easy (and free) way to create more space in your belly for the most obsession-worthy foods on the planet? Skip the soda and give water another shot at winning your affection.

Here’s why: When you work through my program to conduct a love affair with food and still look fabulous (more on that below), an important part of that process is to up your water intake to at least eight glasses per day. For good reason. Not only does it help tide you over between meals or snacks, but water is generally far superior—and way more versatile—than most bevvies you can buy, at least when it comes to your and the planet’s health.

Now, I’m not saying water can’t be boring. It certainly doesn’t automatically have the pizazz of other, flashier beverages like, well, champagne. But the thing is: water is good if you give it a chance. Why? There’s nothing scary about it: unlike diet soda, there are no crazy scary links to cancer (hello, aspartame), and it’s more refreshing than the syrupy stuff in regular soda.

But to make it a little more fun, I’ve got a few fave recipes up my sleeve:

  • Mojito-eau: Add cucumber slices and fresh mint sprigs to a pitcher. Refrigerate for at least an hour so flavors can combine.
  • Lemon Lime “soda”: Mix a squeeze and twist of lemon and lime into club soda. For a treat, add a touch of agave for healthy sweetness. Refrigerate for at least an hour so flavors can combine.
  • Herbal “tea”: Why relegate spices to solid foods? Modern mixology has taught us nothing if not that herbs can jazz up any liquid. And yes, this appeals just as well as water for your fave spices. Love rosemary or basil? A teensy dash adds a lots of zip instantly.
  • The Double C: For those with a taste for the exotic, this cardamom/clementine fusion won’t disappoint. Just mix a few strips of clementine peel with three or four cardamom seeds. (You might want to take the seeds out before drinking to avoid swallowing accidentally.)

Another tried and true tactic for sassing up your glass of water is to put whatever your favorite ingredient is into the ice cube tray and transform your glass of l’eau into a work of art—think gorgeous sparkling clementine peels frozen in glass, or even edible flowers for a poetic spin.

Want more inspiration? My new book has the full scoop on how to conduct a love affair with food and still look fabulous. Preorder it here for a chance to win some fun prizes.