Welcome to Day 1 of our Kick Start 2022 Plant-Based Challenge, and congratulations on taking this potent step towards a healthier body and a healthier planet!

This challenge is based on research from the Food Revelation Network and is designed to give you a delicious taste of the many benefits of this way of eating, and will set you up for long-term health and vitality.

My goal is for you to look forward to delicious, healthy, plant-based meals, so you won’t need willpower or an endless supply of motivation to stick to a program that will bring you a constant flow of health and well-being. 

Over the next two weeks, I will help you understand the fundamentals of whole foods, plant-powered eating.

Today’s Lesson: Hydration -Hydration -Hydration

Anyone who has attended one of my classes, training, or workshops will know that I am always urging people to hydrate. This is because a hydrated body functions better in every area.

 

There are two kinds of dehydration: acute and chronic. Acute dehydration is life-threatening; it’s when your body is severely deprived of water — for example, if you spend a lot of time in hot weather without drinking anything.

The less obvious and much more rampant problem is low-grade, chronic dehydration. Given that the average person consumes less than one-third of the recommended amount of water daily, that’s a lot of dehydrated people.

That raises some questions, like:
Why don’t people drink more water?
Are our thirst sensors broken?

The problem is, we can get dehydrated without realizing that we’re actually thirsty. Instead of noticing that dry mouth, we’ll focus on other symptoms like dry skin, headaches, lethargy, and brain fog. So, we reach for skin lotion, ibuprofen, sugar, and caffeine instead of a tall glass of H₂0.

While those symptoms are unpleasant and can degrade your mood and productivity, the more serious problem with low-grade chronic dehydration is its long-term effects on your health. A dehydrated body is at risk of cardiovascular and digestive problems, as well as compromised kidney function and the creation of painful stones in the kidney, bladder, or urinary tract. There’s also some evidence suggesting that dehydration may contribute to colon and bladder cancer.

Another serious problem and the real reason why this course begins with the importance of water, though, has to do with what happens when you switch to a high-fibre, plant-based diet without getting enough water.  Constipation

You might be thinking,
“What does water have to do with a whole foods, plant-powered diet?”

Fibre in plant foods helps to move waste through your digestive system, but digestion needs enough water to work properly every step of the way. When you don’t get enough water, your digestion can get backed up. You might even experience some constipation, which can be uncomfortable, to say the least! So as you increase the amount of fibre-rich foods you’re eating, it’s very important to be sure you’re also drinking plenty of water.

Heads up: People who eat more fibre and who get properly hydrated usually find themselves making more frequent trips to the restroom. For most, this is a welcome sign of healthy (bowel) movement.

Tip: Aside from drinking more water, you can also eat hydrating foods. Plant-based foods with a higher water content include watermelon, strawberries, cucumbers, oranges, celery, peaches, and apples.

Did you know that when you eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, you are not only getting a rich and bountiful array of precious phytonutrients, but you’re also eating foods that are beneficially hydrating?

However, there really isn’t a set amount that’s right for every person. You need to replace the water that you lose each day. In addition to the obvious exit route of urination, we also lose water through breathing, sweating, crying, bleeding, and defecation.
One way to determine a reasonable starting point for your daily water intake is to take your body weight in pounds, cut that number in half, and drink that amount of water in ounces.
For example, someone who weighs 160 pounds would aim to drink 80 ounces of water each day. You can divide this amount by 8 (ounces of water in a typical glass) to get 10 glasses.
You may find you feel better with more or less water depending on other factors such as your activity level, pregnancy status, and age, or even the weather. Please also remember what we said about constipation and adjust your personal “water target” as needed.
Of course, you’ll want to make sure you have a source of clean water to drink. If your tap water tastes like a bunch of nasty chemicals, then investing in a home filtration system could be a very worthwhile choice. Bottled water is expensive, environmentally destructive, and not necessarily healthy.
Happy Hydration on Your Plant-Based Challenge : Let’s Make 2022 Your Healthiest Year Together