What are you up to this weekend?
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I'm going to a cookie exchange on Saturday, and am secretly hoping a few of the women I met water walking this summer will be there. If not, it'll still be fun to get a little dressed up and drink some hot chocolate
So this week I've been experimenting with a few new cookie recipes: Swedish Rye, Vegan Gingerbread Men, and Honey Almond Sesame. Although I may end up bringing one of our all-time favorites, Ginger Cookies with Apricot and Chocolate
After a busy week fighting a cold, trying to tire out the puppies, and my husband out-of-town for work. I'm also hoping to steal a long nap on Sunday(!)
Hope you have a good one
This weekend, Part III in a short series about water
Part I – I shared a bit of about my journey to discover, not only what works for me, but the facts around why
Part II – Why is water the most important element in nutrition? What are the two main compartments where it's stored in our body? What are some of the incredible things it does for us?
How does our body maintain proper fluid balance?
Our bodies are so incredible(!) With many different systems working together to strike the right balance when it comes to all of its fluids
To maintain balance, it's important that the amount of fluid gained throughout the day is equal to the amount that's lost.
On the outgoing side of the equation, at the bare minimum, the body needs to excrete about 500 milliliters every day, just to be able to carry away the waste. Three of the key players here are our skin, lungs, and kidneys, whose work is far from glamorous
There are many ways water is lost. Certainly, some of the losses can be measured, while many others can prove far more difficult
Water lost from our skin and lungs is tough to measure and typically go unnoticed. Sweat is constantly evaporating to help cool us down (even more so when we exercise). When it comes from our lungs as part of breathing, water is lost in the form of vapor.
Then there are the fluids lost when bleed or go to the bathroom. Every day the volume of urine excreted by the kidneys ranges up to ~ 1400 milliliters. Water is also lost through intestinal elimination, making up ~ 70% of fecal matter.
Food for thought if you know someone who's on a high protein diet. Because water and urine are needed to rid the body of urea (the end product of protein break down), their chances of dehydration are greatly increased (particularly if they're exercising a lot)
More food for thought. If a person has diarrhea or a case of vomiting, they can lose a significant amount of water. This can be life-threatening when it's longer-lived, especially in the cases of an infant, because their body mass is so much less
On the intake side of the coin, we have a thirst mechanism that will guide us when we pay attention to its signals. Admittedly, it can be a bit tricky at times. For example, when the blood has lost water, it'll become salty. Then we withdraw water from the salivary glands, which leaves our mouths dry,
and so we drink.
Special Water Needs
There are definitely cases where special attention should be given, and a person will want to be diligent about increasing their water consumption
Infants – The body surface of an infant is far greater than that of an adult, and therefore, they'll lose relatively more fluid via their skin throughout the day. If they have diarrhea or a case of vomiting, again it's relative, because their body mass is so much less
Elderly – The elderly people we love typically have less lean tissue and higher body fat, and therefore a higher need for water
Anyone with a fever, who is vomiting, or has diarrhea. Those taking diuretics (this includes caffeine and soda!). Anyone following a high protein diet lives in a hot environment or is exercising strenuously
Special Water Needs for Athletes
Those who exercise vigorously are prime candidates for dehydration. In fact, an athlete can lose 2-4% of their body weight via sweat without even realizing it(!) Our thirst response is blunted during and just after very vigorous exercise.
For example, a 150-pound man who loses 4% of his weight in water has lost 6 pounds (~ 3 quarts). If he's running on a humid summer day in Iowa, he'll need upwards of an 8-oz glass of water every 6 to 8 minutes, which simply isn't feasible.
Therefore, it's good to know, the gold standard of fluid replacement for athletes is frequent drinks of small amounts of cold water. (Cold water tends to empty from our stomaches faster than warm, and therefore will get into circulation quicker)
Food for thought – Electrolyte drinks are really popular, but are high in sugar, which can be problematic because they'll stimulate an unnecessary insulin response
How much water does an average person need every day? Is there an RDA for water consumption? What happens to our body is we have too much or too little water?
In December, with the drop in temperature, don't let it drag down your mood and energy too. Think vibrant and nourishing foods to lift your spirits on even the coldest of days
Chia seed pudding is the ultimate do-ahead portable power breakfast or snack. Perfect for sharpening your mind and welcoming your day with beauty and ease
These magical little seeds have a plethora of fiber, omega 3, and protein. The extra crunch from the walnuts is a nice surprise, along with the burst of fruit from the pomegranate seeds
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Pomegranate Chia Seed Yogurt Parfait
- ¼ cup pomegranate juice
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- ½ cup Greek yogurt (or coconut yogurt for a dairy-free option)
- 2 Tbsp walnuts, chopped
- 2 Tbsp pomegranate seeds
- In a small bowl, add the pomegranate juice and chia seeds.
- Whisk until combined and refrigerate overnight
- Layer chia mixture with yogurt, and top with walnuts and pomegranate seeds