MM: All About Macrobiotics & Water
Eight glasses a day, right? Distilled, ionized, spring water, reverse osmosis, regular ol' tap water...which one's the best? We are 70% water --- so brushing up on your water facts might be a good idea, for fun & for your health.
Macrobiotics takes a slightly different spin on water consumption, compared to mainstream health advice.
Drinking Less Water Than 8 Cups per Day
I found it extremely interesting, while living in Japan, to observe the Japanese people's water drinking habits. Or rather, their lack of water drinking habits.
Unless engaged in obvious physical activity --- running, gym class etc. --- most Japanese people don't really drink much water. They drink very dainty sized cups of tea, maybe one of coffee in the morning, and not so frequently. In the summer, even during sports, kids drink cool barley tea instead of water. And then there are all the foreign English teachers chugging iced cold water like there's no tomorrow, receiving the strangest looks from the local Japanese people. Hrmmm...what's up with that!?
Natural Food has a lot of water inside of it!
The traditional Japanese diet has lots of soups, fresh vegetables, and rice (cooked with lots of water). So, they ingest plenty of water through their food, and therefore don't need that much of it straight up. Too much water can put a burden on your kidneys --- in fact, you can actually die from drinking way too much water. Crazy, huh!? Also, in the summers it's really hot in Japan, and in most hot places around the world, the locals drink WARM or slightly cool beverages to KEEP COOL. Yes, that's right: cold beverages warm your body up internally, as the cold water shocks the system and creates more heat in attempt to deal with it. Gentle warm liquids actually make you sweat & release heat through the body.
Macrobiotics, based in Japan, follows similar guidelines regarding water. Because the diet is so full of fresh vegetables, soups, and cooked whole grains (that absorb a lot of water while cooking), the need for big glasses of water is very reduced. On the other hand, if you are eating a diet high in protein, especially animal protein, and a lot of processed foods, then the extra water will be a great help as the foods being consumed do not contain water themselves. But if you eat a lot of fresh fruits & veggies, and whole grains, it's preferable according to Macrobiotics to follow your thirst rather than drink water for the sake of achieving 8 glasses a day. And a few cups of nice warm tea throughout the day, and water when you need it, spaced around - not with - your meals are just perfect.
But it's not just about quantity, quality is also very important!
Water Quality: why tap water may not be the best.
There are many many different kinds of filtered water. I had read about the benefits of drinking filtered water frequently in various health books, but the tap water was very clean & tasty in Edmonton, and it wasn't a high item on my priorities list while living on a budget.
My first experience filtering any kind of water while living on my own was while I was in Japan. T & I had a little filter that attached to the kitchen sink...we mostly bought it because the lovely Japanese ladies around me said it was not good to drink tap water. Not because it wasn't clean, but that is just wasn't healthy for you. We definitely noticed a taste difference & enjoyed using it for the remaining time we lived there, and kept it at the back of our minds for when we returned to Canada.
Upon returning home, and unfortunately having to deal with some girl hormone issues again, I kept noticing that in all the hormone balancing books I was reading, the first recommendation was to stop drinking tap water.
Fluoride is a known endocrine disruptor, and tap water can or does contain many other potentially harmful substances such as chlorine, lead, estrogen & atrazine.
Hrm. Coincidence or not, but exactly 3.5 weeks after drinking & cooking with filtered water instead of tap water, my cycle returned to normal, and has been ever since. That was enough to convince me.
We didn't have a convenient source of clean spring or well water around, so we went a water filter instead. I know many people that have Santevia water filters & the water tastes great, and I liked that it was room temperature -- but I wasn't so sure about it being in a plastic container. After much research we went with a water filter that not only provides amazing clean water & has filters that last for a long time, but also has an amazing name: The Big Berkey.
We got it from Conscious Water, a Canadian company & distributor of Berkey water filters. Great company. Amazing water filter.
T, who is a bit more skeptical of these sorts of things, is absolutely sold on it. After drinking berkey-ified water for a few weeks, both of us could taste chlorine so strongly whenever we had tap water. You can get Berkey filters in many sizes, and we chose the second smallest, the Big Berkey, as we planned to keep it in our kitchen an didn't want it taking over the whole place. We fill it up about once every day to day and a half when I use it for cooking, and in the kettle, as well as regular drinking. It's really easy to keep clean.
There are plenty of filters around, so do your research. Brita filters are really easily accessible, and convenient for most people. Built in filtration systems can be amazing as well!
Remember, we are 70% water, so why not make it a pure, clean, AMAZING 70% ?
Have a wonderful week, full of tasty eats & walks & happy things,
P.S. Victoria is Amazing --- i'll update soon, but suffice to say, ocean living is for me <3