I love my lemons. In fact, a warm mug of lemon infused water in the morning is pretty much a daily staple for me. Each morning, the regime is the same and I would spend close to 10 minutes rummaging around the refrigerator for some fresh lemons, source down a kitchen knife and chopping board, and squeeze every last bit of juice from the fruit into a mug.
As much as I know it’s good for me, I do find it severely inconvenient. I’m usually scrambling for time each morning and I would appreciate having more time for myself before heading off for work. It really does take more effort than it sounds to whip up some fresh lemon juice every morning.
Other times, I could muster up the energy to squeeze up ten lemons for the next two weeks, no problem. The only problem though is that fresh lemons, as amazing as they are, do not have a very long shelf life and like every other fresh produce, they go bad pretty quickly.
As such, it’s not just the elements of time and effort that becomes a hindrance to making fresh lemon juice. Most of the times, the problem lies in the juice itself—or rather, in the preparation process.
A Lemon A Day
When I was given a few sachets of True Lemon, a natural form of crystallised lemon juice, to try out for a week, I decided to give it a go. This product was brought into Malaysia by 3 ex-engineers who sought to bring about a healthy change in our lifestyles. Cold pressed juices are commonly consumed by Malaysians and they are available in almost every health food store. Similarly, True Lemon are fresh lemons which are cold pressed in order to become a crystallised powder form.
The first difference that I noticed when it came to True Lemon and fresh lemons was that the former automatically saved me time in the morning. Preparing it was as easy as tearing up the sachet and emptying it into a glass or bottle of water. I need not even have to prepare it in advance as I could leave several sachets in my handbag and take them into work with me to consume later in the morning.
Personally I drink lemon juices frequently, so I’d tend to prefer the fresh ones; however when I’m hard pressed for time thanks to the snooze button (like just about every other Malaysian out there), this would then become my next best choice.
With the current unpredictable weather and fluctuating temperatures, soft drinks and sugar-based drinks may be a thirst quencher but they may not be the healthiest options due to their nutritional value that is mostly lacking. Therefore, I find it somewhat reassuring that I can fall back on True Lemon as my backup instead of resorting to the sweeter counterparts.
Another advantage is that True Lemon can be purchased via various platforms, both online (11Street, Lazada, and Freshcart) and offline (major hypermarkets and pharmacies)—which then adds another element of convenience.
The industry for Vitamin C-based health products is saturated with alternatives such as the Redoxon effervescent tablets, for instance. Yet, what I chose to try out for the week had all the goodness of an all-natural product with no traces of chemicals in it.
It was good to know that I wasn’t merely trying some lemon knockoff. With ingredients like citric acid, malic acid, lemon oil, lemon juice and Vitamin C, I was at least comforted by the fact that I was consuming the actual nutritional benefits of the citrus fruit itself.
A Stereotype To Overcome
Even knowing all of this head knowledge, it wasn’t enough to convince me right from the get-go to do away with my beloved fruits. I found it difficult not having a knife and lemon in hand each morning. Perhaps it was the routine I missed, but I know that it was far more than that.
Growing up, I had always been reminded if not by society, then by my own mother, that natural is always best. We see it in advertisements by social media influencers, nutritionists, and so on. Anything that comes from a packaging is seen to be unhealthy, and therefore automatically concluded as a poor nutritional choice.
This stereotype is something I carry on even as a young adult now, and I would always find myself subconsciously flipping boxes and packaging around in order to see the ingredients enlisted in the product. I understand that it is a mindset that I can’t overcome overnight, and in some ways, it isn’t something that I actively wish to overcome at all either.
This very problem is one that the team at True Lemon knows very well. The team recently shared with Vulcan Post that their challenge is to convince the overall market sector that powdered drinks do not mean evil. And this is a challenge that they deal with head on in their active marketing efforts, pop up stalls, and events.
Yet one thing that I have to give the product props for is its convenience. With one sachet weighing less than 1g, I can even take it with me on my travels. While it may be odd and highly unpractical to lug around a bag of lemons, several sachets of True Lemon hardly takes up any space at all.
Another thing is that I may always have a lemon lying around the kitchen, but I might not always have the desire or effort to juice it. That’s when I can utilise True Lemon in my meals and drinks instead.
The product could be added into just about any meal without significantly altering its taste. I was ambitious throughout my week of trying out the product and I found that it is an option that I could add to stir-fried vegetables, as ice popsicles, or even in desserts that I baked—basically anything that I’d like a zesty taste in.
Like many, I have the preconceived notion that there is a huge divide between health extremists and those who sit around eating junk food all day long. What trying True Lemon for a week taught me instead is that it’s the little tweaks like adding more citrus into our meals, taking a few seconds to make a lemon drink, or at least packing a few sachets into my bag for later, that count. And for now, that’s good enough.