Be A Rule Breaker

Be A Rule Breaker

I hate rules! Ask my mom, I have been a rule breaker for some time. 

This is me! Sometimes you come across an inflatable obstacle course on Lake Winni and trespass. Oops!

When it comes to food I think it’s important to have guidelines…not RULES.

When Ben and I opened KDR Fitness, we wanted to create a simple to use, easy to follow set of nutrition rules everyone could use to be healthier, lose weight, feel better and reduce inflammation.  But, some people…like me…don’t like rules.  In fact, I hate them!  Give me a “rule” and I am sure to break it just because it’s a rule!  Maybe your like me?!  Do you hate rules? 

Ben has rules he follows.  I don’t.  I tried using his rules, but, they never worked for me (see above…rule breaker!) and I realized I do so much better when I set guidelines for myself.  So far my guildelines work for me!  

One of my guildlelines is if I want it bad enough, I have it.

But…it wasn’t always like this.

I read a lot of books, articles, etc. and with so much information out there it was hard for me not to put nutrition rules on myself, like:

Eating within 30 minutes of waking up

Eating all organic fruits and veggies

Making sure I ate every 3 hours even if I wasn’t hungry

Buy local

Not eating out because it was too difficult to manage calories and portions.  

I found myself fighting every single rule put in front of me.

Those were rules I was imposing on myself. When presented with a obstacle like eating out, a family function, or an “I can’t afford to eat all organic” scenario I wasn’t sure what to do, which usually resulted in not eating anything or saying “fuck it, let’s eat everything.”  Both of which were not great decisions.

I recently overheard a couple at the grocery store having a similar conversation. He was talking her out of buying non-organic berries from Peru but then proceeded to by a box of 25 cookies that were cheaper.  

The rules that we impose on ourselves, sometimes, may actually hold us back. When I took the rules away I was finally able to explore, learn what worked for me, and actually understand what my body needed. Taking away rules meant that I could eat ground beef, rice, non-organic veggies and skip breakfast if I wanted to do so. 

Guidelines are helpful, but RULES can be really harmful, especially when you become to set in your ways and punish your self when you break your rules.  I learned that the hard way.  Some people THRIVE off of rules, but, not me.  

Guidelines are suggestions, such as: “try to eat vegetables and lean protein at every meal” or “try to keep most of your carbs to fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.”

Rules are statements such as, “you have to have 2 servings of vegetables and 20 grams of protein at every meal” or, “no carbs after 6pm.”

Rules don’t leave any room for life obstacles, where as guidelines can be more flexible. Rules make you feel like you either succeeded or failed, whereas guidelines help you to make the best decisions for you in that moment. 

Stay tuned for the next article, where I will tell you the guidelines that I use to eat, live and work out.

What rules do have on yourself? Let me help you break them! 

Do you need some help breaking free from your nutrition and fitness rules? We can help! 

 

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How do I setup myfitnesspal?

How do I setup myfitnesspal?

Have you ever used myfitnesspal before?  It’s a free calorie tracking app and it’s the one we prefer our members to use.  It may not be the BEST app out there, but it’s certainly the one with the most nutrition information.  

But, how do you setup an account in it and how do you put in your macros?  Watch this video to find out!  In it, I cover:

  • How to setup an account.
  • How to adjust your activity level and what you should set it at.
  • What macros we like people to be at.
  • Inputting a sample meal.
  • What the check marks mean.
  • And a lot more!

Check it out and let us know what you think.  

Do you want help losing weight?  Are you tired of not seeing any progress?  Let us help you – it’s what we do!    Sign up for our 30-day for $99 trial.  Click the picture below for more info. 

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What I eat in a day.

What I eat in a day.

 
“What do you eat?” I get asked this a lot. I mean A LOT!  “How does a personal trainer eat in a day?” 
In last’s week blog, How I Mastered Meal Prep, I gave you guys the inside scoop on what my prep day looks like, as well as some helpful tips.  This week I am going to put it all together and break down what my meals look like in a day.

First, I have to admit that I don’t like to eat the same thing every day.  Life is a little easier if you eat the same things every day, but, as we always say to our members, the best plan will be the one that you will follow.  I enjoy eating different things, so sometimes I might substitute turkey for chicken or onions for peppers or the like.  This is how I like to eat.  As long as my subs aren’t too crazy, it all works out in the end.

Second, I eat to maintain my weight, not to lose weight.  I have found that I can eat more or less (add a meal, skip a meal) and my weight doesn’t really fluctuate that much.  I am at a pretty good “set point” right now.  Your metabolic set point is the weight from which you have a hard time budging.  That means that your body is most comfortable at that point.  You can think of it as, your body has spent enough time at that weight and it feels comfortable there.  You can always move your set point, but it takes work.  If you’re carrying a lot of weight—say, 250 lbs.–and you think that’s your set point, it may not be.  Your set point will always be a weight that is healthy for your height.

I don’t usually count calories.  However, every once in a while, I will plug my foods into myfitnesspal and see where I am at.  I am generally within 10% of where I need to be, but sometimes I find myself dropping 20% or more below my ideal number of calories.  I think it’s important to understand calories and know how many you are consuming, but that does not mean you have to count calories for the rest of your life.  Sometimes I veer off track.  I may not get enough protein, or may consume too many or too few calories, or may not eat enough veggies.  I know when these things happen, so I just need a reset.

When do I count calories?  Generally, when I have been off the wagon for a while (like holidays) and I need a reset, or if something comes up (like a trip) and I want to drop a few pounds.  Ben can count calories all year long.  I don’t want to live my life that way.

A few details that important for you to know. 
I weigh 135lbs and I am around 23% body fat (ish).  I don’t usually check my BF%, so that’s a pretty good educated guess.
My calorie goal is 1500
Macro breakdown is 
40% Protein = 600 calories from protein.
30% Carbs = 450 calories from carbs. 
30% Fat = 350 calories from fat.
If you weigh more then 10 pounds off of me, or work out more then me, or have a more active lifestyle then me…don’t follow my calorie/macro breakdown. 
 

Sometimes I eat breakfast; sometimes I don’t.  It depends on how I feel.  On days I work out, I usually will have a work out recovery shake of carbs and protein.

I have an active lifestyle, but it’s not as active as most people think.  My job is closer to a factory worker who has to walk around a big warehouse and lift things every hour than it is to a farm or construction worker.

Sometimes I eat breakfast, sometimes I don’t.  That depends on how I feel. On days I work out, I add some calories in from my work out recovery shake. I have an active lifestyle, but, it’s not as active as most people think.  My job is closer to a factory worker that has to walk all over a big warehouse and lift some stuff every hour then it is to a farm worker or construction worker.

I eat 3 meals per day plus snacks.  Every meal has a source of protein, fat and fruits/veg.  
Saturday and Sunday I tend to eat based on how I feel.  I like to enjoy some adult drinks during the weekend, so I account for those drinks by eating a little bit less food.

I sometimes end up switching meal 2 and 3.

 
 
 
 
 
  
Do you need help getting your nutrition in check or getting back on track? I can help! 
 
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How I mastered Meal Prep.

How I mastered Meal Prep.

I get asked A LOT about what I eat, how I prep and how I get enough protein/veggies/fruit/fat in.  That’s a lot to go over in one blog, so over the next few weeks, I am going to focus on a different aspect of my nutrition plan – from prep to how I normally eat to how I get enough protein in.  In today’s blog I want to share with you some of my prep tips.
 
I want you to understand something first – I am not someone that will spend HOURS in the kitchen working on my meals.  I want to eat healthy but I don’t want to spend long hours in the kitchen weighing and measuring everything and I know a lot of you feel the same.
 

This is NOT me on food prep days!

 
But, prepping is vital for a healthy lifestyle.  Structure creates freedom. If you have that dinner already planned and prepped you hopefully won’t get talked into pizza by the kids, or snack too much before you even to get to dinner. If breakfast is ready you won’t stop at a local coffee shop and grab a bagel. With proper prep you don’t even have to think about what you are going to eat…which to me has been a game changer. I don’t obsess about food – and we don’t want you to!  But let’s face it, if you don’t watch what goes into your body, you will watch how your body stores it.
 
Meal prepping at first can seem very tedious and time consuming, trust me I have been there.  Ben and I moved in together over 8 years ago, he’s a prepper(as far as food goes), I never really was until we moved in together.  My idea of a meal was a bag of chips with a monster energy drink and maybe some beef jerky!  Initially, prep was something I fought, then I tried it his way…but that took too long!  Eventually, we both found a happy medium that allows us to have our meals prepped while not spending hours in the kitchen.  Before we got to that point, I used to spend hours each week looking up recipes to prep and writing out a weekly menu for all meals.
 
It was very time consuming and not ideal for our lifestyle so we tweaked it. Our weekly menu now consists of just dinner that we do NOT prep unless we will be home late. So our prepped meals are breakfast, snacks and lunch.  We cook dinner together if at all possible, and if not, generally one of us will come home to a cooked dinner every night.
 

Our weekly dinner menu

Create a menu for dinner.  This will ensure you are at least prepping and planning one meal per day that will most likely give you left overs you can eat the next day. My prep of course always starts with shopping – but on a DIFFERENT day than prep. I do not like shopping and prepping in one day!  I try to minimize my time prepping so it doesn’t become a long chore that I HAVE to do rather than one I WANT to do.  We will generally shop on Fridays and prep on Sundays.

 

I never understood when I was a kid why my mom always dragged me to 3 different stores just to get groceries. I hated it! I definitely get it now though. My routine starts at Sterns for veggies, BJ’s for meat/bulk items and Hannfords for the remainder.  Sterns has cheap veggies…NO they are not organic…and thats OK.  Eating organic is a choice not a necessity.  With 2 guys at home that eat a ridiculous amount of food buying all organic is too expensive. My rule is if you eat it everyday or multiple times a day it should be organic or at its best quality.  I will say that we eat more organic veggies and fruit in the warmer months because it’s more cost effective.  Ben likes to call it “seasonal eating”.

 

If shopping and prepping are too daunting to do a in a day – break them up! BJ’s generally has the best deal on meats.  Between Ben and Me, we consume on average 300 grams of protein per day.  That’s the equivalent of around 3-4 WHOLE chickens per day.  That’s a lot of chicken, pork, hamburger, steak, seafood, dairy, etc.  It’s cheaper and easier for us to buy it in bulk at BJ’s and freeze the stuff we won’t eat that week. You don’t have to shop at 3 different places to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It works for us, I don’t always find everything at 1 store so thats why we go to 3.  We also generally only go to BJ’s once or twice a month.

 

 

Buy meat in bulk, freeze the stuff you won’t use.  This will help cut down on the amount of time you spend getting your staples every week.  Less time shopping means more time enjoying NOT shopping!

 

 

Our prep looks like this.  This isn’t a complete list, but it’s definitely our go to list and will consist of 95% of our weekly meal prep.  Note – this list is not what Ben and I only eat during the week.  We aren’t 100% meal preppers, meaning, you don’t find tupperware containers in our fridge full of packed and organized meals.  That’s not our style and we don’t have to do that to get the results we want.  BUT!  That may work of for you!

Veggies:

5-6 Peppers(all colors) sliced

3 bunches of Broccoli cut up into florets

1 head cauliflower(boys don’t like this as much) cut into florets

3-4 onions sliced

1lb of green beans – cut the ends off

4-5 sweet potatoes sliced

1 bag of small red potatoes cut in halves

I should also mention prep happens when I am already cooking a meal. I find that it saves a lot of time.  On Sundays (our free day) we will eat a late breakfast/brunch and then dinner later in the day.  Sometimes we will do our prep while breakfast cooks.  We really like to do the least amount of stuff on possible on Sunday to recharge.  So, that means maybe we only cook once on prep days.

 

Do you need help getting started?  Are you confused about how to begin?  Let us help you with a FREE Strategy Session!

 

If possible, prep and cook at meal at the same time.  I take about half of the peppers, broccoli, onions and cook those up for prepped meal then I leave the rest raw to snack on or for other meals like Ben’s breakfasts. If you haven’t seen his veggie/egg breakfast combo head over to Instagram…it’s a serious spread!

 

 

Protein: I cook all of this THEN weigh it!

2 lbs of skinless boneless chicken breasts

1 lb of lean turkey sausage

1 lb of bison (I prefer bison over gr. beef but its more expensive so i mix them)

1 lbs of 90/10 ground beef

1/2 dozen eggs hard boiled (just for me, Ben is better about making breakfast.)

Each meal consists of 4-6 oz. of protein then I add some veggies. This will give us about 2 meals a day for 4 days.

 

Be consistent!  Try something for a few weeks before you decide to change it.  We will stick with that plan for 11 out of 12 weekends.  Listen, we’re not perfect!  Sometimes we don’t feel like prepping on a Sunday.  That’s that one week out of 12, but we still get our prep done, we just do it during the week in smaller batches on those weeks.

 
 
 
 
 
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15 quick facts about water.

15 quick facts about water.

Here are 15 quick facts about water!

1) Drink 8 oz of water per hour in an airplane. You get dehydrated when flying due to the low moisture content of recirculated air in the plane.

2) Men are made up of about 75% water via women’s 65%. This is due to more muscle mass in males.

3) Your sweat rate will vary depending differences in the environment (heat and humidity), exercise intensity, exercise duration, mode of exercise (the less accustomed to the activity, usually the more work and sweat loss) and type of clothing (water absorbency).

4) You can lose up to 100 ounces of water in an hour of intense exercise on a hot and humid day, or as little as 3 ounces doing yoga in an air conditioned room for an hour.

5) With age, thirst becomes a less effective indicator of the body’s fluid needs. Seniors who have relocated to locations where the weather is warmer or dryer than the climate they are accustomed are also more susceptible to become dehydrated. They need to drink water regularly. Dehydration in children usually results from losing large amounts of fluid (such as from play) and not drinking enough water to replace the loss. An infant can become dehydrated only hours after becoming ill. Dehydration is a major cause of infant illness and death throughout the world.

6)  Water is essential to consume during competition in hot environments.  But what about cold settings?   Dehydration is not as deleterious because cardiac output (heart rate x stroke volume) is higher in colder environments, thus enhancing cardiovascular performance.  This is thought to occur because core temperature is lower

7) To determine sweat rate, measure body weight before and after exercise (wearing no clothes), the amount of fluid consumed during exercise, and the amount of urine excreted (if any) during exercise.
Sweat rate varies from person to person due to body weight differences, genetic factors, heat acclimation ability and metabolic (energy production) efficiency.

8) What are the differences in herbal, vitamin, purified, spring, mineral and artesian water?
   a. Herbal water features flavors derived from herbs that tout health benefits associated with antioxidants.
   b. Vitamin water is fortified with various vitamins and other additives, including a sweetener that adds calories to the drink.
   c. Purified water is usually produced by some type of distillation process.
   d. Spring water flows naturally from an underground source.
   e. Mineral water comes from a protected underground source and must contain some minerals.  This is what I like to drink the most of.
   f. Artesian water is drawn from a well that taps a confined aquifer (underground layer of water permeable rock, sand, clay or silt).

9) Sweat is 99% water and 1% other trace elements and electrolytes.

10) Monitoring the color of your pee is still a good indicator for hydration status.

11) Will drinking water help with weight loss?  There is some evidence for men and women that water intake with a meal may help to promote satiety and take the edge off hunger.  Water has no caloric value, however, stay away from flavored water as there is usually added sugar in that.  Also, remember, water is the main vehicle for transport in the body as well as the catalyst for almost all chemical reactions in the body.  Altering your fluid status would certainly cause detrimental effects to weight and would not help it in any way.

12) Sponging the head and torso with cold water or a water spray is a skin wetting technique. Although perceived to be performance enhancing, this practice has not been demonstrated to reduce core temperature or improve cardiovascular performance.

13) Expectant mothers and those who are breast-feeding need additional fluids daily to stay hydrated. Women at risk of gaining too much weight are encouraged to consume more water (no calories) and limit their consumptions of sweetened fluids (with calories).

14) Hyponatremia (“natremia” comes from the Latin word for sodium, and means “sodium status”) means subnormal levels of sodium in the blood. This may occur in prolonged cardiovascular events such as a marathon. Symptoms include vomiting, headache, bloating, swollen feet and hands, disorientation, undue fatigue and wheezy breathing. Fluid intake overload is the main cause of exercise-induced hyponatremia. An excessive loss of total body sodium is another cause or contributing reason. Medical intervention is necessary in order to clearly discern whether symptoms are from a heat disorder or hyponatremia.

15) The temperature of water does not affect how fast it’s absorbed into the body, nor does it make a statistically large different in calories burned, i.e. consume cold water to burn more calories.  Yes, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that big of a deal.

 

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All you need to know about water.

All you need to know about water.

Water, so simple (drink it!).  Yet, so complex (how much?!).  We’re gonna hit you with the down and dirty.

What’s the purpose of water in the body?

Water is involved in EVERY process in the body.  It’s used as a transport medium; the majority of your blood is water.  Think of that for a second: water helps transport OXYGEN and NUTRIENTS.  That’s what red blood cells do; they carry oxygen rich blood to working tissues in addition to other nutrients.  Low hydration = diminished capacity to carry oxygen and nutrients.  That affects your cognition and brainpower just as much as it affects your physical ability.

Water is a lubricant.  Not only does being well-hydrated help with joint pain (the discs between your spine and joints are composed of primarily water), but it also helps with digestion.

Water is a coolant, but most people know that already.

Take home point.  The purpose of water is to keep us alive and allow us to thrive.  This is done via the transportation of oxygen and nutrients, the cooling of the body, aiding in digesting foods and keeping our joints happy and healthy.

Dehydration: How does the body use water as a coolant, and what happens when we are dehydrated?

As water is lost from the body via sweat (cooling us down), blood pressure goes down, blood volume decreases resulting in a drop in stroke volume (volume of blood your heart pumps out per beat), and cardiac output decreases (how much total blood your heart pumps out per unit of time, generally a minute).  For cardiac output think volume and force.  When volume goes down, force goes up to make up for a loss of volume.  Dehydration leads to an INCREASE IN HEART RATE, which is not good,.For all intents and purposes, a heart that beats faster isn’t ideal.

To make matters worse, as you get dehydrated, you actually end up sweating LESS.  Well, there is a tipping point.  That’s a sure fire sign of a heat-related illness.  Sweating is a safety mechanism, except when sweating would kill you in the case of having LOW amounts of water.  The body stops sweating in the case of heat-related injuries because you’re taking vital water away from organs, and it’s way more important to keep that heart pumping rather then cooling yourself off).

All of this leads to decline in mental and physical performance.

Take home point:  Dehydration = higher heart rate, lower blood pressure, and less oxygen is delivered to brain/muscles resulting in decreased mental and physical performance.

How is water stored in the body?  Bloating 101.
Water is stored in fluid within the cells (intracellular fluid [ICF]) and/or fluid outside the cells (extracellular fluid [ECF]).  ICF is about 65% of total water; ECF (blood plasma, lymph fluid, etc.) is about 35%.  Chloride, potassium, and sodium are three molecules that help maintain the balance between ICF and ECF.  If one of those three becomes too concentrated in either ECF or ICF, the body produces hormones that help to bring the balance back.  For instance, too much sodium in the ECF (think of ECF as a transport channel) will cause water to be pulled out of the ICF to bring the ratio of water to solvents in the ECF back to balance.

Pizza makes you thirsty, and it causes you to bloat up.  That’s because the sodium from the pizza accumulates in the ECF, which then causes the brain to pull water from the ICF to signal thirst.  You will then feel thirsty until the balance between ECF and ICF is restored.

What happens if you OVER drink?  That means you have a greater amount of ICF now.  That’s where the kidneys come in to bring the balance of ICF to ECF back.

Take home point: The body wants the balance of water to be tightly controlled.  Any change to that balance will result in the body attempting to bring it back to balance via either consuming more water or eliminating water.

How much water should you drink on a daily basis?

Generally it’s quoted to drink a gallon of water.  However, I have also heard drink 8, 8 oz. glasses per day, which would give you about half a gallon of water.  That’s a pretty big swing!  What does the research say? The Institute of Medicine (IOM) established an adequate intake (AI) for total water to prevent the harmful acute effects of dehydration.  Every day we lose about a liter from breathing, sweating, and bowel movements, which is about 33 ounces of water.  Then we add in the average water lost through urine in a day, that’s 1.5 liters, or around 50 ounces of water per day.  So, we know that we need to AT LEAST consume roughly 80 ounces of water daily to make up for the average loss.

The IOM AI for sedentary men and women (19-50 y/o) is 3.7 liters and 2.7 liters per day.  However, we get about 20% of our total water from foods, so that means the actual intake is 3.0 liters for men and 2.2 liters for women., or about 100 ounces for men and 80 ounces for women.  Obviously, if you’re excreting more water through urine, bowel, breathing or sweating, you need to consume more water.

Take home point.  Total intake should be at least 80 ounces for females and 100 ounces for males.  This is based on a sedentary person.

Drink three normal size mason jars per day and you should be totally fine for water intake if your sedentary.

How do you know how much water to drink before, during, and after exercise?

This is actually way easier to figure out then you think.  Weight yourself before you work out to figure out how much you should drink post work out, and make sure you do this naked.  Weight yourself again (naked) after your work out. How much water did you loose?  You should be drinking about 1.5 liters per kilogram or 50 ounces per 2.2 pounds, which comes out to about 22 ounces per pound.

Take home point.  For every pound lost during exercise, drink 20 ounces of water.

What about before exercise?  That depends on what time of the day you work out.  If it’s reasonable, consume ALL of the water for your day before you work out.  This would be a good rule of thumb for an evening work out session.  If it’s mid-day, shoot for 3/4 of your 100 or 80 ounces of water.  First thing in the morning then go for at least 30-40 ounces.  The research is fairly clear on this, but, rather then bore you with the research, let’s just stick to what you will actually pay attention to and do.  General rule of thumb: drink 16 ounces of water per hour for females and 20 ounces of water per hour for males.  More is probably better, less is certainly worse.

Can you drink too much water?

Yes, but, it’s akin to over dosing on vitamins and minerals.  In over 20 years of being involved in the fitness field, I have NEVER come across anyone who has been injured or otherwise debilitated through drinking too much water.  In fact, it’s almost silly to talk about it.  The body has a lot of checks and balances for it’s various tasks.  You would be peeing every hour if you were drinking TOO much water.  So, while the easy answer is yes, the hard answer is, it’s incredibly unlikely.

Where do sports drinks and “enhanced water” fit into this?

Sports drinks, made famous by Gatorade are now sold everywhere and, are more of a bane then a boon. (Did you know the initial formulation of Gatorade has HALF THE SUGAR as it does now?  They added more sugar to make it more palatable.)  In my opinion, sports drinks do more harm then good.  The goal of sports drinks is to replenish water lost through competing/practice, replenish electrolytes and start the recovery process earlier. It’s important to replenish electrolytes as we are just one big battery.  Our system works because of electrolytes suspended in water  to allow the conduction of electric current.

Generally speaking, you should consume a sports drink if you lost A LOT of water through sweating in a short period of time (playing a 90 minute soccer match in 90% humidity and 90 degrees would work). If your clothes are DRENCHED in sweat after an hour of working out, or if you’re going to be losing a lot of water via sweat through out the day (like construction workers and outside laborers) on an hourly basis then consume a sports drink.

Sports drinks are VASTLY over consumed on a regular basis.  Little Becky or Bobby does not need a Gatorade after their pee-wee soccer match.  Give them some fruit and water and they will be fine.  And, you certainly don’t need it after a 30-minute spin class.

If you’re going to consume a sports drink then get the one with the least amount of carbs.

Take home point: You probably don’t need to drink a sports drink after you’re done working out, but you do need water!

Enhanced water is water that (generally) has electrolytes added to it and maybe some other things like B Vitamins.  This could be the fruit infused water you buy at Whole Foods, or products like Propel, Vitamin Water, etc.

Enhanced Water? What’s next…enhanced Oxygen?

Generally speaking, stay away from 99% of enhanced waters as they have added sugar in them.  Some of the enhanced waters have enough sugar to actually make a difference (like some vitamin waters) in your blood sugar and some of them don’t.

Take home point: Drink water.  Maybe have some carbs and protein in it if you just did a resistance training session at a high intensity level.  Maybe have some electrolytes in it if you just lost a bunch of water.

Sources –

selecting-and-effectively-using-hydration-for-fitness

Sports drinks

Hydration Science

Water the science of nature’s most important nutrient.

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