what’s the deal with apple cider vinegar? | Fit and Free with Emily
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FINALLY, some easy ACV recipes!! ---- Apple Cider Vinegar has an insane amount of health benefits. Everything from clearer skin and calming indigestion to boosting metabolism and fighting cancer! Here's a round up why you should be drinking it, and HOW. (Spoiler alert, it tastes nasty on it's own)


Several months ago I started drinking Apple Cider Vinegar with my morning meal. I’ve long heard of ACV’s benefits in a very “my grandma always swears it’ll keep a cold at bay!” kind of way, but never cared enough to try it out. After reading up on my Tone It Up Nutrition Plan (I’ve been in the community for a while, I just never really talk about it) I noticed they had suggested drinking it in the morning for a metabolic boost. Then, a few weeks later, my new doctor suggested I start drinking it for its digestive benefits.

Alright, alright, universe! I get it! 

So, I started to poke around the interwebz to find out what was really the deal with ACV?

What are the health benefits of ACV?

ACV is one of those kind of … magical cure-all remedies. You can spend hours online finding claims that it does everything from clear your skin to fight cancer. It seems like there’s a new “superfood” every year, right? Green tea, acai berries, pomegranates, raspberry ketones, on and on. Surprisingly, ACV has been a super-treatments for decades. Like the other foods I mentioned, the actual results are a little cloudy. Could it be helping? Sure! Is it the ONLY thing that’s helping? Probably not. For example: Emily starts drinking ACV to boost metabolism. Emily loses weight. Did the ACV do it? Maybe … but most likely in conjunction with Emily working out and eating healthy, as well. Does that make sense? There have been studies to back up ACV’s superpowers, but there are just as many stating that no one really knows how it works.

Among the most backed-up claims are these:

  • The potassium beats workout exhaustion and helps aid recovery. Some suggest taking it before bed to relieve nighttime muscle cramps.
  • Vinegar helps whiten teeth and kill off bacteria building up in your mouth. Try adding a quick ACV gargle to your teeth-brushing routine!
  • Relieves stomach troubles. The pectin helps soothe cramps, prevent heartburn/indigestion, and the fiber helps keep you movin and groovin to flush out toxins from your system.
  • Antibiotic properties boost immunity to common colds.
  • Several studies have found that vinegar may help lower glucose levels. (link)
  • For thousands of years, vinegar has been used for weight loss. White vinegar (and perhaps other types) might help people feel full. A 2005 study of 12 people found that those who ate a piece of bread along with small amounts of white vinegar felt fuller and more satisfied than those who just ate the bread.  (link)
  • Helps break down fats so that your body can use them, and not store them.


How do I drink ACV? I heard it tastes gross!

Yup, it’s pretty much true. ACV is, after all, a vinegar. Unless you’re a huge fan of vinegar-based dressings, the taste is pretty sour. I’ve taken to making myself little cocktails in my blender bottles every morning. Believe it or not – I totally crave it now! I feel weird when I can’t have my ACV mix. I put together this little graphic of the top three ways I shake it up!


FINALLY, some easy ACV recipes!! ---- Apple Cider Vinegar has an insane amount of health benefits. Everything from clearer skin and calming indigestion to boosting metabolism and fighting cancer! Here's a round up why you should be drinking it, and HOW. (Spoiler alert, it tastes nasty on it's own)

From left to right

  1. I just discovered apricot stevia drops by Sweet Leaf. HOLY MOLY. It blends perfectly with the sourness of the ACV. This mix is super sweet and refreshing.
  2. This is my favorite. It’s tropical tasting, and the cranberry juice also has great benefits for us ladies.
  3. Hubs calls this the “Apple Pie Mix”, and it tastes just like that! Sometimes I get crazy and throw a little honey in there as well, if I have a sweet-tooth craving to kill.

It’s really up to you! Try experimenting with natural juices, stevia drops, and spices. It’s not that bad once you get used to it. I”m to the point now where I only need to mix it with about 4oz of water. Baby steps! ;)

What kind of ACV should I be drinking?

You want to find the most natural/organic product available to you. If it’s been pasteurized, all the good enzymes, and micro-organisms, or what they call  the mother” will be dead. If it’s not made from organic apples you may have pesticide residue in it, and we don’t want all that crap in our bodies anyway! I purchase mine from our local Amish store, but Bragg’s Organic ACVis probably the best mainstream option, and cheap!

My personal experience:

I don’t know if the ACV is really the ultimate wonder-drug, but let me say this. I’ve been religiously taking it every morning (1-2tbl) for the past four months. My skin has never been clearer (until recently, but that’s a whole different story), by digestion (bloating, cramps, bathroom business) has drastically improved, and I haven’t had one serious cold this year. The last few years I’ve been so sick my eardrums have burst from infections. Multiple times.

So, I’m calling it a WIN. I’m definitely going to keep it up! If anything, it’s a powerful placebo that makes me feel like I”m doing something good for my body and, in turn, leads me to make better choices during the day.

Related Links: 
Web MD

What do YOU think? Are you a ACV fanatic?

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  • SunflowerSpruce

    Wow, I may have to give this a try! I’ve heard good things about vinegars but I was so hesitant, you know, that gross taste and all. Sounds like you’re really reaping the benefits though!

  • http://www.steveisgettingfit.com/ Steve

    Once upon a time, I used to drink an ACV/grapefruit juice/sweetener cocktail. I was mostly doing it to help curb hunger (which it did), I didn’t realize there were that many other benefits to it!

  • http://twitter.com/megankellly Megan Kelly

    Very interesting! My roommate uses it as conditioner, fancy right? ALSO I have to comment on this… you said “by digestion (bloating, craps, bathroom business)” I am guessing you meant cramps BUT when I read this I was like oh she is definitely talking about pooping and I love things that make me regular. I personally love that you said crap but if you don’t that is your call : )

    • http://www.FitandFreeEmily.com Emily

      OMG, best typo EVER!! I cannot believe that just happened. Thanks, friend! :)

  • http://ThatMomBlog.com/ Karen Hewko

    I may need to try this! Sounds very interesting!

  • http://twitter.com/SweatyGirl27 SweatyGirl

    I love apple cider vinegar, but not just for the health benefits, just because its delicious! I use it in every dressing I make. Mmm so tasty!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tara.hallgelsi Tara Hall Gelsi

    Awesome! Im going to give it a try!

    • http://www.facebook.com/tara.hallgelsi Tara Hall Gelsi

      So, I had my first glass of ACV and lemon drop stevia (WF didnt have apricot, which I was very much so looking forward to trying). First glass was a bit awkward but I think I can get used to it! Also, I was looking around on the Tone it Up website… what are your thoughts on the membership/nutrition plan?

      • http://www.FitandFreeEmily.com Emily

        Oooo, lemon drop would be an interesting combo! I’m glad you tried it out. :) I really should do a big post on TIU, but here’s my overall thoughts.

        1) The Pros: I love the TIU attitude. They’re all about positive attitudes and everything in moderation. I’ve never seen two trainers/nutritionist drink that much wine. LOL. I love the fresh and beachy feel to all of their workouts. The Beach Babe DVD is a really geat workout! Their weekly/monthly charts are great motivators and they have a little app that’s fun to use.

        The Nutrition plan, IMO, is worth the money. You get an insane amount of recipes and a really in-depth plan on how to combine protein/carbs/fats to really help your body’s digestion. When you buy the plan, it’s a lifetime membership, so when they release new recipes/challenges/programs, you get thme for free!

        2) The Cons: they aren’t very organized, or at least the way I would like it to be. Most of their products (daily workouts, recipes, the TIU community profiles/message boards) are free and posted in a bunch of different places. I do not participate in the challenges or the TIU community, because I find that’s it’s really full of disordered eating/thinking. I think because the girls are so pretty and popular, you have a lot of young women in the community that are obsessed with thigh-gaps and restricting food. I know that kind of thinking is everywhere, but it sill makes me sad. SO I chose not to participate in the message boards and what not.

        I hope that helped! Feel free to shoot me an email if you want to chat more about it. :)

  • http://twitter.com/lessofless Less of Less

    I’ve been using it as a toner and once a month I use it when washing my hair. I haven’t gotten into drinking it yet, but I’ve been thinking about it.

    • http://www.FitandFreeEmily.com Emily

      I’ve never used it as a toner – do you think it works well? I might have to try it out! :)

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  • Brandi

    I faithfully drink ACV before each meal everyday! That first one is pretty hard to get down first thing in the morning, but I love drinking it. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/katie.wise.773 Katie Wise

    I just drank my first ACV/Cranberry juice cocktail…have to say it wasn’t bad! Looking forward to reaping the benefits!

    • http://www.FitandFreeEmily.com Emily

      Woo! Glad you liked it :D

  • Mollie Lyon

    I was doing this regularly through the fall but then fell out of habit. I loved mixing a few tablespoons or 1/4 cup with apple cider. So yummy! I need to break it out again and make it a habit!

  • http://emilylofgren.com/ Emily Lofgren

    From my experience, it definitely helps clear up blemishes and does contribute to weight loss. Even when I wasn’t watching what I ate as diligently as I should have been, I continued to lose, which wasn’t common before ACV use. Glad to hear about your experiences with it!!

  • pimpy

    my pimples keeps on pooping up..its horrible it leaves a very ugly mark..it is only now that i have a pimple break out..i never experience this before even when i was in my teens..i notice my pimples poops out before and after my periods and during those times im having a great time coping with my depression..im having anxiety attacks..i ask my ob about it and she prescribed some pills to boost my hormones but i dont wanna take it..can apple cider help me with this?

    • http://www.FitandFreeEmily.com Emily

      From my experience, I would try to stay away from hormonal drugs as much as possible. That being said, ACV isn’t going to help anything like anxiety or depression. You definitely should seek professional advice for those issues. For me, going to therapy and consulting a doctor that specializes in hormones helped with those issues.

      ACV should help with the breakouts, though! I would definitely try it.

  • PinkIce716

    What if I don’t have liquid stevia? I’ve seen this in a lot of ACV drink recipes. Can I substitue it with something else?

    • http://www.FitandFreeEmily.com Emily

      Any liquid sweetener is really your best shot – since sugar granules (or even honey) won’t dissolve into a cold drink. If you have any flavored-water enhancers (like the crystal light or desani squeeze bottles) that would work, as well! :)

      Next time you’re at the grocer – check for liquid stevia flavors! They’re practically everywhere nowadays! :) Good luck!

      • Sandi White

        I would avoid flavored-water enhancers, as they are a bottle full of toxic chemicals. And Crystal Light contains aspartame, which can cause a myriad of other health issues. It turns into formaldehyde in your digestive tract.

        • http://www.FitandFreeEmily.com Emily

          Snopes.com is a really great site to check before posting “facts.” Don’t believe everything you see shared on FB. True, aspartame breaks down into those compounds, but so do things like tomatoes and fruit juice (which are VASTLY higher in counts than a drop of aspartame.)

          For your reading: http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/aspartame.asp , particularly the paragraph starting with “Second, the claim that aspartame ingestion results in the production of methanol, formaldehyde and formate”

          I’ve also deleted your post directing people to ingest a high-fruit diet. I can’t imagine what doctor would have ever prescribed that for your daughter. I don’t encourage dangerous ways of eating on this website.

          • Sandi White

            Emily, you must work for the government. Just delete the posts that you don’t agree with. Your opinion must be the only right one. And Snopes is the end-all-be-all of information. I’m being sarcastic, in case you didn’t know it. My daughter and I are both on high-fruit diets. Snopes even says that aspartame creates formaldehyde in the blood stream. I’m sorry you don’t believe in doing what’s healthy. Sooner or later, the aspartame and other garbage you eat will start to kill you, and then you’ll probably take chemo and drugs to try to stop it. Dr. Robert Morse, ND., an iridologist, has been healing people with cancers, MS, and all kinds of health issues by putting them on high-fruit diets. That kind of evidence is enough proof for me. The drug companies WANT you to keep eating the junk that is on the shelves because it keeps them and the doctors in business.

            Censorship is communist, as it removes the rights of others to voice their opinion. I will not be reading any more of your blog posts because they are a bunch of crap. Go ahead and delete this post, too, like I’m sure you will. Loser.

          • http://www.FitandFreeEmily.com Emily

            You’re welcome to start your own blog to voice your opinions. I won’t delete comments that aren’t dangerous to people’s health, which is why this one will stay.

            If you had really read the article, you would have seen that many foods break down into formaldehyde compounds, and are naturally broken down into our bodies. If you don’t want to consume it, that’s fine. I hope that you eat 100% GMO-free and organic, as well, since GMOs are far more dangerous thank fake sugar.

            I’m sorry that you, as a grown woman, feel the need to be so negative. You should try to empower other women with information, not tear them down by calling them “losers.” Do you think that’s going to help your cause? There’s no “government conspiracy” happening here on my “crap” website. Like I said above – my goal is for this site to be a safe place where people can discuss issues without promoting dangerous behaviors or disordered thinking.

            I wish the best for you (and that’s NOT being sarcastic). I hope you can find that filling your heart with negativity is just as toxic (if not more) than aspartame. I hope you don’t grow into an old woman before you realize that.

          • Sandi White

            You are a real piece of work, Emily. There is nothing “dangerous” about my post that said a high-fruit diet is the healthiest. You act like it will kill people. No, it will save their lives if they are overweight and eating SAD (standard American diet). I do eat organic and non-GMO because I am apparently more informed about what’s healthy to eat and what’s not. It was you who were so negative, feeling threatened by my post about eating mostly fruit. You are the one who deleted it. I was simply trying to help people be healthier. People have been living long, healthy lives by eating mostly fruit since long before you came along. I’ve never heard of anyone dying from too much fruit. You ARE a loser if you can’t allow people to voice their opinions, whether you agree with them or not. That you feel the need to decide what is “right” for people to know about or not is playing god. I hope your readers are smart enough to go to other blogs that aren’t so biased and find out the real information about eating healthy. At least I will live to be an “old woman,” not like you and anyone else who eats anything with aspartame in it. You probably think meat and dairy is healthy and necessary for you too. Good luck with that brainwashed thinking provided by the meat and dairy industries. You should really try to think for yourself for a change. There is a whole world out there that can bring you peace and help you get past the anger you apparently feel towards anyone that doesn’t agree with your opinions.

          • http://www.FitandFreeEmily.com Emily

            PS – I never said to eat aspartame. There are natural versions of water enhancers. Again, I’m not sure why you’re still taking a negative tone. You’re more than welcome to keep arguing with yourself, I suppose.

          • Sandi White

            Emily, emily, stop trying to make out like you are just the perfect angel. Sit down, dear, and let me explain to you about the real world.

            1) You put words in my mouth instead of reading what I said about aspartame. I said it’s very bad for people’s body. I did not name you personally. Apparently, you think you are healthy even though you’re overweight. Being overweight doesn’t just mean you ate too much for too long. It means your body is not digesting what you eat properly, so it just stores it as fat. That’s why your ego is so big. Perhaps you’re the one who needs professional help, since you think you are “the man.”

            2) in that other blog post on an entirely different website, I said I would never buy anything GMO’s (because they cause cancer and tumors). I don’t know where you got the idea that I said GMO’s are good for you. That just goes to show that just because people can write a blog doesn’t mean they have a lick of intelligence. Any idiot can write a blog. You’ve proven that. So, are you stalking me now? I guess aspartame must promote psychotic behavior in people, too.

            3) So, by “lactose-free vegetarian,” I’m assuming you eat “fake” cheeses and drink lactose-free milk? Have you ever looked at the ingredients in them? They are full of preservatives and chemicals. And some of them even say “contains a small amount of lactose.” Milk is meant for baby cows, not for humans.

            I’m sorry I have worked you into a tizzy by voicing my opinions of your blazing sarcasm. I prefer to have intelligent conversations with others anyway. So, I won’t be visiting your blog anymore. Hopefully, other people won’t waste their time with it either. There’s so much more interesting reading out there.

            Have a nice life.

          • Lorlyn Loch

            I don’t mean to interject myself into this rant, but I do not agree with you Sandi on being overweight. I am gathering that you are not overweight and have never been? Please correct me if I am wrong about that assumption.
            I have been overweight all my life according to the healthcare industry, yet I was healthy and did not let grass grow under my feet and was able to do more than my thin, younger sister could. But then I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and it was under treated for 12 years – because of that I gained more weight than I ever dreamed I would and I can assure you it was not from OVEREATING! I have now lost 70 lbs of that weight, but I have a ways to go to get where I was when I graduated high school, but I am feeling better and I am much more active now. One should never judge the outer shell of someone by lumping all large sized people under the OVEREATING category because there are a lot of reasons someone could be overweight. Sure it is easier to assume they over ate themselves to that point, but it simply is not true in every case and it is CRUEL to assume that is how an individual got to that point!
            It isn’t thin people’s fault they believe in fat people eating themselves to the size they are – they are continually told that by society and every media source out there, but then again you cannot believe everything you hear or read either! I also believe a lot of the foods on our shelves have additives and most people have no idea that is why they are growing around the middle and it is not that they want to be large – I know of no one who literally wishes to be that way. I think we need to share what we know about these bad additives in foods and help others to find better alternatives to what is out there. Although, not all people can afford organic, non-GMO foods either and if they think that is not true – step into someone’s shoes who makes a certain income and learn that is not possible. Even with a lower income one can still search for better alternatives to processed foods and other things that may sound good for us, but are not.
            Too bad you won’t be reading this post, but maybe someone else will send this to you for your reading. There are always reasons why most people gain weight and it often has nothing to do with the amount of food they are eating, but maybe what they are eating. I for one was never a big eater – still am not – but when the thyroid issues were not taken care of properly I eventually had other issues like deficieny in Vitamin D, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Zinc. I had adrenal insufficiency, my female hormones were so out of whack that it took a while to get them under control, I ended up getting diabetes out of the deal, I also now have the autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s, which is a result from the hypothyroidism, I had reverse T3, which is a result of receiving no T3, which your body automatically makes when your thyroid is functioning properly, I had panic attacks and severe anxiety, and profound weight gain from all of it and severe issues with my menstrual cycle with severe, heavy bleeding from the thyroid not being treated properly. I ended up having to drive 2 hours from my home to seek a doctor who specialized in the thyroid issues and I credit him for getting me back on my feet and helping me lose the weight and feeling like the old me again!
            Never assume someone overweight ATE themselves to that point – often it is far from the truth and assuming they are overweight due to that alone is quite unfair and downright cruel!

    • http://www.FitandFreeEmily.com Emily

      oh! and I know “Skinny Girl” makes a liquid agave, too. I found that at Walmart!

  • Rachele Stewart

    Just a word of caution, if you’re taking any type of diuretic for instance Furosemide, don’t take both. It will make your blood numbers out of whack.

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