Happy Spring my Pittsburgh FIT friends! Is your hiney sore from the endless squats your rascally coaches inflict upon you? Good.
I don’t often do this (as friends and family will attest) but I have to admit I was wrong. Write this date on your calendar since this hardly even happens. No really; I thought I was wrong once but I was mistaken (ha-ha; knee-slapper). Anyway, many blogs ago I issued a scathing indictment of spaghetti squash. I may have even used foul language. I thought it was a pile of nasty-ass mush that in no way could ever resemble spaghetti. BOY WAS I WRONG…turns out I was cooking the shit right out of the poor thing and it never had a chance to show me its usefulness as a vehicle for delivering pasta-like saucy deliciousness into my face. My wonderful friends at work set me straight and I cut my roasting time in half (from 60 to 30 minutes) at 400-425 degrees; halved, seeds removed, and face down on a cookie sheet. It pulled from the gourd in perfect spaghetti-esque stringlets that I lightly buttered, salted, and dusted with parmesan, parsley, and garlic powder before adding homemade marinara. Devine. Enough said; please try this instead of that sticky, bloat-inducing starchy pasta. It will be good; I promise.
Now on to our regularly scheduled post.
I’ve been singing the praises of hydration lately since so many people tell me that they attribute their feel-good and look-good status to drinking a lot of it. Recent studies (I can’t remember where I read this) say that we don’t really need 8 glasses of actual WATER a day but we need to at least replace the fluid we lose while sweating, breathing, and eliminating (insert adolescent snicker here). There are lots of ways to get accidently dehydrated, too, like exercising in hot weather or just plain forgetting to drink if you have a wimpy sense of thirst (we old folks), etc.
Here are reasons to make sure you’re drinking enough water every day (thanks to webmd.com for inspiration):
Drinking water maintains your innards. Your body is something like 60% water and fluids drive digestion, circulation, transportation, and body temperature maintenance. When you’re low on fluids, the brain triggers your thirst mechanism so listen to that already and get a drink of water or something (not alcohol you dummy). When you’re getting enough water your pee is light in color (in the lab we called it “straw” colored). When your body is not getting enough, the urine is concentrated (conservation mode) and the color is intense (amber). So peer into the potty for hydration info; I’m not making this up.
Water Controls Calories. Water doesn’t magically make you lose weight but subbing it for other drinks or munchies will help. If you’re like me, sometimes you need something to do with your hands or have an oral fixation (me, again). Sipping water scratches those dysfunctional, OCD itches. Watery foods help, too. They look bigger and the volume needs more chewing. Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth soups, oatmeal, and beans.
Water Energizes Muscles Cells that aren’t fluid/electrolyte balanced shrivel and cry out in fatigue. Don’t do that to your wonderfully strong bodies, my friends. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking a little over a pint of fluid two hours before exercise. Then during exercise, they recommend drinking it early and often (to replace loss due to sweat).
Water makes your Skin Look Good. Ok, so I’m vain. But dehydrated skin is wrinkly and dry looking; I have enough problems. Enough said.
Water Maintains Regularity. Hydration keeps things moving in your GI tract (if you get my drift) and prevents constipation. When you don’t get enough fluid, the colon snatches water from your dookey to stay hydrated and the result is constipation. Ain’t nobody got time for that nonsense.
If you think you should be drinking more water, here are a few ideas:
- Drink it with snacks and meals; make it a habit.
- Jazz it up with lemon, lime, cucumber, berries and pamper yourself (Mr. or Ms. FancyPants) and drink it out of a really nice glass or goblet. Hell ya; check you out!
- Eat more fruits and vegetables since their water content adds up.
- Keep water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag.
That’s all I got; happy chugging.