Drink Water. See & Feel the Benefits

Benefits of Water

Water.  We all know we are supposed to drink it, but why?  How much?  I am going to share some great water facts with you that will help to make drinking water an easy decision.

Did you know this about water?

  • The more hydrated your skin is (from drinking water) the less lines and wrinkles you will have and it can also help to clear up acne
  • Sometimes when you feel hungry, your body may actually be dehydrated?  By drinking a glass of water before a meal can actually help you to eat less
  • Water helps to flush toxins from your system, which can relieve fatigue
  • If you exercise, you need to drink water to re-fuel your muscles and give you more energy
  • Have a lot of headaches?  They could be from dehydration and water can help to prevent those

So does this make you thirsty or what?  I try to always have water with me and drink as much as I can each day.  I also love to add lemon to my water, which has special benefits click here to read those.

How much should you drink each day?  The International Sports Medicine Institute, has a formula for daily water intake: 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight if you’re not active (that’s ten eight-ounce glasses if you weigh 160 pounds), and 2/3 ounce per pound if you’re athletic (13 to 14 glasses a day, at the same weight).  If that is too much math for you, answer this 9 question quiz to get the exact ounces you specifically need.

Well I hope that this inspires you to drink just one more glass of water each day, your body will thank you for it!

Enjoy! ~ Jamie

 

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Eat Healthy on Vacation: Rent a Home and Skip Eating Out

Hello everyone!  I am a guest blogger for Jamie.   One of the challenges in keeping a health focus on vacation is that we are off our regular eating routines.  Consistent recommendations you’ll find for a healthy vacation entail finding local fruit markets, and grocery stores and stocking up on healthy snacks.

If you are an individual whose regular lifestyle entails eating out regularly, these tips may not work for you.  However, if you are planning meals for more than one, or in my case, kids who are picky eaters that eat like they are speed dating; three meals a day eating out gets old real quick and very expensive.    And frankly, nothing tastes as good as a home cooked meal where you can control the contents and portion; why not rent a home while on vacation?

My family has had found many great homes in the locations we have vacationed over the years.  My favorite for domestic travel is several sites maintained by Home Away:

          

A new one I’ve recently come across is a site by TripAdvisor.  

I would not take any vacation without TripAdvisor feedback in hand so this site it is definitely growing on me.

Picture this, you wake up and linger over a cup of coffee brewed in a well stocked kitchen.  The kids have already gotten up, eaten a bowl of cereal and are out by the pool and you are still in your pjs and bunny slippers relaxing and planning your day or……you are dressed for the day, herding the kids in the car, running a comb through your hair so you don’t scare the wait staff at the restaurant to get ready to dump $25-$30 for a mid-range breakfast that nobody finishes completely.  I know which scenario what I would choose.

Thanks for having me Jamie!

Be sure to check out my Blog – Bucket List Travel Adventures

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Healthy Choices on Vacation – What?!?

My previous vacation routine was – starve my self leading up the vacation and work out like a maniac.  Then once I am on vacation I eat everything in site and come back home with and extra 5 lbs which then seemed to take forever to lose!  Sound familiar?  Did you know that 3,500 calories are equivalent to 1 lb?  Some meals alone (bread, appetizers, salad with dressing, main dish, dessert) at restaurants can add up to that number.  So if you eat like this a few days on vacation, you will come home with more than just a good tan.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I LOVE FOOD!  But to me it is all about moderation and planning.  When I am on vacation, I limit myself to the splurging.  So I will have a few things that are not so great (breads, desserts, sauces), but I limit them.  I also pick when I am going to “splurge”.  For instance, I am in a hotel right now.  Here is what I had for breakfast:

Now I am not a breakfast person, so I chose not to “waste” my calories on this meal.  But I did want to eat some protein to stay full until lunch.  This egg and fruit combo was delicious and very filling!  So tonight at dinner I will be able to have some dessert and wine and not feel guilty.

Also I went for a walk this morning.  The weather was beautiful and it was a great way to start the day.  Almost all hotels have gyms, so even if you just spend 30 minutes a day while you are on vacation devoted to some exercise you will feel so much better about yourself!  Also, you will find yourself making smarter decisions throughout the day.

Vacation is meant to be fun and gives your mind and body the ability to re-charge.  If you make smart decisions, you won’t have to worry about any extra lbs when you get back home!  :)

Enjoy! ~Jamie

 

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Lentil Stew

This is a great recipe for dinner on a fall evening.  It is easy, healthy and delicious.  Lentils are so good for you – they are high in fiber, folic acid (which is good for your heart), high in fiber and help to stabilize your blood sugar (which will make you feel fuller longer).  I love cooking soups and stews, we eat the dish for a few nights and freeze the rest for dinner in a few weeks!

When I get home from work each night, the last thing I want to do is spend hours in the kitchen on dinner.  So I try to prep meals a little at a time, for instance with this dish I chopped all my veggies the night before.  That saved me about 15 minutes and I was able to get dinner cooking right when I got home.

I used both red and green lentils.  The red (also called French lentils) are much smaller and not as dense.  This was a great combo for this soup and turned into more of a stew, as the red lentils broke down and made the base nice and thick.  This is a vegetarian dish (it does have chicken stock, but that can easily be substituted with vegetable stock), but since lentils are so packed full of protein – you won’t miss the meat!  I have found that a lot of vegetarian dishes are very hearty and try to go meatless a few nights a week.  Check out this blog – Love & Lentils –  for some more delish vegetarian dishes.

I hope you like this easy and tasty lentil soup!  I know my husband did!!

Enjoy! ~Jamie

Ingredients
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
4 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups dry lentils
4 cups water
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
1) In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender (about 8 minutes). Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.
2) Stir in lentils, and add water, stock and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Nutrition – Calories: 349 | Total Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 0mg

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Caramelized French Onion Dip

French onion dip and chips = yum!  When I was a kid, my dip to chip ratio was about 75% dip and 25% chip and it was one of my favorite snacks.  But now that I am adult and try to eat healthy, this snack is no longer on my radar.  Until now!  I made a recipe that is pretty easy (I caramelized onions for the first time, which I will be able to use for other dishes) with only a handful of ingredients and it is low in calories and fat!  I got this recipe from Crumb Blog, which is a wonderful food blog.

This recipe also allowed me to practice my vegetable chopping skills!  Check out this video for an easy how to on chopping onions.

After I chopped these up, I was thinking – Wow!  This is a lot of onions!  But once you cook the onions down and caramelize them, they really shrink (and smell delicious)!

Other than cooking the onions, which took about 45 minutes, this recipe is a breeze.

So if you are looking for a great, healthy dip for your next party or tailgate, then make this Caramelized French Onion Dip.  Enjoy!

Caramelized French Onion Dip
Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 45 mins Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 8

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
1½ cups finely diced red onion
3 cups finely diced yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1½ cups plain non-fat Greek yogurt
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
Dash Worcestershire sauce

Instructions
1) Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet set over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until translucent and just starting to color.
2) Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown and caramelized (if the onions start to burn at any point, add a tablespoon or two of water and continue cooking). Stir in garlic, salt and pepper, and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until garlic is soft and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
3) In a mixing bowl, stir together yogurt and mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in the cooled onions, lemon juice and Worcestershire. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
4) Transfer to a serving bowland cover. Chill for at least an hour (or up to two days) to allow the flavours to blend together, then serve with chopped vegetables or potato chips for dipping.

 

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