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Summer Ideas

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Staying Hydrated in Summer

Let’s talk about hydration, since summers these days are heating up. Each of us has an individual need of fresh water. There is a general claim that an adult needs about 8 glasses of water a day, which does not fit all. Fluids are not created equal either. Here are some safe, proven and simple tools to keep your body happily hydrated and out of trouble this summer.

1. Do not count sodas, coffee or strong black tea as hydrating. Take them out if possible or add extra water. For every cup of coffee, for example, you need to add an extra cup of water during the day.

2. Listen to your thirst cues. Your lips will be dry and you will feel thirsty. However, if you are over 60 years old, your thirst mechanism is going to start to decrease and you can no longer rely on feeling thirsty. Make sure you have water around you during the day. You may need to put a pitcher filled with water on the kitchen table and rememebr to empty it by the end of the day. Your needs will vary depending e.g. on activity level or outside temperature and humidity.

3. Always look at your urine color. If it is only pale yellow, you are hydrated. The darker yellow it is, the more dehydrated you are. This can only be tricky after taking B complex as your urine will be colored yellow from the supplement. Also, your first morning urine will be darker yellow as it is more concentrated after not hydrating over the course of your sleep, so that is natural.

4. Rehydration is misunderstood. Refrain from energy drinks and after-exercise rehydrating drinks if they contain any source of sugar or if they contain artificial sweeteners. The safest and healthiest option is drinking coconut water or adding a pinch of Celtic sea salt to a glass of water. Both contain electrolytes. Celtic sea salt is rich in electrolytes as well as many minerals. Some coaches are already promoting Celtic sea salt in water to hydrate their athletes.

5. More water is not better. Excess of water can dillute electrolytes, cause swelling of the brain and even endanger your heart. Remember to watch the color of your urine and increase water intake with exercise or heat.

6. Get a water filter. If you do not, your liver will have to become your water filter! Tap water contains many impurities including glyphosate (a known carcinogen), pesticides and herbicides, and even oral contraceptives and other medications. Based on studies, well water is not better! Water served in restaurants and especially ice cubes may come from tap water, so ask if they use water filter. There are a lot of options for filtration. I opt for the most reliable, affordable and practical ones and stay away from two. Distilled water is unbalanced and is not beneficial long term as it is devoid of minerals. As such, it can create acidity and may lead to leaching minerals from the body to balance the water. Reverse osmosis wastes a lot of water and also removes all minerals.   Whatever you can afford, please filter your water. I have my 2 favorites and have both in my house and you will receive a special discount as part of our community:

Berkey – I use it when I need more water fast and when I travel – you can load it up in your car AND they also have a traveling bottle option with the filter inside it. Berkey was created for emergencies and so you can even safely filter out river or lake water. Just not sea water. This filter uses gravity, so you do have to fill it up daily in oder to get the water. And it takes a little time to filter the water through.

Here is our direct link to Berkey so you can claim your 5% coupon: KINES5

Aquasana – I have a separate spout on my kitchen sink so that I can put a pot under it and run it to fill it up. The difference from Berkey is that it is installed and so it cannot be moved and that the water comes on demand. I use it when I need more water at a time. They also have the best shower filter and a whole house filtration system. Finally, they do also have a stainless steel traveling bottle with a filter inside. The traveling bottle in my photo is old. They have since upleveled it so it will look different on their website.

Here is our direct link to Aquasana – this will provide you with a 10% discount!

7. Molecular structure of water is something that is less discussed, but cooling water almost to the point of freezing will restructure water molecules and make it healthiest. Think about water freezing in winter and then melting. If this is not possible, whisk water in a glass for a while to create a vortex. I am not sure how this is scientifically proven and if it is, but that is also something I have read about. It is free, easy, fast, and since it does not hurt you, see if you can test it and how that water tastes to you.

7. If your adrenals are low or very taxed (as in long term stress), adding a pinch of Celtic sea salt to water will make that water not only taste better to you, but it will make that water more beneficial. Sodium becomes really important for adrenals.

Summer Essentials

Stainless steel traveling bottle with a filter by Aquasana (photo above). You filter water out as you drink. As I mentioned above, this is an older photo and their traveling bottle looks different now. I always take the traveling bottle (Aquasana or Berkey) when I travel on the plane.  I bring it empty on the plane and then ask for a cup of water and then I pour it right into the bottle and I drink that. Bottled water is not pure water.

Aloe vera gel for skin exposed to elements, especially sun. Ultimate Aloe Gel, which is what I personally use, is a rejuvenating formula made using a unique whole leaf process. With over 200 nutrients which are rich in enzymes, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, it works to soothe irritated skin caused by dry skin or sunburn, so it is a perfect addition to your beach tote bag!

Heavy, greasy foods on the beach? If you indulge on your vacation on the beach… you have two friends: enzymes and a aloe. Pack a box of packets of Isotonix Digestive Enzymes with you (in the photo above). They come in a double dose size, which then is mixed with 4 oz water. If you have eaten a very heavy meal or you feel the meal is not feeling good, do that double dose. Otherwise, you can use roughly 1/2 packet with 2 oz water right after a meal. While isotonic solutions require an exact measurement, this is an exception when you can be approximate.  Keep a few packets in your purse for those late and heavy dinners out!!!

Ultimate Aloe Vera Juice in powder (also in packets for traveling convenience) can support your gastrointestinal balance and wellness and help prevent unpleasant hiccups as well. Like Enzymes, Ultimate Aloe comes in packets requiring 4 oz of water. One box is an equivalent of one bottle and the price is the same. Each packet is the size of your finger, roughly. It is  light weight and patients love it when they travel, especially on a plane. Aloe vera juice has been revered for centuries for its support of a strong immune system, a healthy gastrointestinal tract and improved digestion and nutrient absorption.

Summer troubleshooting with isotonix powders:

Prevent isotonic powders from caking in hot and humid weather. While caking does not mean the effectiveness decreased, it is so inconvenient.

  • Keep the cap screwed on tight after blowing off any remaining powder or the powder may start caking inside the bottle. It does NOT like air and moisture from outside.
  • If it is really hot and humid, you can keep your isotonic in the fridge.
  • Consider putting yourself on an isotonic cocktail instead, and set it for monthly or 90-day deliveries and keep the canister with the cocktail in the fridge.
  • Switch to Daily Essential Packets (in the photo above) for convenience (although that is more plastic). This can meet basic supplement needs of most. The box has 30 packets. Each packet contains Activated B complex, Calcium Complete, Multivitamin without iron, and OPC-3 antioxidant superstar. This helps keep you consistent with supplements while traveling as you can take as many packets as the days of your vacation and they are roughly the size of a tea bag, so very small! You mix them with exactly 8 oz water and that is that. Please note: there is no iron in the multi.

Make your Own Popsicles

You can blend fruit of any kind and add some maple syrup or raw honey to it and perhaps lemon juice, depending on the flavor you are looking for. Please make sure the fruit is absolutely ripe for this! The flavor has to be intense. You can get the molds everywhere. But if you are trying to avoid BPA, there are BPA free molds. There is an online company called Life Without Plastics – not only do they have your plastic-free popsicle molds with reusable bamboo sticks but they also have glass straws, so you never have to use plastic straws and throw them away again. Here is a great recipe for summer fruit popsicles by my friend Ali Segersten.

Make your Own Ice Cream

Summer means we crave ice-cream. If your goal is to be well, then you want to stay away from commercial dairy-based ice-cream. But I don’t really care for all the non dairy ice cream on the market- not too whole-foods oriented. So nine years ago, I did research I asked my husband to get me a Dessert Bullet for my 48th birthday. Truth be told: I absolutely love it. You have to like bananas as they are mostly the base, but you will be able to get around them. It takes seconds to put together, run, and clean, and I have instant cold and creamy ice cream any time I wish. Very satisfying and delicious, so thought I would share it with you. Here is a picture. This was just frozen bananas and strawberries, both organic, of course. Nutrition: There is nothing wrong with freezing fresh fruit as it is perfectly ripe one day and making this dessert next day. There is a lot of fear of the word “fructose” in the US right now. Please do NOT eliminate fresh organic seasonal fruits from your diet. Instead, eliminate high corn fructose syrup, corn syrup, and agave syrup from your drinks and desserts. Happy Summer!

Here is where you can get your Magic Dessert Bullet.

ice-cream

MORE PRACTICAL IDEAS FOR HYDRATION IN SUMMER

1. Make your Own Soda!

Summers were so hot and humid when I lived in Maryland. We used to run through mineral water really fast and it added up financially so fast. There were many times when we ran out….and so the joy of a refreshing cold mineral water has always been diminished by the counting of the bottles we still had left!

I finally decided to also get something summery for my husband for his birthday: and you guessed it. I bought him a soda maker. Come to think of it, I grew up in Poland with a soda maker called syfon. This was something we did in Poland. You had to replace the CO2 loan every so often. That was early 70s…..Needless to say, my husband was so very happy with his gift. The soda maker came with 2 bottles and a C02 load that lasts you for 60 liters of water, if I remember correctly. You do not have to plug it in. It is skinny and small and will fit on the counter under your cabinet. The soda making process takes about 10-15 seconds. I just keep up with ice cubes (from filtered water). Nutrition: This is much better than club soda, so if the water you use for it has minerals, your new soda will retain them! Note that unlike mineral water, the soda maker does not give you any additional minerals. Use filtered water: get a filter that retains minerals (I use Aquasana and Berkey for that reason), and all you do is pump CO2 into it. DO NOT use tap water please, not even for the ice cubes. This is a great way to enjoy water AND avoid sugary or artificially sweetened drinks. We are conditioned by industry to expect sweetness in a liquid we drink. I believe a soda maker will help you wean yourself off it!

Here are my two summer friends, the Dessert Bullet and the Soda Stream!

Dessert Bullet and the Soda Stream

2. How to Make your Cold Drink more Exciting

This is well worth it for me, so perhaps it will be for you as well: I keep a few silicon ice cube trays that make fantastic big ice cubes. I like to keep filling them with filtered water and keep them available. But you can also make them more dramatic, colorful and tasty with just a little imagination! We use the soda maker to make the sparkling water, and I pop some of the ice cubes into the glasses. They instantly look festive and plain pretty. Here are some ideas for you to try:

Idea #1: fill the ice cubes with fresh organic raspberries and then fill with water. Then freeze.

Above are the ice cubes in the making and then ready to be frozen. And I am plucking some fresh peppermint leaves. I will have to remake these in a few days again! And again. And again.

3. A Healthy Spin on Cold Summer Drinks

A dear friend of mine, Kyoho Jones, an amazing massage therapist, calls Apple Cider Vinegar a “Peace Maker” and started to add it to a mixture of water and aloe vera juice. The Peace Maker is too strong in flavor for many people even though its numerous health benefits are famous. So here is a new recipe I use that I really like: I fill most of the glass with our new soda water, add ice cubes (remember, use filtered water for ice cubes), I add a splash of Peace Maker and 2 or more oz of a good quality aloe vera, pomegranate flavor aloe vera juice being my all time favorite. Add only a teaspoonful of the Peace Maker first and then taste it. Do not let it overtake the drink. Enjoy supporting your immune system!

4. Iced “Coffee” for your Liver!

Just a few weeks ago I fell in love with Dandy Blend, a powder of mixed herbs that are reputable for liver support and dark roasted coffee- like color and taste without harsh acidity or caffeine. It is silky, smooth and very easy to make. The picture shows a hot glass of Dandy Blend. It is available in health food stores and online. I have enjoyed dandelion root tea for years, but this tops it. This product is not gluten free but is wheat free. Bad news for our SIBO patients: Dandy Blend is NOT SIBO-appropriate due to its prebiotic content (dandelion, chicory).

Dr. Kasia Kines, Nutritionist, CEO and founder of EBV Global Institute

1 Comments

  1. Posted on June 21, 2014 at 10:48 AM by Joanne

    Wonderful, refreshing, and inspiring ideas!
    I was taking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with water a few years ago because I had heard that it was good for digestion. Then my dentist told me that it would erode my tooth enamel.
    Do you know if this is true? Would combining it with the aloe vera juice help to balance it out?

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