I love rituals and I love having a daily routine of some sort. When my daughter was born I had to lower my expectations of what I could do to “start my day off right” and got by with a quick down dog and some lemon water. Through the years I have been pretty consistent in making sure I get the foods that I feel are right for my body everyday and with every meal. These include:
- Vegetables: greens, roots, raw, cooked, steamed, organic, local, whatever. I just make sure I eat vegetables everyday, and with every meal. Actually I plan my meals around my veggies as they are the “main” part of my dish. I am also a fan of fruit, I just eat way more veggies.
- Healthy fats: fish oil, bone broth, olive or coconut oil, avocados, nuts, seeds. For those of you that know me from my previous blog, The Greek Bite, I am addicted to nut butter.
- Protein: I have been vegan, vegetarian, paleo, etc., which means I have indulged in various different sources of protein. Nonetheless, whatever I do chose to eat, I make sure I have protein in my meal as it keeps me stable and energized.
- Sea Salt. My chinese doctor taught me that salt has every memory of the earth in every granule and with this every element needed to survive. I try not to overindulge, just a sprinkle does the trick.
- Spices: I like to experiment with new spices as well as to use my old-time favorites, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. Spices has so many benefits and pack a powerful dose of goodness in just a pinch.
I love lemons. As a child I would pick lemons off our trees and eat them like apples. Later in life, when I began my culinary education in raw foods, I used lemons in everything, especially desserts. It was good news for me then that, while living in Greece, a meal rarely passed without the use of these yellow beauties.
Today I enjoy warm lemon water first thing in the morning, an hour before bed or thirty minutes after a meal. Incorporating lemons into the diet is easy and inexpensive and considering the amount of money and time I use to prepare homemade foods for my family, lemons are my lifesaver. Here are a few additional reasons why I lam crazy about lemons:
-Extremely alkalizing. Drinking lemon first thing in the morning reconfigures your body to metabolize efficiently and to burn fat all day long. When the body is more alkaline and less acidic, it is more likely to avoid disease. (Acidosis is one of the basic precursors of disease.) This fact alone is a reason to start your day with lemon water.
-Great for your stomach and digestive system. Keeps you lean and regular.
-Antibacterial. Studies have proven that lemon juice kills the bacteria that cause malaria, cholera, typhoid, and other major diseases.
-Natural form of vitamin C, which is MUCH more powerful that the synthetic version. Helps you to metabolize calcium.
-Natural form of citric acid, 7.2%, an antioxidant that balances the body.
Drinking your lemon water with cayenne pepper or raw honey are also options. Cayenne pepper kills cancer cells, lowers blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, and immediately boosts the metabolism. Raw honey has a various health benefits as well, however, I enjoy the tart taste of lemon water and opt to save my honey consumption for a sweet treat later in the day. Be sure to rinse your mouth with water after eating condensed amounts of lemon as there is a possibility for it to damage tooth enamel.
It is important to note that if you tend to run cold (cold hands and feet, usually feel chilly) TCM advice states that lemons are “cold” in nature and should either be used sparingly or combined with a warmer food, such as cinnamon, pepper or nutmeg. According to TCM, lemons clear heat and cause qi to descend. Lemons are recommended for nausea and vomiting.
Here are five things I do everything to keep my mind, body and soul feeling good.
- I start my day with a solid breakfast. This can mean something different to everyone but for me it means I eat things that I feel good about. My head might think about eating something naughty, my body wants differently. If I eat a good proper breakfast I am motivated to make better choices throughout my entire day. I choose to begin my day with veggies and then build around whatever I have in the fridge. Most often I make veggies with a gluten free grain which has been soaked overnight and cooked in bone broth,. Other days I have veggies with eggs, veggies in soup, or just plain steamed veggies with raw Greek olive oil, lemon and sea salt. Whatever it is, love it all. What you eat and I eat might entirely different. The point is to make your first meal count.
- I use a Netti Pot and flush my nose with a sea salt saline rinse everyday. Living in Hong Kong, the pollution can wreak havoc on my sinuses. Using my Netti Pot has saved me from ENT appointments and unneeded antibiotics. I bought my Netti Pot on Iherb, but they are pretty easy to find. Throw in some warm water and sea salt and you are good to go.
- I connect. This changes day to day but the point is I do it everyday. Today connecting was both meditation and yoga. Yesterday it was earthing.
- I scrape my tongue right when I get up. This removes yucky bacteria and toxic residue from my system, improves the taste of food on my palate, and cleanses the internal organs , as the tongue is energetically connected with the whole body system. Tongue scrapers are inexpensive and fun to use. You can also throw in a coconut oil rinse and can “pull” additional toxins from your system.
- I learn something new, and most often it is about my passion. This constantly challenges my brain and keeps me on my toes. Mozart, Einstein, and Michelangelo all became masters of their crafts by putting in the time everyday to learn about what they loved. I recommend reading Bounce, by Author Syed, which explains that it is time, not talent, that paves the way to success.