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Living Intentionally

Your Urine Isn’t Clear Enough. Here’s How To Fix That.

Many people start their day with coffee and end their day with wine. In between coffee and wine, there’s soda, juice, energy drinks, milk, and smoothies.

But they don’t drink nearly enough of the most important thing… water. The truth is, 60% of the body is made up of water. We need to drink water in order to perform at our best (and survive).

Below, we’ll answer how much water you need, why you need it, if sparkling water counts, and the best ways to drink more!

How much water do you need?

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine, and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

If you don’t, your body has a system for controlling when and how much you drink. When your total water content goes below a certain level, thirst kicks in.

It’s hard to determine how much water you consume every day because there’s water in foods – especially fruits and vegetables – and drinks like milk and juice. You actually get an average of 20 percent of your water from the foods you eat.

So how many cups of pure water should you drink a day?

Men should drink 100 ounces (12.5 cups) of water, while women should drink 73 ounces (9 cups) of water every day. Gulp!

The best indication of whether you need more water or not is the color of your urine. Aim for pale, clear urine.

Why is drinking water important?

Our bodies need water for many reasons. Here are the most important:

  1. It lubricates the joints, saving you from joint pain.
  2. It forms saliva and mucus, helping you digest food and keep your eyes, mouth, and nose moist.
  3. It delivers oxygen throughout the body.
  4. It boosts skin health and beauty.
  5. It makes you sweat, cooling the body down.
  6. The digestive system depends on it.
  7. It reduces the chance of a hangover!

Does sparkling water hydrate you?

Every office in America has one person with loads of La Croix, Sparkling Ice, or Bubly cans on their desk. Sparkling waters are taking over the world, although the writer of this hates the taste of them. (We know, it’s an “acquired taste”)

Fortunately, sparkling water does hydrate you just as well as still water. If the fizz helps you drink more water, go right ahead! Some sparkling waters may have more sodium than still water, which could make them less hydrating, so just pay attention to that.

The best way to drink water

Look, drinking the recommended amount of water is difficult. Who wants to think about and remember how many cups of water they’ve had today? Here’s the best way to make sure you’re getting enough water every day.

I used to just drink out of a normal cup, and I never knew how much water fit in it. Now, I have a 20-ounce water bottle and I can easily remember that I need to refill it 5 times a day. A woman would refill it 3.5 times.

Boom! Now I know how much water to drink.

And better yet, the brand I got my bottle from, Miir, donates a portion of revenue to fund clean water and healthy environment projects.

You can shop other conscious brands on Choobs!

RELATED: How To Change Your Alarm Clock So You Wake Up Feeling Energized

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Living Intentionally

25 To 35-Year-Olds Must Avoid This Trap

Be A Conscious Consumer

Jane lived with her two best friends in a just-good-enough 3 bedroom city apartment. Her first job out of college paid her a nice $68,000. She took public transportation to work, went out on most weekends, and bought some new outfits every Spring. Her kitchen utensils and couch were kindly passed down to her. She was happy!

Now 30 and a couple promotions later, Jane was making $100,000. She moved to a studio by herself to have more personal space. She adopted a puppy, joined a boutique fitness club, and occasionally tried out Michelin star restaurants. Those passed-down utensils and coffee maker wouldn’t cut it anymore… an espresso machine was “totally worth it.” That once-a-year camping weekend required the best camping gear. Vacations in Cabo and New York City helped her escape her annoying boss for a while. Jane gifted her friends nice things for their birthdays, and her friends gifted Jane nice things in return. What was previously a luxury now became a necessity.

At 36, Jane was married and her second kid was on the way! Her new manager title came with a juicy salary of $150,000 (to match her 55-hour work weeks). Her old studio seems like a nightmare now in her newly-renovated suburban home. A new car, lawn service, and nanny became necessary.

Some expenses became trivial. A thousand dollars for bikes, a TV, or flights to Europe didn’t bat an eye. She couldn’t make it to the boutique gym much, but she kept her membership just to avoid that guilt that comes from quitting. Jane couldn’t make the camping trip anymore – her babies wouldn’t love sleeping on the ground – so the fancy camping gear sat idly in the shed.

You may know someone like Jane. Why am I telling you about her?

Because Jane is trapped. She has unconsciously entered the Lifestyle Inflation trap, and she will never get out of it.

Lifestyle Inflation refers to an increase in spending when an individual’s income goes up. All this time, Jane has been earning more and more money. But she has responded by spending more and more money.

It is what causes people to get stuck in a cycle of living paycheck to paycheck where they have just enough money to pay the bills every month. (Yes, someone who makes $150,000 can live paycheck to paycheck. In fact, Johnny Depp is now dead broke after earning $650 million in his career. And Nicolas Cage blew his $150 million fortune. They were trapped in Lifestyle Inflation too.)

Jane had placed great emphasis on the acquisition of objects in order to achieve happiness. She felt she deserved all the fancy things – a lavish wedding, nice house, brand new car, modern appliances, wine subscriptions, food delivery, skis, bikes, dresses. She worked so hard, why shouldn’t she get to have these things??

Companies exist to market how buying their thing will make Jane happier, and she fell for it. What she hadn’t realized yet was that buying things didn’t really make her happier.

Jane is not free. She is owned by her lifestyle…

If Jane were miserable at her job, she couldn’t take a lower salary at a company that would make her happier. She couldn’t start her dream company. She couldn’t stop working altogether to care for her kids full-time. Her lifestyle wouldn’t allow this.

How would she keep making mortgage payments on that house she just moved into? How would she afford her car payments? Her boutique gym, wine, Euro trips? Jane can’t take a pay cut. Her lifestyle owns her.

“She could just change her lifestyle.” Ah, yes. Just change her lifestyle. Sell her house and downsize, trade her car for a used one, take her kids out of private school, learn to cook instead of getting meals delivered, and turn down her friends’ annual boujee vacation. Easy!

It’s unlikely that Jane would be able to do this. Humans are social creatures, and we care what our friends and neighbors think of us. What will everyone think of Jane’s massive lifestyle change? Is she having a mid-life crisis? Did she get laid off?

Plus, humans suck at change. Our habits define us, and Jane built a habit of being fancy. It’s extremely difficult to settle for less. It’s extremely difficult to get out of this trap.

Avoiding this Lifestyle Inflation trap is much easier than trying to climb out of it. How can you avoid it?

People tend to increase their spending when their income increases because they believe that the additional goods and services they can now buy will make them happier. Often those purchases don’t actually make them happier. A better option would be to work toward financial independence by saving more.

Avoiding lifestyle inflation can mean achieving financial independence at a younger age, having the financial flexibility to choose a dream job over a higher-paying option, and retiring early.

As your income goes up, keep your expenses even or only slightly increased. Be satisfied with what you have, live below your means, and don’t get too fancy. Value experiences and relationships over things.

If you do this, you will have the freedom of not being owned by your lifestyle. You will feel free from annoying bosses, unpredictable health issues, the Joneses next door, and even an ‘oops’ baby. You will be happier, cleaner, and more at peace.

What could make Jane happier? Feeling satisfied – like she doesn’t need more, but has just enough. Doing a job she loves, even at a lower salary. Feeling secure in case of an unforeseen setback, like a layoff or cancer diagnosis. Retiring early. Learning and growing.

Not buying things.

While Jane tries to get out of the Lifestyle Inflation trap, you must avoid it altogether.

RELATED: Become More Conscious By Doing This

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Living Intentionally

How To Change Your Alarm Clock So You Wake Up Feeling Energized

Be A Conscious Consumer

It’s 4:45 AM on a Wednesday and my 2008 iHome begins to blare its high-pitched BEEPs at me. This Steve-Jobs-era Apple device has no chill…within seconds, the slow BEEP BEEP’s escalate to a rapid-fire BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP. It is intentionally placed just beyond the reach of my lanky arms so I have to get up to turn off the torturous sound.

I could just set it to play FM country radio so I can wake up in a more peaceful state – to a Luke Combs love song probably – but that’s not the way I want it. To me, an ALARM clock has one function: get me out of bed. Period.

If my bed had a feature where it could buck me off at 4:45 AM, I would consider it…

This is what works for me, and I wake up most days feeling energized. I know that most people don’t use their alarm clock this way, so I wanted to see what science had to say about the best way to wake up.

Here’s how to intentionally use your alarm clock to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go.

1. Quit snoozin’

It seems that most people use the alarm on their phone, and they keep said phone in bed with them at night. They know they want to get up at 7:30, so they set an alarm at 7:00, planning to snooze a few times. “Two more snoozes until I ACTUALLY have to wake up!”

I’ve always found this silly, and science backs me up – you should stop using your snooze button. Why?

According to Amerisleep, you go through sleep cycles every night. REM sleep is the cycle when your brain is highly active and you experience dreams. It’s important because it’s highly restorative, and getting enough REM is crucial for feeling sharp the next day. When your alarm goes off in the morning, you’re usually nearing the end of your last REM cycle.

Wake up and get yourself out of bed, and the REM cycle ends. Hit the snooze button and go back to sleep, though, and you throw yourself right back into the REM cycle. When your alarm goes off a second time, it wakes you up in the middle of REM instead of at the end of REM. As a result, you end up feeling foggy and disoriented.

There’s more reason not to use snooze! If you went to bed at a decent hour the night before, your body’s internal clock is ready to wake up once the alarm goes off. But when you hit snooze and go back to sleep, you send your whole system into a confusing tailspin. Before long, your body isn’t sure when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to go to sleep. This leads to less quality sleep which means heightened stress, increased inflammation, and lowered immunity.

Instead of setting your alarm early so you can ‘progressively’ wake up, just set your alarm at the actual time you need to wake up and don’t hit snooze. You may feel groggy at first, but after a few minutes, you’ll feel refreshed and ready for action!

2. Keep your alarm out of reach

When your alarm is in your bed or on your nightstand, it’s way too easy to hit snooze or turn it off without even opening your eyes. Avoid this by keeping your alarm out of reach so you have to get up and walk over to it. You’ll be forced to put your feet on the floor and open your eyes, which will wake you up.

If you use the alarm on your phone, charge your phone on the other side of the room or in your bathroom, NOT in your bed. This will also make you stop looking at your phone before bed, which helps you fall asleep! Or you can buy a true alarm clock and place it far from your bed. (You can still buy iHomes…who knew!)

Bonus: If your alarm sound is super annoying like mine, you’ll jump up and shut it off ASAP.

3. Keep your wake up time consistent

If you wake up at 6:00 some days and 8:00 other days, you mess up your circadian rhythm. Try to set your alarm within the same 15-minute window every day so your body can keep its internal rhythm. This will help you sleep better and feel more energetic throughout your day.

My iHome lets me set my 4:45 alarm for all weekdays, so I never have to change it. Choose a time that works for you, and make sure you’re getting 7-8 hours of sleep! Snooze-free sleep…

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Related: Become Conscious Of Your Career Path

Choobs is an online marketplace for shopping conscious brands.

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Living Intentionally

Why Switching Careers Made this 24-Year-Old the Captain of Her Own Ship

Many people lack fulfillment in their careers but do nothing to change. Alexandra Grochowski realized that her passion lied outside of finance, so she left her job to enroll in a design boot camp and redefine her career. This 180º move to become a designer has set her on a new, exciting path, and she shares her story in this interview. It is inspiring to see Alexandra be conscious of her life path and take action to align it!


Introduce us to Alexandra as a kid.
I grew up in a Polish household in Glenview, a suburb northwest of Chicago. I was a very independent kid, so I was really good at keeping myself busy. I loved drawing, coloring, and arts and crafts. Even at a young age, I wanted to do everything by myself and didn’t like when others tried to help me! I wouldn’t even let my mom put on my shoes. I was also highly curious: there was no subject or topic I didn’t want to learn more about. I stuck with creative hobbies all through high school, including painting, illustration, and even playing piano, but eventually became curious about business and finance which I knew nothing about.

As a kid and teenager, what did you want to be when you grew up, and why?
To be honest, my many different interests as a child made me incredibly indecisive when it came to a career path. My insatiable curiosity drove me to both enjoy and excel in most subjects, which didn’t make it easy for me in narrowing down options. I would change my plan every week, from medicine to graphic design to business. All I knew was that whatever I chose, I wanted to be really great at it.

Alexandra working on affinity mapping.

You studied Supply Chain Management & Finance at a great business school, then started your career as a Financial Analyst at a big bank. Why did you originally choose to pursue business and specifically finance?
I pursued business because I loved the impact businesses had on the world: employing others, creating new products, and giving back to charity. As somebody with various interests, I also saw an endless stream of opportunity in business, since it’s relevant in every industry. Finance specifically has always interested me because money is an incredibly powerful tool to achieve your personal or business goals. Some people see money as evil, but I just never saw it that way. I believe money is just the key to freedom. 

After a year and a half, you decided to leave finance and pursue design instead. Talk about what inspired you to do this!
I was flirting with the idea of leaving and pursuing a new career for about 6 months before I finally did. While I loved the finance industry, I didn’t like being a Credit Analyst. I needed room to be curious, to grow, and to be creative which I just wasn’t getting through writing memos all day long. I knew that if I was going to leave, I wanted to set myself up for success in my new career and be sure it was something that would inspire me. I spent a lot of really long nights just taking a really hard and honest look at myself and who I REALLY wanted to be. I researched a lot of different career paths, but the first one I got excited about was UX/UI design. The “A-HA” was that it combined the need for creativity and practicality, which I always thought was contradictory. Not only that, but it combined ALL of my interests: psychology, graphic design, branding, strategy, and research.

Leaving a job and taking a leap to redefine a career can be really scary. It’s easy to think that it could derail your career. How did you feel about doing it and how did you get yourself to do it? 
I think when anyone finds the confidence to make a big change, it’s because the fear to NOT make the change is stronger than the fear of failure. I looked at the people around me at my old job and realized I was afraid of becoming them. I didn’t want to be in Corporate Banking in 20 years and was willing to do anything to stop that from happening. What was really helpful for me was to do a gratitude check of everything I had. I had a supportive family to live with to save money, a strong faith, a resilient personality, a solid work ethic, and health insurance. I also lived in a free country with a great economy, where I had the freedom to pick my career – why wasn’t I exercising it? If I did fail, I could always come back to banking. It began to feel like a waste if I DIDN’T try. Once my resolve was set, I began to tell my family. While they expressed their concerns, they were incredibly supportive of me once they saw my determination.

How do you feel now that you have a new career?
I feel blessed! Every day is exciting. The big change isn’t necessarily from the new career, but from reminding myself of my own choice and what I am capable of once I exercise it. I sleep more peacefully at night, knowing that I am honest to myself every day and am the captain of my own ship. Life didn’t get any easier (turns out, design is hard!), I just got stronger. If I accomplished a drastic career change in a global pandemic, what else can I do?

Can you give any advice to someone who is thinking about realigning their career with something they’re more passionate about?
Yes! Take the time to do a full inventory of yourself. Once you have a strong “WHY?”, the “HOW?” becomes secondary: you won’t give up. What are your values? What does “passion” mean to you? Is it doing what you love for work, having the freedom to control your schedule, or simply having more time at the end of the day to spend with your family? Start being honest with yourself: is there something you are hiding? Chances are, if you aren’t satisfied, there is something you haven’t come to terms with. Take it day by day.

Check out Alexandra’s portfolio and keep up with her on Twitter @alexandragrows.