Tag Archives: hydration

Hydrate Plus

18 Jun

It is not officially summer, but it is hot outside! Staying hydrated is really important any time of year, but dehydration can happen more quickly in the heat. Drinking plain water can be BOOOOOORRRING, and we are oh so stylish! Simple water just won’t do. How do we transition from boring old water to something exciting?

For starters, I invested in a pretty beverage dispenser. Seriously, this thing was less than twenty bucks, and I use it more than I thought I would. It’s glass, and so pretty whether it’s filled with Sangria for a Spanish dinner party or Spa Water (my cool version) for a summer evening cookout.

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Today I made a my delicious and irresistible Spa Water. I got creative with water and added some other goodies like cucumbers, lemons, melon, and strawberries to really please the palate. My Spa Water is more than refreshing,  it can help detoxify the body. And who doesn’t need that every now and again?

This is what i started with-

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I peeled the cucumber before slicing it. The skin can be bitter so I prefer to remove it for my Spa Water. Cucumbers aid in brain health and reduce inflammation, so what the heck-why not help out our gray matter! I always wash and dry the cucumber before slicing it. I save extra slices for later to have with hummus as a snack.

Next I cut up fresh cantaloupe to add to the water. The health benefits of cantaloupe include being rich in beta carotene which your body can convert to Vitamin A. This is important to eye health (and as an “over 40” woman that sort of uses readers I need that!). Vitamin A also contributes to a healthy immune system and healthy red blood cells. Cantaloupe is also rich in potassium and Vitamin C. Since I have some leftover cantaloupe, I will toss it with a bit of rich bleu cheese for a decadent side dish or snack. Yum!

I didn’t bother to do much to the lemons other than slice them. Lemons are a great source of vitamin C. The lovely oil in the lemon rind aids in digestion, is detoxifying in nature, and nourishes the skin so I left it on and added it to the water.

I didn’t have fresh strawberries, but had some in the freezer. I keep frozen berries on hand for my smoothies, but today frozen strawberries were getting thrown into the Spa Water. Strawberries have high levels of heart-healthy antioxidants so load up on ’em. They add just the right touch of sweetness to the water, and add a lovely rose’ color as well.

Put all that goodness together and this is what you get-elegant, healthy, and packed with flavor.

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Serve it in a wine glass, pour it in a glass over ice, or carry it with you to the gym. Any way you decide to use this water, it is a winner! This is THE way to stay hydrated this summer!

 

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Wet and Fresh

23 May

The warm weather is coming.  Thank goodness.  I am tired of the gray rainy spring.  As much as I detest the horror of getting my jiggles and wiggles into a swim suit, I simply adore summer.  The breezy warm nights, a casual vibe,  outdoor evening concerts, dining al fresco.  Yes, the pleasures of summer are many.  But take caution.  The warm weather can increase the threat of dehydration.

If you are thirsty, you are already experiencing mild dehydration.  And did you know that dehydration is the number one cause of daytime fatigue?  Even mild dehydration can decrease endurance, slow cognitive thinking, and cause headaches.  Great reasons to stay hydrated.

Interestingly enough, studies suggest that 70-80% of daily hydration should come from fluids, and 20-30% from the water content in food.  So, it is important to drink water and healthy fluids during the day and limit sugary drinks.  But in addition to that, especially in the warm summer weather, it’s also important to eat foods that are high in water content.  Need a list?  Look no further.  This list contains fruits and vegetables with more than 90% water.

  • cucumbers
  • watermelon
  • grapefruit
  • iceberg lettuce
  • cantaloupe
  • zucchini
  • radish
  • tomato
  • cabbage
  • bell peppers
  • strawberries

Looking at this list I hope you are not thinking of just eating these wonderful fruits and vegetables solo.  Oh no!  Lets have some fun while we eat our water!  How?  So glad you asked.

How ’bout this…a salad.  No, not a lettuce side salad.  A cucumber watermelon salad is the best!  So hydrating and refreshing in the hot summer months, not to mention beautiful.  Simply dice up watermelon and cucumber.   Toss.  Then the fun begins.

Make it more sophisticated with mint.  Or add a savory balsamic glaze.  There are a million ways to customize this fun summer salad, and it will keep you alert and ready to go to the next thing.  So this summer, don’t forget to eat your water!

Watermelon Cucumber Salad.  Delicious and refreshing.  Oh..and so pretty!

Watermelon Cucumber Salad. Delicious and refreshing. Oh..and so pretty!

Dangerous Dehydration

15 May

The weather is warming up.  Spring is here and we are on the march toward summer and hot weather.  Water. H2O. Hydration. We have all heard that we need to drink water. 8 glasses a day in fact. But where is “glass”  or portion really defined? And what else counts as water? Does the water in our morning coffee factor into our “8 a day”, or the water in the bunch of grapes that we ate for an afternoon snack? There are many answers here, but lets ponder water for a moment.

The body uses water for cell function and is essential for every thing that the body does. It is well known that for optimal health benefits, the body needs to stay hydrated throughout the day.   Our body needs water, uses water, has water in its systems and cells for function. But it does not have any way to efficiently store water for long term usage. That is why we must pace our intake, and make sure that our intake is continuous. That can be complicated for some people though.  Some people just don’t like water.

I am a big water drinker, but my mom does not like the taste of water.  So she mixes water with other beverages, such as juice, to keep herself hydrated and healthy.  Listening to your body is crucial when focusing on good health. And so is common sense. Drink water throughout the day. If you are feeling thirsty or your mouth feels dry, chances are you are already heading toward dehydration.

To those folks that really don’t enjoy drinking water, eat some foods that are high in water content. Most fruit has a high water content, so munch on melon, grapes, or citrus fruit to help stay refreshed throughout the day. Watch the junky, sugary, and carbonated drinks.  Yes, your morning coffee or tea count.  So does your food.  Your body accepts and uses all kinds of fluids in drinks and natural foods, so as we march toward summer, march toward better health by sipping away all day!

Don’t like to drink water? Then eat it!

3 Sep

As a nutrition professional working in clinical nutrition, I am constantly counseling my clients to stay hydrated.  Hydration is critical for good health.  I encourage all of my clients to drink healthy fluids all day, most importantly, water.  And I hear many people say that they just don’t like to drink water.  Oh, they will say they know that they need to drink more water, they just don’t like it.  Now this is a dilemma.  And a possible barrier to optimum health.

Good news though!  For folks that do not like to drink water, I say “Fine-then eat it!”.  No, I don’t mean frozen drinks or ice.  Hydration can come in many forms.  The “8 glass” rule really doesn’t mean you have to drink that much fluid to stay properly hydrated.  The food in a properly balanced diet can contribute to daily fluid needs of the body.  Food contains water.  Some more than others.

Try these hydrating foods to increase your hydration if you do not like to drink water.  When your body is properly hydrated, your skin looks radiant, has wonderful elasticity, and increases energy.  It can also reduce painful infections such at a UTI, or urinary tract infection.  Eat these to keep those pipes clean!

  • watermelon
  • grapefruit
  • tomato
  • ice burg lettuce
  • blueberries
  • orange
  • pineapple
  • celery
  • cucumbers
  • grapes
  • cabbage
  • sweet peppers
  • Zucchini

Add these foods to your daily diet, and you will be increasing your hydration.  Our body has a high water content, and taking water in is important for good cell function. for keeping the systems all running properly.  Of course you need to keep drinking healthy fluids as well, but eating some of these foods daily can help you achieve better hydration!  It is a small change that can have a positive impact on your health quickly!    Eat up!