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Five Sneaky Tricks to Increase Your Fluid Intake

According to the CDC the average American adult drinks about 39 ounces of water per day. This is below the recommended amount. If you are like many adults who wish to increase your water intake, read on for five sneaky tricks to increase your fluid intake.

Why should I drink more water?

Water is essential for life. Your body is about 60% water. You need water for temperature regulation, clear thinking, eliminating waste, and proper circulation.

Drinking adequate amounts of water prevents dehydration, keeps your skin healthy, reduces fatigue, prevents constipation, and reduces the risk of kidney stones.

How much water do I need?

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends that healthy men consume 3.7 Liters ( 125 ounces) and healthy women consume 2.7 Liters or 91 ounces of water each day.

These are just guidelines for adults with average activity. There are other factors that could change your water needs such as physical activity, climate, age, sex, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Warm climate could increase your fluid intake needs.
Warm climate could increase your fluid intake needs.

How can I increase my daily fluid intake?

Increasing your daily fluid intake could be as easy as just setting a goal and finding ways to stick to it. If you don’t really care for drinking plain water than finding ways to flavor it could help. Maybe you just need to find ways to fit drinking more fluids into your daily routine. Read on for some great ways to increase your daily fluid intake.

1.Set a goal to increase your fluid intake

Use an app to keep track of your water consumption goals.

If you already enjoy drinking water you may just need to set a goal and find a way to stick to it. Believe it or not there are plenty of apps out there to help you keep track of your water consumption goals. These apps will be best used with a water bottle that has measurement marks on it to help you keep track of your consumption.

2. Flavor your water to help increase your fluid consumption

Tea is a great way to flavor water
Tea is a great way to flavor your water.

If you struggle to drink plain water it may really help if you flavor your water. I like to infuse fruit flavor into my water. My favorite is lemon, but there are plenty of fruits and vegetables that can give your water a pleasant flavor without adding too may calories. I like to use a water infusion pitcher to add fruit to my water because it keeps the seeds out of my water. It is also easy to clean out and refresh the fruit. If you prefer you could drink iced or hot tea as an alternative to plain water or fruit infused water. It’s best to try decaffeinated teas if possible. I’d recommend trying several teas before you rule this out. There are so many different teas you could try; there has to be at least one you would like.

3. Make drinking water a habit to help increase your fluid consumption.

You can easily increase your fluid intake by making drinking water part of your daily routine. Jim Kwik, author of Limitless has a great example of this in his morning brain enhancing routine. He drinks a tall glass of water every morning to help replace overnight losses from breathing. You could also make it a habit to drink a tall glass of water before each meal. This can also help you to eat less and could improve your weight loss goals.

4. Eat your water to help increase your fluid consumption.

Celery is 95% water.
Celery is 95% water

Simply increasing you consumption of fruits and vegetables could help to increase your overall fluid consumption. Some fruits and vegetables are very high in water. Examples of fruits and vegetables with the high water content are cabbage, celery, watermelon, peaches, bell peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, oranges, cantaloupe, and strawberries. Other foods with high fluid content are yogurt, cottage cheese, and soup. Try adding some of these foods to your diet. You could swap French fries for coleslaw, or swap a sandwich for a salad or soup. Have a breakfast smoothie or try my Immune Boosting granola with yogurt.

Immune boosting-granola served with yogurt.

5. Keep water convenient to help increase consumption.

Find a water bottle you love and make sure to take it with you. Make sure it fits into the cup holder in your car. Find one with a handle that is easy to carry, or invest in a water bottle carrier.

Leave a glass of water on your night stand at night. Keep a glass near you at work. Fill a pitcher with plain or fruit infused water and keep it in the refrigerator. Keep a tray of fresh sliced fruit or veggies in your refrigerator.

Prepared veggie tray
Grab and Go veggie tray to keep in your fridge.

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Healthy Home

How to Help a Friend in Quarantine

We are all getting tired of quarantine! Some are even calling it quarantine fatigue. This weekend I worked with a couple of moms who had just finished their quarantine. They discussed how awful it was to homeschool their kids and deal with not being able to leave the house. Both of these women are health care professionals and know how important it is to stop the spread. As healthcare professionals we know that we are the ones who will pay the price if this virus gets out of control. Still, the temptation to run out for a couple of groceries or something to entertain the kids is real! Especially when you have no symptoms. This is where friends can help. How can you help a friend in quarantine?

What can you do for a friend in Quarantine?

I am really want you to consider giving of your time, because isolation is really bad for mental health. This suggestion is not just for adults. Kids can help their friends the most this way. Please encourage your kids to reach out to their quarantined friends. Isolation is terrible for kids.

  1. Offer to pick up a few groceries. Open your refrigerator. Do you have enough milk to last 14 days? Grocery stores are asking people in my hometown to limit their shopping to only what they need for one week. Of course they are trying to limit hoarding so they can keep things in stock, but what if you can’t leave your home for 14 days? I’m not suggesting you start hoarding, but I am suggesting that you reach out to friends in quarantine. Some people don’t want to ask for help. A simple phone call or even a text to a friend in quarantine could really help stop them from leaving to pick up a few items. Ask your friend if you could pick up a few items.
  2. Give your friend a call. Reaching out to a friend in quarantine can really help. Remember your friend is probably bored. Maybe you could play a virtual game with your friend. Check out my post on social distancing games for a few games that can be played virtually.
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What could you drop off for a friend in quarantine?

Once again this is not just for adults. Ask your kids what their friends would like to have.

  1. Food – If I were stuck home for more than a week, the one thing I would appreciate most would be fresh produce. Think about something that would brighten your day to find on your porch. That would be a good thing to drop off for a friend.
  2. Entertainment – You don’t have to break the bank to help entertain a quarantined friend. You don’t have to go out and buy something. You could give a friend a book you read recently. Then set up a time to call and discuss it with them. Maybe you know a mom with kids younger than your own. Have your kids find a game or some books they have outgrown. Deliver it to the younger quarantined family. Maybe you have a puzzle you already completed, check the piece count and give it to a quarantined family.
  3. Care Packages – There are plenty of ideas online for quarantine care packages. Please try to support local first.

Homemade quarantine care package ideas

If your friend is quarantined without symptoms they will be wanting something to keep them busy. If they are actually sick it would probably be best to bring the healthy family members a prepared meal or take out. These ideas are for healthy people quarantined due to exposure.

  1. A fun dinner package. An example of a fun meal package would be make your own pizza. You could include store bought mini crusts and all of the standard pizza toppings. Include sauce, shredded cheese, pepperoni, onion, a bell pepper and any of your friends favorites. You could also add some bread sticks, soda for the kids and maybe a bottle of wine for mom and dad. If you really want to make it fun add a dinner game.
  2. A fun treat. Pick up some ice cream and all of the fixings. Fill a basket with chocolate syrup, nuts, fresh strawberries, sprinkles, whipped cream and more. Your quarantined friend’s family will have a blast making sundaes!
  3. An activity box. Fill a box or basket with family games, puzzles and craft supplies. You could even include a cookie decorating pack. Just bake some cookies (or buy them undecorated from a local bakery) and include some frosting, sprinkles and decorations.
  4. Movie night box. Fill a box with popcorn, movie theater candy, chips and pop. Include a DVD or a virtual movie gift card such as Amazon movie gift card.
  5. Happy hour package. Fill a box with some local beer, wine and or spirits. Include a card inviting your friend to join you for a happy hour zoom meeting.
  6. Breakfast fun package. Pick up some fresh donuts! Fill a basket with some locally made coffee, fresh squeezed OJ, jam, and farm fresh eggs. Kids would love a cereal variety pack, and anyone would enjoy some of my immune boosting granola.
  7. Health and wellness package. Include some protein bars, vitamins and supplements, a resistance band, a bottle of water, and a jump rope.
  8. Relaxation package. This package could include bubble bath, aromatherapy candles, a good book, slippers, herbal tea and a bottle of wine.

Be creative, reach out and pay it forward. Remember the more people you help, the more help you could receive. We are all in this together.

Please share your ideas in the comments.

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Healthy Home Recipes

Pharmacist Shares Immune Boosting Granola Recipe

Customers are flooding into local pharmacies in search of immune boosting supplements. Many of these immune boosting ingredients can easily be included in your diet. I’m a pharmacist and I would love to share my recipe for Immune boosting Granola.

Disclaimer: The statements made regarding this recipe have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of this recipe has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. This recipe is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Immune Boosting Nutrients

In order to make an immune boosting recipe, one first needs to know which nutrients are known to boost immunity.

Vitamin C- There is research to support Vitamin C supplementation in reducing the length and severity of respiratory infections.1 Vitamin C plays an important role in immune response.

Zinc – Plenty of research is available supporting zinc supplementation in reducing the length and severity of infections.1 Zinc is an important player in immune response.

Vitamin D – There is some evidence that vitamin D could reduce the risk of Influenza and COVID-19 infections and death.2

Vitamin B6- A deficiency in Vitamin B6 reduces your ability to make antibodies to fight off infection. Vitamin B6 could help strengthen immunity.3

Vitamin E- Immune response is enhanced by Vitamin E. It can provide protection against infections.4

Selenium- The immune system relies on adequate dietary selenium.5

Immune Boosting Ingredients

I selected my granola ingredients to include as many immune boosting vitamins and minerals as possible. Here is a list of my ingredients and a quick explanation for why they were included in my recipe.

  1. Elderberry syrup: Elderberry syrup is used to enhance immunity. Elderberries are high in flavonoids, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. It may help reduce symptoms of viral infections by stimulating immune response.6
  2. Matcha: A natural superfood, matcha is green tea powder. It is made by grinding green tea leaves into a fine powder. Regular consumption of green tea could decrease influenza infection rates and cold symptoms.7
  3. Hemp hearts, pumpkin seeds and Flax Seeds: I included all of these mostly for the zinc and omega 3 and 6. These polyunsaturated fats have been extensively studied for their role in immune health.8
  4. Nuts: These serve as a good source of selenium and zinc. I chose Brazil nuts because they have the highest amount of selenium. Cashews are high in zinc.
  5. Sunflower seeds: These seeds also have some healthy fats, but I chose them mostly because they are an excellent source of vitamin E. They are also a good source of selenium and vitamin B6.
  6. Ginger: Has been found to help reduce the severity of respiratory infections.9
  7. Blueberries: Another natural superfood. Blueberries are a good source of Vitamin C. They are one of the best sources of antioxidants, mostly flavonoids.

Immune Boosting Granola Recipe


4 Cups Oats

1 Cup mixed nuts (cashews, almonds, and Brazil nuts)

1/4 Cup sunflower seeds

1 Cup shelled pumpkin seeds

1/4 Cup hemp hearts – find it here

1 Tablespoon matcha powder – find it here

2 Tablespoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

2 Tablespoons flax seed

1/3 Cup dried cranberries

1/2 Cup shredded dry coconut

1/3 Cup dried blueberries

1/2 Cup honey

1/3 Cup Peanut butter

2 Tablespoons Elderberry Syrup – Find it here

1/3 Cup coconut oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together the oats, nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts, matcha, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and flax seed. In a separate bowl mix the peanut butter, coconut oil, honey, elderberry syrup. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix until evenly coated.

Cover a Jelly Roll pan with parchment paper. Spread the granola over the paper. Bake for 15 min. Remove from the oven and mix in the dried coconut. Bake for 10 more minutes. Remove and mix again. If the coconut is not completely toasted, bake for 2 more minutes. The granola is ready when most of the coconut is toasted but not burnt. Remove from the oven and stir in the dried fruit while the granola is still warm. Allow the granola to cool to room temperature. Store in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Immune Boosting Granola Served with Yogurt



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Healthy Home

Do Masks Work? A Pharmacist Compares Mask wearing to Pregnancy

As a pharmacist, I’ve been asked a lot of questions about the treatment and prevention of COVID-19. The information about this novel virus is constantly changing and updating. Nobody is an expert right now. We don’t have all of the answers. My most common question is “Do masks work?” Read on and I will explain how mask wearing compares to pregnancy.

Will wearing a mask protect you from COVID-19?

Do Masks Work?

“Do masks work?” Yes, there is evidence to support universal mask wearing as a way to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Lancet published recent review of 172 studies across 16 countries in 6 continents that concluded face mask use could result in a large reduction of risk of infection.1 None of the studies reviewed were randomized but the review concluded that until better information is available this information is convincing enough to recommend face mask use to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Another recent study published in JAMA evaluated the spread of COVID-19 in healthcare workers before and after a universal mask mandate.2 This study concluded that universal mask wearing does help prevent transmission of COVID-19. The authors also pointed out that masks are not just for personal protection. They indicated that masks are for source control, meaning that masks protect others. They compared masking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to surgeons wearing masks to prevent surgical infections. Nobody would want an unmasked surgeon, just like nobody should want an unmasked cashier.

In addition to these studies, The CDC is recommending mask wearing along with social distancing and hand washing as ways to protect yourself and others.

Another common question I hear is: “Why should I wear a mask?” You should wear a mask because, until we have a vaccine for COVID-19 universally available, mask wearing along with social distancing, and hand washing is our best defense against this virus. If you don’t want to wear a mask for your own health, please consider wearing it to protect the health of others. That leads me to my pregnancy analogy.

How is wearing a mask for COVID-19 prevention like being pregnant?

I first came up with this analogy when I was tired of all of mask complainers. This pandemic is not the first or only time a health recommendation has been implemented to protect the health of others.

Pregnancy is a perfect example of a temporary time in life when the healthcare community makes recommendations to protect the health of others. Pregnant women are advised to abstain from certain freedoms and encouraged to obtain prenatal care not just for their own health but mostly to protect their unborn child.

Like pregnancy, pandemics don’t last forever.* Just like pregnant women are encouraged not to ride roller coasters and avoid drinking any alcohol, we are currently encouraged to social distance and wear masks. Also like pregnancy these recommendations will not last forever, and our personal freedoms will return. In the case of pregnancy the mother is protecting her baby, in the case of mask wearing we are protecting our mothers and grandmothers. Pay it forward! Wear a mask to protect our mothers and Grandmothers.

*Some still refer to HIV/Aids as a current pandemic, but I based this statement on the World Health Organization’s current classification of HIV/AIDS as an epidemic.

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For some great social distancing fun, check out my post on social distancing game ideas.

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