What is the best way to Hydrate? There are a lot of differing opinions out there (much like with food) and many of them are sound and good. So how do you know which is best for you?
The Answer: You have to tune in and find out. Here are a few quick tips on the best way to make the most out of drinking your water.
1. Drink 2-4 cups with lemon upon waking.
When we sleep, our bodies are very busy repairing and detoxing. When we awaken, we are actually quite dehydrated. When you wake up squeeze a wedge of lemon into a glass of water and drink it. The lemon helps cleanse your liver and flush out toxins as the water hydrates you. My Nana used to do this every morning. It’s a terrific way to start hydrating and getting in your glasses of water. Then drink a tall glass of water.
2. Don’t drink water while you eat.
When we chew, we release digestive enzymes –digestion begins in the mouth. If we down water with our food, we dilute our digestive juices and hamper, digestion and absorption. Wait 20-30 minutes before or after you eat to drink your water — in between meals.
3. Drink throughout the day, and stop a few hours before bed.
Start first thing in the morning. Drink water when you’re hungry instead of reaching for a snack right away. See if water can quench your perceived hunger. Timing differs for everyone, find your optimum stopping point so that you may have a full night’s rest without waking for trips to the bathroom.
4. How much?
While it’s important to hydrate, how much water depends on what you’re eating. If you’re diet is rich with raw fruits and vegetables, you’ll find you need less water. If you eat a lot of cooked foods (the water cooks out) you’ll require more water by the glass. It’s important for you to be the judge. In the winter we tend to drink less water. A basic rule of thumb is the drink half your body weight in ounces. Example: 140lbs = 70 ounces of water per day. Keep in mind, too much water drinking can tax the kidneys.
Not enough water can cause dehydration, increased appetite, dry skin, hair, brittle nails, sluggishness, constipation and whole host of other things. There are many health professionals that believe the root of illness and disease is chronic dehydration. Our job is to tune into our unique body to find out what it needs.
When I follow the steps above, I stay regular (who doesn’t want that?), my skin looks great, my energy flows, and I feel good. I do however, have to make a conscious effort to hydrate, the habit comes and goes for me. What about you?
Test out steps 1 -3 for a week and let us know what you find out. How much water are you drinking now? What are your water drinking goals?
Read about Hydration’s Role in Healing.
Golden Milk is a delicious and nourishing drink that packs incredible health benefits into one warm mug at a time.
Some of the wonderful benefits of Golden Milk:
- Anti-inflammatory – easing joint pain
- Soothing to the spirit and aids in digestion and sleep
- Supports healthy liver function
- Supports the spleen and stomach
- Supports healthy blood sugar levels
- Supports the heart and brain
- Supports a healthy immune system
- Supports the nervous system
The key Ingredient in Golden Milk is tumeric – which is a powerhouse. Curcumin is the most active ingredient in turmeric – It’s a strong antioxidant is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial anti-fungal. However, curcumin is not well-absorbed into the body — UNLESS it is blended with black pepper. Black pepper contains piperine which has it’s own anti-inflammatory properties. The black pepper enhances the curcumin ability to work synergistically with the body. Golden milk is blended with other herbs and spices for flavor and health benefits. Once you begin to get the hang of it you can add your own favorites in.
You can drink Golden Milk 2- 3 times per day. I prefer it before bed. You can make a homemade version with our recipe below or purchase a mix. We have used Gaia Herbs brand and it is wonderful – with the added benefit of Ashwaganda. Ashwaganda is an adaptogen which helps the body deal with stress. That said, you can certainly add that into your recipe.
Delicious Golden Milk at Home
- 1 cup Milk or Dairy Free coconut milk (regular, full-fat, canned)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (can use MCT coconut oil)
- 1½ teaspoons ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional – to taste – I love cardamom and addition to almost everything)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- if sugar sensitive sweeten with 10 drops liquid pure stevia extract, or to taste
- OR Sweeten with raw honey to taste after removing from heat
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together the coconut milk, water, coconut oil, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and pepper. Warm slowly until hot but not simmering, about 7 minutes
- Remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in the stevia or honey (not both!)
- Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to three days
In Traditional East Asian Medicine, the body’s physiological processes can be viewed through the lens of Five Phase theory.
Each phase relates to a major organ, an emotion and a season.
All things can be viewed through this lens for easy discussion and healing discoveries.
The heart and lungs are relatively higher in the body away from the earth. They process blood and air every second of every day.
The liver and spleen are physically just below the diaphragm in the middle. They process food and blood on a daily or in some cases weekly cycles.
The kidneys are the lowest of these five.
They rule events in life such as birth, puberty, child bearing.
These processes are slow.
In the last 40 or so years the speed of our lifestyles has increased exponentially. Mother Earth is still telling us all to slow down – more.
In 2020 I went from 50 patients per week to 22. It wasn’t by choice. But it was most certainly better for me. More time for conscious breathing, exercise, and hydrating.
Kidney Deficiency usually manifests in the low back and the knees.
This past year has been challenging, heart-breaking, and difficult to varying degrees for each of us. As we press on into this third wave, it is important to understand the stress this has on the kidneys. We are all to some degree in fight or flight. We are in survival mode. Every social pattern we have known has been disrupted and changed. As we move through this transition, the healthiest thing we can do is to acknowledge how this affects the kidneys and support ourselves accordingly.
In the kidneys resides essence or Jing and our will to live.
The connection between the kidneys and the heart is important to understand. If you look at the diagram, you may notice that this is the axis of fear and joy. Water and fire. This is a spectrum. The antidote for fear – is Cultivating Joy. The adrenals and kidneys are directly connected. We want to nourish our kidneys and support our essence. We can do this in the following ways:
- Turn the TV off
- Take a holiday from social media
- Go outside. Make a fire, talk a walk, tend to your yard- connect with the natural rhythms of nature. Feel the wind, see the stars, you get the idea.
- Get plenty of rest at regular intervals
- Hydrate well and often with good quality
- 20 min Gentle movement necessary during the day – yoga, qi-gong or pleasant walk in the park (not a 3 mile run)
- Plan to do less
- Practice self-care
- Drink bone broth or mineral broth if vegetarian
- are at the deepest level of all the organs (this operates on the levels of mind, body and spirit)
- control your entire blood pressure system
- regulate Blood cell production
- regulate all the water in the body (regulate the salinity of the water through the advanced filtration system)
- are related to the element of water and are in affinity with the colors black and blue (where these colors to support the kidneys!)
- In the Kidneys we find the will – including the will to live – the will to move forward and conversely, fear. Kidneys out of balance will be an experience of stuckness/frozen in fear. It is like the roots of the tree are all dried out.
Winter is the time of a deep going within, it is the season of the kidneys, so having loving intention in this direction can amplify our process.
If we can find the gifts, the silver linings and perhaps even find the joy in places and moments we can proceed in that direction, slowly, mindfully and heal.