Happy Holidays Everyone, I took a break from blogging but I am back at it and there are some awesome and exciting things coming in the New Year that I am just SO excited about!
One thing that I have been doing (almost) without fail for the past few years is enjoying a lemon water in the morning just as soon as I make my way to the kitchen. It was something I had read in the first whole-foods based diet book that I read. A few things from that book stuck with me like morning smoothies and lemon waters!
Lemon water is the perfect thing to put into your body first thing in the morning, but also of us are choosing to put coffee or other caffeinated drinks in us first thing. This is not the best choice!
During the night our bodies undergo cleansing processes, this is the time they grow most, especially in children, and sleep allows our bodies to rejuvenate and helps our cells renew. This also causes us to wake up dehydrated most days, so we need water to be put into our bodies in the morning. Coffee is a dehydrating drink and worsens the effects of morning dehydration.
Okay, so now we understand why water is important to put in our bodies, but why should we add lemon, you ask. Great question.
There are many reasons lemon water is ideal.
Lemon supports the liver
The liver is the body's detoxifying organ and i performs more than 500 functions in the human body. It is the sight of hormone conjugation, and also toxin breakdown and removal, among MANY other things. When we sleep our livers are very active, especially in areas of cleansing and detoxification, this is because during the day the liver has many other processes it needs to focus on. When we drink lemon water in the morning we are giving extra support to the liver allowing us to remove some of the toxins it has worked on in the night and remove things no longer needed by the body. Hydration encourages bowel movements too, also encouraging removal of toxins from the body.
Lemon water is very alkalizing
Lemons, although acidic outside of the human body is actually very alkaline once inside the body. Our bodies act in a very strict pH zone, and many foods we eat are acidic, including meats, grains, dairy and some oils and nuts and seeds, meaning the the most alkaline foods are fruits and vegetables along with some spices. While we know vegetables are good for us we need to be consuming a lot of help us stay in an alkaline place. Coffee is another very acidic food, and we should start from a more alkaline place to help with balance.
Lemons boost our immune system
Lemons are a great source of vitamin C and our white blood cells, the main cells working hard in our immune system, require adequate vitamin C to function properly. Drinking lemon water in the morning helps your immune function!
Lemon juice helps improve digestion
Lemon juice in our water helps to improve digestion, not only by encouraging proper bowel health, but also because lemon can help restore stomach acidity. Many folks today have underactive stomachs, meaning that there is too little stomach acid, this leads to poor skin health, along with heartburn, indigestion, and pain with eating along with poorly absorbed nutrients. Lemon juice in our water restores proper balance and allows us to enjoy life more by reducing our pain and symptoms. Fresh lemon also contains living enzymes that aid in digestion as well, and reduce the load on the body for producing enzymes.
Okay so you’re now ready to take this small step to improve your health.
Lemon Water "Recipe"
1-2 cups of warm or room temperature water
Squeeze juice from ½ of lemon into the cup of water and enjoy in the morning.
You want to choose warm or room temperature water because it will help your body utilize it better. Cold water requires more effort on the bodies behalf to utilize and we want to ensure easy processes for the body. I sometimes fill my glass the night before and leave it out or I will heat water on the stovetop if I am feeling chilled and wait until that water is slightly warmed. You don’t want hot or boiled water, this will kill the live enzymes in the lemon reducing the powerful effects.
Have you incorporated lemon water into your daily routine? If not, it a try!
It is almost holiday season, and I am really excited for this years holiday festivities. This will be the first Christmas that I celebrate as a working girl, that is no longer in school! This is scary, exciting and empowering. We spend so long in school it feels that when the real world comes it can be scary. I have really been pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and it is true what they say: “life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
Some updates first about what I have been up to since graduating from CSNN. I have been blogging of course, working as a Zumba instructor, working at Jaydancin, and chatting with other natural health and wellness professionals to see how we can work together and I am really jazzed about what has been going on! Right now my Mindful Eating Challenge is going on, and so far it is just so fun and exciting! I am also working on another program with a fellow RHN and it is starting to really take shape!
With this time of year being one of my favourites, it is time to share some tips to stay on a healthy track during the gatherings and indulgences!
1. Be thankful
Start meals and gatherings with thanks! Be thankful that you have food to eat, that you’re sharing it with loved ones, and that you have the great fortune of having time and ability to spend the holidays with family and friends!
2. Celebrate the day...not the week or month
While celebrating is totally acceptable and encouraged, make sure that when it comes to the less-than-healthy activities, you keep it to the day. It is easy to bake for a week and indulge every day and night and then continue celebrating day after day. In my family we have a lot of celebrating that happens, I try to keep the indulging to the time that I am celebrating with people!
3. Don't Arrive Hungry
Lots of us try to "save our calories" but we should really stop doing that. We do not want to arrive at a party starving from a day of deprivation, it causes us to over eat and mostly likely in the wrong kinds of foods. I suggest you eat light and healthy but also normal foods..perhaps try to get in a little more vegetables and if you usually have sugary breakfasts lay off those as you will probably have enough in the evening.
When we arrive starving we will immediately dive into the cheesy and heavy appetizers and take a few extra plates at the buffet. Instead arrive as hungry as you normally would be and enjoy a bite or two of the special treats you really love.
4. Indulge Wisely
I don't know how many times I have eaten something on the holidays I don't even like, simply because it was the holidays. Instead we should focus on indulging (and truly enjoying) foods that we really love and appreciate! If you avoid dairy most of the time (and you're not allergic) but egg nog is you all time favourite drink, a Christmas party might be the perfect time to have a glass and really take in the delicious-ness that you can really appreciate. For me, I don't care for chips, but they are something I find myself noshing on at a party, for no reason other than them being there!
Oh! Grab some extra helpings of salads and fresh vegetables (the vegetable try can always use some lovin') and chomp on those while you engage in festive conversations and activities.
5. Keep Things (Semi) Normal
Try to not throw off your schedule too much. Like I said, this is the first holiday that I am not in school, which means that I still have to teach classes and work some shifts over the holidays, and this is great for me, no boredom or major schedule derailing. Try to maintain some activities you normally would like working out, reading, relaxing and what ever else you spend your time doing. Often we find ourselves spending all waking hours munching on festive specials instead of doing what we normally would.
This year I grabbed a couple books from the library to read when I am sitting around relaxing!
I think that is enough tips for now! Don't forget to enjoy your holidays and spread holiday cheer!
What tips do you use to prevent over-indulging at the holidays? Do you just let it all go when it comes to Christmas?
I am so excited for today to be here! I had the opportunity to chat with Leanne over atHealthful Pursuit about mindful eating and my upcoming challenge. If you don't know Leanne, you really should! She was probably the first blog I started reading when I was in university, we are talking at least 4 years ago I started reading her blog. She offers fantastic recipes and I have made MANY with success and she is also a Holistic Nutritionist and attended CSNN, she always made it seem approachable to change your diet and live with dietary restrictions in a world that might not always accommodate. Take some time to check her out and follow her too, she's great!
I would love for you to take a moment to listen to our conversation and sign up for the mindful eating challenge! I will be posting the conversation here too, in the near future... ENJOY!
Click Here to listen to our recorded talk!
You can sign up for the FREE 6 Day Mindful Eating Challenge below! I look forward to going on this journey with you!
Amanda is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist out of Southwest Middlesex, and London ON. She works with clients to help them achieve their health and wellness goals!
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