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$300 loan.

Sometimes we need a little extra help. The days of summer can feel long, but they also fly by. Between running errands, soaking in the sunny days, and attending graduation parties, weddings, and family barbecues, even the simplest, healthy habits can fall by the wayside.

Does this sound like your May and June?

I know it does for me.

I was happy to participate recently in the Handel Group’s Design Your Health teleseries (if you’ve been reading my progress reports and want to join in, Experience Life is sponsoring another round, beginning July 29). We were talking big-picture health — digging in and tackling our obstacles to living a healthier life. But maybe you want to start small, with doable weekly steps that will start to make a big difference right now.

That’s where our Take Action Challenge comes in. For eight weeks, you’ll get a new prompt on Mondays in your email inbox, such as decluttering new spaces or packing healthy snacks. Then on Thursdays, you’ll receive a check-in email to keep you on track. There are also helpful resources and articles within the emails so you can get more tips and tricks to making these habits stick.

And, did I mention that it’s FREE?!? Sign me up!

Especially because, I’ll admit, I don’t think I’ve been drinking enough water as of late, which is week 2’s challenge.

I’ll have a cup of coffee in the morning, then drink some water, then some tea, then I get busy with my work and all of the sudden realized I’m parched. I decided to set a reminder on my Up band to buzz me every 45 minutes, both to get more water and to stand and stretch, but sometimes I work right through it. Alas.

I tried to uncover the resistance: I mean, I really do like water, especially at work, where we have a great filtering system. Our water at home is well water, and even though we had it tested last summer and it came out very clean, maybe running it through a filter would make it taste even better? It’s not necessary to have it ice cold (and it’s even a bit easier for your body to process and hydrate when it’s not), but chilled is my preference during the warmer months (and helps this pregnant lady stay cool, important for Baby O.).

bottles of infused water
Maybe I was just getting a little bored with water. After our last video shoot with chef and food stylist Betsy Nelson, we had a surplus of kumquats and Betsy suggested I slice them and use with fish or chicken, or submerge in water overnight to infuse the citrus flavor. Brilliant!

I added kumquats to one carafe, and cucumber and thyme to another, riffing off a recipe I’ve had at spas. I’ve been able to refill them with the same ingredients three to four times, but then the flavor starts to fade (and the veggies aren’t as fresh). Lemons are also nice, and I’m thinking of adding berries when they are in stock shortly at the farmers’ market, since the prices are still a bit high at the grocery store. (Although, adding frozen berries might be the most economical way to infuse any time of year.)

The glass carafes, p.s., are oh-so-pretty and since they are made from glass, there’s no need to worry at all about BPAs (check out this report on why even BPA-free plastics have risks). I picked these up at a local kitchen store, Cooks of Crocus Hill, but I’ve been told that Ikea carries some. Another great and cheap idea: Ball makes wide-mouth mason jars in large sizes, so you can transport these in your lunch bag as well. Find them at your local hardware store.

More resources: Want more information on why staying hydrated is so important? Read up (and listen in for the podcast):

Thoughts to share?

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