A big shout out to H2O–the elixir of life! My two-week water only challenge comes to end tomorrow at midnight. In all honesty this was not a terribly difficult challenge for me, but I know that a lot of people doing it with me (especially the coffee drinkers) had a tough time. Overall, I realized that caffeine doesn’t really affect me that much. I’ve never been hooked on coffee and tea. Don’t get me wrong I certainly do enjoy it, but have never been one to drink it every day nor do I usually feel the need for it in order to get through my day. I’m not a huge soda drinker either, so that was not a problem. Nevertheless, I had a dream the other night that I drank a soda and was all panicked that I failed the challenge. Clearly water has been on my mind!
So what have been the benefits?
Awareness: This challenge has struck a new awareness in me. I think about what I’m pouring in my glass before reaching into the fridge.
Budget: My wallet is happy that I have not splurged on coffee drinks or soda/wine/beer.
Energy: There were only a few days that I felt a cup of coffee would have helped me in the morning, but overall my energy levels have improved and I did not experience sugar crashes later in the day.
Skin: Maybe it’s in my head but I feel like my skin has been a little more radiant the last few weeks. Can water be our source for preventing wrinkles too?!?
Healthy All Around: I’ve seen how important it is to keep the body hydrated, and even more so when exercise is a big part of our life. I now keep two glasses of water at my desk at work instead of one. And the more of it I drink, the more I feel the urge to eat healthy as well. Water has a cleansing effect and I have been less likely to crave additional sugar that I might after drinking a sweetened beverage. I mean who doesn’t want a delicious muffin or scone while drinking their coffee. And yeah a Coke on its own is ok but a slice of pizza makes it even better.
What I have missed?
Milk and smoothies: They will be reentering my diet this week and I’m really excited! Oh, how I’ve missed my milk-banana-yogurt-PB-protein powder smoothie!
Come Monday I’ll be starting the next two-week challenge. Here it is…will you join me?
Challenge 2: Eat a salad at least once everyday with bright color vegetables and fruit with your meal or as your meal. For a salad you must have something green and leafy such as baby spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, collards, etc.
Dare I say it…this is going to be cake! I love salads and I eat so much fruit as it is. The difficulty will be making time for buying fresh produce, but I’m excited and hope to branch out a bit. I know this will be challenging at times, so creativity is key. Some of my favorite salad toppings include: dried cranberries, sliced almonds, walnuts, pistacio nuts, sunflower seeds and avocado. For a protein add-on, I suggest tuna, chicken and steak. I’ve even tried some vegetarian protein sources (found in the grocery freezer aisle) that aren’t too bad! I suggest including some fruit in the green salad to make it a two-for (i.e. strawberries, mandarin oranges, grapes, apples). Fruit on its own is great but sometimes it’s also nice to mix it into yogurt, blend in a smoothie, or top on cereal, pancakes, oatmeal, etc. Fruit is also a great substitute for the after-dinner dessert that many of us crave.
Let’s bring on healthier digestion, antioxidants nutrients and so much more! And be sure to be aware of organic vs. non-organic. Thick skinned fruit like oranges and bananas are fine to buy non-organic, but thin-skinned fruits like raspberries and apples are much better for us as organic. So if it’s in your budget be sure to do some research to ensure you are getting the most health benefits out of your produce. This might be a good opportunity to check out the local farmer’s markets too!
The time is now…time to bring on healthier digestion, antioxidants, nutrients and so much more!