Updated: Jan 31, 2019
Nutrition fact: If you drink a gallon of water a day, you won't have time for other people's drama because you'll be too busy peeing. It's true... read to find out my experience.
Now that I finally have my blog up and going, I thought I'd share what happened to me during this month of "Intentional Hydration", as well as a few tips and ideas to keep your new habit of hydration going forward through the rest of the 11 months of this #yearofintention.
“Don't forget to drink water. You're basically a houseplant with more complicated emotions.”
This quote is DEFINITELY how I felt this last month! Haha! So, to recap, I had three main goals: 1. drink a gallon of water a day (including tea, my beloved tea that I love to make at my apothecary). 2. Eat raw fruit or veg with EVERY snack and meal. 3. Replace dehydrating drinks - mommy's brain and mommy juice ( ie. coffee and wine) with something hydrating instead, like coconut water, herbal tea or club soda. If I DID have a cup of coffee, I decided to drink and EXTRA glass of water to help balance it out.
One thing I didn't really change was juicing. I have a juicer that I love and use pretty much on the daily, so since I already had this routine in place, I didn't feel I had to "add" it to my (new) routine. My go-to juice is celery juice first thing in the morning after a giant jar of water.
I was really rocking' this routine until ... DUH DUH DUH... the flu struck our house. Our little Lorelei was really laid up and I was mommin’ up a storm taking care of her. It turns out she got the TWO bugs back-to-back that were going around her school. I bought the second one. Down I went and my hydration routine fell down too.
BUT! This wasn’t about checking off a box saying: “I did it perfectly EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.” It was about the intention behind it. I INTENDED to get more hydrated and to establish more of a muscle-memory type of routine, so I didn’t have to *remind* myself to include more water, tea and fresh fruits. (Ok, ok, if you know me, you know I’m an herb nerd and I’ll NEVER have to be reminded to drink tea.)
"Drinking water is like taking a shower on the inside of your body."
And even though I fell off the bandwagon during the sickie storm, looking back on this past month, I realized I have created those good habits I was after all along. I wanted to create a hard-wired synapsis in my brain that I put on auto-pilot to help hydrate me on a regular basis, and I did it. They say it takes 28 days to form a new habit (ie re-wire those synapsis in your noggin.) And what “they” say worked!
I reach for a giant cup (jar) of water right after my head lifts off of the pillow, and I’m teaching my daughter the same thing. Without noticing it, my practice of including fresh fruit or veg with every snack/meal paid off and now I’m doing it without thinking. I don’t drink as much coffee anymore. Instead, I’m craving a big ol’ smoothie with all the fruits and veggies of the rainbow… and you know what colour you get when you mix all the colours of the rainbow? Yup, the colour of mud. Basic brown. But, boy do my tastebuds, brain and tummy appreciate it!
I’ve also turned from wine to … whatever it is that sounds good that night. Iced herbal tea, warm herbal tea for that matter, coconut water, club soda with a splash of juice. I’ve noticed I get more done switchin’ the mommy juice for something that nourishes my body… like those pesky dishes that seem to never end. ;)
I also focused on having a large amount of water 30 minutes before meals. I've heard information lately that it's best to not drink too much water with your meals, as this messes with the enzymatic process. It also makes sense that drinking a giant glass of water in between meals would be a nice flush through your innards.
SEVEN THINGS I noticed about my body after hydrating myself so well for 31 days...
1. I peed a lot. And a lot more. And then… my body adjusted. Did you notice that too or did you still have to pee every bleeping second? I’ve notice this before… it’s amazing how the body can adapt, and the bladder can adjust to larger limits.
I started craving water.
2. The more water I drank, the more I wanted... MORE! Something else I noticed was that in the beginning, it was a bit harder to chug that H2O, like my body was like: “What’s this stuff!?” Then, after (days of) chugging like I was a Freshman at their first kegger, it went down as smooth as silk. My body was loving what I gave to it, and it craved more water, more smoothies, more herbal tea. It was so weird, when I started off on Jan 1 with my first gallon of water, I literally almost choked while chugging the water, almost “didn’t want it”, but then once the binge water drinking had continued for a few days, I was always looking for it. This of course, created more dirty dishes - I had mason jars all over the house! Beside my bed (for nighttime and first thing in morning), in the kitchen, in my office, in the shower(ya, I’m one of those weirdos who brings drinks in the shower and snacks to the bath.) I’m glad my body started loving the hydration that I was giving it. Has anyone else noticed this as well?
3. My digestion was greatly improved and - *COUGH*- regular (without coffee)! That water and those fresh fruits/veggies were hydrating my colon as well (and obviously helped with the regular-ness as well! OK, TMI... on to the next point.
4. My skin improved. It might be my imagination, but I think my skin is a little bit improved. Although my skin is ravaged from the Epstein Barr Virus (more on that in a different post later) , I still feel like I saw a tiny shred of hope that with increased hydration per a long period of time, it could have vast positive consequences for my skin.
5. My brain became happier. I felt I could focus more and think of words more quickly. Ironically, as I was typing this, I experienced a brain fart and couldn’t think of what to type. But, generally speaking, I DID notice a positive up-swing in my cerebral action. This is HUGE for me, considering the damage that I can feel my brain has undergone with my chronic Epstein-Barr Virus issue. (Again, more on that in another post.)
6. My sleep improved! I noticed interestingly that nourishing my body with hydrating foods and drinks vastly improved the quality of my sleep! This was surprising to me, as I did not anticipate it.
7. Practice makes... a NEW HABIT! As I mentioned above, after intentionally bringing in hydrating foods and drinks (mostly water) into my daily routine with lots of practice, I created a positive new habit that I'm hoping will last a looooong time.
Lastly, to quote a brilliant doctor on the importance of water: "If there is a magic liquid for weight loss and improved health, it is pure, clean water and lots of it. Water is the most abundant and important nutrient in the body. about 65 percent of the body is composed of water. Water regulate body temperature, transports nutrients, and builds tissues. It is required for joint lubrication, digestion, circulation, respiration, absorption, and excretion.
"Not only do you need of water for optimal health, you need water if you want to lose fat. If you are on a diet and dehydrated, you will burn muscle before you burn fat. The body is not able to burn fat efficiently without enough water.
"Your level of thirst is not a good indicator of your level of hydration. By the time your body registered the sensation of thirst, you are already somewhat dehydrated. Therefore, you should continue to drink water throughout the day, even when you are not thirsty. The secret is to not let yourself get dehydrated in the first place. If in doubt, drink more, not less. "
- Dr. Michael E. Platt, M.D.
"When you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated."
That's a wrap for January's month of Intentional Hydration during the Year of Intention! Did you participate in it with me? What did you do for your hydration routine? What positive changes did you notice? I'd love to know! Let me know in the comments below!
Have a beautiful day!