Hydrate with your OWN flavored water!

I understand that you are sometimes on the go, and grab a pre-made flavored water from a grocery/convenience store, but despite the labeling as “all natural” there is a good chance there are things in your water that you wouldn’t expect. So, why not filter your own and make it tasty with ingredients of your own choosing? I do it all the time and it is a little burst of excitement on my palate that makes me stoked to drink my daily two liters, which can get boring when all you drink is plain water!

It is so easy to make yummy water, with no calories, that are refreshing and will rehydrate you.  One of my favorites? Slice a half cucumber, 6 mint leaves, and slice a lemon and place in the bottom of a pitcher, fill the pitcher with filtered water, and chill.  You can also do cilantro and orange slices to water, or just plain cukes. And not only does it taste great, but it looks good when you serve to people.

With organic sweet mint right from my garden!

With organic sweet mint right from my garden!

A little known secret, I always carry around a water bottle with me at work (BPA free) and I add different citrus fruits to my water (a squeeze of lemon, lime, orange, clementine), or a slice of peach/nectarine, a strawberry, blueberries, just a little something to give my water that kick of flavor that not only keeps me drinking it, but I feel like it gives me that little bit of sweetness I sometimes crave, so I don’t tend to reach for my afternoon Skittles as often.  (I am cutting back on candy….I love it, but I know how bad it is for me, and it is SUCH a hard habit to kick!) That little bit of natural sweetness from my favorite fruits in my water helps to prevent me from reaching for my candy.

If you want to add just a little jazziness? Filter water, either chop mint leaves, or put the little ones in ice-cube trays, and fill with plain water and freeze. Add those cubes to your water, and as they melt, you get some bursts of mint! Or if you make unsweetened iced tea, add those mint cubes with a squeeze of lemon, and you have a fabulous, no calorie, refreshing beverage!

Plus?  Adding cucumbers, mint, etc to my water make me feel like I’m in a spa and relax me! So do something nice for yourself, like make yummy water, and your body will feel the immediate benefits of hydration and a taste sensation all at once!

Yours in Good Health


Jellyfish Stings: Should I Pee on that?

For years people have been under the impression that if you get stung by a jellyfish, you are supposed to urinate on the other person as an antidote.  I think as far as the US is concerned, TV shows and movies have made it a bit of a joke; there was a particular episode of Friends, in which it was depicted that the only way to treat a jellyfish sting was to pee on the person. Good news, for those of us who love ocean swimming but don’t like to get peed on, it isn’t the only treatment, and it actually has never been shown to work in studies.  I’ve got some other home remedies that will help to prevent the burn and relieve symptoms faster.

How do Jellyfish sting?
Jellyfish have tentacles that are long and hang off of the bulbous “jelly” part and the tentacles are covered with nematocysts, which are coiled stingers that can become activated and cause a sting/burn.  The nematocysts that are on the tentacles can continue to sting for hours and sometimes days after the tentacles are no longer attached to the jellyfish.  The stinging ability is the jellyfishes defense mechanism and to ward off predators….it certainly wards me off!


What are the treatments?
– Firstly, you need to remove the tentacles (and nematocysts) from your skin.  DON’T use fresh water or your hands, that activates the nematocysts to activate and sting your skin.  Try to brush the skin with a towel to remove the stingers from your skin, and pour salt water on your skin where the sting is occurring, it can help to get the nematocysts off without activating them.
– Try placing a towel soaked in warm water and vinegar (5% acetic acid solution)
– Unseasoned meat tenderizer or baking soda caked onto the areas can neutralize the stings (only leave on for about 15 minutes)
-If the stingers are still on the skin, put shaving cream on the skin and the tentacles will adhere to the shaving cream, and gently scrape the cream off with something hard-edged, but not sharp!
– After the stingers are removed, you can take 50mg of benadryl (for children give a children’s dose- age and weight appropriate) and for adults taking Ibuprofen can also help ease the discomfort, along with a hydrocortisone cream to decrease the swelling
– Ice packs can help to ease the pain
– Time is the only true treatment that will heal the stings….

*If you get stings near your eyes, flush your eyes out with Artificial Tears (or other saline solutions)
**Any stings in your eyes, mouth, or that cause trouble breathing, extreme swelling, etc. you should seek immediate medical attention and call 911 (or the emergency number where you live)

Why doesn’t urine work as a treatment?
Urine, depending on the person, is a majority of water, along with waste products from the body.  If someone has diabetes, dehydrated, on certain medications, on a low carb diet, etc. what the waste products in their urine are will be different and can actually make a jellyfish sting feel worse.  Ideally, if the urine is high in uric acid, it was thought that it would neutralize the stings but that has never been shown as true in research.

These treatments have been studied, but unfortunately all people’s skin reacts differently, so you have to try them out and figure out what works best for you.  The good news is that I gave you a bunch of other treatments, the bad news is that if you’ve had a stung and someone peed on you, you got peed on for no reason!  But, be safe, especially with children, and really look for jellyfish when swimming in warmer waters and ask locals about the ocean before swimming, just so you know what you’re getting into (pun intended).  So be safe and stay away from those pesky jellyfish!

Yours in Good Health

Exercising in the heat: How to stay cool

It has been pretty to and humid out, making most people either exercise super early in the morning (like me) or later in the evening, avoiding the days heat, and if they can’t fit that in, they go to workout inside or just skip it.  With winter always a step away, you don’t want to skip your outdoors time; I wait all year for it to be warm enough to play outside!

How can we keep it cool?
A recent study from Roehampton University in London, looked at the response of athletes bodies in heat, and tried to find ways to help cool them and improve their physical performance in the heat.  They found a really simple solution, that didn’t actually affect their core temperatures (so their bodies weren’t actually any cooler) but they felt much cooler and were able to run longer in faster.  The simple solution was to put a soft flexible neck strap with reusable cool packs around the athletes necks while they ran on treadmills in humid 87 degree heat.

summer-runningIt is really all about perception; your body isn’t actually cooler, but you feel that it is, and you are able to push through and work out despite the heat.  Of course, there are risks associated with that, and you need to make sure to hydrate with water and electrolyte based fluids (coconut water, Gatorade, Pedialyte, etc.) and when you really feel hot, to prevent heat stroke, just take it easy and stay inside.  Also, I am not encouraging you to run at 12pm every day BUT I do think this is a good trick for those of us that want to run outside in the summer, and not be excessively effected by the heat…..and it may be helpful for those training for competitions.  Tricking your brain into feeling cooler, can help you out, just remember to listen to your body and if you are too overheated, take a break.

Try it out, stay cool, and get your exercise in the fresh air!!

Yours in Good Health