5 Healthy Snacks to Pack for Work This Week

I’m lucky because our pantry at work is always stocked with healthy snacks like roasted edemame beans, mini trail mix packs, and Kind bars, but I still bring snacks to work sometimes.

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Here are a few ideas for healthy snacks to pack for work this week!

1. Frozen Grapes: Frozen grapes are such a refreshing summer snack. Put them in the freezer overnight and enjoy them the next day!

2. Cucumber, celery, peppers, and carrots with hummus: I love hummus! This healthy snack has a serving of healthy veggies and protein.

3. Homemade dried fruit: Here is a great way to make homemade dried fruit without needing a dehydrator.

4. Mixed Berries: I like packing raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. I put some in my water and have the rest as a snack.

5. Nakd Healthy Snacks: The company sent me these to review and they are great. I like taking them to work or as a snack after a hike or workout. A bit about them: “With nothing but raw fruits and nuts smooshed together, our Nākd bars contain 100% natural ingredients, meaning there are no added sugars, syrups or other stuff that shouldn’t be there. Completely wheat, dairy and gluten free, these bars are bursting with taste and have an irresistible soft and chewy texture that’s oh-so good. Perfect as a snack between meals, bundling a Nakd bar in lunchboxes or bags is a great way to stay fuelled the healthy way.”

What healthy snacks do you bring to work? I’m always looking for new suggestions!

When Life Gives You Lemons: The Benefits of Hot Water With Lemon

The Benefits of Hot Water with Lemon

I drink hot water with lemon every single day. Sometimes I make hot water with lemon and strawberries or hot water with lemon, ginger, and a hint of honey but I always have some type of hot water with lemon. I’ve been doing some more research into the heath benefits of hot water with lemon and I found a thorough post by Beth from Tasty Yummies and another from Detox Diva.

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hot water with strawberries and lemon

10 Benefits to Drinking Hot Water With Lemon Every Morning:

1) Aids Digestion. Lemon juice flushes out unwanted materials and toxins from the body. It’s atomic composition is similar to saliva and the hydrochloric acid of digestive juices. It encourages the liver to produce bile which is an acid that is required for digestion. Lemons are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract. The digestive qualities of lemon juice help to relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as heartburn, belching and bloating. The American Cancer Society actually recommends offering warm lemon water to cancer sufferers to help stimulate bowel movements.

2) Cleanses Your System / is a Diuretic. Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials in part because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Therefore toxins are released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy. The citric acid in lemons helps maximize enzyme function, which stimulates the liver and aids in detoxification.

3) Boosts Your Immune System. Lemons are high in vitamin C, which is great for fighting colds.  They’re high in potassium, which stimulates brain and nerve function. Potassium also helps control blood pressure. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) found in lemons demonstrates anti-inflammatory effects, and is used as complementary support for asthma and other respiratory symptoms plus it enhances iron absorption in the body; iron plays an important role in immune function. Lemons also contain saponins, which show antimicrobial properties that may help keep cold and flu at bay. Lemons also reduce the amount of phlegm produced by the body.

4) Balances pH Levels. Lemons are one of the most alkalizing foods for the body. Sure, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they’re alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized). Lemons contain both citric and ascorbic acid, weak acids easily metabolized from the body allowing the mineral content of lemons to help alkalize the blood. Disease states only occur when the body pH is acidic. Drinking lemon water regularly can help to remove overall acidity in the body, including uric acid in the joints, which is one of the primary causes of pain and inflammation.

5) Clears Skin. The vitamin C component as well as other antioxidants helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes and it helps to combat free radical damage. Vitamin C is vital for healthy glowing skin while its alkaline nature kills some types of bacteria known to cause acne. It can actually be applied directly to scars or age spots to help reduce their appearance. Since lemon water purges toxins from your blood, it would also be helping to keep your skin clear of blemishes from the inside out. The vitamin C contained in the lemon rejuvenates the skin from within your body.

6) Energizes You and Enhances Your Mood. The energy a human receives from food comes from the atoms and molecules in your food. A reaction occurs when the positive charged ions from food enter the digestive tract and interact with the negative charged enzymes. Lemon is one of the few foods that contain more negative charged ions, providing your body with more energy when it enters the digestive tract. The scent of lemon also has mood enhancing and energizing properties. The smell of lemon juice can brighten your mood and help clear your mind. Lemon can also help reduce anxiety and depression.

7) Promotes Healing. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), found in abundance in lemons, promotes wound healing, and is an essential nutrient in the maintenance of healthy bones, connective tissue, and cartilage. As noted previously, vitamin C also displays anti-inflammatory properties. Combined, vitamin C is an essential nutrient in the maintenance of good health and recovery from stress and injury.

8) Freshens Breath. Besides fresher breath, lemons have  been known to help relieve tooth pain and gingivitis. Be aware that citric acid can erode tooth enamel, so you should be mindful of this. No not brush your teeth just after drinking your lemon water. It is best to brush your teeth first, then drink your lemon water, or wait a significant amount of time after to brush your teeth. Additionally, you can rinse your mouth with purified water after you finish your lemon water.

9) Hydrates Your Lymph System. Warm water and lemon juice supports the immune system by hydrating and replacing fluids lost by your body. When your body is deprived of water, you can definitely feel the side effects, which include: feeling tired, sluggish, decreased immune function, constipation, lack of energy, low/high blood pressure, lack of sleep, lack of mental clarity and feeling stressed, just to name a few.

10) Aids in Weight Loss. Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. Studies have shown people who maintain a more alkaline diet, do in fact lose weight faster. I personally find myself making better choices throughout the day, if I start my day off right, by making a health conscious choice to drink warm lemon water first thing every morning.

The Benefits of Ginger Lemon Tea (Detox Diva): 

1.  Jump starts and hydrates the lymphatic system.  Warm water (cold water must go through the process of warming up and does not have the same stimulating effects) immediately starts the hydration process.  Lemon water stimulates the lymphatic system to remove the toxins accumulated in the lymph glands, colon, and bladder overnight.  Adding ginger further helps in elimination of waste through the colon and studies have shown that it provides protection against the development of cancer cells and polyps. Lemon ginger water is also extremely beneficial in cleansing the liver. Chronic dehydration, a problem rampant in our society, leads to stress on the adrenal glands leading to adrenal fatigue.  Starting your day with a mug of lemon ginger water is like an everyday detox that helps you flush toxins, nourish your adrenals, and boost your metabolism.

2. Lemon Water is alkalizingThe body functions best in a more alkaline state and cancer cells tend to breed in an acidic body. Unfortunately due to the Standard American Diet (SAD) , the toxins in  household, beauty and personal care items, and even the day to day toxins in the environment, most people live in an acidic state which breeds illness and disease.  An alkaline state also calms chronic inflammation which is a prime cause of autoimmune diseases and illnesses with immune factors  such as rheumatoid arthritis, polymyositis, ankylosing spondylitis, and fibromyalgia. Ginger displays anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and various other muscular disorders. The chemical components of the root are instrumental in inhibiting the biosynthesis of prostaglandins which are responsible for causing inflammation. Thus the root has proven to be a highly effective form of treatment, in some cases, even more so than the NSAIDs that are traditionally prescribed.  Also, remember, cancer cannot live in an alkaline environment.

3.  Great for glowing skin!  Lemon ginger water is better than any anti-aging cream on the planet.  Rich in Vitamins C and B (specifically riboflavin which protects cells from damage and is great for tissue repair), and minerals like calcium, phosphorous and magnesium (which are great for bones but also calms stress, nourishes adrenal glands, and stimulates collagen).  Your skin can’t glow if your body is toxic or acidic so reasons #1 and #2 are also going to help your skin radiate with health.

4.  Both ginger and lemon are great for digestion.  Ginger is both anti-inflammatory and mucous dissolving (grains cause both inflammation and mucous in both the digestive and respiratory tract).  Lemon is alkalizing.  Both are full of healthy enzymes. Together they stimulate proper digestion.  Lemon stimulates the liver to produce bile which optimizes digestion.  Ginger helps protein digestion, perfect before a protein-rich breakfast.  Water helps lubricate everything to working properly.  All of these factors also encourage the elimination of toxins ingested through foods through the colon.  Which leads us to our last but certainly best reason to drink lemon ginger water in the morning.

5.  Lemon ginger water helps weight loss!  First, people who are more alkaline lose weight more efficiently.  There are many reasons for this; the main one being they limit sugars and grains which cause insulin spikes leading to glycogen being stored as fat.  Ginger is anti-inflammatory which also aids in weight loss and people with chronic inflammation hold weight in both fat and water as the body’s way of trying to fight the reasons for inflammation.  Lemon is a natural diuretic and also stimulates digestion by stimulating bile production in the  liver.  The combination of lemon, ginger, and water hydrate and boost the body’s ability to detox.  A detoxed body is a lean body.

*Image adapted from here. All other images are from my Instagram.