I've got lots of work this month, one of the full time nurses is on medical leave so I'm picking up the slack. If my posts aren't as frequent, that's why. I'm making the most of my mornings, though, I'm doing laundry and have whole wheat and millet bread baking now and yesterday, I had a really vigorous set of lifting as well as high intensity intervals on the treadmill afterward. As much as I'm enjoying the lifting, I think it's time to shake things up a bit. I'm still spinning my wheels and seem to be yo-yo-ing the same 2 pounds week after week. It may be time to add more cardio back into my routine. I'm going to carry on with the prescribed New Rules program but I'm going to do intervals at the end of each lifting session, though it's only recommended on the B workouts. I'm also going to add more outdoor walking with running intervals on my days off from lifting.
What you been cooking good? I grilled a bison strip loin on Sunday evening and served it over a salad of greens, fresh herbs, carrots, cucumber and mango tossed in a hot-sweet-sour Thai style dressing. The bison was amazing, tender and flavorful, highly recommended! Working 3-11 cramps my kitchen style a bit but on my days off I'm making Giada's white bean and chicken chili (batch cooking is great to have leftovers to bring to work) as well as corn and goat cheese cakes served with crispy ham, from the latest issue of Everyday Food.
I bought a batch of new spices from Penzy's, which I'll be writing about and I'm going to be doing some herb blogging. I have such lovely herbs growing in my garden I want to make some meals which highlight them and share the recipes with you. Reader Allison asked about my purple basil. I put a few pinches of seed in a pot last week and I have little purple sprouts at the moment. I will keep you posted on the progress. That's all for now. Have a great week!
Week 2 Challenge: Hydrate Your Body.
Right this moment, stop whatever you’re doing, and go grab a glass of water. Do not add ice (you can add lemon or lime, if you like). Drink half of it down now and drink the rest within the hour. For the rest of this week:
- Drink one glass of water first thing upon waking, one before lunch and one before retiring to bed.
- Also keep a refillable bottle of water or thermal container of unsweetened herbal tea with you wherever you go. Take a few glugs throughout the day while you work, drive and work out.
- Aim to drink about a half gallon of water during the course of each day (or more if you like).
Water keeps all of your bodily systems functioning well, and most of us don’t get enough. Even a moderate level of dehydration has huge limiting effects on our body. Blood, for instance, is more than 80 percent water. When you’re low on fluid, blood literally thickens, making your cardiac system work harder. Less blood flows to the brain, so your mind is not as sharp. Many of the body’s important enzymatic reactions and toxin-flushing activities require water to occur. That’s why a 1 percent reduction in hydration can reduce athletic output by 10 percent, and by some estimates, only a 2 percent drop in hydration levels can produce fuzzy thinking and impaired memory.
In cases of chronic low-level dehydration, skin and all bodily tissues become drier and less pliant. Muscles tire more easily and sometimes cramp. Metabolism slows, which, in turn, can lead to weight gain. And your body may respond to the lack of water by trying to retain whatever liquid it has, causing puffiness, under-eye circles and constipation. For all these reasons, drinking plenty of pure, fresh water is one of the simplest and single most important things you can do for your health.
- “I don’t like water.”
Add a slice of cucumber, a couple of frozen berries, a splash of lemon, or a tablespoon or two of pure fruit juice for flavor. Also consider purchasing a water filter (a pitcher-style or faucet attachment is fine) for both your home and workplace so that you have easy access to clean, good-tasting water throughout the day. Finally, remember, you don’t have to love the taste of water to drink it for your body’s benefit. And chances are good that once you start drinking it more often, the taste of water will grow on you.
- “But I’m not thirsty.”
If you body has grown accustomed to a constant level of chronic dehydration, your body’s thirst signals may have “switched off” as a result. This is an especially common problem among sedentary and older individuals. Interestingly, as you begin to drink more water and your tissues become better hydrated, you may find your thirst signal returning.
- “Water isn’t going to give me the same energy boost as coffee, tea or soda.”
You might be surprised by how much positive difference being well hydrated can make in your energy. And there’s no reason you can’t also drink other beverages, too, if you choose. Just strive to make water your primary hydrator of choice, and remember that your body may need extra water to help flush out the sweeteners, caffeine, artificial additives or alcohol you take in from other beverages.