7 Things to Drink for Amazing Skin

If you’re like me, you take care of your skin. You use sunscreen every morning. You wash your face every night. You even started an anti-aging regimen as a teenager. (Or, is that last one just me?)

But, is your skin the best it can be?

All the topicals in the world can’t guarantee great skin if your diet is lacking. Great skin is helped by great nutrition—specifically, incorporating plenty of Omega-3s and antioxidants. While there are definitely food choices you can make for better skin, today I’m focusing on your drink choices, and how exactly you can drink your way to better skin.

Water. Water is vital for both skin health and overall health. It keeps the body functioning properly and makes your skin look plumper and firmer. Experts agree that the right amount of water for each person is half their body weight (in ounces). For example, if a woman weighs 140 pounds, she should drink 70 ounces of water each day.

Lemon Water. Starting your day with a big glass of lemon water (like I discussed here) can help flush toxins out of the body to rejuvenate skin. Added bonus: lemon water also helps with digestion, increases metabolism and boosts your immune system.

Green Juice

Green Juice. Vegetables, especially kale, are amazing multi-vitamins for your skin. Kale is packed with vitamin A, vitamin C and copper, which are all staple ingredients in anti-aging creams. Kale also helps promote healthy cell growth and healthy cell turnover, getting rid of old, dull skin, and keeping skin strong. Need a little guidance on how to create a green smoothie you actually like? Start with the recipe below, then tinker with it based on your preferences. It provides a perfect combination of natural sugar to sweeten it, and green veggies to hydrate and de-puff the skin.
Combine all ingredients in a juicer or high-powered blender

  • 1 apple
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 beet
  • 1/2 handful of kale
  • lemon and ginger to taste

Soy Milk. Using soy milk instead of regular milk in your morning coffee or tea can help protect collagen and prevent new wrinkles from forming due to sun exposure. The minerals and proteins in soy milk can also help brighten and even-out your skin tone.

Green Tea. Green tea, like I’ve mentioned before, is excellent for your skin. It’s loaded with antioxidants that protect the skin against sunburn and reduce redness and inflammation in your cheeks. For best results, drink two or three cold cups a day. If you do go for cold green tea, be sure to make it yourself. The bottled kind you pick up at the store is loaded with sugar and not much else.

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Pomegranate Juice. This super juice is packed with twice the anti-oxidants and polyphenols as green tea, and nurtures your skin’s fibroblasts, which make collagen. Drinking a glass of this a day produces more collagen, results in less wrinkles and fine lines, and evens out your skin tone.

Cucumber Water. Cucumbers are already mostly water, so when you infuse them with a daily glass of water, they help super-hydrate your skin. They’re also filled with magnesium, potassium and other minerals that help keep the alkaline pH of skin and decrease inflammation.

 

What are you favorite drinks, regardless of health value? (Let’s just say, if Long Island Teas were health, I’d be in a world of trouble.)

How I Keep My Skin Acne-free

Last week, I talked about the history of my complexion and how I’ve managed to avoid acne for most of my life. It wasn’t meant to be a humble brag, though I have been blessed to not have painful, embarrassing acne. But, I’ve mostly been able to avoid terrible breakouts with a few lifestyle changes.

Drink more.

Water, that is. Water is paramount to your skin’s health, as it refreshes and revitalizes your entire body and helps it perform its functions better. Staying properly hydrated helps your body process and clean out toxins. Often, when our kidneys are overloaded with toxins, they’ll expel them through our skin. Drinking plenty of water helps flush them out. Experts recommend drinking half an ounce of water for every pound of your body weight. So, if you weigh 130 pounds, you should be drinking 65 ounces of water every day for adequate hydration.

Take it off.

Always, always, always remove your makeup before bed. Sleeping in your makeup once in a while won’t necessarily cause a breakout, but it’s best to consistently be in the practice of taking it off first. Sleeping in your makeup can cause bacterial infections and clogged pores, making your acne worse. Wash your face after removing your makeup to ensure you get all of the concealer and foundation off. (If you’re in the market, these my absolute favorite makeup wipes are the Clean & Clear Night Relaxing Cleansing Wipes. They’re incredibly soothing and help me wind down for the evening, while getting all my makeup, including waterproof mascara.)

Baby your skin.

While acne can be exacerbated by a poor skincare regimen, it’s not caused by dirty skin. People who believe otherwise often end up over-washing their faces, or using harsh chemicals and treatments that only irritate the skin more. As important as it is to wash your face before bed and in the morning, it’s just as important to be gentle in your washing. Over-exfoliating can dry out your skin and cause “microcuts,” through which bacteria can enter and, again, worsen acne. For a gentler exfoliation than grainy scrubs, use a salicylic- or glycolic-acid cleanser. Start using one of these three times a week, alternating with your regular cleanser, and adjust depending on your skin’s reaction. Avoid getting a daily cleanser with fragrance or harsh soap. If you have dry skin, try a cleanser with shea or glycerin. If you have oily skin, try a foaming wash to help your skin feel cleaner. (For more info on how to take care of your skin, read my blog post, The Best Skincare for Your Skin Type.)


Clean your brushes.

Most women don’t clean their makeup brushes regularly or take any extra precautions to ensure their brushes and sponges are hygienic. They leave them in the bathroom, in the open air, etc. and never clean them. When you apply makeup with dirty hands, brushes or sponges, you’re transferring bacteria to your face which can clog pores and, sometimes, lead to infection. I admit it, I’m terribly about washing my brushes, too. I maybe do it once a month. I justify it in my head with the rationale that I rarely wear makeup and, when I do, I use an airbrush system. Using an airbrush system to apply your makeup means you never have to touch your face and make your acne worse. Just drop your makeup into the bowl of the stylus, pull the trigger, and let air do the application and blending work.

Check the label.

There are many chemicals and factors in the ingredients of your skincare products that can actually irritate your skin more. Check the labels of skincare products for known irritants like essential oils, citrus extracts, menthol, denatured alcohol and, obviously, anything you might be allergic to. These can cause daily irritation that only lengthens the amount of time before your skin can heal and your breakouts clear.

Check your makeup.

Oftentimes, the relationships we create between acne and makeup is a vicious cycle. We have a little breakout, so we cover it up with oily, pore-clogging (comedogenic) makeup. The makeup makes our breakout worse, so we cover it with more caked-on heavy makeup. And the cycle continues. So, break the cycle. Using a water-based, noncomdedogenic foundation provides a light (yet acne-concealing) coverage that allows your skin to breathe and, therefore, heal. Again, I use airbrush makeup, but you can find other solutions that work with your skin and lifestyle. Start by looking specifically for oil-free foundations, and go from there. You’ll want to look for “noncomedogenic” as a benefit.

4 Foods to Eat for a Killer Complexion

I’ve always been complimented on my “lovely complexion.” Because my skin tone was even, I never really had to worry about acne, and my skin naturally glowed, I never had to worry too much about making it look good.

Over the last year or so, though, my well of good complexion genes hath run dry. While I still don’t have to worry about acne other than the occasional breakout, my skin is now dull and blotchy. My body has seemed to realize that both of my parents have a ton of redness and, therefore, I should, too. Because why not?

But, because my skin has been so good for so long, I have a lifetime of habits that glorify a good complexion. I tout the value of natural beauty and I prefer to only wear makeup if I have a function to attend.

I’ve learned to keep my skin in check by knowing what skincare products to use and, most importantly, how to nourish my body. Obviously, I still love junk food (especially sugary treats), but I know the key to a good complexion (and not expanding to the size of a whale) is moderation. A week of emptying my Easter basket will send my skin into fits of rage.

All of the skincare creams and serums and washes and exfoliants in the world can’t beat the complexion that a healthy diet can give you. But, if you’re not entirely ready to trash your chips and chocolate, start small by incorporating these yummy foods into your diet.

Sunflower Seeds

Keep your skin pimple-free and prevent wrinkles by adding sunflower seeds to your yogurt, salad or basically anything that you want! Sunflower seeds are filled with vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from free radicals while boosting your immune system.

Carrots

Once you find out what carrots can do for your skin, you won’t want to stop eating them! We all know carrots are good for your eyes and also clearing out breakouts, but they’re also good for your skin. Carrots contain carotenoids which help give your skin more of a yellow tone, resulting in not only a healthier complexion, but also a natural glow!

Orange Fruits

With orange fruits like mangoes, peaches and apricots you get so many benefits. Not only are they super delicious and good for your health, but they’re also good for your skin! Orange fruits are filled with beta-carotene, a compound your body uses to make vitamin A. Eating a lot of these orange fruits helps to fight acne and psoriasis.

Green Tea

Green tea has a multitude of benefits for your whole body, including your skin! Green tea is very high in antioxidants, especially one named EGCG, which is proved to reduce redness and keep a healthier complexion.

 

How do you maintain a good complexion?

5 Easy Ways to Instantly Feel Better

Whether you’ve been a fitness freak for 20 years or have a long-term monogamous relationship with your couch, some times, you just don’t feel up to your best.

Maybe you woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Maybe it’s that time of the month. Or, maybe your boss has it out for you today. No matter how hard you try, or don’t, not every day is perfect.

But, luckily, you have the power to seize the day. Any day.

Here are my tried-and-true, fail-safe ways to instantly feel better, no matter what’s going on.

  1. Drink more water. Whenever I’m dragging, unable to focus or just not up to my best, a huge glass of ice water feels magical. More often than not, we have those feelings when we’re dehydrated. Chugging water will nourish your body, helping it to function better, recharge your brain cells, improve your mood and reduce headaches and migraines. It baffles me that some people literally drink no water during the day. You should be drinking at least half your body weight in ounces. (For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink 70 ounces of water.) Once you’ve worked up to that amount, try to drink a gallon of water every day. Your body will thank you for it.
  2. Go for a walk. Taking a walk is one of my favorite ways to spend my lunch break. It gives me time to myself to think and reflect, or just listen to music. While my brain is, more or less, resting during a walk, my skin and body are supercharging thanks to the natural vitamin D in sunlight. Experts suggest spending at least 15 minutes in the sun every day, without sunglasses for adequate vitamin D exposure and absorption. Not to mention, a quick 30-minute walk will put you a couple of thousand steps closer to your daily goal!
  3. Read in bed. Ending your evening with a good book instead of a tv show or a game on your phone will calm your mind and let your body know it’s time for bed. This will not only ensure you get a better night’s sleep, and, therefore, help you feel better during the day ahead, but can also help you destress and decompress after a long, hard day. The improvements in your vocabulary and concentration are just a bonus.
  4. Make a list. There’s a reason therapists, motivational speakers and wellness coaches constantly encourage people to use positive affirmations — they work. When you’re feeling low, saying these kinds of statements to yourself can boost your mood and your confidence to help you feel better. Make a list of all your positive attributes and what you like most about yourself as reminders of how awesome you are. Start with thinks like, “I’m kind to others,” “I’m strong,” and “I’m a hard-worker” and go from there. When I make these lists, I tend to make them specific to how I’m feeling at the moment. If my pants are fitting quite right, I focus on body-positive statements.
  5. Play with your pooch. Studies have shown that dog owners are as emotionally close to their dogs as they are to their closest family members. Spending time with your cat or dog can lower your stress levels, give you comfort, get you moving, boost your confidence and combat loneliness. As if you needed an excuse for kitten cuddles or puppy kisses.

What about you? What’s your go-to method of improving your mind, your mood or your day?

The Best Skincare for Your Skin Type

Just as every woman is unique, every woman’s skin is different. Whether it’s dry, oily or anything in between—I can think of at least four oily combinations off the top of my head—your skin type is unique to you. So then, why don’t you customize your skincare regimen just for you?

So many women damage their skin when trying to heal it because they aren’t using the right techniques, ingredients, frequencies, etc. Let me help you out.

For the sake of brevity, I’m going to focus on the four major skin types and how to properly care for them. Don’t know which type you fall into? I’ll help with that, too.

how do i know my skin type?

  • Combination: Your T-Zone (forehead and nose) and chin are oily and are usually where your breakouts happen, while the rest of your face tends to be dry. You also fall into the combination category if your skin changes with the climate or season—today it’s embarassingly oily, next week it’s Sahara dry.
  • Oily: Your face could constantly use some blotting paper. It feels and looks moist and shiny, your pores clog easily, and your skin is acne-prone. You struggle with both noninflammatory acne (blackheads and whiteheads) and inflammatory acne (pimples and cystic zits), which pop up all over.
  • Normal: You’re one of the lucky ones with a balanced complexion. It’s not too oily, not too dry, and you rarely have breakouts. Your skin reflects light evenly, doesn’t change much during the day, and can handle many kinds of products without having a reaction.
  • Dry/Sensitive: Your skin sucks up moisturizer like an unused sponge in water. It often feels tight, rough or dry, especially later in the day, flushes easily and may have red patches or eczema (a dry, rashlike condition). Skin products, sunblocks, and cosmetics sometimes sting or cause redness.

How can i care for my skin?

Combination 
Find a face wash that contains glycolic acid, as it treats multiple skin conditions—it dries up excess oil, gently exfoliates and helps cell regeneration to create smooth and radiant skin. Try washing your face only once a day. (Rinse with warm water in the morning, but wash every night after removing your makeup to get the day’s grime off.) If your skin is too oily for that, bump it up to wash twice a day.

Help your skin heal while you sleep by using a nightly recovery cream. Look for one with ingredients that stimulate cell growth and collagen production, like a retinoid, Adaptonyl or Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media.

Oily

Skincare is a balancing act. You want to get rid of the excess oil, but you don’t want to dry your skin out. Avoid cleansers with alcohols, and instead opt for gentle formulas with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or beta-hydroxy acid. Wash your face every morning and evening, especially after removing your makeup before bed. Makeup removers can only clean so much. Washing your face after removing your makeup will get off any residue and clean off the day’s nastiness, both of which can clog pores.

Just because your skin is oily doesn’t mean you shouldn’t moisturize. After washing your face, apply a lightweight, water-based, noncomedogenic moisturizer. The same applies to your makeup. Airbrush makeups, especially, are great for allowing skin to breathe.

Exfoliate once a week to loosen and remove dirt and oil in your pores and always wash your hands before touching your face. Using dirty hands (or makeup brushes) to apply makeup can transfer bacteria and cause breakouts.


Normal

People with normal skin don’t need to pay as much detailed attention to their regimen as others, but that doesn’t mean you have a “get out of jail free” card, either. Every morning, rinse your face with warm water, and every evening, after removing your makeup, wash your face with gentle, water-soluble cleanser.

When you exfoliate (no more than once a week), use an exfoliant with alpha hydroxy acid to combat wrinkles. And every morning, use a noncomedogenic moisturizer with SPF 30.


Dry/Sensitive

You’ve probably heard that you need to wash your face with hot water to open your pores and rinse with cold water to close them. Exposing your skin to extreme temperatures, however, can exacerbate dryness. Even taking an overly long shower or bath can dry out your skin.

While it may be tempting to scrub all of the flakiness off of your face, you still need to be gentle. Find a gentle exfoliating face wash and use it up to twice a day. Avoid any products with benzoic acid, sodium dodecyl sulfate or fragrances and other irritants.

Additional products like serums and moisturizers will differ from person to person based on your needs, but in general you should look for skin-soothing ingredients like vitamin C and feverfew extract, and moisturizing ingredients like Idinyl and Sodium Hyaluronate.

 

Whatever your skin type, there are a few skincare staples that are a constant. For your best possible skin, you should make sure to stay hydrated (at least 8 cups a day) and well rested (at least 7 hours). Your skin does most of its repair work while you sleep, and hydrated, rested skin will perform better.

Always wash your face with warm, not hot water, use noncomedogenic products and start your day with SPF 30 or more.

What are your tried-and-true skincare tips?

10 Tips for Finding the Best Everyday Sunscreen

Finding a great sunscreen to wear to the beach isn’t exactly a daunting task. Find the SPF you want in a broad-spectrum and water resistant formula, and you’re done.

Finding a great sunscreen to wear for everyday use, on the other hand, can be a bit of a beast. Is this enough SPF? Will this leave my face greasy? Will this be too thick? Too thin? You’re trying to protect your skin; it shouldn’t be this difficult!

While it’s important to wear SPF every day all year, now that the sun is coming back out, it’s absolutely vital. Check out these 10 tips for finding a great sunscreen you can wear every day.

  1. Remember that you need to wear sunscreen if you’re going to be in the sun for more than 20 minutes. As a general rule, it’s good to put on SPF when you’re getting ready in the morning.
  2. If you will be spending more than 20 minutes in the sun, or will be participating in outdoor activities, use an SPF 50.
  3. For everyday use, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends an SPF 30 sunscreen.
  4. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Broad-spectrum means the lotion will protect you against UVB (rays that cause sunburn) and UVA (rays that penetrate deeper into the skin and cause premature aging and wrinkling) rays. Sunscreens not labeled “broad-spectrum” may only protect against sunburn, not aging, wrinkles or other damage.
  5. If you’re looking for a product to wear under your makeup, look for a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer. Make sure it contains either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide listed as an active ingredient.
  6. For sensitive skin, look for a mineral sunscreen (rather than chemical).
  7. If you don’t want to wear a full face of makeup, but still want a little bit of tint, try a BB creme with SPF 30.
  8. Avoid sunscreens that contain vitamin A. According to the EWG, roughly 20 percent of sunscreens and moisturizers with SPF contain the vitamin, possibly because it may slow aging when used in indoor lotions or moisturizers. In products exposed to the sun, however, it can speed the growth of cancerous tumors and spur excess skin growth.
  9. Lotions and creams will provide better, more protective coverage than sprays.
  10. Don’t forget your lips! A lip balm with SPF 15 will help protect your lips from burning and chapping.

What are your favorite sunscreens to use? Let me know in the comments!

How to Get Better Skin in 5 Easy Steps

I’ve never been the makeup kind of girl. Every time I try to get really into it, I make a trip to Sephora, use my new toy once or twice, then I’m done. My makeup routines are usually reserved for days that my red skin is especially active, I’m having a breakout, or, for whatever reason, my skin looks dull.

What I do get obsessed with, though, is skincare.

I love taking care of my skin so that I can keep going makeup-free. But, still, I’m not one for long routines. I’m not going to have 10-step skincare regimen I have to do every morning and night. I prefer to take care of my skin with my lifestyle.

Way too many people forget all the factors that can have an impact on their skin. I’ve had so many friends blame genetics or the luck of the draw, then tell me al of the overpriced products they use to make their skin somewhat decent look.

Granted, genetics do play a big part. For example I get the redness in my cheeks from both sides of my family. But, I also get it from being overweight and working in a very stressful environment.  Pollution, diet, sunlight, age and so many other factors play into your skin’s radiance, as well. The good news? You can’t control genetics, but you can control your environment and your lifestyle in order to take control of your skin’s health.

  1. Get More Water – This one is huge. Adequate hydration not only helps your body function better, but also helps you look younger. When you’re dehydrated, your body will use water from wherever it can get it, including your skin. When your skin starts to lose water, fine lines, wrinkles and other “blemishes” are exaggerated, making you look older. I try to drink a gallon of water a day, but a good rule of thumb is to drink half your weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water each and every day. If you’d like an extra kick in the metabolism, try drinking lemon water first thing in the morning.
  2. Catch Your Zzzz’s – Your skin’s repair mechanisms are hard at work while you’re fast asleep. Bedtime is when your proteins and melatonin are produced, and when other anti-aging activity occurs. Skin conditions and irritations are exacerbated when you’re sleep-deprived; that tired state can also accelerate skin aging, and cause breakouts as more adrenaline and cortisol are released. Sufficient sleep (7-8 hours) gives your body its best chance for optimal skin performance.Conture Green Tea
  3. Go Green – Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties that can be soothing to red or blotchy skin. Try to drink it cold, because hot beverages can worsen redness and other imperfections. In addition to soothing unevenness, the epigallocatechin gallate in green tea may help prevent the collagen destruction that leads to wrinkles, lines and discoloration. Try replacing your morning joe with some morning green.
  4. Protect Yourself – While you may put on sunscreen every time you head outdoors, did you know that UV rays can penetrate your windows? So, even if you’re safe inside, your skin could still be at risk of wrinkling and brown spots. Whether the windows are in your home, office or car—studies have shown higher rates of skin cancer on the left side of the face and upper body than the right—you’re at risk. Always be sure to apply sunscreen to your face and neck, and any other areas that are exposed, every morning to protect yourself whether or not you leave the house.
  5. Stress Less – I totally get it. Stress can’t be avoided. Between your boss, your kids, your spouse and everything else in your life, stress happens. But, how you deal with that stress has a huge impact on your overall health, and your skin in particular. Stress increases your production of hormones, like cortisol, that cause breakouts by making your skin oilier and less able to fight off acne-causing bacteria. Stress also impacts your sleep patterns, eating habits (Just say no to the brownie!) and mental acuity. Find a way to deal with your stress that works for you: meditation and yoga can help you recenter and find balance, whereas more active exercise like cross-training or running can help you get out your frustrations. Added benefits of these activities: reduction of skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis.

What do you do to take care of your skin?

Our Valentine’s Day Tradition

For most couples, Valentine’s Day is filled with flowers, chocolates, fancy dinner reservations and sweet nothings.

Honestly, though, I’ve never seen the point of any of that.

Aside from my “boyfriend” in 7th grade (our relationship basically only extended as far as holding hands in art class), I never had a beau to celebrate Valentine’s Day with until Stephen came along. Any relationships I had conveniently started after the contrived holiday, and ended before the next year’s iteration.

For me, Valentine’s Day was always celebrated with my family (just as an excuse to get chocolate, really) or my girlfriends. So, when it came time for mine and Stephen’s first Valentine’s Day together, nearly a year into our relationship, I wanted zero fuss.

I wanted to spend time together, sure, but all I really wanted to do was eat take-out and watch a far-from-sappy movie. Though I didn’t want to technically celebrate, I knew I’d be mad as hell if he didn’t get me a present.

So, that year, we ordered Chinese food from 9 Dragon, a delicious and far under-priced staple of LSU students, watched Fight Club, and got each other small gifts.

Those soon became tradition. Every year, we’d order 9 Dragon, watch a non-sappy movie (we’ve seen Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained and Deadpool), and get each other small, often handmade gifts. We managed to keep the tradition even when our relationship became long-distance:

Long Distance Dating

Now that we live in Houston, we’ve switched restaurants, but the other traditions remain alive and well.

This year, we’re still debating whether to head back to Ambassadors, where we went last year, or to order take-out from Auntie Chang’s, our new favorite. We’re on the fence between watching Kill Bill or a Batman movie.

But, no matter what we decide, we’ll be spending Valentine’s Day at home, on the couch, with each other. Because you don’t need one day a year to show someone how much you love them. You show them every day by spending time with them, putting up with their crazy, and doing things for them.

Every time Stephen cooks me dinner, he shows me how much he loves me. Every time, however rarely, I play video games with him, I show him how much I love him.

We show each other love every single day. We don’t need Hallmark cards and overpriced flowers to do it for us.

What about you? What are your thoughts on Valentine’s Day? How do you choose to celebrate it, or not?

Why Lemon Water is SO Good for You

About a year ago, it seemed that everywhere I turned, social media, radio programs, tv shows, people were hailing the benefits of lemon water. Since then, I’ve repeatedly tried to make it a habit to drink it every day, but only recently have actually made it part of my daily ritual.

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been more dedicated to my health than every. I do some form of exercise every day. I eat healthy probably 90% of the time. And, I drink 8 oz. of lemon water as soon as I wake up.

As a result, I’ve felt better, my skin is clearer, and I wake up much quicker. (Coffee doesn’t stand a chance against the instant-alertness you experience when chugging ice cold, tart lemon water.)

slicing-lemons-on-cutting-board

Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

Lemon water helps flush out the body, which leads to clearer skin, and the innate vitamin C promotes collagen production for smooth and healthy skin. If great skin isn’t enough to sell you, consider these other benefits of drinking daily lemon water:

  • Helps digestion – drinking the concoction first thing in the morning can help flush the digestion system and rehydrate the body.
  • Boosts immunity – drinking lemon water when you wake up helps the body absorb the vitamin C and Potassium present in the fruit, helping the immune system and reducing the effects of stress.
  • Sheds weight – being properly hydrated helps increase your metabolism. Researchers in Germany found that, after drinking 17 oz of water, participants’ (both male and female) metabolic rates increased by 30%.

    Other theories on the benefits of drinking lemon water:
    -Balances pH levels
    -Detoxes the body
    -Prevents water retention
    -Boosts energy

lauren-cathleen-slices-lemons-for-lemon-water

To recharge your body with lemon water, follow these simple steps:

  1. Wake up and boil about 10 oz of water.
  2. Cut a lemon in half and juice–by hand or by press–into a glass. (If you weigh less than 150 lbs, only use half a lemon. If you weigh more than 150 lbs, use the entire lemon.)
  3. Pour your water into the glass and let steep for a few minutes. Feel free to use more water if it’s too strong.
  4. Wait 15-30 minutes after drinking your water before you eat breakfast.
  5. Brush your teeth! The citric acid in lemons can erode tooth enamel, so be sure to rinse your mouth after and/or brush your teeth.

Now, that’s what’s recommended. To be honest, though, I do not have time to boil water and let my lemon steep in it first thing in the morning. When I wake up, I have 15 minutes before I need to be out the door and headed to the gym.

So, every Sunday, I do all my lemon squeezing and water-mixing. I fill up two of these 34 oz. bottles from IKEA with the lemon water and store them in the fridge. When I wake up, I simply pour, chug and dash. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

bottle of lemon water with lemons on cutting board
Have you used this tried-and-true method? What are your thoughts?

On Childish Delights

I have lived for a little more than one-quarter of a century. To some, that’s the blink of an eye. To me, it is literally a lifetime.

In our society, I am technically an adult. As such, I can do certain adulty things like order wine in a restaurant or accrue massive credit card debt. (I’m experienced in both.)

While those and other things – namely realizing how close my 10-year reunion is – make me feel old, I still, at any given moment, completely surrender myself to the whims, amusement and utter excitement of my inner child. This, I think, is one of my most endearing qualities, and one that is absolutely essential to a happy life.

It’s like getting on an airplane for a business trip. Once you sit down, you can pull out reading material, work or feverishly send emails hoping the flight attendant doesn’t see.

View of Sky from Plane

Or, you can put your head up. Feel your body tighten with excitement (and the change in cabin pressure) when the plane begins to move, rolling down the tarmac at 200 mph. You can look out the window as you lift off, defying human limitations with every foot you rise. You can see what not even birds see, jetting toward the sky, your vision obscured by white fog until you burst through it, revealing a ground of cotton candy clouds and a sky with every shade of orange, pink, purple and blue this side of Heaven, blending together to illustrate just how beautiful our world is.

Or, you can keep your head down and miss life.

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