5 Tips to Have an Amazing Morning Routine…Every Day!

Enough has been said about the importance of having a good morning routine. Routines are something I seek and test out very frequently. Mommy routine, morning routine, evening routine, cleaning routine, fitness routine…the list goes on and on. The reason I am so interested in routines is I want to learn how to simplify and/or better my life. Some of these “hacks” work for me, some don’t. But try I will.

So today, my friends, I bring to you my current morning routine and why you should consider adopting it too.

Now, first things first: this post is purely focussed on incorporating “health” in your morning routine. And for that reason, it will not tell you to make your bed, throw a load of laundry, make your To-Do list, or plan your dinner. That will be a post for another day. So are you ready to learn about my morning routine? Here goes!

1. Rehydrate Your Muscles and Cells

The first thing you should do after waking up is to rehydrate your body. If you find it difficult to remember to consume water, keep a glass or bottle of water on your nightstand. This way when you wake up in the morning, all you need to do is reach out for the glass or bottle and gulp down the water. I wrote about the importance of hydration and tips to consume more water in an earlier post. Have you read that yet? It’s also beneficial to eat a small fruit (preferably one that is “in-season” and fresh), or a few almonds soaked overnight within 15 minutes of waking up. This helps kick-start your metabolism and will also act as a before-workout snack (Yes! You need to work out!).

2. Include 30-45 Minutes of Physical Exercise

If you are feeling rushed by this time, perhaps you should consider waking up a little earlier. Here are some tips to become a morning person. Equally important is to sleep early and deep. How will you wake up early if you don’t sleep well, right? I got you covered.  But coming to the point, enough studies have been published highlighting the benefits of including 30-45 minutes of physical exercise every day. Incorporate a good workout routine into your mornings. Consider it like eating the Frog. Let’s face it–of all the things listed in this morning routine post–this point about physical activity is going to be the most difficult to accomplish. But if push yourself to get this done in the morning, you won’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day. If you are still on the fence about putting aside 30-45 minutes of your morning, you surely can put aside 7 minutes, yes? And while you are at it, gain the immense health benefits. Just remember to start and end with stretches 🙂

3. Practice 15 Minutes of Deep Breathing and Meditation

Alright, it’s time to cool down and nourish your mind. And during this time, do one and only one thing–meditate or bring your mind to focus. Practice deep breathing exercises for about 10 and taper off with 5 minutes of guided or unguided meditation. But how is it beneficial? Breathing is the very basis of life…and no, I am not talking spiritually. Plain, simple biology. Several researchers have put forth the benefits of deep breathing. Here are just a few of those: reduces anxiety and depression, increases energy levels, relaxes muscles, and reduces stress response and overwhelm. The ROI of deep breathing is simple, in my opinion. Coupled with meditation, you will not only bring awareness of your breathing technique but also to every part of your mind and body.

4. Eat a Nourishing Breakfast

It’s time to eat! You may say, “but I just ate,” and I would say “sure…four almonds and a glass of water!” That, my friend, was not your breakfast. I am sure you have heard a thousand times how breakfast in the more important meal of the day. What if they are right? Trust me, I used to be you. I would skip breakfast almost every day–no wait, my breakfast was two cups of coffee–because you see, I was busy and I’d rather get “work” done in the time I’d instead spend eating breakfast. But here’s the thing: the reason they say breakfast is the most important meal of your day is that your blood glucose is at its lowest in the morning after the 8-12 hour gap since your last meal. Low blood glucose means you are low on energy (grogginess, anyone?) given that glucose is what your body uses to provide you energy. A word of tip: try to include both carbohydrates and proteins in your breakfast. One without the other will not serve any purpose. If you, like me, struggle in the kitchen, try searching for easy breakfast ideas (that are also healthy) on Pinterest.

Now, remember, the sequence of routine I have outlined above is what I recommend. If you feel like you need to meditate before your physical exercise, go for it. The idea is to get done with all the tasks BEFORE you go about the rest of your day.

And now *drumroll* it’s time for the fifth and most important tip. TADATADA


You heard me. Don’t check your email, don’t check your social media, don’t play games on your phone, don’t read news on your tablet…just don’t. Everything you have done so far to have a healthy start to your day will hold no water. Come on, you have the entire day to spend time with your digital companion, just not the first thing in the morning. You don’t need me to tell you how the digital world is like a quicksand, a whirlpool. In today’s day and age, there is no escaping the digital world, but it need not take up your time from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed. Remember my earlier post on how to get a good night’s sleep and how you need to practice digital shut down at least one hour before your bedtime? The same is true for when you wake up.

Listen, depending on your personal family situation, you may need to do only this much or a lot more every morning. But let the first one hour be only about you. You deserve this time to yourself. Your daily tasks will get done no matter what, but if you lose your sense of balance, picking up the pieces of the day will be a more difficult than it should be.

So, if you are not already following this routine, will you at least give this a try? For your sake?

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How you start your day can either make it or break it. Here are five tips to start every day with a killer morning routine.

TED Talks: Top 5 Inspirational Talks You Should Watch

Ok! Let’s begin with a confession. I am addicted to YouTube. I spend a couple of hours on YouTube every day, mostly watching auditions of singing or talent-based reality shows, or I watch mom bloggers (or vloggers, in YT slang). It’s my way of decompressing. Now, most days, I go through the videos guilt-free, but often I talk myself out of it. While YouTube indeed is a great source of entertainment, I find it lacking in content that is educational. Enter TED Talk.

Now, for those of you who have never seen a TED video, here’s the deal: TED is an annual conference where influencers from various fields share their experiences, learnings, and visions. Given the popularity of the original conference, nowadays, several local bodies and institutions are hosting their own scaled-down version. This helps open the doors to more influencers, achievers, and visionaries and makes the content more local. While I have never attended one of these conferences in person, I consume their content by the kilo!

So today, I wanted to share five TED Talks that I absolutely adore. The theme of these talks vary widely but the common thread is “inspirational” and “perspective-changing.” I hope you will enjoy these talks as much as I do.

Now listen, before I begin, let me warn you this is a long post. Not long because of the length of the post but because the five videos I am listing for you will take you approximately 1 hour to watch. I recommend you set aside some time But worry not! Remember I mentioned Pocket in one of my earlier post on organization apps? You can save this post to Pocket and watch it later at a time and place of your choice. Alternatively, you can pin the below image to your Pinterest boards and revisit whenever you want. Do give it a try!

TED Talk Mom Chakra Inspirational Wellness

Okay, let’s begin!

Disclaimer: All synopses are from the TED website.

TED Talk #1: Louie Schwartzberg

Nature | Beauty | Gratitude

Direct Link

Duration: 9:39 minutes


Nature’s beauty can be fleeting — but not through Louie Schwartzberg’s lens. His stunning time-lapse photography, accompanied by powerful words from Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast, serves as a meditation on being grateful for every day.

TED Talk #2: Isabel Allende

How To Live Passionately, No Matter Your Age

Direct Link

Duration: 8:16 minutes


Author Isabel Allende is 71. Yes, she has a few wrinkles—but she has incredible perspective too. In this candid talk, meant for viewers of all ages, she talks about her fears as she gets older and shares how she plans to keep on living passionately.

TED Talk #3: Elizabeth Gilbert
Success, Failure, and the Drive to Keep Creating

Direct Link

Duration: 7:14 minutes


Elizabeth Gilbert was once an “unpublished diner waitress,” devastated by rejection letters. And yet, in the wake of the success of ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ she found herself identifying strongly with her former self. With beautiful insight, Gilbert reflects on why success can be as disorienting as failure and offers a simple — though hard — way to carry on, regardless of outcomes.

TED Talk #4: Nancy Etcoff
Happiness and Why We Want It

Direct Link

Duration: 14:14 minutes


Cognitive researcher Nancy Etcoff looks at happiness — the ways we try to achieve and increase it, the way it’s untethered to our real circumstances, and its surprising effect on our bodies.

TED Talk #5: Gary Greenberg
The Beautiful Nano Details of Our World

Direct Link

Duration: 11:58 minutes


When photographed under a 3D microscope, grains of sand appear like colorful pieces of candy and the stamens in a flower become like fantastical spires at an amusement park. Gary Greenberg reveals the thrilling details of the micro world.

Did you manage to get through the list?

No? Well, here’s what you can do!

Save the pin below to your Pinterest board. 

TED Talk Mom Chakra

So tell me, friends, do you watch TED Talks? What are some of your favorite Talks?

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5 Things to be Grateful For Every Day + Bonus Download!

Earlier this week, I traveled with my son to visit some relatives in another city. It was a tough trip for me because, throughout the four-hour-long journey (one way), my almost-four-year-old son was fidgety and wanted attention (my husband couldn’t join us due to work deadlines). Now, if you are a parent or a caregiver, I am sure you understand how exhausting it is to entertain a child for four hours continuously while on the road and then again for two days+nights and another four-hour journey back home. I was ready to pull my hair out several times during this trip. But in the end, the only thing that stopped me in my tracks was reminding myself about the purpose of our visit. You see, I am at an age where most of my elderly relatives are at a really advanced age and are experiencing failing health. Some of them had not even met my son because my husband and I were too busy with work to make time and meet them (Awful, I know!). So, this year, we decided that one of us is going to take a step back from our crazy work schedules and focus on other important things, like relationships. And so, this trip was undertaken especially to ensure that my son gets to meet his extended family he has never met. While the trip in itself tested every ounce of my patience, I am grateful I had the opportunity to make it happen anyhow. Gratitude makes it all worth it.

Upon returning, I got thinking about the concept of practicing the attitude of gratitude. One of the secrets to finding peace and happiness in our lives is to be grateful. It’s a scientifically-proven fact that gratitude increases not only your emotional health but also your physical health. After all, thoughts that do not revolve around gratitude veer towards negativity and consumes you. That can never be good, can it now?

So, in today’s post, I want to share things I am grateful for every day. But I want to spread the word to everyone I come in contact with. So, if you stay till the end, there is a bonus download for you 🙂 Let’s begin!

5 Things I am Grateful For Every Day


1. Family and Friends

Where would I be without my family and friends? And I put family and friends in the same category because my true friends are nothing but the family I chose for myself. These are the people I love the most; people who hold me up when I am down and out; people who hold me down when I let success go to my head. These are the people who taught me what it is to love without asking for anything in return except love and respect. These are the people who taught me values that make me a good person. These are the people who taught me life skills so I could help not only myself in difficult situations but also help others who are facing a similar situation. These are people I turn to when I need advice. These are people who will be with me until the end.

2. Shelter

A roof over our heads is the safest place on earth for me. I am thankful that we have been able to own a house at our young age with all debt paid off. It’s truly a blessing. As our son grows, we may or may not upgrade to a better and bigger house in the future, but at this moment our house shelters us not only from the harsh tropical environment but also provides us peace when the public cacophony rises outside. This is where we retire to at the end of each day to either celebrate our achievements or to lick our wounds…or, let’s face the truth, to vegetate on the sofa every often. It’s where we prepare food to nourish our bodies; it’s where we spend quality time with each other; it’s where we have meaningful conversations and pass on our values to our son. It’s where we entertain our loved ones; it’s where we discuss our dreams for the future; it’s where we reminisce about the past. It’s the place we call HOME.

3. Food and Water

It’s an uncontested fact of life that food and water* come only next to clean air when it comes to the basic sustenance of human beings. I am grateful that we can put food on the table every day. It breaks my heart to see homeless people (especially children) go without food so often. When I can, I try to carry some food and water in the car to give away if I come across a homeless person. It is my hope that every country in the world will find a way to provide food, water, and shelter to every family on our planet. If you are in a position of God’s grace, please do not hold back from helping the less fortunate. Pay it forward as often as you can.

* Have you read my earlier post on the benefits of drinking water and 5 tips to stay hydrated? If not, do give it a read 🙂

4. Education

When I say I am grateful for my education, I don’t just mean the education I received in school. Obviously, without that foundation, I would not be able to make decisions and think rationally about anything at all. School education has given me the ability make choices that were not swayed by the heart; it has allowed my family to earn a decent paycheck and provide for others. However, the education that I gain by meeting other people, or when I am exposed to new life situations is priceless. It’s a blessing to be in a position of enriching my life every single day. But more than all of that, my biggest blessing is being able to apply my education to help my child (and sometimes, friends and family) resolve problems and become a better person.

5. Work

If it weren’t for the formal and informal education we were exposed to, my husband and I couldn’t have afforded to own a house and put food on the table. It’s because of our education that we landed jobs that help us keep up with the ways of the world. It has allowed us to put our child in one of the best private schools in our neighborhood. It’s allowing us to look after our aging parents at home. At another level, our jobs have also allowed us to learn important life skills–well, important in today’s world, at least–such as networking, teamwork, analysis, problem-solving, creativity, etc. And of course, our jobs have allowed us to be friends with some wonderful human beings. I know there are many people who believe colleagues should not be brought into their personal lives…but my husband and I are not from that school of thought. Most of our closest friends today are people who are/were our colleagues.

So, those are the five things I am grateful for every day. But that isn’t all. There are hundreds of more things that I am grateful for. I try to find something new to be grateful for every week, if not every day. It forces me to look for the positives and let go of the cynicism and negativity that often comes with age. But unless I force myself to weed out the negatives, the positives will not find any room to grow in my life. Practicing gratitude is a habit that needs to be developed and nurtured.

Scroll all the way down for a FREE bonus download!

But before that, if you found this post helpful, please consider sharing this post with your friends and family. It could be your good deed of the day 🙂

One way of sharing share can be pinning the following image to your Pinterest account.


My friend, what are you grateful for? Do you find a reason every day to be happy about? Do you express your gratitude? If you do, congratulations! You are in a forever-self-healing mode. Spread the word. But, if you don’t, I would like to help.

It’s bonus time!

I have put together 31 gratitude prompts to last you an entire month. 31_Gratitude_Prompts_Mom_Chakra

Trust me, once you are in the habit of being grateful, you will find newer things to be grateful for every day. You will no longer need a prompt sheet to recognize and express your gratitude. I urge you to take the first step and see the immense positive aura that will surround you. Go ahead, give this a try!

Sleep Faster and Better: Top 5 Tips for Get a Restful Night’s Sleep

Hello, sleepyhead! What’s keeping you awake? A newborn baby, too much coffee, a high-profile impending presentation, a thousand emotions bottled up inside of you? Or perhaps, you lay awake reflecting on the past, or worrying about the future. No matter what your reason is, we need to address it. Because you know, sleep deprivation is not only a hindrance to your daily productivity but it can also affect your health and wellness in an adverse manner. Studies reveal that not getting enough sleep over an extended period of time can lead to serious health issues, including high blood pressure and heart attack.

Top 5 Tips to Sleep Faster and Better

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So, what should you do? I have listed five tips you should try for faster and better sleep.

Tip 1: Add Physical Exercise to Your Daily Routine

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But you already knew that, did you not, my dear reader? Physical exercise tires you out thereby increasing your body’s need to rest. If you have not done anything even moderately physical during the day, your body is left with unspent energy, which in turn does not allow for a deep sleep. But, remember to leave at least a two-hour gap between the end of your exercise session and the start of your bedtime ritual. Why? Because physical exercise gets your blood flowing and energizes you–something you want to avoid if you want to get a better quality of sleep.

Tip 2: Avoid Daytime Naps

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All of us have different sleep requirements. While some of us can function well with just five or six hours of sleep, some others (*cough*) may find even 10 hours not enough. But hey, you know, we can not spend all our life sleeping. We need to get out of the bed, no matter how tired we feel, and get on with the day. If you are not well-rested, then the exhaustion will deter you from completing necessary tasks during the day. And we all know the result of unfinished tasks piling up.

Now, to combat this exhaustion from sleep depravity, some of us take day time naps. But hear me out. Unless you are a sleep-deprived parent of a newborn, an infant or a toddler, or an elderly or sick person, you should avoid day time naps. Instead, adjust your night time sleep routine.

Now, I know there are many gurus who advise taking day time naps, but remember, those naps are called power naps and typically last between 15 to 20 minutes. So, if you must, please go ahead and grab a short nap during the day time. But remember the time limit of power naps to ensure you are not turning your nap into a deep sleep. This is because when you take long naps during the day, it reduces your sleep requirements at night, and you are back to square one.

Tip 3: Develop a Healthy Bedtime Routine

So, let’s assume you exercised and avoided the day nap successfully. You now need to prepare for the night time sleep. Develop a routine comprising of the following three habits to ensure you can fall asleep easily.

Limit Alcohol and/or Caffeine Intake

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This isn’t rocket science, my friend! There’s a reason why many of us start our day with coffee. It stimulates the brain in a way that takes away the feeling of tiredness. I won’t get into the science behind this, but if you are interested, you can read about it here. So, coming back to coffee, you need to limit your daily caffeine intake (caffeine also includes aerated drinks) to no more than 2-3 cups, and definitely not within 6 hours of your scheduled sleep time. So, for example, if you go to bed at 10 PM, make sure you consume your last cup of coffee no later than 4 PM.

Monitor Your Food Intake

While you may already ensure not going to bed while you are still hungry, you need to take care of the opposite end of the spectrum too–do not go to bed stuffed. Have you noticed how uncomfortable you get when you overeat? Yeah, you will neither be able to do chores nor sleep. What good is that? So make sure you are eating healthy but also monitor your portion sizes. While you are at it, cut out those snacks upon which your day is built. Reduce your salt, sugar, and processed food intake. Hydrate yourself by getting enough fluids in your body. Here’s a post I wrote to help you stay hydrated.

Practice Digital Shutdown

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The digital world is as addictive as coffee. It is also a necessary inconvenience. It keeps us connected to the rest of the world and apprises us of the world happenings. But it also limits human relationships within the confines of the digital world. So, let’s all agree it is necessary for us to engage with the digital platforms. But for the sake of your health and wellness, limit your usage, especially late evenings. Here’s why: we all know the lights emitted from the gadgets interferes with your sleep cycle. That’s why manufacturers are designing their phones and websites to function on a “night mode” but I am not sure how effective that is. Additionally, let’s assume the “night mode” works and you settle into your bed and switch on your phone. Remember this: digital platforms are created in a way that will keep you bouncing from one event to another, never really allowing you to switch off. Suppose you decided to catch up on the current affairs of the country at bedtime. You read one article, and then you find the “You may also like…” bait. Then, you may want to check your email one last time. Uh oh, an important email from that important client. Your response can wait until tomorrow, but since you are anyway awake, why not reply now. Next, let’s check Facebook, Twitter, and oh yes, Snapchat and YouTube. Before you know, you would be 1.5 hours past your scheduled bedtime. So do yourself a favor and disengage from all gadgets at least 1 hour before your bedtime. Allow your body to wind down.

Tip 4: Prepare for the Next Day

Before you head for the bed, you need to prepare for the next day in whatever little ways you can. If it means writing down your To Do list for the next day or packing the lunch bag, just do it. It will be one less thing to worry about in bed and the next morning. Developing this habit not only help you sleep better at night, but also save you a lot of time when you wake up the next morning.

 Tip 5: Write Down Your Thoughts

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How often have you found yourself unable to fall asleep because your mind is racing, worrying about an impending presentation the next day? Grab a pen and paper and write down what’s causing you to toss and turn. What are you thinking? What are you worried about? Writing it down is proven to mimic the act of sharing worries with a friend. It’s a great way to release the bottled up emotions that are a cause for your sleeplessness. Writing it down will also allow you to “see your thoughts” and help you analyze them.

So, there you have it. My top 5 ways to help you sleep faster and better. But you know what, there is another added benefit: sleeping faster and better will make it easier for you to become a morning person. Now that’s what I call a win-win situation.

Let me know in the comments your tips to sleep faster and better.

Until next time,

Sleep well, my friend.

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Water: The Life-changing Magic of Drinking Up!

Back in school, we all learned that our planet comprises 70% water (though with the whole global warming threat, I wonder what the percentage shift will be 10 years from now). It’s a sweet irony that the inhabitants of this wonderful blue planet–humans–are also made up of primarily water.

Water is not only the main constituent of cells and tissues in our bodies, it is also present in various life organs, such as the brain, the heart, the lungs, and the kidneys. Water is what helps flush out the toxins from your body; it is what helps keep your brain ticking.

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Don’t you think water must be somewhat of a magic potion? Well, guess what–it is! Studies have established the benefits of hydrating our bodies on a regular basis. To understand these benefits, let us first take a look at the consequences of not consuming enough water. Here are just five of them:

  • Constipation: Water hydrates and lubricates the life organs of the human body. It also helps move the food from your stomach to the large intestine (colon). When the body does not contain enough water, it starts to dehydrate these organs. When the body is dehydrated, these organs go on survival mode and start absorbing whatever water they can find. The colon soaks up all the water that is made available to it while leaving the food waste (stool) dry and makes it difficult to pass. So, please drink plenty of water to relieve at least some of your life’s “hardships” 😉
    Note: It is imperative to note though that water alone cannot relieve constipation; equally important is the intake of dietary fiber and adequate physical exercise.
  • Toxin Build-up: Related to the aforementioned consequence is the build-up of toxins in your body due to dehydration. When bodily waste is not moving in an appropriate and timely manner in and out of the organs, toxins start to accumulate. In the absence of enough water, the kidney is unable to filter the toxins from your blood and urine. Over time, this compromises your immune system and affects your health adversely. We don’t want that, do we now?
  • Headaches: Certain headaches (including hangovers) are a result of dehydration. As with every other life organ, the brain is also made primarily of water and requires water to function properly. When your body is dehydrated, the brain shrinks, triggering off the neurotransmitters signaling pain. In addition, dehydration also lowers your blood volume. As a result, your brain receives less-than-optimum oxygen blood supply, thus triggering a more intense reaction (pain).
  • Fatigue: With reduced supply of water in the body, the life organs work extra hard to maintain their functions. This takes a toll on your energy deposit and causes fatigue.
  • Calories!: Drinking water satiates your thirst but adds no calories (unless of course, you are adding artificial flavors or sweeteners to it). A trick many weight watchers swear by is to drink half a glass of water 30 minutes before their meal. The water fills up the stomach and prevents them from overeating. Now that’s a side-effect I am willing to suffer.

Now, flip these aforementioned consequences (there are more!) on their heads, and you are face-to-face with the wonderful benefits of drinking enough water every day.

This begs the question:

How Much Water Should I Drink Every Day?

To be honest, there are quite a few recommendations floating around the internet. The most-accepted one is the 8 by 8 rule–drink eight 8-fl. ounce glasses (approximately, 1.8 liters) of water per day. And trust me, it isn’t as difficult as you think. As long as you promise to not give up. In fact, I have put together a simple tracker to help you track your daily intake of water.

Sign up now to receive your personal daily water intake tracker in your inbox!

It’s downloadable and it’s free!

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Now, let’s get to the crux of the matter, shall we?

How Can I Meet My Daily Water Intake Requirement?


How Can I Stay Hydrated?


How Can I Drink More Water?

It does not take a lot of effort to take care of yourself once you put your heart to it. Here are five simple ways you can add more fluid to your diet every day.

  • Set goals: Make “drink 64 fl. oz. water” one of your daily goals. Set alarms on your phone. Or, how about those awesome smartphone apps that help you track your water intake. If you are a physical notebook kinda person, add “drink 64 fl. oz. water” to your To-Do list on high priority.  Or, use sticky notes reminding you to stay hydrated around places you spend most of your time–your office desk, your refrigerator, your bathroom mirror…the options are totally up to you.
  • Build it into your daily routine: Adding the daily essential tasks–such as drinking enough water–is the easiest way for you to stay on track. Setting goals is not enough unless you work towards achieving these goals. So, once you have set the goal of staying hydrated, remember to build it into your daily routine. For example, keep a bottle of water on your night stand. As soon as you wake up in the morning, drink it up! Keep a reusable water bottle in your handbag, on your desk, in your car. And then throughout the day, set alarms on your phone to remind you to drink water.
  • Include other sources and forms of water in your diet: Drinking water need not be a boring habit. Personally I love it in its purest form. But for those who do not enjoy drinking plain old water–they can eat their water! There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that can help you keep up with your daily fluid requirements. These include water-rich foods, such as iceberg lettuce, watermelon, cucumber, pineapple, etc. You can include these foods in your diet in various forms. For example, if you can not bring yourself to drink the recommended 64 fl. oz. of water every day, drink up at least half of the amount, and for the other half, substitute with water-rich foods. The only catch is that it will be difficult to track your water consumption.

Before you go, don’t forget to download your free daily water intake tracker!