I’ve heard about it a while ago but I was kind of lazy when it came to preparing breakfast first thing in the morning, the less complicated my morning was the better. And I suspect it is the same for pretty much everyone. I just didn’t want to have to do anything before I left the house for work.
However, I’ve now learnt that it does make a difference whether you do or don’t have breakfast before leaving the house, and there is also a huge difference between starting your morning with just a coffee and pastry on the go and starting with lemon water and a natural juice.
By “natural juice” I mean something you make yourself on the spot, not something you bought on a shop, mainly because:
a.- Once in contact with the air, vitamins disappear in a matter of hours (Vitamin C is particularly susceptible). You can slow down the process by refrigerating the juice, but it will still happen. Therefore the juice that has been standing on a counter for a day is a dead juice: no vitamins, no energy, no life. If you want to take full advantage of your fruits and veg: Chop. Juice.Drink up.
b.- Most shop bought juices have added sugar to make them “tastier” as most people are used to big amounts of sugar in everything they eat or drink. Also sugar is addictive so sneaking some sugar into your “healthy” drink is a good way to keep you hooked.
c.- The nastier juices have also additives and colourants which are not good for you and defeat the point of calling fruit juice a “healthy” option.
Sorry, got a bit side-tracked there… back to the story: after a stressful period that ended in me over-eating crap, I decided to try the alkaline diet to detox. That’s what I thought at the time: that it was going to be just for a few days, to detoxify and feel better, but I felt so well (after the first 3 days of detox which were painful) and energized that, I’ve been eating mostly alkaline ever since.
So, for the When: Lemon water should be drank first thing in the morning, before you drink or eat anything else. After half an hour or so, you can have your normal breakfast, ideally it would be a green juice or a vegetable juice.
Why lemon, why water, why warm?
1.- After 8 hours in bed our body is dehydrated when we wake up. Drinking water first thing in the morning helps the body rehydrate and flush any remaining toxins from the day before. If the water is lukewarm then the body doesn’t have to bring it to body temperature, which would be the case if you were drinking ice-cold water. This way, your body has to do a minimum of work to digest all the lemon nutrients and rehydrate.
2.- Lemon, despite its acidic taste, is alkaline once in the body because of its high content of minerals, so by drinking lemon juice you provide your body with an alkaline beginning to the day and therefore make it easier for your stomach to digest whichever comes next.
3.- Lemons increase the rate of urination, thus helping your body flush unwanted materials at a faster rate keeping your urinary tract healthy.
It also helps cleanse the liver of harmful toxins.
4.- It boosts your immune system: Lemons have a high content of vitamin C needed to fight colds, and potassium which stimulates nerve and brain functions. Ascorbic acid also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Vitamin C is one of the first things that plummets when you are under stress, so lemon water is also recommended during periods of stress. Now you know: When under stress, rather than popping muffins like they are peas, try starting the day with a healthy glass of this.
5.- Improves skin: Vitamin C is vital for healthy, glowing skin and its alkaline nature kills some type of bacteria known to be the cause of acne.
6.- Aids in weight loss: Lemons are high in pectin fibre which helps fight hunger cravings.
I find that after having my glass of lemon water, any craving I might have had is gone. A bit like after you brush your teeth with a minty toothpaste: hunger is gone. After a couple of weeks of lemon water followed by a juice, that’s all I want for in the morning.
A great thing about this too: You’ll feel full of energy, but not the fast burning, fake, energy of a coffee, that comes and goes in a flash; this is more of a slow release energy: longer lasting and more satisfying.
Now, onto the recipe:
Ingredients for a glass:
A bit of hot or boiling water (let’s say 50 ml.)
250 ml cold water
Half a lemon.
You’ll find that some recipes call for purified water or alkaline water and organic lemons. At this point I think using regular lemons and water is ok.
How to: Super easy: 1.- Put some hot water in a glass (you can see how much I used on the picture above) 2.- Add the cold water and taste to see whether it is lukewarm to warmish, if it is, squeeze the lemon with your hand (no need to get any particular tool for this) and drink!!