Make Your Water Go Further: The Best Times of Day to Hydrate

If you’re reading this post, then you already know that drinking enough water is an important component to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. BUT, it may surprise you to learn that when you drink water is almost equally important. This is especially true for those of us who aren’t disciplined enough to consistently drink water at regular intervals throughout the day.

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So, if you’re like me and not always or on top of your water intake, here are some simple guidelines to follow to help ensure that you hydrate at the most important times.

1. Drink Water After Waking Up
Make this the first thing you do after getting up……before a cup of coffee. Try adding lemon for even more benefit. One or two glasses of water first thing in the morning activates internal organs and remove any toxins before your first meal of the day. You’ll feel more awake and refreshed too!

2. Drink Water 30 Minutes Before Meals
One glass of water 30 minutes before a meal helps regulate digestion, curb your appetite and moisturize the stomach lining to better handle brittle and acidic foods.

3. Drink Water 1 Hour After Meals
One glass of water an hour after the meal HELPS the body to absorb the nutrients you just ate, drinking water too soon after a meal will dilute the body’s digestive juices.

4. Drink Water When You’re Hungry
If you’re hungry between meals, drink a glass of water first to see if you’re dehydrated. Sometimes people think they’re hungry when they’re really just thirsty.

5. Drink Water Before, During and After Exercise
Hydrating before a workout will keep your body from drying out and feeling thirsty. Drink at least 12 ounces before a workout. Depending on the temperature, humidity and your body’s weight and fluid levels, you’ll need one to several servings of water to protect against dehydration during and after workouts. Following vigorous exercise, be mindful to drink enough water to replace fluids lost through perspiration.

6. Drink Water 30 Minutes Before a Shower or Bath
Showering or bathing is relaxing and helps lower blood pressure. Drinking water before will help to further thin your blood and dilate blood vessels.

7. Drink Water 30 Minutes Before Going to Bed
A glass of water before going to bed has many health benefits, including helping to avoid the thickening of the blood which can cause stroke or heart attack. Hydrating before bed also helps balance hormones, replenishes any fluid loss that can occur during the night, and reduces nighttime leg cramping.

8. Drink Water When You Feel Tired
A glass of water when you feel tired will help the brain to regain focus and the body feel energized.  If you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep but still feel tired, you may be dehydrated; fatigue can be a sign of dehydration.

9. Drink Water When You’re Exposed to Germs
If you find yourself around someone who may be ill, drink more water than usual to help wash away germs and viruses that your body may have picked up. A well-hydrated body encourages bacterial and viral invaders to move along so they don’t settle and multiply in your system. The same holds true for when you’re sick, you need to drink plenty of fluids, including water, to get better.

10. Drink Water With Medicine
Water helps your kidneys flush out medicines so they go down smoothly. Do ensure you never take medicines with liquids other than water. Only water is safe with medicines as it doesn’t contain anything that can negatively affect how medicines are absorbed.

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Poor Circulation?…..Try Some Water with Dried Longan Fruit

The other day I went for a massage. It was MUCH needed after 6 weeks of traveling with my kids and lots of lifting, sitting and flying. My body was full of aches and pains. The therapist I saw was an interesting guy from China who, upon noticing that my hands and feet felt cold, and my neck and shoulders very tense, had some recommendations for me. He suggested a warm morning drink made with water, dried longan fruit, red date and ginger, explaining that it’s a common drink for Chinese women to improve circulation and help with relaxation. I’m game to trying anything that is natural and helps with relaxation! Since I was already in the Inner Richmond district of San Francisco, home to a large Chinese community and many great Asian markets, I decided to pick up the ingredients straight away and give the concoction a try.

At the market, I discovered that dried longan fruit is also known as Long Yan Rou and is closely related to the lychee. And, Red Dates are actually just another name for jujubes. This new drink was sounding better and better! Adding ginger to my water is something I already enjoy (more on that in a future post) but the other two ingredients were new to me and I really had no idea how to prep them for water. Both the dried fruits are the consistency of Medjool dates….so, I assumed that some soaking was in order but was certainly open to more guidance on this.

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The three and hopefully magical ingredients for my warm water beverage

A Google search for ideas on how to make this enticing drink, as well as more information on the properties of each ingredient was in order. First, I researched each ingredient on Wikipedia to find out more about the medicinal properties. Here’s what I learned:

Red Dates: Commonly called jujubes, Chinese dates, Korean dates, or Indian dates are a species of Ziziphus in the buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae). The fruit and its seeds are used in Chinese and Korean traditional medicine, where they are believed to alleviate stress. In addition to this they are used for many other purposes, including anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory and their wound healing properties.

Longan Fruit: One of the better-known tropical members of the soapberry family (Sapindaceae), to which the lychee also belongs. In Chinese food therapy and herbal medicine, the longan is believed to have an effect on relaxation. The longan, much like the lychee, it’s thought to give internal “heat”.

Ginger: A flowering plant (Zingiber officinale) whose rhizome, ginger root or simply ginger, is widely used as a spice or a folk medicine. Ginger is one of the oldest and most versatile medicinal foods and in China it’s been used by healers for thousands of years. Traditional Chinese medicine holds that ginger “restores devastated yang” and “expels cold”. Ginger has many believed uses including reducing muscle soreness and inflammation, alleviating nausea and helping digestion. 

Now that I better understood the ingredients, I was ready to use them! I didn’t find much when I Googled this exact combination, but I did find many recipes with ginger and red dates, many of which included goji berries. The closest recipe I found was on a lovely blog called A Beautiful Day and I used this recipe as my reference, omitting the pear and pine nuts.

Here is what I added to 10 cups of filtered water:

25 dried red dates, pitted and sliced

10 dried longans

2 inch chunk of peeled ginger, sliced thinly

After prepping, boiling, simmering for an hour, and finally straining, my drink remedy was ready! I let it cool to a lukewarm temperature and then gave it a try.

It was quite interesting and, based on the profile of the ingredients, more medicinal tasting than I expected, . Right away, I could see why the recipe on A Beautiful Day called for pear because the drink had a bit of a bitter quality and needed something a little sweet to offset this. I added a tiny bit of honey and it became much more enjoyable to drink. I found it very soothing and cozy. It reminded me of Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat Tea, which for years has been a favorite product of mine and something I always have on hand.

I’ve now been enjoying this medicinal water for a few days and have tried it both warm and cold (the batch I made yielded enough for at least one cup daily for a week). I definitely prefer it more as a warm tea-type beverage. And, while I don’t know if it has had any true efficacy on my health, it’s something I’m glad I tried and will make again. It was fun to experiment with new-to-me ingredients that have so many believed healing properties.

 

 

Make a Small Change That You Can Maintain: Start Each Day With a Glass of Water

I recently read an article in the New York Times, Rise and Shine, about what kids around the world eat and drink for breakfast. As a mom of two young daughters, I’m always looking for new ideas and inspiration. I wasn’t overly inspired by the food, much of it sugary and carb-filled, like the typical American breakfast (i.e. bread with butter and sweet sprinkles, Oatmeal with sugar, baguette with butter and jam and sweet cake). However, I was even less inspired by the beverages that children around the globe begin their days with, and surprised that only one of the 11 breakfasts featured in the article included a glass of water! Almost all of the children began their day with milk, chocolate milk or juice, which is probably similar to what happens in the US. Clearly this is just a small sampling but I still find it striking that less than 10% of these children have a glass of water in the morning.  After reading this article, I had to pause and give myself quick kudos for having at least one healthy habit that I’ve managed to pass on to my children 🙂

At my house, we all start the day with a glass of water. I’ve always enjoyed warm water with lemon (or sometimes lemon and honey) first thing in the morning and I make sure my girls have at least one glass of water before they leave the house because I know that they’re not always drinking enough during the day and I try to stay ahead with their hydration. I find that our little ritual of drinking our water together first thing helps us start the day off on the right foot – I am hopeful that doing something good for our bodies in the morning makes us more mindful of making healthy choices and drinking more throughout the day.

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I start my day with a tall glass of lemon water and my girls each chug a short glass of plain H2O. It’s a healthy way to start each day.

Most people know it’s healthy to start the day with a glass of water, but not everyone knows why or remembers to do it. Hydrating in the morning can make you feel more energetic by keeping your metabolism in check, helps remove toxins from your system, improves digestion and stimulates elimination. Having a glass of water first thing and then drinking more throughout the day will help you avoid health issues that may be related to dehydration.

If you don’t like to drink plain water, then try squeezing some lemon, lime or orange into your water. Not only does lemon give water a nice burst of citrus taste but it also provides many health benefits. For a really fast and convenient way to switch up the taste of your water but still keep it super healthy and natural you can also add a few drops of essential oil or try a natural water enhancer like H2wOw.

I know that it may not be a common practice to begin each day with a glass of water but it really should be. It’s such a small and easy change to make and keep but it is also a habit that can make a big difference. My girls and I toast our water glasses each morning — give it a try with your kids too.

Do You Know How Much Water You Drink in a Lifetime?

I love fun facts……like how much water the average person drinks in a lifetime. I know it’s a bit dorky but I can’t help myself 🙂 Somehow these random facts tend to stick with me and become ingrained in my head. And, they actually do make a difference in my actions, for example if I knew the total amount of water I would drink in a lifetime, perhaps I would become more cognizant of the quality of the water I was drinking or in how I can help make more of a difference to conserve water in CA, where our drought situation has become alarming. I believe “fun facts” can make an impact……they can surprise people and in turn get them to think about something differently, sometimes even producing microscopic (or greater) shifts in behavior.

The other night I was up way too late and feeling very guilty because:

  1. As some of you may recall, one of my 2015 New Year resolutions was to go to bed earlier and get more sleep (more on that another time), and
  2. I have not done a blog post in a very long time (long enough to be embarrassing).  I have so many great ideas for posts and so many drafts that I’ve started but time keeps slipping away and (without too many excuses) I’ve just fallen off track

So, to channel my guilt I decided to come up with a “fun fact” infographic to blog about and get myself back on track with writing regular posts. With my fun facts theme in mind, I went off on a tangent collecting random in-a-lifetime facts that for one reason or another interest me.

In addition to learning that the average person consumes 14,600 gallons of water, I learned many other things…….some will stay with me and some I will forget by tomorrow. On a side note, I’m always fascinated by what sticks in my brain and what I easily forget….. I learn a lot about myself by just observing what interests me at a subconscious level. I think the other fact that will stay with me is that the average person has 150 friends. At first this seemed like a very low number……I mean many people have friends in the thousands on social media. But this number really made me stop and think and when you start to count the true friendships in a lifetime that really shape a person 150 sounds on target and, at least for me, indicates that I have more amazing friendships to look forward to.

So, in an effort to keep this post very light and to not over think the content too much…..here is the infographic. Hopefully you will find at least one “fun fact” that will move you.

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DIY Sparkling Chia “Soda”: A New Way to Wow Your Water

My two young daughters love to drink kombucha. We are a household without soda or juice so kombucha is a very tasty treat for them. Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage that contains a high concentration of b-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and good acids including lactic acids. Although I make or buy locally brewed, high-quality kombucha, and I believe in it’s many health benefits, I also am very careful to only let my girls drink it in moderation. While, the fermentation process does get rid of most of the sugar and caffeine from the tea, some does remain. In addition, kombucha usually contains a small amount of alcohol, depending on the length of fermentation, that ranges from .5% and 3%. So, despite all the great benefits of kombucha, the sugar, caffeine and alcohol do make me think twice before giving it to my kids. Read more about the health benefits of kombucha here: 18 Healthy Reasons to Sip Kombucha

pictured above are three varieties of kombucha (Green Tea Nettle, White Tea Hibiscus and Green Tea Grape) from one of my favorite bay area businesses: Threestone Hearth, a Community Supported Kitchen.
Three varieties of kombucha (Green Tea Nettle, White Tea Hibiscus and Green Tea Grape) from one of my favorite Bay Area businesses: Three stone Hearth, a Community Supported Kitchen

Over the holidays, my girls had a two-week vacation from school so there were lots of extra snacks and meals together, as well as more time for them to ask for “treats”. I found myself giving them more kombucha than I was comfortable with and decided to try to come up with an alternative that would satisfy them and make me feel at ease. This was also right after the official launch of my all natural water enhancer, H2wOw, which proved to come in handy for my new concoction. The girls and I have been loving our new drink so much that I decided to dedicate this post to what it is and how to make it.

Here's Clover enjoying our homemade, kid-safe effervescent "treat" drink
Here’s Clover enjoying our homemade, kid-safe effervescent “treat” drink

Our Yummy Effervescent and Kid-Friendly Drink Recipe:

We always soak Chia seeds to include in our kombucha, I knew this would need to be part of the mix. Chia seeds have more omega3’s than salmon, more calcium than milk and lots of antioxidants, they’re also fun to eat – similar to a gelatinous tapioca drink. In addition to including chia seeds, I knew our concoction would need to have an effervescent quality — since this is what makes kombucha such a “special” drink to them. Finally, there would need to be some sweetness and flavor to turn it in to an actual “treat” and not just sparkling water with chia seeds.

So for step #1, we prepared our chia seeds, which is really easy to do and I highly recommend adding this superfood to almost any drink, even if it’s just to plain water (my kids even like chia seeds in milk).  They add so many nutrients and can really help to take the edge off hunger for hours. We use high-quality organic seeds, such as Nutiva or Navitas, which are also raw. To make your chia seeds gelatinous and yummy, you will need to soak them first (preferably overnight). Soaking your seeds will work best if your water is hot but room temperature will also get you good results. I start by adding around three tablespoons of seeds to a 16oz. Mason Ball jar, then I add approximately one cup of hot water.

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To make glutinous chia seeds, simply soak 3TB of seeds in one cup of water in the fridge overnight.

Once the seeds and water are added, I cover the jar and give it a good shake. I allow it to cool a bit and then put it into the fridge to soak overnight. After a night in the fridge, your chia seeds will be blown up and completely gelatinous and the “water” mixture should be more like a gel. Depending on how much chia you like in your beverage will determine how much this yields, I usually add a couple of tablespoons of “gel” to each drink so one jar’s worth is enough for several drinks and will stay fresh in the fridge for about a week.  A jar of chia “gel” is a staple in our fridge and I am usually making a new batch every other day or so.

So now you know how to make yummy seeds, like the ones you find in drinks that costs upwards of $5.00 each, such as like Mama Chia and Synergy Kombucha. Even if you stop reading here, you should have enough to play with to make your own nutritious and delicious drink recipes. However, hopefully you’ll keep reading and try our recipe too!

One of our most used kitchen appliances is the Soda Stream. We use it multiple times everyday and go through lots of sparkling water at our house. So, for step #2 we prepared our sparkling water. Of course, you can also used plain store-bought sparkling water but it’s certainly less expensive and less wasteful to carbonate water yourself. There are lots of ways to carbonate water, you can check out comparisons of some of the best choices here: The Best Soda Maker

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After making our sparkling water, we were ready to bring the pieces together and flavor it. I added a couple of tablespoons of our chia gel to a glass and filled it the rest of the way with our freshly made sparkling water. This brought us to step #3 adding our flavor. I wanted to make this part fun and “experimental” for the kids, so we played around with trying different combinations of stevia and essential oils before we brought out the big guns….H2wOw. As I mentioned in my last post, New Year, New Goals, I recently (or should I say finally) launched my product that I’ve been working to develop for three years. H2wOw is an all-natural water enhancer — and I do mean truly all-natural, it’s made with NOTHING ARTIFICIAL and is the first all-natural water enhancer made from the essential oils and extracts of real fruit and botanicals.  I know it’s a product I created so you might take this with a grain of salt, but I must say, H2wOw tastes absolutely fabulous in our chia seed drink! We played around with all the flavors. My favorite is the Ginger Lime, but, with the chia seeds, the kids love the Mandarin Grapefruit the most.

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Finally, we added the flavor. We used H2wOw for a natural and healthy alternative.

With only three natural calories and less than one gram of sugar per serving (H2wOw is sweetened with a hint of Organic Agave and a touch of Organic Stevia), I feel good about my kids drinking it, especially in this “treat” drink which is really more of a “trick” drink since it is also sooo healthy. Between the awesome health benefits of the chia seeds and the natural electrolytes in H2wOw, which  help them stay better hydrated, I even let them have seconds – but only on vacation 🙂

If you don’t have any H2wOw, you can still make a yummy effervescent drink that’s completely natural (although it doesn’t taste quite as good). Play around with different essential oils and stevia to find a combination that works for you. Or, simply order your H2wOw today from Amazon to make this chia drink and add to your water all day long.

New Year, New Goals

I have been so busy launching my company, H2wOw , that I’ve barely had time to blog. Between the business of the holiday season and the demands of starting a company, I’ve been a bit frazzled to say the least. From hosting family for Thanksgiving to the non-stop festivities that Hanukkah and Christmas brought (our family celebrates both), November and December felt like an iron man race to me……getting out holiday cards, baking cookies, bringing the kids to a slew of fun events, attending holiday parties and school events, making and buying the “perfect” gifts, staying up until the wee hours wrapping the gifts, recognizing the people in our lives that we appreciate (from the mailman to the kids’ teachers), traveling to see family, packing and unpacking, cooking special feasts, putting the tree and decorations up and taking them down, trying to capture it all, doing too much, staying up too late, remembering and appreciating the true meaning of it all and not getting caught up in the flurry, oh and trying to fit in the launch of H2wOw during any and every spare moment. The last two months have been exhausting and hectic but luckily the drudgery was also full of merriment, thankfulness, abundance and blessings. Nonetheless, as the December 31st finish line approached so did a sense of relief in knowing that the whirlwind was coming to (at least) a pause and that there would soon be a reprieve from the crazy pace, a chance to slowdown, reflect and set new intentions.

Waking up on January 1st always feels marvelous to me and 2015 was no exception. Although much carries over to this new day and new year, it still somehow feels like a clean slate, even if the slate is only a representation of my own attitude and outlook on life.

For the new year I was away with my family at a beach house we rented on Silver Strand Beach in Southern California. The beach is definitely my happy place. I love the smell of the air, sand between my toes, soothing sound of the ocean waves and beautiful ocean sunsets. I started each day of our getaway combing the beach for sea glass, an activity that I’ve always loved and has become incredibly cathartic in recent years. My husband and daughters enjoy it too and it’s become one of our sacred family rituals. At home we have a large glass jar that we collect all of our sea glass in. I know it’s a little hokey but this jar is full of fond memories and favorite places and brings me such joy.

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Our family sea glass collection – one of my favorite possessions.

On New Year’s Day morning I went out for my daily beach walk and immediately spotted a big chunk of blue sea glass. I had been looking unsuccessfully for a blue piece for days so finding my first blue on this beautiful morning felt like a sign and a glorious way to start 2015. For those of you who collect sea glass, you know how special it is to find blue. To me it represented the start of a great year and the hope that my stars would align and all of my effort and hard work would begin to be rewarded. When I returned back to the house I grabbed my journal and headed to the deck to contemplate the things I wanted to work on in the coming year. I set the blue glass on the table in front of me and began to write.

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My “Find Your Happy” Journal and first piece of sea glass in 2015

Each year I try to be realistic with my resolutions, taking time to really consider what’s important, to question why it’s important and then to decide if it’s something I can truly commit to. I already prioritize a healthy lifestyle so the forever popular resolutions of new exercise routines and healthier diets are already habit for me — sure I could do better but there are other areas that need way more of a self commitment. I would love to resolve to make time each day for art or writing but I’m also nearly certain that after a few weeks I would fail at this. Time is already way too limited and any extra moments I have will be spent with my family or on my other passions of running, yoga, clean eating and cooking. After much thought I came up with the following three:

1.) A commitment to going to bed earlier and getting more sleep. For the past several years it seems my sleep has been slowly deteriorating (it’s no coincidence that this cycle began a little over six years ago when my first daughter was born). It has nothing to do with being restless or not being able to fall asleep — as soon as I allow my head to hit the pillow and my eyes to close I am down for the count. My issue is that there simply are not enough hours in the day and after dinner is done and the kids are in bed I get a second wind and feel as if I have been given a gift of uninterrupted time to get stuff done. Whether it’s editing photos, my Pinterest addiction, an episode of Orange is the New Black or work, one thing inevitably leads to another and before I know it it’s well after midnight before I’m even thinking about bed. I wake up at 6:00 AM feeling completely exhausted and then spend most of the day in a daze, whether it’s trying to be a patient mother, getting the most out of my workout or attempting to get quality work done, I’m unable to put my best self forward. Although the hours between 8:00 PM and my too-late bedtime feel wonderful and indulgent and like a free gift of time, the practical side of me knows that these late night hours are making my regular waking hours way less productive. So, my first goal for the new year is to get more sleep and to be in my bed by 10:00 PM and asleep by 10:30. In the short-term I expect to feel like I have way less time but my hope is that after a few weeks of an extra two hours of sleep, I will be able to function way better during the day and be much more focused and productive.

2.) Renew and Establish Deeper Connections Another thing that has deteriorated for me since having children but feels attainable to work on are my relationships outside of my immediate family. This includes both friendships and my larger extended family. I used to pride myself at being great at nurturing friendships and family. I was the planner who organized great trips to visit friends who had moved faraway and planned great holiday vacations with family. I was always thoughtful, calling my parents and grandparents regularly and sending nice notes and photos. I knew what was going on in my loved ones lives and felt connected. However, this has all changed so much over recent years and I am really ashamed at how I’ve put my friendships on the back burner. I haven’t made myself accessible to anyone beyond my immediate family. Once I got married and started my own family, I began to pour all of my love into these three people. And, while I believe these three amazing people do deserve most of me, I know that there is room to spread my wings a bit. This feels like a great year to make a concerted effort to rebuild deeper connections — my children are growing a bit older and not as reliant on me and the product I have been working on for three years has finally launched. Although I am still an extremely busy person, I can certainly find ways to fit in more regular phone calls, emails and texts. The face-to-face time and  fabulous vacations may still need to wait but this shouldn’t stop me from connecting.

3.) Keeping Myself and My Family Hydrated, because this is something that I’m completely passionate about and I just launched a business around it!! As some of you may recall from my first blog post, https://momloveswater.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/keeping-my-kids-hydrated-with-water-packed-foods/, I once had to take my daughter, who was five at the time, to the emergency room because she was dehydrated. I had already noticed that she wasn’t drinking enough and had been doing my best to change this but being told by the ER doctor that her severe illness and immobility was due to dehydration gave me a fright and caused me to take this effort much more seriously. This wake up call was a big catalyst to my product launch and the reason I decided to center my blog around hydration and all things related to water. I too need to constantly stay aware of my fluid intake, if I don’t stay conscious of drinking, I can easily go a whole day with just my coffee in the morning, wondering why I have no energy (beyond lack of sleep). So, hydration is always on my mind and I track my water intake and love to add natural things like lemon and honey or H2wOw to make my water yummy and more interesting. Adding a little natural flavor to my water has really helped my whole family to enjoy water and drink much more of it. This year I plan to continue my hydration efforts and hope to help others along the way. One of my hopes for 2015 is to partner H2wOw with at least one refillable canteen company and launch a hydration campaign (even if it starts small).

So there you have it, after much contemplation (at least for the first two), these are the three things I want to work on in 2015. In a few months I will write a check-in post to let you know if I’m sticking with it and what kind of progress I’ve made. Happy New Year! I’ll be blogging later this week about adding Chia Seeds to still and sparkling water and how yummy it is with essential oils or H2wOw.

Part 2: The Magic of Lemon and Honey in Water

As promised, I wanted to write about the myriad of reasons why warm water with lemon and honey is so good for you — especially in the morning when you first wake up.

A few weeks ago, I blogged about feeling really crummy and how hot water with lemon and honey helped me get through each day, you can read more about how this concoction helps a cold here: https://momloveswater.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/oh-honey-thanks-for-the-honey-with-lemon-in-hot-water/ This soothing drink made me feel so cozy and good that I’ve continued to drink it. So, I’m happy to know that this mixture’s go way beyond helping the common cold.

Here are 10 other reasons to drink this yummy medicinal combination:

  1. Stimulates Digestive System: Warm water with lemon and honey in the morning simply stimulates the digestive system and gets things moving.
  2. Improves Oral Health: The acidic nature of lemon combined with the innate properties of honey and water can help beat bad breath almost instantly. The lemon cleanses the mouth, activating your salivary glands and killing offensive bacteria. When added to honey and water, it helps wash down bacteria and degraded food that is usually present in your mouth and throat early in the morning.
  3. Helps The Waistline: Apart from its properties of cleansing the stomach, lemon contains a type of fiber called pectin, that helps make you feel full and keeps cravings at bay. Warm water, honey and lemon  also creates a more alkaline atmosphere in your stomach helping  you lose weight faster.
  4. Cleanses the Colon: A build-up of toxins in the stomach often makes us feel bloated. Even worse than this feeling, this same build-up (consisting of undigested food, intestinal cells and dead bacteria) often coats the inner lining of our stomach and is thought to lead to diseases. By drinking Lemon and honey in warm water the walls of the intestine – especially the colon – get stimulated, which leads to the expulsion of this build-up. A cleansed colon functions much better, thereby, helping your body absorb nutrients, get rid of toxins and stay hydrated.
  5. Flushes Out Toxins And Boosts Immune System:  The components of lemon stimulate your liver to produce more bile and help your digestive system by flushing out unwanted toxins. Honey acts as an antibacterial and helps beat any infections that might be present in your body.
  6. Improves Energy And Mood: Water helps clear your mind by providing fresh blood to your brain, lemon activates negatively charged enzymes in your stomach and improves digestion, and honey acts as an instant energy booster. What’s more, the scent of lemon is known to be a natural relaxant and can help uplift your mood.
  7. Cleanses Urinary Tract: Honey is a potent antibacterial agent, that has the capability to beat a number of common infections. When mixed with lemon and water, two agents that act as excellent diuretics, this concoction is the best way to cleanse your urinary tract. This mixture is especially good for women who suffer from frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs) as it will keep recurrent infections at bay.
  8. Aids in Clearer Skin: As said above, lemon helps purify your blood which also helps in the production of new blood cells which act as potent cleaning agents. Water and honey offer unique restorative, antibacterial and collagen boosting properties to your skin as well.
  9. Hydrates Entire Lymphatic System: Research says that a dehydrated lymphatic system is a leading causes of illness. Lack of water and essential fluids in the lymphatic system can make you feel sluggish and fatigued, lead to constipation, disturbed sleep, high or low blood pressure, stress and an all-round lack in mental function. The benefit of drinking this mixture early in the morning is that it helps hydrate your entire lymphatic system, which not only helps all of the above symptoms but also improves immunity.
  10. Tastes Delicious: This doesn’t need any explanation — just give it a try! Use warm (not hot) water, add the juice of around half a lemon and one teaspoon of honey, mix well and drink.
Honey and Lemon are two Powerful Ingredients. Image from: http://www.babydigezt.com
Honey and Lemon are two Powerful Ingredients. Image from: http://www.babydigezt.com

Although this drink will always provide some benefit, if you drink warm water with lemon and honey first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, you will reap much more. Additionally, for full benefit, you shouldn’t drink coffee or tea for at least one hour after (I’m still working on my timing and I definitely haven’t worked up to waiting an hour to drink my morning cup of java).

Thanks to The Health Site for helping me explain the content on my list http://www.thehealthsite.com/diseases-conditions/why-drinking-water-early-in-the-morning-good-for-health-p214/

Oh Honey, Thanks For the Honey (with lemon in hot water)

Last week I was feeling really run down with a cold. Feeling sick is never fun but it feels especially awful for a mom (at least it does for me). When I’m sick, I really just want to revert to being a child and have someone take care of me. However, as an adult and especially as a parent, the harsh reality is that life for the most part must go on. There are jobs to do, lunches to pack and seemingly constant sibling bickering and quarrels to manage.  And so sick or not, last week I had to pick myself up out of bed and sniffle through the day. I made breakfasts, packed lunches and counted down the minutes until I could drop my kids off at school and return to bed (albeit with my computer in an attempt to get the minimum amount of work done).

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This is exactly how I felt last night. Thanks http://www.beautyandgroomingtips.com for the image
I had a hard “poor me” kind of week and although there were few redeeming things about it, one of the small things that got me through was the hot honey lemon water that my dear husband had ready for me each morning. This was his small way of saying sorry that you’re sick, I wish I could help out more but I really need to leave for work now.  And although I irrationally loathed him at the time for walking out the door, I loved my cozy mug of soothing goodness so much that I managed to move on.

Such a simple and soothing remedy! Hot Water with honey and lemon. Comfort in a cup.

Since cold and flu season is officially upon us, I wanted to share this simple yet very effective remedy. Chances are you’re already quite familiar with it, either from your grandparents or parents recommending it through the years or because you’ve actually tried it and loved it as much as I do. The soothing remedies of hot water with honey and lemon are real, not just an old wives’ tale. According to the Mayo Clinic, this remedy may help reduce the soreness and irritation of a sore throat, and be an effective remedy for cough. Last week, my throat felt more soothed with each sip, and unlike medicine, water with honey and lemon is something you can drink all day long and you absolutely should to stay hydrated. The other awesome benefit for me was the soothing aromatherapy that came with it. To help clear my congestion, I cupped my hands around the top of the steaming mug and inhaled the goodness.

Not to snub lemon but honey really is an amazing ingredient. It has antioxidant and antimicrobial effects and sweetness that stimulates salivation which releases mucus in the airways and naturally relieves coughing.  But don’t settle for just any honey — opt for local, raw honey whenever possible. Most of the honey sold in stores has been heated and pasteurized, which destroys many of the enzymes and beneficial compounds that make raw honey so nutritious. Raw honey is left in its natural state and therefore contains pollen, enzymes, antioxidants and many other beneficial compounds. And, you have probably heard some of the research around the benefits of “local” honey — there is evidence that honey obtained as close as possible to where you live, may help build an immunity to some seasonal allergies. I always try to buy my raw honey at my local farmer’s market, direct from the source.

Yummy raw honey. So good for so many things!

Boil a cup of water, then stir in 2 tbsp. of honey. Squeeze a small amount of fresh lemon juice in the mixture to taste. Add more lemon juice, honey, or hot water to taste. Drink and let the mixture soothe your throat, cut mucus and suppress your cough.

I’m on such a water with honey and lemon kick that I’ve continued to drink it in the morning even though I’m feeling great again. Lucky for me, there are many other reasons that this mixture is good for your health and next week I’ll write about my favorites.

Minerals and Electrolytes – What Are They and How to Get Enough

Most of us are somewhat familiar with electrolytes and know about things like Gatorade to replenish but what I’m going to talk about goes way beyond drinking a sports drink after heavy exercise. While I hold strong that water is the most essential nutrient for the body, I know that water is not the only supplement our bodies crave. Our bodies are basically made up of the same things that make up the earth, so beyond water we need to think about the soil and thus what’s in (or supposed to be in) the earth’s soil. Minerals. Beyond water (or better yet, with our water) our bodies need replenishment of minerals.

I’ve always found the difference between electrolytes and minerals somewhat confusing. Some experts say it’s all the same, or is at least converted within the body to be all the same but I didn’t entirely get it. One of my goals in writing this week’s blog is to gain a better understanding for myself of the similarities and differences (and hopefully be able to convey this new understanding in a very articulate way to you)

Trace Minerals

There are two types of minerals your body needs to stay healthy: major and trace minerals. As their names suggest, your body needs large amounts of major minerals and only very small amounts of trace minerals for normal function. Major minerals include calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium. Trace minerals are a group of minerals that the body needs in very small amounts. Types of trace minerals include iron, cobalt, copper, zinc, manganese, molybdenum, iodine, bromine, and selenium. Both major and trace minerals are vital for all body functions and processes. Without minerals our bodies would not be able to build new tissue, flex and contract muscles, transmit nerve impulses, clot blood, maintain a neutral pH and keep our heart beating.

minerals

Electrolytes

Electrolytes are minerals in your body have an electric charge known as ions. They are in all of our body fluids, tissues and cells. Maintaining the right balance of electrolytes helps the body’s blood chemistry, muscle action and other processes. Electrolytes are primarily composed of the minerals sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, chloride, phosphates and sulfates. They are essential because they are used by our cells to create and carry voltages across cell membranes and they’re a big player in the communication between our cells. You get them from the foods you eat and the fluids you drink.

Electrolytes2

Proper hydration, mineral and electrolyte status are vitally important aspects of our health. Traditionally, eating fresh grains, fruits, and vegetables grown in nutrient-rich soil, was the primary supply for a full spectrum of minerals. However, in today’s world, naturally occurring, nutrient-rich soil is becoming increasingly rare and our intake of all essential elements is at risk of being inadequate. Modern living, with its dependency on processed foods, increased consumption of purified and/or distilled water, and depleted soil has culminated in a distinct drop in meeting our mineral needs. Even though I try to eat a very healthy diet that is full of unprocessed and organic foods, I still take an active role in restoring my mineral balance with dietary supplements and occasional beverages that help me meet my electrolyte requirements. Here are some of the things I incorporate into my daily life to help meet my mineral and electrolyte needs:

1. Coconut Water: If I’m sick or doing intense cardio training (or otherwise feeling dehydrated), I always turn to coconut water. Coconut water restores electrolytes, carbohydrates and other nutrients — it even packs  about the same amount of potassium as a banana.

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Coconut water, full of electrolytes and other nutrients, has earned the reputation as nature’s sports drink

 

2. High quality Sea Salt: High quality seal salt like the one I use pictured below, Celtic Sea Salt, contains electrolytes and trace minerals. Each morning, I prepare a pitcher of water for my family to fill their glasses and water containers with and leave it on the counter. In this water I always put 3-4 pinches of sea salt. I also use this salt for cooking and baking.

Celtic-Sea-Salt-Fine-Ground
High quality and properly harvested Celtic Sea Salt contains electrolytes and trace minerals

 

3. Trace Mineral Drops: I take a daily dose of high quality trace mineral drops, like the one pictured below. I know I get my major minerals through my diet and other supplementation but I find I need to be more intentional about getting enough trace minerals so I supplement with this regularly.

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Trace mineral drops help me ensure I’m getting enough “minor” minerals too

 4. Epsom Salt: This is my favorite! My doctor told me that our bodies absorb magnesium simply by soaking in Epsom Salts — what could possibly be a better excuse than that to take a relaxing bath? I also put Epsom Salts into my kids’ bath a few times each week.

Dr. Teals
The best way I can think of to get my magnesium!

 

Please check back next week, I’ll be taking things in another direction and blogging about Paddle Board Yoga……something I just tried for the first time. Since it takes place in the water I figured I could tie it in to MomLovesWater 🙂