5 Tips for Drinking More Water On the Reg {Guest Post}

During those teenage years, my mom (a certified yoga instructor) nagged me constantly to hydrate more often. But in my oh-so-mature, kinda rebellious state, I’d hear the advice, but not really listen.

Despite her knowledge of pranic healing and ayurvedic technique, she was still my mother—and hanging on her every word didn’t rank high on the priority list. Besides, I didn’t even like drinking water. It was plain and boring, with no real taste or texture. I much preferred a more flavorful thirst-quencher.

Only after studying nutrition and biology in college, have I realized that my mom was right all along—water is life. Therefore, consuming the required amount of 2-3 liters per day (as confirmed by most experts) does wonders. In fact, now I make a conscious effort to drink more water, using the pointers my mother tried teaching her stubborn teenage daughter.

Since then, I’ve definitely noticed a change in my well-being—from a healthier weight to a clearer complexion. So, now I’m passing along those tips which helped me include more water in my routine…without feeling like a chore!

how-to-drink-more-water

  • Down those Shots.

Ever played that drinking game with your friends during a movie where you all take a shot whenever a character says one particular phrase on-screen? Well, not only is that game effective for imbibing copious amounts of alcohol, it’s also a simple strategy for upping your H2O intake.

Next time you’re watching TV, reading a book, scrolling through social media or even attending a work seminar, play this game with yourself. Sip a couple ounces of water each time you come across a certain word, either in print or spoken aloud. This can help to supplement your hydration in manageable chunks throughout the day.

  • Go Au Naturel. 

As a devoted yogi, my mother was against zero-calorie vitamin water. And now I understand why—this flavored alternative claims to be healthy, but contains an absurd amount of chemicals or artificial sweeteners. In fact, a recent study found that most flavored waters exceed your recommended sugar allowance, as stated by the World Health Organization.

If you can’t handle the taste of plain water and use flavored water as your go-to substitute, this habit is derailing your own health. But fear not—there’s another solution.

Consider infusing that H2O with mint leaves, lemon slices or fresh berries. Adding these ingredients enhances the enjoyment factor with natural sweetness (or tartness), while providing nutritional benefits too.

  • Find an App for That.

Mobile apps exist for literally everything imaginable, and there’s no shortage of options to keep you on-track for meeting that daily hydration quota. If you’re tech-savvy, download these apps for extra accountability.

Most feature goal setting functions to input your desired intake, periodic alarms reminding you it’s time for a swig, and tracking technology to record your consumption for the entire week. They even come equipped with a database of statistics and “pro-tips” for boosting overall health.

  • Practice Interval Drinking.

Make a habit of drinking one large glass of water before each meal and after each bathroom break. Assuming you eat three meals per day, that’s three glasses down.

Couple that with another glass after every bathroom break, and you’ll consume at least eight servings total (most people urinate about 6-8 times in a 24 hour period). Also, drinking water before eating will curb your appetite, promoting healthy weight management.

  • Finally, Treat Yo’self. 

You know that feeling of a brand new coffee mug, when just you gotta use it ASAP? Well, the same goes for H2O. Splurge on a fancy-schmancy water bottle to keep on your desk or bedside. Whenever you glance at this new purchase, you’ll be motivated to take a gulp!

We’re naturally drawn to appreciate colors, patterns and designs, so adding this visual incentive can psychologically enhance your water drinking experience.

However you choose to fuel up, remember that 60% of the human body is comprised of water, so ensuring adequate hydration is vital. Take it from this H2O convert—the wellness benefits are hard to ignore!

glass-of-water

image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons


Akshata Mehta has a passion for traveling and exploring the world. She loves to write, and is especially interested in sustainability for everyday life. Being a foodie, she also enjoys cooking up healthy concoctions in her kitchen, recording these recipes and more on her blog With Love From Akshata.

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Simple Steps to Feel Amazing Every Day this Summer

Summertime is the official spokes-season (see what I did there?) of relaxation, vitality and pure amazingness. In fact, my personal mantra during these gloriously sun-drenched months is to Feel Amazing Every Day through self-care rituals, alfresco explorations, fitness commitments and superfood sustenance.

 And in that spirit of epic expectations, lemme divulge my Top 4 no-fail wellness pointers, along with statistical snapshots on why you should care. Then, we can ALL proceed to make this summer one for the history books!

feel amazing every day

1.  Start Each Day with a Yoga Flow.

  • Stimulates physical energy
  • Alleviates emotional stress
  • Cultivates breath awareness
  • Forges a mind–body connection
  • Promotes full-body movement
upward dog

upward dog, anyone? ignore the…err…unflattering angle!

2.  Say “Hell Yeah” to Whole Foods.

  • Gives the body nutrient–dense fuel
  • Satiates hunger for extended periods
  • Curbs refined sugar cravings over time
  • Encourages a mindful eating practice
  • Replaces “artificial” with all–natural
amazing grass pancakes

protein pancakes topped with almond butter drizzle

3.  Spend Quality Time Outdoors.

  • Improves respiration & circulation
  • Reduces stress for mental clarity
  • Offers the benefits of Vitamin D
  • Motivates cardiovascular activity
  • Fosters appreciation for nature
amazing grass smoothie 2

RayBan shades and 95–degree Florida humidity…optional

4.  Slurp on Amazing Grass Smoothies.

  • Contains 20g of plant-based protein
  • Yields 2 servings of fruit & veggies
  • Includes 7 alkalizing leafy greens
  • Supports lean muscle development
  • Regulates optimal digestive health
  • Provides these wellness benefits:
    • USDA-certified organic ingredients
    • non-GMO & gluten-free verified
    • no added sugars or preservatives
    • vegan, kosher & pareve compliant
amazing grass smoothie 3

organic pea, hemp, chia and quinoa…OH MY!

Psssst…wanna experience all that AMAZINGNESS for yourself this summer? Then, don’t forget to enter my Amazing Grass Protein Superfood Giveaway! Check out the details below and indicate which flavor you’d prefer: Original, Vanilla or Chocolate–Peanut Butter.

instagram giveaway

***Open U.S.–based entries only.  Winner selected at midnight July 9.***

 

10 Turmeric Hacks to “Spice” Up Your Daily Wellness Ritual

Turmeric. It’s basically the kale of 2016. This close relative of the ginger root has been initiated into the “superfood” clique—sorry, avocado…we had a vote—and everyone, from  Ayurvedic healers to that cashier at Whole Foods, now swears by its anti-inflammatory benefits.

But turns out, turmeric is worth the hype. Containing high levels of antioxidants—more specifically, curcumin—this exotic orange-yellow-ish powder has been found to protect against cancer, stroke, arthritisliver disease and even Alzheimer’s.

So, yeah. “Superfood” indeed.

If you’re like me though, you’ve got this internal dialogue playing on-loop right about now: Ummm…medicinal properties are cool, but how am I supposed to actually use this stuff? Well, aside from being a wellness wonder, turmeric also earns versatility points. Consider it your spice rack’s answer to coconut oil.

Whether ingested or applied topically, the following hacks will transform turmeric into a health and beauty must-have:

turmeric hacks

Whiten Your Teeth

Douse a toothbrush in water then dip the bristles in 1/8 teaspoon turmeric. Scrub your teeth with the turmeric and leave on for 5 minutes. Rinse your mouth then brush again with regular toothpaste.

Minimize Dandruff

Whisk 1/2 teaspoon turmeric with 1 tablespoon coconut oil until both ingredients are combined. Massage this mixture into your scalp and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse your hair then shampoo normally.

Heal Inflamed Skin

Mix 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon water until these ingredients form a paste. Spread this mask across your face—paying close attention to acne-prone areas—then leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse your skin with cold water.

Sooth Joint Swelling

Combine 2 tablespoons turmeric, 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon water until these ingredients form a poultice. Apply this mixture directly onto the injured body part then wrap in a cloth bandage. Leave on for 20 minutes, at minimum.

Blend Into Smoothies

Include a few dashes of turmeric in your favorite beverage concoctions, along with other superfood enhancements like chia seeds, hemp hearts, cacao nibs or spirulina.

Make “Longevi-Tea” 

Add 1 teaspoon turmeric to 1 cup boiling water then simmer for 10 minutes. Strain any leftover turmeric grounds from the water then stir in ginger or honey, to taste.

Make “Golden Milk”

Mix together 1 teaspoon turmeric and 1/4 cup water on low heat until both ingredients form a paste. Add 1 cup unsweetened almond milk and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon coconut oil or ghee, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Toss With Salads

Whisk 1/4 teaspoon turmeric with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Pour this mixture over fresh veggies and use salad tongs to distribute the liquid evenly.

Spice Up Bone Broth

Infuse 1 teaspoon turmeric into a healthy homemade stock—like this recipe from Wellness Mama—for extra flavor, zest and color.

Kickstart Your Morning

Sprinkle a few dashes of turmeric over scrambled eggs, oatmeal, avocado toast, plain Greek yogurt or sliced apples with almond butter.

When Wellness Meets Wanderlust…

My latest hashtag obsession is #WellnessWednesday because it’s yet another excuse to bombard Instagram with Nutri Bullet concoctions, farmer’s market finds, quirky kitchen experiments, post-Pure Barre selfies, or other health and fitness snippets.

But here’s another social media trend I’ve recently discovered— #WanderlustWednesday, which fuels my desire to travel while aiming my fangirl energy at those Instafamous globetrotters. Million-dollar question, though: Do I admire their free spirits or hate their guts for jetting off to Dubai on a random workweek? #CantDecide.

Anyway (existential conumdrums aside), since it’s Wednesday, I’ve decided to combine both hashtags into one blog post. After all, with spring break and summer vacations just around the corner, “travel bug” symptoms will reach epidemic proportions. This. Is. Not. A. Drill.

Whether you’ve booked a weekend beach getaway, cross-country road trip or overseas adventure in these upcoming months, don’t let fitness and nutrition goals take a vacay too. So, before the “bon voyage,” add my Three Step Healthy Travel Checklist to your itinerary.

travel checklist

√   Make smart snacks accessible. If you’re driving, pack a cooler with no-mess options like carrots, grapes, almonds or sunflower seeds. If you’re flying, pinpoint a natural foods market near your destination and grab some guilt-free munchies for the hotel room.

√   Keep physical activity on the agenda. Instead of a sightseeing bus tour, enjoy the local landmarks on-foot or rented bikes. Visit a National Park for nature excursions like hiking, kayaking or horseback riding. Even take advantage of your hotel’s fitness amenities.

√   Plan for just-in-case medical care. Unforeseen illnesses or injuries, not only interrupt a trip, but are difficult to seek treatment for when you don’t know the area. In such emergencies, Amino’s Find a Doctorservice connects you to physicians based on your current location, insurance network and personal needs.

And for even more resources on staying healthy wherever the road takes you, check out these additional suggestions below:

Healthy Travel Tips

It’s foolproof—Wellness + Wanderlust = WINNING!


Special thanks to Amino for supplying both the Infographic and “Find a Doctor” referral information featured in this post.

Healthy Habits to Keep the Odds (of Cancer) Ever in Your Favor

February is National Cancer Prevention Month—a cause which has deeply resonated with me over these last 10 years. And that’s due to one remarkable girl who, during the short time I knew her, impacted my life more than some people twice her age ever could.

February 25, 2006  will forever be etched into my memory. On this date, heaven gained an angel in the form of my childhood friend and role model, Kalyn Elizabeth High. I avoid using the expression “lost her battle” to describe Kalyn’s final moments here on earth—because that girl was the toughest fighter I have ever met, and osteosarcoma couldn’t crush her spirit or shake her faith.

But this disease did take an incredibly gifted 16-year-old away from a world who just didn’t want to say goodbye. So, throughout the past decade, I’ve become passionate about cancer awareness, research and prevention. Kalyn is the inspiration for this post, but anyone can benefit from the information.

After all…cancer doesn’t discriminate based on age, gender, ethnicity or background. Cancer is ruthless. But we can stack the odds of survival—and even avoidance—in our favor. Check out these statistics from the American Center for Cancer Research:

Approximately 1/3 cases of the most common cancers in the U.S. could be prevented by eating healthy, being active and staying lean. That’s an estimated 374,000 cases of cancer in the United States that would never happen.

For practical and effective pointers on limiting your exposure to physical, chemical and environmental stressors that could put you at risk, I’ve teamed up with the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center, an online resource that warns against asbestos usage. This substance  is a leading cause of the rare but aggressive Mesothelioma and other lung cancers. 

As illustrated by the following infographics, cultivating simple habits throughout everyday life can make a positive, long-term impact on your overall wellness…

cancer prevention

healthy home checklist

Finally, remember—February might be Cancer Prevention Month, but these tips should be utilized year-round.

Kalyn…this one’s for you!