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Angie Needels / Director / 510-325-4785



Berkeley, CA


(Not used in this template) MamaKai offers support for families in preconception, pregnancy, birth, post partum and child development. This includes: education, classes, support groups, online resources, nutrition, health coaching, and more. Donate TODAY and receive SO MUCH support from MamaKai! 


Nourishment and Support for Growing Families

Filtering by Category: How It Works

Sacred Foods: Water & Nutrient-dense Beverages

Angie Needels

Water is life. We can’t exist without it. Water is essential for our bodies’ health and the health of our environment. The primordial soup that made all of life, came from water.

Every day we should be drinking about half of your body weight in ounces of water or nutrient-dense beverages. Averages are 2.2 liters of water for women and 3 liters of water for men. If you don't know or don't think you are coming close to that consumption, carry a water bottle wherever you go and start tracking you're intake. You'll find that you just drink more when you have it with you anyway.

Water composition in our bodies:

  • babies 80-90%
  • adults 60-65%
  • brains & hearts 70-75%
  • lungs 80-85%
  • skin 65%
  • muscles & kidneys 75-80%
  • bones 30%

Water performs many roles in every cell of our bodies.

  • exchange of nutrients in blood and cellular fluids
  • building new materials
  • regulating body temperature
  • metabolizing carbohydrates and proteins
  • flush toxins and waste through urination and elimination
  • shock absorption in joints, brain, spinal cord, and amniotic fluid
  • in saliva transport minerals to remineralize teeth and enzymes to break down food

Water levels in our bodies are constantly changing along with levels of water-soluble nutrients, including the B vitamins and vitamin C, as our bodies try to maintain homeostasis. Results from water-based health tests like blood and urine tests will vary greatly depending on our water levels in that moment. A test that is not water-based like the Hair Mineral Analysis test will give nutrient level results based on a longer period of time, about 3-4 months.

In the U.S. our drinking water comes from one of about 160,000 public water systems that are governed by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). The EPA created the Safe Drinking Water Act to establish safe drinking water standards. Some people in the U.S. have private well water systems, and those are not governed by the EPA and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The EPA requires that tap water is purified and tested for contaminants in these six categories:

  1. microorganisms - bacteria, viruses, protozoa like giardia
  2. disinfectants - chlorine, chloramine
  3. disinfectant byproducts - bromates, chlorates
  4. inorganic chemicals - arsenic, cadmium, asbestos, fluoride. Drinking fluoride in water does not impact our dental health in the same way as fluoride treatments. Fluoride is not supposed to be swallowed. It disrupts endocrine function, leading to thyroid and adrenal issues.
  5. organic chemicals - lead, mercury, nitrates, nitrites
  6. radionuclides - radium, uranium

Other factors that affect our water quality and resources include:

  1. drought
  2. lead and toxins from pipes or transit system
  3. natural gas fracking / oil drilling / mining / manufacturing
  4. CDC published outbreaks in 150,000 public water systems
  5. people putting things back in
  • antibiotics
  • harsh cleaners
  • pharmaceuticals
  • washing toxic things off body
  • farming runoff: pesticides, herbicides, waste from animals

It is important to drink and bathe in high quality water. Do not use bottled water. Most of the time bottled water is bottled in plastic which has petrochemicals that leach into the water and the bottles create literal tons of waste in the environment. This plastic waste doesn't break down organically and is reaping havoc not only on human health, but on plant and animal life, causing mass extinction for many species.

Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession With Bottled Water by Peter Gleick explains how bottled water has destroyed communities.

Water filtration options:

  1. determine filtration needs by getting a water test from the EPA or other source (check out this easy method you'll be able to do yourself soon)
  2. sources for filters:


Premier Research Labs RO Tap Filter / Shower Filter (email to get pricing)

Radiant Life

Brita / Pur - These are not the most recommended systems because they have a lot of plastics involved as well as don't remove all of the toxins that we are hoping to. Might be applicable however depending on what kind of water you have coming from your tap.

Keep in mind, Reverse Osmosis filters strip water of harmful toxins as well as beneficial minerals creating distilled water. We need minerals in our water to make it usable for our bodies. If you use a reverse osmosis filter, please add polar minerals back into your water.

Healthy ways to meet your body’s requirements for your daily water intake:

  • watery foods like whole fruits, celery, cucumber, and lettuces
  • bone broths and stocks in soups and stews
  • herbal teas or tonics (reishi mushroom, fresh ginger, elderberry etc.)
  • lemon/citrus water (rinse often with clean water to ensure the acids of citrus don't break down tooth enamel)
  • fermented beverages like lacto-fermented sodas, beet kvass, water kefir, dairy kefir, kombucha, ginger beer, root beer. check out The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, The Essential Book of Fermentation by Jeff Cox, and Weston A. Price (2) for recipes
  • MamaKai's swamp water (see general recipe below)
  • raw organic coconut water (nature's "gatorade")
  • raw milk (if tolerated)
  • AVOID: pasteurized juices, soda pop, coffee, alcohol, caffeine - These are depleting and hinder homeostasis and are just not good sources for water consumption


MamaKai's "Swamp" Water Recipe

Many mornings I make 1 quart of what I call "Swamp" water and drink it throughout the day. This is not the only water/nutrient-dense beverage I'm drinking, but it's a great part of making sure that I'm getting added nutrients into my diet and giving me little bits of those nutrients throughout the day in a very absorbable way. 

I'm not one to recommend loads of supplements, but because many of us are "healing" our bodies we need more components to do that on top of simple maintenance. 

Depending on what's going on with us personally we may adjust what's in our "Swamp" water. This is the recipe that I use daily and is fantastic for any woman who's pregnant or is breastfeeding. 

MamaKai offers these private supplements as a nutrition consultant, please contact me directly to discuss what you might have in your "Swamp" water based on what your overall health goals are and we can get you the right recipe and the supplements ordered so you have them on hand.

  • 1 tsp - Premier Research Labs Greens Powder (chlorella, spirulina, wheat grass...)
  • 1/2 tsp - Premier Research Labs Polar Minerals
  • 1 tsp - Premier Research Labs Liquid Zinc Assay
  • 1 dropper - Premier Research Labs Max B Vitamins
  • 1/8 cup - Premier Research Labs Pomegranate or Black Cherry Elixade
  • 1/2 cup fresh unpasteurized juice or blended fruit of choice (citrus or berries are a great start) - optional

Place all ingredients in the bottom of a clean glass quart sized container (mason jar, reused bottle). Finish filling with filtered water. Place lid on top and shake well. Take with you wherever you go, shake often before sipping on. Finish 1 whole "Swamp" water each day in addition to the remaining water/nutrient-dense beverage consumption you should be intaking based on your weight (1/2 body weight in ounces... example... I am 120 pounds, I drink 60 ounces a day... 1 quart = 32 ounces).


MamaKai's Own "Support YOUR Community" Fall Fundraiser

Angie Needels

MamaKai is now proud as can be to be fiscally sponsored by Green Branch Library! With this fiscal sponsorship we aim to serve our community by creating robust FREE classes all around the Bay Area for parents from preconception/fertility through having toddlers. Check out the class roster HERE that we plan to roll out beginning in January, 2014.

Help us reach our $50K "Support YOUR Community" Fall Fundraising Goal to kick things off right!

To ensure MamaKai can viably offer more FREE education and support to as many families as possible. Be a part of changing how our little ones grow up; healthy, happy, strong and ready to contribute to a better tomorrow.

Donate TODAY and become a MamaKai member! Every penny REALLY does count.

Even if you aren't pregnant, or don't foresee that in your future, let's face it, we are all in it together. We all know someone with children and we often see them struggle. When parents feel supported they have less stress and more time and energy to spend in their community - with us! Children of parents, who are more supported, end up being healthier and happier and more productive citizens as they grow up.

With immense gratitude and in great health!

Love, Angie