It was the “lizard hands” comment that got me thinking.
A few weeks ago, in the midst of some serious fifth grade-style hand holding, Peter lifted my hand to his eyes. He squinted at my fingers as if I had sprouted an extra digit, or perhaps some fur.
“What?” I asked, already thinking about my upcoming final exams.
As tactful as ever, Peter chuckled to himself. “You’ve got lizard hands.”
I snatched back my hand. Sure enough, the telltale cracks of dry skin had wreaked havoc on previously baby-smooth hands. In the midst of preparing for final presentations and exams for the first year of my MBA program, I hadn’t hydrated as usual. It’s hard to remember fluids when you’re panicked about a major presentation that represents the culmination of an entire year of sweat, tears, and apparently not drinking enough water.
Staying hydrated is an oft-forgotten aspect of staying healthy. Fluids are critical for heart health, regulating body temperature, and avoiding kidney stones, not to mention smoothing out those lizard hands. I mean, I need those hands for playing Viva Piñata on Xbox. After final exams, of course.
A general guideline for making sure you’re hydrated can be found at this link. Thirst is not a great indicator of hydration, since being thirsty indicates you’re already dehydrated. Dessicated hands mean you need water, stat.
Yet sometimes plain water won’t cut it. In times of busyness and stress (e.g. finals upon finals upon finals), I don’t necessarily reach for my water bottle. What’s an over-stretched gal to do?
Flavor the water, of course!
Adding flavor to water is a well-documented way to encourage fluid intake. When I say flavor, I don’t mean soda or sports drinks — oh, no. I mean delicious, refreshing fruit flavors. This fact led me to the perfect recipe for this month’s Recipe Redux.
What favorite kitchen staples do you now make from scratch – but in the past you purchased? Show us your best DIY recipe for keeping cupboards, fridge or freezer stocked with healthy basics. Think homemade frozen waffles, salad dressing, broth or other kitchen essentials.
Making your own flavor-infused water is cheaper and healthier than buying it pre-infused (pre-fused?). Plus, it tastes better!
The recipe below is for refreshing strawberry-basil-infused water, but you can make any combination you crave, such as blueberry-nectarine or the classic cucumber-mint.
Strawberry-Basil Infused Water
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Ingredients (1 quart)
- 3 large strawberries, washed and hulled
- 3 large basil leaves, washed
- 1/2 cup ice
- 1 quart water
Slice strawberries into 1/4-inch slices. Tear basil into several pieces. Add to 1-quart jar, cover with ice, and pour in water. Cover and place in refrigerator. Infuse for 24 hours to enjoy maximum flavor.
Recipe variation: Crush berries for more intense flavor.
Flavor variation: Try other fruit/vegetable/herb combinations, such as blueberry-peach or cucumber-mint.