Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Cool As a Cucumber

If lemon water was water with lemon, or lemon with water…then what do you think cucumber water is?!

Exactly?!

But do you know the health benefits of cucumber water and why cucumber water has been served at day spas and health clubs all over the world for decades?!

First let’s look at the health benefits of the cucumber itself…

  1. Cucumbers are a great source of vitamin B, potassium, and magnesium.
  2. Cucumbers are very nutrient rich and good for you.
  3. Cucumbers are an antioxidant.
  4. Cucumbers consist mainly of water.
  5. Cucumbers contain “fisetin,”an anti-inflammatory that helps improve brain health.
  6. Cucumbers contain lignans, polyphenols which may help lower your risk of certain types of cancer—including ovarian, breast, and prostate cancer.
  7. Cucumbers contain lots of fiber.
  8. Cucumbers contain very few calories.
  9. Cucumbers contain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that we all need.
  10. Cucumbers will make you feel more “satiated,” or full, and you won’t eat as much.

 

Cucumbers have been touted to be a great way to avoid or treat various diseases—including cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, vision loss.

While this may not be necessarily true, there are many advantages to adding cucumber water to your daily routine and healthy lifestyle.

 

The simple fact that cucumber water helps you reach your daily goal as far as drinking water is important in and of itself for various health benefits—including not only making sure that you stay hydrated, but also many other things—such as…

  • adding vitamins and minerals that supplement the rest of your diet
  • assisting in the cleansing of toxins
  • helping each of your body’s organs do its job better
  • helping you have more energy
  • helping your cardiovascular system
  • maintaining the right body temperature
  • providing antioxidants
  • providing nutrients are derived from whole food sources, not synthetic vitamins, so that any nutrients will be better absorbed and utilized by the body

The question now becomes not if you should add “stuff” to your water, but other than cucumbers, besides cucumber water can also be bland…what else could you add to your cucumber water to make even that taste better and be more nutritious?

The answer to making cucumber water even more palatable include…

  • Lemons…Lemons contain lots of vitamin C, which acts is a natural antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and metabolism booster.
  • Limes…Limes, just like lemons, have a lot of vitamin C along with other nutrients.  In fact,  one lime can provide almost 48% of your daily vitamin C…and vitamin C is important for protecting your heart, supporting better eye health, improving gum health, soothing digestive problems, and reducing fevers.
  • Mint…Mint is another rich source of Vitamin C, as well as several other important nutrients—including calcium, fiber, and magnesium. Mint also provides an extra boost of antioxidants, and provides a unique flavor that really makes this drink delicious and crisp.
  • Pineapple…Pineapples contain high amounts of vitamin C and manganese, along with plenty of B vitamins.
  • Rosemary…Rosemary is a great source of iron, calcium, and potassium.
  • Thyme…Thyme can take care of your Vitamin C needs for the day all by itself.
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Getting Healthy, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

When Life Gives You Way Too Many Lemons

Sometimes life gives you lemons…then there are times when life gives you more lemons than you can handle.

Just like when you buy one or lemons at a time, you’ll probably end up using them before they go bad, but if you try to save money and buy the big bag of lemons, you’ll probably end up throwing out how many?!

Anyway, what should we, or can we, do when life gives us more lemons than we could possibly handle?!

Those answers will be shared later, but first I wanted to share a little bit more about the nutritional value of lemon water and tips on how to use/make/keep more lemon water on hand.

Nutritional Value

Lemon water can quench thirst better than any other drink, but lemon water also provides our bodies with plenty of vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and vital trace minerals—such as iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium.

1.Vitamins…One cup of fresh lemon juice provides 187 percent of your daily recommended serving of vitamin C and 6% DV of vitamin B6.

Vitamin C...Vitamin C is important for many different reasons. These include…

  • decreasing the severity and duration of respiratory infections like the common cold
  • helping to produce collagen, which is important for smoothing out fine lines in the face and keeping your skin healthy
  • lowering blood pressure
  • reducing the health hazards that are a result of stress
  • reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke
  • strengthening your immune system

2. Antioxidants…Lemon juice contains powerful antioxidants that helps protect cells from damaging free radicals….keeping your skin looking fresh, and helping slow down the aging process, and strengthening your immune system.

3. Electrolytes…Electrolytes are hydrating minerals—such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

4. Citric Acid…Lemons are loaded with citric acid. Citric acid provides many health benefits. These benefits include helping your body with digestion by interacting with various enzymes in your body and stimulating the secretion of gastric juice…and preventing kidney stones by increasing urine volume and hydrating you enough so that your body can flush out kidney stones quicker.

Finally, that same one cup of lemon juice contains…

  • 61 calories
  • 21 grams carbohydrates
  • 0.9 gram protein
  • 1 gram dietary fiber
  • 31.7 micrograms folate (8 percent DV)
  • 16% DV of copper.
  • 5% DV thiamin (5 percent DV)

Thirteen Tips on Filling Your Tumbler

  1. Add even more flavor to your lemon water by adding a few springs of mint, a teaspoon of maple syrup or raw honey, a slice of fresh ginger, a dash of cinnamon, slices of other fresh citrus fruits such as limes and oranges, cucumber slices, and so forth
  2. Always use fresh lemons, not artificial lemon from a bottle.
  3. Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning gives the body a chance to absorb these vitamins effectively and can provide a little immune boost….
  4. Drink lemon water at warm or room temp water to avoid shocking your system.
  5. Drink lemon water consistently in order to reap any health benefits.
  6. For a sore throat, gargle frequently with lemon juice, diluted half and half with pure water.
  7. For the relief of heartburn, taking a teaspoon o lemon juice in half a glass of water.
  8. Juice several lemons at one time into an ice cube tray. Freeze. Pop a few cubes in a glass of water to have fresh lemon juice at the ready anytime.
  9. Keep your breath sweeter by drinking a glass of lemon water after meals and first thing in the morning.
  10. Replace your morning coffee with a cup of hot lemon water.
  11. Squeeze fresh lemon juice into ice cube trays and freeze. Use instead of “regular” ice.
  12. Use more than just a single wedge of lemon in your mug.
  13. When buying lemons, choose lemons that are fully yellow and, if possible, organic. If the fruit is still green, it isn’t fully ripe. Avoid lemons that look dull or wrinkled or that seem excessively hard.

There are many uses for lemons around the house other than their simply lounging in sweet tea glasses with their best friend, ice…or squishing them in the juicer to make fresh lemonade…or drinking as lemon water.

So what to do with those extra lemons that are sitting there slowly rotting on your countertop?

 

Here are a few options…

1.  Air Freshener…Cut a few lemons into quarters. Put them in a pot of boiling water to release citrus-infused steam into the air.

2.  All-Purpose Cleaner…Fill a Mason jar with lemon peels and white vinegar. Shake. Put in a cool dark place for about two weeks. Drain the liquid into a spray bottle.

3.  Ant Repellant…Squirt lemon juice on door thresholds and windowsills. Squeeze lemon juice into any holes or cracks where the ants are getting in. Scatter small slices of lemon peel around the outdoor entrance.

4.  Clogged Tub and Shower Drains...Boil a big pot of water on the stove. Pour it down the drain. Wait for the water to drain. Slowly pour 1C baking soda down the drain, using a spoon or funnel. Add 1C lemon juice. Use your tub stopper or a rag to cover the drain. Wait 30min. Uncover the drain. Pour more boiling water down the drain. Repeat until your drain is no longer clogged. Do this once a quarter to prevent those big clogs from building up again.

5.  Coffee Pot…Stir together a few tablespoons of lemon juice, a tablespoon of Kosher Salt, a few ice cubes, and a tablespoon of water in the pot..Rinse with warm water once the stains are removed.

6.  Cutting Boards…Clean after each use by scrubbing 2tsp salt onto the board with a lemon half and rinsing.

7.  Faucet Polish…Rub faucets with lemon peel. Wash, dry, and buff with microfiber cloths.

8.  Fridge…Add the juice of a lemon to a sponge. Place it in the fridge overnight.

9.  Fruit and Vegetable Spray...Mix together 2Tbsp fresh lemon juice, 2Tbsp apple cider vinegar, and 1C water in a spray bottle. Spray on fruits and veggies and then rinse. This will keep apples, avocados, and other fruits and veggies their natural color and avoid browning.

10.  Garbage Disposals...Cut three or four lemons in half. Remove the pulp. Fill each empty rind with a few tablespoons of baking soda. Place the rinds in a bowl in an out-of-the way spot. Keep the lemon halves there for a few days or until you don’t notice the citrus smell anymore. Then, if you have a garbage disposal, send the rinds down it — they’ll clean and freshen your drain on the way.

11.  Laundry Detergent Booster.…..Add 1C lemon juice to the washing machine during the wash cycle.

12.  Microwave…Combine 3Tbsp lemon juice with 1 1/2C water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High for 5-10 minutes. Wipe away the softened food with a dishrag.

13.  Mosquito Repellant...Break block of 100% organic beeswax into pieces. Place in a glass bowl over a pan filled with simmering water. Melt over medium heat. Stir citronella oil into the melted wax.

14.  Pots and Pans…Rub the cut side of half a lemon all over them, inside and out. Buff with a soft cloth.

15.  Roach and Flea Repellant.…..Mop your floors with the juice and rinds of four lemons and 2 liters water.

16.  Stain Remover..First try to get as much of the dirt out as possible. Next cover the stain well with lemon juice, scrub it with some Kosher salt, and throw it in with the next load of laundry.

17.  Tarnished Silver…Dip a cloth into lemon juice. Rub the tarnish off. Rinse.

 

 

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.