April 11, 2012
Most of you wake up in the morning and reach for your coffee or tea.
I implore you to stop a moment and take pause. Over the last year, I've reached for an alternative that's been the wake up call in my mom's house for years, and has now become a go-to for my husband and myself. Though some argue that lemon-hot water have no real scientific affect on weight loss - we've witnessed some of the benefits first hand. The combination has helped act like a mini cleanse - a mini system flush. For us, it's been a great way to start our days.
Hot water. Lemon. Turmeric. Sucanat. Red Chile Powder (or cayenne).
In Ayurvedic Medicine warm, lukewarm, or hot water with lemon has long been touted as a body cleanser. Growing up in an Indian home, I was always told to drink more water with lemon. When you drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach it immediately revs up your digestive system and cleanses your body.
It works to also flush your liver and kidneys of toxins, which can lead to weight loss (I'm still working to see this benefit, but definitely see that it cleans me out - I know, I know TMI but I know your wondering. My ever-so-cynical husband has noticed such a difference when he drinks this concoction that he actually gets up to make it if I don't.)
What's fascinating to me, is that after years of growing up with this practice, I'm seeing it touted more and more in various health and fitness magazines. Back in January, Whole Living magazine mentioned the practice as a great way to flush out toxins, not to mention Yogi Cameron Alborzian in his book The Guru in You (I haven't seen the book, but he was on an episode of Dr. Oz where he talked about the benefits of drinking hot water).
Now, for that concoction:
Hot Water and Lemon Infusion
In a mug, add juice of 1/2 - 1 lemon (freshly squeezed is best)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric (why not get its amazing healing properties wherever you can.)
pinch of red chile powder or cayenne (boosts metabolism)
pinch of raw cane sugar like Sucanat (Indian tradition suggests a little raw sugar helps stimulate the brain - but you can decide.)
Add 1 - 1 1/2 cups boiling water and stir well.
Drink down like a tea. The turmeric will collect at the bottom, so I keep a stirring spoon handy. The combination of all the elements are hands down amazing if/when you have a cold or sore throat. As soon as I feel 'that feeling' start to come on, I'll drink this concoction three times a day and am usually always on my way to feeling so much better.
ADDED bonus: Try adding another delicious and incredibly healthy element: Amla. An Indian gooseberry that grows on trees tart and greenish yellow, it can be purchased dried and unsalted/unsweetened from an Indian grocery store. Grind in a spice grinder and add a 1/2 teaspoon for an added boost of vitamin C and antioxidents. Amla is touted these days as THE new superfood with many benefits, including being the richest natural source of Vitamin C. I often skip grinding it and just add pieces dried to my hot water concoction and chew on the pieces after drinking down my lemon water.
For more takes on this recipe and ways to use healthy spices in your daily life, check out my new book 'Indian For Everyone'. Click here for your own signed copy.