4 Ways to Hydrate Your Health

Often, when we think we are hungry, we are actually dehydrated.  The average American drinks a little more than 4 cups of plain water a day, with the daily total sitting at only 13.4 cups. Only 48% of that water intake comes from beverages other than plain drinking water and 18 % comes from food. The good news is Americans on average are down to 44 gallons of soda per year, and up to about 58 gallons of water, which is a positive role reversal within in the last 10 years. So, what is the big deal about drinking water?  Today, I am sharing 4 ways we can infuse our hydration to boost it's power and why it's important for your overall wellness. 

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Our bodies are over 65% water. Water acts as a flushing mechanism for free radicals, bacteria and viruses that could impact our vital organs. Even mild dehydration can impact energy levels, which can affect the body’s ability to fight off illnesses like kidney and urinary tract infections, and keep our skin healthy from top to bottom

A basic rule for hydration is to drink 8 glasses of water a day (64 oz). I drink way more than this, but 8 glasses will give your body the minimum of what it needs to more easily fight off bacteria and viruses, keep your energy and sodium levels in check, and keep your digestive system running smoothly. 

Tip 1: Try Salty H2O 

Put down the sugar after your workouts, at lunch or before bed, and go for the IONIC Salts!

Equally important to hydrating is making sure to get adequate electrolytes. Electrolytes (or Ionic Salts) create an electrical charge with certain minerals in the body when they connect with water-otherwise known as organic ENERGY to help get trace minerals to your cells and clean your blood. As with anything, it is important to take into account your age and medical needs before adding something new to your routine, and hydration is no exception. For people 50-80 years old there are particular health needs that should be taken into account before adding salts to any fluid intake, so that your salts stay balanced. 

Adding ¼ tsp of Ionic Salts to 32 oz. of water, 1 x/day for 30 days is a great rule of thumb to start with for anyone between the ages of 50-80 to give the stomach an opportunity to get used to the ionic balance, before adding another serving to your daily routine. My recommendation is to purchase Himalayan Salts, which have over 84 trace mineral elements found in our bodies (including Zinc, Magnesium and Iron among other major minerals) that help our cells get nutrients where they need to be and keep our bodies working properly.  Add 1 drop of peppermint or lemon oil to your 32 oz. of water (equal to 2 16 oz water bottles) for flavor, or add your salts to coconut water (also very hydrating) for an added burst of natural energy. 

Tip 2: Go For Water Dense Veggies

In addition to hydrating with Ionic salts, we should be getting even more hydration through our diet.  Roughly 20% of our daily H2O intake can come from solid foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Here are my favorite top hydrating foods, all of which are at least 90% water by weight

-Cucumbers, have a water content of 96.4% 

Although they are typically a summer veggie, they can be eaten year round, and super hydrators with the highest water content of any solid food—making it perfect for salads, sliced and served with some hummus for a healthy hydrating snack, added to water with mint and lemon.

-Celery has a Water content of 95.4%

Celery has very few calories at 6 per stalk and is packed with fiber to keep you satiated longer. 

Celery also has folate and vitamins A, C, and K, and due to it's high water content, can  neutralize stomach acid and can be a natural remedy for heartburn and acid reflux too. . 

-Green peppers have a water content of: 93.9%

Bell peppers of all shades have a high water content, but green peppers are actually more hydrating than red and yellow peppers which are about 92% water. And contrary to popular belief, green peppers contain just as many antioxidants as their slightly sweeter siblings.

Peppers are great snacks to slice up when you get home from work, to take on the golf course or to add to a dinner salad.

411 Tip: 

You can add celery to a pure green smoothie or drink like this one I like from from Paleo Magazine:

4 stalks of celery heart, chopped into large chunks

1 small cucumber, peeled, chopped, and the seeds removed

juice from ½ lime

½ cup water

½ cup ice

Instructions

Place everything into a good blender and blend well.

I like to add mint to my cucumber/celery drinks for an even more refreshing mix of hydration

3. Go For Fruity H2O

Another great way to get in our water through food is by sticking with low glycemic fruits that encourage hydration without a lot of sugars, such as the following:

Star fruit has a water content of: 91.4%

This tropical fruit, also known as carambola, comes in sweet and tart varieties and has a really juicy texture similar to pineapple. It looks great in a fruit salad or as an edible garnish on the rim of a summer cocktail or dessert dish, and it's super rich in antioxidants, especially epicatechin—a heart-healthy compound also found in red wine, dark chocolate, and green tea.

One note of caution: People with kidney problems should avoid star fruit because of its high levels of oxalic acid.

Strawberries have a water content of: 91.0%

All berries are good foods for hydration, but juicy red strawberries have the highest water content of the berry family.  Raspberries and blueberries both hover around 85% water, while blackberries are at about 88.2%.

The combo of carbohydrates, fiber, and protein found in Strawberries make a great post-workout recovery food.  You can add both strawberries and raspberries to almost any smoothie to give it a kick of extra hydration and taste! 

Tip 4: Hydrate with Tea

We know we need to eat more water heavy fruits and veggies and that we need to drink more water, but a lot of people don't like to drink plain water, which turns them off to getting enough for their body's health.  So what I suggest is to infuse your plain water with leaves from plants like mint, verbena, linden, and balm, which give a pleasant aroma and light flavor to the water in and can be a satisfying alternative for people who don’t enjoy drinking plain water.  To make infusion a little easier, there are reusable water bottles that now have an infusion container with them so that you can contain the loose leaves, change out your flavors, and wash out easily.

Making sure that you get enough healthy fruits, veggies, minerals and flavor in your hydration will create healthy habits and keep you on track for avoiding illness, infection and skin issues while helping your body digest and flush out free radicals at the same time, so you can feel great all year long! 

Angela Martindale


3 Tips To A Healthier Spring Vacation

Spring is in full swing, which means you might be heading out of town for a Spring Vacation, or you may be planning your Summer break. Whether you are headed to a cruise in the Bahamas with your friends or family, a beach in Mexico with the girlfriends from school, or a California Adventure trip with the kids, there are a few wellness basics that you want to start incorporating now to get your body and mind ready for the trip so your energy stays high, your health stays healthy, and you stay happy both pre and post vacation! Here are my top wellness tips for getting vacation ready:

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1. Stay Alcohol Free to Feel Great

Chronic use of alcoholic beverages suppresses the body's immune response to infection by 30%. The liver receives alcohol as a toxin.  When you consume alcohol with a meal, your liver works on breaking down and flushing the alcohol first, leaving the breakdown of food nutrients to its second priority.  This means your body burns empty calories for energy before nutrient rich calories, and when your body really needs the energy from food nutrients, the body has already stored them as fat.  Repeatedly doing this will definitely lead to weight gain and weaken your body's ability to fight off infection and stay healthy so you can enjoy the vacation. Limit your alcohol intake leading up to Spring Break, and then savor your drink of choice slowly with your family and friends at night with a meal, followed by lots of water to help your liver flush out the alcohol.  This will keep your body healthy, your mind clear to enjoy your days, and your weight on track. Going over-board on the drinking at dinner will only make for bad headaches in the morning-so keep it light.

2. Workout With A Friend Leading up to your Vacation

Ask a friend to work out with you at the same time throughout the week and put a reminder alert in your phone to workout at least 3 times/week for 35-45 minutes a day to help you stay committed. Having someone else depending on you to keep them motivated can make you more accountable to show up and perform.  If you are at a hotel, resort or on a cruise ship, you should have access to a fitness facility, and getting in at least 3 workouts on your 7-8 day vacation, will definitely help you feel in control and confident of your fitness goals and keep you positive about your pre-break workout continuing in post-break life!

3. Pack Your Diet With Protein and Superfoods

Protein and superfoods are the nutrients that your body will not only need, but crave while you're busy enjoying the Spring fun! Protein gives us healthy energy for muscle repair, and superfoods pack a punch when it comes to boosting immunity and keeping our digestive system working properly-which you will definitely want to do, so you can enjoy your break with less bloating and gas, and more feeling great!.

Protein is a macro-nutrient that our body doesn’t store, so we have to continuously feed it to our cells in large amounts to remain healthy. Our hair, skin cells, bones, cartilage, and blood are largely made of protein and our large muscles and tissues are repaired by protein. Protein also creates hormones, enzymes and important stabilizing chemicals, and without it we can see large negative changes in overall health and wellness. So, to help keep you balanced for your upcoming trip, I suggest incorporating the following great protein sources into your daily diet: chicken, salmon, almonds, oatmeal and egg whites.

Superfoods, high in nutrients and low in calories, are also a major player in balancing your body’s endocrine system, which directs your cells where to carry nutrients to. If you are stressed out while trying to prepare for a big trip, then you want to make sure that your endocrine system is as balanced as possible, so you can power through your preparation like a superhero!  I suggest getting as many of these superfoods into your daily diet as you can: Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Coconut Oil, Kale, Spinach, Broccoli, Egg-whites, Legumes and Almonds/Cashews.

Bonus Tip

An easy way to get your superfoods, protein needs and daily hydration is to make this easy powerful organic OM POWER protein shake. I recommend it to everyone juggling crazy schedules, especially preparing for vacation:

Ingredients

-1-2 scoops of OM Power Protein

-4 oz water, almond or coconut milk

-Ice cubes (depends on how thick you want the shake)

-1 tbsp hemp oil, flax seed oil or ground flax seed

-1 tbsp coconut oil

-1 raw egg (optional)

-1 scoop of Chia seeds (optional)

-Handful of Spinach

Fresh or Frozen berries (your choice)

1 heaping tbsp of Transforms Power Butter (nut butter)

Directions

Pour liquid in the blender, first! Start to mix as you pour the protein powder in the blender then add all ingredients and serve immediately!  

Combining all of these practices into your Spring Season will optimize your body physically and emotionally all year long, and take on your day (and that Spring vacay) with more confidence, energy and focus-just like a BOSS!

Angela Martindale

Summer Party Planning 101

This is the first in a summer series about entertaining with flair. Over the next few months, we'll be talking party planning, healthy recipes, and more! 

'Tis the season for outdoor BBQs, garden cocktail parties, and all manner of summer parties. We at TRANSFORM are all about community, and hosting your close friends and family is a great way to connect with people who lift you up and support you in your goals. 

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It's important to remember that you can entertain without derailing your commitment to health—or your stress level. The number one rule is: Work ahead. Ironing out the details early keeps you from feeling frenzied on party day and allows you to enjoy the festivities as much as your guests. Here are six of our favorite tips for entertaining with flair. 

1. Simplify. Being a great host isn't about extravagance. Do what you know best, whether it's creative cocktails or a seated dinner. 

2. Be prepared. Know that you can throw an impromptu event with basics you have on hand: ingredients for a signature cocktail, some classy decor, and a rockin' playlist. 

3. Choose your vibe. Select lighting, music, seating, and temperature that are conducive to eating, drinking, and socializing. 

4. Get inspired. Pull an idea or two for decorations from your favorite magazine, book, or blog. 

5. Embrace Mother Nature. Disperse overgrown mint among vases of flowers. Arrange generous bouquets of tree trimmings in urns. Fill a wooden bowl with citrus fruits. 

6. Take it outside. Don't feel obligated to restyle your interior to fit the vibe. If it's too cold, bring in your patio furniture and potted plants to create the casual feel of an outdoor party. 

Stay tuned for more tips, tricks, and secrets for entertaining this summer!

Your biggest fans in health and wellness, 

Angela and Team TRANSFORM

Hand Weights for Your Home Gym

This is the fifth in a series of posts about developing your home fitness space. Stay tuned for more tips, tricks, and tools, and check out our posts on yoga blocksfoam rollersexercise balls, and yoga mats! 

Dumbbells aren't just for heavy lifters at the gym, nor do you have to struggle with extreme weights to get a workout. There are so many ways to strengthen your body with small hand weights right in your own home. If you are building your personal fitness area — or simply want to fit in a quick strength session before work, hand weights are a great tool. Here's our recommendation.  

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How to Choose: We like to have a variety of weights available for different muscle groups. Generally, heavier weights work well for big muscles while lighter weights are best used for smaller ones. Start with a set of each: 3, 5, and 7-8 pounds to get enough variety between exercises and to mix it up as you grow stronger. 

You can find hand weights at sporting goods stores, Target, or even on Amazon. Nonslip neoprene weights are great for sweaty hands — vinyl weights are also great. These also come in a variety of colors to brighten your fitness space. 

How to Use: There are dozens, maybe even hundreds, of ways to use your dumbbells. Hold a heavier weight at your chest as you squat or one in each hand as you lunge. Shoulder presses, bicep curls, chest fly, upright rows — you name it. If you've never worked with a trainer or participated in a strength class at the gym, watch a few videos on YouTube to make sure you understand proper form for each exercise to avoid injury. If appropriate, consult your doctor and/or trainer with questions. 

Congratulations! You're well on your way to having your very own home gym!

Your biggest fans in health and wellness, 

Angela and Team TRANSFORM