For the past week, I've been on a work trip to Norway, and one of the main things we noticed is how outdoorsy the Norwegians are, whatever the weather. After climbing up a (small) mountain, we all settled down for a barbecue ... in the snow (admittedly only a few flakes, but still !). (If you don't believe me, head over here for my post about climbing up Dalsnuten.)
We all loved how organised they are, with everything in their rucksacks and car boots from spare hats and scarves to foil survival blankets and little lambswool squares to sit on to prevent getting a cold bum on the freezing rocks ! We were most impressed with their big reusable water bags too - they'd be great for school trips and family picnics, even in the UK. Even on a smaller scale, most of the Norwegians we got to know always had a bottle of water in their hand or bag and at school canteens, restaurants and even the hotel lobby, they had jugs of fabulous fruit-infused water at your disposal, flavoured with red berries, lemon, mint and cucumber or watermelon, which were all very refreshing.
I spent my whole time there sipping smoothies, freshly squeezed orange juice, "vitamin shots" made with fruit juice, and water, and despite the long and intensive days (both in the conference rooms and trekking up steep hillsides), I felt really alert and full of vitality. On an average day back home, I never drink half as much and with hindsight, I'm sure this is why I feel sluggish and under par.
When Highland Spring invited me to take part in their Sparkle Challenge, I was intrigued. They are on a mission to encourage people to start 2017 on the right foot by making positive health choices, starting with healthy hydration, because when you're 100% hydrated, you're much more likely to be on top of your game – mentally, physically and emotionally.
The quickest and easiest way to feel good is to drink water, yet research shows that 66% of Brits don’t feel they always drink enough water on a daily basis (I'm one of them), so Highland Spring offered to provide a month's supply of their water, along with some serving suggestions, to keep me (and the rest of the family) hydrated and feeling good. As they say, staying well hydrated is such an easy, healthy way to help you be the best version of yourself, and it’s even better when you know that their natural water comes from Scotland’s beautiful Ochil Hills.
The Madhouse kids instantly fell in love with the sparkling water, with or without a quick squeeze of fruity concentrated squash, and they actually seem to prefer it to coke and other sugar or sweetener-packed fizzy drinks - bonus ! They've also adopted the 500ml sports cap still water bottles, both at school and when out and about, because they are bigger than their usual drinks bottles so they keep them going throughout the whole day.
Now that the warmer weather is here, the Madhouse kids - particularly Pierre - will be spending a lot of his time outside, playing football or riding his scooter or bike around the huge car park opposite our house.
He was very proud of himself when he discovered that he can slot a bottle of Highland Spring under his saddle so that he can have a quick drink whenever he needs one.
Which is basically all of the time because he is a bundle of energy and never stops !
Despite the adverts, it's not just sugary snacks that help you work, rest and play - Highland Spring have definitely helped us put a spring in our step too !
Adding chopped fruit and herbs to a bottle of water and leaving it overnight to infuse is my favourite way of tempting everyone to drink more, but the easiest and most important thing, we've discovered, is making sure you always have a bottle at hand - in the car, at work and when heading off to the park on a sunny afternoon. Here at The Madhouse, Highland Spring has definitely sprung !
Disclosure : I received a delivery of water to take part in the Sparkle Challenge.