Water, Water Everywhere

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I need at least one time a year when I can pontificate about the benefits of water for your health. I mentioned it last week, but this week I’m going to give it you with both hoses–you really need this stuff!

It may be the best weight loss tool you have in your arsenal. Besides naturally suppressing the appetite like I mentioned last time, it helps the body actually metabolize STORED fat! Decreasing water intake may cause fat deposits to increase and stepped up water drinking can help shrink them. Why? Kidney function! Not enough water means the kidneys dump some of their work load on to your poor liver. In return, that puts the liver into overtime working on other things besides one of his main functions: metabolizing stored fat. But if the kidneys are slacking and the liver is working two shifts, something’s gotta go and guess what it is? Yep, metabolizing fat.

And if you’re overweight, that means your metabolic capacity is greater which in turn means, you need to drink more water. A good rule of thumb for anyone is eight 8-ounce glasses per day. But for every 25 pounds of excess weight, you need another glass. If it is hot outside, you’ll need even more.

But what if you’re not thirsty? Most of us don’t understand that we’re under hydrated until we reach the point of true hydration and suddenly natural thirst returns. The body becomes balanced, endocrine function is improved and no more fluid retention–all for just drinking the water your body needs!

I can’t exactly give you a good recipe for water here, so here’s a great recipe that’s healthy and balanced–just what the nutritionist ordered!

Artichokes Stuffed with Smashed Potatoes and Browned Garlic
(slightly adapted from Cooking Light)
Serves 4

These ‘chokes would make a great dinner if they’re big enough!

4 large artichokes
1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 cup dry sherry
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon shredded Romano

Working with 1 artichoke at a time, cut off stem to the base. Remove bottom leaves and tough outer leaves, leaving tender heart and bottom; trim about 2 inches from the top of artichoke. Steam artichokes, covered, 20 minutes; cool to room temperature. Gently spread leaves; remove fuzzy thistle from bottom with a spoon.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place potatoes in a saucepan & cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 12 minutes or until tender, then drain. Mash your potatoes with a potato masher till coarsely mashed.

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; saute 2 minutes or until golden. Remove from heat; add sherry, scraping skillet to loosen browned bits. Then add sherry mixture to potatoes, Mozzarella, basil, salt, and pepper and mix well.

Stuff about 1 cup potato mixture into each artichoke. Sprinkle with romano cheese. Place stuffed artichokes in an 8-inch square baking dish, lightly greased. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until artichokes are tender.

Per serving: 361 Calories; 11g Total Fat; 16g Protein; 50g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 12mg Cholesterol; 565mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 3 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat

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