It’s the Drinking Water Apps Fault

So I am on like day 12 of being obsessed over new smartphone. It is my first one and it is an Android with the touch screen plus bells and whistles. It is freaking AWESOME. And than there are all the applications you can add, called app for short. Wow those are fun: there are games to play alone or with others, you can link up to you bank, check when the bus will past next, listen to music, etc.

Than I fell on the Drinking Water App. It asks you how many glasses you want to drink in a day, asks when you want to have your first drink (like 9 am) and the latest time to drink. When it is time to drink the phone makes a noise of a glass being filled. It’s a fun app for someone wanting to drink more water than they already are. If you achieve your daily goal a crowd applauds and cheers you. This is what the app screen looks like…

That got me thinking about articles I vaguely remembered reading some time ago: do you really need 8 glasses a day?, what is the size of a glass?, do your other beverages count and which?, and what about the water in the food we eat?

Oh gees, all I wanted was an app that may help me incorporate a healthier habit and inspire me to do more maybe? But now I am bombarded with existential questions about liquids. ENOUGH. Let’s get to the bottom of the glass and find the answers.

So according to wiki

The human body is made of between 55% to 78% water. Now how much you need per day depends on so many factors one cannot give a specific amount that fits every human being. Factors include on body size, level of activity, temperature, humidity. Some people may need one liter while another person needs  seven liters of water per day.

Who said 8 glasses a day?

We used to think that approximately 2 liters (6 to 7 glasses) of water daily was the minimum to maintain proper hydration. Where did this number come from? It goes back to 1945 when a recommendation for water intake was presented to the Food and Nutrition Board of the United States National Research Council. Since then many studies have been done to prove the claim, all have failed. In the US, the reference daily intake (RDI) for water is 3.7 liters per day (l/day) for human males older than 18, and 2.7 l/day for human females older than 18,  including water contained in food, beverages, and drinking water.

What does water do for you?

What is the size of a glass?

This one they all seem to agree on: eight fl oz each (240 ml).

What about the water in the food we eat?

Normally,about 20% of water intake comes from food, while the rest comes from drinking liquids. This means that with the current US recommendations, after eating you still need on average 3.0 liters (13 glasses) for a man and 2.2 liters for a woman  (9 glasses). Wait a minute that is even more then the old false recommendation of 8 glasses? Now I am really confused.


So how much do we really need per day?

Medical literature favors a lower consumption, an average sized adult with healthy kidneys needs no more than one liter of fluid (4 glasses). Another article I read recommended 1 liter of water for every 1000kcal you expend. If it is hot and humid, drink more, if you exercised drink more. If you sit all day and no nothing in a cool comfortable room there is no need to add more.

The “loose average” kcal burned in a day is 1800 ( an average people…some are at 1400, some are a 2200). So let’s take off 20% because that water was in our food. Now we have 1440 kcal which would be 1.4 liters or 6 glasses.

This is another formula (apparently) to learn what your liquid daily needs are:
To determine how much water you should drink, weigh yourself each morning for 3 to 4 days in a row (ladies not during your PMS or period cause you are bloated). If you lose a whole pound in a day, it means you came up short on liquids the day before. Drink a pint of water or juice first thing in the morning for every pound you’ve lost and adjust your daily intake until your weight is steady.

Do other beverages count?

Water is water is water? Actually no, beverages such as milk and juice are composed mostly of water. Same goes for beer, wine and caffeinated beverages. Of course I won’t recommend you only drink beer, but if you have a glass of milk in the morning, a coffee at work and a beer at night…if you are that average 1800 kcal person you just knocked off 3 of your 6 glasses.

In the end I decided to set my Drinking Water app to 6 glasses and I count all my liquids as water. So far so good.

A final note

I read a couple of sites that said you are your best judge of how much water you need to drink. I actually totally disagree with that because most of us misinterpret “I am thirsty” brain signals as “I need to eat something”. Yes most of your pangs of hunger are actually your body saying it needs fluids, not food. When you are really hungry you will know it – like you might want to steal the sandwich from that kid and run because you are starving.

Also some people only recognize thirst when they are already dehydrated. If that is your case better drink by prevention before you feel thirsty. Dehydration can be life threatening.

And yes you can die from drinking too much water too, although that is rare. It is referred to as water intoxication or hyper-hydration. If you drink so much water that your normal balance of electrolytes go out of wack your muscles and brain will stop functioning. Nearly all deaths related to water intoxication in normal individuals have resulted either from water drinking contests.

Is Your Coffee Cup Half Full or Half Empty?

I am not one to usually just publish all the press releases I get but when I feel there is truly a good message then I am happy to share good worthy info. This is the case with the latest PR from Maxwell House Coffee….

Is Your Coffee Cup Half Full or Half Empty?

Maxwell House Pours a Cup of Optimism for Canadians and Encourages Everyone to Brew Some Good

Help Brew a Nation Without Bitterness

Maxwell House is opening up a bottomless can of optimism for Canadians,” says Rena Nickerson, Senior Brand Manager, Maxwell House.  “It’s been a tough winter, but now that Spring’s here, we’re on a mission to boost the mood of the nation and we want all Canadians to join the movement.  Take a well-deserved ‘Optimism Break’ on our website and then share that great feeling with someone else.  After all, optimism is contagious!” Whether your cup is half empty or half full, Maxwell House is providing many ways that Canadians can take an “Optimism Break” and brew some positive energy:

  • Visit the Maxwell House Optimism Café in Montreal at 3523 St. Laurent.  Throughout the month of April, there will be free Maxwell House coffee for everyone, along with a schedule of fun, in-café events.
  • Escape from the daily grind at and check out the “daily dose of optimism” – real life stories to give spirits a lift.
  • Join the Facebook page – – for positive messaging and details on “Optimism Breaks” events.
  • Watch for the Maxwell House Optimism Walls on downtown streets in Toronto and Montreal.  The Walls project positive quotations, results from the Optimism Meter, and tweets from Canadians fed by the Maxwell House Twitterstream @brewsomegood.

Is your cup of coffee half full or half empty?  Do you feel good about life and share your positive attitude with others?  Are you an optimist?  Maxwell House coffee – Canada’s favourite at-home coffee – believes that the world would be a better place if more people saw their cup as half full, rather than half empty. To gauge just how optimistic Canadians are, the brand commissioned the Maxwell House Survey on Optimism, Coffee and Canadians*, conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion.  Survey results show that Canadians are revelling in a positive state of mind and believe their positive spirit can make a difference:

  • 85 percent of Canadians consider themselves to be optimistic

–   Alberta is the most optimistic province at 90 percent, while 86 per cent of Quebecers consider themselves to be optimistic

–   Canadians become more optimistic as they age:  81 percent of 18-to-34 year olds are optimistic vs. 87 percent of those 55 plus

  • 86 percent of us believe optimism is contagious

–   Gender makes a difference on this one:  89 percent of women believe it’s contagious vs. 82 percent of men

  • 66 percent of Canadians feel they are a “cup-half-full” kind of person who sees the positive side of things, while 28 percent see themselves as a “cup-half-empty” person who is more cautious

–   That number drops in Quebec, with 57% of respondents feeling they are a “cup-half-full” kind of person

  • 79 percent of us admit to trying to turn pessimists into optimists

–   Women tend to encourage pessimists to be optimistic much more than men:  86 percent vs. 72 percent

–   Quebec is above the national average with 83%

  • 41 percent of coffee drinkers say that a great cup of coffee influences their level of optimism

–   In Quebec, that number jumps to 51%!

Tips for Brewing Your Own Optimism

To garner ideas and advice on how we can all brew up our own optimistic outlook, Maxwell House is working with two eternal optimists:  Christopher Hall, a comedian famous for his Optimistic outlook on life, and Albert Nerenberg, a Laughologist, Filmmaker and Journalist.  Mr. Hall, who has worked with Mr. Nerenberg in the past, supports his top five tips for culturing positivity:

1) Smile: Smile even when you don’t feel like it.  Simply smiling will cause the hormonal changes that produce positive emotion.

2) Enjoy Rituals: Practicing rituals – something as simple as brewing and enjoying your morning cup of coffee – can help increase optimism as it gives your psyche something to look forward to.

3) Laugh Big.  Laugh Often: They say laughter is the best medicine but most of us don’t laugh well.  Don’t hold back to enjoy the stress-relieving benefits. 

4) Get Face-to-Face with Friends: We enjoy each other’s company and this interaction is believed to boost both our immunity levels and our mood.

5) Look Up: So far, there is no science to explain this, but simply looking up seems to improve your mood. Look towards the ceiling and you will notice a positive lift.

“Optimism has been linked with everything from good health and less stress to a long life and personal success,” concludes Ms. Nickerson.  “Whether your cup is half full or half empty, every new morning is a chance to brew some good.  Do yourself a favour and join the Maxwell House movement!”

* About the SurveyThe Angus Reid Public Opinion Poll was conducted over two sessions:

From February 23 to February 25, 2011, and from March 2 to March 3, 2011, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,005 and 1,018 (respectively) randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is+/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.


Friendly Fighting and Banana Pudding

This is going to be really off topic but I do believe everyone can benefit from this. I find myself once again at home sick with a bad cold this time. I also have been going through a lot of personal changes in the last months. I won’t be going into to many details but it has been a roller coaster ride and I am getting stronger.

A perfect example is what happened to me tonight: a situation which brought on  a feeling of being overwhelmed with life and a few specific points. But instead of trying to sweep the feelings under the rug I sat there and took in the pain and sadness. I experienced and felt it as an observer. And then I let it go. I felt relieved, so relieved. The issues have not disappeared but I am calmer about it. I turned a negative into a positive. I communicated with myself.

I also made what I felt was a desperately needed comfort food, a craving brought on by my trip to NC this summer and a fellow blogger this week, Banana Pudding. This pudding is a powerful comfort food indeed!

Small glasses Big comfort

But back to communication. I looked online for advice on dealing with a conflict…whether it be with a friend, lover, husband, even yourself. Oh boy there is a lot of crap out there. But I did come across a goldmine article and I just had to share it with you all. It was written by By Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.

Ten rules for friendly fighting:

  1. Embrace conflict. There is no need to fear it. Conflict is normal, even healthy. Differences between you mean that there are things you can learn from each other. Often conflict shows us where we can or need to grow.
  2. Go after the issue, not each other. Friendly fighting sticks with the issue. Neither party resorts to name calling or character assassination. It’s enough to deal with the problem without adding the new problem of hurting each other’s feelings.
  3. Listen respectfully. When people feel strongly about something, it’s only fair to hear them out. Respectful listening means acknowledging their feelings, either verbally or through focused attention. It means never telling someone that he or she “shouldn’t” feel that way. It means saving your point of view until after you’ve let the other person know you understand that they feel intensely about the subject, even if you don’t quite get it.
  4. Talk softly. The louder someone yells, the less likely they are to be heard. Even if your partner yells, there’s no need to yell back. Taking the volume down makes it possible for people to start focusing on the issues instead of reacting to the noise.
  5. Get curious, not defensive. Defending yourself, whether by vehemently protesting your innocence or rightness or by turning the tables and attacking, escalates the fight. Instead of upping the ante, ask for more information, details, and examples. There is usually some basis for the other person’s complaint. When you meet a complaint with curiosity, you make room for understanding.
  6. Ask for specifics. Global statements that include the words “always” and “never” almost always get you nowhere and never are true. When your partner has complaints, ask to move from global comments of exasperation to specific examples so you can understand exactly what he or she is talking about. When you have complaints, do your best to give your partner examples to work with.
  7. Find points of agreement. There almost always are parts of a conflict that can be points of agreement. Finding common ground, even if it’s agreeing that there is a problem, is an important start to finding a common solution.
  8. Look for options. Fighting ends when cooperation begins. Asking politely for suggestions or alternatives invites collaboration. Careful consideration of options shows respect. Offering alternatives of your own shows that you also are willing to try something new.
  9. Make concessions. Small concessions can turn the situation around. If you give a little, it makes room for the other person to make concessions too. Small concessions lead to larger compromises. Compromise doesn’t have to mean that you’re meeting each other exactly 50-50. Sometimes it’s a 60-40 or even 80-20 agreement. This isn’t about scorekeeping. It’s about finding a solution that is workable for both of you.
  10. Make peace. An elderly friend who has been married for 68 years tells me that she and her husband made a rule on their wedding day never to go to bed angry. They agreed from the outset that the relationship is more important than winning arguments. Sometimes this meant they stayed up very, very late until they came to a workable compromise. Sometimes it meant that one or the other of them decided the issue wasn’t really important enough to lose sleep over. Since they both value the marriage, neither one gave in or gave up most of the time. When one did give in or give up, the other showed appreciation and made a peace offering of his or her own. These folks still love each other after 68 years of the inevitable conflicts that come with living with another person. They are probably onto something.

Banana pudding is food for the body, proper communication skills – even if it is a fight –  is food for the soul!

April Fools Faux Cappuccino and Contest

April Fools is a very special day for me. Not only is it the day where you can be a naughty (but still nice) prankster for 24hrs….it is also my mom’s birthday. So she does not usually get a trick played on her (always) but we do remind her of the funny coincidence.

This year my mom might get a surprise trick at the dinner table though. The folks over at the California Walnut Commission have come up with a great recipe for a trick. It is a dessert made to resemble as a cappuccino. This Faux Cappuccino is one of 100s of amazing recipes with walnuts found on their website. I just might make this one on April Fools day. One lucky winner will win a sample bag of California walnuts and that is no joke. Just check the entry rules at the bottom of the post.

April Fool’s Faux Cappuccino

1 cup California walnut pieces 250 mL
10 oz soft or silken tofu 300 g
3 tbsp honey 45 mL
2 oz milk chocolate, melted 50 g
2 oz dark chocolate, melted 50 g
1/4 cup whipped cream 50 mL

1. With a hand blender or food processor, purée walnuts, tofu, honey and chocolate until smooth.
2. Divide among 6 cappuccino cups and refrigerate to set. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Would you like to win a sample bag of California walnuts?

– Leave a comment in this post telling me if you have ever played an Aprils Fool’s trick and what was it.

Extra entry…
– Tweet about the giveaway, copy paste…1 entry per day
California Walnut Contest at @cheapethniceatz

Alas, this contest is only open to Canadian residents. You have till April 1st 2011, 1 AM EST to enter.

Phenomenal Food Pics

I am feeling a little lazy and overwhelmed this week, so a perfect time to play my Ace in the hole. I was hunting for amazing food related pictures online a while back…..just phenomenal stuff with lot’s of WOW factor. Enjoy the eye candy!

This last one is a real product called Esslack Food Spray, sold at the German store The Deli Garage. Sold in Gold, Silver, Red and Blue….and for a pretty penny….you can spray paint your culinary creations. A really cool novelty idea we do feel the urge to try once, right?

What is your Color TEArapy Mood Contest

Happy Saint-Valentine’s Day!

Alas like most of my fellow food bloggers I did not have the time to bake up a sweet red treat so I humbly offer you some luscious heart shaped strawberries. I am very much looking forward to tonight! I received a text from my beau wishing me a Happy Valentine’s Day and that instructions were to follow. So far I have received 2 riddles to solve which indicate when to be ready and that I will be blindfolded to my destination lol. I love elaborate surprises!

So if I were to pick the perfect Tetley herbal tea for me right now it would certainly be clarity to calm me from the excitement and to give me a day of priming and pampering. A good thing it is one of the 4 colors I received to try from the new Tetley Herbal Tea collection.

“Tetley Colour Therapy identifies and associates moods and feelings with ten different colours and teas,” explains Sarah Molloy, Brand Manager, Tetley Canada.  “Whether you need energy, inspiration or calm in your life, Tetley has developed a herbal tea to suit your every mood.” To find the right herbal tea simply complete the questionnaire at and the Mood Meter will interpret your disposition and recommend the right herbal tea for you.

I am a firm believer in aromatherapy and I really believe certain scents and plants can influence your state of mind. The lovely Mojito mint and lime mix is wonderful on a weather gloomy day to transport you to a tropical island and refresh your senses. I loved the balance of the flavors a lot. For the Clarity mix, ginseng and ginko are know for helping you get your head on your shoulders and concentrate effectively. The blueberry tate is perfect, real and not overpowering, and is used to give mental acuity.  I did not try the other two…I am going those away to a lucky reader, see the contest rules below! Here is a look at the full  line of flavors…

Lime Green: Tetley Mojito – Need an escape? The bright aura that surrounds you when you’ve just got back from vacation can be found every day in a cup of Tetley Mojito Herbal Tea. Its new blend of mint and lime with a hint of honey is the next best thing to a vacation.

Turquoise: Tetley Calm – Stressed? When everything’s a bit frantic and you need to take a step back, de-stress with Tetley Calm Herbal Tea. Its balance of camomile and spearmint helps bring a moment of serenity at the end of the day.

Pale Green: Tetley Soothe – Slow down and take comfort in this delightful blend of warm ginger, lemongrass and cool mint flavours. Tetley Soothe Herbal Tea will help get your mind and body back on track.

Orange: Tetley Warmth – Need some “me” time? Embrace your Orange mood and cozy up with Tetley Warmth Herbal Tea. Its aromatic infusion of cinnamon, orange blossom and sweet licorice with spicy hints of cardamom and clove will help warm you up on the coldest of days.

Yellow: Tetley Cleanse – Balance out your stressful day at work and purify your mood with Tetley Cleanse Herbal Tea. Its blend of lemon balm, honey, nettle and elderflower clears everyday toxins.

Purple: Tetley Clarity – Too many things on the go? Refocus and energize with Tetley Clarity Herbal Tea. Its light blueberry taste is blended with gingko and ginseng to help clear your mind.

Blue: Tetley Dream – Feeling blue? Dream on and relax with a cup of Tetley Dream Herbal Tea. Its camomile and hint of lemon flavour will help you get the blissful rest you deserve.

Pink: Tetley Summerberry – The embodiment of inspiration, Tetley Summerberries Herbal Tea is a delicate blend of rosehip, hibiscus, apples and strawberry that will evoke the joy of summer all year round

Mint Green: Tetley Pure Peppermint – So fresh and so energizing! Peppermint is perfect for an uplifting experience. Now available in larger format of 40 tea bags.

Violet: Tetley Wildberry – V is for Vibrant! A joyful mingling of delicious berries, poppy flowers, hibiscus and rosehips – the perfect blend for an upbeat mood.

Want to win some Tetley herbal teas? I am giving away 2 teas, the Pink Summerberry and and the Violet Wildberry, to 1 lucky winner. How To enter:

– Leave a comment in this post telling me your color result.

Extra entry…
– Tweet about the giveaway, copy paste…1 entry per day
@cheapethniceatz CONTEST Tetley Herbal Colour Tea

You have till February 19th 2010, 7 PM EST to enter.