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.
So, 2020, eh? With all of the restrictions and constrictions we’ve been experiencing this year, let’s be sure to be even more loving to ourselves than ever before. Winter is a time of going inward, of being in the deep recesses of pre-creation, the place of potential, the place of darkness, the womb of possibility – before the seeds get planted. It’s a time of dormancy, of quiet, of stillness. We reside now deep within the kidneys, the place of our essence.
This is a good time for REFLECTION
Resolutions are abrupt, sometimes harsh, often with fearful, judgmental, guilt-induced roots. Resolutions are willful, aggressive and single-minded (often setting us up for a backlash).
Reflection is based in awareness, it is open, observational, gentle, expansive and unlimited.
One of the things that we’ve learned about profound and lasting personal transformation is that the temptation to speed along and make swift, hacking changes, doesn’t stick. If you’re ready for it, the ride is longer, deeper and ultimately more rewarding.
This takes different tools. The fun part is, these tools are creative and they run counter to the speed, end-gaming and competitive energy that for so long has run rampant in our collective culture. NOW –brought to you by the big slow down of 2020– we are already somewhat naturally more slowed. This is a place for gratitude to live.
As a soothing concept for our child, we have often provided the parable of the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly. In 2019, we were the caterpillar. Currently, we are in the liminal space – the primordial goo of undoing and recreating. The liminal space is ripe with possibility, it is transformation itself. This cannot be rushed, But it can be leaned into. It’s been long, but we need a bit more time, let us not rush it as it cannot be rushed.
Often, our greatest challenge is in our “inner work.” Why do we get stuck? Why do we sabotage ourselves? Why do we hold ourselves up to such high standards? Are you your own worst critic?
If 2020 has shed a light on anything, it is that NOW is the time to heal ourselves. It’s time for us to emerge and feel powerful without shame. It’s time to stop playing small.
We may not be able to control the pandemic but we can affect personal change. The turn of the New Year is a good time to reflect, release, and dream big. It is NOT a time to feel guilty, or redouble our efforts and make resolutions (also known as more rules).
Prior to March 2020, many of us suffered from subtle levels of stress, anxiety, perfectionism and fear, much of it we could not put a name to. Have you been able to see where your shadows are? Have you discovered new priorities?
How do we co-create personal change that is expansive and effective? How do we leap from where we are now, to where we’d like to be?
Try this simple technique to close out the old and bring in the new.
Step1 : Reflect. Take a few moments before the old year ends and the new one sweeps in and simply reflect. Grab a journal or piece of paper and take a few moments to just sit and gaze. How was your year? Yes, there are the overt traumas and challenges of the collective and personal journey this year – but do you have any silver linings?
What was really wonderful? What would you like to shed- that no longer serves you?
Make a heading at the top of the page and call it “Reflections on 2020”
Now list out “What I would love to keep”
Then list out “ What I am Ready to Let Go of”
Step 2: Dream your future open. Clear out the future by being in the present. Sit quietly for 5 to 10 minutes, relax and do the work of it. Imagine that you can shed all that doesn’t work in your life. Gather it and simply compost it into the earth. Now… think about 2021. It’s clean, fresh, unencumbered. What do you want to place there? What do you want to occur?
On a NEW page start with the Heading, “Visioning and Creating 2021″
Be free, open, and expansive. Use what you’d love to keep and expand upon it until it feels good to you.
Some really enjoy the process of creating a Vision Board.
Really see it. Claim it. Draw it. Write it. Paint it. Sing it. Drum it. Create it into being.
Step 3: Be creative and play. We are creators (you know, we make life…) so create! You don’t have to be a formal artist… just do something to let the energy flow. What might set your heart or spirit free—even for 20 minutes?
Get into the FLOW state. Color, draw, finger paint, do an interpretive dance, make a silly hat, make something. Seal your intentions with creative flow. Thank yourself and go and enjoy the rest of your day.
Remember, you are the conductor of the complex melody of your life. You are a being with power beyond measure. Use your power of reflection and awareness to create.
Have a beautiful celebration to close out 2020 and Happy New Year – welcoming in health, vitality, and possibility in 2021!
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.