Tag Archives: alcohol

Tips to Survive a Holiday Party

Holiday Party Treats.

Holiday Party Treats.

The Holiday season is upon us and for many of us with it comes parties, alcohol and a departure from our normal eating habits!  Why is it when it is on a beautiful tray, on a table filled with other treat laden beautiful trays does food I would never consider eating suddenly sound good?  (And if I have had a glass of wine, it doesn’t even have to be on a beautiful tray!)  Tonight, I am headed to my first Holiday party of the year and these are my ideas to avoid the usual mindless munching.

  • Eat before I go:  I am going to have a small, protein filled snack about an hour before I have to  leave for the party.  The protein will keep me full longer and keep me from reaching for high calorie foods just because I am starving.
  • Check out all options before filling my plate:  Before I take a plate, I am going to look at all the food options in the room and decide which ones will be the best choices.  This does not mean I will not have any “treats” but that I am going to decide which ones are really “special” and are worth the indulgence.  (Because really, what are the holidays without some “treats”!)
  • I am going to fill my plate with healthy choices:  I plan to fill my plate with as many fruits,  vegetables and other  nutrient dense food like shrimp as I can.  I plan to skip the dips, cheeses, fried foods and other foods with a high calorie to nutrient ratio.  If my plate is full of nutrient dense food, there is less room for food that doesn’t nourish.
  • Alternate water with alcohol:  Between each glass of wine or cocktail that I drink, I plan to have a glass of water.  This will keep me hydrated.  Being hydrated slows down the consumption of alcohol,  decreases the likelihood of a hangover and helps me feel full longer.
  • Bring a healthy appetizer to share:  I plan to bring a healthy appetizer to share.  This will be my contribution to the party and gives me something I know that I want to eat.

These are my suggestions for having a sane and healthy Holiday party season.  I would love to hear about yours.

Photo by Oakley Originals under Creative Commons.

Summertime Hydration


Summertime hydration.

The Importance of Summer Hydration.

Hydration: the act or process of combining or treating with water: the introduction of additional fluid into the body

Summertime has arrived in Portland and the importance of proper hydration cannot be overstated.  Our bodies require water to stay alive. Humans can survive for over 30 days without food but a mere 3-5 days without water will lead to death.    In fact, over half of our body weight is water.   Our body uses water for lubricating joints, flushing toxins, nutrient transportation and maintaining proper body temperature.  Water is involved in almost every bodily function.  Poor hydration can lead to constipation, dry and itchy skin, acne, nose bleeds, repeated urinary tract infections, dry coughs, sneezing, sinus pressure, headaches and fatigue.   In fact, a drop in body water as small as 2% can lead to short-term memory problems and difficulty focusing to read a computer screen or printed page. 

Without adequate water consumption, our body will not be able to remove the toxic substances it produces.  Uric acid, urea and lactic acids are all waste products produced by our own bodies.  Our kidneys require sufficient water to dissolve these toxic substances and remove them from the body.  Gout, sore muscles and other difficulties can arise if these substances aren’t removed.

Signs of dehydration:

·         Feeling thirsty

·         Dark colored or scant urine

·         Confusion

·         Headaches

·         Weakness

·         Fainting

·         Dizziness

·         Heart palpitations

·         Inability to sweat

·         No tears

·         Muscle cramps

Recommended Daily Amount of Water:

Recommendations for the amount of water necessary for the average person vary according to activity level, climate, age and other factors. The Institute of Medicine recommends that women take in about 11 cups of fluid a day, and men take in about 15 cups, but that includes liquids found in foods too. Fruits and vegetables add up, since most are at least 80 percent water by weight. For most people, a well-balanced diet combined with 8 glasses of water a day should provide sufficient hydration.  One of the simplest methods of checking for dehydration is looking at the color of your urine.  If your urine is clear or a pale yellow color, you are most likely receiving adequate hydration.

Some people may need more water to maintain optimal health.  Those with certain medical conditions, such as kidney stones or bladder infections, those who are vomiting or have diarrhea and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding will require more water.  Also those who spend more time outside in hot weather or are going to be exercising will have an increased need for water.  As we age, our ability to detect thirst decreases so elderly people need to be more vigilant about staying hydrated.

Sources of Hydration:

Water and liquids found in food should be your primary sources of hydration.  Coconut water, herbal teas, milk, smoothies and fruit and vegetable juices can also contribute to your daily fluid intake.  However, it is important to remember these liquids also add calories and sugar to your diet so they should be consumed in moderation. One to two cups of coffee a day can be acceptable.   Keep in mind, however, caffeine and alcohol are both diuretics which will contribute to dehydration.  There are many tasty and interesting ways to meet your daily hydration needs but water is usually the easiest, most economical and best option.

Check back tomorrow for a yummy recipe for a refreshing Watermelon Aqua Fresca.


See more beautiful photos from Allan Lee on flickr.  Text added by me.

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