Cucumber water is an easy drink alternative and one that you’ll want to consider the next time you’re feeling thirsty! It’s not hard to make and definitely well worth the effort and here’s a few reasons why ….
1. Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate
When you meet your specific water needs you’ll enjoy the benefits of staying hydrated, like maintaining the right body temperature, helping your cardiovascular system, and assisting in the cleansing of toxins. You’ll have more energy and help each of your organs do its job better when they’re getting enough water. Cucumber water adds that little something extra to regular water that makes you more likely to drink it more often, helping you stay hydrated each day. For the best results make sure you are using purified or spring water to avoid the intake of contaminants.
2. Provides Extra Vitamins and Minerals
Water is vital to the body, but by itself it’s not a great source of vitamins. When you add in cucumbers you’ll be adding in vitamins and minerals that will help supplement the rest of your diet. Many cucumber water recipes also add in fruit, so you’ll be getting antioxidants and extra vitamins from those, like Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Since these vitamins are coming from whole food sources and not synthetic vitamins they’ll be better absorbed and utilized by the body than if you were to get them from waters marketed as containing added vitamins.
3. Brings Down Blood Pressure naturally!
Keeping your blood pressure in check is important because it will help keep you away from debilitating diseases like stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, or vision loss. By drinking cucumber water you’re staying hydrated, and helping your blood pressure thanks to the 4% DV of potassium cucumbers contain.
Since they’re essentially free of sodium you’ll get the maximum benefit of this important mineral if high blood pressure is a concern. Just be sure not to go overboard with your water intake, you’re looking for the Goldilocks amount of “just right”.
4. Curbs your Appetite…
Drinking a glass of cucumber water when you’re hungry can help you make it until your next meal if it’s not quite mealtime. Eating when you’re not actually hungry can lead to weight gain, sluggishness, and can throw you off your natural eating cycle. When you feel hunger coming on before it’s time to eat again, see if you’re just thirsty. Thirst and hunger use the same signal, and drinking cucumber water can help determine if it’s really hunger that you’re dealing with. Saving yourself from just a few unwarranted meals a week can be a big boost to your health.
5. Beautiful Skin, who doesn’t want beautiful skin?
Staying hydrated will help your skin stay supple and smooth, and adding in cucumbers to your water intake means you’re getting extra nutrients that helps even more. Cucumbers contain silica, which provides extra benefits to the skin. You can also use the cucumbers after you’ve finished the cucumber water. They’re great for helping to calm irritation caused by acne or other blemishes. You’ll be helping your skin from the inside, as well as topically when you add cucumber water to your skin care routine.
6. Helps Your Muscles!
Whether or not you’re trying to put on muscle, helping your muscles stay strong is a good idea. The same silica in cucumbers that helps the skin, also helps your muscle tissues healthy. It’s a great choice if you’ve added a strength training regimen to your healthy lifestyle, or if you want to make sure that your muscles have all of the nutrients needed to function at their best. A daily glass of cucumber water makes a great contribution to the overall health of your muscles, and your body in general.
7. Antioxidant/Detoxing Properties …
Use cucumber water during a detox program and you’ll be helping the body out even more. It contains antioxidants that will help battle free radicals, and helps the body flush out built-up toxins thanks to its hydrating effect. Detoxing the body doesn’t have to be a one time or once a year event, you can help your body stay clean with daily attention to the foods that you’re taking in, as well as avoiding foods that are known as being toxic to the body. This sort of regular maintenance keeps you feeling great all year long.
8. Anti-Cancer Benefits
Cucumbers have shown promise for their anti-cancer properties, and when you use them as part of an overall healthy lifestyle, you’ll be helping to avoid this disease. Of course they aren’t powerful enough by themselves to ward off cancer, but as part of a broader approach at a healthy lifestyle it makes sense to stay hydrated with cucumber water. You’ll be taking in plenty of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients like the cucurbitacins found in cucumbers giving you a better chance at staying healthy long-term.
9. Everyone knows how important it is to drink water. But sometimes it’s just plain, boring and doesn’t sound appealing. Adding some flavor to your water will help you drink more. Adding healthy ingredients like cucumbers, or really any fruits, vegetables or herbs adds flavor and health benefits without any additives or preservatives!
5 Cucumber Water Recipes you might want to try….
•Lemon Cucumber Mint Water
Cucumbers and lemons go well together, and in this recipe they’ve included the cooling effect of fresh mint to the water so you’re getting several tastes competing for your attention. Lemons themselves are high in Vitamin C, and since you’re unlikely to eat lemons the way you’d eat an orange, drinking this lemon cucumber concoction is a great way to top up on this immune-boosting vitamin. Mint is also a rich source of Vitamin C, as well as important minerals like calcium and magnesium. Consider adding the mint to a soup or smoothie after you’ve finished the water, as it’s an excellent source of fiber.
•Cucumber Herb-Infused Water
When you add in herbs to regular cucumber water you’re upping the flavor profile and also getting the nutrients each herb provides. This recipe goes all out and adds in three different herbs to get the flavor just right. At the same time you’re getting the vitamins and minerals from these herbs. Rosemary is a great source of iron, calcium, and potassium, and thyme can take care of your Vitamin C needs for the day all by itself. You’re also getting additional minerals from the mint, and the vitamins from the lemon. And don’t forget the goodness of cucumbers. That’s a packed glass of water!
•Springtime Strawberry Cucumber Water
You don’t have to wait till spring to make this springtime strawberry water featuring plenty of cucumber goodness. The lemon, cucumber, and strawberries make a nice trio of flavors and work well together. There’s also your choice of herbs, and they recommend either mint or basil so you can tailor this to your particular palate. The strawberries will infuse the water with additional vitamins that cucumbers don’t have a ton of, namely Vitamin C. If it happens to be spring this makes a great water to drink to help the body rid itself of any toxins stored up from a long winter.
•Cucumber and Basil Water
The great part about making this cucumber and basil water is that you’re getting the tasty flavor of basil as well as the extra antioxidants it provides. That’s right, basil just doesn’t pack extra taste into the water, it’s also a nutrient powerhouse with the amount of Vitamin A it has. The Vitamin A gets turned into beta-Carotene in the body and has a strong antioxidant effect on the body, going to work on free radicals and helping you feel better. Contrary to popular belief, beta-Carotene helps with more than just your eyes. It helps the immune system and can even act as an anti-cancer agent.
•Refreshing Fruit Water
Feeling parched is not in the cards when you make up a batch of this fruit water. But don’t let the title fool you, it’s packing more than just fruit and includes several slices of cucumber. Blueberries and strawberries give you a boost of antioxidants, and cucumber provides minerals and additional antioxidants that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to take on the rest of your day. When compared to other drinks marketed as energy drinks you’re much better going with an all-natural option that leaves you feeling good with no crash later.
Have a fantastic day, enjoy every minute in happiness and health.
Xxx~ Stacy, your wellness guru
What does balancing your life mean? What would a balanced life look like? Can it be achieved with our crazy lives and schedules?
You can change what isn’t working and gain control of your life. You can easily maintain these changes and enjoy the the peace that comes with balance.
There is no great secret but one simple rule ….do not try to change everything at once! Sustainable change happens when you make small adjustments over time. That means different things to each of us, you must determine what works for you.
As you make new positive life habits, you will see your life changing and after enjoying a balanced life, you will never look back!
Try implementing only one of these habits at a time, only one a month! First, as you add them slowly you will concentrate and see the many ways each tip affects your life. Second, and most importantly this will create habits. Habits that will easily contribute your sustainable health!
Sustainable Healthy Habits …
* Turn off the electronics – Disconnect on the weekend. I hear the excuses already, but try it, at least for one day or even a few hours each night. Put the phone down and turn off the computer. Give your work brain a rest. You do not need to be reachable at all times. Your time is valuable! Disconnect and live in the moment, learn to be mindful. Practice Mindfulness and enjoy the benefits! Bonus: Spend the extra time actually interacting with your family and friends!
* Learn to say no – It’s a given that if your life is overflowing you will never be able to achieve balance and manage it all. It’s just not possible. Say no to everything that is either not essential or doesn’t add something valuable to your life. Then add things back until you feel overwhelmed again. You will learn your limits and find your happy place.
* Your Health Is Important – We hear this over and over again, but usually only give it a second thought. We know what we need to do, but it isn’t a priority until we have a health crisis. Our health really does affect the quality of our lives and our work. We are far more productive and happier when we get sufficient amounts of quality sleep, eat a healthier cleaner diet and fit in some type of physical activity regularly.
* Avoid Toxins– chemicals that Wreak havoc on our body… Making us sick or at a minimum decrease our bodies ability to function at peck performance. Chemical toxins are only half of it …. By that I mean you must also Minimize the negative influences around you. AVOID TOXIC PEOPLE (complainers, whiners, poor attitudes.) If you can’t completely avoid them, at least minimize contact and tune them out as much as you can. Surround yourself with positive, supportive, can-do people whenever possible!
* Everyone Needs Alone Time – Making time for you is probably the most difficult thing to do for the typical person today. We are overworked and on most days overwhelmed! Alone time is crucial for lowering stress, increasing happiness and encouraging creativity. Some things to try; meditate, write, sketch, do some yoga or simply sit quietly for a few minutes each day and do absolutely nothing. You can do it! And You Will Love It!
* Quality Time With The People In Your Life – Set aside quality time with your family and friends. Don’t just sit in front of the television, really connect and pay attention to those you care about!!! Make a date with your significant other, talk, kiss, laugh. Enjoy coffee with a friend, play a game with a child, take time to ask a coworker how they are and then take the time to listen to their answer. Enjoy really getting to know the people around you.
* Make Time For Yourself – Get a pedicure or a facial. Better yet, schedule a massage! It doesn’t need to cost you a fortune; a glass of wine, your favorite coffee or tea, meditate or enjoy some beautiful flowers. You are important and your own smile will make a huge impact.
* Get Out And Explore – Take a walk and pay attention to what’s going on around you. Take a new route, visit a new town or try being a tourist! Attend a local performance, play amateur photographer or go to the park. Hang out with children you know, watch how they play. Children really know how to enjoy life!
* Learn Something New – Take a class, learn to paint or try something new that you’ve always wanted to learn. Read a book that sparks your interest or try listening to uplifting music. Find what interests you.
* Live A Life That Makes You Smile – Laugh, joke, play, find your sense of humor, tell a friend a joke daily. Make time with those that make you laugh. Nothing makes you feel better as fast as laughing so hard your side hurts!
Have a wonderful Monday, beginning your fantastic week.
Your Wellness Guru~ Stacy
There are many different types of squats….
Everyone knows squats are a great way to activate large muscle groups. All the while burning fat and yes fine tuning your butt and legs. Now let’s talk about how to do a proper squat and avoid injury. First talk with your physician, if you haven’t exercised recently, educate yourself on how you should start. Avoiding injury is just as important as exercising altogether!
There are many different types of squats…. Here are 7 Types of Squats for a Better Butt. After all who doesn’t want a better butt?
Everyone wants a better butt, whether to show it off in your jeans or just a goal you have!
These squats will work your butt muscles better than any amount of cardio! You shouldn’t be doing the same type of squats every time you workout. Your body needs variety. These types of squats range from easy to difficult and can be either modified for beginners, or performed with a heavier weight to make them more difficult. Try adding a few reps to your lower body workout or a zero exercise equipment squat rep to your morning routine at home 😃
1. Body Weight Squats
This is just a regular squat with zero exercise equipment. There are no dumbbells, barbells, or kettle-bells involved. Just get into basic squat form, feet hip width apart, feet slightly pointed out, squat down to where your knees reach a 90 degree angle and then try to maintain the weight through your heels as you push yourself back up to start. Remember to not lean forward and to maintain a flat back throughout the exercise.
2. Plie Squats
In this squat your feet need to be wider than hip width apart with feet angled significantly outward. Same rules of a regular squat apply to this one. Be sure to keep your back in line, and you are going to bend your knees more outward than straight. This is going to target your inner thighs significantly. If you need to make it more difficult, grab some weights or a kettle-bell!
3. Pulse Squats
Get into basic squat form and then once you reach the bottom of the squat, instead of coming back up all the way only come half way up, and then lower back down into the squat. Repeat this multiple times to “pulse”. You will really feel the burn with this one!
4. Plyometric Squats
This type of squat will really get your heart rate up. You use the same rule of form as a body weight squat, but instead when you get to the bottom of the squat, you are going to explode up and land softly.
5. Single Leg Squats
This type of squat is done on one leg. You’re going to lift your left leg either behind you or keep it as straight as possible in front of you while you squat down on your right leg.
6. Goblet Squats
This squat is done in more of a plie form with feet wider than hip width apart and feet angled outward. You can use a kettle-bell or one big heavy dumbbell, hold them at chest level while you squat.
7. Barbell Squats
This type of squat is a pretty advanced exercise that needs to be done in the gym. Put the barbell on your shoulders, mostly laying on your trapezius muscle, the “traps”. This squat is done with normal squat form, but the reason it is more advanced is because it allows you to add a lot of weight.
Ask an educated trainer to show you correct form before you attempt this one!
Be Well and have fun!
Your Wellness Guru ~Stacy
If your lymphatic system isn’t quite getting the job done you may be suffering from illness, minor injuries, excess weight or cellulite. Along with possibly more serious Conditions like pain disorders (arthritis, bursitis, headaches or others), it is very possible your lymphatic system may be playing a role. Here is some education on your lymphatic system along with a few ways you can get your lymph flowing!
The lymphatic system,is amazing, it is a system made up of glands, lymph nodes, the spleen, thymus gland and tonsils. It cleans our body’s cells and carries the body’s cellular waste away from the tissues to the blood. Then it can be filtered by two of the body’s main detoxification organs: the liver and kidneys. This wast is made up of the byproducts of our bodily processes, drugs (over-the-counter & prescription), toxins of every kind (cigarettes), along with all other airborne pollutants, food additives, preservatives, and pesticides.
Every person has between 501 and 700 lymph nodes(this varies from person to person). About half of the nodes are in the middle of your body (stomach or abdominal cavity). The lymph nodes near your armpits and groin have about 100 nodes.
The lymph nodes hold the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. These act as fighters against foreign invasion by bacteria, viruses, cancer cells or toxins. The lymphocytes also help control the immune response. These lymphocytes originate from stem cells in the bone marro it fights infection and destroys damaged or abnormal cells. As the blood circulates around the body, fluid leaks out from the blood vessels into the body tissues.
Lymph is formed when high arterial pressure forces fluid out of the capillaries and into the tissue spaces. From there it is taken up into the lymphatic vessels. The lymph carries harmful substances from the tissues to the lymph nodes, for removal, before the lymph is returned to the blood at the veins in the neck.
Now that you understand the lymphatic system … Let’s go over easy ways to help your system get the job done ! These are all important steps to easy weight loss and improved feelings of well-being!
Drink plenty of water. Without adequate water, lymph fluid cannot flow properly. To help ensure the water is readily absorbed by your cells, I frequently add some fresh lemon juice, cucumbers, fresh fruit, or herbs 💛
Forget the soda, the sports drinks, and drop the fruit juices (way too much sugar) All that added sugar, color and preservatives only add to the already overburdened workload your lymph system!
Eat more raw fruit on an empty stomach. The enzymes and acids in fruit are powerful lymph cleansers. Besides they are great energy boosters! Eat them on an empty stomach for best digestion and maximum lymph-cleansing benefits. Most fruits are digested within 30 minutes or so. It is amazing how quickly they will help you feel better.
Eat plenty of green vegetables to get adequate chlorophyll to help purify your blood and lymph.
Eat raw, unsalted nuts and seeds to power up your lymph with adequate fatty acids. These fats are necessary! Choose from walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamias, Brazil nuts, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
Get moving!!! Be active!!! Exercise also ensures the lymph system flows properly. Stretching, aerobic exercise, Yoga and Pilates are fantastic!
Try Dry skin brushing before showering. Use a natural bristle brush. Brush your dry skin in circular motions upward from the feet to the torso and from the fingers to the chest. You want to work in the same direction as your lymph flows—always toward the heart!
💛 Breathe deeply 💛Our bodies have three times more lymph fluid than blood, yet no organ to pump it. Your lymph system relies on the pumping action of deep breathing to help it transport toxins into the blood before they are detoxified by your liver.
My favorite is a gentle massage. Studies show that a gentle massage can push up to 78 percent of stagnant lymph back into circulation. Massage frees trapped toxins. You can also try a lymph drainage massage. It is a special form of massage that specifically targets lymph flow in the body. Whatever type of massage you choose, make sure it is gentle! Sorry, more pressure may feel good on tired muscles, but it doesn’t have the same lymph-stimulating effects.
There are endless benefits to take care of your lymphatic system! Once it is working efficiently you will have more energy, less pain, and improved detoxification. Not to mention you will be at a lower risk of many dangerous conditions and illnesses!
Have a Wonderful ~Happy ~ Healthy ~ Day!
Be active… A body in motion is a fit body.
A healthy mind can lead you to a healthy body and a much happier life. … By changing our minds, we really can change our lives.
In today’s busy world, maintaining our good health is difficult but not any less important. It’s easy to let stress take center stage and set us up for poor diet and lifestyle choices. Our diet, exercise and behavioral choices can have a significant effect on our health. If you have a poor or unhealthy diet, you may run the risk of weight gain or increased your risk of chronic diseases (like diabetes or high blood pressure). If you’re not active regularly, you may also run the risk of gaining weight but also miss out on the many benefits of exercise. If you smoke, don’t manage stress or don’t sleep well, you again can run the risk of having negative side effects on your health. Maintaining a generally healthy body will require you to make sure you’re making healthy choices in a multiple areas of your life.Make Healthy Choices and enjoy every minute 💛 Your Wellness Guru ~Stacy @Life.Wellness.Health
The Sun Salutations A (Essential Sequences) is one of my favorite sequences. This particular sequence is not always taught with the auspicious intentions it deserves, the humble Sun Salutation is usually thought of as a beginners introduction to yoga. It is performed in studios around the world and thought of as an energizing sequence that harmoniously links the body, breath, and mind. It can effortlessly revitalizes every aspect of your being. From the physical, as a fantastic total body toning routine and circulatory energizer. To spiritual uplifting you before your day had begun or after it has started to take its toll on you.
Many argue that the translation to the English “Sun Salutation” doesn’t capture the intention and experience of the word namaskar. ‘Salutation’ has little to do with the heart and life. Namaskar means ‘to bow,’ to recognize with your whole being. Reaching up, bowing forward to the earth in prostration. Which is intense, the meaning is inherent in the movement.
Surya Namaskar embodies yoga of the West, It is intensely physical but when done correctly. It is also equally used to uplift the spirt. So much of the yoga today reflects both ancient and modern ideas.
Understanding the meaning will allow you to better focus on the healing energy of the sun and your connection everything around you As you grow in your own practice.
First and for most Breath & Mantra Drive Surya Namaskar
To enjoy the full experience of Surya Namaskar
•First, let the breath lead the movement.
•Each inhalation and exhalation should draw you into and through the next pose (not be forced to fit a predetermined pace).
•Take the time to fully contemplate the meaning of Surya Namaskar (a sense of authentic gratitude to the sun, the Earth and your Life).
•I highly recommend adding a mantra to the movements. (With mantra you are able to clear the mind and focus on positive) (you can use any sacred sound, including Om, on the exhalations. If it feels more comfortable)
•Try practicing outdoors, in the presence of the sun. Experiencing Namaskar outside of a studio is a completely different experience! 💛
🔆Please Practice Sun Salutations in the Morning 🔆
Although Sun Salutations can be practiced at any time of the day, early in the morning is considered one of the best times for yoga and meditation practice .
🌟Starting you day on the right foot !
The mind is most calm and clear before you have begun your day. The hour just before sunrise is called Brahma muhurta “time of God”. It makes little difference if you are or are not a religious person, starting your day with a clear, happy head and an energized body always sounds wonderful! Hopefully early in the morning you can be alone, without demands and distractions. Take this time for your well being! Rising early can also provide a greater intention for your day.
Sun Salutations can awaken the body, focus the mind, and connect to a sense of gratitude for the new day!
This simple morning ritual whenever you wake up can change your outlook on the day and positively effect every area in your life. Bring the attitude of the Sun Salutation to your heart and mind, use it to allow sun shine and gratitude for this and everyday inside your heart.
Sun Salute: Classic Surya Namaskar Yoga Sequence
Start by establishing equal weight on both feet and a tall, bright posture through the spine and crown of the head. Bring your palms together in front of the heart center. Pause and imagine a sun at your heart, shining brighter with each inhalation. Sense gratitude for the life-giving energy of the sun, for the prana (life force) that flows through you and all beings.
Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)
Inhale, turn your palms out, and sweep your arms up and overhead. The spine can take a gentle backbend, lifting the heart and expanding the chest. Let this movement be a gesture of opening to life. Gaze up, keeping the forehead relaxed and the face soft.
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
Exhale and fold forward at the hips. Let the descent be an offering of gratitude. Keep the spine straight as long as you can, then let it softly round into a full forward bend. You can bend your knees to ease strain on your back or hips. At the end of the exhalation, draw your chin in and gaze at your legs.
Ardha Uttanasana (Half Standing Forward Bend)
Inhale and lift your chin, your chest, and your gaze. Stay rooted through strong legs, reaching down through your heels. Press your hands into your shins to help lift your heart and straighten your spine. Savor this smaller movement, letting your breath fill you up.
As a moving meditation, Surya Namaskar develops focus and peace of mind. Let your breath guide each movement, and extend the movement over the entire length of each inhalation or exhalation. Your gaze should follow the direction of movement, linking your mental energy with your physical action. In the spirit of the Sun Salutation, bring to mind and heart a sense of gratitude for life, and let the movement remind you of your connection to something bigger.
Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)
Exhale and step or jump back to Plank Pose. On the same exhalation, shift your weight slightly forward, bend at the elbows, and lower your body halfway to the ground until your upper arms are parallel to the floor and close to your side ribs. Be careful not to sink your hips or collapse your core. Let this action be an offering of the heart, a surrendering of the ego, a full-body prostration to the earth. To modify, lower your knees or whole body to the ground.
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose) or Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Inhale and press back through your toes to come to the tops of your feet. Simultaneously, press down through your hands and draw your shoulders back to broaden your chest, letting the inhalation expand your heart. Activate your feet and legs to float your kneecaps, thighs, and hips. Lift your gaze past the tip of your nose. For a modification, practice Bhujangasana, keeping your elbows bent and your legs and pelvis rooted to the earth.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
Exhale, tuck your toes under, and use the strength of your belly to pull your hips up and back. Establish a straight line from your wrists through your shoulders, spine, and hips. If this is difficult, you can bend your knees, take your feet wider apart, or lift your heels away from the ground. Relax the back of your neck. Stay for 5 breaths, feeling the flow of breath and holding the pose with strength but not strain. If you need to rest, drop to your knees and bow into Balasana (Child’s Pose).
Feet to Hands (Transition)
At the end of the fifth exhalation, jump or step your feet forward to your hands.
Ardha Uttanasana (Half Standing Forward Bend)
Inhale and lift your chin, chest, and gaze, straightening the spine.
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
Exhale and fold forward completely, softening the back.
Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)
Inhale, rise fully and radiantly with a straight spine, and look up.
(Tadasana Mountain Pose)
Exhale and return to Mountain Pose. Pause and feel the heart-opening effects of this sequence.
*Yes this is a fantastic way to start your day, can be used alone as a complete yoga pose sequence, or when performed 2 to 5 times during another yoga sequence it will build heat and add intensity.
🔆Sun Salutations 🔆
* Can easily be practiced over ones entire lifetime, although it may appear simple… The poses and intentions are often rushed and not given their full attention.
Take your time 💛 Enjoy Your Life💛 NAMASTE,
Stacy Dunn Phillips
Life. Wellness. Health.