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Tasty Hydration Methods That Go Beyond Water

Water makes up approximately 55% of the adult human body and is essential for cellular homeostasis — not to mention life. Staying hydrated is crucial for total health and wellness, as well as weight maintenance, says Brooke Alpert, MS, RD, and author of “The Sugar Detox: Lose Weight, Feel Great and Look Years Younger.” “Our body depends on proper hydration levels to function properly — especially for our heart, brain and muscles to do their job,” she explains.

But chugging down your daily allotment of water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated. Other liquids and food count, too. Danielle Carlesimo, a registered dietitian at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital in Michigan, explains that “20% of your daily fluid intake should come from food sources.”

Here are several H2O alternatives that are great sources of hydration:

WATER-RICH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

“While most of our daily water intake should come from water itself, water-rich fruits and veggies are a great alternative way to keep hydrated,” says Carlesimo. Watermelon, for instance, is 92% water, which makes it a great choice for rehydrating after a workout.

Below, Carlesimo shares the water content of common produce that serve as great sources for hydration:

  • Cucumbers and lettuce – 96%
  • Zucchini, radishes, celery – 95%
  • Tomatoes and cabbage – 93%
  • Grapefruits and strawberries – 91%
  • Cantaloupes – 90%

SALADS

Since lettuce is so high water, a salad can rehydrate you after a workout. Start with a base of lettuce, and toss in water-rich produce like cucumber, celery, spinach and berries. (For a protein boost, add grilled chicken or another lean protein.)

SOUP BROTH

In addition to warming up the body, broth can help keep you hydrated. In fact, Iowa State University concluded that chicken broth and chicken noodle soup increase the body’s fluid restoration better than popular sport drinks. Just make sure to opt for low-sodium broth, as excessive salt consumption can cause dehydration.

SMOOTHIES

Beyond being a quick meal or a way to sneak in extra protein, smoothies can also boost hydration. “You can put anything in a smoothie,” says Carlesimo. She suggests adding water, ice cubes, celery, cucumbers, milk, coconut milk or strawberries for hydration. “Smoothies are also a great way to sneak in fruit, vegetables and fluid along with vitamins and minerals and antioxidants.”

COCONUT WATER

Beyond being sweet and delicious, coconut water’s electrolyte content makes it an acceptable short-term IV hydration fluid! Studies also suggest that plain water, coconut water and sports drinks all provide comparable hydration. So if you’re bored with regular water and need something with more flavor, coconut water can be a viable substitute.

HERBAL TEA

Herbal tea is another tasty stand-in for water since it’s mostly water anyway. Choose flavors such as mint, rooibos, rose hips and chamomile. Limit diuretic teas such as stinging nettle and dandelion, as well as caffeine-infused teas.

POPSICLES

Ice pops made from 100% fruit juice provide a refreshing post-workout snack as well as hydration. Just make sure to avoid artificially sweetened ones or ones with loads of sugar. If you can’t find healthy versions at your local grocery store, make your own. Combine Greek yogurt or juice with your favorite frozen fruit in the blender, then place in the freezer.  


READ MORE

> Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
> 10 Nutritious Smoothies Under 250 Calories
> Popsicle Playbook: 5 Fun Ideas


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Yogi Daina Lynn on Balance, Falling & the Power of Yoga



“The fear of falling is often greater than just falling.”


In the time it takes us to do a vinyasa sequence, we’re digging into all things yoga with instructor, self-proclaimed music junkie and native Marylander Daina Lynn.

Welcome, Daina. Let’s set the stage with a sense of place. Where do you do yoga?

I do yoga in parking lots. I do yoga while cooking. I do yoga while cleaning. The principles can be applied anywhere, at anytime. Yoga is really simply quieting the mind. It is very much so like meditation. So sometimes that means I strike a warrior pose in Wegmans parking lot.

What pose is always a win for you?

I really love balance poses. I love the feeling of weightlessness when every muscle is relaxed, yet you are stern and stoic. They are so simple, yet so complex, that I love the challenge. No matter how much you practice them, some days they feel brand-new, because balance is not a permanent thing, it’s an eternal struggle.


“So sometimes that means I strike a warrior pose in Wegmans parking lot.”


What pose are you over?

A pose like reverse triangle is very painful for me because I have really tight hips and hamstrings from my love for running, cycling and lifting legs. Even forward folds can be painful if I’ve been training heavy that week. So, I have to do a little extra stretching for those areas to make sure I can still enjoy yoga and my other three obsessions.

Also, for me personally, handstands are ambitious. Everyone’s anatomy is so strikingly different. Things like leg length compared to arm length, or where you carry your weight or muscle, and even joint flexibility can affect a pose.

But everyone should strive to do the pose they dislike the most! Remember, what you do on the mat is purposeful because it is meant to translate off the mat.

Got it. Don’t let fear limit you. What if you’re afraid of just getting started in yoga?

Try and possibly fail. Yoga is something that cannot be mastered. No one has it perfectly figured out. Just showing up is the hardest part. It’s about finding your style, whether it’s a power style, a restorative style or maybe even hatha (more breathing).

Yoga is like a metaphor for life; there is no perfect time to start changing your life and never will be, but every step forward is a small victory.


“Try and possibly fail.”


And what’s the trick for keeping a practice going?

Yoga is my release. Some days, yoga is my source of meditation. Some days, it is my source of prayer. And yet some days, it will be my form of exercise. That’s why yoga is so important to me; it can be whatever I need it to be that day. Yoga should be purpose-driven, not perfection-driven. Also, it’s all about balance…you can work in to work out.

Sounds like you work the inner self and work the outer self. How has this framework benefited you?

From a physical level, it has given me so much relief. As a former basketball player and track runner, my body was not only tight but beaten up and injury-ridden. No more pain in my knees, hips or back. It’s been more effective than any pain medication I’ve ever taken.

From a spiritual and emotional level, it’s been just as impactful. Like I said, it connects me to the higher power in a way I have never accessed before — through breath, movement and quieting the mind.

You’ve got this dual approach down to an art. How does it relate to overall wellness?

Focusing just on your physical body is very important, but your exterior will never take care of your interior (mind). If you focus on the inside (mind) first though, the mind will help take care of the physical. It’s about finding the balance between the two. A healthy amount of working out with a healthy amount of meditation, prayer, yoga or whatever it is you call it, is my true epitome of wellness.


“It’s been more effective than any pain medication I’ve ever taken.”


Ah, yes, the elusive balancing act. Does that mean every practice is unique?

Yoga is like faith because it will be and should be to you what it needs to be. That means, your style and your love for it can be and should be unique to anyone else’s! So it’s beautiful that there are all these different styles and options because that means more people will be drawn to the beauty of releasing the mind! That’s why I don’t really say no to any style or type because different things work for different people.

OK, spill. When you’re trying all these styles out, what are you really thinking about?

On a great day, I couldn’t tell you! I am so into the movements and how they connect with my breath that I can finally rest my thoughts. But, a lot of the time, thoughts are coming that I have to deal with. Sometimes I am thinking, “My body feels light.” But, sometimes, I am thinking “My body feels heavy” and I can’t get a vibrant flow going.

Those are the days where I have to work much harder to quiet my mind. It won’t come every day. Just because you get on your mat doesn’t mean your mind just shuts off. The best thing I’ve learned to do is not to judge any thoughts but to be more like an outsider to my thoughts. I am not my thoughts. I can be an observer and choose which will benefit me and which won’t.

Can you share an example of what you do in those moments when you can’t quiet your mind on the mat?

I was mad about something I was going through off my mat, and I figured I could take it out on the mat. I fell out of almost every balance pose and nothing looked the way I wanted it to. I was focused on all the wrong things. Trying to fight anger with anger will never work.

I had expectations during that practice that I couldn’t fulfill because they were unrealistic. In fact, it only made me more frustrated because I was just adding more and more weight to something that was already too heavy for me to carry. Then, I finally found a child’s pose and didn’t move the rest of class. I changed my perspective and simply fought anger with peace. I didn’t leave the room alleviated of anger, but I at least started the process of letting it go, which is all we can ever want from our practice.


“Just because you get on your mat doesn’t mean your mind just shuts off.”


Sometimes it’s the opposite that works. Who taught you these types of lessons?

My favorite teacher has become one of my closest friends. She is teacher and reiki master Nilvis Frederick. She is perfect to me because she is raw and genuine when she teaches. She uses her own pain and her own problems and translates it into the deepest lesson you will ever hear. And, she can also kick your butt if she wants to!

We could all use someone like that. Do you think yoga is for everyone?

Whether they have arthritis and need something more than medication or they have anxiety and need something more than medication, in my opinion, yoga is the best physical and mental prescription.


“I at least started the process of letting it go, which is all we can ever want from our practice.”


I’m sold. So, let’s say you have a class of new students. What music do you play to inspire them?

I have two different kinds of playlists. One includes songs with lyrics. They’re deep songs — artists like Mumford and Sons, LP and even some light rock like Van Morrison. I want people to be moved by the words and inspired. I know that’s not conventional but not every person can be moved by the same thing. You have to meet people where they are, not force things upon them.

My other playlist is completely orchestral. There are no lyrics. I love musical scores, so I call it my “movie” playlist because it includes greats like Hans Zimmer and Thomas Newman. Both styles are deep and they have the power to move your soul!

Before I go update my Spotify, what’s the biggest thing yoga has taught you?

The fear of falling is often greater than just falling. Your anxiety over your fear is greater than simply facing your fear.

I might fall on my face, literally, when trying a tough arm balance pose. I have been bruised, cut and hurt when I try and push or force a pose. But I’ve also been hurt in basic poses because that’s how life works. Nothing is permanent, but everything is connected.

That has translated into life for me with my everyday actions; I don’t fear much anymore. Not because there aren’t problems or terrible things in the world, but because I know that if I face my fear and risk falling, at least I will find freedom. And freedom is worth any momentary pain, whether that’s dealing with a tough life decision or trying to find a new arm balance pose.

Namaste.


Stay current with Daina Lynn and her practice via her Instagram and website. And let us know any additional questions in the comments below!

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Recipe: Power-Packed Maple Cinnamon Trail Mix

Maple Cinnamon Breakfast Trail Mix

Store-bought trail mix can be high in added sugar, but Eating Bird Food’s maple-cinnamon trail mix contains only 6 grams of sugar per serving, making it a great choice for breakfast. What’s more, it’s loaded with antioxidants and heart-healthy unsaturated fats. The American Heart Association recommends eating a small handful, or 1.5 ounces of whole nuts, about 4 times per week. This is a tasty way to reach that quota! (Nuts are calorie-dense, so be mindful of portion sizes.)

Maple Cinnamon Breakfast Trail Mix

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw, shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup dried berries

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine almonds, cashews, pistachios and coconut flakes in a mixing bowl with maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla and sea salt. Toss to combine.

Spread nut mixture onto a baking sheet, and bake for about 10 –12 minutes, until nuts are fragrant and golden brown. Remove from oven, and allow nuts to cool. Toss with dried berries, and enjoy. Store leftover mix in a covered storage container for up to a week.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 8 |  Serving Size: 1/4 cup

Per serving: Calories: Calories: 174; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 17mg; Carbohydrate: 14g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 5g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 165mg; Iron: 8%; Vitamin A: 8%; Vitamin C: 1%; Calcium: 6% 

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5 Frequently Asked Questions for Trainers … Answered

Trainers and coaches have a wealth of knowledge. Ask them about building muscle, burning fat, losing weight, gaining strength, becoming more flexible, etc., and they’ll have an answer. But if you put yourself in a trainer’s shoes, you’d realize that they end up answering the same five questions, repeatedly. We decided to do our friendly trainers a favor and answer them for you here.

“WHAT ARE THE BEST EXERCISES FOR [FILL-IN-THE-BLANK BODY PART]?”

“Let me stop you right there,” says strength and conditioning coach Mike Mejia, president of B.A.S.E. Sports Conditioning, a company that specializes in athletic performance and injury prevention. “Assuming you just flew in from 1985 and are still under the misconception that certain exercises can somehow magically transform the size and shape of various body parts, allow me to burst your bubble.”

You cannot spot train to melt belly fat, there are no guaranteed ways to add inches to your arms overnight and there are no “can’t-miss” exercises, Mejia says. Instead, “the best exercises are the ones you’ll do with the most consistency,” he says.

“HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED TO WORK OUT?”

Let’s answer this question with a question: Why do you want to get motivated to work out? “Once you figure out your why, and it’s powerful enough to you, then you’ll get motivated,” says Rachel Cosgrove,a strength and conditioning coach and author of “Drop Two Sizes” and “The Female Body Breakthrough.”

You may think you’re working out to lose 20 pounds or fit into a pair of jeans, but why are you really working out? Think it over. Maybe your powerful why is to be a role model for your children or to be able to enjoy life more and maintain your quality of life as you age.

“SHOULD I FOAM ROLL?”

The short answer is yes. “Self myofascial release helps break up adhesions in your fascia and can help relax tight muscles,” explains Noby Takaki, assistant director of fitness at Chicago’s East Bank Club. “Releasing those adhesions and tight muscles will help you get back to proper, pain-free movement, which will ultimately enhance your performance.”

He recommends taking 5–15 minutes each day to foam roll, focusing on your troublesome spots. If you’re working out that day, it’s a great warmup. (Try this 5-minute routine.) If you’re not working out, foam roll anyway to ease any soreness or tightness.

“HOW DO I LOSE X POUNDS IN Y AMOUNT OF TIME?”

The way Jesse Ochs, a personal trainer at Mountains’ Edge Fitness in Boulder, Colorado, answers this question hinges on several factors, including the person’s age, gender, current weight and desired weight. But it all comes down to the same thing for everyone: “Burn more calories during the day than you consume,” he says.

Portion control is key, so he recommends getting a good kitchen scale. “When you eyeball portions, you’re often way off on how many calories you’re actually consuming,” Ochs says. “But when you use a food scale and measure your portions in grams and ounces, you can be more precise with your calorie intake.” Many of his clients also find that it helps them cook at home more and makes them more aware of proper portion sizes when eating out.

“HOW MUCH TRAINING IS TOO MUCH?”

“Overtraining is typically due to under recovery,” says Ethan Duff, head trainer at FitWit, a physical fitness program in Atlanta. “So if you want to set yourself up for a healthy lifestyle now and in the future, then recovery is one of the key elements you need to think about in your fitness routine.”

He considers recovery to be everything you do outside the gym that helps you perform better inside the gym. So be sure you’re getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, eating a healthy diet and not just sitting on your butt on rest days. “Taking a long walk or bike ride, or developing a yoga routine a few times a week is a great way to make sure you body is recovering for those days you hit it a little harder in the gym,” Duff says.

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