Dr. Amy Myers, Founder and Medical Director of Austin UltraHealth, gives us nine tips for a healthier holiday season! Enjoy.
1. Avoid gluten.
- You can use arrowroot scratch or sweet rice flour to thicken your gravy instead of wheat flour. You can also make your own gluten-free stuffing or dinner rolls with almond meal or coconut flour.
2. Ditch the dairy.
- Use full-fat coconut milk instead of cow’s milk for your cream gravies or green bean casserole. You can also baste your turkey in coconut oil instead of butter.
3. Avoid alcohol.
- Ditch the wine and beers. Filtered Aquasana water with a splash of lime juice makes for a perfect holiday drink without the pain of a hangover.
4. Support local farmers.
- Plan ahead this holiday season and purchase your produce and meat from local farmer’s markets to practice farm-to-table habits and sustain local businesses.
5. Make your own holiday party classics.
- If you’re hosting parties this year, consider making your own gluten-free and dairy-free treats, like gluten-free cookies or offer an array of exotic nuts and dried fruits.
6. Share your eating habits with friends.
- If you aren’t hosting the party, then prepare a dish or two that you know will be safe for you to eat. This is a great opportunity to share your health journey with your friends!
7. Eat with purpose.
- Don’t eat yourself into a coma this year! Arrive to holiday parties with a plan. Eat your veggies first, then meat, then starches, and finally if you have room, a bit of dessert.
8. Go Green.
- If you’re roasting a turkey, save the bones and make your own turkey broth. If you have leftover vegetable pieces to discard, save them for a vegetable broth instead. You can freeze your broth and use it as a base for future soups.
- Focus your attention on relationships and connections with loved ones rather than food.
For more tips on functional medicine, visit http://www.dramymyers.com.
It’s the middle of August and the sun is at it’s hottest, and if you’re feeling it, your pets are feeling it, too. Here are a few tips to keeping your pets safe, healthy, and comfortable in the heat.
Stock up on Preventatives: Fleas and mosquitoes love to come out when the weather starts heating up, and thanks to the unusually warm winter months, they are extremely pervasive this season. Avoid slacking on giving your pets the medicine to prevent these pests from biting and transferring diseases or worms to your pet. Generic formulas make it easier and cheaper to keep your pet treated.
Keep an Eye Out: When you take your dog to a dog park, make sure you read park rules before heading out. Good dog park etiquette includes cleaning up after your dog and minding their social skills. No matter how much you prepare, however, accidents can happen. Keeping a pet first aid kit in your car is a good way to be able to respond to injury quickly. Since dogs benefit from interacting with one another, try going to the dog park on off hours or scheduling play time with neighbor dogs in a backyard.
Watch for Allergic Reactions: Cats and dogs can both develop allergic reactions to pollen. Watch for signs of excess chewing, biting, scratching, sneezing, or redness. Monitor the pollen count and keep pets inside on days that are going to be particularly heavy. Benadryl can relieve pet allergy symptoms, but make sure to talk to your vet about dosage amounts before giving it to your pet. Oatmeal shampoos do a great job at relieving itching in dogs and cats alike.
Keep Pets Cool: Make sure your pets have access to cool areas at all times. For outdoor dogs, try filling 2-liter bottles with water, freezing them, and putting them in the doghouse. It will allow your pets to keep from overheating when they’re in their house. We also recommend keeping your doghouse in the shade. Heatstroke can affect dogs quickly, especially if they have thick, dark coats. For indoor pets, keep your A/C on if you’re planning on spending the day out. If it would be too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pets. Another way to keep them cool is to give them ice cubes or frozen veggies as treats!
Protect Delicate Skin: Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in dogs and the second most common in cats. Even though fur provides good sun protection, it would be a good idea to get a pet sun block to apply to sensitive areas like the bellies of dogs and the ears and around the eyes of cats. Use products made specifically for pets because zinc-oxide – a main ingredient in sunscreen – can be toxic to pets. Also, you may be tempted to shave your pet or trim their fur short in the summer months, but don’t! A pet’s fur provides circulation and keeps them cool in the heat and helps to regulate their body temperature.
Hydration, hydration, hydration: Always have clean, cold water available for your pets; they can easily get dehydrated in the summer heat. It’s also a great idea to give your pets filtered water. If you feel that the contaminants in your tap water are bad for your health, skin, and hair, they’re also bad for your pets’. Using a water filtration system and giving your dog healthy water to drink is one of the best things you can do to keep them healthy and hydrated in the summer heat!
Enjoy the rest of the summer heat!
FRONT ROW ACCESS AT THE LONG CENTER
This Wednesday, July 31, Aquasana presents the latest event in Alamo Drafthouse’s Sound and Cinema Summer Series – a sundown screening of School of Rock, preceded by the Zeppelin Show performed by Will Taylor & Strings Attached.
In addition to serving up delicious free filtered water to the crowd, Aquasana will also offer 20 lucky attendees access to the Aquasana VIP Section– reserved prime seating with amazing views of the Austin cityscape. VIPs also receive water concierge service –including their choice of fresh-fruit water infusions – School of Rock themed gift bags featuring tattoo sleeves andguitar picks as well as free parking in the Palmer Events Center Garage. Guests can email their name and the names of up to three guests to reserve a spot at RSVP@aquasana.com. Reservations will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis.
Sound & Cinema Summer Lineup:
Wednesday, July 31:
8PM: The Zeppelin Show performed by Will Taylor & Strings Attached
Sunset: School of Rock screening
Wednesday, August 14:
8 PM: Magnifico, the greatest Queen cover band of all time
Sunset: Flash Gordon (1980) screening
Wednesday, August 21:
8 PM: Live music TBA
Sunset: Jurassic Park, live music TBA
Wednesday, August 28:
8 PM: Hello Wheels, playing hits from both the 50s and the 80s
Sunset: Back to the Future screening
In addition to the featured entertainment, visitors can enjoy dining from food truck favorites including Frank, Blue Ox BBQ, Whole Foods and more. Beer, wine, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for sale by the Long Center. Guests are also welcome bring their own non-alcoholic drinks or food to picnic on the lawn. Food trailers open at 7 PM.
More information and updates schedules can be found at Do512.com/SoundandCinema.
If you notice that you are going through three liters of water at work alone, you may think that you are drinking too much water, but you are nowhere near a level that is dangerous to your health. It’s great that you are drinking a generous amount of water throughout the work day. Staying hydrated at work is one of the best things you can do for your health.
There is no recommended daily allowance (RDA) for water, but there is an adequate intake level (AI). For example, the AI for women is approximately 2.2 liters, which is more than the eight 8-ounce glasses that many health experts recommend. Whether you decide to drink the 2.2 liters or eight glasses, you will be making an excellent decision regarding your health.
The amount of water you need to drink every day is very individualized due to how much physical activity you do on a daily basis, or how hot it is where you live, but there are five easy tips to follow in order to make sure you’re getting the right amount of water for you.
1. Avoid being thirsty!
You feel thirsty for a reason. It’s your body’s way of telling you that you need more water to function properly and avoid being dehydrated. Don’t ignore it. Research from as early as the 1960’s tells us that people underestimate the amount of fluid they need to re-hydrate, so it’s always safe to drink a little more than you think you need.
2. Don’t drink it all at once!
The old trick that says if you drink a glass of water before you eat so you get full faster… doesn’t work. You should also not drink so much water that you feel full. That much water at once is overkill, and the full feeling is telling you so. If you drink too much water in a short period of time, that’s when water toxicity occurs. Spreading out your water over the course of the day is the only good way to keep yourself constantly hydrated.
3. Aim to wake up feeling hydrated!
Waking up thirsty is a good sign that you aren’t getting enough water during the day, and that you should consume more fluids. Also, pay attention when you step on the scale in the morning. Your weight can fluctuate due to the fact that you aren’t getting enough fluids during the day.
4. Bottle your own!
You are much more likely to drink water if you carry it with you. If you don’t have to go to the vending machine to buy a bottle or wait to get one on your lunch break, you’re more likely to keep yourself hydrated. Also, if you want to avoid all of the waste that comes with drinking bottled water, grab your own reusable bottle and fill it at home.
5. Filter it!
What is one of the best ways to get yourself to drink enough water? Make sure to drink water that is refreshing and tastes good. Installing a drinking water filter in your home is a great way to make sure your water is healthy and delicious! Aquasana drinking water systems are a great way to take out more than 60 contaminants and leave in the good stuff such as magnesium and calcium. Find them at aquasana.com.
At Aquasana, we know how summer is a great time to get away and travel to new places, so we decided to give you a top five list of some of our favorite places to get away to!
1. TEXAS HILL COUNTRY
The Texas Hill Country, located just west of Austin and north of San Antonio, is the next best thing to crossing the Atlantic. This area is colorful, lush, and unlike the rest of the state, is filled with big, beautiful green hills. Also, this region contains 22 wineries and buzzes with food and music festivals year round. You can also experience the great shopping experience offered at the Hill Country Galleria. Towns like Fredericksburg also offer a taste of Germany with biergartens and schnitzelhäuser. Why go to Europe when you can experience all the beauty right here in the Texas Hill Country?
2. PORTLAND, OR
In Portland, you can literally taste summer! Filled with top-ranked farmers’ markets, inventive cafes with fresh-caught fish, and plenty of cool summer drink spots, Portland landed a spot on our list. The wholesome cuisine will make you want to get active, too, because if you’re a foodie, you will be more than impressed by the array of vegan cafes and eco-hippie cooperatives. Drawn by the city’s artsy vibe, young chefs are breaking the mold and tapping into the local fisheries and artisanal farms. After your meal, rent a bicycle or check out hiking spots near waterfalls just outside town!
3. NASHVILLE, TN
When it starts heating up outside, so does the entertainment in Music City. In the summer, you can check out the numerous music festivals taking place around the city including the CMA Music Festival and Music City July 4th: Let Freedom Sing. Music aside, there’s plenty of activities for the entire family, because Nashville also has its own water parks and zoo! There’s no surprise that Nashville would make it on our list due to it being the live music capital of the USA, but it might surprise you that it’s also been named as one of the most affordable places to travel!
4. BAHIA HONDA KEY, FL
With its pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, and almost no development, Bahia Honda Key might be mistaken for a chic Brazilian Preserve! This 524 acre islet in the Lower Florida Keys between Key West and Marathon, is actually a state park. You can experience beautiful beaches, amazing snorkeling, and an astounding biodiversity. What’s even rarer here are the prices. Admission, snorkeling, and even a cabin rental for a night will cost you less than $160. There are plenty of fishing and picnic spots located throughout, and kayaks, bikes, and skates can be rented and enjoyed all over the islet.
When you think of Alaska, you might think of freezing temperatures and a great winter getaway. What most don’t realize is that the cheapest (and probably most enjoyable) time to make your getaway to Alaska is in the summer months! You can check out popular tourist spots such as the zoo or the many parks located throughout the region. Whether you come for a classic cruise, a trek across glaciers, dog-sledding, or caribou-spotting in Denali National Park, Anchorage is a great place for amazing photo-op views and a great way to cool off and beat that summer heat back home!
While you’re traveling this summer, make sure you stay hydrated. Tips how are available on our Dehydration blog. It’s best to keep that filtered water with you and stay cool on your travels this summer. For a great, portable glass bottle, check out aquasana.com!
Juicing is a health choice that has become increasingly popular over the last few years. It is a great option for those interested in heading towards an energetic life and truly optimal health. Almost every health specialist recommends getting a minimum of 6-8 servings of vegetables per day, and honestly, that is hard to reach. So what can you do to ensure that you are taking in as many vegetables as you should? Juice!
Juicing helps you absorb more of the nutrients from vegetables. Many people have impaired digestive systems due to the fact that they have not made optimal food choices over the years. This limits your body’s ability to take in all the necessary nutrients from vegetables. What juicing does is break down the vegetables for you in order for you to receive the majority of the nutrients rather than having them pass right through you.
With juicing, you are able to consume more vegetables in an efficient manner. Most find reaching the 6-8 servings of vegetables recommended every day difficult, but with juicing, this can be accomplished with a few glasses of vegetable juice. It also allows you to add a wider variety of vegetables to your diet!
Here are some tips on adding juicing to your diet:
-Remember that a glass of vegetable juice is not a complete meal. Unless you are going through a detox or a fast, use juicing as an addition to your meal, or as a snack between meals.
-Start by juicing vegetables that you enjoy eating already. Then add other vegetables and start experimenting with new flavors as you go. You should like the taste of your juice!
-Use pesticide-free vegetables! It is always a good choice to choose organic veggies, but some are better than others. Celery, spinach, kale, cucumbers, lettuce, and carrots are a few of the best options.
-If you want your juice to taste delicious without adding too much sugar try adding lemons/limes, ginger, coconut, or cranberries!
-Clean your juicer immediately after you juice! It can be done easily with something as simple as a toothbrush, and it will keep your juicer from growing mold!
-Drink your juice right away or store it very carefully! Make sure your stored juice is in an airtight container with a minimum amount of air so as the juice doesn’t oxidize.
If you want an excellent way to store your juice, Aquasana’s glass bottles are a great airtight solution, can be found on our website, and are already popular with many juicers!
Enjoy a new healthy lifestyle with juicing!
The reason we get that tired feeling in the mid to late afternoon at work is mostly due to the fact that your body is dehydrating. By staying hydrated throughout the morning and afternoon, you will be more awake and focused. Try drinking 96 ounces of water a day, with half of that before 2pm.
Water is the second most important nutrient to the body next to oxygen, which shouldn’t be surprising due to the fact that 70% of our bodies are made up of water. Still, most people aren’t getting the 10-12 glasses of water per day that is recommended by health experts. As a result, an estimated 75% of North Americans suffer from chronic dehydration.
Not sure how to tell if you’re dehydrated? Well, if you are thirsty, it means your cells are already dehydrated. A dry mouth is the last outward sign of dehydration. Thirst does not develop until body fluids are depleted well below levels required for optimal functioning.
Effects of Mild Dehydration:
- Decreased coordination
- Dry skin
- Decreased urine output
- Dry mucous membranes in the mouth and nose
- Blood pressure changes and impairment of judgment
Unintentional Chronic Dehydration (UCD):
- Back pain
- High blood pressure
- Many degenerative health problems
When thirsty, most feel that it’s okay to just grab a sports drink or coffee. It’s not! These kinds of beverages themselves can cause dehydration due to the high content of caffeine and sugar. Coffee, juice, and milk all require water to be digested properly, and caffeine causes one to urinate more often, which are all counter-productive to proper hydration. All in all, there is nothing that can replace water when it comes to providing what the body needs to function properly.
When traveling, our chances of dehydrating are even greater. Although as exciting as it is, traveling is one of the most taxing activities on our bodies due to the stress from altitude, tension, jet lag, and swollen muscles and joints and dehydration. Factors like temperature, sweating, altitude, and exercise can significantly increase the amount of water we lose each day, so it is especially important to hydrate before, during, and after travel.
Clean, filtered water is the best choice for healthy hydration. Aquasana drinking water filters remove the contaminants from tap water and leave the healthy minerals in the water for optimum hydration. So, whether you’re traveling around town or across the country, make hydration a priority. Take your own water bottle with you or a collapsible refillable if traveling so you always have water on hand.
Summer can be tough on hair. The elements we expose our hair to in the summer can cause it to become dry, brittle, damaged, and overall, unhealthy. Here are a few tips to help prevent hair damage and keep our hair looking healthy and beautiful all summer long!
Wash your hair daily with filtered water:
At the end of the day after exposing yourself to all kinds of elements, you know your skin is extremely dirty. On top of being exposed to the same elements, your hair follicles produce sebum, or oil, as your scalp perspires. Washing your hair every day is the single most effective way you make your hair and scalp healthier. The best thing you can do for your hair (and skin!) is to use filtered water. Using an Aquasana shower filter, designed to remove over 90% of the harmful chlorine in tap water, is one of the best choices when it comes to making your hair healthy and beautiful!
Treat your hair to tea:
Try an herbal tea rinse for your hair—it’s a great way to boost your hair’s natural highlights! Use lemon or chamomile for blond hair, black tea for brown or black hair, or red zinger for copper or red hair. To do it, boil a gallon of Aquasana filtered water, add four tea bags, and let them steep for three to five minutes in a large bowl. Then let the water cool to room temperature. Lean over the sink, flipping your hair over your head. Pour the tea over your hair and let it drip into the sink. Then put a shower cap over your hair and let the tea sit for 10 minutes before rinsing, shampooing, and conditioning as usual. It’s so easy to do, but gives you big results!
Heat it up:
Use the sun’s heat to your advantage! While you’re poolside or at the beach, treat your hair to a deep conditioning mask, comb your hair into a bun, and let the product go to work while you lounge. This protects hair from salt or chlorinated water and gives you extra softness and shine.
Eating a healthy diet, full of omega-3 fatty acids (found in foods such as salmon, spinach, and omega-3 rich eggs) can keep your hair strong and looking healthy and shiny. The nutrients in these foods help nourish your hair and keep it healthier for longer. Supplements such as flax seed oil can also be added to your diet to boost your intake of essential fatty acids (EFA’s).
Don’t soak up the bad stuff:
Limit the amount of saturation from pool or ocean water by brushing a few drops of natural neem hair oil through your dry locks with a boar-bristle brush, then dousing your hair with fresh water. Hair can absorb only so much liquid, so if you enter chlorinated or salt water with wet hair, you’ll prevent some of the water from penetrating if your hair is already wet. The oil acts as an additional barrier due to the fact that oil and water don’t mix.
Not too cold, not too hot:
Wash your hair with lukewarm water. Some people put ice in the water in which they wash their hair to make it cold, when in reality, the water temperature should neither be too hot nor too cold; it should be balanced. Water that is either very hot or very cold can dry out and damage hair.
Keeping your hair protected during the summer is one of the most important things you can do in order to keep your hair looking great all year long!
Planning on getting together with friends and family this 4th of July? Treat your guests to these delicious Aquasana recipe picks for a fun and festive Independence Day celebration.
Aquasana Americana Infused Water
-5 strawberries, sliced
-12 blueberries, pierced to release flavor
-5-6 slices of pineapple (cut into star shapes with a cookie cutter)
-Ice and Aquasana filtered water
Combine fruit with Aquasana filtered water and refrigerate overnight. Add ice and serve.
Organic Fresh Watermelon Sorbet
-1 cup of organic sugar
-3/4 cup of Aquasana filtered water
-3 ½ cups of seedless watermelon flesh
What to do:
Prep ice water bath in a medium size stainless steel bowl. Place sugar and Aquasana filtered water in a saucepan and dissolve sugar over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when sugar is dissolved. Pour syrup into a small bowl and chill in the ice water bath until cool.Puree watermelon flesh in a blender. Slowly add chilled syrup with blender running until combined.Freeze sorbet in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
Skewered Grilled Organic Veggies
-15 bamboo skewers
-2 medium summer squash, halved and cut into half inch slices
-2 medium zucchinis, halved and cut into half inch slices
-1 red bell pepper, cut into quarters lengthwise and cut into one inch pieces
-1 basket cherry tomatoes
-1/4 cup olive oil
-Salt and pepper
-2-3 tbsp chopped fresh herbs of your choice
Place the skewers in a bowl and cover with Aquasana filtered water, soak for 30 minutes. This will prevent the skewers from burning. Prepare grill at medium heat. Place chopped veggies in a medium bowl and toss with olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper to taste. Skewer veggies in a colorful arrangement, alternating colors.
Place skewered veggies over medium heat on the grill. Check and turn skewers as needed and grill until veggies are marked and tender about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and place on a platter. Drizzle veggies with a good balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with fresh herbs, and serve!
The Simple Secret Insiders Know for Lustrous Locks and Supple Skin
Austin, TX (June 28, 2013) – It’s rumored that self-indulgent celebs bathe in bottled water to maintain star-quality hair and skin. The secret to the water is actually the lack of one element: beauty enemy chlorine. Think of how dry skin and hair is after a dip in a chlorinated pool. While tap water doesn’t contain as much chlorine as a pool, levels are high enough to have a drying effect on skin and hair.
An easier and less expensive alternative to buying cases of bottled water is a simple shower filter. “One of the most important things you can do for your hair is to wash it with filtered, chlorine-free water,” says celebrity stylist River Lloyd of the John Frieda Salon. “Your hair will be noticeably softer and shinier, your scalp will be healthier and hair color will stay true and last longer.”
Aquasana, maker of best-in-class water filtration systems, offers shower filters that reduce chlorine by 90% and retail for as little as $30. The removal of chlorine not only benefits hair, but also reduces harmful effects that can contribute to the premature aging of skin. Additionally, the filters enhance the performance of beauty products – providing valuable savings on pricey shampoos, conditioners and soaps.
Vanity isn’t the only reason to install a filter. Shower filters also improve air quality by reducing vaporized chlorine and many users with skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema see improvements after only a few weeks of use. More information can be found at Aquasana.com.
Aquasana is a leading water filtration company with the sole focus of providing best-in-class water filtration products so everyone can enjoy great-tasting, healthy water. Based in Austin, Texas, the company markets drinking water filters, shower filters, and whole-home water filter systems that remove over 60 harmful contaminants from water including chlorine, chloramines, herbicides, pesticides, industrial solvents, lead, and mercury. Aquasana water filters are engineered to preserve the healthy minerals in water, which include calcium, magnesium and potassium resulting in healthy, great-tasting water. For more information visit www.aquasana.com.