Did you know our bodies can tell us they’re hungry when really they are thirsty?
One of the most important ways of improving our health is to stay hydrated. Being hydrated makes everything in our bodies work better, as nutrients and cells move more easily in a fluid environment. When we are dehydrated out blood pressure lowers (do you ever get dizzy coming out of standing forward bends?); we lack physical energy and our mental focus suffers. However, if we are chronically dehydrated we may not get the thirst reflex, we may instead feel hungry! Try drinking a large glass of water before your meals and you may very well end up eating less. Often a juice, smoothie or vegan milk will hit the spot better than a more solid snack. Easily digestible, hydrating, satisfying and nutritious. These drinks give you energy and a zest for life. Sometimes I will have a “three drink breakfast” as in the morning we tend to be dehydrated more. My breakfast consists of a breakfast smoothie, a cup of rooibos tea and a ginger lemon water. Hemp milk also makes a great breakfast drink. As you start to rehydrate on a regular basis your thirst reflex comes back, a good sign of progress.
The best fluid for us to drink is plain water. Tap water can taste subtly of chlorine and other contaminants which is possibly why we tend to want to drink other fluids. Make sure you filter your water (a Brita filter is a good start (it’s what I use), although if you want to invest I think these are the best filters available). Avoid the use of bottled water as storing water in plastic bottles for long periods of time is not good for your health (the plastic leaches xenoestrogens into the water over time) or the planet’s health.
We can save lots of money buy filtering our own water and then using a bpa free water bottle or if you are ok with carrying glass a glass water bottle (it is heavier and you need to take more care, obviously).
Herbal teas offer a great way to get hydrated if taken alongside other drinks. Caffeinated drinks are dehydrating and are best kept to a minimum. My favourite herbal teas include: vervain tea (amazing for back, neck and shoulder tension); rooibos tea (a good alternative to ordinary tea, no caffeine); all the pukka teas – my favourites are – three ginger, tulsi, love tea and they do a super amazing earl grey tea (with black tea and lavender). I really like herbal chai teas like yogi chai tea tea.
Another tea that serves a mention is sencha green tea (a powerful antioxidant, to counteract unavoidable pollutants and chemicals); and also dandelion coffee (manna for your liver after a night out).
It’s best to avoid all shop bought juices, cordials (although I have a soft spot for elderflower cordial, it contains lots of sugar) and even milks. By making our own juices and milks we are reducing packaging use which has a detrimental effect of our environment. We also benefit from homemade drinks because they are fresher, we have control over all the ingredients and they contain more nutrients.
N.B. You will need a high power blender for the drinks with a * – one that can crush ice – such as a Nutribullet, Blentec, Vitamix or the Omniblend V which is the one I use. The Omniblend is half the price of the expensive blenders and just as sturdy and effective. It’s honestly the best kitchen appliance I have ever bought and I use it several times a day for making milks, juices, smoothies, nut butter, tahini dressing, raw sauces and lots more.
Alkalising Green Juice*
Morning Ginger Tea