Even though it's practically summer year-round here in Los Angeles, there are a few things that epitomize summer when the season rolls around for real. Dodger games, family BBQs in my dad's backyard, dinners al fresco with friends, and of course, lemonade! I gave up drinking lemonade on the reg years ago because my body just can't handle the sugar, and I'm in the camp that firmly believes that synthetic sweeteners like Splenda, Sweet n Low and Equal are some of the most harmful substances that you can consume.

This year I was lucky enough to meet Amanda Carneiro, otherwise known on Instagram as Raw Fitness & Nutrition, and she got me wise to Lakanto, a 100% monk fruit derived sweetener that has no calories, no glycemic index and is a 100% natural. When I bake I still use coconut sugar (usually cutting the amount called for in a recipe in half), but for beverages and even some baked goods, Lakantao is where it's at.

Another product I was turned onto this year through some research was Vital Proteins line of collagen products. I started consuming this in March of this year, and after two months of daily use, my skin is tighter, my hair is out of control thick, and most importantly, my arthritic knees are more pliable which has meant more to me than anything since it signified a return to my beloved cycling and weight training classes.

Since I use Vital Proteins 1-2x every day, I'm always looking for creative ways to incorporate it into my diet, and so I bring you this Beautifing Summer Basil Lemonade! This lemonade tastes like a sip of summer, but with no sugar AND with the beautifying benefits of Vital Proteins' Collagen Beauty Greens. The marine-derived Collagen Beauty Greens provide 12g of tissue repairing marine collagen, 5 organic greens and 120mg of beautifying hyaluronic acid in just one scoop! Hyaluronic Acid pulls moisture into your skin cells, making it plump and youthful in appearance, strengthening the skin AND improving elasticity. It also has the same effect on your nails. The Collagen Beauty Greens are also paleo friendly, gluten free, and void of any and all artificial sweeteners, making it friendly for all diets (except vegetarian/vegan of course). 

I have been using this product for month in green smoothies and matcha lattes because I love the subtle coconut-vanilla taste in addition to the beautifying benefits, but the hot weather here in Los Angeles inspired this Basil Lemonade that is refreshing, delicious AND full of health benefits! I hope you try making it and enjoy sipping it all summer as I will!

Note: For this recipe since I also incorporated the Vital Proteins Lavender-Lemon Collagen Beauty Water which has similar benefits to the Collagen Beauty Greens, while adding a subtle lemony lavender flavor. If you don't have room in your home for multiple products, just use 4 scoops of Collagen Beauty Greens instead of 2 and 2.


2C fresh squeezed organic lemon juice (I buy my lemons in a 3lb bag from Milk & Eggs, and you can use the code JKCOACH for $10 off and free delivery!)

1/2C tightly packed organic basil (also part of my Milk & Eggs delivery this week)

2/3C Lakanto monk fruit granulated sweetener

2 scoops of Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Greens

2 scoops of Vital Proteins Lavender-Lemon Beauty Water (or 2 more scoops of the Collagen Beauty Greens)

- 4C Water

- Fresh organic mint and lemon circles for garnich

In a high speed blender like this one or this one, blend the lemon juice, basil and sugar until the basil is completely blended into the lemon juice. Next add the Vital Proteins Collagen Greens (and Lavender-Lemon Beauty Water if you're using it) and blend again until combined. Strain into a pitcher, stir in 4C of water, and chill. Serve chilled over ice, garnishing with fresh mint leaves and lemon slices.