When I first started changing my fluid habits I found that lowering soda was my hardest challenge. It wasn’t so much the sugar for me but I really enjoyed drinking carbonated beverages. I knew that the sugar was not doing me any good, neither were the flavorings, corn syrup, and all of the other things added to commercial sodas. It took a long time but I want to tell you the steps I took to change my fluid intake and let you know where I am now.
My first step from commercial soda was to purchase seltzer water and mix in fruit juice. Really what this changed was a lower amount of caffeine and additives. I still got sugar and the bubbly that I wanted but I quickly lost the most potentially damaging things about soda. This was really encouraging to me because it meant if I did not want to make other changes I was already doing some great things for my health-lowering my caffeine and various artificial flavor and color ingredients (and who knows what those are doing in our bodies, nothing good).
For a long time this is where I stayed. It was an excellent alternative but good quality fruit juice that does not have added sugars is expensive, and seltzer water adds up as well. Through herb school at MUIH I ended up drinking more tea and water but it was not something I focused on. I was doing a lot of exercise so I ended up drinking lots of water but I never was really hydrated.
In the spring of 2016 I really was ready to start upping my hydration. I decided that for a month I was only going to drink water. No milks, sodas, tea, hot chocolate, or any thing else. I primarily did this to lower my sugar even more. Even though I wasn’t drinking much of the fruit juice mix any more I wasn’t really drinking water in it’s place and I was still getting lots of sugars in coffee and other beverages. The month with only water really helped me focus that I was not drinking enough fluid and ever since then it has been one of the wellness practices I have been paying the most attention to.
In January I decided to buy a soda stream and bring myself back to bubbly water. Through the fall I had been buying more bubbly mineral water (a nutrient added version of seltzer water) but it was getting expensive. I really was able to increase my water intake with the soda machine, just drinking the bubbly water plain, but I could also have added fruit juices to it as well. It was an excellent tool to get me focusing on drinking more water again.
I am still struggling but I am always exploring new methods to increase my hydration and this is the real benefit of trying to live a life full of wellness-I am always trying to improve my wellness practices for my own health and well being. I always feel fresher, lighter, and have more energy when I am drinking enough water. I just have to keep practicing my many techniques.
I hope you enjoyed my first discussion on hydration for April. Be sure to subscribe to our blog for posts every Tuesday on herbs and Thursday on wellness. If you would like more personalized support in wellness areas be sure to consider a consultation with The Dancing Herbalist and Jillian Carnrick.