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Spring-ify Your Hydration

Easy Ways to Wow Your Water!

After a weekend escape from the concrete jungle to help my parents with some spring cleaning, I’m enjoying an extra spring in my step on this Motivation Monday courtesy of some much-needed vitamin D. It’s amazing how uncovering the patio furniture and sweeping up the leaves and other remnants of a long, hard winter can do wonders for the mind and spirit. (The bonus: tackling the first stages of a spring spruce up after a killer ILoveKickboxing class helped me burn a few extra calories so I could enjoy some of Mom’s cooking without a side of guilt!) The weekend  also marked the first time since last fall that I was able to sit outside to write a blog post. All that fresh air did wonders for my soul!

While I stayed busy helping Mom and Dad, I lost some of my usual writing time. So I hope you’ll forgive this short and sweet shot of inspiration to kick off the new work week. As we all continue shifting our routines for spring, it’s the perfect time to freshen up some of our healthy habits. That includes how we stay hydrated.

As far as I’m concerned, water remains king when it comes to healthy beverages. However, after awhile the same ol’ H20 can be more than just a little bland. Instead of reaching for calorie-loaded sports drinks, why not try these three, easy ideas to add a little “wow” to your water:

  1. Expand Your Citrus Horizons: Who says lemons should have all the fun? Add a squeeze of lime, grapefruit or even a clementine for some extra zest in your water.
  2. Chill Out: Mix in some frozen apple chunks, grapes, blueberries or strawberries for instant yum.
  3. Go green: Add slices of cucumber and a few sprigs of mint for a more savory flavor option.

Once you find your favorite flavor infusion, make a pitcher to keep in the fridge so you can have a refreshing drink at home or fill up your reusable water bottle to bring to the office and wherever your workouts take you. Remember, adding a little zest to even the healthiest of habits can help you stick with your goals to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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Friday Fast Fact: Don’t Drink Your Calories

Stick with good ol’ H20 to keep your health & fitness goals on track!

As I often wrap up the work week with a food-related post, I thought I’d address one of the biggest mistakes I see people make all the time. The good news is it also happens to be a mistake with an easy fix.

You already know the most basic way to lose weight is to slash calories. Studies show the average person can drop a pound a week by trimming 500 calories a day. If you’re looking for an easy way to cut back, here it is: just say no to those sugary drinks!

Here are a few things I urge you to nix right now:

  • Soda: You might be saying, “Oh come on, Laura, I only have one large Coke from the deli everyday for a caffeine fix.What’s the big deal?” I’ll tell you. That’s usually a 16-oz serving, which weighs in at roughly 187 calories. Cutting it out means you’re already 1/3 of your way to eliminating those daily 500 calories  for weight loss. If you look at the bigger picture, you’re saving 1,2888 calories each week; 5,610 each month and a whopping 68,255 each year!
  • Frosty coffee drinks: If your idea of a “light lunch” is “I’ll just have a (insert name of favorite frothy coffee drink here),” it’s time to re-train the brain a bit.  Starbuck’ Mocha “Frappuccino” packs 400 calories while a  vanilla bean “Coolatta” at Dunkin’ Donuts registers at 440 calories. Considering both have zero nutritional value and will most likely leave you hungry for real sustenance after, it’s easy to see how using these drinks in place of real meals is healthy-eating sabotage.
  • Sugary cocktails: I’ve written several posts on how many frosty drinks are more like indulgent desserts thanks to ingredients like syrup, sour mix, sugary fruit juice and cream. Sipping drinks mixed with club soda, diet tonic water and a splash of citrus as opposed to full-on juice can help shave off hundreds of calories.
  • Sports drinks: The truth is unless you’re a power or endurance athlete who plays a sport for more than an hour, there’s no need to re-hydrate with a high-calorie option like Gatorade or Vitamin Water. On days when I can can only squeeze in 30-minutes on the elliptical followed by a  plank Tabata, I’ll burn approximately 350 calories. If I guzzle a sports drink, I’ll consume roughly 125 calories. So I walk away from my abbreviated workout with only 215 calories burned. That is not the post-cardio high I was looking for!

When in doubt, put down the syrupy beverage and load up on the water. The bottom line is good ol’ h2o will always be one of your best friends when it comes to keeping you on track with your plans to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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