Hydration, Hydration, Hydration!

Are you still exercising outside or has the hot July weather chased you indoors to the gym? Or has summer vacation taken over your fitness goals altogether? Regardless of your current physical output level at the moment we need to stay hydrated.

Drinking water is of course the easiest way to make sure our hydration levels remain adequate…but it’s not the only way. caffeine and sugar tend to offset our efforts and a lot of sports replacement drinks have unnecessary levels in them.

One way we can help our bodies maintain proper fluid levels is to eat certain foods in addition to our water intake.

– We know watermelon is good for this. It is named “WATERmelon” because it’s over 90% water. It also has good-for-you sugar that helps stabilize your blood sugar
Cucumbers also have a high water content and are a nice cool summer snack
Celery is another vegetable containing a lot of water – not the most flavorful in my opinion but with a schmear of low-fat peanut butter or other nut butter it packs a satisfying protein & hydration snack
Bananas & Kiwis don’t have a high water content but they contain the potassium that’s necessary to help your muscles keep in the water they need to keep you hydrated


Blackberries for Health

I was at the farmer’s market this morning picking up my weekly stash of fresh fruits & veggies and the very first thing I put in my basket were blackberries. And then I had to move them because they would have been squished by the cantaloupe :-). Blackberries are one of summers best fruits because they are not only convenient, but they do triple duty for your health!

They are sometimes a little pricer that strawberries or blueberries but they are well worth the splurge. The better known benefits are they the are high in Vitamins A & C but did you know they are stocked with fiber, folic acid, and potassium too? They battle free radicals which helps against cancer AND wrinkles! The fiber in them helps keep you fuller for longer. And there’s yet another benefit – the same compound that reduces these free radicals is linked to reducing the effect if histamine. How timely that these little berries are ripening around the same time that allergy season hits. Hmm…nature’s way of telling us something?

So, by eating these little powerful jewels you can get all these benefits with fewer calories. Eat them fresh and within 2-3 days of purchase for maximum freshness & nutrition. You can also get them frozen or freeze them yourself. I love to save a few of them in the freezer to add to yogurt to make a smoothie – perfect for a spring/summer afternoon snack. Yum! You can also put them in your cereal, pancakes or salad.

Do you have any good ways to make blackberries part of your diet?

References: Jerry Baker’s Kitchen Counter Cures

Wheatberries – good for weight loss!

Wheatberries are a funny little grain.

While they are sometimes hard to find (I get mine at Whole Foods in the bulk aisle), they are worth their weight in gold when you add them to your regular diet. They are good for maintaining and balancing your regularity and help with weight control because only a small handful fills you up! And they are fat-free.

Wheatberries, also known as Hard, Red Winter Wheat, are a whole grain that is very high in fiber (the insoluble kind which keeps you fuller for longer), Antioxidants and Vitamin E.

If you are able to find them then they are very easy and versatile to add to your weekly menu. You can add them to your cereal or oatmeal in the morning, your salad at lunch, and your stir-fry dinner. They can be a replacement for rice or pasta and added to soups or breads. Sometimes you can find ‘Wheatberry bread’ – check by the organic breads at your supermarket.

To prepare wheatberries, put them in a pot with water, bring them to a boil, then reduce the heat to med-low and let them perk for about a half hour. When they are done they will be a nutty-tasting plump little chewy grain. You can store cooked wheatberries in your fridge for the week and uncooked ones will keep in the cabinet for about a month.