Tag Archives: staying hydrated

The Hydration Project

There are drinks out there that are good for you…

and there are those that are, in my opinion, pure evil on ice…

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point in my life, I became a person who does not particularly like to drink either one, or any of the many options in between.

It’s true. If you’ve read any of my posts, you’ve probably come across one or two that mention my dislike for drinks. Actually, disinterest is probably more a more accurate term. I don’t realize I’m thirsty until I’m really, really thirsty and have a searing headache, and “I think I’d like something to drink” just isn’t a thought that naturally pops into my head. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I spend the greater part of my life in a state of chronic dehydration. 

Why, you ask? 

Well, there are lots of reasons.

I spent many years working in food service, during which I was not allowed to have a drink in my prep area, and my restroom breaks were limited. So, naturally, I got in the habit of not ever having a drink.

I also spent a lot of years battling an unhealthy relationship with food, looking for any way to cut calories. As we’ve all heard a million times, you shouldn’t drink your calories. So, because I looked at most drinks as something that would displace the food I wanted, I cut most of them out.

During college, I drank. Sure I did ;)  But, my cup usually held either a double shot of espresso to help me start my day, or a nice dry red wine to help me end it. This was also the time when I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and was prescribed a diuretic (like I needed another one…) Needless to say, the combination didn’t do much for my hydration status.  

These days, all those bad habits have snowballed into one big problem. I often go a full day without even noticing my thirst. This is particularly bad because, at this point, I nurse a 9-month-old, exercise moderately, and continue to take a diuretic for HBP (which can deplete my potassium), so I need to drink considerably more than average. If I am lucky enough to get pregnant again, it will only be that much more important. 

It’s funny that I should be so interested in healthy foods and healthy lifestyle choices, but so neglectful of healthy hydration. But, if you think about it, it kind of makes sense in that there really aren’t that many readily available healthy beverage options out there. When you are pregnant or nursing, watching sugar, eliminating caffeine, and not even willing to consider artificial sweeteners, you wind up SOL most of the time, and it’s easier to just go without than to drink something that feels unhealthy. There are few good options in the average convenience store or chain restaurant. I know, I know…there’s water. But a girl can only drink so much plain water!!!

Happily, my “get hydrated” goal is not a brand new one. I set out to change my ways quite some time ago, and I’ve discovered that, as with food, there are great healthy options out there if you just look for them and don’t settle for what’s in the nearest soda fountain.

That’s why I’ve decided to start a series of posts entitled The Hydration Project. I plan to share my thoughts on the subject, and I hope you will share yours as well!

Some of the topics I’d like to discuss include (not necessarily in this order):

  • Tips on getting hydrated and staying hydrated
  • Recognizing thirst and the effects of dehydration
  • Preventing dehydration
  • Foods that hydrate
  • Drinks that fall within my/your personal “healthy” parameters (and ones that don’t!)
  • Drink recipes 
  • Your suggestions are welcome!

This is an important topic for me, and from many of the comments I’ve received in the past, it seems that there are many others out there (busy mommies, busy students, busy everybody…) who tend to neglect this very important piece of the big health puzzle. I have several posts planned throughout the coming weeks – and a few fun giveaways, too! –  so look for the title “The Hydration Project” if you’re interested. I look forward to hearing from you, learning from you, and further establishing some healthy hydration habits!


 I know you all have something to say on the subject of hydration! Comment away! 


Filed under Recipes & Food

Juice Newbie

Wow! I attended my first Twitter party last night–2 of them actually (in a row!)–and I’m exhausted!

Kind of exhilarated, but exhausted! And I can’t really see straight… :roll:

The topics were the campaign for safe cosmetics and the film, “The Story of Cosmetics: The Ugly Truth of Toxins In, Toxins Out” followed by more talk of toxicants in our personal care products, sponsored by Earth Mama Angel Baby in conjunction with Mothering Magazine. There was a lot of great info to be had, and my tweeter got a super workout!

Tweet, tweet!

But the world of social media is not the only area of my life where I’m branching out! Thanks to my Mom and Dad,  I have a new addition to my kitchen arsenal!

See it here.

Happy Birthday to me! It’s a juicer! Well, it doesn’t call itself a juicer. It calls itself a fruit and vegetable extractor, whatever that means, but it’s a juicer.

The recipe book that comes along with it touts it as a weight loss plan in which you use the pulp as a filler in things like burgers, but I’m just planning on juicing stuff. When something starts saying “easy weight loss” to me, I kind of stop listening…

But, I have a confession to make. I’ve never really been a fan of juice. 8O

Yes, it’s true. Juicing just isn’t my thing. I had a juicer years ago, but I didn’t really like using it and it just sat in my garage and died.

I guess I like the taste of a glass of juice just fine, but I’ve never been one to actually make juice. Here’s why:

  • I don’t like to drink my calories and juice can have a ton of them.
  • I’m not a fan of stripping the fiber out of a perfectly good fruit or vegetable and then consuming it in a few gulps, when I could leave the fiber in and enjoy an entire meal of nutritious food. 
  • Juicing is expensive! Reducing a pile of good organic fruits and veggies into a mere glass of juice doesn’t seem like the best use of my grocery dollar. 

But I fancy myself an open-minded kind of chick, so I have been rethinking my stance on juice. Here’s why:

  • I need to find a way to stay hydrated while nursing. I never drink enough, so if I make it a little more interesting, I just might up my fluid intake. I have a bit of a store-bought-drink phobia because there are so few natural options out there, and juicing at home might be a good remedy.
  • I don’t have to drink the juice at full strength. I plan to use my juices like concentrates and water them down considerably. 
  • At this point in my life, when I’m thinking about trying for baby #2, the nutrients found in a glass of homemade fruit and veggie juice could prove very beneficial, because with the amount of time I spend chasing my newly mobile son, I just don’t always have the time to sit down to a full bounty of garden veg.
  • As much as I don’t like the thought, I’m going to have to introduce some kind of juice to my boy before long. He drinks water and breastmilk now, but when the time comes to give him something else, I’d much rather it be something I made at home with vegetables I know and trust than a bottle of mystery skittle-flavored liquid from the store. Right now, I can’t do things like carrots, beets or spinach, because they contain too many nitrates for young nurslings like mine, but he’ll be able to have them before long. 
  • It’s not expensive if you use your fruit and veggie overflow–then it’s a thrifty practice.  We have an abundance of leftover garden beets, cucumbers, leafy greens, and lots of other produce that will juice quite nicely. Juicing will also help me use up anything I buy at the grocery store and find myself not using. If it looks like we might not eat it, I’ll just juice it up!

  • And finally, while I don’t think I’ll ever view it as a feasible weight loss plan, I can actually use the pulp for baking, or making delicious compost. 

So, I’m determined to make juicing a habit, or at the very least, give it a real try. But here’s the problem. I don’t know what makes a good juice! I can come up with some on my own (carrot, apple, mango? Ginger peach?) But when it comes to combining fruits with veggies, I’m not sure what goes with what, and what doesn’t go with anything.

That’s where you come in! I know all you fine foodies out there have enough collective knowledge to set me off on a happy path to juice nirvana, so please, send me your tips and suggestions! I’ll be sure to share my creations just as soon as I get myself hooked up with a new camera…


Filed under Recipes & Food, The Everyday