Tag Archives: Water

What kind of water is best for weight loss?

drink-waterThe wet kind!

Most things you consume in a liquid state will keep you hydrated; some just have extra benefits or extra pitfalls that come with them. For example, juice has all of the vitamins and sugar found in fruit, but none of the fiber and mandatory chewing that slows down calorie consumption.

So here’s a quick 4 question quiz to see if you know how to keep your body hydrated and on the track to good health! I’ve included a few hints to help you along the way.

gila-monster-hissing

1. What percent of your body is water?
a. 30% like a gila monster after a day in the desert sun.
b. 60% One man actually lost 25 pounds of water weight in 48 hours to “prove” that scales are useless. That’s approaching gila monster humidity and he was promptly rushed off to get an IV drip.
c. 90% like a jellyfish.

water glasses2. How many ounces (total) of water should you drink each day?
a. 8 ounces – your blindingly bright yellow or orange colored pee should tell you that this is not the correct answer. Bad blog reader, bad! Most water bottles aren’t even that small.
b. 8 8 ounce glasses – correct, but don’t be lazy, do the math.
c. 64 ounces. Correct! (8oz x 8 glasses = 64) That’s 8 cups of water, or 4 pints, or 2 quarts or one half gallon, or three hours sipping at a water fountain. (I’m glad fountains exist, but when you’re thirsty, they’re maddeningly slow to drink from. Some sort of wall hose would be preferable.)

coffee3. Which of the following beverages count towards your 64 ounces?
a. Coffee and tea. It’s water with natural brown food coloring. Don’t believe me? Check out this myth-busting research.
b. Juice and lemonade. It’s still mostly water, just watch the sugar intake. Sip and savor, but save the chugging for water.
c. Soda. Nope, not even close. It’s liquid, but your body has to use all the water it contains to flush out all of the chemicals it also contains, so you end up not hydrated.

4. Which of the following are benefits of drinking enough water?
a. Flushing out toxins. This is obviously good, right? No commentary needed? Why am I still typing?
b. Energized muscles. Not feeling up for a little exercise? Drink some water; dehydration causes muscle fatigue.
c. Hydrated skin that looks good. Eat your heart out, Maybelline! Moisturizers create a barrier that helps keep moisture in your skin, but if the moisture isn’t coming from the inside out, that barrier is ineffective.

Two footnotes:
drop1. If you need an answer key, leave a comment and I’ll contact you; I have some magic beans I’d like to sell you.
2. Gila monsters have more like 70% water in their bodies, not 30%, but they LOOK so darn dry! And in the dry months they survive by not urinating for months. Gross, but so very cool too. The point is, you are not a gila monster. Raise your glass and drink up! A toast to your health!

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14

 

Images are from:

http://www.volusia.org/services/public-works/water-resources-and-utilities/

https://beccasbyline.wordpress.com/2011/09/

http://diabetesdailypost.com/learn-why-you-need-to-drink-8-glasses-of-water-per-day/

http://savenaturesavehuman.blogspot.com/2012/05/gila-monster.html

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/coffee-and-hormones

Advertisements

Homemade Soup in Twenty Minutes

P1010166A disclaimer before we begin: if you don’t own a food processor, the only way your soup will be ready in 20 minutes is if you use pre-chopped frozen veggies or went to culinary school and earned the nickname Flash for your chopping ability.

Don’t despair!  You can still make homemade soup that is healthy, cheap, and delicious.  You just might take a little longer to get it ready.  Or you can plan ahead and chop the day before.  Or the month before and freeze little baggies of soup-ready veggies.  Or the summer before when vegetables are super cheap at the farmer’s market and you start September with three gallon sized Ziplocs full of chopped zucchini and potato and onion.  You, too, can live like medieval peasants, working from dawn ‘til dusk during the harvest season and then reaping the benefits during the long cold winter.  But I digress.

You have two options.  The first option is Clean Out the Fridge Soup, one of my favorites.  With a plethora of random leftovers, the resulting soup is different every time and you get to wash twenty little Tupperwares when you’re done.  The second option is Planned Soup where you think about it ahead of time and try to match ingredients that will go well together.

P1010196Let’s get started!

Step 1: pull out all of your vegetables and meat, especially the ones that need to be used up because they’re going bad quickly.  (Be brave, but not stupid.  Pull it out from the back of the produce drawer; if it’s less than 50% mold, you can work with it.)

Step 2: Put the soup pot on the stove and turn the burner on to medium or medium high.

Step 3: Chop up a medium onion and mince 2-3 cloves of garlic.  Don’t worry, it’s only raw garlic that make you unkissable; you can still ask your hubby to get you to bed on time!  (See post from August 4th) When the soup pot is hot (no, don’t touch it, just let your hand hover and see if it’s hot), add some fat: oil, butter, bacon, your choice, though olive oil is the healthiest. When the fat is hot, sauté the onion and garlic for a minute.

Step 4: Chop your meat up into tiny pieces and throw it in, raw or already cooked.  Remember that you can mix your meats…one serving of meatloaf, a chicken leg, half a pork chop, etc.

4Step 5: Chop up your veggies; smaller is generally better, but go with whatever you prefer.  Sauté the veggies for a minute or two.  My dad likes to add the veggies by length of cooking required so that the garlic doesn’t burn while he waits for the carrots to cook.  He does carrots, broccoli, potatoes first and onion, pepper, garlic last.  Soup is not an exact science; figure out what works for you.

The vegetables in soup are like a contemporary music band; the right combination creates beautiful harmonies.  Onion and garlic are your lead vocals and your keyboard or guitar, water and salt/seasoning are the sound wave vibrations that your ears translate into music.  Without these, it’s just not a band. (If you’re not a fan of onion and/or garlic, you need remedial eating classes.  You can never have too much garlic!)

Celery, carrots, zucchini, spinach, broccoli, kale, etc are your drums.  You can make a band without it, but why bother?  If the point of soup is to give your body nutrients, don’t leave out the colored plants.

Corn, meat, okra, turnips, etc are the violins and harmonicas.  If you like them, they add a special flare to the band.  If you don’t like them, don’t add them; no harm done.

5Beets are a diva with control over the volume of her own microphone.  I like beets, but I don’t add them to soup unless I want beet soup.  You will only taste the diva.

Step 6: Add water.  Finally, right?  You boil your soup just as long as you need to in order to cook everything in it.  If you chop your ingredients small, they cook quickly.  Ten minutes should do it.  (If you add uncooked lentils or beans or rice, you just added 20-30 minutes to the recipe.  Not a bad thing to do unless you want to eat in 15 minutes.  Leftover cooked lentils or rice?  No problem!)  I add about eight cups of water.  If that feels like too much for your family, start with less.  If your soup gets crowded, you can always add more water later.

Step 7: Add the secret ingredient: salt.  I used to have trouble making soup.  At first I would throw a lot of things into a pot and serve it.  My husband got a few nasty surprises since he was generally the first one to taste it, so I started sampling dinner before dishing it.  If a soup didn’t taste right, I’d add a little of this or that or those and my husband would ask “did you add salt?”  It only took me five years to start listening to him.  Before you despair, add a little salt and taste. Add a little more and taste.  It’s very hard to take extra salt back out! If you over salt, try adding potato.

3The easiest way to do this is to add chicken bullion cubes or packets.  Bullion gives you seasoning and salt all in one easy step.  Just as with the salt, you should add one, taste.  Add one, taste.  This is also when you can add herbs, pepper, or spices.  When in doubt, let Simon and Garfunkel guide you: add “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme”.  When it tastes good, soup’s done.

Now I know some of you are panicking right now!  NO recipe?  That’s ludicrous!  Anarchy won’t help me, Katie!  Calm down and start by clicking here.  It will lead you to a recipe for Potato Chicken Cheddar Soup.  Experiment when you feel comfortable.  Anarchy comes with practice!

The Lord gave this command to Joshua son of Nun: “Be strong and courageous, for … I myself will be with you.” Deuteronomy 31:23 (Taken completely out of context!)  Be courageous to change your life!

Second Week Is Soup

2013 Summer 593Just as sex combines exercise and sleep (read my last post if that came out of nowhere for you), SOUP combines two more elements that I believe are essential for weight loss and a healthy lifestyle: water and vegetables.

Our bodies are 60% water, so let’s start there.  A research study showed that drinking 16oz (one bottle) of water before each meal helped people lose more weight and keep that weight off.  It makes sense, right?  If your stomach is full of water, there’s less room for food.

But water is so boring!  Yes, yes it is.  Dress it up with lemon if you have to, but chug it down.  Because if your pee is still Crayola Crayon Laser Lemon Yellow after lunch, you’re not drinking enough water.

Another great reason to drink water is that if you’re drinking water, you’re not drinking soda, juice, tea, coffee, etc.  Calorie-wise, that’s HUGE!  Now, I love my coffee.  And I love it about as close to melted coffee ice cream as you can get.  So, I’m not saying that you can never drink anything other than water; I am saying that most of what you drink should be water.

 “ You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst.” (Nehemiah 9:20, NIV)

And now, the moment you’ve all been dreading…. Time to eat your vegetables.

Yes, your mother was right. 2013 Summer 605

At a family reunion a couple of years ago, I looked around at the plates of all of my skinny relatives and noticed two things when I compared their plates to mine.  1.  They had less on their plate.  2. Half of their plate was covered by veggies.

Vegetables (or “rabbit food” as my siblings and I used to call them) have lots of fiber, nutrients, and vitamins and very, very few calories.  (Which means you can pig out on them and that’s a good thing!) They, along with whole grains and legumes, were the original menu planned by God in the Garden of Eden.

One theory I heard is that your body will continue to crave food until all of its nutritional requirements are met.  That means that if you fill your body with crap, it will ask for more in hopes that it will get the nutrients it needs.  If you fill your body with vegetables, your body gets what it needs and stops asking.

So, here are a few rules for vegetables:

Rule 1: Half of your plate should be full of vegetables at lunch and dinner.

Rule 2: It is ALWAYS okay to snack on vegetables.  10am, 3pm, midnight, I don’t care…eat them until you’re sick.

Rule 3 (The Rule of Thumb): If you can do plain ol’ naked veggies, please do.  I rarely can.  I eat a whole lot more of them when they have a little extra flavor (read that “fat and salt”) added.  So, the Rule of Thumb.  Look at your hand; your palm and four fingers represent the amount of veggies you’re preparing and your thumb represents the maximum amount of “flavor” you can add to it.  Bowl of green beans?  Thumb of butter and salt.  Baby carrots?  Thumb of Ranch dressing.  Keep in mind, the less fat and salt you add, the better.  Perhaps it should be called the “Rule of Half a Thumb”?

2013 Summer 592You will learn to like vegetables, I promise.  After eating them all the time for months, I actually started to crave them.  (Don’t worry, I still like chocolate; the insanity hasn’t spread that far!)

“Better a small serving of vegetables with love
than a fattened calf with hatred.” (Proverbs 15:17, NIV)