Milk for Hydration?

Milk for Hydration?

In “Water Rich Foods” I wrote about some foods that can add to your daily hydration, like tomatoes, pineapple, celery and cantaloupe.  Now I’d like to explain how some beverages other than water can also contribute to hydration. 

First, let’s define “beverage”.  Merriam-Webster dictionary says it’s  “any drinkable liquid”, so let’s take a look at some typical beverages to see how they stack up in the hydration department.  This post will be focused on milk.  Others will follow.

           MILK…88% water!         Did you know that a glass of this white liquid is about 88% water?  I’ve been drinking milk since my childhood and I never thought about it…till now.  That’s a good amount of water towards daily intake. 

 What else is in that glass of milk?  Well, there’s:

*Fat…about 3.5%

           *Lactose…about 5%

                         *Protein…about 3.2%

Note:  the amount of fat depends on whether it’s whole or skim.  Percentages also vary according to the type of cow that produced the milk: 

For example, a Brown Swiss cow   will provide milk with about 4% fat content whereas a Jersey cow will supply 5.5% fat in its milk.”  

So, how well does Milk hydrate us?  Surprisingly, studies have shown that milk may do a better job than water because it stays in the body longer than water and sports drinks.  It releases slowly and is gradually absorbed by the body.  It helps the body hold on to fluids longer.

**Here’s an interesting fact…recent studies showed that milk rehydrates better than sports drinks like Gatorade.  During and after exercise we lose electrolytes.  These are essential minerals that carry an electric charge and are found in our blood, sweat and urine.  They’re crucial to keeping our nervous system and muscles functioning and our internal environment balanced.  They include:

  • Sodium                          
  • Potassium           
  • Chloride                         
  • Calcium                                
  • Magnesium                                               
  • Phosphate
  • Bicarbonate                                         ]

When you sweat, you’re also losing fats, amino acids and water.  Milk outperformed sports drinks as a recovery beverage after workouts.  “It is well retained and is a great source of protein, carbohydrate, vitamins, and minerals.”  (quoted from source below)


Bottom Line:   Drinking milk during workouts might feel uncomfortable because it might take a little while to digest.   I haven’t tried it yet.  I know I’ve had that problem with bananas.  I do drink it after workouts like hitting the tennis ball against the wall for a ½ hour.  It takes me a few minutes to get home and  I drink it there.  That agrees with me.  Don’t know if I’m willing to try it during a tennis match.  I’ll let you know if I do.

Conclusion:  Milk is a great hydration drink for normal daily routines, and a strong recovery beverage after exercise.  Let me know what happens if you try it during an intense workout.


Posted by DSaull in Nutrition
Water Rich Foods

Water Rich Foods

In my previous article called “Water…Water…Water” I wrote that we need lo get lots of water into our bodies every day to stay hydrated and be healthy.  I gave some pretty high goals to reach.  I said that men need to get about 3 liters (13 cups) daily, and women need about 2 liters (9 cups). 

The good news is that 20% of that fluid comes from our food!  We only have to make up the difference (80% for you math wizards) by drinking water and other beverages throughout the day.

Let’s take a look at some fruits and vegetables that contain high amounts of water listed in highest to lowest percentages.

*Celery – 95% water 

 This is a very crunchy veggie and kind of stringy so I add it to my soup recipe (see my Welcome Page).  Sometimes I’ll pop a few small chunks in my mouth while I’m cutting it up for my soup.  After learning this about it I might start adding little pieces to my salads.

*Radishes – 95% water 

 I add this one to my soup.  I’ve tried them raw and don’t enjoy it – no flavor.  You might have a different reaction.  It’s a personal preference.

*Tomatoes  – 94% water 

 You probably enjoy these juicy red beauties as tomato sauce in a variety of foods.  However, in order to get the water in them it’s recommended that you eat them raw.  One way is to slice them up and add them to your salads.

*Watermelon – 92% water 

 A summer favorite!  Cold from the fridge it’s a sweet, juicy and wonderfully hydrating.  You can buy it seedless now in many places.

*Bell Peppers – 92% water 

 I love the red bells because they’re sweet, crunchy and gorgeous in my salad.  Sometimes I’ll cut up a piece and eat it raw by itself.  You can also add a few slices as a side dish with your hot meal.

*Cantaloupe – 90% water 

 This is a personal favorite of mine.  I remember eating it as a young child and loving its sweetness.  There are a few ways to enjoy it.  I cut one in half, scoop out the seeds, and eat it by the slice.  Other times I cut it up and add the chunks to a cup of yogurt, a cold and delicious way to enjoy it.

*Pineapple – 87% water 

 This delicious and juicy fruit is great by itself in chunks, especially during the hot summer months.  You can also top a dish of yogurt with some cold chunks of pineapple for a snack or light lunch.

*Carrots – 87% water 

 This is my favorite vegetable.  It’s the foundation for my “greens” soup recipe and I love eating it shredded.  Sometimes I’ll add some raw shredded carrot to my salad.  It has a beautiful orange color and a sweet taste.

*Apples – 84% water 

 I love this fruit!  My favorite is organic Galas…they’re sweet and juicy.  I eat them a few different ways.  I’m not fond of biting into an apple whole so I cut off slices and eat them.  I also cut up slices into bite size morsels and add them to a sliced up banana in a bowl.  Then I sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese over it and I enjoy a delicious treat! 

**Hint** I’ve bought them nonrefrigerated and refrigerated (supermarkets do this) and I found the refrigerated ones to be fresher, crispier and tastier.

*Grapes – 81% water 

 I like the red seedless kind – cold from the fridge.  I’ll eat them in a bowl by themselves or top my yogurt with them.  If you like the green seedless type I recommend you eat them in moderation.  They are high in sugar and I found out the hard way years ago when I broke out in a rash after eating tons of them in a short period of time.

*Bananas – 74% water 

 This is my #1 favorite fruit!  I eat sometimes 2 or 3 a day!  Here are some ways I enjoy them…1)  In a milkshake…blend a cup of milk with a banana and drink…delicious!  I like to take my fat soluable supplements (Vitamin E and Fish Oil) with my shakes because they’re supposed to be taken with food and it’s easy for me to remember this way.  Another favorite is mashed over pancakes.  It adds a moist sweetness to the pancakes as a healthy substitute for sugary syrups.  I add sliced banana to apple chunks with shredded cheddar cheese in a bowl.  Another way I’ve eaten them in the past (haven’t found a yogurt lately that I like) is sliced over a bowl of yogurt. 

There you have my picks for water rich foods.  In my sourced websites you’ll find plenty of other choices.  Fruits and vegetables abound so I think it will depend on what’s available in your area and what appeals to your tastebuds.  Try different ones…keep what you like and leave the rest. 

Happy Healthy Eating!


Posted by DSaull in Nutrition


What’s all the fuss about drinking water?  Why is it so important to our health?   Living in the desert I know what it’s like to be dehydrated.  I even suffered a mild case of heat stroke a few summers ago which left me in a sad state for a few weeks.  Beyond that, from my nutrition training I knew that water supports our cells but I didn’t know just how deep the story goes until I researched the facts for this story.

The U.S. Geological Survey was created 125 years ago by an act of Congress and provides scientific expertise on a variety of topics concerning our natural environment.  Here’s what they say about water:

Our bodies are mostly water!

  *Our brain and heart are 73% water! 

*Our lungs are about 83% water!   

*Our skin is 64% water! 

*Our muscles and kidneys are 79% water!   

* Our bones are 31% water!   

Why does this matter?  It’s a thing called fluid balance (homeostasis for you science types).  Too little water inside our cells and they shrivel up and die.  Too much H2O and those cute little things up and burst!  Fluid balance ensures the normal functioning of our body and its optimal health.  It’s vital for physical and mental performance every day of our lives.

Here are just some of the jobs that water performs for us:

*It regulates our internal body temperature through sweating and breathing.

*Carbohydrates and proteins that our bodies use as food are metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream.

*It helps flush waste through urination.

*Acts as a shock absorber for the brain, spinal cord and fetus

*Water forms saliva.

*Water lubricates the joints.

Replenishing this Water Daily

According to the USGS:

Men need to drink 3 liters (3.2 qts) of water each day (about 13 cups).

Women need to drink 2.2 liters (2.3 qts) each day (9 cups)

You’re probably thinking, “How is that humanly possible?”  Well, take heart people.  Here’s some good news.  20% of our water intake comes from food!  We only have to make up the other 80%!  

In my next article I will provide a list of foods that are rich in water.  Many of them are already in your diet.  I will also warn about some foods to avoid or at least eat in moderation because they encourage the body to dehydrate – not a good thing!

Posted by DSaull in Nutrition
Fiber…Oh that Fiber!

Fiber…Oh that Fiber!

   I grew up eating whole grain cereals for breakfast like Wheatena ( my favorite), a wonderful nutty and tasty hot treat with sliced banana and milk – those winter months in New Jersey were cold!  Other cereals like Wheaties and Cheerios rounded out my whole grain intake…we didn’t know about whole wheat breads in my household.  We ate Wonder Bread.  Muffins and pancakes were made with Bisquick.  

Years later I read about the benefits of fiber in my first nutrition book written by Adelle Davis titled “How to Eat Right and Keep Fit”.  She explained the chemical bleaching process used to convert whole grains to white flour and warned of the dangers of eating flour devoid of nutrition, how it cannot be digested and just clogs the body as waste.  It made me grateful to my mother for giving me whole grain cereals as a child.

Whole grains have been a staple in my diet since then and as I learned more about nutrition I added foods like fruits and vegetables to get additional fiber in my diet.

Here are some important facts to know about fiber and some examples of foods you can try for yourself and your family.


  Dietary Fiber

Dietary fiber includes the parts of plant foods your body can’t digest or absorb..unlike other food components like fats, proteins and carbs which your body breaks down and does absorb.  Fiber can’t be digested.  It passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine and colon and out during elimination.

The Digestive System

There are 2 kinds of fiber:

  1.  Soluable  This kind dissolves in water, turning the food in the intestines into a gel from which nutrients can be absorbed at a slow, steady rate.   

Examples of Soluable fiber are beans, oats, barley, bananas, potatoes, soft parts of apples and pears.

    2.   Insoluable  This type promotes the movement through your digestive system and increases stool bulk.  This kind of fiber is called “roughage” because it doesn’t dissolve in water.  It holds on to water which helps to produce softer, bulkier stools helping to regulate bowl movements.

Examples of Insoluable fiber are whole bran, whole grain products, nuts, corn, carrots, grapes, berries, peels of apples and pears, and lettuce.

In addition to promoting healthy digestion, fiber provides us with these wonderful benefits:

*Fiber curbs overeating.. it’s filling without fattening”. These foods require more chewing and the prolonged chewing besides predigesting food satisfies the appetite so you eat less, it stays in the stomach longer, absorbs water and helps the eater feel full.

The best fibers for weight control are bran and the pectin from fruits.

  Here’s a tip worth its weight in gold…Eat high fiber foods with high fat foods to decrease the absorption of fat.  Increase your daily fiber and you’ll absorb fewer calories.  

*Fiber steadies your blood sugar level, especially the soluable kind.  It slows the absorption of sugar from the intestines.  This steadies the blood sugar level and lessens the ups and downs of insulin secretion.

A breakfast and lunch containing moderate amounts of soluable fiber can help a child who shows behavior and learning difficulties which may be caused by blood sugar swings.

* Keeping insulin levels low and stable helps store less fat.

*Fiber slows fat absorption by the body.

*Reduces cholesterol…A diet high in soluble fiber, such as that found in oat bran, whole oats, psyllium, legumes, barley, fruit, and prunes, lowers blood levels of the harmful type of cholesterol (LDL) without lowering the good cholesterol (HDL) levels. As it travels down the intestines, soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gluey gel which picks up cholesterol and carries it out of the body. 

*Promotes regularity – Insoluable fiber mainly from the cellulose in skins of fruits, vegetables and the husks of grains help prevent constipation, promotes peristalsis (the broom effect).

*While soluble fiber helps protect against cardiovascular diseases, insoluble fiber protects against colon cancer.  It binds carcinogens (toxins that can transform normal cells into cancerous ones) lessening their contact with the intestinal wall.  The water and bulk of the stools dilutes toxins reducing their potential to harm.

*Fiber promotes healthy intestinal bacteria and contributes to a friendlier intestinal environment.

For more information please visit these sources:



Posted by DSaull in Nutrition
Salad for Spring!

Salad for Spring!

When winter comes I turn to hot foods and this past winter was no exception.  I depended on my soup for fiber and veggie nutrition along with my usual whole grain breads, pasta, and brown rice.  I added pieces of Romaine lettuce to the top of my soup bowl to get some roughage as well.

Springtime is another story.  When the warm air hits I crave the cool crunch of a hearty salad, and this spring I created one that is nutritious, colorful, and full of texture – a delight for the senses.  This particular salad really “unclogs” my system so I try to eat at least one salad each day.   Here is my salad recipe followed by the nutritional benefits of its ingredients along with online sources for you:

Diane’s Red ‘n Green Organic Leaf Combo Salad ©


* Organic Red Leaf lettuce… a few leaves

* Organic Romaine lettuce…a few leaves

*Hot or cold ingredients from my soup (see Welcome page for link to recipe)…1 or 2 tablespoons

*Parsley ¼ cup flowers without stems

*Red Bell Pepper ¼ cup

*Cheese…handful shredded.  I buy it packaged for convenience…I try different kinds like Sharp Cheddar (nice tangy flavor) and Mexican which combines several kinds of cheese in one package. 


Tear lettuce leaves into pieces and place in salad bowlAdd rest of the ingredients and gently toss with fork or spoon.

Salad Dressing Ingredients

*Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 *Apple Cider Vinegar…organic, raw, unpasteurized & unfiltered with the “mother” if you can find it. Warning:  Go easy on ACV…it’s strong…a few capfuls

*Soy Sauce (low sodium)

*Tomato Sauce (I try different ones to keep things interesting…my favorite is a chunky Marinara Sauce with added veggies found at my local supermarket.)

Combine above ingredients in your favorite salad dressing bowl.  I purposely left out the amounts because it will vary depending on the number of people it will serve.  I make enough for myself and a larger batch for company.

I also vary amounts of salad ingredients depending on my mood. If I’m hungry for lettuce I’ll add an extra helping…same goes for the other ingredients…salads are the kind of thing where you can be creative…sometimes I’ll load up on cheese…I love cheese on my salads! Sometimes I’ll add more olive oil, soy sauce or tomato sauce to my dressing…flexibility is the key.  Have fun with it!

Copyright © 2020 Diane B. Saull All Rights Reserved.

Health Benefits of Salad Ingredients with Sources

    (Listed in Alphabetical Order)

Apple Cider Vinegar

*Helps to maintain normal blood sugar

*Rich in antioxidants

*Good for digestion…improves assimilation of nutrients from food

*Supports lower blood pressure


*”Cheese contains the powerful nutritional triad of calcium, Vitamin D and Vitamin K2, which together channel calcium into your bones and teeth while keeping it out of your arteries; this, combined with its omega-3 fats, make cheese a very heart-healthy food.” (See Dr. Mercola’s article in the link below.)

*Contains high-quality protein and amino acids

* Contains high-quality saturated fats and omega-3 fats

*Contains zinc, phosphorus, Vitamins A, D, B2 (riboflavin) and B12

*Contains CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a powerful cancer-fighter and metabolism booster

Olive Oil

*Contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acids – oleic acid being the most important.  It’s extremely heart-healthy and capable of fighting free radical damage

*Contains powerful antioxidants…is considered an “anti-inflammatory food” and cardiovascular protector

*Helps fight cancer…contains special compounds that are considered to be anti-cancer agents

*Helps with weight loss…contains high amounts of healthy fats that control excess insulin

*Supports brain health…the healthy fats help to improve memory and ability to focus

*Fights mood disorders and depression…the healthy fats contribute to balancing the body’s hormones

*Naturally slows aging…contains a special antioxidant that helps activate gene signatures keeping us young and protects our cells

*Can help to lower diabetes… the fatty acids help to stabilize the blood sugar


*Rich in antioxidants like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K (plays a key role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s by limiting neuronal damage in the brain)

*Good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium and iron

*Rich in B-Complex vitamins

 Red Bell Pepper

*Excellent source of dietary fiber (both soluable and insoluable)

*Rich sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6 (helps to process fats, carbs, and proteins)

*Rich in other antioxidants like carotenoids (lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

*good source of vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, potassium, and manganese

 Red Leaf Lettuce

*My personal favorite…I love the rich red color of the leaves, the light texture – the way it sits up on my plate, and the taste is very pleasant…it gives my salad eye appeal and that’s important to me…makes it more appetizing…and I need that incentive when it comes to eating salad.  It means I’ll eat more of it and I need the roughage in my diet.

*I didn’t know lettuce had any major health benefits beyond its roughage until I did this project…what a nice surprise! Take a look!

*It’s loaded with antioxidants!

*It’s rich in Vitamin A.

*It’s high in Vitamin K which is good for bones and blood.

*It has some B-complex Vitamins, iron, potassium and is high in beta carotene!

**Take a look at the chart in the link below…

Here’s a tip:  My lettuce stays fresh for weeks in a plastic bag twisted tightly to keep air out.  I keep it in my crisper on the bottom of my fridge.

Romaine Lettuce

*Contains Vitamin C, K, B-Complex, and Beta-Carotene

*High in flavonoids

*Rich in folic acid

*Good source of fiber

*Contains minerals including chromium, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and iron

Soy Sauce

*Helps the body digest food more easily.  In soup (tasty addition!) it helps the stomach produce more gastric juice.

*Helps to destroy harmful microorganisms like Staph, Salmonella, and E. coli

*Eases hypertension with a nutrient called angiotensin

*Beneficial in repairing damaged cells

  Tomato Sauce (also listed in the Soup Nutrition section)

I think everyone knows how healthy tomatoes are for you and how delicious this sauce tastes in sooo many recipes!  I’ll just mention a few of the key benefits here:

*Contains a potent antioxidant called lycopene – known for increasing the healthy cholesterol and reducing the bad kind

*Excellent source of Vitamin A

*Rich in calcium

**I’ll let you read the website for details – even if it’s just to see pictures of those beautiful tomatoes!

  Happy Healthy Eating!

Posted by DSaull in Nutrition
Nutritional Support

Nutritional Support

*Food Labels:  Here’s where we’ll learn how to interpret those Ingredient Labels on packages…the ones written in Latin (pharma-speak)…We’ll break all that down into simple, understandable language that can help you make better choices for you and your family.

*How about suggestions for dealing with those low blood sugar moments?

*Can’t sleep? Healthy alternatives to taking a sleeping pill will be shared here.

*Feeling sluggish? Are there changes you can make in your diet that can reverse that?

*Sometimes we don’t know what we’re doing wrong…we’ve developed habits that have created problems for us and we can’t see it…this is where a “Diet Survey” might come in handy. Writing down what, when, and where we eat can help give us some objective feedback about ourselves. I will be creating a survey that you can answer privately…once you’ve identified some issues we can begin to search for some healthier options together.

*The Support Group could be a useful tool for this.

Posted by DSaull in Nutrition