The Drink More Water Challenge

Water is a very controversial issue these days. There are millions of people who do not have access to safe and healthy drinking water. Note: this is not just abroad. Flint, Michigan is still in the midst of an extreme water access problem. Other states are finding contaminated water problems and political issues blocking proper access. I definitely take advantage of this important resource, and I want to call attention to just how important water really is to the body and a healthy lifestyle of Great Vibes.

The brain and heart are composed of 73% water, the lungs about 83%, our skin 64%, and our muscles and kidneys are about 79%. Even our bones are watery! They clock in with about 31% of a concentration. Imagine how much your body suffers if you are not drinking enough water or getting a safe supply.

Dehydration causes an exceptional amount of health issues you might not associate with a lack of water. Short term memory can get a little fuzzy, it is the main cause for afternoon fatigue, and those pesky tension headaches can all be caused from too little H20. It's been found that not guzzling enough water can lead to holding onto excess weight (almost 10 pounds worth!), unexplained stress and anxiety, and a build up of toxins in your system. 

So now that you've probably freaked out, let's get you drinking an adequate amount for your body.

Generally the rule of thumb is if you are thirsty, you are probably already dehydrated, but some recent studies have shown that might not necessarily be true. Either way, if you are thirsty, drinking more water should be your MO. We're going to start small and build up to a level that feels comfortable for you.

While everyone puts in their own two cents, the old standby is 64 ounces of water a day, or eight 8 oz. glasses. Some will say half of your body weight in ounces should be consumed, so if you weigh 150 pounds, you might aim for 75 oz. of water a day. Also, the types of food being consumed (some have more water content than others like celery versus beans) and the type of exercise you engage in regularly (the more you sweat, the more you want to replenish) must be considered. 

This challenge is going to start you out small with just four, 8 oz. glasses of water the first four days. This is the traditional size of a reusable water bottle. I highly encourage investing in a nice glass or stainless steel one you keep on you always to stay hydrated and meet your challenge. You can do this! I'll be keeping up with you, so check in if you're struggling, and let's get started. 

The Drink More Water Challenge :: 

Days 1-4: drink 4 8 ounce glasses of water

Day 5: drink 4.5 8 ounce glasses of water

Day 6: drink 5 8 ounce glasses of water

Day 7: drink 5.5 8 ounce glasses of water

Day 8: drink 6 8 ounce glasses of water

Day 9: drink 6.5 8 ounce glasses of water

Day 10: drink 7 8 ounce glasses of water

Day 11: drink 7.5 8 ounce glasses of water

Day 12 -14: drink 8 8 ounce glasses of water

Bonus challenge! Incorporate water concentrated foods like watermelon, celery, romaine lettuce, etc. into your diet starting on day one. 

What's your favorite way to drink water? 

Tag @yourfriend_em on Twitter or Instagram with a picture of you, your water bottle, and your dedication to beginning the challange. Share this with people who could use some more H2O in their lives. Hashtag #thegreatvibesguide to spread the Great Vibes and encourage hydration! Xx


P.S. Get a free 8-page Guide to Great Vibes filled with recipes, tips, and tricks to the lifestyle and body of your dreams.  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

P.S.S.S. Have you checked out all of the
other places Emily's spreading the Great Vibes?

How to Celebrate the Everyday

There are 24 days left until I drive back to Wilmington for the summer. I'm trying to make them count without losing sight of the simple, everyday joys. I was reminded last night how life is far more than last minute projects or wishing for the weekend. Celebrating the little moments -- like the anniversary of a great friendship or a successful outcome to a meeting -- are necessary to living a life of happiness. Enjoying these cherished snapshots of life can be challenging, so below are three ways to find joy in the little things. 

1. Write your joys down.

At the end of the day, write down three things you are grateful for or experienced during the day that had you slowing down and enjoying the moment. These can be a kind smile or word, coffee with an old friend, or a picturesque skyline on your drive into work. They don't have to be over the top or exceptionally unique, just lovely snippets of your life. This exercise opens your eyes to the little moments rather than constantly waiting for the next big thing. 

2. Breathe and engage in the moment.  

You can only enjoy the unique moments if you are paying attention. If you are in a situation where you default to staring at your phone, I encourage you to put it down and be present. Take a deep, solid breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Look around you. What is new? What is different? What is beautiful about your surroundings? Is there someone around you reading a book you love or wearing a pair of shoes you think are wonderful? Tell them, ask them, engage with them. You'd be surprised of the beauty found in green tinted trees just starting to bloom or the quick flash of a smile of a person caught in pure moments of enjoyment. 

3. Always have essentials on hand to celebrate or turn the day around.

While I will freely admit to disengaging with my surroundings or not being as grateful as I could, this is one rule I follow adamantly. I always keep champagne in my fridge to celebrate the little things like promotions and exciting news or to simply turn a frustrating day around. Champagne for me reflects the mood I seek in times of frustration or celebration; it is bubbly, different, and classy. Your simple way to turn a day around doesn't have to be champagne, but something that takes you away from 'the struggle' (i.e. balloons, flowers, a special coffee drink, etc.).

How do you enjoy the everyday moments? 

Tag @yourfriend_em on Twitter or Instagram with your favorite way to enjoy the everyday moment. Share this with people who could use some celebration in their lives. Hashtag #thegreatvibesguide to spread the Great Vibes! Xx


P.S. Get a free 8-page Guide to Great Vibes filled with recipes, tips, and tricks to the lifestyle and body of your dreams.  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

P.S.S.S. Have you checked out all of the
other places Emily's spreading the Great Vibes?

Five Go-To Smoothie Recipes

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It is no surprise how fond I am of smoothies (exhibit ABC). They are cheap to make if you shop smart, they take moments to whip up, and they are just as great for breakfast as they are for a snack or dessert. Plus, when it comes to sneaking greens into your daily routine, there's nothing better than a chocolate smoothie with spinach - can't even taste it, promise.

Let's face it, though. Sometimes it's easy to get stuck in a rut. In fact, I feel that way right about now! I thought I would dig through my personal files, draw out my favorite combos I've made in the past, and put them together for you in a handy dandy post. This is a preview of a 14-Day Smoothie Challenge coming your way in May. Interested? Stay in the loop by clicking below!

 

Let's get started with five go-to smoothie recipes you don't want to miss!

A couple notes first:

1. For creamy, thick smoothies, freeze berries or bananas beforehand. Best way to freeze bananas? Peel, slice, and lay bananas flat on a baking tray. Place in the freezer. Transfer to a bag and use when needed.

2. The liquid measurements (i.e. 1.5 cups of almond milk) are just estimates. Use more or less depending on desired thickness of smoothie.  

3. Ice is always optional. 

4. If these aren't sweet enough, have no fear! Add in an all natural sweetener like maple syrup or honey to satisfy your need. Start at 1 teaspoon and increase to taste. 

4. Top them with the good stuff! I often put toppings on my smoothies (i.e. granola, chocolate shavings, coconut, almond meal, fresh berries, soaked nuts, etc.) to make these into nourishing and complete meals. Everyone has a unique diet and these recipes are perfect bases for getting all the necessary goods. Don't be afraid to limit the liquid, make it more thick like a frosty, and top it with yummy goodness for a great smoothie bowl. 

Okay. Nowwwww let's get started ... 

Almond Banana Smoothie
great for protein needs and sweet cravings

Ingredients::
+ 1 cup ice
+ 1.5 cups almond milk
+ 2 bananas
+ 2-3 tbsp almond butter
+ Optional: 1 tsp cinnamon & nutmeg
To make:
Throw all ingredients into a blender, send for a whirl until combined, pour into a glass, and enjoy!

Berry Detox Smoothie
great for bloating or indigestion

Ingredients::
+ 1 cup ice
+ 1 cup fruit juice or non-dairy milk of choice
+ 1 cup frozen berries
+ 1 cup spinach or kale (fresh or frozen)
+ 1/2 cup bananas (already peeled, sliced, & frozen)
+ 1 tbsp chia seed
+ 1 tbsp flax seed

To make:
Throw all ingredients into a blender, send for a whirl until combined, pour into a glass, and enjoy!

Anxiety Kicker Smoothie
great for headaches, stress, or anxiety

Ingredients::
+ 1 cup ice
+ 1.5 cup non-dairy milk of choice
+ 1 cup frozen berries
+ 1 cup spinach or kale (fresh or frozen)
+ 1/2 cup oatmeal
+ Optional add-ins: 1 tbsp chia seed, 1 tbsp flax seed, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp tumeric

To make:
Throw all ingredients into a blender, send for a whirl until combined, pour into a glass, and enjoy!

The Creamy Goodness Smoothie
great for belly bloat or fatigue

Ingredients::
+ 1 cup ice
+ 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice
+ 1 cup frozen mango
+ 1 half of an avocado
+ 1/4 cup oats
+ 1 tbsp chia seed
+ 1 tbsp flax seed

To make:
Throw all ingredients into a blender, send for a whirl until combined, pour into a glass, and enjoy!

PB (or AB) Cup Smoothie
great for chocolate cravings or protein needs

Ingredients::
+ 1-3 cups ice
+ 1.5 cups of non-dairy milk of choice
+ 1 frozen banana
+ 1 cup spinach or kale (fresh or frozen)
+ 1 tbsp (or more) cocoa or cacao powder
+ 1 tbsp organic peanut butter or almond butter

To make:
Throw all ingredients into a blender, send for a whirl until combined, pour into a glass, and enjoy!

And there you have it! Make these your own by changing up the fruits you've used, asking questions, and finding a recipe that makes you happy dance all around the room. 

Cheers to Great Smoothie Vibes! Xx. 


What is your favorite smoothie?

Tag @yourfriend_em on Twitter or Instagram when you make any of these recipes. Share this with people who could use some smoothie in their lives. Hashtag #thegreatvibesguide to spread the Great Vibes! Xx


P.S. Get a free 8-page Guide to Great Vibes filled with recipes, tips, and tricks to the lifestyle and body of your dreams.  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

P.S.S.S. Have you checked out all of the
other places Emily's spreading the Great Vibes?

Cocktails with a Twist: The Kombucha Paloma

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I've always been fascinated by cocktails; how they mix together so quickly and beautifully, how they slow us down on that first sip to appreciate and savor, and how they bring us to a time of traditional elegance. I grew up with the classic words, "shaken, not stirred" and couldn't help but fall in love with 5 o'clock drinks signalling the close of a long day. I imagine F. Scott Fitzgerald settled into a chair, cocktail in hand as he listened to Zelda rattle on to their friends about the latest gossip.

So turning 21 didn't mean guzzling down large volumes of alcohol - though that certainly had it's place - but rather finally being welcomed into the cool club where elegance, simplicity, and tradition are welcomed and celebrated.

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I'm happy to celebrate the beginning of Spring with collaborations and a new chapter: Cocktails with a Twist. I want these drinks to be just as simple as the recipes I post, taking little to no time yet bursting with flavor. At the same time, I want them to be twists on the classic and more traditional cocktails.

First at bat is a cocktail inspired by The Paloma - a tequila, grapefruit, and lime concoction topped off with sparkling water. I nixed the lime - couldn't find it fresh, but I'm sure it would be delicious - and replaced the sparkling water with plain kombucha from UpDog Kombucha. It's safe to say my world is forever changed. UpDog Kombucha's plain kombucha adds just the right sweetness to keep you coming back for more while also providing yummy health benefits like supported digestion and anxiety relief. Alongside freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, it's an irresistible combination.

Everyone's preferences are different when it comes to alcohol. If you find this is too weak or strong, adjust accordingly. I always make a recipe first the way it's listed, second with a little twist, and finally a third time to make sure I've got it just how I like it. I hope you share your versions in the comments or via social media so we can all enjoy! This cocktail can also be made without the tequila for a refreshing drink if you are expecting, have little ones who want to get in on the Great Vibes, or just want to sit back for an alcohol-free evening.

Without further ado ...

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The Kombucha Paloma

Ingredients ::

+ 4 Parts Freshly Squeezed Grapefruit Juice*
+ 4 Parts Plain Kombucha
+ 3 Parts Tequila
+ Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
+ Sugar (optional)**

Recipe ::

1. Add the first three ingredients to a shaker with ice (optional addition of sugar here).
2. Shake well. ***
3. Place ground salt onto a plate.
4. Coat the top of your glass with a little grapefruit juice and roll it along the plate to salt the rim.
5. Strain shaker contents into your glass.
6. Add ice if desired.
7. Sip & enjoy!

Notes ::

* I typically make 1 part = 1 ounce, however if you are making for more than one, keep the ratios the same, and all is good!

** This cocktail gets its sweetness from the plain kombucha and the grapefruit juice (i.e. it's not super sweet). If you're not used to that or want it to be a tad less savory, add whatever kind of sweetener or sugar you prefer to taste.

*** Kombucha naturally carbonates, so when you go to combine the ingredients, it might pop the top of your shaker slightly. This is normal, but be sure to hold the top and bottom carefully to form a tight seal. Don't cry over spilled cocktail if a little escapes -- it's all part of the Great Vibes!

Cheers to Cocktails & Great Vibes! Xx.


+ What's your favorite cocktail?

Tag @yourfriend_em on Twitter or Instagram when you make The Kombucha Paloma. Share this with people who could use some tequila in their lives. Hashtag #thegreatvibesguide to spread the Great Vibes! Xx

This post is done in collaboration with UpDog Kombucha. All opinions are honest and my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that support The Great Vibes Guide. Xx.


P.S. Get a free 8-page Guide to Great Vibes filled with recipes, tips, and tricks to the lifestyle and body of your dreams.  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

P.S.S.S. Have you checked out all of the
other places Emily's spreading the Great Vibes?

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