Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Drink up!

There's no better time than summer to be glugging down more water...with all the heat, a more active lifestyle, and all the sweatin' that summer gives. It seems that people don't understand how vital water is to our health. Most of us are really dehydrated, whether we know it or not.

We should all be drinking one half of our body weight in ounces of water PER DAY! For me, at my height, that's about 80 ounces of water, which is about 10 glasses of water. Two more than the average 8 glasses. And if you're more active, you should be adding more water to that.

And contrary to what everyone seems to think...tea and coffee DON'T count. They actually act as diuretics. Herbal tea is an exception you can count as water.

So why do we need so much water? What's so great about being hydrated? Here are some of the reasons (some which were new to me)...

  • it acts as a solvent (reduces everything) and a transporter

  • purifies your body, carrying out waste

  • increases energy at a cellular level

  • transports metabolites of the brain along neurons

  • creates adhesiveness to the cell structures

  • proteins and enzymes function more efficiently in a solution that is more dilute

  • keeps your skin more healthy

And here are some things that can be prevented by drinking more water...that can actually be partly caused or helped by dehydration...

  • hypertension

  • dyspepsia

  • arthritis

  • headaches (add lemon in your water for even more benefit)

  • stress and depression

  • cholesterol problems

  • diabetes

  • asthma and allergies

  • colitis

  • low back pain

My Dad was reading all these great things about water and since then, he's been drinking a lot more. Trying to get his 100 ounces (around 12 glasses) of H2o all in before the day is out. He says he feels a lot better and he's not as tired.

It might be hard to get used to and you might be running to the bathroom all of the time, but soon you're body will get more used to it. I rarely go anywhere without my water bottle...it's almost my comfort drink. I like to add lemon and stevia often, or even just a squirt of some juice from the fridge. There's lots of ways to drink water if you don't like the taste...maybe try sun tea or iced green tea. You got no excuses, so drink up!

Food so far for today:

Breakfast~ Green smoothie (kale, banana, blue manna flakes, ect)

Morning snack~ 1/2 grapefruit

Lunch (so far)~ some watermelon (another great source of hydration)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Burdock Tea...Loving your Liver

Quite a while back I was blessed with a Kombucha mushroom, which I enjoyed making into tea...but I found that after a while, I grew a little tired of making it and had a harder time drinking it (don't like homemade Kombucha? Check out Synergy's Kombucha at Whole Foods, which tastes quite good...grape is my favorite, but I like guava too!) So I got rid of my Kombucha mushroom and turned to other things to try out...

One thing I loved about the Kombucha was that it was very cleansing for the liver, which, I think, is one of the central things to good health. But guess what? There's other fantastic things you can take for your liver...one of which is Burdock Root Tea.

You can get it fresh too, which I haven't been able to try yet (as there is none in my area), chop it up and add it to salads or brew it fresh.

I went to Tea Benefits site to check out all the other great things about it and here's what I found...

It has a soothing effect on the skin and gastrointestinal tract;

It is known to improve appetite and digestion;

It has been shown to possess anti-microbial agents that may help reduce liver damage;

It also has the ability to mildly lower blood sugar (hypoglycemic effect);

It is very useful in fighting the effects of rheumatism;

It helps in the treatment of some kidney disorders;

It helps counter bronchial cough and other irritations of the pulmonary tract.

The taste is really special too, it's not like other teas I've tried. It almost tastes like Won Ton broth that you get at the Chinese restaurant...which is kind of fun. Hope you get a chance to buy a bag of it and let me know what you think...

Oh, and while you're on the web check out Tea Benefits...it's a great site, with lots of great info.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Time for an Update

...Argh, life is so hectic right now I haven't had much time to do a post. Our family is doing quite a bit of singing and traveling right now so I do have a good excuse.

Because it seems like I'm always out of my regular routine, I find it harder to eat the way I want to, especially away from home. So lately, I've been bumping up my raw food intake to where it should be. I've been trying to have green smoothies in the mornings and have been making more of a habit of big salads at lunch. (below is my 0 calorie salad dressing I really like)

We have lots of dandelions scattering our home, so I've even picked a bowl of those, washed them, and bagged them for green smoothies and salads. I'm hoping to make a juice with them too.

We've just finished planting our garden, which I'm excited about (the cucumbers especially!). We just have to plant cilantro, parsley, onions, and find some kale seeds to throw in.

I've been making it a habit to drink more lemon water too (usually 4 cups with 1 lemon, if we have lemons in the house)...with the heat here it seems like I'm always drinking, and it's nice to have a bit of a flavour in the water. I just add a bit of stevia for what Natalia Rose calls, "a quick lemonade". My sister and I have also been making "sun tea"...throwing 2 peppermint and 2 green tea bags into a gallon or two of water to steep in the sunlight all day. We then refrigerate it. This tastes great if you add some stevia too.

My Dad had started an orchard in our backyard too, with even a blackberry bush...so I'm hoping in the quirky country we live in, that it will all thrive.

Here's my salad dressing that is great if you're trying to be more careful of your weight...do it all to taste.

  • 1 tsp or so of organic Dijon mustard
  • a squirt of Braggs
  • a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp or less of lemon juice
  • maybe a little bit of balsamic vinegar
  • lots of dried parsley, dried basil, and dried oregano