DIY Wednesday: Sports Drink

DIY Wednesday: Sports Drink | Life Healthfully LivedI would say that sport’s drinks like Gatorade, Propel, and Powerade are some of the most controversial products when it comes to hydration.  You have the people who are firmly in the water-is-the-only-hydration-you-need camp and then you have others who are firmly in the you-need-to-replenish-your-electrolytes-after-activity camp.  Then you have those in the murky middle ground who believe sometimes you need sports drinks and sometimes you don’t.  It can be very confusing.

I am somewhere in the murky middle ground.  It all depends on the activity you’ve been doing and how long you’ve been active for.  The vast majority of us don’t do enough work or exercise that will require anything other than water to rehydrate.  There is no need for a Gatorade after a 20-minute workout or to hand out sports drinks after a kids soccer game.  There are a few instances where you do need to replenish your electrolyte levels with something other than just water.

People who run/train for marathons, triathlons, Ironman competitions, or any other grueling endurance sport are probably going to need something more than just water.  That is because they are asking their bodies to work at full capacity for a long period of time.  Anything more than a 90-minute workout session is going to probably warrant a little extra attention to your hydration levels.DIY Wednesday: Sports Drink | Life Healthfully Lived

Now, here is my other sticking point:  I think that commercially sold sports drinks are NOT the way to replenish your fluids and electrolytes.  They’re full of sugar and other ingredients that actually make you thirstier than you were before.  How else would they sell their product?  If one drink made rehydrated you, you wouldn’t need another.  Plus you’re getting way more calories than you need from a drink.

Lucky for you, it’s easy to make your own sports drink that will rehydrate you as well as replenish your electrolyte levels without the calories, sugar, or any other possible weird ingredients.  You can make these in advance of a tough workout or activity and have them ready to go when you’re done.  You can play with the levels of citrus and natural sweetener to suit your tastes.

You can play with the levels of citrus and natural sweetener to suit your tastes and if you don’t want or can’t find coconut water, regular water works just as well.  And yes, I know there is salt in here and you’re going to tell me that is ridiculous because we all know that salt makes you thirstier.  Yes, BUT, you also need the proper amount of sodium levels in your body to rehydrate and absorb minerals like potassium.  If you’ve been sweating like crazy, then you have been losing a lot of sodium as well and need to replenish those stores.  So don’t skip the salt (and make sure you use sea salt NOT regular table salt), it won’t make you thirstier and you won’t be choking down a salty drink.

Sports DrinkDIY Wednesday: Sports Drink | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1 cup coconut water or regular water (make sure it’s just plain coconut water, no added sugars)
  • 1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp honey or maple syrup (less or more to suit your taste)
  • pinch of sea salt
  1. Put everything into a blender and blend for a few seconds.  Taste and adjust things as needed.

Keep this drink stored in the fridge up to 2 days before you need it.  You can also double or triple this recipe to make sure that you have enough on hand for when it’s needed.

 

What You Shouldn’t Stress About

If you’re human, you probably stress out about things.  A big project due at work, giving a speech in class, or dealing with an illness can all be stressful things.  If you’re anything like me, you stress about stupid things.  Like wondering if the people walking behind you just saw you stumble over your own two feet.  Hint: probably, but they don’t really care.

It can feel like stress is a normal part of life and it really doesn’t have to be.  There are certain things that a lot of us worry about that we don’t really need to, especially when it comes to your health.  If you read health articles or magazines or watch the news, it feels like there is a new health claim every day that we have to worry about.  And more than likely over the years, I have worried about it.

But as I’ve gotten older and learned more about my personal health, I have been able to let go of some of the “health” stress and do what works for me.  I haven’t died or gained a billion pounds or detrimentally destroyed some part of my health.  I’ve figured out what I like and what works best.

So here is a list of a few things that you DON’T need to worry about when it comes to your health:

#1- Eating superfoodsWhat You Shouldn't Stress About | Life Healthfully Lived

Kale, acai berries, and quinoa are all delicious and deemed superfoods.  But you know what else is a superfood?  An apple.  Some broccoli.  Even the humble clove of garlic is a superfood.  Focus on eating real food that you actually enjoy and I promise you’ll be just fine.

#2- Sitting downWhat You Shouldn't Stress About | Life Healthfully Lived

Yes, I have actually worried about this.  There have been reports and research lately that say sitting too much has a negative effect on our health.  Even if you workout, if you spend the majority of your day sitting it’s like you haven’t worked out at all.  Cue Katie standing constantly for fear of ruining my metabolism and undoing all the hard work I put into my exercises.  Sure, if you sit all day you should probably get up and move more.  But you shouldn’t stress about sitting down if you’re tired or need a rest.  Find a good balance of sitting and standing throughout your day that works for your body and your schedule.

#3- Making sure your body looks the same at all timesWhat You Shouldn't Stress About | Life Healthfully Lived

I think because we are constantly bombarded with images of perfect bodies and rippling muscles, we feel like we have to look like that too at all times.  I know I would get frustrated when I would look in the mirror in the morning and at night and I would be looking at two different bodies.  Your body shape changes throughout the day due to things like hydration, the foods you eat, and if you’re a woman, your period.  The way your body looks doesn’t determine your worth or even how healthy you are.  You’re long-term habits do.  And remember those pictures of models are just a snapshot of a moment.  They don’t look like that all the time.

#4- Eating at the right timeWhat You Shouldn't Stress About | Life Healthfully Lived

Eat right when you wake up.  Fast for 18 hours.  Don’t eat after 7 pm.  Eat constantly for 6 hours and then don’t eat again for 12 hours.  Who thought when you eat could be so confusing?  Each one of these options has plenty of studies and research that supports their claims and probably, even more disputing them.  You know what you should do?  Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re not.  As long as you’re getting adequate fuel throughout the day and can go about your daily tasks with enough energy, it doesn’t really matter when you eat.  Do what works best for you.

#5- Thinking only one form of exercise can get you resultsWhat You Shouldn't Stress About | Life Healthfully Lived

This is one that I’m currently working on.  If you read my blog regularly, you know that I’m taking a little break from running.  It’s mostly because it wasn’t bringing me the same joy that it used too.  I was dreading my run instead of being excited.  The other part of me taking a break?  I had convinced myself that running was the only way I was going to keep weight off.  I had it in my mind that if I stopped running I would start gaining weight.  My rational brain knew that was silly and wrong, but when do I listen to my rational brain?  There are so many ways to move and exercise, no one way is perfect and no one way will get you results.  Try new things and do what you love and don’t be afraid if those things change over time.

These are just a few of the things I have stressed about over the years and I’ve learned that they weren’t as big a deal as I was making them out to be.  You’re not going to do everything perfectly and that’s ok.  The mistakes let you learn what works for you and create habits and a routine that will keep you healthy for the long haul.

I hope you have an awesome Monday and I will see you back here on Wednesday for an all new recipe!

What are some silly health things you have stressed about over the years?

Being Brave And Making The Change

I have been mulling this post over in my head for awhile now.  I guess it’s been at the back of my thoughts for at least a few months, but I kept pushing it away.  I didn’t want to deal with it and ignoring things always makes them go away, right?

If only it did.Being Brave And Making The Change | Life Healthfully Lived

So last week when I wrote about my theme for 2016, I knew that I would finally have to deal with this issue.  If I really want to grow and mature I have to actually grow and mature.  Profound thoughts guys, I know.  But for me, it was kind of profound.

I’m not dying, in fact, no one is dying.  No one is sick, nothing is horribly or awfully wrong.  So don’t worry about that.  But there is a big change coming for me and I’m a little nervous.  I’m putting on my big girl panties and telling myself, “What’s the worst that could happen?”

I’m taking a break from running.

All of you reading this are probably cursing me because who cares if I’m taking a break from running?  It doesn’t affect the vast majority of people and this isn’t a life-altering announcement.  Except that it is.  For me.Being Brave And Making The Change | Life Healthfully Lived

You have heard me rave about running and how it has given me so much.  I am proud to call myself a runner and join the ranks of thousands who log their miles with their feet.  I have talked about finally running a marathon, I love watching races, and I love getting outside and hitting the trail.

Until a few months ago that is.  Lately, I have been struggling with my running.  Instead of waking up excited to head out for my run, I’m dreading it.  I find myself dawdling longer and longer before finally motivating myself to get out the door.  At first, I thought it was just a down week.  All runners have them.  Those days or weeks where it’s just a little tougher to get out the door than usual.  I thought it would pass, I would get back to my usual enthusiasm soon enough.  But that enthusiasm hasn’t returned.Being Brave And Making The Change | Life Healthfully Lived

My immediate reaction was to just push through.  I’m a runner.  This is what I do.  This is what I have done for the past eight years.  This is how it is.  I was just going to keep running and ignore that little voice in the back of my mind that was telling me something just isn’t quite right.  And then Adam got a cold right before the new year.

He took a week off from running because he is much better at resting when he knows he needs it most.  And because he likes to take any excuse to not run :).  I still kept up with my normal running schedule, but I started to sleep in a little with him and go on my run later in the morning.  Then I started to get the sniffles on my rest day and when I woke up on Monday, I did not feel like running.  Even more than I had in the past few months.  So I did something that I rarely if ever do: I decided not to run.

It was a little tough at first and I found a different workout to do inside just so I had some movement.  But it wasn’t horrible and I found myself feeling ok about my decision.  As it stands right now, I haven’t run in over a week.  That’s the longest I’ve gone since I hurt my knee a few years ago.   And I’m going to keep not running for the foreseeable future.

Am I giving up running completely?  No.  I am eternally grateful for everything that running has given me.  It totally changed me inside and out and that is truly amazing.  It’s because of that that I’m taking this hiatus.  I don’t want to keep running until I totally hate it and I give it up for good.  I want to find that feeling that I used to have and in order to do that I have to let go.Being Brave And Making The Change | Life Healthfully Lived

I’m also not giving up exercise altogether.  This decision is opening doors for me to explore other areas of fitness that I had previously neglected.  I’ve been doing Fitness Blender’s 5-Day Fit Challenge and I have been excited for every new day.  I’ve missed that excitement when it comes to working out.

So what can you take away from this really long winded post?  Just because something scares you or you’ve been doing something for years doesn’t mean you can’t change.  You are not a tree.  If you don’t like something get up and move.  Switch directions.  Try a new approach.  I have no idea what my relationship with running will look like in the coming months but it will always be there, waiting for me.

Besides, what’s the worst that could happen?

Being Brave And Making The Change | Life Healthfully Lived

The best is yet to come…

3 Things I Did In The Past That Did NOT Better My Health

We3 Things I Did That Did NOT Better My Health | Life Healthfully Lived all make mistakes.  It’s part of the human experience and I am most definitely human so I make a lot of mistakes.  Shocker, I know.  People hear the word mistake and immediately associate it with something negative, I do it all the time.  But I have started to look back at my mistakes and realize that they were important parts of my journey and helped move me in the direction that I needed to go, even if I resisted at first.

As a blogger, it is so tempting to only show you the good stuff.  The happy stuff.  The stuff that spreads my message beautifully.  But it isn’t the only stuff that goes on in my life.  There are messy parts, ugly parts, not so good parts that I am glad the whole world can’t see.  It’s the combination of all these stuff and parts that make me who I am.

When it comes to health, I have made my fair share of mistakes.  I have done things that did nothing to help me and if I had kept up with them would have ultimately hurt me.  I want to share these with you so you can avoid the same problems or maybe realize you aren’t alone.  Here are three things I did to try and be healthier but were all wrong.

3 Things I Did That Did NOT Better My Health | Life Healthfully Lived

1. Severely restricting my calories

This is usually some of the first advice you get when you want to lose weight and be healthier.  Eat less, move more.  It seems so simple and we want weight loss to be simple.  On the surface calories in vs. calories out makes sense and it is true that if you eat more food than your body has a need for, you will gain weight.  But there is so much more going on.  We are learning more and more that calories aren’t all the same and we don’t use them in the way we previously thought.  I know when I first started to be serious about losing weight, I demonized calories.  Calories were the enemy.  They were the things that were making me fat.  They were the evil demons that I had to battle every day.  The less the better was my mindset.  Here’s the thing, calories are not the enemy.  You need calories.  They are the things that fuel your body.  Literally every function of your body requires calories, from blinking, breathing, just being alive.  I had to work to flip the switch in my brain that made calories bad and focus on finding the right food to fuel my body and allow me to accomplish my goals.  Which leads me to my next mistake…

3 Things I Did That Did NOT Better My Health | Life Healthfully Lived

2. Putting food into a “good” or “bad” category

Ok so I figured out that calories aren’t the devil.  But there were definitely good food and “bad” food.  I had to avoid the “bad” food at all costs or my body would revolt and instantly fall into a pit of unhealthy shame.  Dramatic?  Yes.  What I whole-heartedly believed?  Totally.  Food is food.  There are better choices but in the end bad food won’t completely end you.  A healthy diet is what you consistently eat, not what you treat yourself to once in awhile.  Eat the chocolate and move on.  Don’t dwell on it, don’t feel guilty about it, and keep eating the real food that makes up the majority of your diet.  I still struggle with this every now and then, but it is getting better.

3 Things I Did That Did NOT Better My Health | Life Healthfully Lived

3.  Thinking my weight was the end all be all to health

I used to weigh myself every single morning and I sadly let the number on the scale dictate my rule and mood.  If it was what I believed was acceptable then the day was a good one and I was happy.  Anything higher than what I wanted was grounds for a horrible mood, more food restriction, and feeling guilty.  It took me a REALLY long time to get over this one, but I can say that I have not weighed myself for over a year and have no clue my number is.  And you know what?  The world hasn’t ended.  I haven’t gained 50 pounds (I literally worried that would happen when I retired my scale) and my self-worth has not gone down.  What you way is in no way the best measure of your health or the entirety of who you are.  If you weigh yourself all the time, try taking a break and see how you feel.  Go about your day and see if not knowing what you weigh affects you in a negative way.  I bet it won’t.  Your family will still love you, your co-workers won’t ignore you, and life will not stop because you don’t know your weight.

These are three of the bigger mistakes when it came to my health, but once I started working through them it got better.  I realized that good health isn’t static and changes from day to day.  There are times when I’m less than perfect and that is ok.  I’ll learn and move on.  3 Things I Did That Did NOT Better My Health | Life Healthfully Lived

If you’re just starting out with your health journey, don’t be afraid to make mistakes.  You will learn more about yourself and be able to adjust your habits to find the best health possible!