Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Does Detox Water Work?

Does detox water work?
Short answer: Yes.
Longer answer: Read on.

Much like the coconut oil craze, recipes for detox water have been floating around the internet like they'll solve all your problems and make you lose 20 pounds overnight. But do they really?

According to the Mayo Clinic, putting some fruit in your water or doing a juice cleanse is not scientifically proven to detoxify your body. The body is designed to "detox" itself, so assuming your organs are functioning as they should, you don't necessarily need to add a bunch of fruits and veggies to your water to make it healthier. Normal water is pretty healthy, too, and has many benefits

That being said, infused water tastes better than the plain Jane, boring stuff you get at restaurants when you don't want to pay $3.00 for a Dr. Pepper. I have to really make a point to drink my water. My tendency is to drink coffee like it's going out of style, and given the choice, I would rather drink a raspberry mocha than a glass of H20. However, I know how important it is to stay hydrated by drinking water, so I gave this fancy water a shot. 

What's in my water?

Why? Any way that you can get a little more Vitamin C in your life will boost your immune system. 

Why? In addition to other health benefits, lemon water can be great for your skin

Why? Unpeeled cucumbers pack a solid amount of potassium. Potassi-yum is good for your heart, k?! (In case you missed it, that was a hilarious joke because potassium is vitamin k.)

Why? Yum. 

So, will detox water make your organs squeaky-clean and cause you to lose 20 pounds? Maybe not. Is detox water going to cut your cravings for BigMacs? Probably not. But a common misconception of hungry people is that they want food when they are simply dehydrated

Regularly drinking water can help cut out the dehydration pangs, so you can be sure that your body is actually hungry for food when your stomach starts growling. 

So, does detox water work? If it makes you drink more water, yes. Infused water is a great substitution for soda, and it's easy to sip on throughout the day without feeling guilty or consuming a lot of unnecessary sugars. Unfortunately, this is no substitution (in my opinion) for coffee. Nothing (in my opinion) is a substitution for coffee. 

I've never been able to make myself drink 8 glasses of water a day (how does anyone do that??), but putting fancy fruits in my cup certainly makes me want to get that much closer. Cheers to detoxing-- err, whatever that means! 

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How to Give a Compliment

I posted a little bit ago on how to take a compliment, but as many would say, it is better to give than to receive. Here's part two: How to give a compliment.

1. Don't be creepy
Guys: If you're interested in a girl, the best way to compliment her is to say something kind about her personality (i.e., "Hey girl, I think you're smart, humble, witty, brilliant, etc. etc. etc.") I would recommend that you don't just compliment some part of her appearance if you are interested in her beyond a pretty face. Sure, girls like being told their faces are pretty, but we'd rather be affirmed on parts of our personality that are unique to us. If you must compliment her on, say, her eyes, you could use that to transition to how eyes are the window to the soul and she has a beautiful soul… Or something like that.

2. Use humor to your advantage
Sometimes people feel awkward accepting compliments. Sometimes people feel awkward giving compliments. If you want to say something nice, but don't want it to be a huge, awkward deal, you could say something like this: "Hey, I'm going to nominate you for an Academy Award for 'best smile' even though 'best smile' isn't an Academy Award category and you're not an A-list celebrity." That sets you up to follow up with "Why on earth aren't you an A-list celebrity?! You should be because you are very talented and have great memorization skills."
Now, that wasn't awkward, was it??

3. Be sincere
If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. If you can't honestly say something nice, don't make up kind words just to hear your own voice.

4. Make it a habit
A compliment costs nothing for you to give but could mean everything for someone to receive. Complimenting someone is perhaps the easiest way that you could brighten his or her day. You don't have to fly a girl to Maui, buy her a million pairs of shoes, or give her a puppy. You simply have to open your mouth, and speak life.

5. Let others shine
My roommate recently tweeted this:
When you compliment someone, make sure you are truly putting the focus on them. Don't bring up another's success to remind them of your own. And, whatever you do, be sincere.

Photos of Julie Wilson by Nick Warnock.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

She Plants Things: A Cacti Garden

So, if you read my post on succulents, you'll know at this point that a cactus is a type of succulent. Basically what that means is you don't have to water it very often *insert cheering noises here* ! Planting cacti is pretty simple, so if you're a novice gardener like myself--this post is for you. 

The most important thing when choosing a planter for your baby cactus is to remember that it's not healthy for cacti to be over-watered. You won't want your cactus to sit in water, otherwise it might drown! So, the best option is to pick a planter with drainage holes. If you run into a problem (like I did) where you looooooove a certain planter without drainage holes, you can add a layer of larger rocks to the bottom for some DIY drainage. That way, the cactus won't be chilling in the deep-end every time you water it.

Take your plant out of its temporary-living home, and it's ready to move into its forever home. (Or at least where it'll stay for about a year until you find a cuter container for it and decide to re-plant it.) Gently brush away the excess dirt that won't fit into your planter, but be careful that you don't damage the root system. Plants have feelings, too.

Pro-tip when planting a cactus: Be careful. Cactus needles aren't the softest things around. Once you've planted each of your prickly guys, you'll then fill in the empty spaces with soil. On top of the soil, you can add a thin layer of pebbles. This isn't necessary for the plants to grow, but it looks cute, so you should probably do it.

If you want to get really fancy, you can research the type of cactus you bought and look up specific care instructions for it. Cacti are like babies; every one is different, and some tend to be more needy than others. As a general rule, though, baby cacti require less attention than actual babies. 

And there ya have it! Cacti are cool… Well, even though they're technically plants for hot weather, but you get the point. 

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