Struggle to get enough water in each day? You’re not alone. While staying hydrated is essential to our everyday needs, forgetting to drink, not liking the taste or being worried you’ll have to pee every 10 minutes are all popular reasons for not chugging down the recommend 2-3L daily intake. To help you keep adequately hydrated, we’ve put together eight easy tips you can use to improve this essential habit and stay on top of your daily drinking quota.
1. Add a flavour hitIf you find a glass of the H2O stuff rather tasteless then try adding some fresh fruits, (think strawberries, lemon or raspberries), veggie slices such as cucumber or ginger or even muddled herbs like mint or basil to create a bit of flavour.
2. Keep your water bottle (or jug) visible
By keeping your water source nearby, you’re dramatically increasing your chances of reaching for it. Place your water bottle, glass or large jug at your work desk, by your bedside table and on the kitchen bench. In fact, challenge yourself to carry a bottle with you everywhere you go. That way you have a constant reminder to drink up such as driving in the car, completing your weekly shopping or even at the movies.
3. Sip before you go
Create simple routines such as taking a few sips before or after every bathroom break. Getting up from your desk or transitioning from one client to the next? Get into the habit of sipping whenever you’re about to get up and complete a different task. This is a great strategy to help prompt you to drink regularly.
4. Add a splash of bubbly
Ok, so not the French alcoholic kind but there is something exciting about pouring a glass of fresh, sparkling mineral water. The bubbles offer a good change to plain filtered water and come with zero sugar.
5. Dilute your alternatives
If you’re not already into water chances are you like the sweet stuff. That’s ok, start by watering down your juice, soft drinks and iced teas with a splash of H2O. You can slowly increase this to half and half ratios and before you know it…Voila, you’re sipping the pure stuff straight from the filter.
6. Use a marked water bottle or jug
Aiming for 2L per day? Write down how many cups your hourly goal rate is and then use the marked lines on your water bottle or jug to track exactly just how much you need to have drunk by certain times throughout the day. Or for the tech savvy out there, you can invest in various apps to log how much you’ve had and set reminders make sure you’re hitting your quota.
7. Fill up before meals
Try and drink a full cup of water before you sit down to eat. Prepping the veggies for tonights meal? Place your glass or bottle on the bench an sip away while you cook. Not only will this keep you hydrated but filling your tummy can assist with decreasing your chances of over eating.
8. Sip, sip, sip
Just because you sculled your daily water target 5 mins before bed doesn’t exactly mean you’ve absorbed the full amount. In fact, it is far more efficient to sip smaller quantities during the day than drinking a large amount at once so sip regularly, your bladder will thank you for it.
BY Tara Baker
I hear the following questions quite a lot; “How can I make a healthy dinner when I am rushing around in the afternoons after the kids?”, “How can I take a healthy lunch to work when I get up at 4.30am to go?” and “How can I look after my family if you're asking me to cook my meals from scratch?”
I'm hearing you, I really am. It isn't easy. It’s easier to grab takeaway, to just eat toast or cook pasta and mix a jar of sauce with it, but in the long term this is doing nothing for your health but making you lazy because you’re tired. The more tired you get, the lazier you become and so the vicious cycle begins.
So, to help break this cycle I truly believe we need to undergo a priority check and explore our values. What is important to us? Do we actually want to be healthy, or do we like feeling lethargic and generally under the weather? I appreciate that we’re all busy and juggling different tasks, but there is nothing on Earth that replaces the power of a nourishing diet. It is a basic necessity of life. We don't feed our pets rubbish as we want them to live a long, healthy life without illness, so why do we not do this for ourselves?
Preparing real food takes time, but it is time we have to start allowing for in our day. When we say “I don't have time,” what we’re actually saying is "This is not a priority for me.” How does that sit with you? A nourishing dinner isn't a priority for you. In reality, we cannot expect to be able to compromise our nutrition and still have amazing health.
As the saying goes, we are the sum of the things that we do 80% of the time. You can't become an exceptional runner by completing just one run and by the same token, you can't become a non-runner by missing one run session. Theoretically, the same is with our food. You don’t become a healthy eater by eating a healthy meal once, just as you can't become an unhealthy eater by eating naughty once. So, recognise you are worth taking care of. Slow down a little and make time to chop extra veggies, make a pesto from scratch for the chicken, add fresh herbs to a salad, put seeds into your yoghurt, easy things, giving thought to yourself and taking responsibility for YOU. After all, you’re worth it.
This time of year I try to place an extra focus into immune boosting foods that help nourish and support the immune system. This is a delicious recipe for SUPERFOOD PESTO created by Caroline Beaumaris. I love its simplicity and the fact that this pesto is so versatile, allowing me to incorporate it into so many of my healthy recipes.
WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT IT:
The broccoli is full of alkalinising, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer phytonutrients called sulforaphane that work to support optimum health and protect against disease. It’s a true superfood rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, E and CoQ10. Broccoli is also a wonderful source of B group vitamins, vitamin K, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and manganese. Herbs such as fresh parsley and basil are full of superfood goodness that are anti-inflammatory to the body.
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 1 JAR)
1 head broccoli
1 large bunch basil
1 bunch parsley
Generous handful baby spinach leaves
A handful of pumpkin seeds or your choice (raw sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts or macadamia nuts)
60g Parmesan – grated - optional but delicious
1 clove garlic, smashed
Generous pinch sea salt
Generous pinch ground black pepper
4 tablespoons cold pressed olive oil or a lovely lemon scented olive oil.
1. Chop broccoli roughly and place into your food processor for a few seconds until it is finely chopped.
2. Add basil, parsley and spinach and process again until finally chopped and mixed in with the broccoli.
3. Add the juice of 1/2 a lemon, Parmesan, garlic and pumpkin seeds.
4. Season with sea salt and pepper the process again until combined and finely chopped.
5. Add olive oil and give your superfood pesto one last wiz.
6. Taste and adjust the flavours adding more lemon, salt or pepper if required.
7. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 3 days.
NOTES AND INSPIRATION
• Use in-between layers of lasagne.
• Mix through zucchini spirals and heat in a hot pan until luscious.
• Spread over a pizza base before baking and top with fresh tomato and Buffalo Mozzarella.
• Mix through steamed or roasted vegetables.
• Serve with fish or chicken.
• Spread over a pizza base before baking.
Brodie Gardner has a Masters in Exercise Physiology, Honours in Sports Science and competes as a professional triathlete. He has a long history working with elite athletes and has provided consultation services to numerous Australian sporting associations.