Friday, November 30, 2012

Need more water!?

Have you been trying to add more water intake to your daily routine? Have you been trying to cut out or limit some other kind of liquid??? Maybe soda or coffee? And we all know how important water is to our body as we are made up of about 60-70% of water.  The recommended daily intake of water is about 8 cups or 64 oz. When we sweat more, we probably need to replenish the body with more as well. A great rule of thumb is to drink when you're thirsty...however, some of us (trust me, I'm included) grab for the Diet Coke when we're thirsty instead of water. Add that caffeine (which acts as a diuretic, not allowing your body to absorb the water) and then you're sending your hydration level in the opposite direction. (UGH!!)

So, here are some ways that I have used to:
 1. cut down on soda and 2. increase my water intake:

1. Flavored water. The most frequent reason I hear that we don't drink enough water is that the taste (or lack of) is boring or unappealing. There are lots of ways to flavor your water, such as no-sugar drink mixes like Crystal Light or Nuun no calorie electrolyte drink tabs. Crystal Light is easy and everywhere, but just remember that it's usually sweetened with Aspartame, so if you don't like that, then nix it. However, I discovered Nuun when prepping for my first Ironman in 2009 and I have been a loyal fan ever since. They come in all sorts of flavors and not only provide taste, but also add electrolytes, so they are especially awesome when you're in the midst of a heavy sweat session like BodyCombat or Spinning! Nuun is readily available these days. I've seen it in Sports Authority and even some grocery stores! Awesome.

1a. Homemade Flavored Water. This was a staple in my fridge this summer and my husband was always begging for it. Cucumber, mint and lemon water. It's so easy and it adds great flavor, plus the added benefits of cucumber (more water plus Vit B), Mint (facilitates digestion), Lemon (antibacterial and immune boosting). I also slowly let some of the cuke slices fall into my glass and I eat them up to get the added fiber benefit. :) Recipe at the end of post.

2. Green Tea /Low cal energy mix. I also will make green tea in a large pitcher and add lemon as well (and possibly a little stevia if I expect Matt to drink some as well). The benefits of green tea are tremendous (fighting cancer and heart disease, weight loss, etc.). An alternative to this is a great energy drink called FRS. This provides antioxidants (just like green tea does) and also claims to "promote thermogenesis to increase metabolic rate and help the body burn excess carb[s] and fat"* Before I was pregnant, I used to trade this out for my coffee before my early morning gym class.  MiOEnergy is another one that I've tried a few times to add no-cal flavor and energy to my water. It was good, but again something I've just stopped taking since becoming pregnant.

3. Whole fruit juices. There are a plethora of whole fruit juices on the market these days for those of us too lazy to juice at home (even though we have an awesome LaLanne Juicer...yes, I'm talking to myself!). My current favorites are Naked Juice (more on that in another post) and V8 V-Fusion. Both of which also help you get some of your freggie nutrient intake in as well! Score! V8 V-Fusion is a mix of sparkling water and fruit juices. This is what I grab when I feel like I want a soda and it does the trick. I also make my own version using the amazing Sodastream. I whip up a bottle of carbonated water in the Sodastream and leave it unflavored. I keep that in the fridge and when ready, I pour half a LARGE glass of POM juice over ice and fill it to the top with the carbonated water. Love it! Again, makes me think I'm getting a soda, while bumping up my water AND freggies intake! Yay!

4. FREGGIES! What? Yes, whole fruits and vegetables. A lot of fruits and veggies are packed with water. By eating them daily, again you're upping both your hydration level AND your freggies intake, but this time, by also getting the added benefit of the FIBER and NUTRIENTS. Yippee! Here are just some of the great freggies that can work in this category:
- Cucumbers
- Watermelon
- Lettuce
- Blueberries and Raspberries
- Oranges and Pineapple
- Peaches and Plums
- Celery
- Tomato
- Zucchini

So, there are a lot of ways to stay properly hydrated every day! I love BALANCE, so a happy mix of water, flavored water, juices, and freggies would be a great way to keep your body properly hydrated and to keep that heart pumping nicely! (and in the essence of balance, then your occassional Diet Coke wouldn't have such a negative impact!)

What means do you use to increase or track your water intake? Have you cut out soda from your diet? If so, how have you been successful?

*Description from the FRS Package

Cucumber Mint Lemon Water Recipe
Cucumber Slices
Lemon Slices
Fresh Mint Sprigs
Fresh Lemon Juice (I sometimes use the large bottle I get at Costco) (optional)
Liquid Stevia or sweetener of choice (optional)

Fill a large pitcher with tap or filtered water. Add cucumber, lemon, and mint to a pitcher and set in the fridge to steep. If you need a little sweetness, you can add a few drops of stevia in as well, but I usually only do this if I'm also adding the lemon juice to make something closer to lemonade. Either way, you'll love the freshness of this water! Keep it in the fridge and pour it over ice!

Monday, November 26, 2012

HBBC Week #1 Recap

So, Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge Week #1 is in the books. Bottom line: it was awesome. I was so inspired by everyone's daily workouts that I surely ran and worked out more than I would have had I been left to my own devices! I hope that I can continue to use the amazing motivation and carry this on through the remaining 6 weeks.

There is still time to join. Click Here!
HBBC Week #1 Roll-Up: (I'm going to borrow Jill Conyers method of wrap-up)
Miles Run/Walk: 9.17
Strength/Core Workouts: 6
Yoga Practice: 0
Group Cardio Workouts: 4
Days w/ Complete Freggies Intake: 7

Total Weekly HBBC Points: 41.1

Week 1 Goal: Eat my fruits and veggies

I did very well. I realized that I was actually doing better than I thought I'd been before the challenge, however a lot of that was coming from juice and I'd like more of it to come from whole fruits & veggies. During week #1, I did increase my whole Freggies intake, so that's good. I just want to keep it up.
No, this isn't my workout buddy,
but it's the only pic I took this week! ha!

Surprise of the week: Matt had more free time than we'd expected, so we got in a lot of buddy workouts, which is always awesome. We did BodyCombat together on Wed, BodyCombat and CXWORX on Thanksgiving, and he was able to come to both of my BodyPump classes on Friday and Sat, after which we sweat on the elliptical together and then joined our friend Katrin for more CXWORX. It makes the workouts so much better when my buddy is there. ;) And with his busy schedule, I know he loved having the time to get some quality workouts in as well!

Were you able to stay on track with your goals through the crazy holiday week? Do you have your own method of accountability to keep your workouts and nutrients on track?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge 2012 Kick-Off

It's that time of year again! Time to gear up for the holiday season! And in order to do that, I am participating in Amanda's (RunToTheFinish) Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge (HBBC). This year is going to be better than ever. Amanda has rallied a ton of sponsors and will be giving away some awesome gear throughout the next 7 weeks!

New to the HBBC? You can check out the details here, but in short it's a way to motivate participants to focus not only on Family and Fun during the holidays, but to also maintain a Healthy (maybe even HEALTHIER) version of who we are/want to be.

There is still time to join in on the fun and prizes by clicking here; if you do, please add me as your referral!

My goals during this year's HBBC are to focus on eating my fruits and veggies daily and to maintain my steady workout regimen. By setting these goals, as well as having the carrot of the awesome HBBC prizes (which are amazing, by the way), I know I will have a HEALTHIER and HAPPIER holiday season.

What will your goals be?

Speaking of goals, I've got to get to the gym!!!