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Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

First, apologies for being MIA for a while. Time got the better of me over the last few months with an abundance of VIP visitors (ie. family and BFFs) plus the start of many new offline projects.

Normally, I eschew routine (such is the Gemini way). But I thought I might share one of the few rituals I do have – a morning ritual that I’ve been pretty consistent with despite the constant change around me: warm lemon water.

I can’t remember exactly when I added warm lemon water to my daily routine. But as I started to become more attentive to my own personal wellness, I discovered this. For so long, my mornings began with a desperate urge for a caffeine drip. But over the last many years, this has shifted; while I still enjoy my morning java most days, before I put anything else into my body, I chug a tall glass (or mug) of warm lemon water.

Depending on where I am in the world, yellow lemons might not actually be available, in which case I switch to the local limes. For example, in Peru and India, limes are local and abundant, whereas yellow lemons are nowhere to be found. The flavour is similar and they contain very similar properties.

Warm lime water starts my day in Peru. No lemons here.

According to Ayurvedic thought, a glass of warm lemon water first thing in the morning gets the body started right. The combination of warm water and lemon hydrates the body after a night’s sleep, stimulates digestion, and flushes the body of toxins (or ama in Ayurvedic-speak). Chinese medicine says that warm water matches the temperature of the body which makes it easier for the body to process than cold water. It’s a common element in many detox programs. I adopted it as a daily habit.

Every morning, I squeeze a lemon wedge (or half a small lime) into a glass of warm water. And drink.

It was such an easy element to add to my day. It doesn’t require much effort and I can do it almost anywhere I am. No special knowledge. No special equipment. No side effects.

And tons of benefits. Well, at least 4 …

Hydrates. After a night’s sleep, my body’s pretty dehydrated. It just feels good to start the day by replacing lost fluids with a glass of water. And the added lemon is an extra source of electrolytes.

Flushes and cleanses. Warm lemon water helps break down food in the stomach, stimulate the bowels, and flush the body of toxins. In short, it helps me go to the bathroom and literally get rid of the crap that needs to come out.

Boosts the immune system. Lemons are known to have alkaline, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, AND anti-oxidant properties. They are high in vitamin C, vitamin P, and potassium. All of this is beneficial to the immune system and overall health.

Keeps skin healthy. I’ve had skin problems in the past, which I truly believe were related to a lifestyle that was way off-balance (read: stress, lack of sleep and poor diet). Through a major lifestyle overhaul, I feel I’ve been able to heal my skin from the inside out. The warm lemon water thing is part of all of this. Warm lemon water aids in the stimulation of liver function which helps purge toxins from the blood which, in turn, helps keep the skin healthy and clear. In addition, the high levels of anti-oxidant vitamin C in lemons promote cellular healing and maintenance, by helping to neutralize and combat free-radical damage from stress, inflammation, and pollution.

What about you? Is this something that you already incorporate into your daily routine?

*This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.