Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
Chances are we’ve all heard that statement before … and I’d hedge a bet that we’ve all said it a time or two ourselves. I tend to utter those words on January 2nd each year as I recommit to my happy, healthy body plan after indulging in one too many not-so-healthy eats and drinks over the course of the holiday season.
I’m pretty sure I said it this year as well, but a number of recent events — The Chef’s birthday, my dad’s birthday, a farewell dinner for some friends, and “Snowmageddon” (which dumped 15 inches of snow on us and had me craving nothing but comfort food while housebound for three days) — kept me indulging a little bit longer … and I have no regrets about that at all.
But, it is time to start being more mindful of what I’m eating and drinking, and today’s “recipe” is perfect for that.
One of the tenets in my happy, healthy body plan is all about drinking water. Consuming an adequate amount of water each day is essential to our health, but many folks view it as a chore. I’ve found that adding a burst of flavor to your water can not only amp up the taste, but provide some extra benefits as well(*).
I start each day with a cup of warm purified water spiked with the juice from half an organic lemon. In addition, I’ve recently started making a batch of lemon and mint “detox” water each night before bed, to be consumed over the course of the next day.
Why lemon and mint? Lemon has long been known to support healthy immune function, and it’s purported to have digestive and liver cleansing properties as well. Mint is also said to have digestive benefits too … and digestive benefits = happy bellies.
Now, I think our bodies do a pretty good job “detoxifying” themselves on their own: Your liver, kidneys, and digestive system are programmed by Mother Nature to “do their thing” when they need to. This is the reason I’m using the word “detox” in quotes. But, can lemon and mint give us a boost when it comes to getting rid of the things our bodies need to, ahem, expel? Based strictly on my own anecdotal evidence, yes. I can officially say that my tummy has been much happier with my new water routine.
And guess what? My tastebuds have been happier too!
Lemon and Mint “Detox” Water
- 1 organic lemon
- 2 to 3 sprigs of organic mint
- 1 quart purified water
1. Rinse lemon and pat dry; slice the stem end off the lemon and discard. Thinly slice the lemon to the halfway point; reserve unsliced half for other use.
2. In a 1-quart mason jar, layer the lemon slices with the sprigs of mint. Using the end of a wooden spoon, gently press the lemon and mint to release some of their juice and oils.
3. Fill the jar with the purified water, then refrigerate overnight. Consume water throughout the next day.
Notes: I save the unsliced lemon half for the cup of warm water I drink each morning.
*Disclaimer: While I do hold a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, and while I’ve done significant personal research into healthy eating and lifestyle habits, I am not a doctor nor a registered dietician. Before making any dietary changes, please consult your doctor or other health care professional.