The way you start each day is incredibly important.
According to Ayurvedic philosophy, choices that you make regarding your daily routine either build up resistance to disease or tear it down.
Whether you’re a mom, a dad, a coach, a writer, an artist, a chef, a small business owner or a yoga teacher, what you do first thing in the morning matters.
Ayurveda invites us to get a jump-start on the day by focusing on morning rituals that work to align the body with nature’s rhythms, balance the doshas & foster self-esteem alongside self-discipline.
Your mind may say you have to check emails, take the dog out, get the kids out the door, that you can’t be late for work or that you just don’t have enough time to cultivate your own morning rituals.
But, if you can only make time for one ritual that will improve your health, let it be this…..
Start the day out with a mug of warm water and the juice of half a lemon (ginger and chia seeds is optional).
It’s so simple and the benefits are just too good to ignore. Warm water with lemon…Why?? you may ask. Read below:
1. Boosts you’re immune system
Lemons are high in Vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is great for fighting colds and potassium stimulates brain & nerve function and helps control blood pressure.
2. Balances pH
Lemons are an incredibly alkaline food, believe it or not. Yes, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they’re alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized). As you wellness warriors know, an alkaline body is really the key to good health.
3. Helps with weight loss
Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster. And, my experience is that when I start the day off right, it’s easier to make the best choices for myself the rest of the day.
4. Aids digestion
The warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis—the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving. Lemons and limes are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen toxins, in the digestive tract.
Think about this… during sleep, you typically haven’t been drinking for at least 8 hours. Giving the body adequate water when you first wake up is a great way to get your body and your mind going.
5. Acts as a gentle, natural diuretic
Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Toxins are, therefore, released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy.
6. Clears skin
The vitamin C helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood which helps keep skin clear as well.
7. Hydrates the lymph system
This cup of goodness helps start the day on a hydrated note, which helps prevent dehydration (obviously) and adrenal fatigue. When your body is dehydrated, or deeply dehydrated (adrenal fatigue) it can’t perform all of it’s proper functions, which leads to toxic buildup, stress, constipation, and the list goes on. Your adrenals happen to be two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys, and along with your thyroid, create energy. They also secrete important hormones, including aldosterone. Aldosterone is a hormone secreted by your adrenals that regulates water levels and the concentration of minerals, like sodium, in your body, helping you stay hydrated. Your adrenals are also responsible for regulating your stress response. So, the bottom line is that you really don’t want to mess with a deep state of dehydration!
It is always important to support our bodies by drinking enough water, especially in the morning. Lemon water won’t be a miracle cure but it might be a better alternative to caffeinated drinks, especially for those with adrenal problems.
I’ve found that starting to drink water first thing in the morning when you aren’t used to it can cause a few minutes of nausea, so it might be a good idea to start slowly and not used to drinking this much.
Adopting just this one practice of drinking a cup of warm water with lemon in the morning for a month can radically alter your experience of the day. Don’t be surprised if you begin to view mornings in a new light.Remember, real change comes from taking action.
Even if you haven’t been indulging in rich, comforting meals all winter, chances are you’ve accumulated more unhealthy foods in your freezer, fridge and cupboard than you realize. To start off the new season on the right foot, a little spring cleaning for your food supply might be in order.
That’s what i have done today:
Declutter Your Freezer
If you throw foods in the freezer and forget about them, it’s time to clear out the old build up. Get rid of all the items with ice crystals forming on the food or the packaging. Anything with freezer burn will taste worse, but it also often means that the nutrients are lost from foods, especially produce.
Keep some uncooked protein, like lean beef and chicken; it’s good for up to nine months once frozen, and can help you skip a midweek trip to the grocery store. Fill the rest of your freezer with bags of frozen berries and peaches (to throw in smoothies, yogurt and hot cereals) and vegetables like peas, spinach and broccoli (to add to soups and increase the nutrition of takeout dishes). Want to keep a few microwavable meals on hand for times you need a quick fix? Look for options with fewer than 400 calories and 400 mg of sodium.
Lighten Up Your Fridge
Even with tons of frozen fruits and veggies in your freezer, you’ll want some fresh varieties as well. Aim for foods that will keep for several days in the fridge, such as apples, oranges, cauliflower and cabbage. Don’t cut up anything or wash produce when you bring it home from the store. To make these items more convenient for packed lunches or snacks, prep them only the night before you’ll be consuming them.
Swap out creamy condiments like salad dressings, mayo and sour cream for mustards, Greek yogurt or olive oil with balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. And always have a carton of eggs for quick-cooking protein that goes well with any meal or snack.
Clean Your Cupboard
There’s more to junk food than potato chips. Toss items packed with sugar, sodium and preservatives, such as pretzels and most granola bars and energy bars.
Trade in high-sugar cereals — and keep in mind that even healthy-seeming choices like granola and gluten-free options can fall into this category — for oatmeal flavored with cinnamon and fruit. Load up on whole grains like quinoa, brown rice and wheat pasta; low-sodium beans for a punch of protein and fiber; and cans of fatty fish like tuna, sardines and salmon to get those omega-3s.
Put Everything In Its Place
To ensure your healthy habits stick, it’s important to put some thought intothe way you store your foods. From the pantry to the fridge, place the nutrient-dense items at eye level, front and center, and put any treats in the back and make sure that everything is in the correct place to stay at its peak freshness.
Stocking your kitchen with nutritious choices is the first step to healthy eating — and arranging your storage areas in a way that encourages you to reach for them ensures the kickoff to a slim new season.
Same goes for Sienna’s foods. All her yogurts, smoothies, fruits, veggies and juices are at her eye level, so she can see and ask to have those as soon as we open the refrigerator. Like this she won’t be tempted to ask us something that she shouldn’t be eating.