when life gives you lemons...

I participated in a cleanse in April to reset my diet, especially after a lackadaisical and gluttonous winter. It was held at Back Bay Yoga, one of the awesome studios in Boston that I frequent, and lead by an instructor who is self-taught in Ayurveda. She had the participants apply some Ayurvedic principles to our diets and our lifestyles. To put it simply, Ayurveda is the scientific arm of yoga developed over the thousands and thousands of years that yoga has existed. One of the more known areas of Ayurveda is diet and health. I will definitely delve more into this topic but I don’t want to stray away from the original intention of this post. And that is to tell you about a nugget of information that I learned and have practiced almost everyday since April-lemon tea.

I start everyday with a lemon tea concoction which I have named my “lemonaid.” I use it to wake me up and to get my digestive system going. There are so many cleansing properties to the drink. Also, two added bonuses are that 1) I start the day by hydrating myself with about 1.5 cups of water and 2) in the winter, I will start the day feeling nice and toasty. Not that kind of toasty! I mean nice and warm from my favorite ingredient in the drink-cayenne pepper!

So how do I make this drink?

Well first, I juice half of a lemon-organic if possible-then I add about a teaspoon of raw honey and a couple of dashes of cayenne pepper. As you get used to the drink, you can adjust the amount of each to taste. Next, I fill half of my mug with filtered water from my fridge and then fill it to the top with boiling water. Ultimately, you want the water to be warm in order to gain the most benefits from it. I unfortunately do not have a thermos to keep water warm in my apartment so I boil the water and mix. Now, the reason I mix it in that order is because the direct heat from the boiling water can destroy the enzymes in the lemon and raw honey. This may be taking it a little too far but in my mind, I’m preserving some of the nutrients. Lastly, I drink it with a straw due to the acidity of the water.

As I mentioned, there are many cleansing properties to the drink, specifically from the lemon and cayenne. I don't have all of the medical/scientific reasoning behind it but this post from Making Love in the Kitchen nicely spells it out. For those looking for another resource for alternative health advice, methods, and recipes, I highly recommend this site.

I think it is pretty impressive that I have been so diligent with drinking this water. But the key to it is to go slowly, take it one day at a time. I feel that adopting a healthy lifestyle is a process. If you change it all at once, it will be too overwhelming. Start by introducing small changes that you can dedicate yourself to. Eventually, it will become a (healthy) habit. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. Just hop back on the wagon the next morning. Rome wasn’t built in a day-how do you expect to change your lifestyle in a day?

until next time,
make lemon aid!

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