Tag Archives: The Hydration Project

The Hydration Project: ZICO review and giveaway!

Still wondering what was in that box I showed you not too long ago? (Here’s a reminder)

(Drumroll please…..)

Ta-Da! It was a box of coconut water from ZICO! What better way to celebrate The Hydration Project than with a whole box of yummy, natural, coconutty beverages! (And what better way to turn my frown upside down after that traffic jam. Ugh.)

I buy ZICO often, and was thrilled to be able to sample some of their newest flavors.

When I opened the box, I was surprised to see the bottles. I was used to purchasing ZICO in a Tetra Pak container. When I visited their website to see if the bottle was addressed there, I found that they had switched partly due to customer requests and partly because the lifecycle of the recyclable bottle is actually more environmentally friendly than that of the Tetra Paks, which are rarely actually recycled. Hm. Who knew?

(Note: The bottles have never contained BPA, and never will. :) )

There are a lot of reasons to love ZICO:

  • Zero fat, zero added sugar, and zero cholesterol
  • More potassium than a banana or 15 sports drinks!
  • Coconut water is so pure and natural that it can used as an intravenous fluid to save lives! Not sure when that might come in handy, but hey, you never know!
  • Lower in acid than sports drinks, and contains the five essential electrolytes your body needs. Drink it after a workout to naturally rehydrate in a jiffy!
  • As a company, ZICO is committed to bringing their customers a better way to hydrate in a socially and environmentally responsible and sustainable way!

There are several flavors, too! I received the natural, lima citron and pomberry, but I’ve tried them all. Here’s my take:

Natural: Ahhh…call me a purist, but the natural ZICO is my favorite. Pure, natural coconut water flavor with just a hint of sweetness, and perfect for mixing. I love it ice cold.

Lima Citron: I’m not a fan of lime, so I didn’t care much for this flavor. I thought the lime was pretty strong, which is probably good if lime’s your thing. My husband loves it, and he was happy to lay claim to the bottles I had.

Pomberry: I am not sure I’d be able to pick out the pomegranate in this flavor if I didn’t read the bottle, but I think the pom is what keeps it from being too sweet. It’s subtle, and very pleasant.

Passion Fruit: This one is yummy. Perhaps a teeny bit sweeter than I’d like, but yummy nonetheless!

Mango: Of all the flavors, this is my favorite. It tastes like natural mango, but isn’t overwhelming. Love it!

My favorite ways to drink ZICO:

  • In the buff (natural flavor, straight up!)
  • Mixed with a splash of mango or strawberry nectar
  • Mixed with a splash of sparkling water and a few teaspoons of pureed peach
  • Check out ZICO’s recipe page to find great recipes, like the Citrus Cooler or the super-fun, minty ZICO-jito! (My husband’s favorite!) I can’t wait to try the Zinnamon Apple Smoothie!

This past weekend, we took a break in the garden, and enjoyed our ZICO with mango nectar, over ice, and an afternoon snack.

Perfect for a summer day!

Have you ever tried ZICO? Would you like to?

Well, you’re in luck!

The folks at ZICO have offered one lucky winner a case of assorted ZICO flavors! Very generous on their part, I think! I’m really excited that one of my readers will be getting such a great prize!

There are a few ways to enter (8 total). Please make sure to complete the mandatory entry first!

  • Mandatory entry: Visit the ZICO website and tell me which ZICO flavor you’d like to try, or which recipe you’d like to try. (1 entry)
  • Like ZICO on Facebook (1 entry)
  • Follow ZICO on Twitter (1 entry)
  • Follow me on Twitter (@ABCGP) (1 entry)
  • Tweet about this giveaway, and leave the status link for the individual tweet in a comment below. You may do this up to 3 times total. (3 entries)
  • Link to this giveaway on your blog, and leave me a link to your post in a comment below. (1 entry)

I will pick a winner at Random.org on Thursday, September 23rd. Winner will be notified via email. If winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to US residents only.

Good luck, and happy hydrating!

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The Hydration Project: Eat Your Water

Not a big drinker? Me neither. That’s why I started The Hydration Project. Read about it here.

Did you know that many fruits and vegetables contain upwards of 90% water, making them a great way to add vital water to your diet and keep you properly hydrated? 

As if there weren’t already enough good reasons to eat your fruits and veggies!

It’s the water content that makes it possible for many fruits and veggies, such as salad greens, to deliver so few calories per serving. 

Consider one of my favorites: cucumbers! 

Composed primarily of water, cucumbers also have a fiber-rich skin. What’s the one thing you need when consuming more fiber? Water! See…it’s perfect! Isn’t Ma Nature’s food amazing when we don’t mess with it!

Watermelon is another good hydrator, but given that it’s called a watermelon, I’ll just leave that as  ‘nuff said.

Oranges, strawberries, cantaloupe, broccoli, bok choy, tomatoes…the list of foods that can help keep you from shriveling up like a raisin is a long one.

(I found a really helpful list of hydrating foods and the amount of water they contain on Shape Magazine’s website. Some meats are even on there…interesting….)

Raw fruits and veggies are highest in water content, but if it’s a hot meal you’re after, soups can also contribute to your daily fluid intake. Watch sodium, though. Start with either a low-sodium broth, or an easy homemade chicken or vegetable stock (a great way to use up odds and ends before they end up in the compost!) and season to taste with herbs, spices and salt controlled by you, not a manufacturer. Fill your soup full of vegetables for lots of flavor, nutrients and a burst of hydration! Your body will thank you on so many levels. 

Here’s a soup I recently made based on suggestions from many of my helpful readers! (See my original post here.) It’s an adaptation of one of my favorites: Stuffed Pepper Soup. Thanks to everyone for their healthy tweak ideas—I combined many of them and came up with a soup that, in my opinion, is way better than the original! And, with more veggies and less salt,  I’d be willing to bet it’s a good bit more hydrating, too….

ABCGP Stuffed Pepper Soup

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (or turkey or meatless crumbles)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 5 large fresh tomatoes (ours were Brandywine)
  • 3 large green bell peppers, diced (for extra flavor, roast pepper first, then dice)
  • 2 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 1 packet low-sodium beef bouillon (or your favorite soup base)
  • 1 T oregano (or season to taste with thyme, sage, or other favorite herbs)
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Brown ground beef in a skillet with onion and garlic. Drain. 

Put tomatoes in food processor and puree.  Add to crock pot. Add green peppers and beef mixture. Add seasonings and water; mix. Let cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours, adding precooked rice about 20 minutes before end of cooking time.

Not the prettiest photo, but a darned bangin’ soup. It’s a good thing, too, because our peppers are taking over the joint!

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Do you think of foods as being part of your daily water intake?

What’s your favorite hydrating meal/snack?

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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!

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


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