Saturday, October 18, 2008

When Life Gives Me Lemons

I love lemons. And I love to begin my morning with a fresh-squeezed lemon drink. I don’t only love lemons because they taste so good, but lemons are great for my health.

The most wonderful characteristic of the lemon is its alkalizing effect on the blood chemistry. Outside of the body, lemon juice is acid. However, inside the body it is alkaline. It is very important to keep our bodies away from an acid state since much disease results from and thrives in an acidic environment. The standard American diet especially contributes to an acid state with its refined sugars, refined carbohydrates, caffeine, meat, and pollution. Begin your day with the alkalizing lemon beverage I detail below and, please, skip the soda.

This lemonade comes from the Stanley Burroughs Master Cleanse. I like to use both lemons and limes in my drink. Limes add a wonderful zest and tang to any drink or smoothie. My procedure for refreshing, morning lemonade follows:

  1. Juice one lemon and one lime and pour the juice into a pint-size glass.
  2. With the juice in the glass, begin to pour pure organic maple syrup (Grade B or C is recommended) into the glass. The maple syrup will sit below the lemon juice without mixing. Pour in the maple syrup until it looks like it is 1/2 the amount of lemon juice. You can use as much as a 1:1 ratio of lemon juice to maple syrup. However, I like it to be a little tart. Experiment to find what ratio you like best. Today, I tried the drink with raw organic agave nectar as an experiment. It worked just as well. Agave nectar is my #1 sweetener of choice. You can find out more about sweeteners here.
  3. Cayenne Pepper is an optional step. Most of the time I do not use the Cayenne because I like to sip and enjoy my lemonade. However, if you want a spicy kick and the health benefits of cayenne, go ahead and add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Another option is to take cayenne capsules to get the benefits without the taste.
  4. Lastly, fill the glass with pure water and make sure all components are mixed. The maple syrup has a tendency to sit on the bottom. You may have to experiment with the amount of water you prefer. I like my drink stronger, so I will not fill the glass all the way. Also, the juice yield from the lemons and limes will vary from day to day, which means you will have to be flexible to adapt your maple syrup and water measurement. I use color as my indication of when to stop adding water. I make sure my lemonade is somewhere between very yellow and pale yellow. Again, you will have to experiment to find your preference.

For those that need precise measurements, use the following recipe:
  • 1/4 c. fresh lemon/lime juice
  • 1/4 c. Grade B organic maple syrup
  • 8 oz. distilled water
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Make this beverage a morning ritual to help you remember to take your daily vitamin supplements, to kick start your metabolism, to give you a vitamin C immunity boost, to alkalize, and to get you ready for your morning workout.

Additionally, remember that negative thoughts contribute to an acid blood chemistry while positive thoughts contribute to an alkaline blood chemistry. Stay positive in your thinking. A great exercise at the end of your day (especially a bad one) is to think about all the good things that happened, no matter how small they are. Example: It started raining, and I had my umbrella with me which prevented me from getting drenched.

Healthy Tip: Boil the lemon rinds on your stovetop for a natural room freshener.

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