I already know. Some of y'all are like, "I know that drinking water is good for me. That doesn't mean I like it, so trying to convince me that I'm doing it wrong is asking for a lot." Sis, I hear you. It's not like drinking water is my favorite thing to do either. So much, in fact, that I oftentimes go with sparkling water with a splash of juice in it, just to get my daily quota in. Still, personal feelings don't change the fact that water consumption is oh so very necessary if you want to keep toxins out of your system, regulate your body temperature, keep your joints lubricated, produce saliva and lubrication, push oxygen throughout your organs, keep your skin healthy and so much more.
That's why it's not only important that you drink water but that you do it right. If you had absolutely no idea that there are a myriad of different ways to do it wrong, let me share 10 of 'em, along with how to correct these common mistakes—now.
1. Stop Drinking Bottled Water
Let's start with something that I'm thinking is a given, at this point (although I see A LOT of people do it so, maybe not). Bottled water—what I mean is water that comes from a plastic bottle—needs to be an absolute no-no. Aside from the fact that it is absolutely horrible for the environment (it's been reported that there will be somewhere around 30 million metric tons of plastic in the oceans, every year, by 2040), plastic oftentimes contains BPA (which is a synthetic compound known as bisphenol A) and other plastic toxins.
This can ultimately lead to all sorts of health-related issues including fertility problems, weight gain and even heart disease. Instead, you're much better off using a recyclable bottle. It lasts longer, there's no trash and it's so much better for your overall health and well-being.
2. Drink Less Cold Water
While I can certainly get down with the fact that drinking cold water can be really refreshing, when it's ice-cold, it actually isn't all that great for you in the long run. For one thing, if you heard somewhere that it boosts your metabolism, drinking cold water doesn't really do that any more than room temperature water does. Also, because it can restrict your blood vessels, cold water can make it harder to digest your food easily. Other challenges that it presents? It can decrease your heart rate, hinder your body from breaking down fat and even leave you constipated.
So yeah, water with a ton of ice in it isn't really the way to go. Room temperature water is your far better bet.
3. Leave the Lemon Slices Alone (When Eating Out)
If you're someone who's good for getting a couple of lemon slices in your water while you're out—yeah, you might wanna chill on that. There are many studies which indicate that as much as 70 percent of lemon slices have all kinds of nasty germs including bacteria, viruses and E. coli all over them. What about lemon slices at your crib? Well, that's an entirely different story.
If you drink it there, lemon water can help to detox your system, give you a boost of Vitamin C, freshen your breath, reduce your chances of getting kidney stones and even aid in your body's digestive process (especially if you have a glass, first thing in the morning). The reason why DIY lemon wedges are better is because you know what's going on with your knives, countertops and kitchens (and your hands). In restaurants? Not so much.
4. Use a Straw
If water isn't really one of your favorite things on the planet (again, I get it; I oftentimes say it's like drinking wet air) yet you want to amp up your water intake, try drinking it from a straw. Believe it or not, drinking liquid from a straw makes it easier to consume more of it. Hmph. Maybe that's why so many fast food joints want us to take as many straws as possible for those sodas, huh?
5. Have Some Water with Your Alcohol and Coffee
Two things that are diuretics are alcohol and coffee. This is why a lot of people can drink either (or both) and end up still being thirsty all of the time. If you check out the article, "10 Overlooked Signs That You're Dehydrated" on our site, you'll see several reasons why being dehydrated (75 percent of us are, by the way) is absolutely not a good look.
Yet what if you can't imagine a day without a glass of red wine or a couple of cups of java? At least balance things out a bit by following those with a glass of water. It can help to keep you hydrated. It can also reduce your chances of drinking more alcohol or coffee than you actually should.
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6. Drink a Full Glass with Your Vitamins or Medicine
Whether it's some sort of medicine that you've been prescribed or you're like me and you are all about getting some vitamins and supplements into your system on a daily basis, chase those down with a full glass of water. If you're concerned that doing this will flush out what you just took in, first, one glass shouldn't be able to rock any kind of boat. And, as far as vitamins and supplements are concerned, many of them are water-soluble which means that the water can actually help them to dissolve into your system easier/quicker.
7. Avoid Artificial Flavorings. Add Fruit Instead.
OK, so back to the wet air thing. There are plenty of products on the market that claim to make drinking water easier because they will add flavor to it. Uh-huh. What they don't tell you in the ads is all of the artificial flavors, colors and other chemicals that are in them too.
Water is supposed to free you of toxins, so it makes absolutely no sense to intentionally put things into it that will work against instead of for you. Your better bet would be to make some of your own infused water. Whatever fruits, veggies or herbs that you decide to go with will help to add nutrients to your water without all of the added fake drama.
8. Have a Couple of Glasses When You’re Tired
Question. What's the first food or drink that you reach for, whenever you are feeling completely worn out? If it's not water, chile, it should be. The truth is a sign of being dehydrated if feeling like your energy level is zapped. So, when you combat that with a glass or two of water, it can increase your brain functionality by as much as 14 percent. Since your brain is made up of around 80 percent water, that actually makes a lot of sense.
9. Know the Signs of When You’re Water Deprived
You might've heard somewhere before that if you wait until you're thirsty to drink water, you're already mildly dehydrated. And yes, there is a lot of truth in that. That's why it's smart to drink water throughout the day.
Just in case you're wondering what some not-so-obvious signs of water deprivation are, they include headaches, joint pain, dry skin, cravings for salty foods, stomach pain, dark urine and not urinating between 6-8 times a day (up to 10 if you're drinking water around the clock).
10. Drink Water at in the Morning Instead of at Night
To be honest with you, there isn't really a "bad" time of the day to drink water. However, if you've gotta choose, taking in 2-4 glasses, first thing in the morning is really wise. For one thing, waiting until nighttime could cause you to have to keep getting up and going to the bathroom. Also, consuming more in the morning is one of the best ways to kick your metabolism into high gear.
The reason why is because, when you're asleep, your metabolism slows down. So, when you drink water, it helps to get your metabolic processes going while aiding in burning fat in the process. Having some water in the morning is refreshing on some many levels. Tomorrow morning, why not give it a shot?
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
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“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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I didn’t think much could get better about the blissful high that comes with oral. That was until I came across the Kivin Method.
As someone who was never a huge fan of oral sex and could largely take it or leave it, I must admit that I have started to come around in recent years. With my head thrown back, hands gripping sheets and hair, and toes curling from the intense sensations of the work my partner is putting in at my center, I now give myself over to the pleasurable act wholly and unapologetically.
When I came across a way to maximize the pleasure I receive from cunnilingus (already), I had no choice but to tap in. Who knew the key to taking oral sex to new heights was giving it a sideways twist? For those of you who might also be interested in ways to spice up the way you do oral, experience faster and stronger orgasms, or simply want to indulge in something new with your partner, the Kivin Method could definitely be the oral sex technique for you, too.
Keep reading to learn about the method that is sure to have you writhing in ecstasy in no time at all.
What Is The Kivin Method?
For the uninitiated, the Kivin Method is an oral sex technique that focuses on stimulating the clitoris from a different angle. Dubbed “sideways oral” by some, this method involves the action of giving head from a side-to-side movement as opposed to the up-and-down motion that people typically perform when giving head. (If you need a visual, this illustration is helpful.)
The difference in approach as you’re receiving head can be a game-changer in how you receive pleasure. Not only does the giving partner have access to the clitoris, but they can also access more easily the vulva and the labia, which are objectively a bigger focus in this version of cunnilingus. More access means wider coverage, and that, plus the new sensation of oral from a different angle, can heighten the way you experience oral sex that much more.
Where more pleasure flows, intense orgasms are sure to follow.
How To Do The Kivin Method
If you want to know how to do the Kivin Method, it’s actually pretty straightforward. The receiver lays on their back while the giver positions themselves perpendicular to the receiver. Their head will be facing the vulva, but instead of vertical, their face will be horizontal to the vulva.
From there, the giver can get to business, ensuring that they keep their head perpendicular to the receiver’s vulva while working on their craft. Because this technique can be more intense for some receivers, start slowly by stroking the vulva and clitoris sideways with the tongue, and allow sensations and communication from the receiver to be a guide of what you need more or less of with the Kivin Method.
Ultimately, the Kivin Method allows experimentation and unlocking what pressure, rhythm, and tricks work best for the giver and the receiver. Try implementing a finger or two, or adding a sex toy to the mix to intensify the act even further.
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