Yesterday, one of my clients told me he drank only 4 cups of water per week and later that day, another client reported not drinking any water at all! 

Although we each have different fluid needs, we all need enough for our bodies to function properly. For example, water helps to flush out toxins, carries nutrients into our cells, helps convert food to energy, and prevents constipation. Lack of fluids results in dehydration which can cause fatigue, dry mouth, headaches, thirst, and other symptoms. Most people drink based on thirst, but, some people don’t recognize their thirst signals and can go hours without drinking. 

So how much water should you drink?  It depends.  Certain factors increase your fluid needs: hot or humid climates, exercise, illness (vomiting, diarrhea), and pregnancy or breastfeeding. Conversly, certain medical conditions such as heart failure or kidney or liver disease require a person to restrict fluid intake.

But, in general, a healthy adult living in a moderate climate needs approximately 8 cups of fluid per day.  This amount can include fluids from certain foods (fruits, vegetables).  It may also include other beverages such as coffee, tea, or soda, but these should not be the main source.  Drinking 1 cup of water with each meal + 1 cup before and after each meal is a good way to ensure consistent intake throughout the day.

An easy way to tell if you’re well hydrated is to check your urine- dark color like iced tea = need more fluid; light color like lemonade = adequate fluid. 🙂

1. Dieting is a type of starvation. You are literally starving your body of the proper nutrients and energy it needs for healthy living. You can’t live long or healthfully without proper nutrition.

2. Dieting is temporary and is not about a permanent lifestyle change. Sure, many people can lose 5-10# by drastically reducing their intake over a short period of time, but, as soon the restrictions are over, weight is often regained. Long term health and weight management is the result of practicing healthy lifestyle choices over a long period of time.

3. Dieting is about having willpower. Willpower= self control; having self control in regards to eating, means that you are restraining from eating what you like to eat or how much. This restraint creates a viscous cycle, starting with giving into your restraint, feeling guilty, and then restraining again. It eventually leads no where.

4. When you are on a diet, you are allowed to eat less food, but, you tend to think about it more! Studies have shown that dieting makes people more preoccupied with food.

5. Dieting promotes disconnection of eating. Being on a diet, means following rules and teaches you to ignore your body’s internal cues about what, when, and how much to eat. Healthful eating involves eating based on hunger, which means being connected to your needs.

6. Dieting makes people feel guilty and shameful for eating things that are “off the diet” or labeled as “bad foods”. These negative feelings may cause some people to quit the diet and overeat. When you are eating healthfully, you are free to enjoy all foods without judgment or guilt.

7. Dieting makes people moody. Very low calorie diets, especially those that lack carbohydrates, can cause low blood sugar which can contribute to irritability. Plus, the mere fact of restricting intake, can also make people depressed and irritable. Eventually people stop restricting in order to feel happy again!

8. Dieting may cause social isolation. When you’re following the diet rules, it can be very challenging to be out at a restaurant, party, or other social situation. Many dieters choose to avoid these opportunities for social engagement in order to “be good”.

9. Dieting slows down your metabolism. Each time you drastically restrict your energy intake, your body adapts so that energy is used more efficiently (your body burns energy at a slower rate). Over time, it becomes harder and harder to lose weight.

10. There are literally thousands of diets out there….If diets worked, obesity would not be an epidemic in our country.

Diet & Cancer

August 7, 2009

Recently, I have learned about more and more individuals living and dying of cancer.  There are many different types of cancer, some deadlier than others.  But, regardless of type, a healthy diet may help to prevent the disease and/or manage its symptoms.  Richard Moyle, National Awareness Coordinator of the Mesothelioma Center asked if he could post his article, related to diet and cancer, on this site. I hope you enjoy!

The National Cancer institute has stated that at least 35 percent of all cancer cases are related to poor nutrition. Though mesothelioma is not a cancer that is related to poor nutrition, improving nutritional intake can help mesothelioma cancer patients fight the disease.

Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that typically affects the lining of the lungs, heart and abdomen. It is caused primarily by exposure to a naturally occurring mineral known as asbestos. The symptoms of mesothelioma can take up to 50 years to become noticeable and typically the disease is diagnosed in advanced stages when treatment options are limited.

In addition to improving chances of survival, proper dietary care can help relieve the painful or uncomfortable symptoms of mesothelioma. Naturally, this depends on the stage of the cancer, but improving symptoms can improve quality of life—even if the cancer is severe.

One of the most common side effects of mesothelioma and mesothelioma treatment is nausea. There are a number of dietary changes you can make to help this problem. Dry grain products like crackers and toast can help calm an upset stomach. Bland foods will also help with nausea, as well as acid reflux problems.

Berries can be very helpful as they contain a whole host of important nutrients, including plenty of fiber and vitamin C. In fact, just one cup of strawberries has the same amount of vitamin C as one cup of orange juice, and all berries are great sources of this anti-oxidant and immune-strengthening vitamin. In addition to essential vitamins, berries are packed with several different types of cancer-fighting nutrients. In one study, extracts of six types of berries were tested for their ability to prevent the growth and spread of different types of cancer cells. Amazingly, each different type of berry was found to have an entirely unique combination of phytonutrients, and all six varieties of berry extract were able to kill cancer cells in the laboratory.

Dark green leafy vegetables are also bursting with essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that provide important cancer-fighting benefits. They contain Beta-carotene, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin which are powerful antioxidants that help protect the body against all forms of cancer by destroying free radicals. Folate and phytochemicals can also help fight cancer by repairing DNA and boosting levels of enzymes that help cleanse the body of carcinogens. You can benefit from these anitoxidants by eating things like kale, collard greens, spinach and romaine lettuce.

Another common characteristic found in cancer patients is low white blood cell count, which increases the chance of contracting an infection. To avoid this side effect, a number of changes can be made in the foods you ingest. It is most important to avoid “bad” bacteria, which is common in foods that are damaged or not prepared well. Avoid buffets when eating out, wash your hands before preparing meals, avoid raw meats and fish (like sushi), and throw away any foods that are bruised or damaged.

Cancer is a complex medical condition, with many factors playing various roles in development and treatment. However, most patients will undoubtedly benefit from a better diet in a number of ways