Tips for Increasing your Daily Water Intake

The human body requires about two liters of water each day for optimal health. This amount rises if you live in a hot or dry climate, do any amount of physical activity or have certain health conditions. Just half an hour working in the garden can cause you to need an additional 16 ounces of water. Swapping sugary or caffeine-filled drinks for glasses of water will increase your intake while lowering the amount of calories you consume. If you are having trouble drinking two to three liters of fresh water each day, you may need to try a few tricks to remember. There’s  no need to sit and guzzle glasses at the end of the evening if you work new habits into your daily routine.

Add a Little Flavor

glass of waterThe taste of even the cleanest filtered water can be boring and bland if you are used to sweet sodas and coffee. Start by removing any undesired odors and flavors from your water by filtering it. An inexpensive pitcher can save you hundreds of dollars over bottled water each year and produces less waste. Once your water is clean, add a touch of flavor. A slice of lemon, cucumber or orange will make you excited to sip again. A single herbal tea bag will slowly increase the flavor of a cold glass of water. You don’t have to heat up the water. If you can enjoy the taste of peppermint or chamomile tea without added sugar, you will still enjoy all the benefits of drinking more fluids without the added calories.

Keep Water on Hand

You can’t remember to drink at least six ounces of water every waking hour if you have to leave something engaging just to get a fresh glass. Invest in a water bottle that holds at least half a liter and keep it within your reach at all times. You can take a sip every few minutes, keeping you evenly hydrated. Trying to drink two liters all at once at the end of the day can cause serious electrolyte imbalances. You can make marks on the water bottle to track your intake throughout the day with a washable marker.

Drink When Eating

Drinking a full eight-ounce glass of water before each meal will help with digestion. It will also ensure that you reach your water intake goals without a lot of extra effort. Many people confuse the feelings of thirst for hunger. This leads to overeating and dehydration. Insufficient hydration makes it even harder to digest your food properly. Finish a glass of water and wait 10 minutes before picking up your fork. You will likely eat less and experience less ingestion.

Try a Straw

Investing a dollar or two in a fun straw can give you a surprising boost in your water intake. Research has shown that people tend to drink more total fluid when sipping through a straw. Get a reusable straw and a small bottle brush for cleaning it. Many water bottles also feature snap-on straws that slip into the lid for easy storage.

Eat Raw Fruits and Vegetables

Don’t overlook the amount of water found in a salad or a snack. Adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet will provide a boost of fiber, vitamins and water. Some of the best foods for increasing water consumption include apples, grapes, romaine or green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. Pair a better diet with plenty of fresh water from a source like angelsprings.com and start enjoying better health.

Pea and Leek Soup

If you prefer the soup to be 100% Vegetarian, you can substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock.  I prefer to serve with toasted sourdough.  A swirl of cream will make this look nicer and taste richer.

Pea and Leek Soup
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 3 baby leeks, sliced
  • 1-1/2 c. boiling water
  • 1 c. petits pois (peas), frozen
  • 1 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • salt & black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place the baby leeks in a small saucepan with the olive oli until the leeks are soft. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the chives, setting them aside.
  2. Simmer until the peas are cooked through. Add the chives to the pan & use a hand blender to blend until smooth, or your preferred consistency.
  3. Serve with warm bread.

Photo Courtesy of M. King on Flickr

Joe’s Quinoa and Kale Stuffed Acorn Squash

Submitted by Joe
Serves 2

Ingredients

1 acorn squash ½ c. quinoa
1 c. water 1 bunch kale
3 tbsp butter salt, pepper, & red chili pepper to taste

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut the acorn squash in half, remove the seeds & clean out the center. Add salt & pepper to the flesh of the squash & place 1 tbsp of butter into the cavity of each squash half.
2. Once the oven is ready, place the squash flesh side up on a baking sheet or casserole dish & bake for 45 minutes.
3. Put the quinoa into a bowl or container & fill it with water until the quinoa is covered. Set aside.
4. Remove the stalks from the kale & discard them. Rough chop the kale leaves & place into a skillet over medium heat along with 1 tbsp of butter. Add salt, pepper, & crushed red pepper to taste & saute until the kale is dark green & wilted, approximately 5-10 minutes.
5. Drain the water from the quinoa. Pour 1 c. of water in a pot, salt the water liberally & bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the quinoa & kale, stirring together. Place a cover on the pot & reduce the heat to low.
6. Remove the squash from the oven. Spoon the quinoa & kale mixture into the cavity of each squash half & serve.

Chef’s Note: Spinach can be substituted for kale if desired.

Easy Peasy Meatloaf

Nicole Says: I actually strain the onions out of the soup mix because I don’t like onions.

Easy Peasy Meatloaf
 
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Recipe type: Entree
Cook time: 
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Ingredients
Main
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 pkg. onion soup mix
  • ⅔ c. water
  • ½ c. bread crumbs
Sauce
  • ⅓ c. ketchup
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1½ tsp Dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Mix together in a bowl, form into loaf shape onto a cookie sheet.
  3. Bake 40-45 minutes.
  4. Once done, combine the sauce ingredients & spoon over baked loaf.
  5. Cook an additional 5 minutes.

Photo Courtesy of jeffreyw on Flickr

Fig & Olive Tapenade

Fig & Olive Tapenade
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cook time: 
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Ingredients
  • 1 c. dried figs, chopped
  • ½ c. water
  • ⅔ c. Kalamata olives, chopped
  • ⅓ c. toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine figs & water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil & cook until tender, and liquid has reduced.
  2. Remove from heat & stir in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, thyme, & cayenne.
  3. Add olives & garlic, & mix well. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Cover & refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight to allow flavors to blend.
  5. Unwrap cream cheese block & place on a serving platter. Spoon tapenade over cheese, & sprinkle with walnuts. Serve with slices of French bread or crackers.

Photo Courtesy of Meal Makeover Moms on Flickr