Hydration isn’t just a summer thing; make dry skin and sinful ashiness a thing of the past. 


As you all know, I was made for paradise. As a New Yorker, I didn’t mind our Georgia friends still inviting our family to a pool party around Thanksgiving. Even light jacket weather is permissible. The Kentucky winters on the other hand…Jesus be a fence. A heated fence.


One of the best and worst things about icy weather – aside from my aching, chilled bones – is the forced hydration accountability. If I’m not drinking at least half my weight in ounces of water daily, I immediately look like a volcano’s cousin. My skin is dry, cracked, and pleading with the Lord for a morsel of moisture. All the body butters in the world can’t bless my skin with the TLC it needs.


Drink your way to a better day.


First, calm down and put your corkscrew back on your keychain, we aren’t talking about wine. I thought the theme would be obvious by now. While chapped lips and “all my life I had to fight” ashy elbows are less than ideal, they indicate much deeper problems. 


My daughter loves to play the card game Speed. Some weeks, we play it every night. Not to toot my own horn, but I have always been a champ at this game. I can probably count the times she’s been able to beat me at it on one hand. The whole premise of the game is to lay 5 piles of cards down, with each pile having one more than the last. There are 2 piles in the middle of the table. Each player tries to discard all of their own cards on either of the two middle piles in numeric order. The most important part of the game is to snatch the smallest pile as they or their opponent runs out of cards. It demands quick, clear thinking and mental motor skills – hence the name. 


One night, in particular, it was the saddest thing to watch. We could both see my speed decreasing at the pace hers was picking up. This was one of the very few times – if not the only time – that she beat me to the smallest pile every stinkin’ time, winning every battle and eventually the whole deck war. 


What was the difference? Sure, I was a little sluggish, but I hadn’t felt that way when we started playing. You are what you eat…and drink – and you’re not what you don’t. We realized we were eating a carb-heavy meal while we were playing. Nonetheless, my brain slowed to a snail’s pace while hers went from fast to average. Why weren’t we both slowing down? Because she drank 8 ounces of water before eating. It was a costly case study. I am not a graceful last-place winner. However, I am grateful for the lesson I can share with you at my own expense. 


Water and brain function go hand-in-hand. It regulates your brain’s temperature, kills toxins, and serves as a great source of oxygen, keeping everything flowing like a perfect assembly line. If you feel spacey and focus seems like a myth, you’re most likely dehydrated. 


Improved brain function not only brings better performance and productivity to your day but helps your body move and perform the way it needs to. Simply drinking half your weight in ounces grants you: 


  • Hormonal balance
  • Strengthened immunity
  • Lower susceptibility to diseases and viruses
  • Lower risk of allergies and sensitivity development
  • Stable blood pressure
  • Maintained cholesterol levels
  • More restful sleep
  • Less stress
  • A healthier heart


How can one substance do all of that? Simple, it regulates temperatures, chauffeurs cells to their proper destinations, and provides the necessary oxygen that acts as the vital reception to get messages where they need to go. 


The lack of water is like a world without wifi, network connections, or any form of transportation. Imagine the year 1346. The Black Pague was on the rise. People could only communicate by taking hours to write letters that took another few hours to dry. Once another few hours passed to allow the seal to dry, they had to ride their horses or walk to a mail facility. From there, the mail carriers had to figure out where the letter was going, using their own brain cells and common sense. We know common sense isn’t so common and human error is not lacking. Letters could take months to arrive and loved ones could be dead for an eternity before their family members knew. The same goes for your body. Without water, messages and resources between your organs and cells are riding the horseback express, taking a literal million times longer to be sent and received. 


How can you stay hydrated?

Buckle up, and stay with me on this one. It is very deep and profound.


Drink water. 


I know it can seem so much easier to down 8 glasses of juice in an hour versus 2 glasses of water, and I’m not going to lie to you and tell you it’s all in your head. I’ve talked before about how concentrated juices, sodas, alcohol, and other sugary drinks are highly addictive. Water doesn’t abuse you into loving it. It simply exists to help you. It’s up to you to reach for it and take care of yourself. Isn’t that empowering? 


Easy ways to incorporate more water in your day are:


  • Drink a glass before every meal. Cue the Speed game…
  • Drink a glass of lime or lemon water when you first wake up.
  • Infuse your water with whole foods and herbs like mint, aloe, lavender, and berries. Remember that pre-packaged flavor-enhancers tend to be just as bad as drinking a bottle of soda. “Sugar-free” labels warrant even more concern. 
  • Treat yourself to a cute water bottle; give yourself bonus points if it has a straw. Skipping the minor step of lifting the bottle while you drink can yield a staggering change in results.



It’s crazy that dry, cracked skin indicates ALL of that! I wish that instead of shelling out hundreds and thousands of dollars on medications and creams for dry skin, I had known all of these things. Whether cold weather is your personal heaven or hell, at least you have the secrets to healthy, hydrated, glowing skin now! 


Bringing the family back to the table,


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