Rain, Rain, Go Away…


rain


… but do come again another day!


Yes, we have a love-hate relationship with the weather, don’t we? Seems like it’s either too wet, too dry, too hot or too cold. 


Most of my family and many of my friends live in Oklahoma and Texas which have both been suffering from years of severe drought. However, this spring record rainfall has erased or at least mitigated that problem! This should be wonderful news, and it is—except to those whose homes have been damaged or washed away because of flash flooding. 


Instead of jumping for joy, I hear the children’s song, “Rain, rain, go away, come again another day,” running through my head. Yes, the weather this spring has certainly brought to light that ambiguity we feel toward rain.


It has also highlighted the importance of water for our earth. Without water, there is no life. Just ask those in California, where the drought continues. Lakes are drying up, habitats are being destroyed, and fields remain barren! Let’s pray that their rain will come soon, but gently, over a long period of time. (I won’t go into the debate about whether we should really be growing so much of our food supply in the dessert, at least not now.) 


Just as the earth needs water to survive, we as individuals do too! You can live for a long time without food, but not without water. And although there’s water in many foods and the beverages we drink, we still need plain old water too. The gold standard is 8 glasses of water a day. That’s actually a fairly arbitrary number and you’ll find much debate about it. But one thing we can all agree on: we need to drink water every day! For some of us, that’s easier said than done.


Do you find yourself often bored with water? Or maybe you don’t like the taste or just don’t want to take the time to drink 8 glasses a day (and visit the bathroom more often). There are many creative ways to make water a little more palatable. I’ve included some ideas for flavored water and other refreshing summer drinks at the end of this article. But first, I’d like to share just a few good reasons to make a renewed commitment to drinking more water. 


A review of studies on the benefits of water, published in the June 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), concluded that there was very little evidence for many of the benefits attributed to water consumption. However, the researchers also stated that there was very little evidence of a lack of benefit. Actually, there’s little evidence either way because there are not that many good scientific studies about this subject. Now, wasn’t that enlightening?


I guess we must once again resort to common sense and some generally accepted benefits.


1. Drinking plenty of water will help with proper elimination.

  • a) Toxins are eliminated through urine and sweat. You need water for this!
  • b) If you don’t drink enough water to stay hydrated, your colon will pull water from the intestines. This causes constipation. One of the best ways to relieve irregularity is to drink more water.

2. Water maintains the proper balance of all bodily fluids. The body is made up of about 60% water. Every cell, all tissues and all organs require it. This balance affects circulation, transportation of nutrients, and body temperature.


3. Water boosts energy. Our muscles need water to prevent fatigue. Water helps in the production of hormones, which are involved in moods and energy.


4. Drinking water helps the appearance of skin. Although it won’t eliminate wrinkles, it will keep the skin more supple and soft and improve its appearance. 


5. Drinking water can help with weight loss, primarily because it’s a no-calorie substitution for higher calorie drinks. Many people find that water helps satiate their hunger and keeps them feeling full longer. Eating foods with high water content like cucumbers, salad greens and fruit are also good ways to hydrate and feel full for longer.


6. If it works for you, then that’s proof enough. There are many other benefits that people have experienced but which have not been studied thoroughly or scientifically. For example, when I drink more water, I have fewer migraines. It really doesn’t matter what a particular study says or doesn’t say. So, if you feel better in any way when drinking more water, then keep doing it!


IDEAS FOR DELICIOUS WATER-BASED BEVERAGES


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HIBISCUS TEA

Our first few days in Costa Rica were spent at the lovely Finca Rosa Blanca hotel. Upon our arrival, we were served Iced Hibiscus Tea. It was so refreshing, I was always asking for more. When we left, the server gifted me with a bag of the tea. I have never seen it like this here, but I intend to search for it when I’ve finished by Costa Rican bag. I have tried to recreate their version. It’s not really the same, but it’s still pretty good!


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Ingredients:


Hibiscus Tea (in bags or loose)

Water

Honey

Mint

Optional: Fresh ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmegs, citrus


1. Boil the water and pour over tea.* (I like to include some fresh mint in this step, but you don’t have to.) Let steep for 10 or more minutes.

2. Remove tea bags or leaves then sweeten every so slightly with honey or other sweetener 

3. Pour over ice and add a sprig of mint.


*I like to include some fresh mint and some of the optional items in this step, but you don’t have to. It’s good plain too.

 

Want to see more ideas? Click below.

Cool and Refreshing Summer Beverages


References:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/6-reasons-to-drink-water?page=2

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080402120522.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2015/05/21/drought-texas-california/27727237/

© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™