I love resolutions. In fact, I love 'em so much, I tend to make biannual resolutions, because sometimes the things I resolve in January make less sense six months later.
Thus, I'm embarking on seven days of healthy food resolutions this week.
Each goal will support good health with good food without wrecking one of my other goals: saving money so I can pay down my student loans.Goal 1
One of the cheapest, most sensible tips I've found for maintaining a healthy weight and a happy body is bizarrely simple: Stay hydrated.
There's so many compelling reasons to keep ample fluids in the body. When you drink enough water, you give yourself the gift of nourished skin, better breath, more energy, happy bowels and kidneys, easier digestion, more brainpower and very probably a decreased caloric intake (dehydrated people tend to snack).
There was a period in my life several years ago when I didn't drink water. Ever. I drank milk, juice, sodas, tea, cocoa, lemonade... anything but water. To be honest, straight-up water kind of bored me.
In retrospect, it's not surprising that I also had chapped lips, often felt dizzy and passed out in public places with concerning frequency. (They called an ambulance when I passed out in the Rainbow Foods checkout line.) My doctor took blood tests and did an EKG to try to figure out the fainting spells, but came to no conclusion.
At some point, I realized I'd never really paid any attention at all to that whole "drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day" rule. I gave it a shot (though I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that the experiment was more for the promised energy boost than anything else).
Suddenly, like the forgotten plant on the windowsill... water brought me back to life. Random headaches, swooning, dry skin, constipation and dry mouth? Gone. Turns out I had low blood pressure
thanks to a mild, but chronic, dehydration.
I haven't had a dizzy spell since, and I now begin every list of annual resolutions with this one simple statement: Drink more water
.Your ally in the war on dehydration
There's a few easy ways to make this resolution stick.1. Figure out how much you need.
Honestly, that whole six to eight glasses of water a day rule might not be right for you. If you exercise heavily, that's probably too little. If you drink a lot of other fluids, six to eight glasses might be too much. The proof is in the loo. Do Is your urine clear or pale yellow? You're probably doing fine. (Though it's important to note that B vitamins and some medications change the color of your fluids.)2. Get yourself a water bottle you love (and a brush to keep it clean).
Most people are probably aware by now that disposable plastic water bottles are an environmental nightmare
, so gift yourself a nice reusable water bottle. I've got a quart-sized Nalgene
bottle on my desk at work and a smaller one
that goes in my purse. Keep in mind that a bottle brush
is key... nobody loves funky water.3. Bored by water? Cut it with a little juice.
I mentioned this one a few months back in my post on workout foods
, but somehow, it's even more valid in the winter. For some reason, I always think water tastes better in the summer. For the winter months, like to I hit my waterglass up with a wedge of lemon, lime or orange. 4. Take pride in your city tap water.
J was on the Staten Island Ferry recently when he overheard a young lady telling her friends, "Omigod, you guys... I am so
broke. My parents didn't give me anything this week. You guys, I drank water... out of the water fountain!
First, it's funny. Then, it's sad. I realize not every municipality has tasty water, but darn it, I really believe New York City has some of the finest water in the country. (In fact, Jeffrey Steingarten had a great chapter on this topic in his book, The Man Who Ate Everything
If your city water is horrible, then buy a tap filter
and make it your civic duty to protest loudly, angrily and often. Bad city water needs to be an outrage, not a reason to give more money to Coke or Pepsi (Pepsi's Aquafina and Coke's Dasani
bottled waters are processed from municipal taps).
Labels: beverages, goals, health, J, lists, nutrition, resolutions, water