Making water less boring

[what I had for breakfast today: jasmine rice, beet greens, scrambled egg, and leftover roast chicken]

I drink about a gallon of water each day, and I have for a long time--it makes me feel clearer-headed and less fatigued, it helps my skin stay bright and glowy, and it keeps my joints in better working order. 

I recommend aiming for half a gallon of water per day to patients who aren't in a water-drinking habit. Sometimes, though, patients will balk--"But water is so BORING!" they protest. 

Well, it doesn't have to be. And I don't think you should drink anything that bores you. Here are some ways to make water more interesting: 

My water glass is a quart Mason jar. Four of these=one gallon.

-Bring water to a boil and pour it over your favorite fruits or spices, let steep for five to twenty minutes, remove fruits and drink when cool enough. As an example, think about putting half a sliced pear and a little bit of minced ginger in the bottom of a quart jar and then pouring hot water to fill the jar. Dried blueberries and orange peel could be another tasty option.    

-Bubbly water still counts as water! I put a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and about a teaspoon of maple syrup in a pint jar and fill that with bubbly water. A little rice vinegar and a thinly-sliced cucumber would be delicious as well, as would balsamic vinegar and a couple of sliced strawberries.

-All kinds of herbal teas count towards your water intake--chrysanthemum, mint, rooibos, chamomile. One you may not have heard of before is barley tea, which is common in East Asian countries but not so much here. It's made by toasting raw barley in a heavy pan for just a couple of minutes till it's nuttily fragrant, then simmering it for ten to twenty minutes in water. I'd do maybe a heaping tablespoon of barley to a quart of water. 

Need a little help falling asleep?

[what I had for breakfast today: a hard-boiled egg, jasmine rice, sauerkraut and nutritional yeast.]

Sometimes it's just really, really hard to turn your mind off and drift into a deep, restful sleep. Here are some easy-to-follow breathing and acupressure recommendations that I make to patients struggling with insomnia. 

First of all, you should do a breathing exercise while pressing these points. I'd suggest 4-7-8 breathing--inhaling for a count of 4, holding your breath for a count of 7, and exhaling for a count of 8. If this feels difficult, try speeding up the count. The speed isn't important; keeping the ratio of 4:7:8 is. If it's still difficult, switch to just inhaling for 4 and exhaling for 8, skipping holding your breath.

Hold each of these three points on each side of the body, in the order written here, for one to two minutes while doing the 4-7-8 breathing exercise. 

-Nei Guan: Make a fist and locate the two parallel tendons that pop up on the underside (palm side) of your wrist. Relax your hand, and locate the point between those two tendons, two fingers' width below the wrist crease. Here's an image

-San Yin Jiao: Find the tip of your ankle bone on the inside aspect of your leg. Locate the point three fingers' width above the tip of the ankle bone, just behind the tibia (shin bone). Here's an image. 

-Yong Quan: On the very bottom of your foot, this point is at the deepest point of the "cup" your foot makes when you point your toes. Here's an image

Now go to sleep, already.
Now go to sleep, already.