Welcome to the first posting in my project, A Year of Natural Health & Beauty: 52 Ideas to Enhance Your Mind, Body, and Spirit! During 2012, I’ll be posting one easy, frugal, and all-natural tip each week to help guide you along a path of beauty and health.
Before covering today’s tip, I want to review a few very basic actions that set the foundation for health and beauty. You can plant seeds in a dry, overgrown yard but they won’t thrive, if they even sprout. It’s much better to clear away the weeds, freshen up the soil with worms and loam builder, and then plant your seeds with love and care.
Same concept here.
Of course, smoking, drugs, and self-harm are detrimental, but here I’m talking about common-sense steps that make everything you do in addition to them even better.
The Basics: 8 Tips
1. Get plenty of sleep.
Lack of sleep contributes to everything from stress to weight gain to loss of brain function and memory and decreased sex drive. Getting your “beauty sleep” really does count, as lack of sleep also results in sallow skin, dark shadows, and puffy, bloodshot eyes due to excess cortisol, which breaks down the skin’s collagen and inhibits its ability to repair itself.
2. Exercise regularly.
At least 30 minutes a day of walking, running, dancing, biking, swimming, yoga, Pilates ~ whatever floats your boat, just do it! Break it up into 10-minute segments if you have to. Shopping counts, if that’s all you have time for. So does gardening, cleaning, and having sex. Not only will it help your weight and metabolism, it will help to improve your mood, brain function and memory, and will increase cellular turnover, keeping your skin looking fresh and young!
3. Eat right.
Nobody has summed it up better than Michael Pollan: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Vegetables and fruit provide vital nutrients that help to increase cellular turnover, which is basically your body’s natural fountain of youth. Eat the rainbow every day!
4. Drink plenty of water.
You’ve had this drummed into your head but I’m saying it again. Dehydration shrinks your brain, dries out your skin, contributes to wrinkles and splotches, and can make you depressed and irritable. Hydrate up!
5. Use sunscreen daily.
6. Brush AND floss twice a day.
Another one that’s been drummed into your head, but sometimes you just need to hear it again. Both, twice, every day. Not just for your gorgeous pearly whites but for your overall health.
7. Exfoliate all over.
Skin covers everything! Even if you’re eating right and getting plenty of antioxidants and vital nutrients, your skin could use some extra help on the outside. Be gentle but be consistent. Your skin will glow from a daily scrub!
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s move forward to the easy, frugal, all-natural tip of the day.
Natural Health & Beauty Tip #1:
Drink Lemon Water
If nothing else, simply adding lemon to your water makes it more flavorful! But the benefits of lemon water are so bountiful that this is indisputably my number one health and beauty tip.
- It helps to alkalize the body, balancing the body’s pH level and reducing the acidifying effects of meat, alcohol, dairy, and stress.
- Its antibacterial properties help to control unhealthy bacteria in the body. Balancing bacteria, particularly in the gut, can help keep you healthy all year long.
- When taken with warm water, it aids digestion while calming heartburn, bloating, and belching. It cleans your liver, your body’s most important internal waste-removal organ, and helps to reduce constipation.
- It decreases phlegm and mucus and loosens congestion.
- It helps to cleanse and purify the blood.
- It works as a diuretic, helping the body to flush excess fluid. This can be useful for women who are premenstrual and feeling bloated. It also helps the body to remove waste and keeps the kidneys and urinary systems clean.
- It contains large amounts of Vitamin C and trace amounts of Vitamin A, magnesium, and potassium. For a fantastic sports drink to replace your lost electrolytes, add a sprinkle of sea salt and a smidgen of agave nectar!
- For those who dislike drinking plain water, adding flavor makes it more appealing. Hydrate up!
Caution: drinking too much lemon water can cause your tooth enamel to become fragile. After drinking it, swish your mouth with plain water. Don’t brush your teeth for 30 minutes after drinking lemon water.
I’m thirsty now!
Do you drink lemon water regularly? If so, what benefits have you noticed?
What are some of your basic, foundational, common-sense health and beauty actions?