Beginning with Breakfast, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

When Life Gives You Lemons

Lemon water…simply lemons with water, or water with lemons…big deal, right?!

 

But wait!!!

Besides helping you drink your daily suggested amount of water, lemons actually add many health benefits to water…benefits that up until now, I didn’t realize…and many of us didn’t even recognize either. For this reason, lemons have been used in many forms of holistic medicine for centuries.

So let’s begin by taking a look at some of these “hidden” health benefits of lemon water…

 

  1. Blood Pressure…Eating or drinking one lemon per day can reduce high blood pressure by ten percent.
  2. Depression and Anxiety…Lemon water contains a high level of potassium, which is needed to prevent and cure depression and anxiety.
  3. Digestion…Lemon water helps with digestion and keeps your stomach from health problems—such as constipation, heartburn, indigestion, bloating and belching.
  4. Energy Levels…Lemon water can help you have more energy when you wake up in the morning…without causing a “caffeine crash” later in the day.
  5. Joint and Muscle Pain…Lemon water can help reduce both joint and muscle pain.
  6. Kidneys…Lemon water can help prevent and  dissolve kidney stones, gallstones, pancreatic stones and calcium deposits because of the amount of citric acid it contains.
  7. Liver…Lemon water helps your liver produce the digestive enzymes and bile necessary for moving food through gastrointestinal tract smoothly.
  8. Oral HealthLemon water helps relieve tooth pain, fight gingivitis, and get rid of bad breath caused by eating foods with strong smells like garlic, onions, or fish.
  9. Respiratory SystemLemon water helps relieve the symptoms of asthma, allergies and other respiratory problems.
  10. Skin…Lemon water contains Vitamin C, which reduces your risk of having wrinkled and dry skin.
  11. Urinary System…Lemon water is a mild diuretic that can help the urinary tract effectively clear out any unwanted elements.
  12. WeightLemon water can help you lose weight by keeping your hydrated, fighting food  cravings, and significantly decreasing your caloric intake.
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Beginning with Breakfast, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Yes, Actually You CAN Take It With You

Now that we’ve established the fact that all of us should be drinking more water and talked about a few ways to make drinking water more of a habit, let’s look at a few of the things that will make this goal easier to achieve.

Sure, you could simply buy bottled water, more on which kinds of bottled water to buy later, but having a portable water bottle that you can carry with you everywhere you go is a much smarter option. In fact, using reusable water bottles…

  • does not create the litter that typical water bottles do. More than thirty billion water bottles are consumed every year…and most of those empty bottles end up eventually stockpiled in landfills.
  • saves you money. Tap water costs 240 to 10,000 times less than bottles water. Last year, people dumped thirty-eight billion water bottles into landfills worldwide.
  • is environmental-friendly. Bottled water production consumes over one thousand times more energy than tap water.
  • saves water. Producing one liter of bottled water actually requires three liters of ordinary municipal water.
  • makes you a smarter consumer…ordinary tap water and then making the consumer think that they are getting some super-water with extraordinary powers to cure what ails you. Wrong!!! Shockingly, 24% of bottle water is actually just repackaged tap water.

Seems like such an easy option, until you start looking at the different options available.

So how do you know which water bottle to choose?

By thinking about the different types and features of reusable water bottles so that you can make a good decision once you get to the store.

 

Materials…The first factor to consider when choosing the perfect water bottle in what the bottle is made from. Water bottles can be found in many different materials—including aluminum, stainless steel, plastic, polyethylene, and copolyester.

 

1.Plastic…The first material that portable water bottles can be made from, and the first material that comes to most of us when we think of them, is plastic. Benefits of using plastic bottles include…

  • affordable
    can repeatedly drop one without worrying about breaking or shattering it
    can take just about whatever abuse you give them
    easy to tote around
    incredibly durable
    lightweight
    readily available
    travel

Brands To Consider

  • Fit & Fresh
  • GOBIEH20
  • Nalgene

 

2. Metal…Metal options include stainless steel and aluminum, and are ideal for those who are tough on their water bottles. Benefits of using metal water bottles include…
  • doesn’t retain smells and tastes
  • double-wall construction that gives them outstanding insulating properties
  • keeps water cool for an extended period of time
  • keeps water fresh tasting, but some absorb heat and make the water warm
  • provides better insulation than plastics
  • very durable

Brands To Consider

    • Earth Lust
    • Hydro Flask
    • Klean Kanteen

 

3. Glass Bottles…A third option for water bottles is glass. Benefits of using glass reusable water bottles include being totally recyclable. Brands of reusable glass bottles include…

  • bottlesUP
  • Life Factory
  • Love Bottle
  • Takeya

In addition to first choosing which material you would like your water bottle to be, there are other questions that you should ask yourself, including…

Easy to Carry

  • Does the water bottle have a belt holster that can hold your water bottle if you participate in activities where you need to be hands-free or if you just get tired of carrying a water bottle?
  • Will the bottle be easy to carry?

 

Easy to Clean

  • Is it dishwasher-safe? Can washing the bottle in the dishwasher actualy clean the inside thoroughly or does it have to be hand washed?
  • If you will have to wash the bottle by hand, is the opening wide enough to get a bottle brush inside them in order to clean it?

 

Opening…In addition to checking the neck of the bottle to make sure that it will be easy to clean, ask yourself if the mouth of the bottle will be easy to fill with ice cubes and water…

 

Drinking Valve…

  • Does the valve lock securely enough to prevent the bottle from leaking?
  • Is the valve wide enough to provide optimal flow?
  • Does the water bottles come with a push-pull valve or a bite valves?
  • Which type of valve do you prefer?
  • Insulators
  • – Some water bottles come with sleeves that help keep your drink warm or cold. This comes in handy depending on your walking or hiking weather conditions. A nice, cold drink is a definite plus on a hot, summer day.

 

Size

  • How many ounces will the bottle hold?
  • How many ounces does your ideal bottle need to hold?
  • Will you have a source of water nearby, such as a water fountain, to use if and when you need to refill the bottle?
  • Will the bottle fit in the cup holders in your car?

 

 

Filter

  • Does the bottle have an in-bottle filtration system that will allow you to refill the bottle from any faucet or other source and be certain that your water will be clean and tasty?
  • Does this water filter make the bottle too heavy to be usable?
  • How easy is it to replace the filter?

 

 

 

Beginning with Breakfast, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Breakfast 101

So what exactly SHOULD we eat for breakfast, assuming that we simply accept the reasons that we should eat breakfast in the first place.

Based on what I have talked about four, there are three posts that already talk about specific things that you should be eating each day and suggest ways to make sure that you accomplish that goal.

These previous posts are…

  • The introduction to the Raw Foods Diet
  • The book review of Eating for Beauty
  • Information about continental breakfasts

So looking back on this overload of information and thinking only about what I should be putting on my plate, let’s make a breakfast plan—just in time for back to school and having to actually wake up and get the kids out the door every single morning.

Now grouping items mainly according to the Raw Foods Pyramid, let’s make a menu plan and a grocery list for what to have on hand to help get the day off to a great start.

  • IMG_4473-1

1. Production Foods

  • Water
  • Leafy Greens
  • Fruits and Vegetables…As far as fruits and vegetables are concerned, the main foods that will help contribute to your diet goals are…
  • Brightly colored fruits and vegetables…Most brightly-colored fruits and vegetables—like bright orange, yellow, red and green foods—contain high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A. These foods include carrots, pumpkin, mango and spinach.
  • Kiwi and citrus…Both kiwi and citrus are excellent sources of the vitamin C needed to make the collagen that gives skin support and shape. The RDA for vitamin C is…
    90 mg/day in men, 75 mg/daily for women older than 18

2. Proteins and Amino Acids…Proteins, such as keratin, collagen and elastin, are the building blocks of skin, hair and nails…Women need about 46 grams of protein per day…men, 56 grams.

  • Legumes and Sprouts
  • Nuts and Seeds…Nuts are packed with essential fats, vitamin E and B vitamins. A healthy daily intake of nuts is 30g (a small handful) or approximately: 20 almonds. 15 cashews. 20 hazelnuts. 15 macadamias. 15 pecans. 2 tablespoons of pine nuts. 30 pistachio kernels. 9 walnut kernels.

3. Medicinal Foods

  • Herbs, Microgreens, and Juicing Grasses
  • Seaweed and Nutritional Yeast

4. Other Non-Pyramid Related Things to Consider

  • High iron content…A diet low in iron can make you feel tired and have little or no energy. The RDA for iron is…13.7–15.1 mg/day in children aged 2–11 years…
    16.3 mg/day in children and teens aged 12–19 years…19.3–20.5 mg/day in men
    17.0–18.9 mg/day in women older than 19.
  • Whole grains…As far as whole grains are considered, think about adding the following to your breakfast rotation…
  • Muesli…Muesli and other whole grains boost your intake of essential fats, B vitamins and the potent antioxidants. it is recommended that adults eat six ounces of grains each day.
  • Seafood and Fish…Fish is a good source of the omega-3 fatty acids that the heart needs to prevent cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends eating two 3.5oz servings of fish per week.

So keep reading in the days ahead as I posts ideas on what to plan and serve for breakfast in this “What’s Next” section…

Beginning with Breakfast, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Production Foods

So as our family makes this transition from setting up a household that is “greener” and more “politically correct”…and learning to live with type 2 diabetes, I have decided to actually plan and prepare breakfasts, instead of passing out the Pop-Tarts or granola bars.

This last year I have totally realized just how much diet and physical activity affect my own health, as well as the health of our entire family.

Using the Raw Foods Pyramid discussed earlier in this post, Now What?!…Raw Foods Diet, we can easily see which low-calorie, nutrient dense foods are at the base of the pyramid, those foods that we should probably all eat more of in the first place…and which high-calorie, nutrient poor foods are at the top of the pyramid, those foods that we should eat very little of, if any at all.

As a wife, mother, grandmother, and simply as my own individual, planning a diet that is based only on pure, water-based food is important. Such a diet provides more of the nutrients that we all need, prevents a myriad of health issues, helps us to love or maintain weight, improves skin condition, helps us to have more energy (which is VERY important when you are fifty years old chasing a four year old all day long).

So in planning our breakfast menus, I have started by mainly including foods from the three bottom tiers of the Raw Foods pyramid, which are grouped together in the one category “Production Foods.”

As a quick review of the raw foods “diet”, the cardinal rule is to…

Avoid foods that have been refined, pasteurized, homogenized, or produced with the use of synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives.

Now, let’s start taking this pyramid apart by looking at the bottom three tiers—“production foods”…and ask ourselves the following questions…

water.

Water

  • How important is drinking enough water?
  • How can I get the best quality water possible, water worth actually drinking?
  • What other options exist that make water something I look forward to?

Leafy Greens

  • Why are leafy green vegetables so important?
  • What are the different varieties of leafy greens, other than lettuce?

Fruits and Vegetables

  1. What snacks actually contain real fruits and vegetables instead of flavoring and so forth?
  2. How can I incorporate fruits and vegetables into my breakfast menu?
  3. Which fruits and vegetables offer the best nutritional value?
  4. Why is eating vegetables and fruits so important?
  5. How can I make sure that I am getting the best quality fruits and vegetables possible?
  6. Why should I buy local, seasonal fruits and vegetables?