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You want to optimize your health and feel your best, and drinking water is definitely part of that equation. But you’re probably making at least one of these 4 common mistakes when it comes to hydration and drinking water.
I have a friend that has struggled with her nutrition for years and years. Consistently eating healthy is an ongoing battle for her - it just doesn’t come naturally.
- Girls trip - sharing a room. It was late, and as we were getting ready for bed, she piped up, “Oh my goodness, I totally forgot to drink my water today!” She then grabbed a bottle of zero sugar vitamin water and chugged the entire bottle right before bed.
- The next night, she did the exact same thing.
- She was making all four of the big water-drinking mistakes that I’m going to teach you
- It was perpetuating her struggle with nutrition, too!
Obviously, it is important to stay well hydrated. Why?
- All of our cells soak in water
- Water transports nutrients throughout our body
- Water is the medium and catalyst for most of our body’s metabolic processes
- It lubricates your joints
- It regulates your temperature
- Maintains your blood pressure
- It assists in digestion through your entire GI tract
In other words, if you don’t drink enough water, you’ll feel lethargic, achy, bloated, constipated, too hot or too cold, and generally unwell…which in turn, dramatically impacts your motivation and desire to do anything else fitness or nutrition related!
Nutrition is always SO COMPLICATED!
- I know you want to have energy and feel your best, and you realize that being well hydrated is part of that equation
- But I also know that it’s hard to wade through all the advice out there
There are some weird rabbit hole debates out there, that we’re not going to go down:
- lukewarm vs. cold water, lemon water first thing in the morning, or alkaline water
- Instead, let’s focus on the biggest mistakes I see with hydration: taking your entire habits into account
I’ve been coaching women with their eating habits for nearly two decades, and honestly there are just some things that don’t really matter - whereas there are other things with water that have a cascade effect on other aspects of your health.
- Habit stacking is the key to your long-term eating success.
Four Most Common Mistakes with Drinking Water
Mistake #1: Letting Water be an Afterthought
- With nutrition, we always tend to focus on food first - what we’re eating, how much we’re eating. Water is the afterthought.
- But, it’s so much easier to manage your food habits when your hydration needs are taken care of.
- A lot of food cravings and hunger cues are actually confused hydration cues.
- Jumpstart 30 - we spend the first 5 days ONLY working on your water intake. Why? Because it sets the stage for everything else down the line.
- It’s the foundation block of your nutrition habits (habit stacking)
- It’s far easier to master than food habits - we don’t have much baggage and emotional ties with water
- When it’s time to implement the habits of eating slowly, and eating PRO’s, these things are so much easier to do when you’re already well hydrated and have a routine of drinking water
The value of mastering a non-food habit first
- We have such long histories with dieting and damaged relationship with food
- It’s positive and encouraging to come out of the gate with a habit that doesn’t involve food at all
- It may already be something that you’re pretty good at
- Easy wins
Mistake #2: Not Drinking the Right Amount for YOUR Body
- MYTH: Gallon of water/day or 8 glasses of water/day
- FACT: Half your bodyweight in ounces of water/day is your best starting point
- Monitor your urine color
- Eating lots of protein and fruits/vegetables will also help to hydrate you
- Drinking other beverages will hydrate you also (coffee!)
- By the way, it’s normal to pee every 2-4 hours
Mistake #3: Chugging Large Amounts of Water All at Once
- Drinking a full water bottle right before you go to bed or at the end of your workout
- Much better to sip on it throughout the day
- Glass of water with each meal, Glass of water in between meals
- Waking up to pee at night a problem? Slow down your sipping 3 hours before bedtime
Mistake #4: Always Needing Your Water to Be Bubbly or Flavored
- There’s nothing wrong with flavored or sparkling water here and there
- It’s important to teach your taste buds that they don’t always need to be entertained
- Especially important if you struggle with sticking to a healthy diet and frequently get tempted with candy, treats, and sweets
- Too much carbonated water can make you feel really bloated and gassy
So, relating all of this back to my friend:
- Water was a complete afterthought all day long until right before bed
- Because it was an afterthought, she definitely wasn’t drinking the right amount for her body
- This led her to chug a bunch of water right before bed
- And she also only drank zero sugar vitamin water on that trip, constantly dosing her tongue with sweetness
I bet her battle with her overall nutrition would be so much easier if she slowed down and really got her water drinking habits under better control.
Your Call to Action
Ok, to wrap up I always like to leave you with one simple action step that you can put into place TODAY.
- Make water a higher priority today than your food. Just test it, and see what happens when you put all of your mental energy that you usually reserve for making food choices into making good water choices. Drink a full glass of water with each meal and a full glass between meals.
More Resources & Links
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The Jumpstart 30 Program for Beginners
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