Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Food 101: Water

Those of you who follow the blog know that I tend to try to follow a real food lifestyle. In general I try to eat whole, unrefined foods without all of the preservatives and additives that are found in too many foods now. I also try to avoid refined sugars. I do tend to follow more of an 80/20 kind of balance. Yes I do eat cakes and cookies etc.,  although most of the time these are home or cafe made so in general made from scratch (that fits with real food right?). And yes, I do sometimes eat McDonald's. Not often and not very much of it, but my perspective on this is to just let myself enjoy it and not beat myself up about it. Eating real food is all well and good, but it was a switch that I only really made when I started educating myself more about food.

I think food education is incredibly important for making informed food decisions. It makes me appreciate my food more and I think it was easier including heaps more fruit and veggies in my diet when I understood the benefits that I could get out of them (rather than just eat your fruit and veggies because they are good for you). This is the reason why I want to share some of this education with you in my Food 101 series. I aim to give you a little bit of information on different foods that I will hope will inspire you to give them a try. I will also show you a couple of my favourite ways to use different foods.

First up I thought that I would start off with something that is totally vital to our lives, water. By now you have probably heard a hundred times that you need to drink water and lots of it. But hey, its not always that easy! You get busy, you're out and about and other drinks can just be so tasty! If you have a moment, do some people watching. Just take notice of how many people walk past you with cans of coke, bottles of juice or one of those starbucks confections. It kind of puts into perspective just how much of these sugar-laden drinks we consume every day.

I am not telling you to not drink them at all, that is completely your choice. Instead, make a conscious effort to try and switch out some of these drinks for water. There are a heap of benefits to it:

  • Better focus and concentration
  • Increased energy
  • It can aid in weight loss as a lot of the time that you think you are hungry you might just be thirsty. You are also less likely to want to reach for other sugary drinks if you are well hydrated.
  • Better skin. I definitely notice a difference in my skin when I have been drinking lots of water. I get less of my stress acne and less dry patches.
  • Flush out toxins and increase immunity (because no one likes being sick)
  • Good digestion. While the last thing you feel like doing when bloated is to add more fluid, drinking water can actually help get your digestion functioning properly again.
.... and heaps more!

So what are some ways to include more water in your day?

  • Get yourself an app. I have been using the Waterlogged app and I love it! You simply tap of the water bottle and log how much water you have drunk. You can set yourself a daily goal (mine is 2000ml of PLAIN water, which doesn't include any hot drinks etc.) and set yourself reminders to drink a glass.
  • Make it taste good. There are heaps of things you add to flavour your water. Some of my favourites are apple slices and mint, cucumber lemon and ginger and frozen berries. Have fun and play around with adding different fresh and frozen fruits to the mix.
  • Fizz it up. I really like drinking soda water for a change HOWEVER there is still argument over the effect this has on bone health so I do try to limit having soda water to once or twice a week.
  • Have it warm with lemon. If you are not into cold drinks, try warming it up a little. Plus lemon is great for detoxifying your body.
The moral of this story? Just drink more water (at least 2 litres a day!). This might seem a lot at first but just having small glasses throughout the day can really add up!

What is your favourite way of drinking water?

Are there any other Food 101s that you would really like to see?

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