Get Hydrated!

Do you experience fatigue and brain fog? You may have the first signs of dehydration. Even a 2% loss in hydration can lead to a decline in cognitive function. Joint pain, aching muscles, and urinary and digestive tract issues are also signs of not getting enough water. Dehydration can age you fast!

Drinking eight glasses of water every day is one way to keep hydrated. I keep a glass of water by my bed and drink it throughout the night if I wake up with a dry mouth. Another way to stay hydrated is to eat foods with high water content. Your body is 60 percent water, which may sound like a lot until you consider that some vegetables consist of more than 90 percent water. Cucumbers, lettuce, celery, Chinese cabbage (such as bok-choy), radishes, watercress, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, asparagus, portobello mushrooms, Swiss chard, cabbage, cauliflower, and turnips are the winners in the water content game. Cooking removes a lot of the water, so try to eat vegetables raw. A large salad for lunch, which includes as many of these vegetables as you can eat, can be life-changing.

Fresh fruit is another way to get more water into your body. Grapefruit, watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, lemons, peaches, Asian pears, blackberries, papayas, nectarines, prickly pears, pineapples, plums, oranges, and apples lead the way in water content.

I try to eat at least two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables per day and drink a lot of water without ice. For example, I often finish a glass before our orders arrive, and the waiter may refill my glass as many as three times during our meal. I get many questions about maintaining my weight loss and the quality of my skin. I attribute my success to water consumption, eating small meals consisting of mostly greens, grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and a few nuts. On most days, skipping the evening meal has improved my sleep quality, given me more energy, and helped keep my weight at ideal levels.

These photos are from the 4th of July. We spent another fun day in the village of Blowing Rock, North Carolina shopping, and having lunch. The royal blue shirt is from Express. My Fair Lady supplied the Lior Paris “Lize” straight leg smooth waistband pants. The bag is by F&W Style. It is the same one I carried as an evening bag here. I added the shoulder strap to wear it as a casual crossbody bag for the daytime. The shoes are by Sam Edelman from last year, similar here. The hat is by Scala here. Links in my blog posts may generate a small commission for me at no extra cost to you.

  1. Thank you, Susan, for once again emphasizing the importance of diet (fruits and vegetables), small portions, and hydration! While maintaining a healthy weight requires constant vigilance, it is achievable and does not require expensive gym memberships or expensive “weight-loss” programs. I am so disheartened when I hear and observe people who are just unwilling to maintain their health. Morbidly obese means just that–you are going to die with weight-related problems just because of your unwillingness to discipline yourself. And your quality of life is so reduced. Thank you again for emphasizing that it can be done!

    1. I checked multiple sources which mentioned that dehydration is a cause of shedding and breakage of the hair as well as soft, brittle nails. Diminished hormones can also be the cause of hair loss.

      1. A change in my nails was the first thing I noticed when I switched to water and started staying hydrated! For the first time in my life my nails weren’t peeling and cracking and I was able to grow some pretty nails. That alone was enough to convince me I was on the right track. (though I like mine with ice and I seem to drink more when it’s cold) -And I agree – my skin looks better, too.

  2. You have such a wonderful outlook on life. I was wondering if you practice mindfulness or affirmations . What do you do to keep so positive?

  3. When I was pregnant, I remember my doctor talking about doubling down on nutrition. This was not “eating for two,” but making sure that everything I ate was nutritious, and avoiding empty calories. It was especially important because I had lost weight due to hyperemesis in the first trimester. I couldn’t tolerate vitamins, either.

    Thanks to those wise words of advice and the mindful eating that went along with it, i gained an appropriate amount of pregnancy weight and had the best skin and hair of my life! My weight returned to normal within six months by maintaining those good habits.

    Thanks for the gentle reminder. It’s easy to go off course.

  4. What is your opinion about taking supplemental hormones? Women seem to have the choice between taking hormones and risking cancer and not taking them and having osteoporosis!

  5. Thanks for the link to the Portofino shirt, Susan! I have looked at it before after admiring it on your blog and now it is on sale for $25, seemingly in all colors! I hesitated before because it is not offered in petite sizes, I am 5’1″ 110 lbs. and I think the neckline may be a little long for me but at this price it’s worth a try. I love your fresh casual look here.

  6. Dehydration is a huge problem this summer with heat index temps over 100 degrees. I loved when we stay at the Rutledge House in Charleston, SC that they have a big container with water bottles in ice on the back porch. Guests are welcome to help themselves. Such a nice gesture.

  7. Susan, could you please share where, specifically, you are in these photos (and other future blog photos). You’ve said it’s Blowing Rock, but where in Blowing Rock? Your locations, such as this walkway, always look so enchanting. Sometimes, the most interesting spots are those off the beaten path. Thank you 🙂

  8. You are an example I admire. Always a good read and reminder for proper hydration. Now to put it into action! Thanks.

  9. Dear Susan, I follow your blogs with much interest & enjoyment, you always look so lovely in your clothes too!
    I was wondering what you actually do eat for your meals on any given day? & at what times?……I try really hard
    to curb my weight, its harder when your 60+ i shall be 62 in September….I also have an under active thyroid so its
    doubly difficult!! anyway i shall look forward to your next post!…..Kind regards, Margaret from Australia !!!!!!!

    1. We are the same age. September is also my birth month.
      I try to eat only plant-based foods, wild caught fish, and occasionally a piece of organic chicken or turkey. Eating less of those foods and drinking a lot of water has helped me lose weight and keep it off.
      The number of calories we require varies according to gender, height, weight, body composition and, most of all, activity level.

  10. Negative comments in response to Cheryl’s comment was starting a nasty confrontation I did not want to host. Eating more mindfully is an excellent first step toward a more healthy body. I love sharing what I have learned and sincerely hope that sharing that knowledge and my results inspires those who want to know more.
    I was criticized and openly made fun of (often) when I weighed more than 200 pounds. Ironically, negative comments and judgment also came that I was too thin when I lost weight. Body shaming hurt is the same. I never want to be part of that in any way.

  11. You do look really good for your age but I’m going to be honest here. If I have to eat like a rabbit and skip my evening meal I’d rather be a little chubby. Life is too short to deprive yourself of good food and drink. Enjoy life’s pleasures and maybe gain a few pounds !

    1. My point is that I am striving to live in a healthy body. Numerous health problems caused by eating processed foods and meat were making me miserable and dangerously unhealthy. I will never trade my healthy body (at any weight) for junk food or sodas. Food is not entertainment. Being slim was never my goal, but it is the result of making more healthy choices for the past seven years.

  12. Susan, I love that shirt. Just a question if you don’t mind answering. What size do you order in the Express shirt? Thanks and love your blog. You are awesome!

  13. I believe you suffered migraines before changing your diet. Did you ever identify any specific triggers? Do you find, possibly, that foods that may have triggered you in the past do not bother you now that you have regained health? I am hoping that this may turn out to be so for me, as several otherwise healthy foods are currently triggers for me, such as garlic, avocado, onion and vinegar. If I achieve greater health and am able to once again enjoy those favorites, maintaining the healthy lifestyle would be far easier and more enjoyable.

    1. The worst was sodium tripolyphosphate (STP), a rehydrating agent applied to farmed shrimp at the processing plant. Preservatives, MSG and the other myriad of things added to processed food often caused a headache for me. Thankfully I haven’t had a migraine in a few years.

      1. Susan, I’ve never heard of STP. I just Googled it after reading your comment. Wow! I wonder if it’s a contributing factor to my migraines? I’m going to ask every time I buy seafood whether it’s been treated with STP. No more STP! Thanks for mentioning this!

  14. The Village Cafe in Blowing Rock! One of my favorites. Thanks for the reminder to drink plenty of water, and for the advice about eating well.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.