July’s Tiny Change: Get Creative with Hydrationby Elise Museles
If you’re just joining us, this post is part of my year-long #12tinychanges challenge. Each month, we’re implementing one super small, super doable change – over a year, it really adds up! You can read about it here and share your progress on Instagram with the hashtag #12tinychanges. (Did I mention that there are lots of theme-related GIVEAWAYS each month?! Read on!)
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: we should all be drinking more water. And yet here we are – many of us walking around in a state of low-grade, chronic dehydration.
How do you know if you’re dehydrated? Maybe your skin doesn’t look quite as good as it could. Perhaps you’re feeling a bit unfocused or sluggish, or maybe you think you’re hungry all the time. It’s entirely possible that you aren’t actually hungry, or unfocused, or having skin problems: chances are, you’re thirsty!
Our bodies are 65% water, and our brains are 73% water. No wonder we feel better when we stay hydrated! Yet it’s easy to forget to drink in the midst of our busy and active lives. (All the more reason to plan for the storied 8-a-day!)
This month, we’re going to fill up our cups and keep our bodies happy with more water and better hydration. If you’re not exactly keen on chugging eight glasses of lukewarm tap water every day, read on!
Make it fun (and delicious!)
Not everyone loves plain old water. If you aren’t a fan, don’t worry – there are many other ways to stay hydrated! Toss together some pitchers of spa waters (they’re so easy and colorful!) or load up the freezer with lavender ice cubes and add them to your water and herbal iced tea. Recently, I’ve been saving my leftover smoothies, filling up popsicle molds, and creating beautiful (and hydrating!) smoothie pops.
Make it easy.
Do you spend most of your time in your office? Get a pretty glass or cup that you can keep on your desk. Are you always in the car, running to meetings and shuttling your kids around? Find the right [environmentally-friendly] water bottle and don’t leave the house without your new sidekick.
Make it a superfood snack (no, really!)
Chia seeds are a miracle food, especially when it comes to keeping us hydrated. These teeny, tiny seeds are hydrophilic, which means that they can absorb approximately 10 to 12 times their weight in water. This powerhouse superfood can also prolong hydration and retain electrolytes in body fluids, protecting against dehydration. If the Tarahumara barefoot runners of Mexico use chia seeds for 100-mile runs, imagine what they can do for us!
Incorporating chia seeds into your diet is incredibly easy: simply stir a heaping tablespoon to your morning juice or smoothie and you’re set! For a real treat, my chia pudding popsicles or chia parfait are easy to make, cooling, and delicious!
Make it food (no – REALLY!!)
Hydration comes in many forms, not just from water! Juices, smoothies, soups, and even puddings will help you stay hydrated. All raw fruits and vegetables contain water, particularly cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes, celery, and radishes. Some of my favorite, high water-content recipes are quinoa tabbouleh, watermelon popsicles, green soup, DIY nut milk, and gazpacho.
Make it about more than water.
Why do we need electrolytes, including potassium, to stay hydrated? Our muscles use them together with water to make sure that the electrical charges in our bodies work properly. Potassium balances the fluids and electrolytes in our bodies. All this is to say: eat plenty of bananas and drink coconut water. These two foods are inexpensive, widely available, and they’ll help you maintain the proper nutrients after a workout or on a hot and humid summer day. If you’re up for a homemade version of a sports drink, try my electrolyte replacement as an easy way to replenish lost vitamins and minerals.
See? Hydration can be fun and delicious! And once we fill up with the proper amount of fluid, our minds and bodies are so much more effective: We think better. We look better. And most importantly, we feel better.
To help make this tiny change more interesting and doable, I’m giving away amazing prizes each week on Instagram. Follow along for a chance to win Environmental Working Group’s custom (and approved!) water bottle to sip safely, a 6-pack of Watermelon Water for a naturally sweet way to replenish, a copy of Melissa Milne’s newly released book, The Naughty Diet, to stay on track even when wine is part of the liquid equation, a supply of hydrating organic chia seeds from Chosen Foods, and more.
I can’t wait to hear how much better you feel when you’re properly hydrated! If you have any favorite tricks to be sure that you’re drinking enough water or eating enough juicy food, share them in the comments!