Water Detox Recipe for a Healthy Holiday Season

water detox recipe

Photo by Shutterstock.com

The holidays are nearly upon us!  With Halloween just past, Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. Then, more festivities arrive in December. This all means one thing for most of us…. the potential for overindulging from time to time!  Whether raiding your kid’s Halloween candy basket or  celebrating at your office holiday party, we all fall prey to consuming too much food and drink during the last quarter of the calendar year.  Though many of us do try to adhere to healthy eating habits during this time, it’s not always practical and certainly not always easy.  Eating and drinking too much is hardest on your liver, kidneys and intestines according to a report by FoxNews.com and usually leads to a general feeling of lethargy and discomfort.  Too many holiday cocktails can also lead to dehydration and the dreaded hangover.

Did you know that by drinking water, you can rid your body of many of the toxins left residing in your system and rehydrate at the same time?  So, when sticking to a healthy diet just isn’t an option, consider detoxing with good old fashioned H2O! As a bonus, drinking water can also restore moisture to overly parched winter skin.

It is not necessary to jump on the bandwagon with one of the many detox fad diets that are on the market today.  Although the phrase has gained much popularity in the recent years, the truth is that all you need is nature’s oldest and purest element, water!  The idea is to flush the system with an ample amount of water, usually the old adage 8 glasses per day.

Don’t care for the taste of plain water?  Not a problem.  There are a lot of simple ingredients that can be added to enhance the flavor, plus contribute to additional health benefits. An article on EverydayRoots.com, recommends the following:

  • Watermelon
  • Cucumber
  • Lemon and/ or Lime
  • Mint leaves

 

Start with a 2 liter pitcher of purified water; add one or a combination of any or all of the above ingredients.  Then refrigerate.   The longer you allow it to sit, the stronger the flavors will be.  Then, simply serve over ice with added lemon or lime if desired.  Drink the entire 2 liters throughout the day to receive the most benefits.  This water detox plan is safe to use on a daily basis, as it is completely natural with no harsh additives or chemicals.

Before you start this simple plan, make sure to invest in a quality water filtration system from FiltersFast.com.  You may choose from filtered pitchers and water bottles to under sink filtration and whole house filtration systems. Once you have decided on the best way to filter your drinking water, follow this regimen for a few days after overindulging and you should be back to normal in no time. So if you find yourself feeling out of sorts during the holidays this year, just drink up…water that is!

Keep Kids & Family Healthy this Holiday / Winter Season – Cold & Flu

prevent cold & flu

Photo Courtesy of TheTelegraph

Have you have ever been awakened early morning with a very sick child, only to realize that you have a house full of family members coming in a few hours for Thanksgiving dinner?  There is nothing worse than trying to comfort a sick, little one while trying to mash the potatoes, stuff the turkey and keep Grandpa’s coffee cup full. Trying to keep your family healthy during the holiday season is a challenge as it happens to occur right in the middle of cold and flu season.

It doesn’t have to be this way… there are good, proven strategies that we can use to help protect our children and families from dreaded cold and flu viruses.   According to a recent report on WebMD there are some easy to follow tips to help prevent the spread and contraction of those pesky viruses:

  1. Wash those hands!  If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times.  Frequent hand washing with soap and warm water, for a minimum of 20 seconds is a proven, effective way to kill germs. In a crunch, hand sanitizer will work also.  I also find myself saying “keep your hands off of your face/ out of your mouth/nose and away from your eyes” at least once per day.  Children’s hands do not remain clean very long, so remind them…. wash often, hands off face.
  2. Get your flu shot (or the nasal spray vaccine)!  This goes for the entire family above 2 years of age.  Although this will not guarantee that your child won’t get the flu, the CDC says it is about 65% effective.  If the flu is still contracted after the shot, the symptoms should be much milder and last a shorter duration.
  3. Practice healthy habits! That’s right.  What we should all be doing year round anyways will go extra far during cold and flu season.  Eat right.  Get plenty of quality sleep.  Exercise every day.

 

In addition, research has been conducted and found that investing in a quality home humidifier can help fight the flu. “It seems that [the influenza virus’] ability to survive and be transmitted person-to-person is greatly affected by how dry or wet the air is,” says Jeffrey Shaman, PhD, of Oregon State University in Corvallis, whose study is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  The flu virus thrives in low moisture, dry environments, so by using a humidifier, you are able to control the indoor humidity level, thus reducing the potential spread of the virus.

Also, make sure you change your home’s HVAC air filters. By design, these filters are made to remove dust, mold, pollen, allergens and bacteria from the air.  By removing these airborne particulates, you will be breathing cleaner, healthier air.

Fight back this year against cold and flu season.  My Grandma always said, “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.” So, enjoy the holidays this year… with a healthy family!

Fall Leaf Burning…Hazardous to Your Health & Leads to Air Pollution

burning leaves - air pollution

Photo courtesy of TheGazette.com

When asked your favorite season of the year, many people choose fall.  Milder weather means more time spent outdoors enjoying nature. Apples, pumpkins and other harvest decorations come out of storage and the holiday season kicks off.  One of the tell tale signs that fall has arrived is the smell of burning leaves. You know the drill.  That time of year when the seasons change and your grass is suddenly completely covered in fallen, dead leaves.  Many of us remedy this issue by spending the day or days ranking leaves into piles meant for burning.  Although this may be an annual tradition for many of us, it may not be the best idea.

Aside from the fact that burning leaves is against the law in many places due to safety concerns, did you know that it can also be hazardous to our health?

The smoke produced from burning leaves contains high concentrations of microscopic particles and dust. Once inhaled, these particulates can embed deep within lung tissue.  According to The Breath Campaign, breathing these particulates can lead to respiratory infection, reduce the volume of air inhaled and impair the lungs’ ability to use that air. Particulate matter can also trigger asthma attacks in some people. Various toxic gases and chemicals, called hydrocarbons, are produced by the burning leaves. These can cause eye, nose, throat and lung irritation.

In addition to health concerns, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), multiple leaf and yard waste fires burning at the same time in a particular geographic region can cause air pollution similar to that from factories and motor vehicles.

There are other ways to deal with your yard full of dead leaves which are safer, more environmentally friendly and without health risks.

  • Mulching: use your lawn mower to chop the leaves and allow them to return nutrients to the grass and soil
  • Composting: add your yard waste, including grass, leaves and branches to a compost pile
  • Pick up service: some communities will collect yard waste on certain days or you may drop off your waste at a local landscape disposal site
dont burn leaves

Image Credit: Mt. Lebenon, PA Official website

Let this be the season that you break your traditional leaf burning routine and instead use one of the above referenced alternatives.  Better enjoy your time outside while breathing fresher air this fall!