Smarter Hydration

This past week my intention was on EZ Hydration Habits with a focus on hydrating at key times throughout my day; when I first wake up, 6-8 ounces before every meal, and a ‘smart’ drink after running.  

Thank you for the comments, the questions, and the inquiry from my last post. I was very surprised with the amount of feedback I received from my last post, and it made me realize how important this topic was for everyone.  I know we are all looking for an easier way to stay healthy, feel better, and manage stress, And hydration is something everyone can start to focus on TODAY. No need for new workout clothes, a membership to an expensive gym, and (The best part) no diet restrictions!

Some of the concerns that came up through my conversations were…

addition of water = increased restroom breaks 

addition of salt into the diet – I thought sodium was bad.

Is Gatorade a good option for quick hydration?

Is there such a thing as Too much water?


Chia seeds aren’t just good family fun, they are THE smartest way to hydrate.  When you drink a glass of water with chia seeds in it (1-2 TBSP), the chia seeds will absorb the water and help the water remain in your body longer.  This allows your body to balance the electrolytes which will aid in stamina and endurance (great for distance athletes) and give your body time to soak it all in!

  • Add 1-2 TBPS of chia seeds to 6-8 oz of water and let it sit in the water for 10 minutes or overnight (even better) allow the seeds to absorb the water and become gel like.  Shake the water before drinking. 

img_2551.pngThis should slow down the amount of ‘potty’ breaks within the day, and it will allow your body to maintain hydration instead of washing out (something that can occur if you drink too much water).

Sodium Confusion

From my last post, I talked about the morning glass of water having a pinch of one of these salts.

Himalayan Salt

Sea Salt

Rock Salt

Celtic Salt

When it comes to adding salt to your diet and your water it is QUALITY not Quantity. These salts contain trace minerals that your body may have lost throughout the night.  This small step allows your body to balance the electrolytes needed to stay hydrated.  Start salting your water NOT your food.

Better Than Gatorade (When Water is not enough)


I have experimented with a few drinks this week to replenish after running.  They both tasted great, kept my muscles hydrated, and helped me recover quickly.  Even if you aren’t a runner, these drinks helped my husband recover from a fun evening and my own children from a day of bicycle riding.

Instead of giving my family a sports drink that contains a ton of glucose (125 calories and 35 grams of sugar), I chose to…

add a Nuun tablet to 12 oz of filtered water and 2 tsp of chia seeds- the                  boys loved the strawberry lemonade flavor.  

I mixed 4 oz of our favorite Kombucha, 2 TBSP of chia seeds, pinch of sea salt, and 12 oz of filtered water after my long run on Saturday.  

Low sugar options that hydrate with fast acting carbohydrates and electrolytes that allowed everyone to recover from dehydration symptoms. FYI – Sugar requires a lot of hydration for your body to process and filter.

Water Intoxication

img_2552.pngThere is such a thing as too much water.  This can cause lowered sodium and potassium levels, muscle cramps, and can strain the kidneys and heart which can make you feel tired.  Who would have THOUGHT?  This does require a healthy person to consume a liter of water within an hour, so I am sure many of you aren’t chugging 33 oz of water, but I just want you to be aware of all the facts.

Smarter Water Options

Switch from Almond milk to Coconut milk

img_2535(Try 4 oz coconut milk with 12 oz of warm water , 1 -2 tsp of Cardamom and cinnamon to your coffee- Tasted like a Chai latte)

Drink coconut water instead of Gatorade

Explore the different flavors of the sparkling water craze- Waterloo Cherry is my favorite


This upcoming week, my focus will be on Eating my Water. (look for my post next weekend.) I plan on adding hydrating foods into my daily diet and pulling out some of the dehydrators that are causing some of the symptoms that are still sticking around.

I hope you are joining me on this adventure.  Let me know how it is going.  I want to hear  about your goals, your swaps and how it is affecting you.

Share and leave a comment

In the Pursuit of Health: Alcohol Experiment


Pomegranate Juice and Coconut Water

At the beginning of this year, I dedicated each month to an intention, an intention that would lead me towards a healthier lifestyle.  This month I am participating in The Alcohol Experiment by Annie Grace. I’m not a heavy drinker, but I do enjoy the nice glass of Malbec or Pinot Noir in the evenings. 19 months ago I decided to make my health a priority in my life, and I adopted a whole food plant based diet.  Most of the decisions that I make are in line with being healthy.  I desire a Quality life when I am older, and I believe it is how we treat our bodies now that will determine that.

Before I explain what sobriety can do for your body, I must make a confession: I gave in on Friday night.  I had a drink while watching a movie with my family.  I had missed that rush when the alcohol first enters my system. But, I will also confess: the moment my blood alcohol normalized again, I felt guilty and mad at myself.  IT WAS NOT WORTH IT!!! Since the rush didn’t last as long as I was hoping for, I felt way worse than I did before the drink.

During this month, I have been trying to guide my intention with actual science-based research and studies. I have not only discovered a lot, but I have also experienced many of sobrieties benefits.

It is not what we are giving up, but it is what we can gain.

better sleep quality

once you stop relying on alcohol to help you fall asleep, your body will begin to do this naturally.  Once you’ve allowed this to happen (probably will take a week or so – once all the alcohol is out of your system) you will also fall in an out of Deep and REM sleep naturally.

eating less-

Alcohol depletes your blood of sugar.  Low blood sugar makes you reach for breads, chips, popcorn or pretzels.  When you consume less alcohol or stop drinking all together, you are able to normalize your blood sugar and control that careless snacking.

dropping pounds

alcohol is more quickly stored as fat in your body than excess sugar, carbs, and protein. Alcohol has 7 calories/gram and it is quickly absorbed and because of its density the liver prioritizes the alcohol over any other food you are consuming with the alcohol – which in turn becomes fat.

better hydration-

(and if you were following me last month, you already know the benefits of hydration.)

your risk of cancer falls-

Alcohol – also known as ethanol- is a known carcinogen. “According to the National Cancer Institute, the risk of breast cancer was higher across all levels of alcohol consumption.” (pg. 183)

blood sugar and pressure normalizes

Without the alcohol toxin running through your body, your heart and organs don’t have to work so dang hard.

stronger immune system

When you consume alcohol, your immune system is weaker because your body is working so hard to break down those sugars, ethanol, and detoxify.

So, if you can gain all of these from giving up or consuming less alcohol- guess WHAT?  You lose all of these when you consume heavy amounts of alcohol.

In my own pursuit towards a healthy lifestyle, I have discovered a trick that has helped me out these last few weeks. (minus my 1 set back)

experiment with your hydration 


1c Pomegranate juice – a great antioxidant and 1/2c coconut water – great hydrator

24 oz citrus water with 2 tsp of chia seeds – great hydrator and fat killer


Waterloo brand waters – the sparkly adds a little something extra

Kombucha- the fermentation adds a little bit of alcohol, but nothing worth talking about.- great natural probiotic

  • Trick yourself


By giving you knowledge, I hope I have given you the tools to make the right decision for yourself.


The Alcohol Experiment, Week 1;Self-Discovery and Tips

A body in balance craves what will keep it in balance

My February intention is ‘sobriety’, and to be completely transparent, I thought this was going to be one of the hardest things I have ever done. I enjoy a nice glass of dark red wine with a bowl of popcorn- Thanks, Scandal. I look forward to the way it makes me relax, chills my anxiety and dulls my senses. I recently read an article that stated teachers make 1,500 decisions ever single day on average (That is 4 decisions every minute).  No wonder, I look forward to something that can counteract the multi-tasking I do all day.

I am currently reading The Alcohol Experiment by Annie Grace #alcoholexperiment – a book about how to change the habit of drinking through advice, science-backed information, and anecdotal messages.  Each day is a nice reminder of the intention.


There were signs that made me think that it was time to bring this to the forefront and make it a mindful intention.

  1. My serving size increased- Large wine glasses are the best gifts

  2. Can’t stop at just one- I used to be great with 1 glass

  3. Occasions revolved around drinking – it stopped being about connecting, getting to know people, and catching up

  4. my spell with Vertigo- I’m not exactly sure if these are completely connected, but my body was trying to tell me something

  5. I was using a glass or 2 of wine to deal with negative emotions- instead of using it to celebrate, I was using it to forget a tough day or combat boredom

  6. I wasn’t sleeping well- the dehydration and sugar crash at 2 am kept me up on occasions.

I am one week in, and I have already discovered so much about myself. 

Mondays are HARD!!!!   It takes a lot of willpower.
I have so many more tools in my tool-belt that help me relax than I thought.
I rely on the experience of alcohol to help me step outside of my introvert self way too much.
Sleep is so sweet.
My boys get me; movies, popcorn and snuggles. (great way to relax)

Here are a few TIPS if you are on this journey with me:

Willpower– if you don’t believe you have enough willpower left in your tank to say NO, then don’t even put yourself in that situation.  Graciously bow-out.

Know your WHY – When Monday at 4 hit, I had to remind myself WHY I was doing this.  I even took it a step forward and wrote down my Why and What 1 drink of alcohol does to me. (next blog post)

Find other ways to RELAX– I run, take baths, stretch, go through a yoga flow, hangout with my kids (puzzles, Jenga, spelling) or turn on a Podcast and cook/clean- I have found that I have already been more productive.


Boys and I went out for vegan ice cream one evening

Bring other drinking options- I am talking about all of the great sparkling water choices out there or – my bosses’ favorite- Hint water. place it in a wine glass and enjoy!

Relying on people is really hard for me, but I have already connected and shared with a few of my friends in the last week unlike I ever have. Let yourself be vulnerable (I am trying- this may take a while).

Buddy System– Thankfully I have a great friend who is on this 30 Day Experiment with me. Knowing she is probably going through everything with me, helps me.

Prepare your sleeping space – Burn a candle or incense, make your bed before getting in it, get into a great book, listen to calming music and spray some lavender on your sheets before you fall asleep.  After a week of not drinking, all of the alcohol is out of your system and your body will learn how to relax naturally and stay asleep throughout the night.

I can’t promise after this 30 Day experiment that I won’t have another drink, but I can tell you this restart has already helped me realize how much that glass of wine controlled my afternoons.

If you are following or experimenting with me, please leave a comment and share this post. Thank you




Optimum Hydration

waterAs this month’s intention comes to an end, I can tell you that hydration has become a habit that I actually enjoy because it makes me feel so much better. I have absolutely no digestive issues; and as someone who eats a lot of vegetables and beans throughout the day, this is a huge celebration, my joints feel good – even after my 9 mile run this weekend (my knees did not hurt). I confess-  drinking water in the morning has become an essential part of my morning routine along with drinking 8-10 oz before every meal.  I now have 2 water jugs in my fridge at all times, one carries my sliced lemons and the other is plain filtered water.

in a previous post, I stated that 75% of people suffer from chronic dehydration.  Signs that you may be dehydrated…

Your urine is dark– when you are hydrated your urine is either clear or khaki colored, but remember some medications and foods can affect the color – Watch out for beets!!!!

Constipation– Water is very important for digestion and dehydration is the #1 cause for constipation (and kidney stones). Yes, there are a lot of factors that can cause constipation (travel, foods, health conditions or medications) but if you are hydrated then your stool should be loose and predictable.

Dry mouth- This is one of the first signs of dehydration.

Headaches– When you are dehydrated your brain can actually shrink which causes the headache

Fatigue– When your body is dehydrated your muscles get fatigued

So, when your mother says, ‘ drink water’ as an answer your problems- she was probably right

This past few weeks, I have been focused on eating my water by mixing a couple of smoothies before work to drink when I am starting to recognize some of these signs throughout my day.

2 of my favorite smoothie recipes not only taste great they also 



and are Quick to make 

Green Mango

1c filtered water

1c frozen mango

1 medium frozen banana (once my bananas start to get bruised, I peel the skin and add them to a ziplock bag in the freezer for JUST this occasion)

2c chopped celery

1 handful of parsley  (you can replace the parsley or cilantro)


Spinach Meets Cinnamon

1 1/3c almond or coconut milk

1-2 stalks celery

1 handful spinach

2 pitted dates or 1TBSP date syrup

1 frozen banana

1/2 tsp cinnamon (you can add cardamom for a chai flavor)

  • add a scoop of protein powder if you prefer this as a meal replacement


optimum hydration starts with you and just a few changes: drink 8 oz of your salted citrus water as soon as you wake up, drink 8-10 oz of water before every meal, eat your water, add chia seeds to slow down the process of water leaving your body and ADD smoothies.

img_2716.pngSometimes intentions can be scary because we are always worried about what we are missing out on, but what if we don’t try and we miss out on so much more- Next month begins my very scary intention of sobriety. I am focused on the following books to keep me mindful and smart about the next 30 days.  Please join me on my journey.

Don’t forget to comment and share.

Eat Your Water; Top 15 Hydrating Foods

As you all know, my intention this month has been on hydration, and in just 3 weeks I have already noticed a change in some of my habits.

A. I used to go to sleep dreaming about my 1st cup of coffee 

B. Now, I wake up eager for my glass of salted, citrus water

A. I am used to having a glass of wine 5 out of 7 days of the week (don’t judge). 

B. This last week, I only had a drink 3 out of the 7 days (and I didn’t miss it)- so, I might be ready for my February intention.

A. Drinking water used to be a ‘chore’

B.  Now, it is just apart of everything, and even a little interesting. 

This was a tough week as I have been dealing with, NO battling, vertigo all week.  I was in denial early on in the week, but after three days of dizziness and nausea (and a difficult 15k,) I decided to finally stop trying to WILL it away and get some help.  One of the side-effects of vertigo is dehydration due to the constant nausea and sometimes being dehydrated can be a cause, so I made sure to be very intentional this past week with the food choices I was making because drinking a lot of water made my stomach very queasy. Here are just a few things I did to make this a bit easier and better for me…

  • I intentionally packed soup and salad in my lunchbox every single day for a hydrating lunch
  • took out some of the dehydrating foods from my diet (list is below)
  • Premade my ‘Quench Your Thirst’ smoothie on Sunday for an easy snack throughout the week
    • I purchased an $8 water carafe for my bedside table
    • Added a humidifier to our bedroom (the heater was drying us out)

The top 15  hydrating foods one should add to your weekly diet…

  • Cucumber
  • coconut
  • Celery
  • Romaine
  • Tomato
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberry
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Green pepper
  • Pineapple
  • Butternut Squash
  • Cantaloupe
  • Raspberries
  • Spinach

I created 3 recipes this last week that added as much from this list as possible

quench your thirst smoothie 

  • green apple, cucumber, celery, coconut milk, spinach

instant pot cauliflower potato soup

  • spinach, cucumber, tomato

Top 10 dehydrating foods you should cut from your DAILY diet – These should be foods that are used with caution and in moderation. 

  • coffee – Use Coconut milk to cream your coffee
  • alcohol – a great alternative is to add a tonic or sparkling water to whatever you are drinking 
  • asparagus – this is why it alters the smell of your urine
  • bacon
  • ham
  • sausage
  • soy sauce – great alternatives are Coconut aminos or liquid aminos because they have less sodium
  • popcorn (this was one of the hardest for me to hear) – try air popcorn or Quinns sea salt Popcorn – stay away from the microwaveable buttered popcorn. 
  • fried foods
  • sugary drinks (soda, diet soda, Gatorade, Capri-sun, JUICE)

Please, leave a comment and share this post if you find this information useful.

Thank  you

Quench Your Thirst: Hydration Habits

Eight years ago I suffered from severe dehydration.  I was teaching multiple aerobic classes throughout the day during a 100 day heatwave in Texas.  My husband had to rush me to a Care Now facility after vomiting for a few hours in terrible pain, where I proceeded to vomit and then pass out.  As I sat in the emergency room of the hospital hooked up to an I.V.  shaking from the rush of fluids entering my body, I realized at that moment how important hydration was.

75% of Americans are dealing with Chronic Dehydration

Symptoms may include (are not limited to)…



brain fog



skin’s lack of elasticity

poor circulation – fingers and toes are often cold


This is due to…

desk jobs

fast food laden with bad sodium

SODAs and Sports drinks and Juice and COFFEE

bookI have been reading Quench by Cohen and Bria these past few days and have already learned so much about how to hydrate correctly, when to hydrate and what to eat to keep me hydrated.  This book takes the general rule of 8 glasses a day and flips it completely upside down.




Just a few habits I have tried to start in this first week of my January intention; optimal hydration, include…

A glass of lemon water when I wake up with a pinch of sea salt

I sliced a lemon and added water to a large mason jar and placed it in the fridge. Each watermorning I pour 8-10 oz of water into a FANCY cup (wine glass usually) and add a pinch of sea salt or Himilayan salt to the water.  I gulp it down while my coffee is brewing.

Why lemon?  Helps rid toxins from your body

Why Sea salt or Himilayan salt?  Just a pinch to add sodium, micronutrients and minerals back into your system.  Over the course of the night, a % of that was lost through breathing and perspiration. Stay away from regular table salt – as it does not have the minerals that your body needs.

at least 8 oz of water before every meal

This is two-fold: 1. you get your digestive system running smoother- adding water back into your bloodstream, which gets everything working again.  2. It fills up your stomach, so you aren’t eating on an empty stomach.

only 2 cups (16 oz) of coffee every day

Coffee is known as a dehydrant and mild diuretic but it does affect your hydration levels until AFTER you drink 24oz.  According to my calculations, You can consume 300 mg of caffeine before your body starts to show affects of dehydrations (that is equivalent to 2 tall lattes from Starbucks). I don’t recommend that much, as it is still a diuretic but I get the need for a nice tall latte.

Use of a Brita water filter

fridgeThis is just pure convenience.  If water is cold, and I don’t have to sit for a long time at the fridge door for a full glass, I will drink more.  This filter was only $20- it holds 12 cups and the filters (3 ) were also $20- the filters are good for 2 months each.




Carry around a cool water container 

I’ve had this water container since the start of the school year.  I like the small incremental goals which make me feel accomplished every hour.  I bought this from Uncommon Goods. ONLY $20

bottle picfunny

Humans are made up of about 60% water, and we lose about 10% of that water daily JUST through breathing, sweating, and urine/bowel movements.  Now, if you workout, drink a lot of coffee, or alcohol- it is even more.  No wonder, just a few changes to my lifestyle has helped make a few noticeable differences. 

In just 1 week- actually just 6 days.  I have more energy.  I ran 18 miles in a span of 5 days and never felt that CRASH that I normally do. Believe me, my legs were tired but I had enough energy to organize play rooms, rearrange bedrooms, and meal prep for the week.  I have noticed that I haven’t really been that hungry, and my cravings for BREAD has gone down quite a bit.

I am training for a half marathon and my long run was on Saturday which was completed in record mile pace!  I am not completely sure if that is my training or the hydration- maybe a combination of the two, but I felt really proud.


I am feeling pretty accomplished this week.  Setting my intention was the easy part, Skimming the shelves at Barnes and Noble for a book that would educate me and set me on the right track was also pretty easy. Now I just need to stick with it.




Setting My Intentions

best of 2018.jpeg

On New Year’s Eve I look ahead but also reflect on what 2018 gave to me.

Before I can set my intentions for the 2019 year, I need to look back at what 2018 was.  After scrolling my picture feed, observing my Facebook photos, and making my list (18 for 2018) I was surprised at what I had already forgotten.  We have a tendency to look forward, set new goals, and shoot for the best year… YET all the while ignoring the previous year’s accomplishments, losses, and adventures.  Please indulge me as I take a brief moment to reflect before setting my new intentions.

Unfortunately, 2018 Brought us loss…

We lost our first pet- Phinnaeus Charles Steinbrink – a lovable golden retriever that my husband and I got together before we were married.  He was with us to watch us move into our first home, helped us manage two young boys, and brought me solace when I lost my father.  Losing Phinn was a very difficult time for us.

We celebrated the life of our Poppa Charlie- my mother’s father.  He was a tough man of 92, diagnosed with lung cancer 2 different times in his life, but he managed to not just Survive but LIVE.

We traveled…

Luke and I celebrated our 10 year Wedding Anniversary in Costa Rica at a Yoga retreat.  This was everything I hoped it would be and MORE.

We traveled to the Lake over the summer with friends, to the ocean in Portland with family, and to the pool in Kansas to celebrate 4th of July.  Each trip gave us time to relax, recover and recoup.

2018 gave us so much to be thankful for…

My boys have grown up! It happened in a blink of an eye.  Both boys are in school (kinder and 2nd) learning like crazy.  Unfortunately, that does come with some lessons of how to use what they are learning appropriately with Mom and Dad.  They are as different as salt and pepper, what they love to do, what makes them excited are so very different.  I am learning to navigate their differences and learning more about Legos, books, football, and the army every single day. Being a boy mom is one of my favorite parts of 2018.

I also achieved a milestone this year – 1 year as a ‘vegan’ – Again I use quotations because I still follow the 80/20 rule most of the time with plant-based flexitarian as the true definition of my diet, but that is a mouthful and I already get strange looks and comments when I say ‘I am a vegan’ so I can’t imagine what people would say if I said, ‘I am a plant-based flexitarian’  Come on! =Right?

I have a lot to be thankful for- my family is happy, healthy, and safe.  2018 was a great year!

2019 will be even better-  This year I am not creating a resolution or setting goals, I am planning a year of transformation through Monthly intentions; an aim, a plan.  I hope to gain something from each month that will improve my mindfulness, health, and forethought.  I have chosen each intention specifically for my needs, and I have arranged them to keep me driven throughout the 2019 year. (I won’t go into great detail with each one right now, but I will give you my reasons in this blog)

January – WATER!!!! 

IMG_2428.PNGThis should be something I do naturally, but it is not.  I know you have heard this, but if you were to change anything in your diet – WATER is the one thing that should be added- for better health, digestion, weight loss, healthy skin and heart, reduces cancer risk and boosts energy and gut health.  For those reasons ALONE, this is my number 1 intention for the year, so I thought I would start the year off with this simple change to help affect the rest of my year. The key to the correct water intake is take your body weight, divide it in half, and that is the amount of water in ounces you should drink daily.  My intention for this month is to wake up and drink at least 8 oz BEFORE coffee and consume at least 60 ounces throughout the day.

February – No Alcohol- 

I’ll admit, this one will not be easy- AT ALL!  I love a glass of red wine or 2 almost daily.  But with water being my #1 intention, I thought I should try a month without the dehydrator to see how my health can improve.  This will take a lot of mindfulness but since February is the shortest month- I thought it could be doable 🙂 I have also recruited my best friend in making this her intention for February as well.

March – Yoga Challenge

In February, I am running the half marathon and I can only imagine how all that running will tighten up my muscles. Also, March is a very difficult time of the school year for teachers, and I am sure I will need a form of stress relief.

April- Triathlon Training

I have signed up for an Olympic Triathlon for the month of May- of course I will be training in the previous months as well, but my intention this month will be on the training process.

May – carbon footprint focused

I would like to work on my carbon footprint during this month. Focus on what I throw away, making eco friendly decisions and getting rid of the plastic!

June- Book Challenge

As the school year gets wrapped up, I always look forward to my time with books in the summer.  This month I want to focus my time on reading as much as I possibly can.  I have a few trips planned for the month of June, so this will be a great time to dive into professional books, fictional mysteries etc…


July- Weight ( lifting) Challenge

I started Camp Gladiator this year, and I love the workouts. Most of all, I love working out outdoors, the fresh air and the workouts are exactly how I like to workout.  During this month, I will set my intentions on as many workouts as I possibly can fit in.

August- Sugar Detox

I don’t consume a lot of extra sugar, but I do know that sugar is cancer’s best friend.  I have always had the intention of letting my children know the harms of sugar, how it affects our attitude and health.  For this month, I want to be as intentional as possible while the new school year begins.

September – Tidying up challenge

with the new school year starting, I believe this is a great time to weed out clothes, organize kitchen, kid rooms, and make sure I still only have 1 junk drawer! I plan on Marie Kondo being very proud throughout my process.

October – Family Focused
This is one of my favorite months of the year.  After the start of school, We tend to get a little bogged down, a little too in-sync with our schedules and ‘family time’ drifts.  I want to be intentional this month (as I do every month) but this month I want to be as intentional as possible about family dinners, time together, LISTENING.

November – smoothie Challenge

The month of FOOD! Do I need to say more? With a new smoothie recipe every day (that I will post in my weekly blog) I hope to dodge the bloat, the weight gain and the stress of this month.

December – Meditation 

December gets a little crazy with events, travel, buying, food. I wanted to set an intention that would help me navigate through the stress of this month and help me reflect with forethought for the new year.

Each month has a focus, each month has a reason and I hope that each month will lead toward new perspectives, better health, and the best year… YET! Continue to read, and I hope you will follow me or even JOIN me on this journey of set intentions in 2019!.