What's My Personal Beauty Secret? Drinking Lots and LOTS of Water
Sitting Pretty and Healthy v. 1
In this series, "Sitting Pretty and Healthy", we aim to give you helpful tips on how to stay healthy and feel good, both very necessary ingredients for a successful portrait. And while there's lots of things you can do to look and feel good, the easiest, and I dare say the most profound is drinking LOTS of water. Yes, water!
People spend thousands of dollars a year on beauty products, surgical enhancements, elixirs and creams all to look younger and feel better. But, I think it's fair to say that staying well-hydrated will do more for your well-being than any of those things, and it's 'free.'
To illustrate my point, I've included two images of my Peace Lily plant - one is when the plant is in dire need of water, and the other is AFTER it's been watered. You may think that your lips are thin, your skin is sallow, your eyes are dark, your scalp is flaky and pooping takes a long time because of your health, age, or eating habits. But most likely, it's just your body's way of indicating that you're dehydrated. You are just like this plant. Without water, you wilt, with water you flourish. You want to "fix your flaws?" Drink more water! It's also interesting to know that often times when you feel 'hungry' you're actually thirsty!
I know for me personally, I notice a vast improvement in the quality and tone of my skin when I drink ample amounts of water.
In all the research I've done on the subject, the most appropriate analogy I've found is - "Have you ever tried to flush a toilet with no water?" It's near impossible to eliminate the waste out of the toilet without it. The more water you use, the easier it goes down.
The same is true for your body. Water serves not only to quench your thirst, but to flush out the toxins and other wastes we accumulate throughout the day and improve your overall performance. It plumps and hydrates your cells, makes bowel movements easier and nourishes your entire system. Did you know that your body is made of 50 - 65% water and your brain is 75%?
"Okay, okay" you say "I get that I need to drink water if I want to look good, feel good and think good, but how much should I be drinking?"
Well, it depends on who you ask, but my general rule of thumb is 12 (twelve) 8 oz glasses if you're a woman, 16 (sixteen) if you're a man - which, in terms of water bottle sizes, is 3 liters and 4 liters respectively. Which sounds like a lot, and it is. If you are an avid exerciser or very physically active, drink even more. Water evaporates through your skin and is eliminated through urine and feces. The barest minimum is "8x8" = 8 (eight) 8 oz glasses.
Consuming all that clear, fresh, tasteless water might sound boring..... So, to 'spice things up' add lemon juice for a health boost, fresh cucumber slices for a cooler, pineapple chunks for some sweetness or drink flavored herbal teas (also health boosters). Low sodium broths are also a great way to take in water and other helpful nutrients.
It's important to note though, in drinking more fluids, do not make the mistake in thinking that because coffee is made with water, that it will do the trick too. In fact, coffee is a diuretic (meaning it will de-hydrate you by encouraging urine production) and actually requires you to drink more water to replenish what you lose, same with caffeinated black teas. Alcohol too is very dehydrating -- not to mention ruins your skin, diminishes your dexterity and bloats you up. And, fruit juices, as tasty as they are, should be consumed in moderation, as they are high in sugar (empty calories) as is soda (the carbonic acid of which is also bad for your teeth).
"But, I don't want to drink tap water and bottled water is expensive and bad for the environment" you say?
Before I knew better, I used a water cooler system from Poland Spring, but after assessing the expense of it (ouch), moved to a Mavea (like Britta). But even then, I realized that processing and drinking my water out of a plastic pitcher still had it's (health) cost, so I've turned to using Binchotan and a 68 oz glass pitcher -- If you've never heard of Binchotan, its a centuries old water filtration system used in Japan and is very simple but effective. It uses a piece of 'white charcoal' which you simply place into a pitcher of water. Within 2-3 hours, the charcoal stick removes all the impurities from the water, and even imparts some helpful minerals in return. I drink a pitcher and half a day. Best part is, it lasts for months and can be 're-charged' simply by boiling and air-drying the stick before using again.
And the total cost? Less than $35 - the glass pitcher is on sale for $14 (will last as long as you don't break or lose it), and a 1/4lb package of binchotan (which will easily last you a year and can be used for many things besides water filtration) is $19.95 *A water cooler machine with monthly delivery to supply 3-4 liters of water per person per day can add up to around $2k a year! 1 Liter plastic water bottles average $1.49, so 3/day for 365 days = $1,651.55/year and 1,095 plastic bottles (think of the dolphins).
Other good news is that Binchotan comes in many sizes, so you can also get a 'water bottle friendly' chunk to use in your (glass) BKR commuter bottle to refill throughout the day. And the price? $35 - $45 (and it will last you until it breaks - which, thanks to it's silicone jacket, will be hard to do)
I also included this helpful infographic from glo-therapeutics, in case you need more evidence on why staying hydrated is the best beauty secret:
Do you have a helpful tip or suggestion for the Sitting Pretty Lifestyle Blog you'd like to share with others? We'd love to hear them! Leave them in the comments below or send me a personal message. Do you like this article? Share with your audience!
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Keywords: Binchotan, beauty products, beauty products, branding, camera ready, dehydrated, health, hydrated, physically active, portrait, staying, water
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