Just One Thing To Do This Week: Drink More Water

By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos

As I mentioned last week my new year endeavor is to adopt one new behavior each week that brings me, my family, and the planet a little closer to better health.

Last week I committed to eating less than six teaspoons of sugar each day. I thought this would be a relatively easy way to reduce calories and eliminate an unhealthy food from my diet. Good lord I did not know what I was getting into!

First there is just the math of converting grams to teaspoons (who invented teaspoons and tablespoons anyway?) To make it easier I switched to metric and instead of six teaspoons of sugar I am staying below 24 grams of sugar. Well I am trying. My previous “healthy” morning meal of a protein bar and a six ounce yogurt added up to over 50 grams of sugar. I had to rework it all from the beginning. I try to have a few sugar grams left by evening so I can have a glass of red wine– it is important to prioritize your sugar consumption but somehow drinking wine first thing in the morning so I can be sure to fit it in doesn’t seem like the best plan. I have been surprised at how potent the sugar cravings are but I am committed to making this change.

Now on to this week- what is the one thing I am adding to my healthy habits list? Because the sugar transition is so consuming and difficult I am making this week easy: Drink more water.

Everyone knows water is good for your muscles, your skin, your kidneys your bowels, and yes, even your brain. There is also research that shows drinking water can help you lose weight. I know when I drink a glass of water prior to eating a meal I consume less, so maybe it does make a difference.

Standard recommendations are eight glasses a day of eight ounces — or for consistency sake — just about two liters of water per day. And because of the elevation here in Los Alamos, the Institute for Altitude Medicine increases the recommendation by an additional liter to liter and a half.

So here is the kicker. Every hour 2.5 million plastic water bottles are trashed here in the United States. 2.5 million EVERY HOUR. That little fact was provided by the good people at Nalgene, so we can leave a little room for margin of error, but it will be better for the planet if you use a refillable non-BPA water bottle.

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