5 Tips to Help You Drink More Water

We all know that drinking water is very important, but do you ever have a hard time drinking enough water in a day?

It is recommended that you drink at least 64 oz of water a day.

I stopped drinking diet soda last year because I wanted to take control of my health and feel better. However, I found that I sometimes got bored with drinking just plain water. I looked at those flavored drops you can add to your water but they contain artificial sweeteners just like the diet soda.

Here are just a few (of many) benefits of drinking water:

  • Flushes out toxins

  • Improves skin complexion

  • Aids in proper digestion

  • Helps fight fatigue

  • Aids in weight loss

5 Tips to Help You Drink More Water:

1.) Drink a large glass of water first thing when you get up in the morning. You can even get it ready the night before and keep your water bottle next to your bed so it’s easy to grab first thing – before your coffee!

I like adding lemon (or lime) water to my first glass of the day but would often find that I didn’t use up a whole bag of lemons before they went bad. I recently started cutting them up in wedges, putting them in ice cube trays with water and freezing them. Once frozen I put them in a plastic freezer bag so they last longer. Simply put a couple ice cubes in your glass and enjoy!

2.) Drink a glass of water about 1/2 hour before each meal. This can also help you eat less during the meal and is good for digestion.

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3.) Infuse your water with fruits. Frozen strawberries or raspberries work great.. You can also add citrus fruits, fresh mint leaves, cucumbers or whatever you like.  You have your own natural fruit-flavored water!

A couple of my favorite combinations are…

Meyer Lemons and strawberries

Cucumber and mint leaves

(Meyer lemons are a cross between and regular lemon and a mandarin. They are sweeter and less acidic than lemons.)


4.) Take a cup or water bottle with you when you are on the go. I find that if I don’t take a water bottle with me I may go for hours with nothing to drink.

5.) Get a fun cup! I don’t know why but when I get a new cup it inspires me to drink more water.



Do you have any other tips to add that help you drink enough water daily?

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Jars

Most mornings I start out the day with a smoothie but in the colder months something warm often sounds good. Scrambled eggs with veggies are usually my go-to warm breakfast.

I recently found a new healthy breakfast recipe to add to the mix – baked oatmeal jars. I got the recipe from my fellow health coaching friend, Jen Backston.

I love that I can make several jars at a time and then just re-heat them another day for a quick, healthy breakfast or snack.

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I usually make them with blueberries as I have a good stock of frozen blueberries in the freezer from summer. I love how the blueberries create a lot of juice. You can use other fruits like raspberries, blackberries, apples, etc.

BAKED BLUEBERRY OATMEAL JARS

Makes 2 jars

  • 1 ripe banana

  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (other fruit works too)

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter

  • Approx. 2 t. honey (to taste)

  • pinch of cinnamon (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mash the banana and peanut butter. Add the oatmeal, honey and cinnamon (if desired).

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Divide the blueberries between 2 small jars. Top each jar with half of the oatmeal mixture.

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Place the jars on a cookie sheet and bake for about 25 – 30 minutes. Cool slightly, mix it up, and enjoy. Or you can cool and refrigerate the jars to warm up later for a quick snack or breakfast. Works great to take to work or school!

I often double (or even triple) the recipe as my family also enjoys this for something different for breakfast.

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What’s your favorite warm breakfast food?

How to Fit Exercise into Your Busy Day

Do you ever feel like you are too busy to exercise?

Believe me, I get that! I am a busy mom of 6 and I work outside the home part time. I have used the “too busy” to exercise excuse many times. Some days I really am too busy but other days I just use that as an excuse.

It can be hard to fit exercise into your already busy day but it’s not impossible.

You can always find excuses not to exercise but if it is really important to you, you will make time!

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Exercising is important to me. It don’t always “feel” like it but I always feel better when I do.

I feel stronger and lighter. I’m happier and it helps me make healthier choices in what I eat and drink throughout the day.

Daily exercise is a great way to boost your mood naturally!

It takes a little creativity (some weeks more than others) and planning ahead but my goal is to exercise 5 times a week.

Walking is my favorite form of exercise – especially when I can walk outside. There is just something about being outside that makes the time go faster for me. I mean does anyone really love walking on a treadmill??

I’m also not very coordinated so it’s something I don’t have to think about. 

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Sometimes I listen to music but many times I use that time to pray for whatever and whoever comes to mind.

One creative way I have fit exercise into my day over the years was utilizing the time around my children’s sports practices and games.

This always worked well when my children were in Little League baseball or softball. They would usually have to be at the ball park at least 30 – 45 minutes early to practice before a game. I would use that time to go for a walk or run. It worked really well.

If you have a child (or children) in sports right now this may work for you. You might even find another mom who would love to walk with you!

Other ways to fit exercise into your busy day:

  • Break your exercise into 2 or 3 smaller sets of 10 to 15 minutes throughout your day.

  • Take a walk during your lunch break.

  • Get your supper/dinner in the oven and do a workout dvd while your food cooks.

  • Wake up earlier in the morning and exercise before your busy day gets started. (In my ideal world this would happen often but realistically it doesn’t!)

Remember some movement is better than none. Even a short 10 – 15 minute walk is better than nothing!!

How do you fit exercise into your day?

10 Simple Ways to Help Your Family Eat Healthier

It’s not always easy to make changes in the way you eat. And even harder to get your family on board with making healthy changes.

I have been on a mission to eat healthier over the last couple years. I really wish that I would have started when my children were younger. It has not been easy. My teenagers have resisted the most – some more than others!

However, I do feel like it has paid off and I am seeing the benefits in our health. I am seeing my family make better food choices (at least sometimes). We have also had less sickness in our family.

So where do you start?

It can be very overwhelming! I am a firm believer that small steps do add up. If you try to make too many drastic changes at one time, you will hear lots of protesting from your family. Start small and then keep adding in new healthy foods or changes in the way you prepare food. Picky eaters can be tough. Sometimes you have to compromise on a “better” food choice instead of a “best” choice. The less processed and fewer ingredients – the better.

As a general rule if you make it, it is better than buying something pre-packaged.

10 simple ways to help your family to eat healthier:

  1. Use unsweetened applesauce in place of vegetable oil in homemade breads & muffins.

  2. Reduce sugar consumption by using natural sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, or stevia instead.

  3. Make your own homemade french fries in the oven. Better yet try a combination of regular potatoes & sweet potatoes.

  4. Replace one snack a day with a piece of fresh fruit or vegetable sticks.

  5. Use natural peanut butter instead of regular. Look for one that is just peanuts with no added sugar. I like Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter. It is made with peanuts and a little salt.

  6. Try homemade popcorn (made in coconut oil & sprinkled with sea salt) instead of chips. We also like Skinny Pop popcorn for a quick snack or for lunches.

  7. Make sandwiches on whole wheat pitas or sandwich thins instead of bread. Works great for hamburgers too!

  8. Drink water instead of soda or pop. Try flavoring the water with fruits like berries, oranges, lemons, limes or cucumbers and mint.

  9. Use quinoa or brown rice (or a mix) instead of white rice.

  10. Hide extra veggies in soups, sauces, or meat mixtures (taco meat, meatloaf, meatballs, etc.).

These are just a few (of many) ways that you can start your family on the path to better health.

What are some healthy food swaps your family has made?

Life Behind the Perfect Pictures

Life is not always as it appears to be on the outside.

Pictures can be deceiving. They rarely paint the true picture of life “behind the scenes”.

People share & post pictures of the best moments of their life – especially on social media & blogs. They share pictures of celebrations, milestones, smiles, birthday parties, fun times, clean houses, and well-mannered children. Life appears to be perfect.

It’s not bad to share the good things…but it is not the complete picture of anyone’s life. It can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction in your own life. It is easy to compare and feel like other people’s lives are so much better than your own.

Things are rarely like they appear on the outside - or in the picture!

What you don’t see in the pictures are the things that may have happened right before or after the pictures.

Who else has a family picture that when you look at it you can see the fake smiles behind it? You remember the tantrum that happened before the picture, the tears, the lost temper, or the fight on the way. Yes, I’ve been there!!

Behind the smile there may be hurts. Between the good times there are tears & messes in everyone’s life.

Real life is not picture perfect! 

It’s not always laughter & fun.

Real life includes…

-hurt feelings

-messy rooms

-dirty clothes on the bedroom floor

-piles of laundry

-children arguing

-difficult days

-tears

-dirty dishes

-sickness

-disappointments

…and so much more.

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The truth is – No one has a perfect life! 

We may push aside the mess for a picture (or hide it in another room) but it is still there.

Don’t let comparison or the quest for perfection steal your joy.

My life is far from perfect. The outside of my house may look picture perfect but the inside can be another story.

My children argue, there are piles of dirty clothes, I lose my cool & mess up, there are dirty dishes in my sink, and most days I don’t even dare look in my teen’s bedrooms. 

But in the midst of the messiness, I am learning to trust God more & be content. The people I love the most are part of the mess and I am blessed!

Don’t compare your life to the snapshots you see of other people’s lives. Remember that what you see on the outside isn’t the whole story.

Life is made up of both the picture perfect moments and the messes.