Life's lemons make for a healthy drink.
The start of the New Year has a lot of us thinking big, new, shiny changes – but sometimes life hands us lemons – and we say, keep them. While our dreams may be big it’s the small changes that help us get there. Something as simple as drinking more water and maybe adding a lemon instead of reaching for caffeine or something sugary is a small, easy step.
“Have a ‘add-in’ vs. ‘take away’ mindset, as in ‘How can I add in more water?’ instead of ‘I have to replace coffee,’” says Elizabeth Czartowski, Quiktrain Nutrition Coach.
“It's easier to add than subtract and is, in my opinion, much more positive – and if it' s positive, we're more likely to do it.”
Lemons aid with digestion says Czartowski, who specializes in sport and exercise-related nutrition, certified through Precisions Nutrition. Added to water, with a pinch of sea salt, the combination also activates hyaluronic acid, a natural substance with anti-aging properties found in the body.
Lemons, like fresh leafy greens and dark vegetables also help to create an alkaline environment in the body, helping produce a healthy pH balance. Lemon water is great in the morning to help get the system going, but it’s not a must for everyone.
“Start small – start with where you are. If you drink absolutely no water start with one cup. Don’t go for eight cups in one shot, you’ll be water-logged, you’ll be in the bathroom and you won’t do it the next day,” Czartowski said.
“If you drink two cups every day, add one more ...Make small gains everyday, those 1% gains over the course of 10 days adds up and I guarantee you if you look back on that week you’ll see you’re making progress.”
Lemons are also not your only option. If you want to punch up your H20, Czartowski suggests infused water. The best part? You can do it yourself. Add slices of cucumber and mint for something refreshing or, throw some frozen berries into an ice cube tray with water, add the cubes to your glass or bottle for a berry-tinge. For a bit of heat, add sliced or shredded ginger to your hot water.
For something sweet, try Czartowski’s go-to hot drink.
“I love cinnamon... I put in the cinnamon stick and I pour boiled water and let it sit and steep, it releases this sweetness to the water,” she said. “It’s a nice way to take that edge off without actually having anything sugary.”
Here are a few other tips from nutrition coach Elizabeth Czartowski:
- Set yourself up for success. IF you want to drink more water at home, fill a glass and leave it on your kitchen table or countertop, and every time you pass the kitchen take a big sip!
- If you’re in the car all day, leave a pack of water in the car (if it’s not too hot outside) or fill several reusable bottles.
- If you’re at a desk all day, make a conscious effort to get up, stretch your legs and refill your cup. If you really can’t leave your desk – get a Brita filter and leave it there.
- If you’re in meetings all day, take a stroll to your local dollar store for some cheap pitchers and cups to ensure water is always available.
- Prefer bottled water? Pick a brand you like. (Yes, they do taste different to some people)
- Have lemon, cucumber or fruit slices on hand at home to infuse your water to your taste.
- Try herbal or loose-leaf teas. David’s Tea and Teavana offer a variety to choose from.
- Rosalyn Solomon
Want to learn more about Elizabeth Czartowski? Click here.