I love a parade!

Every morning I wake up and make a parade — a parade of beverages.  It’s all part of my quest for wellness.  Each member of the parade serves a purpose (or several purposes).  Let me guide you through.

The first member of my parade is a tall glass of water.  Here in the little house by the river, water comes out of the tap at room temperature or warmer.  Weird, I know.  I run it through my Brita filter,  pour it into my tall insulated tumbler over a few ice cubes, then take the first swig to chase down the handful of pills that I keep in a pill organizer.  Right now I am taking a daily multi-vitamin, two fish oil capsules with Omega-3 fatty acids, 400 mg of magnesium, a 5,000 iu capsule of Vitamin D, and a prescription anti-inflammatory called Voltarin.  And, guys, that’s a reduction.  I take a similar combination in the evening — and it’s not going down without that glass of water.

We all know we are supposed to drink water, right.  Google told me this morning that 50-65% of the human body is water.  In order to be healthy, we have to recirculate that water regularly.  Water cleanses our systems, washes away impurities, and generally makes us feel better.  In fact, it can reduce headaches, improve your appearance, and give you energy.  We have a joke in our house that no matter what your ailment is, it can be cured with a glass of water.  Got a stomach ache?  Drink a glass of water.  Feel crabby? Drink a glass of water.  Can’t sleep? Here’s a glass of water.

Next in the parade is a smoothie.  Last Mother’s Day, my kids got together and gave me an individual blender that whips up a smoothie in just a couple of seconds.  Since then, more days than not, I have started my day with a blend of fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and a variety of other ingredients.  While I was on the Ultrasimple Diet (Mark Hyman, MD) I purchased a prescription shake mix called UltraInflamX — it’s a rice-based formula chock full of nutrients and antioxidants designed to provide nourishment and reduce inflammation.  It’s expensive, but seemed to be effective in starting off my day and helping me feel well.  For the last week, since I ran out of the expensive stuff, I consulted Mark Hyman’s book, The UltraSimple Diet, and found three recipes for the same type of shake that I can make at home for much less money.  The recipe I am using at the moment is 1/2 cup almond milk, one banana, 1 T. cashew butter, 1 T. flaxseed oil, and 2 T. ground flax seeds.  It’s pretty tasty, and, according to Dr. Hyman, provides essential protein, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and anti-oxidants.

Following the smoothie in the parade of beverages is a concoction that also grew out of the UltraSimple diet.  It started as hot water with the juice of half a lemon.  Then someone sent me a link singing the praises of cinnamon and honey, so I threw 1 t. of cinnamon and about 2 t. of honey in with the lemon water.  That is incredibly yummy by the way.  Cinnamon and honey have been said to reduce the pain of arthritis, to improve gastrointestinal health, lower cholesteral, strengthen the immune system, etc. And it tastes good!  So, down the hatch it goes.

A little over a week ago when my doctor called to tell me that my cortisol was low, she prescribed an herbal supplement that should improve my cortisol levels in just a matter of weeks.  I should take 1/2 t. of Licorice (not the candy form) and 1/2 t. of Eleuthero (Siberian ginseng) in water or ‘juice’ 2-3 times a day.  Sounds simple.  Tastes horrible.  So, in the morning, I try to drown these herbs in the cinnamon, lemon, honey goodness, and it almost works.

Finally, my reward for drinking the other three beverages is a cup of green tea.  Can you believe I am calling that my reward after all the whining I did about ‘having’ to drink green tea on the UltraSimple diet? Well, have I mentioned lately what a wonderful husband I have? For Christmas he found me a loose green tea blend that is fruity and delicious! So, the grand finale in my parade of beverages is a lovely cuppa fruity green tea.  Now, you might think by now that I am following some crazy schemes to improve my health.  You may be skeptical, but even medical doctors have cited the research that shows the benefits of the catechin in green tea to do everything from lowering cholesterol to improving brain function to stabilizing blood sugar.  Drink up, kids.

So what do I do after the parade?  What does anyone do after a parade? They exercise, of course.  So, I am off to the gym for come cardio, some strength, and then some relaxation in a warm salt water pool.

I do believe all this work is paying off.  I am feeling better, not perfect, but better.

Proverbs 3:5-8

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and shun evil.

This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

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