I’ve decided that, because I want these changes to be lifetime, not just “while I get in shape,” I’m going to make changes one at a time, and try to have each one pretty much mastered before adding another. There are quite a few things that I’ve done before that have worked well for me, so it shouldn’t (hopefully!) be too hard to get myself back into those habits again. Those are the habits I’ll start with.
The first one has to do with water, which is probably one of the most healthy habits I can take on … and for me, one of the easiest. Since I was pregnant with my eldest daughter, Bren, I have been in the habit of drinking a gallon of water a day. There have been a few times when I’ve fallen off that wagon — one of those times, I ended up with a grape-sized kidney stone that required two laser procedures (I was also chowing down on Tums); an experience I definitely want to avoid. But lately, I haven’t been as good about it either.
There are differing opinions on how many glasses of water a person needs per day, as well as precise formulas, and there are some conditions where people have to limit their water intake, but I’ve found over the past 25+ years that 1 gallon works well for me. (Again, let me remind you that I’m not a doctor and I’m simply sharing what I’m doing to get healthier; I’d love to have you join me, but you don’t need to necessarily do what I’m doing. Do what’s best for you and what you’ll stick with. If you aren’t sure what’s best for you in your situation, check with your medical practitioner.)
I also want to tweak my water drinking a bit. I read an article recently, supposedly with a cardiologist’s recommendations … not sure if these are true, and Snopes didn’t have any info on it, but I figure it can’t hurt, and I think it will actually help me if I have certain times to drink certain amounts of water. http://www.nurse-teacher-menopause-cancer.com/Tipsonwater.html
A gallon is 128 ounces. I use 16 oz water bottles (which I refill with filtered water from my fridge). Half of one would equal an 8-ounce glass. So I need to drink 8 bottles of water a day (sixteen 8-oz glasses) to get my gallon.
Following the recommendations in the cardiologist’s article only gives me 7 glasses, so I’m going to add in a bottle of lemon water (a lemon squeezed into a bottle of water), a glass of ACV water (2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar + 2 tbsp raw honey in a bottle of water with a couple grains of sea salt), a bottle of cold brewed tea, and the remaining 1-1/2 bottles are worked in during the day. Sometimes I’ll make infusions of fruits in water, as well. More on each of those concoctions a different time.
This is what my drinking schedule looks like at this time:
1 bottle of water upon waking
half a bottle before breakfast
1 bottle during work
1 glass before morning snack
1 bottle of tea
half a bottle before lunch
1 bottle of lemon water in the afternoon
1 bottle of ACV water in the afternoon
half bottle before supper
half bottle before bed
I started working on this habit this last week, before I had time to write, and what’s working well for me is to fill those bottles up each night before I go to bed, so they’re ready for me in the morning, and keep them on the floor next to my desk. I also put a tea bag into a 2 cup measuring cup of water in the fridge, so it can brew all day and be ready for me to fill my water bottle that night. The ACV and lemon water and any infused water will stay in the fridge until I’m ready for it. (PS – Use a small funnel for anything you’re adding to a bottle of water.)
I personally work best when I have things set up for myself like this, and when I’m doing things on a schedule. In the past, a couple things that have also worked well for me have been to number from 1-16 at the top of my daily to-do list and check each of those numbers off as I down an 8-oz glass of water, or keep a gallon container of water out on my counter and fill my glass from it throughout the day. One of those sun tea jugs with the tap works well. Those methods worked best for me when my children were little, life was less scheduled, and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen. Now that I sit at a desk about 10 hours a day, this kind of method seems to work well.
Also, according to Mayo Clinic, any fluid counts, not just water. I happen to drink water almost exclusively and have been working on adding in tea for its benefits. Remember that other drinks have calories and many are sugary … So while they may count toward your fluid intake, they can also work against you getting healthier. Just a thought. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283
What do you do to make sure you get enough water?