Create and Curate

Are You Drinking Enough Water? Probably Not.

February 20, 2020

You may be surprised to learn that the low hanging fruit of wellness is proper hydration. If we are even a little bit dehydrated, it can affect our ability to make good decisions; especially, but not limited to, what we eat and drink. Note to self — proper hydration should be mandatory before signing legally binding documents or accepting invitations to meet people you matched with on Bumble. 

 

Every wellness journey begins with hydration. Chronic dehydration is a wide spread problem; and most people have absolutely no idea they are walking around in a state of dehydration. Sure, the body sends signals like thirst and hunger; but by the time we register thirst, we are partially dehydrated. We can even get confused by the signals our bodies send, mistaking thirst for hunger, causing us to overeat and make poor food choices.

 

If we want to optimize our health, maintain a healthy body weight, and make good decisions, it is essential to understand the important role of hydration and create habits that support it. 

 

Many of the beverages we consume each day are actually dehydrating. Coffee, tea, soda, and alcohol can all be dehydrating.  If they contain added sugar or artificial ingredients, they are even worse for us. More complicating, for each dehydrating beverage we consume, we need to compensate by drinking 12-15 ounces of water. You can see how this could lead to living in a state of dehydration. If we start each day with a dehydrating beverage, we are in a deficit from the get-go. If we don’t replenish with water, the condition is compounded.

 

What is dehydration?

Water is used by our bodies to carry out normal metabolic functions. Things like removing waste from cells, regulating body temperature, and digesting food. An adult body is comprised of about 60% water, and our individual water needs will vary depending on how active we are and our lifestyle. Dehydration occurs when we use more water than we replace; and it is a serious condition. More sneaky however, is chronic low-level dehydration that easily flies under the radar and can seem normal.

 

Dehydration symptoms can include:

Dry cough, chapped lips and dry mouth, indigestion, muscle cramping, elevated heart rate, dark urine, constipation, irritability, brain fog, dry skin, headaches, nose bleeds, chronic fatigue, being thirsty, dry eyes, cravings and overeating.

 

It is not complicated, hard or expensive to harness the benefits of water — but, it is a practice. Most of us are partially dehydrated and missing the “feel good, look good” benefits that come with full hydration. We can reestablish how it feels like to be properly hydrated, and develop habits and accountability to stay that way. Here is a simple hydrating habit you can use to begin your hydration journey.

 

Wake up and sip the water

When we are asleep, our body is in a state of fast. The best way to end the fast is by rehydrating with 8-10oz of warm or room temperature water. Every morning the first beverage should be water. Because coffee is dehydrating, it is best enjoyed after a big hydrating glass of water.

 

I like to boost my water with the juice of half a fresh squeezed lemon. The lemon adds vitamin C, flavor and acidity, which actually turns alkaline in the body. More alkalinity and less acidity, helps to lower inflammation in the body. This is an easy habit to cultivate that starts each day by putting the hydration odds in our favor.

 

*Be sure to protect your tooth enamel from citric acid by sipping your lemon water with a straw.

 

Start each day with warm lemon water and make that your first hydration habit. Practicing hydration is a commitment. Good health starts by fueling your body with the things it needs to function optimally. I will be sharing more ways you can use your little daily actions to improve hydration in upcoming articles. 

 

Inspired to Learn Even More?

 

Download The Culinary Cure Rx: Healthy Habits 101, an in-depth guide for starting a successful wellness journey.


2 Comments   Click here to share your thoughts.


Host Like a Pro

December 8, 2019

How To Host The Best Parties

 

My life has always been about hospitality. Decades of experience as a caterer, event planner, lifestyle consultant, and undaunted hostess taught me how to create epic events and still enjoy myself. I love to entertain, but what I really love is creating the magic my guests remember long after the last bite of flourless chocolate cake.

 

Entertaining does not have to be expensive or take a zillion hours in the kitchen. The best hosts know a little planning goes a long way, and a shock and awe feature will amplify any event from fun to memorable. I have a friend who throws crazy fun parties and never cooks, but she always does something unexpected, and her guests arrive ready for fun. Take your party game up with these simple tips for hosting fabulous events.

Kristen Coffield (Photo by: Kristen Coffield) Kristen Coffield

 

Pick a theme: A theme sets the tone for your party from the minute your guests receive their invite. Theme parties get everyone on the same sheet of music and provide a framework for food, drinks, music, attire, and decorations. I just got an invitation for an Apres Ski party (minus the skis). I can tell the event will be casual, there might be some chili and charcuterie, possible hot drinks and maybe some sort of outside games. This makes me happy because I can start thinking about my outfit and arrive prepared.

Tell your guests what to expect:  Anticipation is a great appetizer. Along with the necessary details of the event, who, what, where, when, and RSVP. Be sure to specify essential information, so your guests arrive prepared. Come Hungry if there will be a lot of food, or Dress Warmly for marshmallow toasting by the bonfire, or Prizes for Best Holiday Sweaters. 

 

Plan ahead: You never want to be scrambling at the last minute. Everything always takes longer than we think. Leave nothing to last-minute chance. The time to get ready and provisioned is the week before. Purchase your booze, order your food, get set up. Outline a schedule, so you forget nothing. I always build in a little me-time before my guests arrive. This helps me be relaxed and present as a host, and I enjoy myself more.

 

Create a fun vibe: I am a huge fan of moving furniture and creating a party space. Setting up the bar ahead of time is simple, and getting the lighting right is key for setting the mood. No one wants to be in an overly lit room. Get a bunch of votive candles, use twinkle lights on branches, get ideas on Pinterest, but make sure you have flattering lighting for your guests. Create a playlist to go with the theme, make sure the sound system is in good working order. Offering a special drink? Try it ahead of time to work out any imperfections. Get fun glasses. I often hit the thrift store and pick up inexpensive fun glasses for my event. Use an ink stamp to brand your party cocktail napkins and paper goods. Party games never fail to deliver when tailored to the event. Decorations can be as simple as lighting and flowers or as fantastic as a budget and imagination allow. Pick up fresh flowers and greens the day of for freshness.

(Photo by: Kristen Coffield)

 

Serve the good stuff: No cooking needed to be a great host, but strong assembling skills are a must. Purchase the best goodies your neighborhood has to offer and set up food stations. Have your local wine and cheese shop make charcuterie and cheese boards. Pick up sushi from the corner place, cookies at that great bakery, and hummus from the local middle eastern restaurant. The hosts' job is to create a delightful environment for people to enjoy themselves while being feted.


Nothing kills the mood faster than cheap booze and party platters from Costco. You can take advantage of food and beverage values, just put in a little effort so your guests can't tell.


Shock & Awe: Surprise your guests with a wow! There are all sorts of ways to impress. When your guests arrive request, they put their phones on silent. Unless you are hosting a bunch of doctors, this is reasonable. People are more present when they are not distracted by their phones.

*Hire an oyster bar and serve champagne.

*Create a special backdrop, take photos of each guest as they arrive. 

*Hire a Karaoke machine, have a team singing competition. People  

  get really into this!

*Make a flaming punch or cocktail ice luge.

*One year we had a huge tree trunk delivered to our driveway and played the ax game (it's a long story).

  
Goody bags: I always have a little something for my guests to take home and enjoy. It can be as simple as a bag of spicy holiday Chex Mix or elaborate like a 1/4 pound of specialty coffee and a couple of scones. I prowl thrift stores for my favorite books and cookbooks to give as little gifts. 


Pro tip: Buy an inexpensive coat rack to avoid the "where's my coat" scramble. Have plenty of ice. Hire help if you can afford it…it is totally worth it.

ENJOY YOURSELF: The real secret to fantastic events is a relaxed host having a great time.

Daily inspiration and motivation on Instagram @kristencoffield.

Get some fun in your inbox. Sign up here


Click here to share your thoughts.


Reimagine Midlife

October 2, 2019

I didn't know what I didn't know, and that's probably a good thing. I thought my life would take a predictable path, and it didn't. Life got complicated and messy, and one day I found myself up a creek without a paddle.

 

Life is a tough sport, and there is no definitive guide to rebooting in the middle of it all. We are just improvising as we go, pivoting as needed, and doing our best. When the proverbial sh*t hits the fan we face -- disappointments, health scares, and all sorts of unimaginable things. So, how do we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and get back on track?

 

When the going gets tough, it's time to reboot. We can take the experiences and lessons learned from life and turn them into something new. Instead of living our lives predictably, we fire them up, exploring our own potential and doubling down on achievements left undone -- turning the middle years into a time of opportunity, accomplishment, and enrichment.

 

The biggest challenge is always going from idea to action. Starting something new can be daunting and overwhelming. Obstacles imagined and real, block our way. Self-doubt rears its ugly head and undermines our confidence. And, sometimes, the hardest part is just starting; especially if we are unsure of the desired outcome or how to achieve it.

Kristen Coffield (Photo by: Kristen Coffield) Kristen Coffield

 

If we want our lives to be different than they are right now, we can choose to do things differently. We can decide that this is our time, snatch the middle years from the jaws of mediocrity and write our own damn next chapter.

 

My own story required a re-write. I had to own my part in what wasn't working, free myself from unproductive behaviors, and get excited about the infinite possibilities ahead. The things over which I had no control had to go, and I turned my energy and attention to what I actually had the power to change… me. This became my starting point; a freeing mind-shift that released me from unproductive patterns of behavior and self-limiting beliefs, opening up bandwidth for new, exciting opportunities. 

 

Simplify, prioritize, and feel good again, became my mantra. So, I started with the one thing I could control each day that would have the most significant impact physically, emotionally, and mentally -- food. I took the simple, daily act of eating and turned it into my superpower. 

 

Food in its purest form is fuel, which I needed to power-up my dreams. Eating with intention was energizing, which led to the gym. Exercise triggered feel-good endorphins, improving my energy, sleep, and mood. Looking and feeling good felt like the best version of "me" boosting my self-confidence. And one day, I looked ahead, and the future was exciting and filled with possibilities. One bite at a time I created a life of passion and purpose, and so can you.

 

 Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Arthur Ashe.

 

 The little things we do every day add up over time and impact our lives. What we eat and drink, the people with whom we spend time, our thoughts, exercise, how we manage stress, and the quality of our sleep are things within our control that profoundly shape our lives. Reimagining life when we need to starts with being good stewards of our health. Abundant energy, resilient minds, consistent wellness, and energetic bodies are tools we can use to create lives we love.

 

 One simple step, done repeatedly, is the foundation for change. 

 

 When we feel good, we have the confidence and energy to explore other areas of our lives.

Start small and dream big. Change begins with a single action, what will yours be?

 

Kristen Coffield is an author, educator, and culinary disruptor at Culinary Cure where you can get her free e-book, 9 Steps To Change Your Life and start today.

Follow Kristen on Instagram @kristencoffield


Click here to share your thoughts.