Now that summer is here and with it hot temperatures, it's very important to keep properly hydrated. So just how much water do we need? We've been told all our lives that we need to drink 8 glasses a day. I've never been able to drink that much water in addition to the coffee, tea, milk, juice, etc that I may drink in a 24 hour period. Now the experts are saying that it doesn't just have to be water, but any fluid, as well as the water in our foods. Now that makes sense to me because just about all living things are made up of approximately 70% water. The human body's cells are 65-90%, living plants are up to 85%, and the world itself is between 70 and 75%. I find this interesting.
Dehydration seems to be a problem many suffer from be it headaches, fatigue, or constipation. I think a big part of the problem lies with our food. It's so over processed that all of the natural water in it has been processed out. Many people live off a fast food diet and I doubt they get much water out of burgers or fries! We should try to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables while they are in season to help keep ourselves hydrated and replenish nutrients. Since it's hard to know just how much water I'm getting I let thirst be my guide and drink more if it's warmer or I'm exerting myself more.
As part of my lunch that I take to work I usually include some fresh cut up vegetables which I eat throughout the day and sometimes on the ride home. I've had people call it my diet food and I always say if by diet food you mean part of a healthy diet food...you know, get your 5 - 10 a day then yes it's my diet food. Raw vegetables afford you the time to think about what you are eating - the bright colors, the intense flavors and the cool crunchy textures. Not only is it a healthy way to get some of your daily water, but it stimulates the gums and cleans plaque off your teeth and it gives your jaw exercise and your taste buds a workout!
Not the best picture, but yesterday I made a sweet potato lentil chili from an excellent lentil recipe site found here http://www.lentils.ca/recipes/sweet-potato-lentil-chili-with-cinnamon-sour-cream. There are lots of interesting recipes which I plan to try out because I love lentils!
I did enjoy this chili - while it may not quite satisfy my meat-lovin' spouse, I found that it had a texture similar to chili's with ground beef and I did not miss the meat at all.
In keeping with the chili theme I decided to make some simple salsa. You can make it hot or not depending on your taste - we like it hot so I used 2 jalapenos.
1 540ml can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 large sweet onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 - 3 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Combine all ingredients and let chill for an hour or two before serving.