25 Ways to Drink…..More Water! :)

by admin on April 11, 2015

25 Ways to Drink More Water

water glass with lime




Let’s do a simple nonscientific test to see if you are dehydrated right now. Pinch the skin on the back of your hand. Does your skin spring back into shape, like a gymnast sticking a landing? Or does it take its sweet time spreading out and settling? If your answer is the second one, you’re in need of some H2O.

You’ve heard us say hundreds of times how important it is to drink plenty of water. That’s because we can’t say it enough! If you want to lose weight, you need to drink water. If you exercise, you need to drink water. If you want healthy skin, you need to drink water. Your body is comprised of 70% water (and your brain is 90% water!). Your blood and every cell in your body are made almost entirely from water. If you want to be alert, have organs that function properly, and get the most out of your workouts, you need to drink enough water.

We get it. Drinking enough water to stay hydrated every day can be a daunting task. Here are 25 tips that will help. In the spirit of this article, how about pouring yourself a glass of water right now to sip as you read? Go ahead, we’ll wait.

Know how much you should drink
Knowing is half the battle, right? We recommend drinking half your body weight, in ounces of water, every day. So, if you weigh 180 pounds, divide that by 2. Your magic number would be 90. That’s 90 ounces of water every day, a little more than 2.5 liters.

Your number might be different
Everyone has different hydration needs, based on weight, exercise intensity, kidney function, climate, and a bunch of other stuff. If you live in Death Valley, for example, you’ll want to add a few more glasses of water. Pay attention to how your body feels when it is properly hydrated and use that as a cue.

Keep score!
Now that you know how much you need, it’s time to keep track of how much you are actually getting. Measure how many ounces your glass or bottle holds and figure out many times you’ll need to refill it during the day. There are dozens of free apps that keep track of your water consumption and reward you when you reach your goal. Find one that you like and turn hydration into a game.

Rise and shine!
Drink a glass—or two!—as soon as you wake up. You haven’t had any fluids for 8 hours, so this could be the most dehydrated you will be all day. Plus, it’s a great way to jump-start your metabolism. Try leaving a tall glass of water on your nightstand and drink it before you get out of bed. (Don’t try this if you have a cat, or it will knock the glass over in the middle of the night, splashing your face and soaking your copy of People magazine.)

Watch the clock
Set an alarm to remind you to drink every hour during the workday. When it goes off, get up, shake a leg, and take a stroll to the water cooler for a refill. You’ll fulfill your water quota by quitting time.

Make it a habit
Do the timer trick above for 21 days and, congratulations, you will have formed a habit.

“But it will make me have to pee!”
Yes, it will. That’s a biological fact of life. While you’re in the bathroom, have a gander at the color of your pee. It should be mostly clear and odorless (unless you’ve been eating beets or asparagus). If it is dark or cloudy, you, my friend, are dehydrated. Drink a glass of water right away. Your body will also adjust to drinking this much water and soon, you won’t be running to restroom as often.

Make more water
Every time you go to the bathroom, replenish your body with a fresh 8 ounces of water.

Pair drinking water with other activities
Fill up your water bottle before you walk your dog, check your email, or when you leave for work. Drink a glass of water before you brush your teeth or wash your face. Then, drink another glass when you are done.

Choose your vessel
We think drinking out of a glass is more appealing than swilling from a paper or Styrofoam cup. And, it’s gentler to the environment. Choose a beautiful glass or pitcher that you’ll want to use frequently. Feeling fancy? How about a goblet?

Take it to go
Keep a water bottle with you at all times. Think of it as an accessory. Water bottles collided with fashion a long time ago; there are colors and styles for everyone. Splurge on one you really like, the bigger the better. Glass and stainless steel are the best choices, as they won’t leach chemicals into the liquid contents. Avoid plastic bottles whenever possible.

Exercise requires more water
Being dehydrated can slow you down and zap your energy, making your cardio or weight lifting workout feel brutal. Your muscles need fluids to function fluidly, so be sure to hydrate before, during, and after exercise.

Drink a glass before bed
If it doesn’t make you stumble to the bathroom in the middle of the night, drink a glass before you catch some Zs to stay hydrated until morning. Or, try a soothing mug of hot water with lemon and a small drizzle of honey.

Replace other beverages with water
How many ounces of soda, juice, coffee, or beer do you imbibe on a daily basis? Come on, be honest. If you regularly drink a Venti latte and an orange soda, swap them for water. That’s 32 ounces right there, not to mention the hundreds of calories eliminating those drinks will save you.

Drink when you are hungry
If you feel a snack attack coming on, drink a glass of water, then wait 15 minutes. Dehydration pangs are often misread by the body as hunger. A glass of water will replenish your body and help you feel satiated. If you are still hungry 15 minutes later, reach for a piece of fruit or a handful of raw nuts.

The drinking fountain rule
Every time you see a drinking fountain, drink for a count of 10.

Drink before you eat
Drinking water before you eat will help you feel more satiated and you will eat less. A study from the Virginia Tech Department of Nutrition suggests that drinking two glasses of water before (not during) each meal can significantly increase weight loss. Not only that, but the water drinkers in the study continued to lose weight and keep it off.

Eat your water
You can add even more hydration by eating water-packed fruits like melons, cucumbers, berries, and celery.

Go one-for-one
Pace yourself in social gatherings by drinking water between alcoholic beverages. You’ll reduce your risk of a pounding hangover and help meet your daily water intake goals.

Flavored water
Not thrilled with the tasteless taste of water? Think it tastes like licking windows? You can give your water zing by adding a wedge of lemon, crushed mint leaves, sliced cucumbers, or strawberries.

Make it bubbly
If you are addicted to soda, and crave a fizzy refreshment, consider sparkling mineral water flavored with fruit, or invest in a SodaStream to have an unending supply of bubbly water at your fingertips.

Give yourself a little variety
Not all of your H2O has to be room temperature, or loaded with ice. Mix it up. Serve warm water with lemon or brew a cup of herbal tea.

Suck it up
Some people find that they take bigger gulps when drinking through a straw. If you are one of these people, you might consider buying paper straws or a reusable metal or glass straw.

Drop your juice habit
If you are trying to lose weight, this is an easy place to cut calories. Make the transition to drinking pure water by filling your glass halfway with juice then filling the rest with flat or sparkling water. Once you get used to this, try using only 1/4 juice.

Involve others
Invite your friends or office mates to participate in a water challenge with you. Set a goal of how much water each person will drink per day, then keep score. The people who skip the most glasses of water have to buy lunch.

When in doubt, drink water
Many common complaints, including headache and constipation, can be alleviated by downing a tall glass of water. Studies show that water can play a vital role in preventing more dire conditions as well, including several types of cancer. In one study, drinking more water reduced the risk of colon cancer by 45% in women and 32% in men.


Food Safety Tips You Want to Know

by admin on April 8, 2015

Food Safety Tips You Want to Know

Cooking Tips Healthy Eating Nutrition You make the effort to buy good-for-you eats: lots of fruits and veggies, lean meats, dairy, and whole grains. So why not make sure that you’re keeping your food as fresh—and safe—as possible? Read on for tips on how to store, prep, and cook foods to stay always healthy: Keep Produce Super Fresh When you come home from the grocery store or farmer’s market, what do you do to make your tasty loot last? Not everything has to be stored in the fridge, but perishable produce does (like berries, grapes, asparagus, leafy greens, mushrooms, and summer squash), as well as pre-cut or peeled fruits and vegetables. Look at your fridge temp—it should be 40 degrees F or below. Not everything has to take up precious fridge real estate—apples, bananas, citrus, melons, and tomatoes can be safely stored at room temp. Stash potatoes and onions in your pantry. The crisper bins in your fridge can become germ-ridden from dirt and bacteria that clings to fruits and vegetables. Clean crisper drawers monthly with soap and water, and wipe dry with a clean towel, suggests the public health and safety organization NSF International. Safely Store Dairy Milk, cheese, and yogurt provide an ideal environment for make-you-sick microbes to grow, so always keep these refrigerated. (In fact, many experts recommend shopping the dairy aisle last to keep the amount of time kept at room temp to a minimum.) Cheese is best kept at 35 to 45 degrees F, and the American Cheese Society recommends storing these in one of the crisper bins for an ideal humidity/temperature range. As for yogurt, don’t toss just because the “sell by” date has come and gone. Containers stay good for 7 to 10 days after this date—so eat and enjoy. (Just if it looks curdled or has an “off” sour smell, by all means use your smarts and toss. Ick.) Milk should be stashed on the fridge shelves (as opposed to the door; continual opening and closing—you know, when you want to take a peek to know what you have—speeds up spoilage). And get this, you can drink it up to one week past the sell-by date, as long as your fridge stayed cooler than 40 degrees F. The old way to store butter was covered on the counter—and bonus, it always stays soft that way! But you’ll decrease bacterial contamination risk if you keep it in the fridge. Just take it out before you need it to make it spreadable. Eggs Belong in the Fridge Yes, you’re totally right that many Europeans don’t refrigerate their eggs—they sit pretty on the counter. But that’s because of the differences in practices to safeguard eggs from salmonella between Europe and the US. In the US, they treat eggs to destroy salmonella via pasteurization; in Europe, this happens by vaccinating poultry, among other hygiene measures. For that reason, in the US you’ve got to store in the fridge asap. Keep them on the shelves (not in the door) and scramble, poach, fry, or cook with ‘em within three to five weeks. Prep Everything Well Rinse all fruits and vegetables (yep, organic, too!) thoroughly under running tap water—scrub with a brush if you need to get in all the nooks and crannies. No need for fancy fruit and veggie cleaners, either. That goes for produce you’re going to eat whole (like apples and berries) and those you’re going to take the skin or rind off (like cantaloupe and kiwi). That’s because when you cut through the skin, you can easily transfer bacteria from the skin into the flesh via your knife. You might have one main cutting board you love. If that’s the case, it’s time to find at least one more. (Score one in a cool color or get a wooden one engraved with your name from Etsy if you need fun shopping incentive.) Reserve one cutting board for ready-to-eat bites, like produce and bread, says the USDA, and another for raw meat and seafood. For easy-breezy clean up, throw plastic, acrylic, and wood boards in the dishwasher. (Best to be totally sure, so read the care instructions first.) Cook Meat Right Your first move is to pay attention to the date on your meat—even meat you buy at the butcher’s counter in grocery stores will list a sell-by date on it. Ground meat and poultry can only hang out for 1 to 2 days, while steaks/chops/roasts last 3 to 5 days. And you’ve got a meat bin for a reason (it keeps things all cool), so use it. Oh, and never, ever wash poultry. It just leaves your sink teeming with possible salmonella and other nasty microbes. The next step is to thoroughly cook it. Luckily, that doesn’t mean you have to heat it to submission (until taste is nada). Because safely cooked meat can range in color (for example, chicken that’s cooked right can still look pink, or brown hamburger meat can still be undercooked), you want to use a thermometer to take the protein’s internal temp. You can find a handy chart of the proper temp to cook meat (and more) to at Foodsafety.gov, but for a sneak peak: ground meat (160 degrees F), steak/roast (145 degrees F), chicken and turkey (165 degrees F), and pork (145 degrees F). Get a fresh new plate to put the gloriously done burgers or just-right juicy chicken on rather than re-using the same plate. (Hey, it happens!) The final word on washing. Research shows that most of us make the critical misstep of washing our hands all wrong. (You know, the quick rinse, the speedy suds up, the don’t-wash-at-all move.) The CDC recommends washing with soap and water for 20 seconds, and you want to do this throughout cooking. (Before you start, after you cut chicken, when you’re done.) That super-important step will help prevent cross-contamination. Now, it’s time to get eating!Food-Safety-Storage


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