Updated: Feb 18
Drinking for health
These days we are all about convenience. Making our lives easier as we load the days with busyness.
Living in a third-world country has genuinely opened my eyes and redirected my perspective.
Drinking water is hard to come by, as most tap water (including ice cubes) can wreak havoc on our American digestion.
To go to a grocery store is a full-day affair for us. If it's raining, forget about it; the roads will likely be washed out. Did I mention it's a tropical rainforest and the rainy season?
With roads with more potholes than flat areas, it's like riding an old rickety wooden roller coaster. There are no lanes, so it's completely normal to have cars or trucks coming right at you just to turn sharply before your paths cross.
There are several options for groceries here. Our favorite, which has the largest selection of everyday items (or gringo foods), is 17 miles away. Which means it takes over an hour to get there. Daniel conquers this 4-5 hour achievement once a month.
I remember the days of Hello Fresh and SunBasket with heartfelt longing!
Other small grocery stores are available, and it can be a 45-minute affair to run and grab something "quick."
Read on to discover ways to load your family up with nourishment quickly and conveniently. Even when convenience is hard to come by.
Tamarind drink for well-being
My favorite day of the week is Thursday when my fruit and veg come to me.
A Costa Rican couple backs their pickup truck up our driveway, and we shop for our fruits and vegetables out of the truck's bed for the week. They've even started bringing us eggs. They don't speak English, so I enjoy practicing Spanish and learning new and exciting produce names.
Each week we try an unknown item to broaden our cultural horizons.
This week is Tamarind. This was presented to us in a small plastic baggy containing a weird brown mush. Through sign language and poor Spanglish, I've learned it is a seed pod that I am to squeeze the pulp into a pitcher, add sugar and drink like an iced tea.
Upon further questioning and Google, I learned that Tamarind pulp is used throughout South and Southeast Asia, Mexico, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. The seeds, pulp, and leaves are all edible. It's even one of the ingredients in Worcestershire sauce!
There are medicinal uses for Tamarind, which has played an essential role in traditional medicine. It can be made sweet with sugar in a drink or eaten raw. Tamarind also has a savory taste and can be added to dishes for a unique flavor.
"In beverage form, it was commonly used to treat diarrhea, constipation, fever, and malaria. The bark and leaves were also used to promote wound healing" (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tamarind).
It is loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Loaded with nutrients, fiber, protein, natural sugar, and less than 1 gram of fat, tamarind pulp is considered to be a fruit. Avoid adding sugar if concerned about diabetes or metabolic issues.
It's also loaded with magnesium, which helps to lower blood pressure.
Some studies have shown that "this plant may have anti-fungal, antiviral, and antibacterial activity… and has been used in traditional medicine to treat diseases like malaria" (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tamarind).
Utilize this funky sweet and sour ingredient as a drink, in savory dishes, or raw to boost heart health and lower cholesterol and blood pressure while fighting off common diseases.
Convenience for vegetable intake starts with a blend of deliciousness.
To make health and nutrition fast and easy, try a delicious smoothie to get your daily dose of goodness.
My toddler, now full of opinions, refuses to eat anything green on his plate. Instead, all he wants is cheese and fruit. So, I've taken advantage of my fruit and vegetable delivery crew and our VRBO's blender and conquered the green challenge.
I combined spinach, cucumber, carrots, cilantro, pineapple, and strawberries together to create a weird green goop that tastes fantastic! I added coconut milk to thin it out.
The rich nutrient content of the greens, plus a hint of sweetness from the fruit, balance the taste. Also, cilantro pulls heavy metals out of your intestines as you digest it.
During the winter months, you'll want to avoid ice or overuse of cold, raw ingredients (according to Chinese Medicine). To adjust the cold qualities of a raw smoothie, add a bit of ginger.
Or, better yet, leave out the fruit and create a savory soup. Add some tamarind for flavorful health benefits!
Check Tuesday's Instagram Post (@drkaraflint) for the video of Asher drinking his daily dose of greens!
Water for your body and mind is a must year-round.
Drinking fluids is essential, yet we tend to forget about the most critical fluid of all: WATER!
Pure, clean, nourishing water. No sugar, no artificial crystals, no coffee, no tea. Pure water is needed to move nutrients and waste throughout your body.
Your joints, organs, skin, hair, muscles, and brain rely on healthy hydration. I once learned that our brain actually shrinks in size when we are dehydrated. This imagery motivates me to keep drinking the good stuff (I mean water, of course).
Your blood pressure and body temperature regulation rely on water intake and hydration.
How much water do I need? Quantity highly depends on the individual, the climate, activity levels, body size, and time of year.
We tend to drink more water when it's hot, as we should, but don't forget to maintain hydration even when you're not breaking a sweat.
When we first arrived in Costa Rica, we hopped from place to place without any guidance on water quality. The locals can tolerate tap water without the revenge we'd probably receive.
So, I bought my family LifeStraw water bottles. These are game-changers! They're designed to filter out harmful bacteria and viral components in your water.
You could even fill the water bottle from a stream, river, or creek and drink through the filtration straw without any consequences!
My family stays hydrated safely and with confidence wherever we travel. Click here for the link!
Am I dehydrated?
Dehydration happens when the loss of fluids is more than the intake.
Thirst, dry lips, and mouth, flushed skin, dizziness, headaches. These are all signs of dehydration.
Check out your pee regularly. Is it dark yellow or has a strong smell? Then, it's probably time for a big glass of water.
An increased heart rate with low blood pressure can also be a dangerous sign of dehydration.
For your body to function correctly, it requires adequate water balance. Likewise, if your organs and brain don't work accurately, there will be significant health consequences.
Enjoy a clean, pure glass of water several times throughout the day to keep your body, mind, and spirit hydrated. Add a bit of lemon or mint for an added treat.
All in All…
Health doesn't have to be challenging, nor does it need to be inconvenient. If fruits and vegetables are difficult to incorporate into your or your loved one's daily regime, try drinking them instead.
Blend up a smoothie, try something new, and enjoy the clear benefits of pure water. Liquids can pack a concentrated dose of nutrition while hydrating your entire body inside and out.
Leave me a comment about your liquid intake.
Check out my toddler drinking a rich green smoothie with a smile on Tuesday's Instagram post.
And explore natural drinking water sources safely with the LifeStraw water bottle.
Get your healthy on!