*If you didn't have a chance to read the initial post to explain the kick-off for this New Year blog series, please catch up below...it's good stuff.
I figured I would start off this series of self-care with something very simple but oh-so-important! (And extremely appropriate for anyone recovering from New Year's Eve.) Drink water. Many people underestimate the power of getting enough water each day. Approximately 60-75% of your body is made up of water and your brain is approx. 85% water-- so, you can imagine that dehydration could have a substantial impact on your health.
The amount of water you should consume daily typically varies on a few factors including your activity level and the temperature, but I try to drink half of my weight in ounces each day. I usually start my morning by drinking a glass of spring water. Spring water is naturally more alkaline, which combats inflammation in the body. Sometimes, if I'm feeling the need for bonus detox or a little energy boost, I'll add fresh lemon or lime juice. If I am feeling a little rough and need an immunity booster, I'll add organic granulated turmeric. This little act of self-care is a wonderful morning ritual mostly because you have gone without water for 7-8 hours-- so, making sure you properly hydrate your organs (brain) and intestines is imperative if you want to feel energized and balanced. You also want to get a jump start on cleansing your body of impurities from the get-go. Some of the not-so-obvious symptoms of dehydration are backaches, headaches, poor digestion, fatigue, problematic skin, confusion, sugar cravings, and moodiness. It's also best to drink it steadily throughout the day, to maximize absorption. But, also, try to taper off a few hours before you plan on going to bed, to insure a solid night's rest.
If you're not a fan of water, it's okay! Not so long ago, I had to teach myself to drink it again by flavoring it with a variety of organic fruit and vegetable infusions. Some of my favorites: fresh basil, mint, sliced cucumber, lemon and lime wedges. You can also add a little bit of pure stevia for a clean and refreshing mocktail. Quick tip: it's best to let the prepared ingredients soak in water overnight for optimum flavor...and have some fun with your flavor combinations!
The quality of your water is definitely something to consider. The more alkaline the water, the better. I prefer spring because of the taste and it usually doesn't test high for acidity. I also take my own containers to my local Natural Grocers, where you can fill up a gallon jug for 25 cents. Most popular bottled water is highly acidic and unfortunately, you have to consider traces of BPA from the plastic. The great news is that there many water filters on the market that are not only useful in removing impurities, but, also, help reduce waste in the environment. In order to find the best filter, it is important to know which contaminants are present in your water. Research your city’s Consumer Confidence Report released each year by the Environmental Protection Agency to see if home purification is necessary. If possible, tap water should be avoided in most cities because of the high traces of chlorine, fluoride, led, and bacteria. If you live in the Tulsa area, check out our (not so fabulous) report: https://www.cityoftulsa.org/media/420250/2015TulsaCCR.pdf
Lastly, if you've been noticing some unwanted wrinkles and haven't given water the attention it deserves, happy day! Your skin is an organ too and when it's properly hydrated, you will naturally look more smooth and supple! So, grab a BPA-free, aluminum-free jug, fill it up, and DRINK UP!
(These articles may seem a little doom and gloom, but my intention is to leave negativity off of this blog altogether and, when the time is right, sporadically give you studies to empower you to make educated decisions for yourself!)
Americans are ingesting from 300 to 600 times what the Environmental Protection Agency considers a “safe” amount.
As if the more than 70,000 identified contaminants in your water supply were not enough , you also have to deal with the pollutants your local and national governments add to your water supply.
*photo cred: Alicja Colon