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Leeor Pilo
9:32 PM

Hydration Hacks We Love

 

By Danielle Bolger

 

Water is essential to a healthy lifestyle, but how much you should drink depends on your health, activity levels, and even where you live. It makes up about 60 percent of your body weight, yet studies have shown that nearly half of Americans aren’t drinking enough of it.

Staying hydrated doesn’t have to mean strictly guzzling glass after glass of water all day. Remind yourself to rehydrate after a Pilates workout or just a night out by setting hourly alarms (your alcohol to water intake should be 1:1 per hour), or make a game out of it and see how many times you versus a friend/family member/coworker can refill your water bottle throughout the day. Then try out some of our suggestions to up your H2O intake, no matter what kind of drinker you are.

 

THE TRADITIONALIST

 

If chugging water is as natural to you as breathing air, try mixing up the flavor. Skip those store-bought flavor enhancement powders and syrups, and opt for flavorful herbs, fruits and veggies. Try these colorful combos for high-flavor H2O:

  • Cucumber and Lemon
  • Raspberry and Mint
  • Watermelon and Basil
  • Pineapple and Rosemary
  • Orange, Lemon, Lime and Cilantro

 

THE FOODIE

 

If you prefer eating to drinking (and let’s face it, most of us do!), there are plenty of ways to stay hydrated by eating water-rich fruits and veggies. According to the University of Kentucky, apricots, blueberries, oranges, peaches, pineapples, plums, raspberries and melons are great options, all with a water content level of 85 percent or higher. Fresh cucumber, celery, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and zucchini, as well as nutrient-rich veggies like broccoli, eggplant and spinach are also great choices for a more savory, water-rich meal. Whip up a batch of gazpacho for a refreshing summer soup that will keep you cool and hydrated on a hot day.

 

CLASSIC GAZPACHO

 

Contributed by Trey Foshee on FoodandWine.com 

3 pounds tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped

1 seedless cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 red bell peppers, coarsely chopped

1 jalapeño, seeded and coarsely chopped

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate overnight.

In a blender, puree the vegetables until smooth. Strain the soup into a deep bowl, season with salt and pepper, and serve.*

 

*The Potomac Pilates Way: 

Top your gazpacho with diced mangos, slices of avocado, shaved radish and cucumber, and a drizzle of basil-infused oil for a gourmet touch.

 

THE ALTERNATIVIST

 

If the only way you like your water is in the form of ice cubes, there are still plenty of other drinks to dabble with for hydration.

 

  • Try coconut water, which is high in vitamins and minerals, low in calories, and is an all-natural isotonic beverage, which means it has the exact proportion of electrolytes that human cells and plasma contain.  

 

  • Juices and sports drinks can be high in sugar, but diluting them with water or sparkling water can help you get more hydration benefit.

 

  • Although caffeinated drinks are classified as diuretics, beverages made with water like coffee and tea are still great alternatives to hydrate with, according to WebMD.com, which says the diuretic effect does not offset hydration.

 

  • Smoothies containing water-rich fruits and veggies, ice, and even milk will help keep you hydrated. Try blending strawberries, watermelon, and pineapple for a punch of flavor!

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Leeor Pilo
8:25 PM

5 Easy Ways to Eat Clean

 

By Danielle Bolger

 

Okay, so your healthy eating plan got a little off track over the weekend. Those summer treats were all too tempting. Someone served up some irresistible barbecue. But don't give up and don't punish yourself! Reboot your body from the inside out with these quick and easy clean-eating tips that will clean up your diet in no time.

 

WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE

Most people aren't drinking enough water, even though our bodies are comprised of about 70% of it! Stick to this rule of thumb-- try to drink about half your body weight in ounces of water. For example, a 130 pound person should drink about 65 ounces of water per day. And don't forget to drink even more during and after a Pilates class to replace lost hydration during exercise.

Start your dat with a 6 to 18 ounce glass of room temperature water with fresh lemon juice squeezed into it to flush out toxins, aid digestion and provide essential nutrients like Vitamin C and Potassium.

 

SAY NO TO GMO

Genetically modified foods are produced from organisms that have gone through specific changes in their DNA through genetic engineering, resulting in the introduction of new traits and greater control over genetic food structure. Studies have shown that the consumption of GMO foods can actually genetically modify your own cells, accelerating the aging process! The top GMO offenders are corn and soy, so try to cut back on these products and stick to organic whenever possible.

 

CUT THE SUGAR

Sugar is an empty calorie food that can negatively affect the metabolism and contribute to various diseases including diabetes and liver disease among others. Replace refined sugars with natural sweeteners such as honey, agave, or stevia. Or satisfy that sweet-tooth with sweet fruits like strawberries, blueberries, or apples for a quick snack.

 

GOODBYE GLUTEN

More than half the population  has a sensitivity to gluten and more than 55 diseases have been linked to it, but what exactly does gluten intolerance do to your body? Gluten sensitivity can lead to bloating, digestive issues, Keratosis Pilaris (i.e. "chicken skin"), fatigue, dizziness, inflammation or even mood swings. Try cutting gluten out of your diet for two weeks to see if you notice changes in the way you feel.

 

GOOD FAT

Fat gets a bad rep, but don't fear all fats! Good-for-you fats containing Omega-3 fatty acids such as olive oil, avocados, almonds and walnuts provide nutrients to promote healthy brain function, energy, and healthy skin and hair. Plus, good fats can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Avoid saturated fats and stick to a balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to feel good on the inside and look great on the out!