What happens when you drink lemon water?
Happy New Year! T'is the time of year when we are asked a lot of questions about a myriad of things that really all relate to the attempt to bring balance back. Specifically, we field many inquiries about cleansing. For many, there is a feeling of being a little 'over done' from big family meals, parties and holiday baking. While this may feel like a good time for deep cleansing, our cold weather and low hours of daylight may disagree. While cleansing has marvellous outcomes for the body, it can also be a stressor to the organs and emotional well being. If you cleanse in the late spring and cleanse in January and compare the experiences, most folks will admit that the late spring cleanse was easier to follow and had less side effects. Each person is unique, so if you and your naturopath think cleansing in January is right for you, dive in, but for many of us, there might be another route to restoring the balance that we crave from our post December feelings of normalcy.
So if a deep cleansing is waiting for you in the late spring, what can you now?
While cold weather and short daylight hours naturally leave us craving warmth and comfort, that doesn't mean that we are locked into an all or nothing set of options. Comfort food can be made over to contain fresh and whole food ingredients and portion sizes can be put back into check after the season of seconds and thirds. You can also make an effort to get 2-3 litres of water a day, get on a regular sleep schedule (with as many hours of before midnight sleep as works for your schedule) and find a daily exercise that you enjoy and try to vary the type and intensity throughout the week. Journaling and finding things that bring wonder and awe into your life is also a great way to find balance and perspective.
While a deep cleanse may be too much for most of us at this time of year, there are lots of cleansing things that one can do to gently detoxify. Think of cleansing as a daily ritual versus a binge activity. Plus, if you gently cleanse regularly, you will be more prepared to deep cleanse in the spring - the body will adapt more quickly and cleanse more deeply.
One simple and timeless idea is one glass of warm or room temperature lemon water first thing in the morning (1/2 lemon squeezed in a cup of water). Why does this small ritual stand the test of time? There are many benefits to this simple elixir, but notably the most cleansing is that fresh lemon juice is anionic - it contains more negative ions than positive ions making it an electrically charged substance that is a great help in all things digestion. Other anionic liquids include your saliva, stomach acid and bile. Fresh lemon juice helps to oxygenate the body (aka alkalinize) and maximize enzyme function. Lemon may assist the liver by stimulating enzymes, cleaning out congested bile ducts and removing toxins like uric acid.
Besides lemon water, other gentle cleansing rituals may include:
- a variety of herbal teas including Dandelion or Artichoke
- greens (cooked, juiced, powders, etc)
- saunas, steam showers (from chlorine free/purified water)
- warm or hot yoga
- epsom salt baths
- switching up your probiotic
- eating fermented foods
- tongue scraping
- replacing a few meals a week with pure, fresh juice from organic vegetables
- reduce alcohol, dairy, caffeine, carbonated anything, fried foods, sugar and flour products and overeating in general
- deep tissue massage
- acupuncture treatments
- organic fruits and vegetables (especially the dirty dozen which are the most likely to contain pesticide residues)
- slowly increase your fibre intake
- manage your stress
- light skin brushing
- massage essential oils like eucalyptus, thieves blend or any type of cold blend into the feet to assist in circulating toxins out of the body
- taking digestive enzymes or bitters to help with the breakdown of food
- cleaning out your home/storage, donating your clutter and taking a "buy nothing" week or month can also be very cleansing
- as mentioned above: water, sleep, exercise, journaling...
Maybe there are 2-3 things on this list that intrigue you…Try a couple that you think might help you bring the balance back into your life. There aren't any individual wonders, but together, with a great attitude, you might find the cocktail that works for you.
How do you bring the balance back?
Posted by Amy Buckman, Community Ambassador, Amaranth Stores