Detox water has become a health craze and an essential part of many diet programs.
The claims are that the ingredients infused in the water causes the body to rid itself of the waste that can become locked within the bowels, which makes us gain weight and feel sluggish.
There are several different recipes and honestly, they all most likely work.
Because every detox water recipe contain one main ingredient (wait for it): water! Yes! Good old fashioned water! Water alone is essential to every bodily process by hydrating and assisting with digestion and waste elimination.
The other ingredients do make a difference; many recipes call for lime, mint, oregano, apple cider vinegar (ACV), lemon, apples, oranges, and ginger, and that’s just the VIP short list..
Citrus fruits in general are wonderful for detox water recipes. They contain Vitamin C, which boosts the immune system. Since a powered-up immune system is essential to optimal health. Therefore, detoxing is more beneficial, and they also taste really good too!
Mint is useful for increasing bile secretion and helps encourage bile flow, which optimizes digestion, and aids in the removal of waste.
Oregano contains Vitamins A, C, E, and K. It also contains fiber, folate, magnesium, vitamin B6, calcium and potassium. It is an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antifungal. Besides the fact that Oregano supports immune function, the fiber, folate, and magnesium it contains, supports the gastrointestinal system and aids in proper digestion and elimination of waste products from the body.
ACV contains acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, probiotics, and enzymes. Acetic acid acts as a natural antibiotic and antiviral, which can kill infections in the body and support immune function. Potassium, magnesium and the probiotics support a healthy gut, which allows for the stomach to empty faster and completely.
Ginger contains gingerol which is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and has even been used to lower blood sugar levels.
These are just a few of the ingredients in most recipes, which is why detox water can be so effective. I personally consume detox water 95% of the time, it helps to control the negative effects of the MTHFR gene mutation that I am learning to live with. I change up the recipes based on what I am in the mood for, or what I feel my body needs. I would suggest starting out with no more than two ingredients, and just see how your body feels. Be creative, because as with anything, it will become boring. Drink up! Here’s to your health!
What is MTHFR?
The gene mutation known as MTHFR is a genetic change that affects an enzyme that breaks down the amino acid homocysteine. There are two mutations in particular that have been studied and are commonly tested for: C677T and A1298C.
MTHFR C677T mutations are usually associated with cardiovascular problems, stroke, miscarriages, birth defects, migraines and elevated homocysteine levels.
MTHFR A1298C mutations are linked to fibromyalgia, IBS, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, depression, mood related disorders, schizophrenia and other psychological disorders.
I found out about six years ago during my pregnancy that I had MTHFR. I had two previous miscarriages back to back and several others throughout my reproductive history, so my perinatologist ordered testing for clotting disorders. I was placed on a blood thinner immediately after my diagnosis and had to take an insane amount of folic acid everyday - Oh my God, the heartburn! - to protect my son. I took my prescribed meds daily and delivered a healthy baby. It was later, when I began to do more research on the mutation, that I realized just how much of my health had been affected by MTHFR. I was diagnosed with severe arthritis, migraine headaches, and asthma in childhood. Over the years, I managed my conditions as best I could, never knowing about the gene mutation. Since I have been diagnosed, I have learned a great deal about the mutation and have done my best to cope.
Could you have MTHFR?
There is a chance you may have one or both of the MTHFR gene mutations. It is estimated that over 50% of the population may unknowingly be affected, since it is not commonly tested for. If you are concerned that you may have MTHFR, here are some of the symptoms:
For the last couple of years, my family and I have been slowly transitioning to a more natural diet, which includes using more earth- and people-friendly products. I spent hours reading and learning all I could about ways to spare my family of some of the harmful chemicals in household products and in products for personal care. I tried several homemade shampoos with mixed results and, within the last year, began learning of the tremendous benefits of using fermented rice water as shampoo.
I’ll admit that, at first, the thought of using something fermented in my hair was a little revolting. But, then again, so many things we enjoy are, so I thought I would give it a try. Before I tell you guys about my experience, let’s look at the benefits:
I was convinced after reading of the many benefits and began collecting rice water for use. An easy way to collect rice water, is to simply rinse your rice before cooking and collect the water. This can take a while if you don’t cook rice regularly. I suggest using a container with a lid, place a few grains of rice in it, fill it with water and let time do its thing. I usually allow my water to ferment for about two months before use.
I have been using rice water for a while for myself and my family. We absolutely love the results, but there are a few things you should know as a newbie.
Give it a try! You are gonna love the results!
As summer comes to a close, many are getting those last bites of watermelon and, sadly, spitting out the seeds. While the flesh of the fruit is tasty, and lest we forget hydrating, the seeds are the bee’s knees! (That was terrible. I was trying to sound enthusiastic. I do apologize.) Watermelon as a whole is really a superfood. The flesh is about 92% water and provides Vitamins A, B6 and C. It is also a significant source of lycopene, antioxidants, amino acids, and potassium!
But within those underappreciated seeds lie a storehouse of minerals!
Now, there are a number of different ways to consume these beauties. My absolute favorite way is to eat them with fruit. The seeds are crunchy and have a peppery, spicy taste to them, which go really well with the fruit. You can also pick them out, dry them, and allow them to sprout, or bake them as you would pumpkin seeds. I would also like to add, if you dry them out and bake them save some and grind them up, sprinkle on your food. They taste great on salads or in salad dressings, as well as on seafood, chicken, or beef. (Thank me later.)
Why Eat Watermelon Seeds?
So, as you are cracking into those watermelons, take time to enjoy every tasty bite and don’t spit out those seeds!
Heal your body using your mind! Get in the best shape of your life! Achieve true inner peace!
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple magic pill or potion that we could take to reach these amazing goals? Sure, that would be wonderful. And if we are being honest with ourselves, we are our own greatest obstacles on these pathways. We need to get out of our own ways in so many aspects of life. Luckily, there are many tools present, learned over many centuries in many cultures, that can help us accomplish this.
One of those tools is the ancient Chinese practice of Qigong. Qigong, or Chi Kung, is an integration of physical postures, breathing techniques, and focused intentions. The name of the practice is a combination of two terms. The first, ‘qi’ (pronounced chee), is the life force or energy that flows throughout the universe, connecting everyone and everything. The second, ‘gong’ (pronounced gung), is described as “skill cultivated through steady practice”. Taken together, the meaning of Qigong can be described as cultivating life energy, and its benefits are tri-fold: the body, mind, and spirit become aligned (read: balanced) with consistent application of the techniques.
Before we get deeper, some ground rules. This is not something you master overnight. There is no seminar that makes you qualified to teach it and become a billionaire. The essence of this is patient growth. Neither is this the sudden acquisition of superpowers. Your spiritual well-being, your strength and vitality, and your mental state will all benefit from this practice, but you will not be Superman or Wonder Woman. If you do it right, maybe Batman, though.
Now that we are clear on expectations, let’s start with the physical aspect. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), qi is said to be cultivated and stored in 3 main dantian energy centers, and to travel through the body along 12 main meridians, with numerous smaller branches and tributaries. Qigong uses body movement and breathing to direct focused qi through the body’s meridians or pathways to clear unhealthy obstructions and create a more fluid structure overall. While the concepts of TCM do not always directly translate to modern medical practice, the analogies are quite obvious. The cardiovascular and nervous systems, in particular, resemble waterway systems throughout the body, and many common ailments can be expressed as blockages of those systems, such as heart disease or loss of sensation due to nerve damage. The gentle, rhythmic movements of Qigong have been shown to reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality, and enhance the immune system. It has also been found to improve cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic, and digestive functions. Combining Qigong with modern fitness concepts will yield outstanding improvements in your overall health.
The mental aspect of Qigong is its focus on meditation through the movements. The benefits of meditation are widely recognized, of course, but consider this: MOTION is the MEDITATION of the PHYSICAL BODY. Just as mental meditation allows us to achieve clarity of thought and greater emotional health among other positive outcomes, it is clear that motion has a similarly positive effect on our bodies. We were created with movement as the norm. When we become too still for too long, our bodies respond by dying slowly. Muscle atrophy, bone density loss, skin deterioration, and organ failure are common in sedentary lifestyles. In the mind, when we do not have a meditative practice of some sort, we lose the ability to think well; our memory slowly slips away; the neurons that connect the diverse regions of the brain and allow our body to function, gradually lose the power and volume of their transmissions. Numerous studies show that consistent practice of Qigong is capable of enhancing neural function, bringing balance to the chemical components that the brain relies upon, such as melatonin, dopamine, and serotonin. Combining the physical and mental aspects of Qigong will bring your body and mind into a powerful union for your good and for your health.
Finally, the spiritual aspect must be explored. While some choose to debate the fact, we are more than just a collection of cells that decided to work together. We are a fearfully and wonderfully made creation of the Most High, God, the Universe, or whichever term one prefers. Therefore, whether we decide to believe or not, any consistent practice has a spiritual aspect. The body moves; the mind thinks; the soul feels. Qigong has been incorporated into Daoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism as a necessary component for what each belief system considered the path to enlightenment. Consistently, regardless of what one believes, the ultimate goal of humanity seems to be reaching a point of happiness or contentment. When the body and mind are brought into balance, the spirit is free to express itself fully, which is a requirement for true happiness. One that is truly happy does not experience chronic anxiety or chronic depression. Yes, there may be sadness, there may be anger, or there may be other negative feelings. However, true happiness allows those feelings to be temporary. When happiness is the norm, then those chronic bugaboos we face often find themselves without a place to stay. Whatever your personal goal is, though, Qigong will help you reach it by teaching you how to put real power behind whichever focused intention you assume.
So, maybe this all sounds very interesting, but you are not so sure. Maybe you don’t get how putting deliberate and often slow movement together with concentrated breathing and a few happy thoughts will change your life. Maybe it’s just not tangible enough for you to grasp. But that’s ok! Remember: this is about changing your life, not your clothes. The adjustments will come incrementally, with time and practice. It is just like exercise; excellent effort will yield excellent results. Time remains the most important factor. This human life is finite, so concentrate your effort where it will be most fruitful. Would it not be most fruitful, though, to do a good thing for yourself, which will in turn power your ability to do good things for others? I don’t want to spoil the surprise for you, but I will leave you with this: there is greatness ahead of one who knows how to harness the power that the Creator has granted him, and even moreso when that power is used in the act of love.
Contributed by Anthony Pace
We are all familiar with the importance of exercise. We know that exercise not only improves blood circulation, lowers blood pressure, increases muscle mass and decreases body fat. In addition to eating a balanced diet full of whole foods, you can add another weapon to your arsenal in your quest to living more healthfully.
Develop an exercise mantra.
Yes, a mantra for exercise only. The body, mind and spirit are connected, by developing a mantra and then using it during your workouts you maximize the workout and you get faster, better results.
When you use a mantra during your workout and repeat it all throughout the workout, you are bringing the mind, the body and the spirit into a single focus. All are now aligned for the same goal, healing the body, defending and protecting the body, strengthening the mind and creating balance within the individual and outwardly into our reality.
Before you create your mantra, make the phrase or statement something extremely personal for you. That means you should put some thought into it, just picking someone else’s from Pinterest may or may not work for you. Do the work, and trust yourself. It does not have to be one single statement, it can be a series of related statements, or single relatable words. Just make it yours.
Put your mantra into action.
If you prefer to run with earphones in, you can record yourself saying your mantra and set it to play in an endless loop until your workout is over. Or you can verbally speak it out loud throughout the workout, even if you run with a friend, you and your workout buddy can say the mantras together, you may even encourage them to create their own and then you can both share the mantras saying them to each other.
Mantras are important because they reinforce the promises that we have made to ourselves, they encourage us to keep going on our quest to create the lives that we want now. Mantras remind us of the power of our own words, and how to use that power to create a life of peace and happiness now.
Movement is a necessity for our physical health. Movement strengthens and develops the muscles, burns fat, stretches the muscles and ligaments and keeps the joints lubricated. Movement allows us to become masters of our bodies.
Exercise isn’t supposed to be painful, or dreadful. The purpose and the peace of the movement is supposed to overpower any discomfort that is felt. The fact exercise is considered the chief demon of all humanity is because of our perceptions of exercise and our intentions when doing the motion.
In order to have complete and total wellness, we must nourish all parts of ourselves. If we only engage our bodies through exercise, we encounter resistance mentally, we begin to make excuses to not do it. When only engage our minds and not the body, we find it difficult to focus and be in the stillness of the moment and this is needed to quiet the mind so that the spiritual work can be accomplished.
The goal of wellness, is to work in all areas to promote balance and wholeness. When balance is achieved are we able to become fulfilled beings. I encourage you to change your view of exercise, when you are exercising, be deliberate about focusing your mind on the movement, feel it completely in your body. Focus your mind on the feeling, not your appearance to others doing the movement. Be sure to pay attention to how your muscles feel doing the movements, you will find the more you focus on the movement, the more you will feel your body engage making the workout more effective and mental focus will sharpen.
Remember, exercise is meditation. It is your mind and body working together for the well-being of the spirit.
Gianni Pace is a married, mother of seven children and also a life and spiritual guide. She enjoys writing, cooking, teaching and helping others on their path.