Lemon Water | Why You Should Drink it Every Day

Lemon water

Why I Drink Lemon Water

When I wake up in the morning I always grab a mug, heat up some water, and squirt half of a lemon into the mug. I drink this every morning, and every night. It’s my routine because it’s really good for me, and I inspire you to do the same! Here are some concrete health reasons why you should drink warm lemon water every day.

Rid Your Body of Toxins

Lemons are really good at flushing out toxins in the body, so that’s one of the reasons I stick to it every day! Drinking warm lemon water helps activate your digestive system which will keep everything flowing smoothly throughout the rest of the day.

Get Your Nutrients

Lemons are also full of healthful nutrients such as potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and of course vitamin C – which is an essential nutrient that protects the body against immune system deficiencies. This pretty much means that lemons help protect you from getting a cold or flu during flu season. Since winter just started, this is the best time to consume your lemon water!

Keeps Your Skin Fresh

Your skin can also benefit from drinking warm lemon water. Since lemon juice helps rid your body of toxins, it can actively clear your skin! It helps prevent the formation of wrinkles and acne thanks to the nutrients in lemon. Not only that, but you can use it in a homemade face scrub. I personally use a mixture of salt, tea tree oil, grape seed oil and lemon juice to cleanse my blackheads. Want whiter teeth? Mix lemon juice with baking soda, and you’ve got yourself a beauty remedy there too!

Makes You Smarter

Drinking lemon water can also aid in oxygenating the brain and increasing brain function. Lemons do this by regulating the carbohydrate levels in the blood. Lemons are also high in antioxidants which aids in this as well. It improves brain speed and concentration, and also improves memory.

Replenishes Your Body After a Workout

Drinking lemon water after a workout can help replenish your body’s salts after a strenuous workout. This can reduce muscle soreness and can quicken your recovery time. Lemon water helps to alkalize the body, so it can reduce the lactic acid in your muscles that causes the soreness.

Helps You Lose Weight

Lemons contain something called pectic fiber, which helps relieve the sensation of hunger. Not only that, but pectin is actually a fat blocking soluble fiber which can reduce your body’s ability to absorb and store fat. This means your body will let dietary fat digest and pass through your body before it absorbs it. Which means, bye bye saddle bags!

Reduces Inflammation

If you’re having body aches or muscle pains, drinking lemon water on a regular basis will help reduce pain. If your joints or muscles are inflamed, the flavonoids in lemons are said to lower your body’s levels of interleuken-8 which is a natural inflammatory chemical in the body.


There are many more health benefits of drinking lemon water, but these are the ones that appealed to me the most so these are the reasons why I drink it every day – morning and night! So start the new year off right and start drinking warm lemon water. One glass before you eat and before you head out for your morning cardio, and one glass after your nightly workout!

3 Ways Fennel Seed Can Improve Your Health

Fennel seed is often an overlooked spice. Despite its strong presence in most sausages and Mediterranean cuisine, it isn’t typically viewed as a go-to spice. However, it does have some amazing health benefits.

A Dietary Fiber Source

With over 100% of your daily recommended dose of dietary fiber, fennel packs a punch right where it counts – your gut. Gut health is an integral component to your overall well-being. Ingesting the proper amount of fiber each day helps regulate your bowels and cleanses your gut from any harmful toxins. Constipation is no opponent for fennel either. Sip on fennel tea to help reduce signs of constipation.

Ease Breathing

Chewing on small doses of fennel is thought to alleviate symptoms of asthma and clear sinuses. With the growing popularity of essential oils, fennel is now available in oil form. Some prefer using fennel seed oil to make breathing easier. The oil provides an immediate relief and gives off a sweet licorice scent.

Brighten your Skin

Fennel is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin E, both known for their positive impact on skin health and elasticity. Work small doses of fennel into your diet and you’ll soon see the suppleness of your skin improve.

Using Fennel Seed at Home

There are a number of ways you can incorporate fennel seed into you diet and into your daily life. Fennel seed tea, fennel seed oil, and plain old fennel seed can be added to any recipe. Be cautious with your consumption however, as large amounts of fennel seed, as well as large amounts of anything, can lead to certain side effects for some people.

For a savory, sweet anise flavor, add fennel to cottage cheese or ricotta cheese the next time you’re making lasagna. If you’re a vegetarian and miss the flavor of meat, try grinding up fennel and adding it to salad dressing. It’ll taste like you’re biting into a juicy piece of sausage rather than an earthy piece of kale.

Plastic Surgery – The Pros and Cons

There are various beliefs, judgements, and opinions about plastic surgery. Some think it’s unnecessary and that those who are born with unwanted characteristics shouldn’t change themselves, but deal with it. Others believe that if they want something fixed or changed, they should do it because it’s their body and their money.

Ultimately, whether someone doesn’t like the way their nose looks, or they have a deviated septum and would like to get that fixed for reasons that are not cosmetic, these procedures occur often and most benefit from the surgeries they undergo. According to the American society of plastic surgeons, there are 14.6 million surgeries performed last year, including both invasive and minimally invasive. Whether the drive be due to aesthetics or due to an injury or genetic mutation, many people are jumping under the knife and spending big bucks to get these surgeries done. Should we shun these people or applaud them for making such a big decision in their lives?

First, we have to understand the difference between plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery. Plastic surgery is a general term that means: the process of reconstructing or repairing parts of the body, especially by the transfer of tissue, either in treatment of injury or for cosmetic reasons. For example, if someone breaks their nose in a car accident and must undergo plastic surgery to fix it, this would fall under this general category, or could be referred to as an non-elective plastic surgery.

Cosmetic surgery, however, is generally an elective surgery meaning it is not required but optional.

I believe there are both pros and cons to plastic surgery and I’m glad these surgeries are available to people who need them and/or want them. Here are the Pros and Cons, in my personal opinion, of going under the knife and having cosmetic or reconstructive surgery.

PROS 

Improved Self Esteem

Some people have insecurities that arise from disfigurement or other unlikable aspects of their appearance. This is a positive reason why plastic surgery is available. Many will feel better about themselves after having a procedure done which will improve their self-esteem and ultimately their lives. Especially if someone is born disfigured, they should be allowed to get it fixed.

Appearance

Cosmetic surgery can improve appearance. If there is a part of you that you don’t like, you can change it. But, be sure you have a loving support system of people who love you for who you are before making such a big decision. Beauty and Vanity are not everything, but it can help with quality of life.

Health

Depending on the reason for plastic surgery, some people may have health benefits through plastic surgery. For example, if someone needs a skin graft due to a burn, that will improve health. Someone who may have a deviated septum can also get relief from pain and proper drainage of the sinuses through plastic surgery.

CONS

Cost

Plastic surgery is very expensive. This is something to consider before going under the knife. Whole life savings are spent on cosmetic surgeries, so this is something that people should take into consideration before getting any cosmetic surgery done.

Physical Risks

There are many risks to physical appearance when undergoing plastic surgery. There are risks to having botched surgeries and bad results, so this is another thing to consider. Make sure you thoroughly research the doctor you’ve chosen before you make any decisions or deposits, because you don’t want to end up disliking your appearance more than before the surgery occurred.

Plastic Surgery: Conclusion

Ultimately, having plastic surgery is a good thing, and can also be bad thing. No matter what your beliefs may be, there are a multitude of surgeries done each year in the U.S. and they are available as long as you have the money. We shouldn’t shun plastic surgery or advocate it blindly, but understand the risks before making any decisions.

What is Crossfit? Myths and Misconceptions

What is Crossfit?

Let me start off by saying that Crossfit gets a bad rep. So what is Crossfit, anyway? If you don’t know what Crossfit is, you should. Crossfit was founded in 2000 so it’s a fairly new form of exercise. Although it’s new it has become increasingly popular in cities across the world. Crossfit focuses on improving muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, and maintaining functional fitness. It also ensures one thing… that you look good naked!

Crossfit is highly criticized in many “mainstream” gyms, and although I can understand to some extent where these “fitness critics” are coming from, I think the majority of them are full of crap. I think most of them take on an “etic” or outsiders perspective; to speak in anthropological terms, which is quite fitting because well, crossfit is a culture.

Many of these critics have never tried Crossfit, and probably won’t because they fear they will love it too much. You will never find a food critic, theatre critic or any other kind of critic critiquing something they have not seen, tasted, or experienced. They could do it anyway, but no one would take them seriously.

With that being said, I used to have my doubts about Crossfit even though I enjoyed watching it. I always feared it was too hard for me, I would get too buff, and I would hurt myself. Now that I have tried it, I have a slightly different opinion. Here are some myths that I believed, before I stepped my foot into a Crossfit box to actually work out.

1. CROSSFIT IS DANGEROUS

Danger Sign

Now this statement holds some truth. Crossfit is dangerous. But only if you are unwilling to learn. Crossfit is as dangerous as every other sport where you are not properly trained. I understand that the complexity of Crossfit lifts cannot compare to shooting a free throw, but ultimately it’s up to the athlete to perfect their movements before moving up in weight. I also understand that it’s harder for coaches to spot bad form in a big group setting because there are so many people to pay attention to. A good coach will correct form however, when possible.

2. CROSSFIT IS A CULT

Crossfit cult 2

I am guilty of teasing my fiancé about his obsession with Brick Crossfit in West Hollywood, but after making friends with the other members, and joining them for competitions (as a bystander of course) I have come to deeply appreciate the love, the camaraderie, and the support these people have for each other. Making friends at the gym has never even occurred to me, until I witnessed the friendships formed at Brick. If you want to get fit and be a part of an overwhelmingly accepting community, start Crossfit. BCBFL (Best Crossfit Buddies for Life!)

3. YOU’LL PROBABLY PASS OUT, OR DIE

Pass out

I definitely thought this would happen to me. But to my surprise, Crossfit is a very accommodating sport. If you can’t lift a certain weight, scale it down to your strength level. If you can’t squat all the way down without breaking posture, let the coach know. No one thinks twice if you can’t lift what they can. They’d prefer you to scale down to avoid  injuring yourself.

4. YOU’RE GONNA GET BUFF

Buff guy

Getting buff is no easy task. It takes dedication, hard work, and the desire to get buff. If your intention when working out is to maintain fitness rather than build muscle, scale your workouts in a way that benefits your goal.

5. YOU HAVE TO BE COMPETITIVE

Crossfit Lanes

Not all Crossfit gyms are created equal. Some gyms focus more on competition while others focus on working out and getting fit. Either way, you’re going to get a good workout. A lot of gyms enjoy the competition aspect because it can help motivate members to reach their fitness goals. A lot of Crossfit gyms also have competitors as members, so it only makes sense to run every WOD as though it’s a competition, as it will prepare them for competitions down the line.

6. MEMBERSHIP IS TOO EXPENSIVE

american-money

Crossfit is expensive. But if you dedicate yourselves to Crossfit you will see results. Period. Even if you are eating fairly badly, you will still notice changes in your energy and stamina. What’s the use of spending less at a “regular” gym, if working out is boring and you never see results? Crossfit is also like getting a personal trainer every time you work out. There is always someone there to explain movements to you and help you perfect your form. You won’t get this at LA Fitness.

7. IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE TERMINOLOGY YOU’RE SCREWED

Crossfit cult

I was scared to death that no coach would explain what AMRAP meant. I was wrong. The coaches will repeat terminology and demonstrate movements so often, they will be drilled into your head. So don’t freak out if you go into your fundamentals class with no knowledge. That’s the point of these classes.

8. YOU MUST GO “PALEO”

Quest Nutrition

Paleo is popular in the Crossfit community, and if you are looking for a diet to accommodate your work out plan, give it a shot! But you are in no way required to go Paleo because you join a Crossfit box. If your diet is working for you, keep it going!

 9. YOU HAVE TO KEEP ADDING WEIGHT

Weights

Crossfit will make you stronger, but you don’t have to add weight if you don’t want to. If you are trying to maintain a certain physique and are still getting a good workout, there is no reason to freak yourself out that you have to go heavier. I will add that you will probably want to go heavier though, because you will notice that your strength is improving.

10. CROSSFITTERS AREN’T REAL ATHLETES

Rich Froning

I personally never believed this one, but I know a lot of people that do. My first exposure to Crossfit was through Youtube videos of people hideously lifting and calling their stupidity “Crossfit”. A lot of other people were introduced to Crossfit in a similar fashion. All I have to say is: Crossfit Games Website. Browse around, watch some videos, look at the pictures… if these people aren’t athletes, than I’m an 80 year old hermaphrodite from Mexico.

So as you can see, I support Crossfit. Do you? If you’re unsure, give it a shot. It’s not for everyone, but everyone can do it. No matter how old or out of shape you are, you will get in shape through Crossfit.

How do you feel about this article? Do you enjoy Crossfit? Do you not? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Hugs are Good for Your Health

Have you heard that Kaiser Permanente radio commercial yet?

“What is a three letter word that reduces stress?”

Or something of the sort? Well the answer is Hug. Hugs have all sorts of healing affects on the body, and I am going to share them with you!

1. Hugs can boost positive neurotransmitters, and lower stress. 

In my sleeping naked post, I mentioned that sleeping naked with your significant other can reduce stress and grow your bond due to the fact that your skin is touching. The active neurotransmitter in this case is called Oxytocin. The same is true for hugs. Hugs can also boost the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Dopamine is responsible for things such as pleasure, love, and happiness.

2. Hugs can boost your trust and compassion.

I am currently attending college and taking child development classes. In my Child Development 01 course, we learned that babies who are not held regularly will most likely end up with psychological and psychosocial problems. People that are not touched, hugged, and loved will feel neglected, despondent, and depressed. These people will not know how to give love and compassion in return, because they were neglected of these things. Hugs can help cure this feeling of loneliness. Hugs can also elicit a sense of trust, safety, and care.

3. Hugs can teach you to let go.

I’m a big hugger. I always hug, even the busboys at work get hugs. Hugging is similar to laughter as a medicine. By hugging you can learn to let the energy of life flow through you and into others. Have you ever seen someone standing on the street with a sign that reads “Free Hugs!”? This is an activity many therapists give to patients who are trying to overcome shyness, or those who are socially awkward. Hugs can help you overcome your fears of meeting and touching new people.

4. Hugging someone you trust increases your bond.

There is another side to this Hugging thing. If you hug someone you don’t know very well, or don’t trust, it can actually make you feel burdened and stressed. Hugging someone you love and trust will only boost your relationship.

5. Hugs can communicate things you can’t through words.

When I hug my fiancè, it is different than hugging my mom or sister. But I always make sure I hug each of them before I leave their presence. Hugging can be a sign that you love that person, and you are happy to have them in your life.

Hugs have many positive affects on you, on others, and on your relationships. Go out and hug someone you love, hug a coworker that you trust to have your back. Hugs can truly be life changing!

Sleeping Naked Is Awesome – Why You Should Start!

Sleeping naked is awesome. It’s liberating, freeing, and you don’t have to worry about putting your clothes on after hopping out of the shower. All you have to do is dry, lotion, and sleep! Doesn’t that sound amazing?? Sleeping naked is not only comfortable, it also has a lot of benefits for your body. I have made a quick list of reasons why sleeping naked is good for you from head to toe. I discovered most of these fabulous reason through a Google search, and just compiled my favorites for you here!

1. YOUR NIPPLES WILL LIFT

According to a 15 year study conducted by Jean-Denis Rouillon of the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon, France, the breasts do not benefit from being deprived of gravity. So strip down! Women who went bra-less discovered that their nipples (and boobs) lifted compared to those who wore a bra on a regular basis. The breasts gained more muscle tissue and were able to support themselves more sufficiently without the use of a bra.

2. YOUR VAGINA WILL BE HEALTHIER

That’s right! As women, we have all been to the gyno for a check up, and they always try to remind you not to wear underwear or pants that are too tight, and to wear cotton undies for breathability. Sleeping naked will benefit your furry (or not) friend because it can finally breathe!

3. YOUR SEX LIFE WILL IMPROVE

This one seems obvious to me. What man doesn’t love a beautiful naked woman in their bed!? Not only that, but skin to skin contact, massaging, and even cuddling can produce the hormone oxytocin, which is known to reduce stress, anxiety, and blood pressure.

4. YOU WILL REDUCE STRESS AND BODY FAT

This one sounds unbelievable right!? But it’s true. Studies show that people who have a consistent body temperature tend to sleep deeper and longer. If you are naked, your body can better regulate itself because you are covered by only a blanket, rather than clothing and blankets. This deep sleep allows you to reduce the amount of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is produced by your adrenal, or stress glands, and can sometimes be responsible for overeating, craving fatty foods, lowering libido, and many other downfalls if you aren’t getting a healthy night’s sleep.

5. BOOST ANTI-AGING HORMONES

When you sleep, your body cools down and allows it to release the human growth hormone that enables you to burn fat while you sleep. If your sleeping environment is too warm your body will not release this hormone. This hormone is responsible for regenerating your body for the next day.

So sleep naked all the time and be firmer, younger, sexier, and healthier! Do any of you out there enjoy sleeping naked? If you’re just trying it out, have you noticed any changes in your body or your energy the next day?

Healthy Eating Makes You Happy

Oh man, I love my chicken wings. I love my burgers and fries and messy BBQ ribs just as much as anybody else. But after a weekend of binge eating(minus the purge; nobody got time for that) I feel rather blah, my tummy hurts, and honestly I would love to have the opportunity to sleep alllll day longggg.

Now on the other hand, after a long day of paintball, I feel like eating healthy and going to the gym. For me, that’s a sign. I am 22 years old and after walking; slowly I might add, up a couple flights of stairs, I am quite winded. That is not good. I should be able to sprint up those steps and feel great at the top. Instead of breathing hard for the next 5 minutes or so until I can successfully catch my breath.

So for January 2014, I have decided to start a 30 day healthy eating “cleanse”. Except this cleanse does not consist of drinking juice for a month (which is REALLY REALLY bad for you) and does not consist of depriving myself of delicious wholesome foods. All it means is that for the month of January, I am going stick to healthy eating standards, exercise, and put in 110% when it comes to being right by my body. Lets look at these meals and see just how bad seemingly good foods can be for you.

Lets look at salads. Salads are the poster children for “healthy eating”. Raw fresh vegetables, maybe some lightly grilled lean meats. Seems like the perfect meal if you want to eat healthy. Although this is mostly right, there are things that can ruin your healthy salad. Most of the info I have come across is from nutrition.about.com for reference, and some is just from personal knowledge.

The first thing that can ruin your “healthy eating salad” is using the wrong type of lettuce.

According to multiple nutrition sites, iceberg lettuce, which is a primary ingredient in most salads; mostly because of it’s delicious crunch and cheap ticket price, gives absolutely no nutritional value except for a source of water. As we have heard many times before, dark, leafy greens are a better source of nutrition, so you should swap out your water lettuce for some of these mineral rich types instead; kale, spinach, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, arugula, watercress, etc.

Stop the toppings! Is rule #2.

Although your salad might start off healthy, many people top them with tasty morsels that are not good for you at all! For example, one thing people like to pile on is the cheese. A small amount of cheese is not bad for you, but add too much and the calorie intake can take a high spike. Also, try and skip the croutons and the bacon bits. Although they are tasty, they add absolutely no nutritional value to your healthy salad. Add some nuts to the salad instead.

Make sure your meat is the healthy kind.

Skip the processed sandwich meat and the crispy fried chicken. Although crispy chicken salads are quite delicious, they can turn your salad into a health-fail. Add a nice piece of grilled chicken breast, or a lean skirt steak instead. These will turn your salad into a meal, and a healthy one at that.

Now to the point, how exactly, does healthy eating affect your mood? We all know that what we put into our bodies can affect us in various ways. Although we are aware of that fact, we aren’t aware of what foods are necessarily toxic. We all start our mornings off similarly. We gulp down a cup of coffee, maybe two, and grab something quick, processed, and full of sugar. That combination of sugar and caffeine starts our body off on a downhill spiral for the rest of the day. The sugar can shut down our immune systems, while the caffeine triggers the emission of the stress hormone cortisol putting an immense amount of stress on your body.

Instead, try a cup of decaf coffee or decaf tea. Chances are, if you need your morning cup of coffee just to stay awake, you probably aren’t getting enough sleep. Caffeine should not substitute substantial sleep, and it probably will make you feel even more exhausted once that caffeine wears off. Instead of a sugar filled bowl of cereal, try a couple boiled eggs and some veggie sticks. Or grab a couple of blocks of cheese and some fruit. This is a healthier choice and you can still take it on the go.

If you start your day off this way instead of full of sugar and caffeine, you will be in a better mood throughout the rest of the day.

There are many ways to get healthy, the first step is healthy eating. Once you do that, you will lose most of your weight there. What healthy foods are your favorite? Is healthy eating easy for you, or is it a headache for you like it is for me?