I’d be willing to bet that at some crappy point in your life when nothing seemed to be going right some impossibly upbeat (and a tad cliché) friend or family member gave you the popular advice: “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade!” (or for others, such as the 17-year olds I observed with rapt amusement on the subway last night, tequila shots). But if you want amazing digestion and improved health, it seems the saying should actually be: “when life hands you lemons, throw one in a mug with some warm water and drink up!” (and then use the rest to make some delicious Paleo Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf, but I’ll get to that).
As I have quickly learned in my first two weeks of school, the number one commandment of most holistic nutritionists is: Thou shalt start your day with warm lemon water. Why? Lemme tell you. First, lemons are the fruit equivalent of a clown car, packed with so many incredible nutrients, including vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and my fave little digestive helper, fiber. Second, it’s an amazing detoxifier, helping to flush the toxins out of your body by enhancing enzyme function and stimulating your liver (which is THE detox organ). Also, lightening the detox load for your liver gives it the chance to focus on its other functions, like metabolizing fats, which helps make your pants a little looser. Woot!
But we’re not done yet…
Lemons are alkalizing, meaning that if you drink lemon water on a regular basis, it will decrease the acidity in your body, which is where disease states occur. It also removes uric acid in your joints, which is one of the main causes of inflammation. And by drinking it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, you kick start your digestion, helping to keep your gut happy all day long (and sparing you from awkward questions about due dates when you’re not pregnant…).
So what should you do to reap all these benefits? Start each morning by squeezing half a lemon into a warm mug of water and then drop the whole thing in there (since the liver supporting enzymes are in the peel), let it steep for 10 minutes, then sip away! Wait 15 minutes before eating or drinking anything else, letting the lemon work its magic. I know, waiting for that morning cup of coffee can be tough but it’s worth it! This practice may even help you cut out one of your morning cups of joe, which will also improve your health by cutting out some caffeine from your diet.
Ok, now for this little detail about a Paleo Lemon Poppyseed Loaf recipe promised earlier. Let me start by saying it’s delicious (it took some serious control not to use an expletive adjective that starts with an F there). This may be a bold statement, but it just may be the best damn thing I have created so far. And since it’s grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free and low in sugar (or sugar-free if you opt for stevia), well that just makes it even better!
So this weekend, do your digestive system a solid and start your day with a mug of warm lemon water. And follow that up 15 minutes later with a giant piece of this delicious, lemony slice of heaven!
The Natural Blonde
Paleo Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf
- ½ cup of coconut flour
- ½ tsp. of sea salt
- ¼ tsp. of baking soda
- 4 eggs
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp. coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup xylitol or coconut sugar
- 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
- 1 Tbsp. lemon zest (about one medium-size organic lemon zested)
Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, sift together all your dry ingredients. Next, add the eggs, oil, applesauce, honey, and vanilla and mix well (I use an electric mixer). Lastly, add the lemon zest and the poppy seeds and mix again.
Pour into a parchment lined loaf pan and pop it into the oven for 35 minutes or until brown around the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before slicing. Enjoy!
Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.