A simple guide to food + drink as medicine – Healthy snacking + water intake

By July 18, 2018Life Hacks

We all know that what we eat and drink has a big impact on our health. That’s not breaking news. But, when it comes to things like healthy snacking and improving our water intake, it’s often easier said than done. The way we think about nutrition and what we put into our bodies plays a big part in how successful we are with our healthy habits.

Sally TwellmanIn recent years, the way we think about our diets has changed from a focus on eating to lose weight and staying slim to thinking about how nutrition impacts our overall lives in so many other different ways.

We spoke to Sally Twellman B.S. RDN of Sana Nutrition and Wellness and she shared some of her insights…


When you say “food is medicine” what do you mean?

Food is the essential medicine.

A lot of people think that medicine “fixes” us, but really our bodies use the medicine we take to alter something already happening inside our bodies. Conventional medicine works with our body to do something, like stop a headache or decrease our blood pressure. The same thing that happens with the food we eat. It’s used by our body to give us energy or rebuild something or facilitate a chemical reaction.

Without these essential building blocks and nutrients, our bodies can’t work.  Our amazing bodies use the food we eat to do things like build an immune system that works, create healthy new skin, figure math problems and have a heart that beats on its own.  Every time we eat we have the opportunity to nourish, energize and heal our bodies.

Our bodies are truly miraculous, if we give our bodies all the essential building blocks and take out all or most of the empty, soul-less, even toxic food, our bodies will be healthy and thrive.

What are some easy to prepare and healthy snacks we can stock up so we can ensure we will be nourished when we are busy?

Oh man, eating healthy can be really hard! In our go-go-go world so it’s important to plan ahead and make eating healthy as easy as possible by having good, simple foods available.

For snacks the absolute easiest foods to have are fresh fruits and vegetables that you can munch on when you get hungry between meals.  But what makes us the most “successful snackers” who choose to snack on veggies instead of cookies, is having regular healthy and satisfying meals.

So my best advice for snacking success is to plan your meals and when you will eat them

How important is drinking 8 glasses of water a day, really?

Staying hydrated is so important to feeling good and having energy! 60% of our body is made up of water and drinking enough helps our bodies work properly, flushes toxins from our system and even helps us burn more calories.

Everyone’s water needs are very different depending on your gender, age, body size, activity, and climate. But a good rule of thumb is 11 cups or 2.7 liters for women and 13 cups or 3.7 liters for men.  This may sound like a lot in a day, but this includes all the fluids you drink and the water in the foods you eat. So drink 2 liters of water a day and eat lots of fruits and vegetables because they have the highest water content.

And if you are exercising, make sure you are drinking plenty of water. I like to tell my clients to drink at least 1 liter of water for every hour of exercise, and more if you live in a hot climate and exercise outside.

How can we drink more water?

Get into the habit of always having a reusable water bottle handy.  Set a goal to fill it up enough times to equal at least 2 liters a day. If it’s hard to remember, set a timer on your phone to remind you until it becomes a habit.

Another tip I share with my clients is to drink a large glass of lemon water first thing in the morning. This helps detox, improves digestion and revs up your system in the morning!  It’s also a good way to the precedent of self-care for the day. And for those of us (like me!) who get tired of drinking plain old water all the time – try infusing water with your favorite fruit, veggies, and herbs.

Right now, I am loving lemon lavender water! Just take a reusable container, glass is preferred to decrease plastic leakage. Place a ½ of a fresh lemon and a bundle of fresh lavender (or dried lavender in a tea bag), allow to steep in your fridge or on the counter for a few hours and enjoy!

Other fruit and veggies that work well are melon, strawberries, limes, passion fruit (put in a tea bag as well), apples, and cucumber, play around with your favorites! Make sure to discard and refresh the fruits and herbs daily.

What’s one thing people usually do to self-sabotage when it comes to snacking?

Not taking time to eat during the day, so they overeat and snack at night because they are overly hungry and wound-up from their day.

Take time to stop and eat a healthy, satisfying breakfast and lunch every day.  This not only keeps you from getting too hungry, it also gives you a chance to take a break during your day to relax and re-center so the rest of your day is more peace-filled and manageable.

Taking time to nourish and rest midday, isn’t a waste of time it actually makes you more productive!

What’s one thing you wish more people knew about food and snacking?

Every time we eat anything it’s an opportunity to connect with ourselves and feel grounded.  Everything we eat becomes a part of our physical and emotional bodies. It’s important to make sure eating is a joyful thoughtful experience, with a focus on eating mostly whole, soulful, balanced foods so we become joyful, thoughtful, whole, soulful, balanced human beings!

This might sound a little dramatic – it’s just lunch after all, but everything we do informs our presence and life experience.

You can find out more about Sally on her website – www.sananutritionandwellness.com/

Resources we recommend:

  • Waterlogged – an app to help you accurately track how much water you drink and set reminders so you don’t forget. Available on iPhone and Android
  • This episode of The Simplifiers Podcast – Clean Eating for Busy Entrepreneurs, Simplified – featuring Harriet Morris:

Have you heard our latest podcast episode?

Find all of our episodes hosted by our CEO – Mary Baird Wilcock, CSEP HERE!

photo credit: Karina Lyburn Photography

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