Our first Engelman family meeting EVER, was two weeks ago. We decided we needed to get better organized as a family and walk this health journey together. We brainstormed, then voted, deciding that baby step #1 would be getting enough water. Beni Johnson had suggested that be everyone’s first step in her book as well. Easy, right? Everyone knows about the dutiful 8 cups a day you need… Or do you? We did our research and discovered the amount of water you actually need is based on your size. Take your weight in pounds and divide by 2. This is the amount of ounces you should drink in a day (divide that by 8 to know the cups). We rounded a bit, but my son needed 2 cups, my daughter 7 and, well, let’s just say the hubby and I needed a few more than 8. The task now appeared more daunting. We also agreed that juice, coffee/tea, pop and milk did not count toward our water cups. If you exercise, it is important to drink more than the required amounts as well, so that you replace the water you sweat out. Also, if you drink a coffee (or other dehydrating drink) it is recommended you drink 1-2 glasses extra for every cup you had. Lots of rules, but we decided the important thing was to get in our minimum cups for the week.
Next, everyone picked our their favourite water bottle or cup for the day and we poured measuring cups of water into them to see how much they held. Armed with that information, I knew I needed to consume 4 of my water bottles every day. Gulp! After a summer full of juice boxes with friends by the pool, I knew it would be difficult to convince the kiddos to switch solely to water, so I made up a pitcher of diffused water. I had organic strawberries on hand, my son’s favourite, and just chopped a few up and added them to the pitcher overnight. He loved it! My personal favourite recipe is grapefruit and strawberries. My daughter loves a cinnamon stick and organic apple slices diffused over night. There are so many recipes on Pinterest and a lot of them even explain the health benefits! We have a plant called “Chocolate Mint” in our garden and I have been adding its leaves with organic pear slices. It is a subtle and refreshing flavour.
For the importance of water and why it is crucial to your health, I recommend checking out Beni Johnson’s blog on the topic (www.grandmaswithmuscles.com). She also recommends the book, that my dad often quotes, “Your Not Sick, You’re Thirsty” by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. In her book, “Healthy & Free”, Beni Johnson also talks about the importance of alkaline water versus acidic and how important it is to make sure your water is free of chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride. For the purpose of this blog, I am going to focus on just getting the quantity of water in. I often make my water with a bit of lemon or lime juice which will naturally make the water alkaline.
Day one was an overall success. My son finished his water requirement by lunch time and kept going (he is a super active little guy) and the rest of us found ourselves standing around the kitchen sink at 9 or 10 pm trying to chug the rest of our requirements. Oops! You can guess the result that had on our bladders that night.
Day two was easier for everyone but my husband, who once again found himself chugging at 10pm. He was starting to get really annoyed with all his trips to the bathroom, and in the interest of full disclosure, was getting very gassy.
Day 3 was harder, no one finished their recommended cups except the toddler. Hubby and daughter started getting runnier bowel movements and I started breaking out like a teenager. The cleansing has begun!
Day 4 we all made our water goals and hubby was hit with a fowl smelling, dark coloured diarrhea. (Sorry for the gory details, but I feel I should warn you what can possibly happen if you embark on this challenge.) At this point, he is also really annoyed by the constant bathroom trips.
Day 5 the smelly, blackish diarrhea hit me. We all got our water in. I find that I still drink most of it in the afternoon and evening. Amazingly, my husband and I were both still thirsty at bedtime after finishing our required glasses, so we drank some more!
Day 6 we spent the entire day at a fair, so only my husband got in his required water. The rest of us splurged on lemonade, slushies and iced cappuccinos. Sorry, it’s true. On the bright side, my skin is clearing up again.
Day 7 everyone except my hubby got their water in. A lot of us still chugging it before bed. Hubby refused to chug his last three glasses at bedtime due to past experiences in the night.
The best news of the week comes from my digital scale. I lost 4 pounds! Let me assure you, the baby step we worked on this week did not include our food. We were eagerly gobbling up all the leftover birthday treats from my daughter’s party and enjoying the gluttonous delights at the fair, knowing full well, the day was soon approaching where our food would be the challenge and our practice. So, these 4 pounds, were in spite of my lack of food discipline. Remember, this is my family’s BABY steps to health. We are a work in progress and I hope you will join us for the journey. Water was a great start and we will continue to consume it as much as possible.