Friday, March 2, 2012

HYDRATION AND SUPPLEMENTATION

HYDRATION AND SUPPLEMENTATION

Sorry, I wasn’t able to send this out sooner.  I intended to send this out of Sunday, but with my 2-year wedding anniversary on Monday and my grandmother’s funeral on Tuesday, I was quite inundated with several pressing issues.

Anywho, the second stage of my nutrition and detox plan is called “Hydration and Supplementation”

STAGE I encouraged everyone to start their morning off with hot water and freshly squeezed lemon and highlighted the benefits of lemons, in general.

STAGE II will provide an outline for the need for liquids (hydration) and supplementation (vitamins/supplements) in your diet, as well as providing guidelines on what to drink and when.

As previously mentioned, you should start your morning off with a mug of hot water and freshly squeezed lemon.

The next thing that should enter your mouth is a tall glass of water (if it includes lemon, even better).  This is also a good time to take your first daily dose of vitamins.  Have you been to the doctor’s lately?  Is your iron low?  Are you unsure?  If you are unsure, it is a good idea to take a multivitamin as a bit of insurance.  Other supplements, such as iron or folic acid are also recommended if you are anemic, have heavy periods, are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.

I would also like to suggest that you begin taking probiotics (if you aren’t already).  Probiotics will help you begin to build healthy flora in your intestines, strengthening your immune system and helping rid you of toxins that build up in your intestines.  Most yogurts contain live probiotic cultures.  However, most people are lactose intolerant and our bodies have difficult times correctly digesting the dairy in yogurt, so a probiotic supplement is a great alternative.

Hydrate: Your body needs water to function. Staying hydrated is essential, and drinking water is the best way to do it. Water helps flush toxins out of your system and keeps your mucous membranes moist, which can prevent cold and flu germs from adhering inside your nose or lungs. The amount your body needs is dependent on many factors, including your activity levels and the kind of food you eat. For instance, salads, fruits and raw veggies contain a lot of water. A general rule though, is that you need at least a half-ounce of water per pound of body weight to stay hydrated. Just remember to drink water between meals, not with them.  Try to not to drink less than 20 minutes before eating, as this can  dilutes digestive enzymes, slows digestion and causes bloating.  Also, allow your body to absorb the nutrients in the food you are eating by waiting at least 60 minutes after you eat to drink anything.

Aside from the cup of hot water with lemon you begin your day with and the filtered water you drink throughout the day, here are some other suggestions of things that will keep you hydrated.
-          Green Juice: Thirsty? If you have a juicer you can juice a mix of green vegetables and various fruits for lots of liquid packed with the bonus of antioxidants, enzymes and minerals!
-          Coconut water: Contains lots of potassium and minerals, and very hydrating. Comes in convenient recloseable cartons also!
-          Iced herbal teas: Right now my favorite is peach rooibos, which I have been drinking a ton of here in hot New Orleans during this film! Herbal iced teas add great flavor, antioxidants, and doesn’t have the caffeine of iced green or black tea. I drink mine unsweetened, bu you could sweeten yours up with stevia if you like!
-          Watermelon: At around 92% water, watermelon is so juicy! Remember you can hydrate with fruit! But in keeping with our blog heading, the way to  make this is a drink is to simply blend it with a bit of cold water, then you have a great watermelon smoothie to sip on at your desk!
-          A Green Smoothie contains a mix of green vegetables and various fruits, is incredibly hydrating, and the fiber keeps you full and energized, so you won’t need so many dehydrating caffeine-filled beverages. This can be made in a high-powered blender or brought from places like Jamba Juice or Smoothie King.  Naked also produces a gently pasteurized smoothie called Green Machine ($0.49 cents at Target this week with a printed coupon available online).

Drinks to avoid are:
-          Tap water: I rank tap water pretty high upon the avoid list, since it is full of chlorine, heavy metals and contaminates, and trace prescription meds that aren’t all filtered out at the water processing plants. Get yourself a good water filter!
-          Artificial sweeteners: We should also avoid beverages that contain any type of artificial sweeteners. Besides aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame potassium and saccharin, also look out for chrystalline fructose, which is derived from corn.
-          Heavily pasteurized beverages: These include most every beverage that comes in bottles. Orange juice and those Odwalla smoothies are among the first thing that come to mind. I do not recommend them. They are high in sugar, acidic and their enzymes and natural nutrients have been destroyed by the high temperatures. There are different levels of pasteurization, and some products are more gently pasteurized than others, which is better b/c some of the nutrients are preserved. Coconut water is an example of a product which is gently pasteurized. It holds up pretty well, and coconut water contains important minerals versus vitamins; vitamins are more susceptible to high heat damage from pasteurization.

Probiotics: Probiotics, or good bacteria, are beneficial and very important to include in our diet. They exist in many cultures, such as in kimchi from Korea and unpasteurized kefir in Russia. Some of the many benefits of probiotics include helping to keep our systems in balance, encouraging regularity, keep toxicity in check, improve our synthesis of B Vitamins, strengthening our immunity, supporting digestion and helping to eliminate yeast issues. 

There is a coconut milk-based yogurt from a brand called So Delicous. It is dairy free and soy-free, and it tastes pretty good. It is sweetened with cane sugar, so there are no scary artificial sweeteners or agave in it.

Raw sauerkraut, kimchi and unpasteurized miso are other natural sources for probiotics.

Probiotic supplements can be expensive, so I tend to watch for coupons and discounts to maintain a good amount of probiotic supplements stocked in my house.  This week, Walgreens has Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic supplements on sale.  You purchase them for $10 and Walgreens gives you a $10 Register Rewards coupon that can be used on anything in the store.  This basically makes a 30-day supply of probiotics free.  Another good brand endorsed by Kimberly Snyder, a highly sought after nutritionist and author of the best-selling book, The Beauty Detox Solution, is the Dr. Ohhira brand.  Her website also includes in-depth details on the benefits of probiotics, as well as a recipe for a homemade Probiotic and Enzyme Salad.

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