I believe the best solution to our current water situation is to find a good water filter that will purify our tap water. For traveling purposes, I often just use a small jug filter, but it's not optimum because there are still some chemicals and contaminants that will not be filtered out this way. There's a broad range of water filters available on the market these days, so do a little research and find a filter that will suit your needs. When I am home in L.A., I have spring water delivered in large glass bottles to my home once a month and have a nice dispenser in my kitchen. This is also an option and a very worthwhile investment if you can find a water company that will deliver in your area.
When to Drink
As well as what to drink, when to drink is a consideration. I'm a great believer in the wisdom of the body and that, when heeded, it will dictate its needs. Thirst is a signal from our body that it's dehydrated, and it is wise to respond to that signal with some pure water. Drinking while eating is not always the best practice, as some experts claim that this can dilute the digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid necessary for optimum digestion. I like to start my day with a large glass of room temperature water with a twist of lemon or lime juice. Apart from loving the flavor and feeling of being cleansed it imparts, these acid citrus fruits, when consumed, alkalize the body and help cleanse the liver.
Love Your Water
Just as I always encourage putting love and good energy into your food as you prepare it, it seems that your water also responds to a little loving. I read a book by Japanese researcher Masaru Emoto called The Message from Water in which he documented, by photographing frozen water crystals, the fact that water responds to our thoughts, energy vibrations and emotions and the energy in its environment. So next time you go to drink a glass of water, give it a little love and feel how it nourishes your body and soul.
The Water Element
In traditional Chinese medicine, all phenomena are viewed in terms of the Five Elements—water, wood, fire, earth and metal. Each element has corresponding organs of the body, seasons and time of day when that element is most active as well as colors, tastes, emotions and foods that nourish those organs. Winter is water element time. The organs associated with water are kidney and bladder, the emotion is fear, the color black, dark blue or purple and the taste is salty. Salt, from natural sources like the sea, is a vital nutrient for all bodily functions, but in excess it can deplete the kidneys. Foods that are nourishing to the kidneys and bladder are black beans, azuki beans, fish and seaweeds, blueberries and blackberries. Kidneys need warmth, so keep the lower back area warm, particularly in the wintertime, and enjoy some comforting winter foods like warming soups and stews. My Black Bean Soup with Chunky Funky Salsa is nourishing for the kidneys.
Take on the water challenge