Tap vs. Bottled vs. Filtered: Which water is best to drink?

Tap vs. Bottled vs. Filtered: Which water is best to drink?

Tap water, bottled water, filtered water… is one better for you than the other? We did a little research and looked into each to see what 1896858_10100144715934938_1839426313_nthe positives and negatives were of each hydratious treat.  You may be surprised what is actually in your water…

Tap Water

The safety of your tap water is closely linked to the source that it comes from. For example, city water is constantly tested and treated to eliminate microorganisms. If your tap water is coming from a private well, you should get it tested yearly for nitrates and the presence of bacteria. However, if your tap water is not tested yearly regarding where the source is, Arsenic, Aluminum and Flouride can be found in the water. These contaminants can affect your health in a negative way. Moral of the story, Test your water!!

Bottled Water

Bottled water is substantially more expensive than tap water however, 40% of bottled water is actually tap water! You do not know where that water came from and if it is suitable for drinking without filtration. Plastic bottles contain a chemical called bisphenol A or BPA, which is a synthetic hormone disruptor and has been linked to serious health problems! If you are a water bottle junkie like me, try purchasing a glass water bottle and you will not run into the BPA problems.

Filtered Water

These are becoming more and more popular in every home. There are 3 different kinds of filters that are most recommended.

Reverse Osmosis Filter

This filter removes chlorine, organic and inorganic contaminants, 80% of the fluoride and DPB’s. This filter does need to be installed by a plumber.

Ion Exchange Filter

This filter removes dissolved salts in the water such as calcium. This filter exchanges the natural mineral ions in the water with its own ions which neutralizes the effect of creating scale build up.

Granular Carbon and Carbon Block filters

The most common countertop and under counter filter. These are recognized by the EDA as the best available technology for removing organic chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides and industrial chemicals. Using a filter ensures the safety of your water regardless of where the source is.

Get your water tested to see if your tap water is suitable for safe drinking and if so then you don’t need to purchase and install a filter. However, if your water is not safe to drink on tap then a filter is necessary to remove all that junk!

The Overall Review:

I recommend filtered water when it is available. One trick is to buy a Brita water bottle– it’s a water bottle designed with a small carbon filter in the lid! If you live in a populated city, the tap water is usually fine! The more populated a city is, the more times in a day they test it. But the main thing to take from this is this: Do your best.

When it comes to drinking water, do your best regarding quality, but the most important factor is that your are drinking water at all. You want to imbibe about half your body weight in ounces. That means if you weigh 150lbs, you want to consume at least 75 ounces of water in a day.

Here are some tricks to getting more water into your day:

  1. Begin the habit of drinking 8 ounces of water first thing when you wake up. This will gently waken the body and get peristalsis going.
  2. Get a large water bottle and mark it with times in place of ounces. For instance, 8 ounces down mark 8am, 16 ounces down mark 10am, etc. This way you have water deadlines to meet!
  3. Try to finish your water minimum by 8pm. Drinking water late at night can spur late night bathroom trips which translates to interrupted sleep.
  4. Always have water in front of you at your desk.
  5. Flavor your water by dropping in some orange or lemon slices, fresh fruit, cucumber and mint, or whatever suits your palette!

 

 

Sources:

http://www.foodsafety.wisc.edu/consumer/fact_sheets/waterbottles.pdf

http://www.mercola.com/article/water.htm

Runny nose? Honey, we’ve got the answer!

Runny nose? Honey, we’ve got the answer!

How honey can combat your seasonal allergies..

Some of you may notice that even though it is the summertime, you still suffer from allergies!

Just when you think you’ve done your time in the spring, you notice a little snifflesniffle. In the summer, it is the grasses and weeds that are usually the culprit and not so much the pollen from the spring. But have no fear, honey will save you! Yes, you heard right– honey! Increasing your honey intake will fight your allergies in a blink of an eye! But not just any honey…

Immunotherapy is idea is that eating honey will gradually vaccinate your body against allergens. Honey contains multiple varieties of the same pollen spores that give people who suffer from allergies such a problem when the flowers are blooming.

Local, raw honey is the way to go!

Since you are suffering from the pollen around you, local honey will work a lot faster than honey that comes from somewhere else. This is because the local honey will most likely contain the same allergens that you are suffering from therefore curing you faster.

Additionally, you want to make sure your honey is raw and unprocessed. The heating process used on your standard shelved grocery store honey kills off all those wonderful enzymes that work so wonderfully to support your immune system.

And hello00! I mean… buzz, buzzzzz! It tastes WAY BETTER when it’s local and raw.

You can add it to tea, smoothies, and dressings, just like in our 7-day clean-eating cleanse, the 7-Day Cleanse & Reboot!

So go to your local farmers market and pick up a jar!

Buzz, buzz.

 

 

Sources:

http://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/allergies/allergy-treatments/local-honey-for-allergies2.htm

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/summer-allergies

Quinoa Avocado Salad

Quinoa Avocado Salad

Last week I had an amazing time leading a cooking demo and workshop at a company in Manhattan. We had a great turnout and an enthusiastic crowd, asking great questions from how to stave off sugar cravings to healthy snack options while at work. We even had a film crew there, and I felt right at home in front of the camera.healthfirst cooking demo

As a part of the cooking demo I wanted to create something that was easily replicable. Something healthy and delicious, but something that anyone could create. We decided on quinoa salad. There’s a lot of talk about quinoa these days but it’s rare that people have actually prepared it, and only a handful had tried it eating out.

Here are some reasons I LOVE quinoa:

  • It is a COMPLETE protein source with all 9 amino acids!
  • It’s gluten-free, so easier to digest!
  • It contains nearly twice the amount of fiber of other grains, so is great for keeping you regular 😉
  • It’s full of iron, B vitamins, potassium, zinc, calcium, lysine, magnesium, riboflavin, and manganese.
  • It’s great for endurance, and sustained energy throughout your day!

And here is a trick! Some people think quinoa can have a bitter taste to it. This is because it is coated in a natural toxin called saponin. Saponin is there as a natural protectant of the grain against insects, but it can be unpleasant to consume. The good news is there is a simple solution to this: Soak your quinoa. You can soak it over night, and rinse the water off the next day. You’ll notice it has a soap-like look to it! If you soak it in the daytime, drain the water, and leave it over night, it will begin to sprout little tails! Boom– you’ve got SPROUTED quinoa! If you’re short on time, even sprouting it for 1 hour will help rinse some of that saponin off.

Here a recipe I LOVE. It’s adapted from Jennifer Aniston’s favorite quinoa salad, and is a guaranteed home run!

Quinoa Avocado Salad

  • ½ cup quinoa
  • Pinch of salt
  • Juice of 2 limes (fresh!)
  • 1 bunch curly parsley, washed and chopped (thick stems removed)
  • 4 Persian cucumbers, peeled in strips, seeded and diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 ripe but slightly firm avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup cold pressed olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:quinoa salad

1. In a small saucepan bring water and salt to a boil.

2. Stir in quinoa, cover and lover the heat to simmer.

3. Cook quinoa for 15 minutes.

4. Put quinoa into a medium-size mixing bowl and cool.

5. Add parsley, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, lime juice and oil.

6. Mix and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Want more recipes like this one? Check out our clean-eating cleanse, the 7-Day Cleanse & Reboot! You can also get a FREE smoothie guide by entering your email here: Summer Smoothie Guide!

Source: Jennifer Aniston’s Favorite Quinoa Salad in Nov 7, 2011 USA Weekend

 

 

Work all day, Play all night:  5 Tips to keep your energy up all day long

Work all day, Play all night: 5 Tips to keep your energy up all day long

Work hard, play hard! You’ve heard the expression before. The irony behind this expression is, the faster we move the SLOWER our metabolism works. And the slower we eat, the faster we metabolize!

When we eat on the go the salivary enzyme content in our mouth is reduced, the breakdown of fat, protein, and carbs in the stomach isjump impaired, and blood flow to the small intestines is decreased as much as fourfold which translates into decreased assimilation of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

The answer is a simple one: SLOW DOWN.

But sometimes this is easier said than done, especially when we are busy bees. Here are 5 tips for you busy bodies on the go for maintaining your energy all day long!

  1. Exercise regularly

A daily brisk walk will increase your energy and the effects will last over 2 hours! Continuing this for 3 weeks will lift your overall energy levels and mood.

  1. Never skip breakfast!

Studies show that people who eat breakfast have more energy throughout the day and tend to be in a better mood

  1. Stop Stressing!

You ever notice that when you are stressed out about something you’re exhausted? It’s because stress and anxiety actually steal your energy and make you feel mentally and physically drained! Set time aside in your day and do something that helps you relax such as yoga or going on a walk. Even spending 5 minutes practicing your breathing can make that much of a difference.

  1. Water is key

Sometimes fatigue can be the result of dehydration so make sure to keep hydrated all day long. My tip is to always try to drink at least half your body weight in ounces every day.

  1. Less sugar and more whole grains

The idea here is to maintain a blood sugar balance. Once you have that sugar spike, you are going to crash shortly after. Instead of getting energy from that donut, substitute that with brown rice, quinoa or some Ezekiel bread!

  1. Eat smaller meals more often

Eating 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day rather than 3 big meals will give you a burst of energy without eating too much in one sitting! This will also increase your metabolism.

Want some serious energy? Try out our Summer 7-Day Cleanse & Reboot! You’ll have more energy than a kid on Christmas morning.

 

Sources:

http://zenhabits.net/55-ways-to-get-more-energy/

http://www.webmd.com/women/features/10-energy-boosters

Ch..Ch..Ch..Chia!: What makes this food a superfood…

Chia seeds recently hit the spotlight. I like to call them “the new flax” since their properties are similar to that of flax seed and they can be used in a similar fashion. The main difference you’ll notice, texturally is that chia seeds, when left to soak (in your smoothie, yogurt, water, etc), will expand quite a bit! In fact they take on a tapioca like consistency and this is why many people use them to make chia seed pudding (don’t you fret, we included a recipe below that is de-li-cious). Here are some other rocking benefits of ch-ch-ch-chia! seeds. And YES, those little seeds are the same ones popularized by that lovely 90s fad, the chia pet. It’s essentially sprouted chia seeds, similar to the idea of growing wheat grass, instead you were growing chia grass (and naming him Fred… or whatever). Onward, upward!

  1. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids

With 5 grams in a one ounce serving, it is an excellent source of these omega 3’s. They are very important in supporting brain health!

  1. Fight type 2 diabetes

Chia seeds prevent blood sugar spikes due to their ability to slow down digestion.

  1. Packed with fiber

Chia supports digestive health because of their high fiber content. A one ounce serving of chia is equivalent to 11 grams of fiber which is a third of the recommended daily intake for adults!

  1. Get full real quick!

An amino acid called tryptophan is found in chia seeds and it regulates appetite, sleep and also improves your mood!

  1. Loaded with protein

Chia seeds are an excellent substitute for meat for all of you vegetarians! A 28 gram serving contains about 4.4 grams of protein. They also do not contain any cholesterol!  

 

Vanilla Chia Pudding

An interesting and unique thing about chia seeds is they expand when they are exposed to liquid and develop a gelatinous coating. You can even make a healthy pudding out of chia seeds for dessert! Below I included a simple vanilla chia seed pudding recipe from peanutbutterandpeppers.com. Feel free to modify it and make it your own by adding you favorite toppings and flavors!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of coconut milk, almond milk or milk of choice (non-dairy is best)
  • 1/3 cup of chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup, honey or sweetener of choice
  • ½ tsp of vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, add milk, chia seeds, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk together. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Divide the chia pudding between 4 bowls and top with fruit.
  3. The chia pudding will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

You can also add chia seeds to your smoothies for a quick boost of protein and omega 3’s. This will keep you fuller, longer. I add a tablespoon to my morning smoothies. You can get the recipes for these along with all the lunches, dinners, desserts, and snacks I ate to lose 8 lbs in 7 days, in my clean-eating cleanse, the 7-Day Cleanse & Reboot! Check it out here! Yummmm! Summer Cleanse Wide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://wellnessmama.com/4981/uses-for-chia-seeds/

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/06/03/chia-seed-benefits-_n_3379831.html

http://www.peanutbutterandpeppers.com/2014/03/04/vanilla-chia-seed-pudding/